It’s Time

Let me show you a couple of charts, both covering the last five years. The first is from a company that was trading in the mid-20s five years ago, and is now trading in the mid-30s, so it’s doing a reasonable, average, entrenched established 10% per year, on average. Gains are so modest that compounding isn’t much of a factor.


Now here’s the second company, covering the same space of time. It was trading at under $10 five years ago, and is now closing in on $200, a 2000% gain averaging a doubling (100%) of your investment year to year (compounding is a ginormous factor).


Perhaps you’ve already guessed: Apple vs. Microsoft. I trust I don’t need to inform you which is which.

Now, unless you’ve already dismissed this — as I used to do with bullish and enthusiastic claims about Apple (when it was trading at $65) — perhaps it’s time to rethink. It’s no secret to those in the know that Microsoft’s Vista has been an utter debacle, with online purchases of Windows XP now outstripping online sales of Vista. Many of these are people actually downgrading their new PCs to the former OS. I’ve worked with Vista just a bit, and frankly had no troubles at all. But I also know that consumer sentiment is what’s driving this, and if my own sentiment about the whole thing is as it is — being a very heavy power-user of PCs including enterprise-level client-server stuff going back many years — then I can only imagine the sort of momentum that Apple might be building at Microsoft’s expense.

And you know what I have to say about that? Good for Apple. Good for Steve Jobs. He has truly become a business hero to me.

Apple just came out with their sixth major release of OS X (Leopard) in as many years. Each one has been more successful than the last, and this newest one contains 300 significant improvements. Can you imagine them pulling a boner like MS has with Vista? Take a look, and I’m serious about that. Go ahead and take the 20 minutes to view this orientation.

Of course I know that PCs can do all this. It’s the integration, the seamlessness (increasingly so) and now, even with your phone if you get that too. It’s simple, beautiful, very well done and there’s no denying it; and now, there’s no more escaping it — not for me.

We have two Macs in the house already (networked with the PCs), but they belong to Bea. I’m headed out to add a third which I’ll call my own. We’ll see how it goes from there.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Kyle Bennett on October 28, 2007 at 17:01

    I've looked at Microsoft's 10-Q's, and I've noticed that they've done a significant amount of stock buyback. Wonder how they'd be doing without that?

    The news on Apple is quite promising. They've been quietly gaining home computer market share that, while still very insignificant in the big picture, shows a trend of breaking out of their usual target audience. And I really think iTunes is their ace in the hole. Jobs seems to be gearing his strategy around becoming the dominant content distributor with hardware/software in a supporting role. If he pulls that off, the sky's no limit.

    Here's an interesting article from a well-respected industry guy speculating on the coming shakeup in the PC/Operating System market, centered around the imminent transition to 64-bit processing. If he's right, MS is going to be left behind, but he also thinks that neither Apple nor Linux can fully take up the slack. Things could get really funky for a while.

    The problem with Vista is not that everybody has problems, but that not everybody doesn't, in siginificant numbers. Even at it's worst, Windows was predictable. The "devil you know" effect isn't working this time, because they've introduced rare, but randomly debilitating unknowns, along with a significant strengthening of their ongoing attitude that they know better than you and don't trust you to use your own computer. DRM, in the heavy-handed way they've implemented it, is a slap in the face even to those of us that still respect IP.

    I really appreciate and admire what Gates has given the world, but lately MS has been actively trying to take it back, and I'm no longer rooting for their success. I've never used a Mac, even though I learned programming on an AppleII, and I've used Windows exclusively for as long as I've been serious about ocmputers, but if I can afford it, my next computer will be a Mac.

  2. Greg Swann on October 28, 2007 at 18:39

    The eight-core Mac Pro running Parallels is four of the fastest Windows machines money can buy. ;)

    I'm interested to hear how you do. I don't run Office-like software (nor games), so I don't miss anything that might make a mission-critical difference on Windows. On the other hand, I hate, hate, hate all the kludgey crap that Windows does as a matter of course, so my goal is to kill every Windows machine in our office within the next 18 months. Were it not for our MLS system, MS would be gone from my life already.

  3. Kyle Bennett on October 28, 2007 at 20:14

    Hey, Greg, long time no see, how ya been?

    When we first heard about Parallels about six months ago, we wired it up on a developer's Mac Book. On his fairly new dual core 2 GB Windows box our full software suite takes about 30 minutes to build. On the Mac with Parallels, running all the same development tools, compilers, etc, it took a little over 20 minutes.

    It's only anecdotal, but we would have been impressed even if it was slower but in the same ball park, especially seeing as how it was a slower CPU with less RAM.

    The only thing MS has going for it anymore is momentum, the engine has conked out.

    I find Macs weird, too, but that more and more seems like an issue with my brain and not with the system. Now that Macs support the right mouse button, my final rational objection is gone ;-)

  4. Richard Nikoley on October 28, 2007 at 18:01

    It's still weird, to me. I've messed with Macs for years, having to be able to get my wife's to work on the network, to file share, share printers, and so on. Then she has the odd issue from time-to-time (usually operator ignorance or error) and I sort those out. Also, the switch from one machine to another (which Mac makes really easy to do).

    All in all, even just fiddling, I'm not sure that the "weirdness" is anything but unfamiliarity.

    But I'm about to find out.

  5. Richard Nikoley on October 29, 2007 at 08:34

    "The eight-core Mac Pro running Parallels is four of the fastest Windows machines money can buy."

    Indeed very nice and rivals the enterprise servers we use in the office.

    In addition to Parallels, have you heard about "CrossOver Mac?"

    It's an app that allows certain Windows apps to run without booting up XP (or running it in parallel). They support several apps officially (like Outlook). It's really the biggest issue for me. Of everything MS does, exchange server is really great; paired with clients running Outlook on the LAN, or synced via http from anywhere (including my phone), or even accessed from any computer via "Outlook Web Access." It's real-time synchronization of email, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes over as many machines as you want to run, in as many locations. Doesn't matter. After a month I can go to the cabin, fire up the box, and within a minute, everything in Outlook is exactly as I left it on the last machine I was on.

    I know .Mac accomplishes some of this.

    So, I'll be checking out IMAP (exchanger server has the capability, but IMAP is only for email), Crossover, and/or .Mac to see what the best solution or combination of solutions is. At this point, it's worth it to "just do it."

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.