Amid all the recent noise of Mac OS X viruses, worms, and security exploits, something not obvious at first has become crystal clear.
Apple’s strategy to increase Mac market share at the expense of Microsoft’s Windows involves a Trojan Horse—developed and delivered by Apple and aimed at Windows users.
That’s right. Apple has a Trojan Horse. The payload is as insidious, devastating, and dangerous to Microsoft as the original Greek Trojan Horse built to end the siege of Troy (yes, a myth, but it’s relevant).
A Trojan Horse carries a surprise, yet poses as a gift. What could Apple provide to Windows users that would look, on the outside, like something wonderful, something they can’t get from Microsoft and Windows?
Yet, the very act of a Windows customer accepting Apple’s Trojan Horse sets into motion a series of events which slowly erode Microsoft’s dominant market share position, undermines their customers confidence in Windows (some say Microsoft does that on their own).
Think about the situation. Apple is highly profitable and swimming in cash. Sales are increasing steadily, and the switch to Intel chips on the Mac appears to be going well.
Apple’s iPod and iTunes and iTunes Music Store ecosystem dominates portable music players, online music and video downloads, and will be a quick leader in online movie sales.
Most of those iPod sales are to Windows users who apparently love Apple’s ecosystem approach to a product.
What’s not to like? Apple’s market share for the Mac remains miniscule when compared to Windows, despite some erosion in the past year.
Apple’s challenge is to provide Windows users with a Trojan Horse; something they adore and find pleasing, yet inside is a payload of tragic consequences; not for Windows users, but for Microsoft.
After all, just making Windows users happy and willing to shell out money for an Apple product is one thing, getting more of them to switch to more Apple products is something else.
What is Apple’s Trojan Horse? The iPod.
No, it’s not the iPod shuffle or the iPod nano or the iPod with video. It’s the iPod and the wonderfully well tuned ecosystem that Apple produces, that Mac users have know about for years.
Windows users love the iPod. They love iTunes. Obviously, with over a billion songs sold, they love iTunes Music Store. But Windows users are not yet flocking in huge numbers to Macs and Mac OS X.
They will. As soon as Apple delivers the Trojan Horse.
The first step in this delightfully subtle strategy was the first few generations of the iPod. Windows users have purchased iPods by the millions.
The second step in the Trojan Horse strategy is Intel Inside. The very name “Intel” means Apple’s Mac is now within the comfort zone of product acceptability for many Windows users.
Most don’t truly understand much about Intel or the chips inside their Windows PCs, but they know the name, Intel. Intel stands for PC. If Macs have Intel Inside then that must be a good thing. It is.
To get a Mac into the hands and onto the desks of Windows users, Apple needs to deliver the next generation Trojan Horse. The next generation of iPods.
Hear me out. It’s the fear of change that prevents many millions of the Windows minions from switching from Windows to Macs. For some, the anger and fear of putting up with Windows’ problems causes them to switch to Macs.
For most, though, the feat of unfamiliar territory, the Mac itself, prevents the switch. Apple’s Trojan Horse strategy is about to remove those last fears, and will set into motion a steady decline in Microsoft’s monopoly dominance of the home PC, then the office PC.
The iPod and the ecosystem are comfortable for Windows users. The iPod will morph into a portable Mac. Think “iPad.” An iPod that has a larger screen, is faster, has wireless, has Intel Inside, and does everything that an iPod does now only bigger and better and cooler.
The iPad will run Mac OS X. It’s a Mac, but Apple won’t call it a Mac.
It’ll be an iPod. An iPad. It’s the next step in Apple’s Trojan Horse strategy to win the hearts and minds of Windows PC users.
Mac mini? Newton? No, iPad. Smaller than a Newton but with generations more punch.
Smaller than a Windows Origami ultra mobile notebook PC, but with more cool factor, and more capability. It’s an ecosystem that works.
It’s not a Mac. It’s the next generation iPod. The iPad. It runs Mac OS X on Intel. Windows users will buy it because it’s cool, hip, charming and part of a great ecosystem, that just works.
Upscale models will feature wireless and a built-in iSight camera. A more mobile version of the iPad will be called the iPhone and seamlessly integrates movies and video with the iPad, and synchronizes effortlessly with iTunes on Windows (and Mac).
When? This year. The delivery of a series of Trojan Horses to Windows users that has already begun. By the end of 2007, Apple will have completed a prosperous transition to Intel chips on the Mac line, and advanced the iPod, morphed the iPod, into a Mac for the masses of Windows users.
It just won’t be called a Mac. It’s an iPod. A Trojan Horse from Apple.