[SIGCIS-Members] Counterfactual history: Did the Mac cost Apple a shot at market leadership?

Dave Walden dave.walden.family at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 08:20:01 PDT 2017

On 4/26/2017 4:17 PM, Thomas Haigh wrote:

> The counterfactual version of history would involve Apple sticking 
> with Lisa, working to boost performance and gradually broaden its base 
> from higher end niches to general business use, only pitching it for 
> home use when costs came down enough to offer a 1MB machine for a few 
> thousand dollars. That could presumably have yielded something like an 
> [Mac] II long before 1987, during the crucial period in IBM compatible 
> machines were locking up the market. This would have given Apple an 
> installed user base earlier, and credibility in the mainstream 
> business market that the Mac never had.
I suspect that Apple never had a chance of overcoming the IBM compatible 
PCs locking up the market.  It seems to me that Apple was flying in the 
face of a major trend at the time, i.e., hardware-vendor independence.  
The Internet was giving companies independence of computer vendor 
proprietary architectures on the communications side of things (and 
coppanies liked it), and Microsoft was promoting its software as being 
independent of hardware vendors.  (Of course, Microsoft was not 
promoting independence of operating system vendors.)
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