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Apple to 'Switch' to Windows? 903

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-all-scoffed-at-an-intel-move-too dept.
JFlex writes "PC Mags writer John C. Dvorak discusses the idea that Apple may dump OS X and 'switch' to running Windows in a recent column: "The idea that Apple would ditch its own OS for Microsoft Windows came to me from Yakov Epstein, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, who wrote to me convinced that the process had already begun. I was amused, but after mulling over various coincidences, I'm convinced he may be right. This would be the most phenomenal turnabout in the history of desktop computing.""
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Apple to 'Switch' to Windows?

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:01PM (#14735289)
    Wow, a "professor" observed these things, Dvorak? Of psychology, no less? He must be right!

    Ok, let's see what you've got...

    Epstein made four observations. The first was that the Apple Switch ad campaign was over, and nobody switched.

    Um. Wow, okay.

    First of all, the Switch campaign was just an ad campaign. Ad campaigns come and go. Even successful ones. (Think "Be all you can be" or "Dude, yer gettin' a Dell!" And yes, those were both very successful campaigns.)

    Also, Apple marketshare, unit sales, profits, and revenues are at their highest ever, and growing at a faster rate than, for example, Dell.

    So, point 1, wrong.

    The second was that the iPod lost its FireWire connector because the PC world was the new target audience.

    First of all, this is completely irrelevant to any discussion about whether or not Apple might switch operating systems, which is what I thought we were talking about. FireWire, or the lack of it, has zero to do with Windows. Additionally, since all DV and HDV cameras and decks have FireWire and require its use as the primary - and usually only - means of video transport, FireWire isn't going anywhere [appleintelfaq.com] on Macs in general anytime soon. Further, since all Macs since the Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) support USB booting, and since all new Macs and PCs are universally guaranteed to have USB 2.0, going with USB on the iPod and eliminating additional support chipsets for things like FireWire - especially on a peripheral - seems prudent.

    But I'm getting sidetracked by Dvorak, here, because the iPod not having FireWire is completely, utterly unrelated to any discussion about whether or not Apple might be switching to Windows.

    Point 2, wrong. Actually, not even wrong...just utterly irrelevant.

    Also, although the iPod was designed to get people to move to the Mac, this didn't happen.

    Um, no. The iPod was designed to be a product that, you know, sold well. Which it, you know, did. Wildly so.

    This whole "iPod was deisgned to sell Macs" business was a fantasy created by press and analysts who attribute that guess to Apple as if it were their sole intent. So we'll just ignore that the iPod is one of the most successful consumer products ever, and at the same time say it failed at some imaginary goal and purpose that there is no solid proof Apple ever created it for.

    And on top of it all, most of the anecdotal evidence suggests that the "halo effect", as it were, actually works in some areas, at least marginally. To say nothing of the fact that, as I said before, Apple marketshare, unit sales, profits, and revenues are at their highest ever.

    Point 3, wrong in both premise and substance.

    And, of course, that Apple had switched to the Intel microprocessor.

    Ahh, Dvorak must be feeling emboldened by his decade-plus of wrong predictions that Apple was on the verge of switching to Intel finally coming true.

    There are many, many reasons Apple switched to Intel, all discussed ad nauseum elsewhere. "Switching to Windows" isn't one of them. Has Dvorak missed the amount of time, secrecy, and effort Apple has put into keeping it's options open for Mac OS X to run on alternate hardware platforms? Christ, Dvorak.

    To say nothing of the fact that if Apple's secret purpose was to start a switch to Windows, you'd think they'd have at least made it possible to, oh, I don't know, RUN WINDOWS on the Intel-based Macs easily, which isn't possible at this time?

    Point 4, wrong again. Well, at least Dvorak's consistent, if anything.

    Dvorak is also actually missing the biggest play for Apple here: being able to run Windows and other x86 OSes in virtualization [zdnet.com]. That would be the holy grail for many academics, researchers, scientists, and other users, most of whom use Macs because they don't want to use Windows. With hardware partitio
    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:07PM (#14735380)

      Epstein made four observations. The first was that the Apple Switch ad campaign was over, and nobody switched.

      I switched. 3 other people in my office switched. Whats he talking about?

      Seriously, in December 2004 there were no Mac owners in my office, then I got an iBook (always wanted to play with OSX), and within a month two other people had purchased various Macs based on my purchase. Then 3 months ago someone else purchase a powerbook, again based on the experiences of us owners in the office.

      • by HardCase (14757) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:23PM (#14735593)
        I sort of switched. I bought a Mac Mini last week because I'm tired of my wind tunnel of a PC in the living room. The PC is back in the office where it belongs, I still have my Toshiba notebook, but most of my work is done on the Mini. With 1GB of RAM, it's really quite a good performer - not on par with the AMD64 that it "replaced", but fast enough. And small. Very, very small.

        Oh, and I have to say that Entourage is aces.

        -h-
        • by biglig2 (89374)
          If your Toshiba fell under a bus tomorrow, and you had the money to replace it, would you buy a Mac or a Windows machine? That is perhaps the true test. (Leave aside issues of waiting for a wider range of Intel MacBooks)
      • by pubjames (468013) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:24PM (#14735602)
        I switched. 3 other people in my office switched. Whats he talking about?

        Me too. I think the best response with Dvorak is just to ignore him, but unfortunately Slashdot keeps printing his rubbish.
        • Honestly, this isn't Digg. Slashdot is supposed to suppress trolling, but that's all this article is. OS X and its extensive software suites are Apple's competitive advantage, and the only reason for customers to pay more for hardware than they have to. Nobody could be so ignorant as to seriously suggest this, so he's only rattling our cages for more clicks to his site.

          Sadly, I see just realized that this huge thread is in Slashdot's economic interest as well. Expect more of the same.

          • Sadly, I see just realized that this huge thread is in Slashdot's economic interest as well

            That's what I think every time I see a Dvorak article posted here. And the fact that they keep getting posted is my rationale for blocking ads here.

        • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:02PM (#14736026)
          Dvorak revealed this ridiculous column topic last week on This Week In Tech, and even Leo Laporte turned to him and asked, "Are you nuts?" I knew as soon as Dvorak explained the subject of the column that it would probably get posted to Slashdot even though it's just crazy blather from the misinformed Dvorak. And it was. He's Jon Katz without the Slashdot employment.
      • by fyngyrz (762201) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:31PM (#14735694) Homepage Journal
        I switched too. Also, I was a (fairly) happy Windows and Linux user, the Mini was so cheap I thought I'd take a look at the machine, and OSX itself won me over. Then I bought a Mac for my sweetheart, and another for my youngest son. So that's three more new Mac owners in total here in my household. This had zero to do with the iPod and everything to do with the Mac Mini. I don't own an iPod; although I am a musician, I'm not fond of running about with earbuds or headphones.

        Also... truly, I cannot imagine for even one moment why Apple would want to switch to running Windows. They have no windows software to sell; they have no real hardware advantage to bring to that market. Not even looks. There are plenty of cool looking Intel platforms out there from the nutzo to the trim and stylish and everywhere in between.

        I can see why they might consider becoming a software only shop and stop making hardware — there are plenty of nice Intel-based platforms out there, and software margins are far better than hardware margins (speaking as a software vendor myself.) I'd be pretty happy running OSX on a Dell, for instance, and I think the number of people who might try OSX if they could legitimately install it on their PC is probably a very large number. But drop the software and keep the hardware? No. Don't think so. :)

        • I'd be pretty happy running OSX on a Dell, for instance, and I think the number of people who might try OSX if they could legitimately install it on their PC is probably a very large number. But drop the software and keep the hardware?

          While I totally agree, it's supremely unlikely. Why does Windows have so many problems and why does OSX have so few? It's not pisspoor or great coding (though it certainly could affect things) - it's the hardware. Hardware that Apple has to support is 100% controlled by t

      • I had been interested in macs since OS X came out. My only previous expreince was using a iMac running OS 9 (I think) to digitize some video using iMovie. I hated that thing - I couldn't even browse the web while the video was encoding because it didn't have preemptive multi-tasking.

        I worked in the HPC area and got sent out to WWDC '04 because we were getting a 512 processor mac cluster (the ink was just drying on the PO when I flew out). I was a complete Mac newbie, but I was very impressed with everyt

      • by OS24Ever (245667) *
        I switched in 2002. the iLife (as they were later called) got me interested and buying my first Apple product in my lifetime.

        A powerbook, and an iPod followed about four months later when my wife got tired of me using 'her computer' as I told all my geek friends.

        Kinda like getting caught riding a moped at first, but now it's not that big of a deal. I remember the first time I got Tomcat running on it, that shut up the guys that were mad at me for dumping Linux as a desktop client (2002 again mind you, i

      • I switched. 3 other people in my office switched. Whats he talking about?
        I hate to add another "Me too" post but I also switched, and I work for a major PC manufacturer. By showing a few other people my PowerBook I have convinced four other people to switch (and get iPods, but that is another story). I am starting to think that Dvorak writes these articles so someone pays attention to what he is writing, like a small child who is not getting enough attention so s/he misbehaves to get the only type
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:11PM (#14735438) Homepage
      remember this is Dvorak.

      He Claimed up until the Day they announced it that Apple will never do a Video Ipod.

      Hell Dvorak did not even go to CES and yet he still wrote about it.
    • To say nothing of the fact that if Apple's secret purpose was to start a switch to Windows, you'd think they'd have at least made it possible to, oh, I don't know, RUN WINDOWS on the Intel-based Macs easily, which isn't possible at this time?

      Couldn't this be an intermediate step? Plus, they can get royalties from Microsoft when they release 'Windows Vista for Macintosh' with support for the hardware. That way they don't get stuck having to support BIOS and all that - they get to do it their way.

      </d

    • by GreenPlastikMan (881184) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:19PM (#14735543)
      Yes. Dvorak, wrong again. Who would have thunk it. The guy has come to his pseudo-fame by making outlandish tech predictions for decades. He probably started out as a decent writer who couldn't set himself apart from the 94083094583094853098509834905 other tech writers out in the late 80s. Then he realized that if he started making counter-intuitive predictions that would take two sides of a polarized debate in technology and make them go into a flame war about it, people would read his stuff.

      This is his job we're talking about. He's not some sort of tech-prophet. He's a writer. He sells words, regardless of their truth and even more so, regardless of his belief in their truth. The more people read his stuff, the more influence he gets, the more his predictions carry any weight, the more money he makes.

      If 2 billion people read Dvorak and all disagreed, he wouldn't care. He'd still get paid. As it stands, since all he is doing is predicting, he can't be wrong in the traditional sense, because he can simply say "Just you wait. You'll see!" And there's nothing we can do about it.... ... Except stop paying attention.
    • iPod FW Comparison (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Philosinfinity (726949) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:20PM (#14735551)
      An even stronger argument is comparing the iPod's loss of Firewire to the desktop loss of SCSI. If you remember, all old macs were SCSI only. Then the G3s came along, and they went IDE (standard config). Interfaces come and go. Products need contant review and revision to determine what will be most effective both in sales and performance. Apple's done this before, and they didn't switch to Windows then.
      • by dafz1 (604262)
        Actually, Apple first went to IDE three years before the G3s. Moving from SCSI to IDE was a good idea, that was brought about by both being a cost cutting maneuver(IDE drives were cheaper, so Apple could hit lower price points), and the realization that IDE was good enough for the home user.

        My theory on the Firewire to USB switch has more to do with design. Unless Apple went to the small 4-pin firewire interface, the nano wouldn't be so small with a standard 6pin Firewire interface. To be able to achieve
        • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:16PM (#14736159)
          Don't the Nanos have the same custom thin interface that all iPods have? My video certainly does. You can plug it into Firewire using a Firewire to iPod cable just fine, but you can't transfer data, only charge. The Nano (like the shuffle) just doesn't have room for two interface chipsets... have to choose one.
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:22PM (#14735578) Homepage
      Sure, lets not even mention the fact that Apple switching to windows makes no sense at all. If the machine is running windows, then why even buy the machine? You might as well buy a Dell. Or if you're going to spend extra money, buy a Falcon Northwest or an Alienware PC. The reason that people buy macs is because they want a mac. I don't think very many people would buy a mac just for the way the box looks.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <[slashdot.kadin] [at] [xoxy.net]> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:53PM (#14735927) Homepage Journal
        It's a totally braindead hypothesis.

        And at its core is seems to suppose that Apple WANTS to compete with Dell and Compaq. And that's what really strikes me as dumb: nobody in their right mind wants to compete in that arena. It's dead: it's low margin, it's totally saturated, and it's dominated by whoever can make the cheapest box and operate on the slimmest margins, with the most streamlined supply chain.

        It's a WalMart market, in other words. That's like the absolute antithesis of everything Apple. Apple does fat profit margins on low-volume niche machines. They're a big fish in a small pond, and they do very well by it. Why they'd want to be the same small fish, in a much bigger, FAR more brutal pond, I cannot possibly understand.

        IBM, one of the biggest, longest-time players in the PC arena, dumped it's PC division last year, and sold it to the Chinese. Why? Because margins were too low and demand wasn't strong enough to give them a healthy profit off of what they were selling: high quality laptops and desktops. People aren't willing to pay a premium for PCs anymore, unless you can really do something to distinguish yourself. Alienware manages to do it, but just barely (and you get a lot of people criticizing them for being expensive, too); Apple wouldn't be able to compete as just a hardware company in the commodity arena.

        It's stupid to even think it. I knew Devorak was a publicity whore, but this is just retarded. Anyone who's ever taken a single business class in their life, or who even has a basic understanding of the PC market today, knows it would be a suicidal move.
    • by jdb8167 (204116) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:24PM (#14735607)
      One question of Dvorak. If Apple were contemplating this, why would they make it so difficult to install Windows on the new Intel Macs?
      • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:29PM (#14735665)
        Well, they didn't "make it difficult". In fact, they've done nothing to prevent the installation of any alternate OS on the Intel-based Macs.

        The problem is that Apple's x86 platform is completely legacy free (BIOS/MBR/VGA) and uses all new platform technologies (EFI/GPT/UGA). Almost all current x86 OSes, and all current 32-bit versions of Windows, don't support these new technologies, effectively making it impossible to (easily) do anything with these OSes directly on the hardware. Now, this is going to change with Windows Vista, but still.

        But your point is still well taken, and one that I made in my own response to which you replied.
    • by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:48PM (#14735860)
      Has Dvorak missed the amount of time, secrecy, and effort Apple has put into keeping it's options open for Mac OS X to run on alternate hardware platforms? Christ, Dvorak.

      Actually, if apple were going to switch to windows, I don't see why they wouldn't do the whole intel + microsoft transition instead of swtiching to intel and then to windows. This is silly. You can argue G5's were not much faster or even slower than x86 chips, but Mac OS X is clearly ahead of windows.

      I wouldn't be surprised to see mac os x to change to another OS, though. Multiple core CPUs are there and the freebsd code injected in their mach kernel is know to have had some problems (just like freebsd 5.x) WRT. scalability. Is not that freebsd will never be fixed and that 6.x is not rocking already, but damn, solaris han been opensourced and it is one of the hottest events on the OS field in the latest years...I wouldn't be surprised that apple were considering to switch their freebsd code for solaris code
    • by jeff67 (318942)
      You almost explained Dvorak's off-the-wall comments yourself:

      Um, no. The iPod was designed to be a product that, you know, sold well. Which it, you know, did. Wildly so.
       

      Dvorak's column is: "...designed to be a product that ... sold well"
    • by doublem (118724) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:18PM (#14736182) Homepage Journal
      Make wild, unfounded claims on scant, irrational chains of thought no would dare call "logic."

      Publish it.

      Get people talking about what a moron you are and how absurd your predictions are.

      Collect your royalty fees and advertising revenue from all the page hits your absurdity got. In other words, Profit!

      Here's my prediction: Underpants Gnomes to hire Dvorak as their new business consultant.
    • Yeah, once again, he is wrong. Dvorak just doesn't know when to shut his mouth, does he? I mean enough is enough for real...
    • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:10PM (#14736654)
      I clicked on the link and I got this


      Active Server Pages error 'ASP 0126'

      Include file not found /article2/0,1895,1923151,00.asp, line 377

      The include file '/component/util_generate_article_discussion_info/ 0,1460,a=171069,00.asp' was not found.


      Hmm, so the server running Windows can't show me the article about why Apple is about to switch because of an ASP error. Irony or what?

      Yeah, I know it's probably operator error, the irony would be stronger if it was ActiveX component can`t create object [google.se]
  • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:01PM (#14735291) Homepage Journal
    Or is it only the ridiculous Dvorak articles that get posted on Slashdot?
  • by tpjunkie (911544) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:02PM (#14735315) Journal
    Yeah, now that Apple is using x86 chips, they're going to abandon the one main thing that sets them apart (aesthetics aside) from every other box maker out there. As usual, Dvorak is talking out his ass.
    • by m50d (797211)
      That could have been said about the switch to x86. Or the switch from Nubus to PCI. Or the switch away from ADB. I could go on.

      Fact is, Apples have becoming more and more like standard PCs for the past decade at least. I see no reason not to expect this to continue - it seems to be working, and it almost certainly reduces their cost.

      However, I don't see Apple switching to Windows after the big success of the unix-based OSX. Rather, I think it's more likely that over time OSX will become closer and closer to

    • by hahiss (696716) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:56PM (#14735962) Homepage

      Actually, if Dvorak were talking out of his ass, THAT would be interesting.
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:02PM (#14735316) Homepage Journal
    Want to give all of us some sort of shock treatment to see how bad we can react?
  • by hazman (642790) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:03PM (#14735323)
    why doesn't he just go hunting with Dick Cheney?
  • Totally lunatic... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quebec (35169) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:03PM (#14735327) Homepage
    This is the weirdest idea... the day Apple will be "mainstreamized" this way will be the death of Apple. all other hardware cost less.
  • I don't think so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:03PM (#14735337)
    I'm about the furthest thing you can get from a Mac lover, but even I think there's no chance in hell. They were overpriced and underpowered even when they were at least unique on G4s. Now if they switched to Windows, there would be absolutely 0 reason to use them instead of buying a Dell, HP, or Gateway. The last thing any company ever wants is to compete in a commodity market, which is exactly what the Windows PC market is. Apple can't compete with Dell on price. It needs to keep its uniqueness, or its computer market is dead.
  • by plover (150551) * on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:06PM (#14735366) Homepage Journal
    Dvorak seems to be convinced by this bozo that the GUI is the reason people choose the Mac over the PC, or that people choose PCs over Macs because of the availability of peripherals and drivers.

    Personally, I've always disliked the Mac look'n'feel, from the ugly Chicago fonts of old to the top-of-screen mighty morphin' menu.

    But Mac OSX has always had something the PC hasn't -- stability. And that's because it's designed into the OS from the ground up. Windows has always felt like stability was "grafted in" somehow, and it's never been a comfortable fit.

    Like most management, he gives no thought to stability or the correctness of the implementation. "As long as it's done, it's good enough." And it's that attitude that placed Windows exactly where it is, and why the Mac exists at all. It's not the "computer for the rest of us" -- it's the computer for the discerning crowd.

  • Yellow Journalist (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:07PM (#14735383) Homepage Journal
    Let me explain this to you: Dvorak is what's known in the industry as a "Yellow Journalist". Which is to say that he publishes sensationalist articles designed to elicit a reaction in his readership, despite having little to no facts to support his position. These authors are usually frowned upon by any publication with journalistic integrity. Since PC Magazine has none (and needs the readership), they continue to post his foaming-at-the-mouth drivel.

    Every once in awhile, Dvorak manages to hit upon a sensationalist story that's true by pure accident. This then convinces his "fans" that he knows what he's talking about. People then latch onto that single instance of "being right" to accept his pathetically low rate of correct predictions.

    Stop listening to this guy. Stop posting his articles. Ban PC Magazine for publishing this nonsense. Otherwise Slashdot becomes just as bad as Dvorak himself.
  • by rknop (240417) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:08PM (#14735395) Homepage
    That might finally stem some of the tide of people in Astronomy using Macs for everything... they'd then have to seriously consider Linux if they wanted something to be Unix-based.

    It would also remove Apple as the "other" platform. Right now, if asked "do you only support Windows," most people will say, "Oh, yeah, we support Macs too, so we support everybody." With Mac down the tubes, there is another obvious "second" desktop platform.... (And, by support, I'm not so much interested in software as I am in Internet hookups, going places and being able to hook in my laptop to a display, etc.)

    Too bad the whole thing is just one crack delusion.

    -Rob
  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:08PM (#14735397)
    Two things are beyond me: How any sane person who has been following the history of Apple and knows about how they make money could assume this, and why Slashdot keeps putting this guy's stuff on the front page. I'm going to leave this to other people to tear up but not without pointing out one thing: Currently, that is OS X 10.4.5 vs. Windows XP, Apple kicks Microsoft's ass so bad it isn't even funny. Maybe Vista can catch up a little -- looks like a "Tiger" clone to me anyway -- but right now, no way. Apple can only charge their prices for top quality. Intel chips and OS X yes, but Intel chips and Windows, well, nobody fights Dell on their own ground and survives. Apple is very, very good at surviving.

  • Yea right.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:09PM (#14735413) Journal
    Wrong answer.

    1. This would be a boon to Linux and a bust for Apple. $x % of people want to be different, and Apple would no longer be different. Or different enough. The GUI is not even close, nor the functionality when comparing the two OSs.

    2. OS/X is doing great because of the BSD roots, which benefits from Linux (and vice versa). More hardware makers are opening up their drivers. They have momentum already. And their stock price already reflects this.

    3. If it was only about "cool" hardware, Alienware would be larger and Dell's decidedly unsexy hardware would make them another mid-sized company. Cool helps, but there is no shortage of "cool" Wintel boxes, just of buyers.

    Sorry, but Dvorak must be jonesing for the hits only slashdot/digg can provide by putting out a story like this. Nothing to see, move along...
  • That's funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oz0ne (13272) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:10PM (#14735417) Homepage
    I recently switched from windows to mac. OSX was the primary reason I switched, secondary being quality control/limited hardware sets promote stability and reliability.

    I'm a windows developer by trade, I can't imagine going back. I cannot tell you how nice it is to go home to a computer that "just works", works intuitively, and elegantly after a long day FIGHTING with windows systems. Apple would lose a substantial portion of it's customer base and just become a novelty hardware dealer like alienware.

    His key points here on how "no one switched/came over because of the ipod" are just wrong. It's true it wasn't a groundswell, but apple's PC marketshare is growing at about 19%. That's pretty fast, and it's better than it was a couple years back.
  • Just a reminder (Score:3, Informative)

    by sg3000 (87992) * <.sg_public. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:11PM (#14735442)
    You know that old expression: "Even a broken clock is right twice a day"? Just a reminder that there are 23 other hours in a day.

    This type of article is typical for Dvorak. Throw out a crazy statement with no justification, add some flame-bait ("fanatical users", "crazy"), and sit back smirking. In fact, I feel like we just went through this sort of thing [slashdot.org].

    (Hey, even that old post mentioned a broken clock. I guess if you cross a broken clock with a broken record, you get Dvorak!)
  • by watanabe (27967) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:12PM (#14735448)
    Story restated

    John Dvorak continues to be the biggest idiot in the tech commentator business. He's been making stupid predictions since at least the '80s, and shows no sign of stopping now. Dvorak wishes he had 1/10th of Robert Cringely's wit and insight. We wish that Dvorak would start scorecarding himself the way that Cringely does, and give up so that he can do something else with his time.

    Okay, the story summary goes: Apple and Jobs have recently spent multi-tens of millions developing an Intel version of their operating system so that they can use Intel chips. Soon, they will throw away all that development work, infrastructure work, and vendor relationship work and just use Windows, maybe putting a pretty little 'Mac-a-like' face on top of Windows, because, wait for it, because: Steve Jobs wants to be just like Dell and Compaq.

    The ignorance beggars comprehension.

    As a comparison, Robert Cringely's prediction: free versions of OS X 10.4/intel given away on bootable ipods so that windows users can try mac for free (once 10.5 comes out.)

  • by mmell (832646) <mmell@hotmail.com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:15PM (#14735490)
    In a more serious vein, I can see another reason why this is incredibly unlikely . . .

    Anybody remember a few years ago, when Apple was circling the bowl? Microsoft was being raked over the coals by DOJ for antitrust issues, remember? That's when Mr. Gates and Company pulled a rabbit out of their hat by investing in (bailing out) Apple. In one stroke, Mr. G. had diversified his portfolio while preserving the one (semi-)serious competitor in the Personal Computer market, thereby giving the DOJ a face-saving way to quietly let the whole thing go (don't believe me? Why aren't there three companies headquartered at the Microsoft campus right now?)!

    Gates ain't gonna let Apple go Windoze - that'll land him right back in the hash with DOJ.

    • by green pizza (159161) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:02PM (#14736031) Homepage
      Are you talking about the "Thanks, Bill" moment in 1998 when MSFT announced Mac Office 98 + 5 years of continued support for the platform + an investment of about $200M of non-voting AAPL stock?

      I believe that was partially due to a court settlement, but it was also a big PR stunt for both companies. It got the DOJ off of MSFT's back, it renewed faith in the Apple/Mac platform, and it was a hell of an advertisement for Mac Office 98 (believe it or not, MSFT makes good money from Mac Office).

      Apple has *always* had a lot of money in the bank. $Billions ever since their IPO in the early 1980s. At their lowest point they still had over a billion dollars in cash in the bank. Compare this to Silicon Graphics who is now down to a few tens of millions in the bank, dwindling from about $500M about 5 years ago. Even if Apple would have continued bleeding money, they would have remained in business for a long time, even without this so-called MSFT bailout.
  • by The Mutant (167716) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:16PM (#14735498) Homepage
    and a hack writer like Dvorak believes it.

    Must be true then.
  • April already? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CupBeEmpty (720791) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:17PM (#14735517) Homepage
    It's a bit early yet isn't it? Is this just setup for a really good one on 4/1?
  • by Britz (170620) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:22PM (#14735582) Homepage
    So they switch their OSX to x86 going through a ton of work only to come out and say we did this for nothing???
  • I am on the next rocket off this planet
  • by flibuste (523578) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:34PM (#14735726)
    From the FA:

    Active Server Pages error 'ASP 0126'
    Include file not found
    /article2/0,1895,1923151,00.asp, line 377
    The include file '/component/util_generate_article_discussion_info/ 0,1460,a=171069,00.asp' was not found.

    Are they absolutely sure they want to switch to Windows?
  • by clf8 (93379) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:43PM (#14735814)
    Oh man, where to begin. Let's ignore the four points, they're not his and garbage anyway. As for his personal analysis, well that's garbage too.

    "But if Apple's saber-rattling was done to scare the community into backing off so it wouldn't discover the Windows stratagem, then the incident makes more sense."
    What does rumors about a breakout music production box have to do with that? Hey Dvorak, there's rumors of a REAL video iPod...but BACK OFF, you might uncover their plan to switch over to Windows!

    "This switch to Windows may have originally been planned for this year and may partly explain why Adobe and other high-end apps were not ported to the Apple x86 platform when it was announced in January." Yeah, Adobe is always first to have their apps completely ported. They had PPC support right away, and were the first with Altivec support. If Adobe hasn't updated their apps for OS X on Intel, then there must be a conspiracy.

    "At Macworld, most observers said that these new Macs could indeed run Windows now."
    And since then, it's been proven that it won't work out of the box. This has been pretty well known since Macworld, shouldn't Dvorak be a little more on top of things? Did he even attend Macworld, or did he ask the janitor emptying the garbage what looked neat?

    "Another issue for Apple is that the Intel platform is wide open, unlike the closed proprietary system Apple once had full control over."
    Where did Apple say they were going to support every piece of hardware, nowhere that I've seen. Hmmm, there's even restrictions in OS X to allow it to only run on sanctioned hardware (until it get's hacked). Looks like from OS X's commercial standpoint, they're still only need to support a closed system.

    "As someone who believed that the Apple OS x86 could gravitate toward the PC rather than Windows toward the Mac, I have to be realistic. It boils down to the add-ons. Linux on the desktop never caught on because too many devices don't run on that OS. It takes only one favorite gizmo or program to stop a user from changing."
    Oh where to begin. No one ever thought Windows would really run on a Mac, did they? What does that have to do with anything? Linux on the desktop, maybe it never caught on because it isn't installed in people computers when they got them. Maybe it's because there isn't a great consistent easy to use/configure/maintain/whatever desktop environment yet. Is there a point to these sentences?

    "To preserve the Mac's slick cachet, there is no reason an executive software layer couldn't be fitted onto Windows to keep the Mac look and feel. Various tweaks could even improve the OS itself."
    Right, let's skin Windows to look like OS X, that's useful. And I'm sure MS will give them all the code needed to tweak the OS. That's almost as funny as "Windows, as crappy as many believe it to be, actually thrives in this mishmash architecture."

    Sure, I quoted half the article here, but only cuz I was too lazy to mock every single sentence.
  • Business Sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smack.addict (116174) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:49PM (#14735874)
    The logic that they switched to Intel, so why not Windows lacks any business sense whatsoever.

    They switched to Intel because it made business sense and aligned with their underlying value proposition as a company.

    Becoming another WinTel vendor, however, is completely antithetical to their business model.

    Their business model is based on differentiating the experiential components of computer use. The CPU is not a mechanism by which they can provide differentiation; the OS is. OS X is generally considered a better user experience than any Windows version.

    Why on earth would they switch?

    They would not. The fact is, Dvorak makes money off getting people to click to that stupid page, and he does it by saying stupid things. If he had the first clue about Apple, he might actually have had a correct prediction about the company in the past decade. How many times has he proclaimed the company dead?
  • by Gorimek (61128) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:55PM (#14735950) Homepage
    It's been clear for many years that Dvorak is little more than a troll, who the world somehow never stops feeding.

    Just ignore the guy.
  • by aeoo (568706) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @03:59PM (#14735997) Journal
    It makes no sense to leave a profitable and comfortable niche and compete in an oversaturated Windows market. It especially makes no sense now that Apple is on an upswing and is being quite successful in increasing their market share and brand name recognition with iPod, selling their laptops to geeks and causal users. And Apple manages to appeal to them both: geeks get a shiny BSD system to play with, and casual users get a system that "just works".

    I am no Apple fanboy. In fact I've never owned an Apple system in my life and never had any desire to own one. But if Apple keeps it up, I just might have to reconsider. If Apple could port their Cocoa shell to Linux and to offer a Linux based OS X, in addition to BSD based one, I will definitely switch, considering that their hardware is no longer lagging behind in performance. I may switch for some other reason as well -- for example, if for some reason Window has more Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in it than OS X, and it really starts to step on my toes, then I will also switch.
  • by Single GNU Theory (8597) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:20PM (#14736202) Journal
    Apple won't switch to Windows, not while Jobs is still at the helm.

    Remember, years ago, Apple was developing a new OS, Copland (if I remember right), while being headed by Gil Amelio. Jobs was at NeXT, then. Then, Jobs comes back to Apple (billowing S-emblemed cape and all), ousts Amelio, throws out the bathwater AND the baby of the Copland project, and replaces it all with OS X, whose other parent besides BSD is NeXTStep.

    So, replacing OS X with Windows would be tantamount to admitting that the heroic rescuscitation of Apple was, I dunno, not worth the effort or something.
  • *blink* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fordiman (689627) * <fordiman@gmailGI ... minus herbivore> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:22PM (#14736220) Homepage Journal
    So easily the dumbest slashdot story ever.

    I mean, seriously, haven't you guys learned that Dvorak is just a useless turd of the industry yet?
  • by sethmeisterg (603174) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @04:41PM (#14736413)
    He's "convinced" that they guy "may" be right. I've seen stronger positions in Jello.
  • by Frodo420024 (557006) <henrik AT fangorn DOT dk> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:08PM (#14736639) Homepage Journal
    I have a suspicion that Dvorak didn't try Max OS X himself. Right from the tasteful design and use of colour, through the well crafted behaviour of widgets down to the stable foundation of a real Unix - it's better than Windows and a main reason people switch.

    Several friends of mine switched. They like the good engineering and the 'Just works' thing. They have jobs to do on the computer and can't be bothered with whacky programs, virus etc. Their iPods Just Work (TM), and then they look to the Mac for a similar stable computing experience. The 'Halo' effect is certainly working, and they would have nothing to gain by becoming just another Windows platform.

    Dvorak is off a tangent again, but this time it's so obvious, it reveals his lack of insight and reflection for anyone to see. It's just embarrasing. Someone point him to this thread, please :)

  • by Megane (129182) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:50PM (#14737030) Homepage
    Dvorak is predicting that Apple will adopt Windows.

    What a dumbass. First of all, he's about a month and a half early. (check the calendar)

    He's basing this on the ideas of someone else who thinks that removing Firewire from iPods means anything about the operating system Apple will use, never mind that Windows supports FireWire just fine, it's just that PCs have been slow to adopt it. And Apple wants to switch to Windows because because they switched CPUs? You mean to one they had already been making sure for years that their own OS would run on? The one with a much faster update schedule than Microsoft could ever dream of?

    Wow. He's one of the oldest and biggest trolls out there in the computer-related press, and he's still trolling. Remember, his target audience is PC Magazine, read by the kind of folks who don't want to believe that it's a mistake for them to still be using Windows. So he's just providing more comfort to them that mean ol' Apple won't take their tattered, filthy, stinking, virus-laden security blanket away. Hey, switch my keyboard already, I'm writing just like Dvorak!

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @05:59PM (#14737135) Homepage Journal
    Software is and has been a part of Apple's brand since the beginning of time, and it also is for Microsoft. This decision is not even Apple's to make.

    If you think Microsoft is going to private label a version of Windows for Apple, think again. If anyone could get a private label version of Windows, it would be Dell, and they can't get it. So certainly Apple could not.

  • by kbahey (102895) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @06:30PM (#14737441) Homepage
    Anyone who knows anything about marketing will tell you that you have two extremes:

    1. Commodity products that you sell a lot of at rock bottom prices, and make your money on volume (think no name PCs, computer parts, GM and Ford cars, ...etc.).

    2. Expensive unique products that you sell a few of at high prices, and make your money on margin (think Rolex, Ferrari, Porsche, Apple Mac, ...etc.).

    Think if an inverted bell curve with price and quantity as the axes, and you get the idea. The former is on the far left, the latter is on the far right.

    The best place to be is closer to the left as possible, or closer to the right as possible. Being in the middle is the toughest spot.

    Apple is already differentiated and sought after. By going Windows, they will lose a lot:

    1. Their hardware will be expensive, while the user interface will be the same as one from Dell or a no name PC.

    2. They lose revenue by giving a piece of every sale of a PC to their arch-rival Microsoft.

    3. They become undifferentiated, and compete with well established PC vendors (Dell, ...etc.) as well cheap no namers.

    4. Their user base will be pissed off and will defect to cheaper PCs, since they lose the most unique part of the deal: OS X.

    There is nothing going for this line of thinking. Or rather lack of thinking ...

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