Apple may be smart enough to gain a 10 per cent market share, due in part to the Mac mini, but it wont be a revolution in the PC business, according to original Mac engineer Andy Hertzfeld.

In an interview with Salon, Hertzfield praised the Mac mini, suggesting: "Given the timing and Apple's recent successes, it could likely increase the Mac's market share by a bit. And if the system did extraordinarily well, if it were successful beyond Apple's wildest dreams, maybe the company could get to a 10 per cent market share".

But Hertzfeld doesn't expect to "take the Windows world by storm". He doesn't think it could overturn the Microsoft monopoly because: "The Mac can't really capitalize on its security strengths over Windows. If Apple were ever to take out an ad promoting the Mac's security, it would only motivate attacks."

"And as the Mac's market share rose, so would the number of attackers targeting the system," he predicts.

Fair play

The other reason why Apple may increase its market share is that Microsoft's starting to lose control of the standards.

In an attack on Microsoft, Hertzfield states: "There's a poison in the computer industry, and that is the fact that the common software base is controlled by a predatory software company with a lack of ethics."

"Microsoft is not a good steward of the standards, and if Microsoft is to be beaten, and if a company like Apple is to exert more dominance in the PC world, Microsoft has got to first lose control of the standards," he explains.

Hertzfeld believes that this is starting to happen, but he doesn't credit Apple with this change. "Microsoft is in fact slowly losing its grip on the software development standards. But I don't think Apple is the driver of that dynamic – I think the free software movement is pushing that," he says.