The new software on the iMac could take the place of some Windows functions. According to (subscription required)The Wall Street Journal, Macs will be loaded with a new product called Numbers that can perform the same functions as Windows Excel.
Apple's share of the US computer market has grown to 5%.
If Apple thinks it will get much more of the market, it is kidding itself. Unlike the iPod market, where it had very little direct competition from another large company, the PC competition is lead by Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), and each of these companies has a huge stake in defending its share.
Beyond that, Apple's software may recreate some of the functions of Windows software, but it does not have the huge array of functions built into Vista. And, computer users have become used to these features by using Windows over a number of years. Switching them, at both the consumer and enterprise level will be difficult.
Finally, Windows-based PCs can communicate with one another easily because of the common OS. Apple would have to break that cycle by getting users to buy a product that is not compatible with Windows.
It won't happen.
Douglas A. McIntyre is a partner at 24/7 Wall St.