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Why Is Apple Still Alive?

With 5% of the operating system market share, Apple should be dead--overwhelmed by Microsoft's resources. But it isn't:

Technology News: Commentary: Under IBM's Hood, Oracle's Linux Move, Apple's Vista Surprise: [B]ased on the chatter I'm seeing it appears very likely that Apple is preparing a little surprise for Microsoft at MacWorld which happens at the same time as the Consumer Electronics Show in January. While Microsoft and partners will be talking about Vista in advance of the launch of that product at CES, Apple, along with Intel, will be launching Apple's version of the Media Center with iTV and Leopard. That's right -- Leopard. It looks like this puppy is nearly ready if I'm reading the signs right -- and Apple is clearly setting up for something big.

Now Intel's part goes beyond the chip and appears to contain elements of Viiv, if not all of that platform. Viiv is actually kind of cool, it's just that Intel has not been able to explain effectively what it is and, as a result, the market hasn't been particularly excited about it on Windows. However, Apple knows how to sell and with a problem where the technology is good but the marketing's not, Apple has the skills to make a huge contribution.

Recall how Apple took the MP3 player market by storm by simply looking at what was out there and figuring out how to do it right. Microsoft's Media Center isn't fully cooked, even with Vista, something that Intel actually created Viiv to fix. Now, it appears, the two of them are collaborating to do the Media Center right, and if they hit the target as well as they did with the iPod, which is likely, they could actually have a second massive success on their hands.

So, if you are into technology, particularly if you are into Apple, you'll want to hang around MacWorld in January for the Apple pre-Vista surprise party! Oops. You didn't hear that here...