Microsoft vs. Apple
Microsoft and Apple are the leading software companies of our time, and they are competing about customers.
Apple has become increasingly more popular in the computer sector, starting with the launch of products such as the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad and of course several MacBook models, most notably the MacBook Air. Apple is known for its innovations and leading design and appeals mostly to younger customers, especially women. The visionary and founder of the company was Steve Jobs, who died of cancer in 2011, leading the company and giving keynote speeches until shortly before his death. Steve Jobs is one of the reasons that there is a virtual hype about Apple products worldwide. When the company announces the product launch of a new product, thousands of people worldwide are queuing in front of Mac stores all around the planet in order to get one of the desired items.
Until the release of the iPod, Apple was more popular in the US especially on the computer market. More recently, Europeans as well as Asians are craving Apple products because of their design, quality and associated prestige and are willing to pay large sums of money for owning an Apple product. The high prices are said to be the most important disadvantage of Apple products, as well as problems of compatibility with software and hardware of other producers, most importantly Microsoft. Nevertheless, Apple is the leading company with bestselling computers, phones and mobile music devices and it is rumored that the company is currently working on an Apple TV.
Microsoft has been the leader in software on the European market with its Office programs and operating systems. Microsoft Word is still the standard word processing program used in companies, schools and at universities. Until the confidence in Apple products grew, Microsoft could count on loyal customers who bought what they were used to. New operating programs such as Windows Vista and Windows 7 are still popular among users, although Windows increasingly invests in the development of video game consoles such as the Xbox in order to attract a younger audience. Since Windows does not produce computer hardware, only software, and failed in launching successful phones and portable music players, Apple offers a broader spectrum of products and has therefore become the more attractive choice for stakeholders.