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Regarding the current contrast between apparent states of Apple and Microsoft, I'd say Apple could be reduced to an identical state in a matter of six months by any other company coming out of the woodwork with some new, fully realized product the general public hasn't seen before. It's not innately reasonable to divine what such a product might be.

Meanwhile, consider that Microsoft was very strong in 2003, but through a few minor misteps, just missed the boat on a some key changes in technology. Then, when the things that killed their advantageous position finally made an appearance, they refused to give chase. Why they failed to jump on the new bandwagons, and how their own boat started taking on water, has a complex story of its own.

I'm not sure why you all think Microsoft has big problems. They still have the corporate and public sector, largely even the education market cornered. They are hugely profitable and right now taking crazy-looking but probably not exactly stupid steps towards changing their consumer business model.

Well, from the consumer perspective, their most visible and obvious source of relevance, they've got barely anything worth talking about, and everything they've bought up, people are holding their breath waiting for corporate inertia to contaminate and ruin.

But yeah all that business, corporate, government, enterprise activity is probably plenty more than just life support. It's not like I read shareholder earnings reports or anything, though.

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