If you walk into our office and wait for an hour, you are sure to hear atleast one Apple v/s Microsoft argument. So what’s with all the “Apple users being snobs” and Microsoft users really not caring much for usability, so on and so forth slogans on the internet? What is the actual deal?
I think it boils down to Evangelism v/s Marketing. Apple has the free power of evangelists, a quick example is our office where I started with a mac a year back and in a small team we have a total of 4 macs now and close to 6 iphones. On the other hand the rest of the folks are separated in Linux and a majority in Windows. So Microsoft does good marketing, which is why the product sells.
While the Apple slogan goes “Catch them young” and offers student discounts and pretty much makes them apple users for live, Windows would target our fathers who would rather use something which is tried, tested and has created brand awareness.
So in the long run, what would be the obvious choice? Evangelism or Marketing? If you think its only Marketing, think again. Wikipedia is a brilliant Evangelistic success model. To pick that special restaurant for your date would you trust a billboard or ask your friend laila? I think the trick lies in building a great product that you believe in and if its a great product for people around you too, then you just need to market enough to spread the word around.