I see Longhorn’s biggest weakness is that the long delay in its introduction has given Apple an incredible advantage in making the most of its iTunes, iPod advantage, expanded with the Mini-mac’s introduction.
Yes the Mac’s market share is now small. And all you say about cross platform stuff has merit. But, many, many people are very weary of problems in Windows Land and the tenacity of the Mac faithful and the coolness of the Mac recent product line is causing conversations that were not happening years ago.
I’ve been a Mac user since the Mac Classic at home while doing Windows at work. Until the iPod came out and iTunes started selling, no one seemed interested in Mac.
Now, I get questions all the time from friends, family, people curious about Mac. All the time. Weekly. I hear discussions in the park. In restaurants. In lines in the store ("Mommy, I need an iPod and a Mini-Mac! I need them!").
If anything, the changes on the internet have made switching to the Mac easier not harder. IE for Mac works fine but Firefox is much faster. Both work fine with Blogspot.
Is Longhorn "Threatened" in the sense of Microsofts commercial base? Probably not, for now. It depends on several things.
One, will Longhorn work out of the box without serious defects, bugs, back doors, security flaws, and needs for continual updates. If fixing these is the reason for the delays, then Gates is right to delay the release. The chief complaint corporate users have had with Microsoft systems has been the need to continually fix problems with its systems. The fear of introducing a new operating system too quickly because it could not be trusted to work, right out of the box, and of course for legitimate training reasons.
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Could we stop the crucifying of an OS that has not even reached BETA 1 yet. Its getting really lame now, especially coming from the Mac Community.