Monday, 22 January 2007
My friend and former Fortune colleague David Kirkpatrick has a great column on the company Parallels and the huge impact virtualization is likely to start having on the 30-year battle between Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft. He doesn't think either is going to like it. Now, if you own a Macintosh you can easily and flawlessly run Windows and OSX next to each other. I've been doing it with Parallels for three months now. And, according to the piece, Parallels and competitor VMWare seem hellbent on enabling owners of PCs to do the same thing.
It's very cool technology and the idea of it ending the OS wars once and for all is delightful. Apple makes great programs, and I work for a company that runs on OSX; but at core I'm a Windows guy with 5 gb of mail locked up in Outlook. It has always seemed absurd to me that I can't run both at the same time.
Kirkpatrick also reveals that scrappy startup Parallels isn't a scrappy startup at all, but, since being bought a year ago, a good sized conglomeration of Russian programmers owned by enterprise software company SWsoft. From the piece:
SWsoft and its Parallels subsidiary are both Russian-American operations. SWsoft CEO Serguei Beloussov, based in Virginia, calls the shots for programmers who are based in Moscow. Parallels employed only seven when SWsoft bought it, but today has 100 people, mostly in Russian R&D.
I suppose it makes sense for all this to be happening now as so more and more computing moves off the desktop into the cloud. But if I'm Bill Gates I can't be happy about the growth in Apple's market share for Macintosh's recently especially with the noticeable lack of buzz about Microsoft's long awaited OS Vista. How much is the Ipod effect or the Parallels effect I don"t know. I do know that thanks to Parallels I bought my first Mac last year. On the other hand, if I'm "we make the whole widget" Steve Jobs, the idea of OSX running on a Dell or a Thinkpad - which I did just for fun a year ago - must keep me up nights