If your answer was Apple as was the response from 10 or so friends I quizzed, you are part of the majority. And this is a huge problem for Microsoft and its allies. Every time, a PC maker like Dell or HP unveils a sexy looking desktop or notebook, the media and the consumer seem to think of Apple. This is resulting in buyers asking themselves and their friends asking them: Why not an Apple?
If I were Microsoft or an ally, I would be worried. Very worried.
What should they do? Here are some choices, none of them look like a path to winning:
- Ignore Apple and pretend the world is flat. Or round. I hate Friedman for killing this metaphor.
- Build great looking PCs and Notebooks. This is harder than it sounds. And even when companies succeed with products like Sony Vaio and HP's latest Notebooks, they invariably end up only competing with Apple. Also, the PC vendors are limited to hardware improvements. If I am going to pay a premium, why not get the real thing?