Microsoft versus Apple: Still making a it a thing

So many ways for Apple to lose.


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The PC wars still rage on, which can mean only one thing: There are still so many ways for Apple to lose.

Writing for the nice people and anti-Apple headline generation algorithms and the clown that just sits in the corner and stares at you smiling that no one else can see but you at Business Insider, Antonio Villas-Boas says “Apple is getting crushed by Microsoft in the PC race, and it may not be close for a while.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @Hanknspit and @BradSkid.)

Are you sitting down? Because this article is full of startling revelations. For example, were you aware that there are more Windows machines than Macs?

Apple's senior vice president of marketing, Phil Schiller, told TechCrunch in a report published Tuesday that the Mac's user base was nearing 100 million users.

To compare, 400 million computers were running Windows 10 as of September…

THIS NEWS FROM THE LATE 1990S IS INCREDIBLY SHOCKING. And that’s just Windows 10. When you throw in dentists who are still running Windows ME alone, well, the picture is even worse. Also, that crack in you back molar doesn’t look good, either. Do you grind your teeth? The Macalope does, but then, he has to read articles on Business Insider. Four out of five dentists recommend not reading Business Insider. The fifth is trying to finance a new boat.

Four of the first five paragraphs of Villas-Boas’s piece are a summarization of Matthew Panzarino’s writeup of Apple’s discussion with select members of the press on Monday. Because tech reporting is a tire fire. Villas-Boas’s “value add” here seems to be “Neener-neener, Microsoft’s install base is larger.”

More consumers are enticed by Microsoft's high-end Surface lineup of hybrid laptop-tablet devices…

To prove that point, Villas-Boas points to another Business Insider piece by serial Microsoft fluffer Matt Weinberger which quotes none other than Microsoft itself about how great Microsoft’s products are doing against Apple. The only thing missing from the piece is any real evidence that Mac users were converting in meaningful numbers to Surface products.

What’s great about that pulled sentence is that Villas-Boas doesn’t say “more consumers” than what, although he seems to be implying more consumers than were enticed to buy Macs which is verifiably not true. Microsoft’s Surface revenue for the most recent quarter was $1.3 billion while Apple’s Mac revenue was $7.2 billion.

Microsoft might be enticing some Mac users — Apple’s lack of ability to deliver any professional desktop solutions in 2016 certainly didn’t help it — but it’s probably seeing more gains from stealing share from its own OEMs.

Add the tepid reception of Apple's latest lineup of 2016 MacBook Pro laptops to the mix…

A 20 percent increase in sales is a “tepid reception”. OK. Last year’s sales of MacBook Pros were probably not raging, but a 20 percent increase in sales is the kind of thing PC OEMs could only dream of.

Let us also marvel at some other bogus construction Villas-Boas engages in.

Still, Microsoft's Windows business is growing, too, especially in the high-end market. … Microsoft now also sells a high-end desktop computer, the Surface Studio, which our own Matt Weinberger said was leagues better than any Mac he had tried.

The Surface Studio, a $2,999 and up pro machine which won’t even be available in much of the English-speaking world until later this month let alone the non-English-speaking world, is driving Microsoft’s PC surge. Meanwhile, Apple’s release of a pro iMac sometime this year won’t move the dial.

…considering that most of Apple's computer sales are in laptops, the impact of the refreshed Apple desktops may not dramatically increase the Mac's user base.

Of course.

The thing is, there is a story to tell about Apple’s lost year(s) of professional desktop sales and how that led to Monday’s “Baby, don’t leave me, it’ll be different this time, I swear!” But it doesn’t have much of anything to do with the hundred millionth writing of “Microsoft wins, Apple loses.”

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