Intel Mac Attack: The Second Wave

I'm getting closer -- much closer -- to joining my two sons as a Mac laptop owner. I already have a G4 desktop but still rely on my trusty (actually, it's not all that trusty) Dell laptop for real work. My plan is to pick up a new Mac laptop, and dual boot XP for when I need Windows. All I wanted was a broader selection and lower prices. Now, with a dual-core unit at $1,100, I'm this close to handing over my American Express.

Microsoft bigots might call me a traitor, but since when is competition bad? And with a 90-plus percent desktop market share, Microsoft can use all the competitors it can get.

One Linux Vendor Actually Cares About the Desktop
A few months ago I complained that Linux vendors were either afraid to compete on the desktop, too lazy or just didn't care. Thank goodness one stepped up to the plate.

Longtime Redmond needler Novell announced a desktop suite that takes precise aim at Office, XP, MOM and Exchange. For $100 to $150, customers get the whole darn thing, replacing what could be well over a thousand dollars in CAL costs. For IT this would be a major shift -- adopting GroupWise for e-mail, which feels like a thing of the past, Linux servers, which feel like the future, Linux desktops, which seem like they could be the future if anyone besides Novell cared, and OpenOffice, which feels like a Scott McNealy pet project.

Playing the Piracy Card
I came across an interesting discussion about Microsoft sales using the threat of audits and well-publicized piracy charges to sell new licenses -- whether the customer needs ‘em or not!

We've covered this in several pieces:

But the new title of "Microsoft Engagement Manager" adds a fresh wrinkle. My old employer ComputerWorld (it was so long ago, I had pimples, not wrinkles, and a six pack, not a beer belly) has a column about a brave IT pro who went public, complaining openly about the attempted intimidation.

That prompted a remarkable discussion on Slashdot, where posters dug into the ins and outs of this new technique.

Have any sales horrors stories? Send them to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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Microsoft and Time?
There's a rumor around that Microsoft may be angling to buy Time-Warner. Interestingly, this was reported by BusinessWeek, not Fortune, which is owned by Time.

I always felt that AOL blew a massive opportunity. They had millions of subscribers, were moving into cable and broadband, and could've harnessed Time-Warner's video and magazine content to do some rather remarkable things. It never happened, leaving me amazed that I was, in this case, smarter than Steve Case and Ted Turner combined.

I would never claim to be smarter than Gates and Ballmer. If they snapped up Time-Warner, I'm sure they'd do something interesting!

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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