Love – Life – Living

Echoes from the outskirts of the universe by “The Fringe Guy”

Research your Topic

Posted by livin on June 17, 2010

I gave my 7th speech from the CC manual of Toastmasters today. Here’s a copy of the speech as-i-delivered-it. Hope you enjoy it:

Project 7: Microsoft vs. Apple

That day when John came to India, I told him,

“Mr. Chambers, I am really concerned about what is transpiring around us”.

He asked me, “CD, what do you mean, can you explain in detail?”

I said John, “Apple has only 3-4 products & Cisco has all kinds of catalysts, nexus, IOS, XR, NX OS & what not, but still Apple is way bigger than Cisco in terms of Market Cap”.

“Yes I am aware of that CD”, said John. “But then what to do, they have Steve Jobs as their CEO”.

I replied, “Make me the CEO of Cisco. I daily eat apple in my breakfast “.

He said, “Okay, But then how to take care of Microsoft, that’s also pretty big”.

“Let them fight with each other & in the meantime let me grow Cisco”.

After we mutually agreed on this, we posed for the paparazzi following us.

Conversation with John got me thinking about both Apple & Microsoft & I decided to compare both the companies, neck to neck.

What struck me was the similarity in both these technology companies. Apple was established on 1st April 1976 while Microsoft was founded on 4th April 1975. Both the companies have been associated with a legendary figure – Apple with Steve Jobs & Microsoft with William Henry “Bill” Gates III. While Steve Jobs was born on 24th February 1955, Bill Gates was born in October the same year. Similarities just don’t end here. Both Jobs & Gates are college drop outs too. That’s an amazing amount of similarity!

I moved on to compare the financial numbers of both these companies. Apple boasts of market cap of 230 billion dollars, while Microsoft’s market cap is 224 billion dollars. If you look at the Annual revenue, it’s 51 billion dollars for Apple & 59 billion dollars for Microsoft. In terms of gross profit, Microsoft is way ahead of Apple where MS has 46 bd & Apple 17 bd. lastly, the total cash in hand for Apple is 23 bd & for Microsoft it is 37 bd. These are humungous numbers. Both are among the largest companies on this planet.

Now, let’s spend some time comparing their products. Apple has products in various categories. The legendary product Mac has a lot of variants: Mac, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac book. In the consumer electronics category, Apple has truly changed the dynamics of the market. In 2001, Apple launched the first ever iPod. Since then it has launched iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod shuffle & iPod touch. In January 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the long anticipated iPhone, a convergence of an Internet-enabled Smartphone and iPod. And then in 2010, Steve Jobs launched, what I believe is a work of Art, a beautiful device called iPad. The iPad is a tablet computer primarily designed to view visual content including books, newspapers, video and online media. iPad sold 2 million devices across 10 countries in just 50 days. That’s one iPad every 3 seconds.

Now let’s shift our focus on Microsoft products. Platform Products and Services Division of Microsoft produces Microsoft’s flagship product, the Windows operating system. It has produced Windows 3.1, Windows 95, 98, 2000, Me, Server 2003, XP, Vista & the latest & greatest of all, Windows 7. Though, Windows is famous for its notorious blue screen, it has revolutionized the home pc market by potentially putting the pc in every home. MSN, Bing, Windows Live, MSNBC, Visual Studio, SQL server are just some of the products offered by this division. The Microsoft Business Division produces Microsoft Office, which is the company’s line of office software. Entertainment and Devices Division produces gaming console called Xbox, computer games such as Age of Empires, Halo & Microsoft Flight Simulator series.

Impact of both Apple & Microsoft has been huge on technology in specific & society in general. Both the companies have changed the world in their own unique way. Both have created the technologies, products & services that have transformed the way healthcare, education, communication, collaboration and entertainment is perceived & delivered in today’s modern era.

Did I say communication & collaboration in the last sentence? That reminds me of John again & our mutual understanding about the next CEO of Cisco. That evening, I assured him that in the next 5 years Cisco will be way ahead of both Apple & Microsoft because we have “The Communication Hub” at Cisco in the form of Cisco Vani. !


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