How iTunes is Paving the Way For Switchers

by James R. Stoup Jun 13, 2007

Trojan Horse—figurative, a person or thing intended secretly to undermine or bring about the downfall of an enemy or opponent.

Ladies and gentlemen, it finally hit me during the keynote: iTunes on Windows wasn’t about selling iPods, it was about selling Macs. I know, I know, it seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. Though I must admit, at first, when iTunes came to Windows I just thought it was Apple trying to expand the iPod’s install base. And maybe that really was the initial design, but oh how times have changed. By the way, in case you missed the keynote allow me to explain. The new Finder interface is almost identical to the newest iTunes interface.


Why would they do that, do you think? Well, one explanation is that the iTunes interface is just so good that, after almost two years, the Apple engineers couldn’t come up with anything better.


Here is another theory. What do you think is the biggest hurdle preventing wide-scale adoption of OS X? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not price! Nope, it’s experience. Almost all current computer users are familiar with some version of Windows. And even with the massive gains OS X has made in recent years, the vast majority of the public has no experience with Macs. But, because so many people have iPods, they do have plenty of experience with iTunes.

If only the iTunes interface was identical to the Find-...oh wait, now it is.

The biggest issue for Windows users, namely an alien way to access their files, has suddenly been greatly minimized. Because now using the Finder is just like using iTunes. So, let’s look at things from a Windows user’s perspective. They are used to using Quicktime, they are used to using iTunes, now thanks to iTunes they are used to using the new Finder, and if that wasn’t enough, Apple just announced that they are giving away Safari for Windows as well. Oh yeah, and GAMES, that last big reason for using Windows over Mac, just took a big step towards becoming a non-factor thanks to these recent announcements.

Apple has drastically stepped up its attempts at capturing market share and that means they are all but declaring war on Windows. There just isn’t any nicer way to say it, Apple has now become so aggressive that a conflict with Microsoft is all but guaranteed. How can anything else happen? Apple just announced that they were going to try and take a big chunk of IE’s market, then they announced that (with simultaneous releases) games will soon be a non-factor in choosing an OS; hell, the only way they could have made a more aggressive stand was to announce they are going to produce their own game console.

Microsoft has to react to all this. I haven’t a clue as to what they could realistically do to counter it, but I know they are going to have to do something because Apple is dangerously close to grabbing a lot of Microsoft’s revenue.

To say the least, this should be interesting.


  • “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

    “Skate to where the puck is going to be”

    – Steve Jobs, Apple Computer co-founder and chief executive

    cloudwall had this to say on Jun 14, 2007 Posts: 21
  • “Skate to where the puck is going to be”

    was lifted from Wayne Gretzky BY Steve Jobs, and this author needs to get over it…..“declaring war on Windows”... Sorry to inform you, but the war is over, it was 20 years ago. As an everyday Mac user and System Admin (Windows and OS X), and I choose to use the mac because of Windows draconian activation schemes, not because it’s SO much better. If M$ wasn’t so invasive, I’d be using a Windows box.

    turandota had this to say on Jun 14, 2007 Posts: 7
  • Turandot?  Ugh, she was so fat in high school.

    ricksbrain had this to say on Jun 14, 2007 Posts: 14
  • turandota, you’re right the war is over; however, the battles aren’t. We will to continue to see these smaller skirmishes on various fronts forever. These will result in the ebb and flow of OS marketshare, but MS will likely always dominate that for a long time to come.

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jun 14, 2007 Posts: 1209
  • Ben said: Anyway I believe consumers would be better off from every perspective if more people could be convinced to buy high quality computing products than terrible budget things.

    Agreed, Ben. However, the world has changed and people accept crap. I believe - as I wrote recently - that even Apple has accepted that and the quality of its products have slipped.

    I’m sure where you live you’ve also seen the rise of the “cheap and crap” shops.

    I worked for a German company ten years ago who made high quality photocopiers, but they were getting slammed in the market by the cheap stuff.

    Ironically, this company discovered they could make a killing by… servicing and repairing their competitors cheap crap. smile

    Many electronic companies have other brands that are their cheap versions. Eg Philips has Magnavox; Cisco has Linksys

    I wish too for the days of quality products, but they’re gone.

    It’d be nice if Apple could still command 12% marketshare with higher end products, but that’s the past too.

    For this reason I don’t believe the rumors Apple is cutting the mini and the 17inch iMac without replacing them with other low end Macs.

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jun 14, 2007 Posts: 1209
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