Switching to Apple

I watched Steve Job’s full keynote from Macworld today, and there are number of things that struck me. And Cringely brought up the same thing in his predictions for 2006:

3) But Apple WILL make some inroads against Microsoft. The new Intel Macs will run Windows XP unofficially, and Apple Support acknowledges that they are only days from running XP officially, too. So Apple finally has a solid argument why Windows-centric companies and homes should consider trying a Mac. The best case, though, says that Apple sells an additional million units, which aren’t enough for Steve Jobs, so I see him going into a kind of stealth competition with Microsoft.

Here’s how I believe it will work. Apple won’t offer versions of OS X for generic Intel hardware because the drivers and the support obligation would be too huge. But just as you can buy a shrink-wrapped copy of 10.4 for your iMac, they’ll gladly sell you a shrink-wrapped Intel version intended for an Intel Mac, but of course YOU CAN PUT IT ON ANY MACHINE YOU LIKE. The key here is to offer no guarantees and only limited support, patterned on the kind you get for most Open Source packages — a web site, forums, download section. and a wiki. Apple will help users help themselves. With two to three engineers and some outreach to hackers and hardware makers, Apple could put together an unofficial program that could easily attract two to three million Windows users per year to migrate their old machines to the new OS. Imagine the profit margins of three engineers effectively generating $300-plus million per year in sales.

I’ve respected Cringely’s views and opinions since I first started reading him back in 1999, and I think he is on the money here.

How can Apple get more people to use OSX for one, and Apple machines for another? Let me nail my colours right now, if I could get a new Intel-powered Apple tomorrow, that would dual boot Windows XP/Vista with OSX, I would move to Apple and never go back.

And I think there are alot of people out there who think like me. I think a million units is below what would be sold if or when this scenario comes about. Apple might not want to go into the cut-throat PC vendor market, but having the option to boot XP or OSX seems like a good selling point to geeks like me.

I guess it’s time to start saving, and Dell should watch out.

4 thoughts on “Switching to Apple”

  1. but having the option to boot XP or OSX seems like a good selling point to geeks like me.

    Microsft don’t care one way or the other in this case – you pay for Windows either way. The danger, though, is that they and the big names in Mac strongholds like DTP and music drop their OSX versions entirely.

  2. I guess this is a geek versus non-geek question. How many non-geeks would bother with a dual boot? I like XP for games specifically, but I like OSX for its look and feel, and its ease of use. But if consumers can get Apple computers with XP included, who’s to say that people won’t switch to the sleeker looking Apples, and maybe in the process gradually move away from XP, with a copy of OSX coming with it anyway?

  3. But if consumers can get Apple computers with XP included, who’s to say that people won’t switch to the sleeker looking Apples, and maybe in the process gradually move away from XP, with a copy of OSX coming with it anyway?

    Apple will never support or include Windows so long as Jobs is in charge. It goes against the whole grain of appliance computing, in which the unified OS and hardware work seamlessly.

    And I really can’t see Joe Soap buying Apple hardware in order to stick Windows on it. What’s the point? They may as well buy from Apple’s direct equivalent in the PC world – Sony.

Comments are closed.