BusinessWeek columnist Charles Haddad asserts that the high cost of Microsoft software applications may benefit Apple in his latest Byte of the Apple article.
The high cost of Microsoft’s software signifies a shift in the power base in the PC market, of which Apple is part, said Haddad. Calling Apple the yin the Microsoft’s yang, Haddad said, “If users and PC manufacturers are growing disenchanted with Microsoft, then Redmond’s power is waning, which gives Apple greater room to maneuver.”
And less dependency on software like Microsoft Office offers more room for innovation from small, scrappy third party developers like Mariner Software, Nisus and others. With 300 million users of Office worldwide, obviously there’s a huge entrenched user base, Haddad admitted. Still, there are some chinks in Microsoft’s armor following its attempted breakup by the Department of Justice — he counts Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Sony among the increasing number of PC manufacturers to drop Office from their systems.
Calling Microsoft “its own worst enemy,” Haddad said that the company has priced Office quite high. He cited a “stealth program,” however, that has brought the academic version of Office to Target and Wal-Mart for $330 less than its regular retail counterpart — a version once limited to school bookstores.
“As Mac enthusiasts, let us hope that some Microsoft honcho squashes this stealth program. The longer Microsoft remains blinded by its own brilliance, the better it will be for Apple,” said Haddad.