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Apple's Pyrrhic Victory
The Internet's still in trouble.
Both Apple and Microsoft have released quarterly results; Apple's stats are better than Microsoft's, with Apple bringing home 25% more bacon.
This upset follows on the earlier news that Apple market cap now exceeds Microsoft's. Microsoft would seem to finally be on the downslope. And that is truly cause for celebration, even if it's mostly for Apple shareholders and only minimally for netizens in general.
Apple's strength combined with Microsoft's wobbling could eventually lead to a situation where the Internet in general demonstrates greater health but that path is an excruciatingly slow one. Apple and Microsoft aren't in the same market, neither are both players in the market that determines the health of the Internet. Apple and Microsoft are in that context 'apples and lemons'.
'We are blown away', said Steve Jobs of the quarterly results. And so he should be. Over $20 billion in revenue over a three month period with over $4 billion or 20% in after-tax earnings - that's pretty good. Shipments of all Apple products were up dramatically.
But Apple's computer sector today represents only 1/3 of the corporation's revenues. This in contrast to 50% five years ago, 100% ten years ago. Apple might be selling more computers than ever but there are more people than ever connecting to the Internet and in need of computers. And most of those aren't Macs.
The stats aren't even close. Apple's Tim Cook boasted there are nearly 50,000,000 Macs in use in the world. Great figure until you realise there are close to 1,500,000,000 personal computers connected to the net. That's 30 times as many, giving Apple a 3% demographic.
Add to that 3% a fraction of 1% still using some form of Unix/Linux. It's not encouraging. Mark Shuttleworth continues to have pipe dreams of how his Ubuntu is going to finally have a breakthrough but Mark really doesn't know what he's going on about and never has. He isn't that type of programmer, never has been, never will be, and he admits it.
Current levels of electronic mail worldwide need less than one tenth the resources being used today. All the rest is shit generated by Microsoft Windows computers - spam with malware payloads sent out by Microsoft Windows computers and targeting Microsoft Windows computers. The rest of us are paying for that extra bandwidth - ten times what we really need.
Not to mention all the extra work needed, cottage industries no more than purveyors of heroin economics, all the ills found on the Internet today. And none of them need be there if only people would get some sense and get a better base system.
Better base systems are available today. But they're being hidden as well as the bad players in the market can hide them. Apple's 'Get a Mac' campaign was eminently successful according to yardsticks in use by Apple but they didn't make a dent in the proverbial Jobsian universe the planet Earth is still waiting for to this day.
The quarterly results of Apple and Microsoft might be a cause for celebration by Apple fanboys and for overly optimistic netizens who care more intelligently about the health of the overall Internet, but the Internet is still in big trouble.
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