This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Best Products to Come in Second Place

An Apple (and Commodore!) OS TKO
With a market cap that jockeys with ExxonMobile (XOM) as the world's largest, it is pretty easy to forget Apple has often been an also-ran in the tech space.

Even today, many credit Microsoft -- perhaps rightfully so -- as being the operating system that put a PC in every home. Bill Gates' brilliance was in convincing IBM, and eventually others, that his variation on DOS was the standardized operating system needed for market domination.

Then there was the upstart Apple, which took its swings at the behemoth pairing by introducing a user-friendly, graphical interface (we say that well aware Xerox (XRX) was the creator ... but we digress).

The debate will rage on, as it has since 1984, over which OS is superior. Here is the argument, however, from those who say Apple's system was the better of the two from get-go: In terms of usability, one can draw a conclusion Apple had a better grip on making computing mainstream, so much so that Gates and his Microsoft team almost succeeded in licensing the Mac OS. When Apple (a much larger company at the time) squashed any such deal, the release of Windows 1.0 prompted the threat of a lawsuit over copyright infringement.

A compromise led Microsoft to continue making Mac software, while Apple allowed some of its visual aspects to be used in Windows.

Lawsuit threats again flew back and forth when Apple CEO John Sculley deemed Microsoft's Windows 2.0 far more similar to the Apple OS than the license agreement allowed. A judge would later rule against Apple.

Over time, Microsoft's business model and in-demand application suites allowed it to overtake Apple.

Team Apple has some more recent evidence Microsoft is trying to emulate its innovation.

In 2009, a Microsoft executive -- Microsoft Partner Group Manager Simon Aldous -- perhaps said more than he should have at a tech conference: "One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it's very graphical and easy to use. What we've tried to do with Windows 7 -- whether it's traditional format or in a touch format -- is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics."

That said, Microsoft, as of October, commanded an 86.5% share of the operating system marketplace, compared with 6.5% for the Mac OS.

To add another wrinkle into the debate of the best OS not being the most popular, there are also Linux users willing to go toe-to-toe with "distros" such as Red Hat and Ubuntu. Peer back in time a bit and you will also find plenty of computer geeks (and we use term affectionately) who can make a persuasive case for the Commodore 64 (made between 1982 and 1994, with a modern iteration now available) having not only state-of-the-art hardware at a consumer-friendly price, but a graphical approach that rivaled, if not surpassed, even Apple's.

-- Written by Joe Mont in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joe Mont.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:


Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

6 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs