This is a big year for Microsoft
I went to a Microsoft rollout event in Santa Clara today and was very impressed. Microsoft is almost simultaneously releasing new versions of their operating systems and office suites. Also, they are increasing their focus on workflow and collaboration through new versions of Exchange and Sharepoint. The Microsoft folks there were proud and excited and they deserve to be.
Microsoft compared to Apple
While it is fun to poke fun at Microsoft the truth is that Apple is much further behind Microsoft in reaching Microsoft's Enterprise business market than Microsoft is behind Apple in reaching Apple's entertainment, and creative markets. Apple is still strong in some parts of education, but mostly in the same creative and entertainment sectors. The interface of the Tiger version of Mac OS X is still ahead of Windows, but gap has narrowed. Vista is cool!
Microsoft owns the Enterprise Market!
Active Directory, Group Policy Integration and the NTFS file system built into Windows are core technologies for the Enterprise Market that Apple has nothing to match. Apple's Open Directory built into Mac OS X Server is great for small to medium businesses, but it is not Enterprise class. It does not need or try to be an Enterprise class directory service; and, that is the point. These are very different companies with very different customers and very different business models. In reality, comparing Apple to Microsoft, in my opinion, is a very apples to oranges comparison.