Punishing Apple

Interesting argument by Tig Tillinghast:

Microsoft makes more money on Office per Mac sold than they do per PC sold. And they claim that Internet Explorer’s ubiquity is not to foster monopoly, but because the market demands it and it’s necessary for integration with Office. By this logic, IE/Mac is a key part of MS’ ability to generate profit from the Mac. So then how do they square that position with their recent decision to drop IE/Mac?

My take: Safari has proven that Apple and the open source community together can build a better, far faster browser, without Microsoft’s help. Technology isn’t the issue. Politics is. Potential switchers want comfort food, want to know that IE is waiting for them on the Mac side (even if it’s slow). Microsoft’s move punishes Apple for threatening the monopoly by pulling a security blanket away from potential customers.

Music: Van Morrison :: Joe Harper Saturday Morning

7 Replies to “Punishing Apple”

  1. I haven’t had the time to look into this development at all. The very first article I saw about it had a line in its summary saying that they are dropping IE on Windows also, which would make the whole thing seem moot. They just released MSN for Mac. Perhaps they want to move everyone over to that?

  2. My understanding was that they won’t be offering IE as an independent download for Windows. It would still be there and still be part of the OS, but you’d have to upgrade the OS to get it. The Mac decision was separate – they’re dropping that completely.

  3. >The Mac decision was separate – they’re dropping that completely.

    Which makes sense. If I was MS I would do the same. They try to make IE to be even bigger part of the Windows system, therefore I can’t see how they can maintain their seperate Mac port easily without spending quite some engineering. Engineering==money, and the IE/Mac doesn’t generate any profit. Speaking as a corporation, it was the right thing to do at this turn of IE’s history.

    As for Office’s price, it also makes sense to be more expensive on the Mac. ;)
    The price of a product is also determined by the number of copies sold, and the Mac market is significantly smaller than Windows’. The less they sell, the price is going up to pay the engineering required.

    JBQ told me once that Be was considering to put a price tag for BeOS near at $400. The reason for this was “that’s what the product needs to purchased at in order to justify keep developing it”.

    Sometimes, politics and conspiracy theories are nothing but pure business. :)

  4. “try to make IE to be even bigger part of the Windows system, therefore I can’t see how they can maintain their seperate Mac port easily without spending quite some engineering.”

    AFAIK IE for the Mac is a completely different product and it does not share anythiung with it’s windows cousing (except a User Agent string). I’m wondering if this also means the death of IE Solaris …

  5. >>Potential switchers want comfort food, want to know that IE is waiting for them on the Mac side (even if it’s slow).

    /This/ potential switcher takes great comfort in knowing that MS’ piece of bolt-on crap now has no chance of “waiting for me” on the Mac side. Good riddance.

    >>My understanding was that they won’t be offering IE as an independent download for Windows.

    Hooray! And a good job too; both Windows and Mac users are better off.

    >>It would still be there and still be part of the OS,

    Not if I (and Shane Brooks) have anything to say about it :-).
    http://www.litepc.com/index.html

    >>but you’d have to upgrade the OS to get it.

    Just one more reason not to “upgrade”.

    Tim: >>AFAIK, IE for Solaris/HP-UX was already nailed in its coffin a couple of years ago.

    Fine.
    http://www.mozilla.org/releases/
    http://www.opera.com/products/

    “At this point, I am reminded of a wonderful moment during an interview at Microsoft when the company was strongly arguing that IE was and had always been intended to be an integral part of Windows. So I asked Steve Ballmer what part of Windows was IE for the Macintosh? He didn’t have an answer.”
    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit19991111.html

    And as if all that weren’t enough, now there’s this:
    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/security/0,39020375,39116180,00.htm

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