Starbucks CIO shows why next version of Windows is “risky business” for Microsoft

Starbucks CIO, Stephen Gillett, and I had breakfast on Wednesday. He showed me Starbucks new Digital Network, which will pop up on the screen if you sign in on wifi at any of Starbucks US stores. 30 million people a month do that.

You can hear him telling me about that on this CinchCast, I’ll have a video up this weekend.

But what he told me about what Starbucks is learning about its customers was telling and demonstrates just how big a deal the next version of Windows will be to Microsoft. How big a deal? Well, Steve Ballmer is already telling folks it’s the riskiest product intro yet for Microsoft.

So, what did Gillett tell me?

He said that laptop usage is flat, or even slightly declining, and that mobile usage is on fire and growing a great percentage every month.

Take that trend out two more years, which is when we expect to see the next version of Windows, and you can see the “risky” problem for Microsoft: we might not care at all about the OS on laptops and desktop computers anymore and might have switched to smart phones or slates, like the iPad. By the way, Gillett also said that iDevices from Apple are used more in its stores than any others. How important is that? Well, Gillett wanted to use Flash on the social network, but there wasn’t any way he could because of Steve Jobs’ refusal to support Flash. Even today Apple is refusing to include Flash in its laptops and desktops.

So, Starbucks built its system using HTML 5. Note what that means: nothing special for Microsoft Windows. No Silverlight. No .NET code. No Windows Mobile 7 features. Etc.

How the world has changed in just a decade. If we were in 2000, instead of 2010, Gillett wouldn’t have kept his job if he tried betting against Microsoft. But today his customers are forcing him to.

When I visited Microsoft this summer employees there told me they knew this fact too: we are losing interest in the platforms that Microsoft is dominant in and that makes the next version of Windows very risky.

Look at what could happen:

1. Windows 7 is a fantastic OS, so we might just stay with that. If Windows 8 doesn’t have a “killer feature and killer apps” then there won’t be the leverage on us to upgrade. We all upgraded to Windows 7 to get rid of the buggy Vista, or get the new stuff that made XP seem old-in-the-tooth. But will Windows 8 come up with something to make Win 7 seem long in the tooth? That’s a far tougher challenge.

2. We could stop caring about laptops and desktops altogether. I’m noticing more and more iPhones and iPads when I fly. Steve Rubel, VP of Edelman, told me he doesn’t even carry his iPad or laptops on business trips anymore. Just uses his mobile phone.

3. We could get pulled into Apple’s platforms, or Google’s platforms. Look at all the new apps that are only on these platforms. That would mean the death of Windows.

So, what will happen? Well, Microsoft better pull a rabbit out of its hat. The problem is, that hat has been dry for some time.

What would get you to care about Windows again, after all, Starbucks is noticing we like using our mobiles in its stores a lot more and that’s NOT a good place for Microsoft right now.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

77 thoughts on “Starbucks CIO shows why next version of Windows is “risky business” for Microsoft

  1. No, 30 million sign on. It doesn’t say 30 Million stick around. The whole point of the article is that most of the people using the wifi are doing so from their phones … and if you’ve ever been in a Starbucks, you know they’re doing most of that while they’re waiting in line. You don’t have to stick around to log in, UNLESS you only have a laptop.

  2. I might see a decline desktop usage but with laptop usage. I agree mobile usage is hot right now, due to the fact that it’s new but how many mobile users have laptops on their homes? Mobile is an added gadget for those always on the move. Laptop will stay and its brand ain’t Apple.

  3. The sooner Flash dies the better, but there are still things Flash does that HTML5 does not. Example: DRM (I hope DRM dies, too, but for some sites it’s going to be a fact of life for the foreseeable future).

  4. One of the main uses of flash is to deliver video. However, for flash and video to work on mobiles, they need to be re-optimized. In some cases, sites need to be redesigned. So, if one were doing a re-design from more or less scratch, one would probably be paying a lot of attention to the HTML5 platform.

    Granted, there are still reasons to use Flash, DRM being one of them. There are other functionalities in Flash not yet available in HTML5. But if one’s site were not using these or if one could dispense with their usage, HTML5 looks more future proof.

  5. Hey Eles, over 20% of computer sales to private individuals were Macs in the latest stats. Still selling a lot of Windows, and even more in enterprise, but that 97% figure not looking so defensible.

  6. This is insightful, but folks are forgetting something that will ensure MS remains a big player for at least a few years to come – the corporate world aka all those offices running Windows. They’re not about to switch over to Macs until Apple comes up with a solid plan for dealing with the enterprise.

  7. I write almost exclusively about the impact of smartphones on my site (hint: it’s my name.com). And because of that, I have long had multiple Microsoft products in my “Technology Deathwatch” list. The world is going mobile and social and Microsoft makes its money from fixed, stationary packaged software. I give them til 2016.

    Thanks for the insight on how Starbucks chose HTML5. Good stuff.

  8. actually Android is exactly the phenomenon I’m talking about. Where does the consumer buy the Android operating system? Nowhere. Exactly: “Selling operating systems is kind of outdated” From their perspective they buy an appliance not an operating system. People buy iPhone and buy iPad..they dont “buy” iOS. This is the trend. But just because they don’t “buy” it from their perspective…does not mean it’s not paid for, nor did I write that. (the ole nuance things again)

    1. You want a nuanced and civil discussion on mobile, try asymco.com (Apple biased, but really very good.)

      Comment sections like this are going to be filled with defensive fan boys.

  9. Microsoft has to change its model. In the last 10 years, Apple has released just one new OS, i.e. OS X. Every year or two they’ve tried to tell us they’ve released a new OS, but it’s not. We’re still using Mac OS X, born 2000. That “X” stands for 10. We are still using Mac OS 10.

    In the same period, we’ve seen Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

    See the cause for confusion? Windows Vista and 7 should have been Windows XP.

    People don’t want to change their OS every few years. I use Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It is still Mac OS X, only greatly refined.

    If I was a Windows user, I’d have the feeling of replacing my whole OS 4 times since 2000.

    Microsoft should stop trying to make each Windows a new product, but instead focus on making each Windows the same but better. This will also make people more comfortable upgrading.

    Secondly, go back to its core users, those who made it successful in the first place. That is, business.
    All its decisions should first begin with “How will this benefit our core customer base?” It should be going business and saying “What do you want from us?”

    Microsoft is getting too distracted by the fight for the consumer. In the meantime, the neglected business market is looking over the fence to see if solutions can be found in what the consumer is using.

  10. There is no question that Linux is taking market share from Apple and that Linux devices will be the OS on the “internet of things” as we go forward. Linux also dominates the cloud and continues to grow much more quickly there than Microsoft.

    This is why Microsoft needs a consumer hit; the other markets have abandoned them.

  11. Elephant in the room: 91.08% market-share, and after Windows 7, people LIKE Microsoft, and Windows 8 can only increase the love, assuming they don’t pull a Vista. Maybe for moronic $5 cups of coffee shoppers, all Apple, all Mobile/iPad is the way, but no dice for the Fortune 1000 and the whole segment of small biz. Wrong setting, narrow niche demographic, geek richie twerps thinking their nose-level view is the world.

    I think there have been 9 or 10, “deaths of the PC” pronouncements, never seems to materialize, doesn’t stop the ‘sky is falling’ rants from the pundits. Netscape wasn’t a platform, Networked Computers weren’t, Google OS & Docs isn’t…

    And Starbucks? 6900+ jobs and 900 stores, poof. Stephen Gillett should really worry more about his own growth, than any sort of hyperbolic lofty thoughts on Microsoft’s future.

    1. Do these figures (which would suggest 2.2% non Win, non OSX) include those who buy a Win PC, but then replace the OS, for example with a Linux distro?

    2. That’s if you count legacy systems still running Windows 98 and 95, 2k and the rest. For systems selling today’s operating systems, NDP numbers are now Apple taking more than 20 percent of the market. How many years of at least double the growth rate of Windows machines will it take before Apple is in a position to influence everyone?And consider that Android and iOS and RIM all use Webkit. Oh yeah, and the Symbian smart phones too, no? Webkit support means no IE lock-in if you want happy customers.That’s the bottom line. Starbucks sees the hard numbers of who is using their WIFI network. It may be a small number in the wide world of corporate IT, but where else is this happening? One has to wonder.

  12. the tech universe… obviously. Sorry if my comment disrupted this universe’s space-time continuum. That was not my intent. I am always jumping ahead to the conclusion, and do oft leave folks behind. Based on the investment in the “desktop” and the throughput (profit) generated by the efforts of the employees using various desktops, I suggest that $AAPL owns the desktop. To “show” some of my calculations, consider the “extras” like virus protection and help desk staffs, etc required to run a windoze environment. Then divide the company’s throughput by number of employees, and you might (just maybe) reach the same conclusion that I did… check it and see via this Wolfram|Alpha link (note over two times the throughput per employee of Apple over the windoze parent):

    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=appl+vs+msft

    1. Great graph Jeff, that shows some really interesting details – like the fact that Apple has almost double the earnings per employee than Microsoft. No wonder Microsoft are laying off people.

      I really think the big problem at Microsoft is Steve Ballmer. His background in sales makes him a poor leader for a tech firm and their stock price has been flat since he took over. I also think he micro manages parts of the company, maybe that is why Ray Ozzie left. In any case, Microsoft won’t right the ship with new and great products until they get rid of the staid, boring Ballmer.

      1. “I really think the big problem at Microsoft is Steve Ballmer.”

        It gets back to the “vision thing”. Steve Jobs is not himself an engineer, more of a renaissance man (which I suppose one needs to be to micro-manage successfully!), but he has enough of an understanding of technology to know where it’s going to go and to lead the way there. And even the haters have to admit that he’s an extraordinary showman and salesman (in fact, they usually attribute Apple’s success to marketing).

        I don’t know that Ozzie would have made a good replacement for Ballmer, otoh. I don’t see evidence that he has a grand vision, nor that he would have the ability to convey it if he did.

        What MS needs is another Bill Gates: someone with both vision and killer business instincts. Nobody comes to mind who could fulfill this role. Can you think of anyone? Maybe Meg Whitman. I hear she’s going to be looking for a job soon. :D

    2. “consider the “extras” like virus protection” Extras???? Virus protection is an extra?? You probably believe that smartphones don’t have any vulnerbilities either even though there are over 1,000 confirmed pieces of malware out there focused on mobile devices.

      I have to agree with the others, you’re argument seems flawed. At least presented haphazardly. Based on the “WinDoze” comments, it would seem that you’re either not willing to look at the other side or opinions have been based on long ago experiences.

      I have both Apple and Mac. For me, different tools for different jobs. That may change over time, but we’re not there yet. Our IT group spends very little time running our Windows environment. More time is spent on the backend apps – new features, maintenance, etc – and connectors to SaaS solutions. At this stage in the game, I have to believe most company’s have gotten past most Windows support issues. If they haven’t, they need to reasses their IT group or the outsourced company they are using.

      Just my two cents and based on my real world experiences. Mileage may differ…

  13. The MS OS still has code history in it from the 1970s. It is like those cars that detroit was selling in 1994 – long, low, wide, and heavy. Until MS and Adobe and others can tear their code apart into bits and rebuild it around cores for different devices that connect to computing clouds and can tack on and drop bits of applications at the users whim they will be slowly left to make parts that will fit on the systems that other people build and control. Huge stand-alone do-it-all systems in a laptop or desktop or a server for that matter are past by and only seen in the rearview mirror.

    Interconnected clouds of information accessed by hand held devices that are light software wise and completely reconfigerable by the user at any time from any location is now. It will also be normal for laptops and desktops ver soon also with a different set of aps and a bit different OS under the hood.

    Very interesting stuff.

  14. I think a Starbucks is the wrong place to come to any conclusions about this subject. This is the stereotypical stronghold of Apple enthusiasts. While I love a smartphone and tablet as much as the next person, when I think of doing real work or a comfortable experience, I’m thinking big screen + full sized hardware keyboard. I’m not thinking a unitasking device of the future aka modal computing, I’m thinking about productivity and Windows is the best OS for productivity for MOST people.

    1. yeah but whos doing “real work” at the coffee shop? its about whether youre working or not, its about what youre using. and theyre seeing that their customers arent using MS.

      1. Sure, I never argued otherwise. Merely pointing out that using Starbucks as a litmus test on the future of OS adoptions isn’t an unbiased approach as most their customer demographic tends to overwhelmingly favor Apple products over any other.

  15. Actually, wifi in Starbucks is a pain. When I buy a coffee, I expect free wifi that ‘just works’ (in the same way that I expect free toilets that ‘just work’). I could care less about your new ‘digital network’ (aka broadcast ads to captive customers). If I can’t get away from it in 10 seconds or less, I’m going somewhere else for coffee.

  16. Selling “operating systems” is kind of outdated. We are transitioning to an appliance + app + web world. and right now the appliances with the most palpable momentum are iDevices

  17. In many regards MS is in their best position in years. Not because of the success of Windows 7, but because their back is against the wall.

    What are some things that would be nice in Win8?

    1) Have DLNA/Airplay like capability. Support any DLNA device, and XBox, etc… It has to be really well done. I shouldn’t have to use Windows Media Player. I should be able to hit F12 and my screen is pushed and if video is playing the video is pushed.

    2) Windows Live ID integration so that everything is in the cloud. If you log into Win8 with your Live ID account all of your data is in the cloud by default. Your local machine is just a cache. Then when you use your WP7 or Windows tablet or any other computer, you have access to all of your data.

    3) IE 9.5 is the fastest HTML5 browser.

    4) Consider making Win8 not run on old computers. Have a minimum standard for it that includes things like 6GB of RAM, SSD drive, certain class of video card. This gives them the ability to do things like “instant on” and just have a good experience, w/o having to worry about bringing along a lot of older machines. Stay on Win7 if you don’t want to get a new machine.

    5) Built in simple to use Live Meeting like capability. Remote assistance seems to complicated. Base it on the Windows Live ID and make it super easy.

    6) A Clicker like UI in Media Center. Which of course integrates with item (1).

    7) Cutting edge hardware. I’d love to see a machine that can flip between a Marisol and LED display.

    I can go on and on, but that’s a start. :-)

  18. I have so much admiration for Starbucks. They consistently reinvent themselves. I got on the new network this morning (right before I FaceTimed you LOL) and was impressed by the content, although I can find all the content I want all by myself on the web. A content network reminds me of AOL portals. I’m more impressed by the plan to add wine and beer to their stores. I’m also impressed by how they upgraded the breakfasts, and at my Starbucks everyone buys them. As for MSFT, they haven’t been in my life for almost a decade now in any significant way (Office for Mac, but probably don’t need that anymore either)

  19. Speaking of 1st world wealthy people in bay area. You should pay us a visit in east side of the world. I don’t even have a good access to Andorid marketplace.

  20. The typical latte sipping Starbucks customer is definitely skewed towards iPad/iPhone/Mac big time. This is not the rest of the world. I do believe though that a dozen years from now people are not going to care about desktop OS except maybe in the enterprise – Microsoft might end up being a pure enterprise company if Windows Mobile 7 on phone/tablets do not take off.

    1. Yeah, this.

      We’re seeing a re-run of what happened to IBM in the late 80′s to early 90′s. It used to be the 800 lb gorilla, now I’m not even sure they have any consumer facing products. But you know what? IBM is still a huge company.

      Microsoft’s bread and butter has always been the enterprise anyway; if they fade away from the consumer space over the next decade I doubt anyone looking at their balance sheets would even notice.

      1. Sure, Microsoft might be a great enterprise company, and has a lot to offer there. But, the danger is that consumer devices, which currently drive the computer market, will increasingly turn to the cloud for apps, bypassing the Enterprise OS entirely. This makes Microsoft’s value proposition harder to support and that will continue to drive their profit margins down.

        They need a real consumer hit, aside from the X-Box.

  21. Out of office – email and social streams suffice. In the office – enterprise apps need collections (multiple indexed data sets collected together).

    Only Salesforce has managed to duct tape together 2 Oracle databases in database-on-a-database with Lucene to build a SocialCRM and not even an ERP.Until the collections problem is solved corp workers in Starbucks are staying in touch socially, not doing any heavy lifting.

  22. After moving to the Valley in mid-2009 I made the switch from Blackberry to the iPhone to test our new site and the app we were building for iPhone. This gave me the gee whiz feeling I got when I bought my first Sony Walkman in 1978. It felt like the world had just changed and in how I would interact with the web and the world.When the iPad came out I couldn’t resist and bought a 3G version, which instantly felt great in my hands. When the HP laptop started losing keys, the battery lost life beyond five minutes and Vista ate documents and made me reinstall a few times I replaced it with an iMac, which once again makes me feel excited about my computer.The customer service is unbeatable. When my 3G iPhone lost volume after nearly a year they simply handed me a brand new version. When I originally bought a wifi iPad and then a 3G became available they ported my content to the new device and asked if there was any other way they could help.I am now a dedicated Mac enthusiast who looks forward to Steve’s next big announcement like a kid at Christmas. I will absolutely be purchasing a Macbook Air and will also be getting Apple TV.I’m now only reminded of MSFT when I’m converting Word, Excel, etc. to Pages, Numbers, etc.Good-bye Microsoft. You let everyone down for way too long and you can no longer rely on your monopoly to keep you going, regardless of your lack of innovation. Apple stock is now worth 1/3 more in total value than MSFT. I predict now that by the end of the first quarter of 2011 AAPL will be worth twice that of MSFT. Rest in peace and good riddance to bad rubbish.

  23. Speaking from inside SBUX, the new digital network is an overspent project that is more lipstick than anything else. Starbucks has serious IT issues to fix that a Mac vs Windows platform war is not going to solve. How about we focus on that?

  24. Very nice article! Although I loved Windows 7, every day Iam more andmore charmed by Android and all Google’s apps. However, I have never drunk a coffee in Starbucks and I don’t intend to, either!!

  25. Caring about windows again isn’t gonna happen, but it’s still “easier” – one thing I’ve noticed traveling with mobile devices is that the WiFi authentication mechanisms most places use (coffee shops, airports, you name it) don’t make sense. They’re big screens, they require typing, they often require accepting terms of service you can’t even read on a phone, and in some (free) cases they work by hijacking your browser to show some ads, but a lot of what you do on a mobile device doesn’t go through a browser. Haven’t been in a Starbucks for a while, but are people in general figuring out this problem?

  26. Great interview. Love the comment on Zagat you made. With all the tools, the players like Zagat business has never been this much fun.

    Read an interesting article in The Economist here in London that said some coffee are turning the Wi-FI off as customers are just sitting about. Perhaps there is just general decline. Similar thing happened with Bluetooth in London. The user interface changes should help restore confidence. WI_FI has been good for them. I found it a pain in the ass last time I was at Starbucks, no offense Howard JustSaying.

    DaraBell

    1. Hence the problem – rabbits aren’t comfortable in a wet hat, making it easier to get them out. This rabbit has been in a nice warm, comfortable, dry hat for a while now, and it’s settled in well. Doesn’t want to get out and be passed around a bunch of kids with sticky fingers.

  27. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

  28. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

  29. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

  30. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

  31. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

  32. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

  33. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

  34. It’s a coffee shop, why anyone would want to whip out a laptop there, unless they’re traveling and there’s no WiFi in their hotel, is beyond my comprehension. Of course you’re going to see a lot of smartphones and tablets, and Apple just happens to be the dominant player in both of those spaces in North America.

    So for Starbucks, of course it makes sense to code their site to their target audience, people on mobile devices that lack Flash. Why no .NET code though? That has absolutely nothing to do with the client device. I work for a web design firm and we have about a hundred mobile versions of web sites for our customers, all but one of which are on our Windows hosting environment, using .NET code to generate iDevice-optimized sites.

    As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.

    1. Coffee shops in Vancouver BC (Where I live) are usually crammed with people using their laptops, I’m guessing a lot of them are college students. Whether they don’t have internet at home, or just prefer Starbucks/Blenz to the college campus I have no idea…

      “As for the lack of Flash preinstalled on new Macs, last I checked OS X is the only OS that includes flash player with a clean install.”

      Not any more. The new MacBook Air comes without Flash installed and that will be the model for all new Macs.

      1. Yeah, “crammed” … but what percentage of people who come in to buy a coffee do you think actually stick around to drink it?

  35. Get me to care about Windows again? I just replaced the last windows box in my house with a new iMac, so this would be a difficult task. The most important issue: high quality, seamless user experience with feature packed useful apps that are easy to use. I love Apple products for this reason. I’m not a fan boi, and despise I can’t use my iphone in all the ways I want to without itunes or jailbreaking it. But when my 6 year old sits down at the new iMac from day one she is exploring things like a pro. On the old Windows box, the most she would do is open Firefox and check the weather.

    I really wanted to go all Android: phones, tablets, but without a desktop option with some more power and disparate user experience across devices, I rounded out our Apple devices with the new iMac and iPads to follow this Christmas.

    Windows? Microsoft? Who are they again?

    1. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

    2. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

    3. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

    4. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

    5. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

    6. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

    7. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

    8. My son was 5 when the first Mac hits the streets (and my house). It was teaching me things in less than 10 minutes. Now, more of the same. Imagine that… as I say:

      The right people first—then flawless execution™

  36. There is absolutely nothing available today, nor can I imagine anything the minds that power $MSFT might invent, that would get me excited about windoze. $APPL owns the desktop, the phone, and everything in-between, IMNSHO. My wife (a non-techie) wants an iPad. We are on Verizon. Guess what she is getting for Christmas? Now if they would only offer a (RED) version… (hint, hint Steve Jobs and Tim Cook).

    1. You have to be well thick to even try to connect a public open unprotected network… I guess that explains the increase in number of Apple users connecting to starbuckz wifi.

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