MacBook Air to Windows 8 Ultrabook: Microsoft Switch Campaign?
When Windows 8 launches on Ultrabooks, Microsoft should open its arms to millions of former Windows users who defected to Mac OS X during the Windows Vista debacle, which started in 2007. Some of those Macs are now five years old — an ample installed base that will likely consider MacBooks, MacBook Airs and even iPads in the months ahead. Will Microsoft turn the tables on the old Mac vs. PCs ad campaign? Hmmm…
First, let’s start with what went wrong at Microsoft. Back in 2007, the software giant proclaimed:
“On Jan. 30 the most significant product launch in Microsoft Corp.’s history culminates in the release to consumers of the Windows Vista™ operating system and Microsoft® Office 2007.”
The Emperor Has No Clothes
By mid- to late-2007, Microsoft proclaimed that Windows Vista was “the fastest-selling Windows in Microsoft’s history.” But the press wasn’t buying it. Vista suffered from a range of incompatibilities. Consumers didn’t like it, and corporations were holding fast to the much older Windows XP.
Meanwhile, Apple in June 2007 was busy launching the iPhone empire, and then would return again in April 2010 with the iPad.
So, let’s get this straight: While Microsoft was struggling to launch Windows 7 as a fix for Windows Vista, Apple was busy dominating the mobile revolution — from iPhone to iPad to… the MacBook Air. With the Vista debacle in mind it’s easy to see why Microsoft failed to catch the initial smartphone and tablet waves. The Redmond software giant was far too busy fixing holes in its core desktop business.
Five Years Later…
Fast forward to the present — five long years — and Microsoft may finally have a compelling end-to-end software story again. Software developers, in theory, can write to a single code base to reach Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 tablets (including Microsoft Surface), notebooks and desktops.
Microsoft should also thank Intel, which has developed the Ultrabook specification to help generate super-thin, super-light notebooks that compete with Apple MacBook Airs.
Will Windows 8 Ultrabooks trigger the second coming of the Wintel duopoly (Windows on Intel)? Nope. ARM processors, Linux, Google Android and Apple all represent stiff competition for Intel and/or Microsoft.
But Windows 8 Ultrabooks are a compelling story — perhaps the most compelling Microsoft-Intel combo since Windows 95 and Pentium processors together rose to dominate the 1990s.
Assuming Windows 8 works as advertised on Ultrabooks, it’s nearly time for Microsoft to fire back at Apple…