I have been thinking about my post a few days ago on Windows Vista doing little more than what OS X did 1 year ago. The more I think about it, the more I realize that it doesn't matter. If Windows Vista is 75% as cool, as sexy, and as easy to use as OS X, then Vista will be a huge success.
Bringing together a tighter integration and manipulation of digital media, a built in system wide deep search technology, enhanced UI with great graphics, a widget system, and a more secure OS will be a huge hit with Windows users.
The fact that Apple did it first won't matter. The truth is that it will be Vista that will make these technologies universal. It will be Windows Vista that will bring these "innovations" to the broad public. It is the simple logic of ~95% market share.
Microsoft, I hope, has realized that they made a huge mistake by failing to refresh Windows for 5 years. But their desktop OS dominance is such that its market share has not been compromised. Its image has taken a beating, comments like the ones from Walt Mossberg - "...Macs have sleeker hardware designs, a superior operating system, much better built-in software..." must hurt. But in the end, Microsoft's market share has not changed much. Mac users may benefit from new technology innovation sometimes years before Windows users, but it is Microsoft who makes them available to the masses.
The burden is on Apple to out innovate Microsoft in order to keep its small market share growing, even if by single digits.
I can't wait to see what Leopard will bring to Mac fans in early 07.