Intel and Apple Collude to Squash Microsoft?

june 10, 2005

Cringely has an interesting article in which he analyzes and speculates on why Apple decided to make the processor switch. He runs through all sorts of hoops and comes to the conclusion: Intel will end up buying Apple and using the Mac OS X as a way to regain the desktop from Microsoft. The one thing that Cringely seemed to have forgotten was that Microsoft still holds the magic key. Microsoft still has the upperhand in this game. What is it that Microsoft has that could crush Apple? Office. Cringely forgets that if Apple and Intel decided to go down that road of trying to crush Microsoft, Microsoft can easily cut off the MacBU from making Office for Mac OS X and that would be the end of the game. Any platform without Office will fail as a desktop platform, period. That is why Linux has not really made inroads into the desktop platform. When grandma gets a Microsoft Word file in the email from grandson, she'll want to open it. She won't ask, "Hey were's my OpenOffice.org so that I can open this file?" It's a nice theory Cringely, but it really doesn't fly. Microsoft has the upperhand in this battle. Microsoft may have a little interest in the Mac platform staying alive -- mainly to keep that whole monopoly thing from coming back again -- but I think if it came down to pushing and shoving, Microsoft would not wince at the chance to pull the Office suite from the Mac platform in order to crush competition. And this is all coming from a Mac fan.