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If Windows 8 is going to give the PC industry a much-needed lift, Microsoft (MSFT) has some...

If Windows 8 is going to give the PC industry a much-needed lift, Microsoft (MSFT) has some convincing to do. Though 6 out of 10 respondents to a U.S. poll done by antivirus software firm Avast said they're aware of Windows 8, only 9% said they would speed up plans to buy a PC because of it, and 74% said they'll probably stick with what they have. Moreover, about a third of Windows users ready to buy a PC said they plan to switch to an Apple (AAPL) product.
Comments (49)
  • "Moreover, about a third of Windows users said they plan to buy an iPad or Mac (AAPL)."


    Quick! Sell AAPL! Sell, sell, sell! Um, wait! What am I saying? Maybe we should not be selling AAPL.
    16 Nov 2012, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • plans dont always come to fruition so probably wouldn't bet on it, although it might kick MSFT in the ass in terms of getting in touch with consumers...


    Not sure Ballmers the right guy tbh
    16 Nov 2012, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • Also, no corporate environment is going to be able to get rid of Windows immediately, that de-leveraging will take years. I think the bean counters at corporate would prefer you to have shitty MSFT experience before paying 3x the price for each computer that a worker needs.


    On the consumer-side, lots of people have jumped to Apple's OS, so if the quote is specific to the consumer universe, it is a little more believable to me.
    16 Nov 2012, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • While Windows won't suddenly disappear overnight, even the biggest, slowest, most incompetent bureaucracy on the planet can figure out a way to transition away from it over the 10-year extended support lifetime of their existing products. The first step's a no-brainer: require CIO approval for any new Windows projects, Windows 8 upgrades, or system purchases with Windows 8 installed. You can figure out where things go from there. Depending on the company and the application, you'll see some combination of BYOD, Macs, existing tablet products, fixed-location thin clients and terminals, and occasionally non-Windows desktops. Windows exists in the data centre mainly for two general classes of applications: legacy software products, usually bespoke or heavily customised, and the support of a larger Windows desktop environment. Neither of those applications will make a lot of sense to keep running, so what little Windows is left there will be replaced by Unix or SaaS. There will undoubtedly be many companies that don't eliminate Windows entirely but reduce their usage of it to applications they must have that are not available any other way, but the number of such applications has been in decline for years and will continue to decline as Windows loses market share.


    Microsoft made a huge blunder: they gave people a reason to notice that no one actually needs Windows any more. No one liked PCs anyway, including corporate IT shops, but the prevailing perception was that there's nothing else. The decisions they've made around Windows 8 and the press coverage it has received as a result have gotten people to start wondering whether they need a PC at all, and just how much they could do with some combination of other things. The results aren't surprising: the PC user experience sucks, Windows is expensive, and desktop IT is a massive money pit; there are better ways to get work done. None of this is really news, but this moment has a lot in common with Wile E. Coyote finally noticing that he ran past the edge of the cliff quite some time ago and dropping like a rock. Windows has been superfluous for several years now, but it took a PR disaster for people to notice. I think it's safe to say they're noticing now. The PC will be gone as a mainstream product within 3 years, and Windows with it. It will live on as a low-volume niche product for corporate stragglers, engineers, and specialty applications, but it won't be a leading source of revenue for huge players like it was in the past. The next decade will be owned by data centres and mobile. Intel is strong in one, weak in the other; Microsoft has nothing of substance to offer either one. It's unclear why Microsoft needs to be in business in 2020.
    16 Nov 2012, 10:30 PM Reply Like
  • This is absurd. If American enterprise actually switches away from the Microsoft office ecosystem to what is currently available anywhere else that would be the end of American enterprise as we know it. Quick, name the Apple alternatives to the following enterprise critical applications.


    Active Directory


    Still waiting.
    16 Nov 2012, 11:41 PM Reply Like
  • "the end of American enterprise as we know it", really? Nothing like a little hyperbole, but let's take this apart.


    First of all, I'm talking about the end of Windows and the PC. You seem to assume I mean that they will be replaced by something that looks exactly like Windows on PCs but is made by Apple instead. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the new world, applications run in, and data is stored in, data centres, and accessed and visualised on an array of devices ranging from mobile phones to conference room projectors. It's a 3-piece industry right now. Apple has a strong position in end-user devices; they have no presence in the data centre and not much more in applications. I don't see that changing. Those applications will perform many of the same functions that the software you're describing today, all desktop-bound, performs. Unfortunately, the need to handle mail, make slide decks, and run financial models isn't going away. What will go away is the bulk of this work that's currently chained to expensive Windows licenses, cumbersome desktop PCs, and bloated IT departments. Whether Microsoft's continued relevance in each of these application spaces goes away or not remains to be seen, and is largely in Microsoft's hands. Let's take them one at a time.


    Access is not an "enterprise product" at all. It's the tool people use when their tiny business outgrows a trivial mail merge. It lacks the sophistication of a real database, provides no mechanism for shared access to data, and doesn't scale beyond one or two people passing the database file back and forth. And that's pushing it. The only people who are using Access are abusing it and would be better off with something else. Most likely it's being used for some application that can be replaced by a SaaS offering with much lower risk of data corruption and a lot less wasted time, that can be paid for out of petty cash.


    Powerpoint is still used. Like Excel, the people who like it tend to know what they're doing and also tend to dislike other tools even if they are functionally identical simply because they're accustomed to things working exactly as they do. These two utilities are Microsoft's most important franchises, although they don't know it. A large fraction of the Excel and Powerpoint user bases would gladly pay $1000 a seat for them. Wall Street alone would probably be good for a billion in revenue, and it's all margin. Of course, you don't need Windows to use either one -- the same software is offered for Macs, and at some point Microsoft will have to choose between keeping this business by making Office365 the product people actually want, and losing it to someone else. My guess is that they figure it out. 20 years from now, Excel might be the only Microsoft product kids have ever heard of.


    I don't know anyone who has anything good to say about Outlook. It's a mail client, and a bad one. Of course, while mail is still important, it's nowhere near as important to many companies as it once was, and these days most people either read their mail on a mobile device or wish they could. The Exchange/Outlook calendaring functionality is available for peanuts from Google. And yes, it's "good enough"; I know plenty of senior executives who rely on it every day. Outlook won't be missed, nor will its horrible partner in crime Exchange. Together these pieces of garbage probably occupy half of a typical IT department's time, energy, and budget.


    AD covers a lot of ground. Most of its functionality exists only to solve the problem of having lots of Windows machines and users that have to be managed. If you don't have that, AD looks a lot less interesting (so how do you manage the other stuff? Great question, and if you're just joining us here in 2012 you should know that this is the most important challenge before corporate IT departments right now, because "that other stuff" *is already here anyway*). Without that gargantuan infrastructure to manage, there are plenty of lighter weight solutions, ranging from a simply DIY LDAP service to various SaaS offerings that will be more than adequate replacements for the old rolodex. Depending on the direction you choose to take, you might find them integrated with chat/messaging, mail, calendar, and a nice little regulatory compliance features bow on top of the whole package. There's a reason Microsoft bought Yammer. And Skype. At least someone up in Redmond is awake.


    I don't know what you're waiting for; your colleagues in the IT industry certainly aren't. If Microsoft were smart, they'd squeeze loyal Excel and Powerpoint customers for every last dime they can. They're locked in and they like it, the perfect kind of customer for a dying company to exploit. As for the rest of this stuff, you can't seriously tell me anyone would miss it. And it won't be the end of the world for anyone but Microsoft. It requires IT departments to retool themselves, a challenge they'll be up to because the economics of PCs and Windows don't work. If today's CIO can't figure out how to make a thinner, lighter, and more mobile IT system work, he'll be replaced by one who can. The model is changing, and there's not going to be much need for Windows in the new model. Given Microsoft's current trajectory, other players are going to hack away at each of the franchises you mentioned with varying degrees of success until what's left is a business selling spreadsheet software to bankers' interns. That's not the only way this can end, though; clearly there some people there who do understand what's happening and are trying to position the company to make it happen. Sinofsky's ouster strongly suggests that there is an understanding that the company needs to move beyond Windows. If they can do that, they'll survive. But Windows is headed for the boneyard either way.
    17 Nov 2012, 02:42 AM Reply Like
  • don't be sure of that. it's worth the investment and helps keep employees happy
    17 Nov 2012, 07:42 AM Reply Like
  • wake up it's a new world
    17 Nov 2012, 07:51 AM Reply Like
  • Beg to differ on Access, just for a start. It is used a great deal by large corporations to analyze data. Having used it since 1989 I can tell you that corp financial, procurement, audit, etc. love it's ability to let the knowlegeable user perform custom data analysis from downloaded SAP data etc. I've been retired for three years, but still help my wife's Audit Department with rather complicated analysis tools which would be prohibitively expensive to develop in ABAP. Not a mom and pop company, with $4b annual sales. Any halfway intelligent person can be taught how to create relational databases with referential integrity, etc, in a day. The only problem with Access is that Microsoft wants it to disappear but the users won't allow it.


    Getting tired of typing on this iPad. A few last points. Big corps generally lease computers, and for a few years. They know tech is always changing. Also, they often outsource pc support. No big IT dept anymore. They also lease laptops so that people can take their work home. They could care less about any ecosystem other than their own. Apple has a dismal record with databases and financial systems. People who look at SAP screens 8 hours a day care more about system (read server response, application ) speed than anything else.


    I'm long AAPL. :-(. But I don't see Apple in the big enterprise any time too soon.
    17 Nov 2012, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • Microsoft Office is one of the largest selling apps on Macs.
    Mac OS X Server includes Open Directory and last time I tried it, it worked fine with Windows clients. Does SMB fine and shares same files with AFP and NFS out of the box. Same user DB for all. It's Unix with GUI administration and unlimited users. No expensive Windows Server license, no CALs, no license tracking. Upgrades under $100.
    18 Nov 2012, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • AAPL touched $505 today before Wall Street's knee-jerk reaction to congress's non-statement this morning. Lets see if it drops sub $500 Monday. Its possible.
    16 Nov 2012, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • Or maybe Washington comes to a deal and the insanity ends. A 22 point turnaround signals to me that its a macro issue more than an APPL issue at this point.
    16 Nov 2012, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • Today was a classic key reversal: a new low followed by a close above the previous days close. Very bullish.
    16 Nov 2012, 09:23 PM Reply Like
  • it was margin calls that dropped it early
    17 Nov 2012, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • Let's see if Apple hits $560 today. It's possible.
    19 Nov 2012, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • windows was our only choice decades ago it had us all by a death there are choices , no more malware for me......long aapl
    16 Nov 2012, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • That's what I said in 2007 when I boughtmy 1st iMac and in 2008 when I bought the stock for the 1st time at $80
    16 Nov 2012, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • Just note that it is a common misconception that Apples are immune to malware/viruses. If safety is your concern then you should be using a Linux distro such as Ubuntu or Mint.
    16 Nov 2012, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • It's tough for die hard Windows users to understand that there is a choice. I'm like you, once I tried a Mac I never went back.


    As for your $80 purchase of Apple stock, you better sell it all now because the new Vista-Zune-Surface Tablet is going to set the world on fire and cause Apple to lose major market share and the stock to drop to under $50.
    17 Nov 2012, 02:40 AM Reply Like
  • I have a friend who works in the London Apple Store and he told me on Wednesday that he has never known it to be so busy. Also they are now stocking enough iPhone 5s to meet demand.


    There is a monster run of Apple stock about to commence. It will make the run we saw in the first quarter of this year look like a practice run!


    Long Apple till we reach $1,000!
    16 Nov 2012, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know where the top will be but I agree a run is coming.


    Get your ticket punched soon cause the train is about to leave again.
    17 Nov 2012, 02:44 AM Reply Like
  • Now in the bizarro world of pre-election hype, apple can be sold off as foreign, interloper, socialist, gift giver, just not right, evil, blah blah blah buy windows 8 buy mitt, they're the real deal.


    But after the hype, the market indicates its pref in machines and political parties. And now we get to hear why the market is wrong as the long siders in msft and repoobs chew their shoe leather in frustrated envy.
    16 Nov 2012, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • AaK! Didja see the AAPL bounce off Nadaq $505 Friday AM?
    IMHO, Steve Ballmer should be walking the plank- like from 5-10 years ago! I'm not a MSFT fan at all, but could not they be using their Windoze revenues to "innovate" (like that's a non-word in MSFT vocabulary) their way to the Next Big Thing??
    MSFT has too many fiefdoms within, fighting each other for dept. resources- methinks SB encourages this sort of thing, to retain his power position - maybe I'm wrong, just saying...
    16 Nov 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • Softy started with IBM handing the goy genius the entire shop. He was to provide an os he couldn't devise. the goy genius needed a couple of thieves in the night to get dos from digital. And a judge who didn't think stolen property should be returned. All those OSS vets at softy were waiting to be paid!


    Softy since is the same song but with more instruments to fill the empty bottom in.


    The rest is just dressing for the suckers.
    16 Nov 2012, 04:50 PM Reply Like
  • This is exactly what happens when an entire industry is monopolized. Had em on the ropes in late 1990's until new administration/justice deptartment threw it all out in early 2000's. sent tech industry into a major funk with very little consumer tech products until the iPhone. I will never own a msft product or stock due to integrity.


    Tech funk was more monopoly than dot com related.
    16 Nov 2012, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • Nice to hear from someone with an historical perspective on the money. All true without the usual pie filling. BillGoy was always pumping MS "innovation" without a single factual element to show.
    Steve Ballsup has not demonstrated the capacity to move MS forward beyond the legacy Windoze franchise; the current Win8 production with its shot at Surface portability demonstrates the usual "me-too" development attitude, facing an indifferent market.
    SB has been a formidable negative element at MS for 10 years now; his record speaks loudly that he should be magnanimous with his departure, and defer to the thinking management at MS.
    17 Nov 2012, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • MS should soon be following Dell, HP and RIMM into the abyss of irrelevance.
    16 Nov 2012, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to do what noone else has done before, which is to establish a common operating system for PCs, tablets and phones. This is a powerful vision, but not easy to execute. On the technical side, I think Windows 8 will not be robust for at least a year. However, Apple has not taken this common platform approach and could be surprised by Microsoft's strategy, which has been re-enforced by Surface and other Microsoft hardware products, which are likely to be introduced, starting with a Windows 8 phone. Microsoft retail stores may also surprise Apple, although they are obvious copycats and will be dismissed by many for this reason alone.


    Google's decision to dump iGoogle as a home screen will only push users into Windows 8 where you can select and arrange your favorite sites.


    It's a long shot, but I would not count out MSFT yet. Apple has had a long run and the market could be surprised by what MSFT serves up.


    Most importantly, I think investors invest in AAPL for emotional reasons, just as they did with MSFT 15 years ago. Don't be surprised if the market shifts and the love is lost. If so, that means that AAPL's premium may shrink substantially.


    That being said, I'm an Apple consumer and have not bought a Windows 8 product yet, so if I put my money where my heart is... it is with Apple. However, as an investor, I think the next year will be very telling about MSFT's ability to get an edge on AAPL. If they can't do it in the next year, I am bearish on MSFT.


    Note: I have a small long position on MSFT
    16 Nov 2012, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • the integration between iOS and Mac OS is so tight even if they aren't the same system the feel cut from the same cloth to users.
    16 Nov 2012, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • After years of Windows crashing I got a Mac Book five years ago. Now multiple Mac Book Pro's later I no longer feel the pain. Our entire office is on Mac's.


    They do make more than just iPhones and iPads.


    Why did Mister Softy come out with a tablet that isn't compatible with their new Windows 8? It might just be another "Zune".
    16 Nov 2012, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • It is another Zune!!
    16 Nov 2012, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • vista reincarnate....
    16 Nov 2012, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • @Galaxy
    No, not even close. How about an accurate review across the many functions of Win8.


    Where in the world did you come up with the idea that Win8 isn't compatible with the Surface? Do you know what Skydrive is?


    It's been clearly stated from numerous tech sources that Win8 not only works well on older machines, it loads faster, more responsive, and more intuitive.


    The bias, sipping of haterade, and spreading of misinformation speaks volumes of the diminutive manner in which MSFT has become accustomed to. All the more reason to give MSFT stock another look. I'm wondering as AAPL continues to fall how much more hate will be directed at Ole Softee. Bitterness certainly can't be used as an effective tool to judge an investment with clarity.
    16 Nov 2012, 07:11 PM Reply Like
  • @Island Dweller
    Well said. You know more about operating systems.


    Does the new Zune / Surface tablet run Windows 8 and seamlessly sync with laptops, desktops and phones?
    17 Nov 2012, 02:25 AM Reply Like
  • ...the new Vista-Zune 5000.


    But wait.... it comes with a handy thin keyboard. Wait a second, isn't that like a Mac Book Air? ( that doesn't crash )
    17 Nov 2012, 02:28 AM Reply Like
  • Point me in the direction where I can find a Macbook Air with a touch screen. Better yet, Mr. Cook has stated that they have no intention of merging their Mbooks with touch screen.


    So I guess you've realized that a better comparisons can be had with Mbook Air and regular thin sized notebooks.


    Yes, the level of integration between all of MSFT Win8 devices run seamlessly. Your question tells me you did not check out the link I provided because had you, you would know that when you log on with your Win account all your customized settings, apps, whatever are ready for you across all Win8 devices.


    Food for thought, so long as ignorance like this along with distorted reception provided by the media exists, MSFT will continue to be discounted relative to its PEG. And lest we forget, polls while giving us a quick snapshot of what might be are often misrepresented of actual future results often enough to discourage using them as a sound investment tool.
    19 Nov 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • if I get an update from aapl it doesnt crash my machine.... I remember update after update with msft crashing machine reboots incompletes on and on ....
    16 Nov 2012, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • I find it very hard to believe your experience with MSFT based PC. I have used MSFT OS since the beginning. Now I have 3 Sony VAIO laptops running XP, Vista (yes Vista) and Windows 7. They are set on auto-update. I can't remember having problems with the PC after updating. They just shut down, rebooted and worked again.


    Yes, they did crash now and then. Typically, that happened when I had several programs opened and playing video intensive game at the same time. I was told it was due to memory crash.


    I just upgraded the Vista laptop to Windows 8. The upgrade went seamlessly and all my programs now load and run much faster than before.


    If MSFT OS worked as badly as you said, I would have abandoned it long time ago. I used it to make a living.
    16 Nov 2012, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • This was common prior to xp service pack 2, but less so with every iteration after. I can't believe how long the BSOD's from the nineties are haunting MS. Meanwhile, search "iphone update erased contacts" and you will get enough hits to prove that there is a current problem here that no one talks about.


    It's computer science people, data moving at the speed of light, there is bound to be some problems and all computer makers suffer from this fact.
    17 Nov 2012, 12:14 AM Reply Like
  • Haven't updated in a year I was so tired of crashing and rebooting.
    17 Nov 2012, 03:46 AM Reply Like
  • no one needs a pc, no one needs windows.
    Windows xp is good enough.
    People only need tablets. Death to microsoft !.....
    16 Nov 2012, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • Of course the survey would come out that way. Windows 8 restricts the Anti Virus companies more than previous OS versions.
    16 Nov 2012, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • not everything is a conspiracy...
    16 Nov 2012, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • Who would have thought it would now be cool to run windows 7 when your mom and dad think apple is the thing to buy? Windows 7 is an excellent OS. Even linux users who do not belong to a cult think it is pretty darn good. Windows server OS are also an excellent choice in some usage cases as their virtulization has improved.


    The days of windows getting hacked all the time are over and hackers are now targetting Apple's OS with web browser exploits that can own your PC just by viewing a webpage. Not that Windows is totally immune but they are just as secure now days.


    Gamers live on windows for gaming and parity on Apple's products,software choice wise, has a long ways to go. It makes for an excellent media player to hook to your TV via HDMI with a wireless keyboard and mouse.


    I have no idea why people are so down on MS when they are really improving their software since XP. Also, everyone who has a clue skips MS's every other release. It is their way of experimenting and you simply wait for what comes after windows 8. That will be the polished OS to use. See vista as an example of what i am referring to. Does anyone even remember vista and how quickly 7 replaced it?


    I am a long time unix guy who has always had a windows PC around as a workstation. Justifying the extra cost to buy a mac never made sense and being limited by software choices always sucked. Now that it is the cool thing to get makes me chuckle because these fads never last. Windows as a leader is not going anywhere because they actually do design good software and tools now days that are useful to millions of people around the world. If i had a corporate LAN of 10,000 computers I know who I would buy from.
    16 Nov 2012, 10:42 PM Reply Like
  • I am not, presently, in the PC market. Simply because I don't need a new PC. The present capabilites of my system, far exceed the potential needs of my situation.


    I run four 23" monitors on my Windows 7 based PC. I can not think of a single reason why I would ever boot (no pun intended) my PC to the curb. There is no laptop, tablet, or smart phone that can do what I need to do on my desktop PC.


    I've been a Windows user since 1992 (DOS 5 and Win 3.x). I had good experiences with Win 95, 98, 98SE, XP, and minimal problems with VISTA once I cleaned all the 'bloatware' out of the two laptops I own. I had no problems upgrading both of them to Windows 7. I don't see the need to upgrade to Windows 8 on any of my systems (I also have one XP PC). However, based on my boss's upgrade experience, I wouldn't rule it out either. MSFT has also made it very price attractive to upgrade. Unllike years ago, when I lusted after the next 'upgrade', I'm content to stay with the present.


    Although I don't own a single Apple product, I don't rule out the possiblity of owning one in the future.
    17 Nov 2012, 01:48 AM Reply Like
  • such bearish [for MSFT] comments, could very well mean the stock will have a good,if not great, 2013!
    tempted to buy here,but the overall market is in trouble now............
    MSFT at 25,however, would be irresistable,despite an overall stock downtrend.....
    ............and that could happen soon...........regardless of Ballmer,Surface,Windows 8,Bing, etc etc etc
    17 Nov 2012, 06:11 AM Reply Like
  • It's not the PC industry needs a lift from Windows 8. Quite the opposite, it's Windows 8 in need of a lift from the pathetic PC industry. You know I'm right if you have looked at the sorry state of the pathetic hardware put out by the PC partners and the poor retail distribution (for example, there's only 1 Windows 8 tablet on sale at Best Buy).


    Here is my prediction of how this holiday season will pan out. Computers carrying Windows 8 will sell in large but disappointing numbers. Similarly, Apple will sell a lot of computers and tablets, but the quantity will not be enough to impress investors. Cheap Android tablets will run amok because people are distressed financially.


    Disclosure: I'm long MSFT. The turning point of MSFT I expect is the moment it decides to go all out with Surface once the horrible holiday numbers are in. To qualify "all out", what I meant are: 1) make it a complete product line; 2) sell through non-Microsoft channels.
    17 Nov 2012, 06:16 AM Reply Like
    17 Nov 2012, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • There is no point to pay more than $15 for OS and $30 for office application suite.
    18 Nov 2012, 02:09 AM Reply Like
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