Mark Brandon is the Managing Partner of First Sustainable (http://www.firstsustainable.com), a registered investment advisory catering to socially responsible investors. In addition to Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), he may opine on social venturing, microfinance, community investing, clean technology commercialization, sustainability public policy, green products, and, on occasion, University of Texas Longhorn sports.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Apple (AAPL) Benefits While Microsoft (MSFT) Tanks


The news that Microsoft's (NASAQ:MSFT) long awaited operating system, Vista, will be delayed is likely to benefit Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) the most. Last year, when Apple released it's OS X Tiger Operating System, it incorporated many of the best features that are in the upcoming release of Vista. Scooping Microsoft by about what was then expected to be a year and a half was a coup for Apple.

Then, Apple made what appeared to me to be a strategic mis-step. In its haste to get out the Intel-based (NASDAQ:INTC) Macs, combined with its notorious penchant for secrecy, Apple got the new product out before the key software developers had ported their applications to the new chip architecture. Some, such as Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) have now said that it won't be until the end of the year before they get all of their applications compliant. That appeared to be a lifeline for Microsoft. Now, with the delay, consumers especially will be eager to go ahead and make the switch to the Intel-based Macs.

Retailers are running out of the G5-based (made by a consortium which included IBM) Macs, and Apple has always been unsympathetic to its customers who refuse to go along with the upgrade bandwagon.

Heads should be rolling in Redmond for this one.

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