While it is no secret that both Apple and Microsoft are constantly trying to expand their market reach at the cost of the other, it looks like the iPhone maker is more determined now than ever to make a dent in the Microsoft bastion.
Recently, the Cupertino-based fruit-themed company unveiled the new iPad Pro, and it was during that event when Phil Schiller, the company’s head of marketing hinted at what is now being widely speculated as part of a key Apple strategy to outshine the Windows maker.
“You may not know this,” said Schiller, “but the majority of people who come to the iPad Pro are coming from a Windows PC.”
He then went on to giving the audience a virtual walk through Microsoft’s history, which as he outlined, commences before the age of apps, the internet, and social media. His point being – under the prevailing ecosystem in the techsphere, devices like iPad Pro makes a far better choice than a traditional PC or laptop for the average user.
Meanwhile, a number of analysts took it as a virtual acknowledgment of the fact that Apple is actively trying to steal Windows consumers.
On a casual look, it would appear that Schiller’s assessment of the ground reality made sense – after all, Apple has sold more than 200 million 9.7-in iPads since 2010.
So, what should be Microsoft’s response to this looming threat?
Apparently, nothing! Well, at least that’s what many Microsoft observers are suggesting after evaluating the recent changes brought in by the company under Satya Nadella’s leadership.
Allow us to explain!
First and foremost, Microsoft itself is currently an active stakeholder in the fast expanding tablet market. Redmond’s Surface tablets are giving it back to the iPad in many markets. Such is the current dynamics in the worldwide tablet market that anybody who’s considering the iPad Pro is probably also considering the Surface.
This is indeed a big step for Microsoft considering that it is a relatively newbie in the tablet/hybrid sphere as compared to Apple.
Secondly, Redmond is no longer hopelessly dependent on Windows for the company’s financial well-being. At the least, it is actively trying to move away from the Windows-centric approach. It is for that reason only that the company decided to make its new operating system free – something otherwise quite unusual for Microsoft.
The aim of the new approach is to expand its Windows 10 user base to a whopping one billion and then sell them stuff (e.g. app) instead of monetizing the OS itself.
The new approach might have lost the company some control over the operating system – but considering how many of its popular apps like Office 365 are spreading to other platforms (including Android and iOS) with a steadily rising user-base, Microsoft doesn’t really seem to mind.
Hence, under the given circumstances it is quite clear that even if Apple managed to poach a substantial part of Windows users, it would not make much impact on Microsoft as it would have done, let’s say, 5 years back.