Quoted: Comparing Apple and Microsoft

“You have to acknowledge that Microsoft has been successful and it still is. But clearly, they’ve struggled over how to protect the Windows franchise while not having that hold them back in other areas. I think even Microsoft would agree that they’ve been too concerned with protecting Windows over the years, to their detriment.”

Robert Cihra, senior managing director and technology analyst at Evercore. The New York Times compares Microsoft, which this week warned of a slowdown in growth due to a weak PC market, to Apple, which this week reported quarterly results that blew past expectations.

One big difference between the companies: Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson told the NYT that “Steve ingrained in the DNA of Apple not to be afraid to cannibalize itself.” Take the iPhone vs. the iPod. From Cihra: “Apple laid waste to its iPod business. They’re happier selling 74.5 million iPhones than they would be even if they still were selling that many iPods, which they wouldn’t be anyway because someone else would have cannibalized them.”

However, as I wrote last week, it’s a new day at Microsoft. Under new CEO Satya Nadella, the company is increasingly trying new things.

For example, a couple of reports this week say Microsoft — which has its own Windows Phone operating system, of course — is talking with Palo Alto-based startup Cyanogen about creating a version of Android that would be more Microsoft-friendly. Bloomberg notes that Nadella wants to get Microsoft applications and services on rival operating systems, and it can be tough to do that on Android smartphones, which usually come with Google services by default. So it may not be a bad idea for Microsoft to be investing in Cyanogen, whose CEO told the Wall Street Journal is “going to take Android away from Google.”

But back to Apple and Microsoft: How is their stock doing today after the big week they both had? Microsoft shares are down about 2.5 percent to $40.92. They have fallen 13 percent since reporting earnings Tuesday. Meanwhile, Apple shares touched an all-time intraday high of $120 this morning, and are trading slightly below that mark at the moment.

 

Photo from Reuters archives

 

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