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'Perfect Storm' of Mac Sales on the Horizon? 669

Posted by Zonk
from the finally-getting-it. dept.
fkx writes to mention an eWeek article suggesting that, finally, the PC-using public is going to 'get' the Mac. According to the article, the new advertising, increased functionality of OSX, and Intel-based machines are all raising the profile of Apple's machines to new heights. From the article: "However, this cycle isn't your usual processor upgrade cycle that comes every time Intel or Advanced Micro Devices tweaks a process. This is a major shift that affects all parts of the Mac customer-developer-vendor ecology. Longtime Apple watchers can count two earlier events of similar magnitude. The first such transition occurred in March 1994 with the arrival of the PowerPC architecture. The Motorola 680x0 architecture that had served the Mac platform for a decade was quickly supplanted by a set of new, more powerful machines. "
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'Perfect Storm' of Mac Sales on the Horizon?

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  • by Sinryc (834433) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:38PM (#15807654)
    Even I, a long time PC user wanted to get a MacBook, but... I don't have 1100 to drop on one. Damn me not having much money!
    • by fozzy1015 (264592)
      The reason I have not bought a Mac is the same reason I have not ever bought a whole system: I don't want to plunk down over a grand for a new computer. For the last two decades I've always upgraded my machine by piece-mail. A new case, a new HD, a new mobo, a new video card.... So at every purchases it's only been a few hundred at most.

      • upgrading hardware (Score:4, Interesting)

        by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @09:49PM (#15808498)

        For the last two decades I've always upgraded my machine by piece-mail. A new case, a new HD, a new mobo, a new video card.... So at every purchases it's only been a few hundred at most.

        And how do you upgrade just the cpu/mobo without upgrading ram or the hd? I've got an old HP I'd like to upgrade but when I upgrade my cpu/mobo I'll hav to upgrade my ram and more than likely my hd as well as both the bus and the hd interface will be different. As my graphics card may not be compatible with a new mobo I may have to upgrade it as well. I don't see how over a preiod of more than several years you can upgrade a piece at a tyme.

        Falcon
      • by Dasher42 (514179) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @10:15PM (#15808627)
        Every desktop computer I've had since my old Tandy 1000 has been a custom-built clone, excepting my stint with an Amiga 500. I've done the piecemeal upgrade thing. Here's my take on it: it's not worth it unless you're really broke, and if you're doing it often, you're probably wasting your time on your tools instead of what you do with them. Hence, two out of my three laptops have been Macs, and I like them a great deal.

        There's another thing. If you want a second machine to your desktop, a laptop doesn't need to be a screamer to be very useful, nor does it need to run the same operating system. In fact, having two different kinds of machines can be pretty darn cool. So, try some old iBook or something; that's my advice if you want to sample the world of OSX. As long as you have over 512MB, even an old 600MHz iBook G3 machine is plenty for the basic browsing and email.
        • by JulesLt (909417) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @10:06AM (#15810875)
          >you're probably wasting your time on your tools instead of what you do with them
          I'm not sure it's wholly a waste of time, if it's also your hobby - and of course, once you get a Mac, you spend half your time evangelising them on the Internet, making up for the time saved in not tweaking hardware / Windows.

      • I've never really understood this attitude.

        I know quite a few people that do similar things, and it really seems like they spend more time futzing with their cobbled-together systems and trying to decide what to upgrade next, than actually doing stuff with them and just enjoying having something that works the way it's supposed to.

        I'm not advocating a 'disposable culture' here, just saying that it seems to make a lot more sense to me to save up money for a while, get something that's really nice and you'll
      • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @02:33PM (#15812337)
        The idea behind the Mac is that you're not supposed to have to worry about that stuff. You're supposed to be too busy actually getting work done with your computing appliance. When it gets long in the tooth, you sell it used (Apple machines have a ridiculously high resale value) and upgrade to a new one.

        Personally, as someone who grew up with PCs in the 90s and has fixed too many computers to count, I find the idea today of dealing with the innards of a PC as archaic and obsolete an idea as having to turn a crank to start your car.
    • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:55PM (#15807967)
      Do you want to be able to play high def video on your computer in the future? If you go the Vista route, you will have to buy a new machine anyway. Vista itself will need faster hardware. Then, if you want to play DRM'ed WMV video content, you will need a new HDMI compliant video card and HDMI monitor. There has been no talk of restrictions on viewing content in OS X so far and there has been no talk of HDMI requirements for monitors attached to macs.

      MSFT is strongly pushing DRM for video content whereas Apple so far has been silent on the matter. I do not foresee Apple making a sharp about face and forcing HDMI down our throats at this stage in the game. If you value your freedom of fair use, I would suggest looking at Apple.

      • by Firehed (942385) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @09:05PM (#15808302) Homepage
        Not meaning to troll, but what the hell are you talking about? For protected HD content from the new formats, you'll eventually require an HDCP-compliant display and output device. Which you can have over DVI or HDMI, and there are a few monitors that already support this. This goes for blu-ray and HD-DVD players just as much as ANY computer system, be it Vista, XP (assuming they actually write playback software) or OS X. Microsoft isn't pushing for content protection any more than Apple is, it's been required of them so people don't complain that their new MCE05 system won't play so much as a DVD. Love them or hate them, Microsoft isn't stupid about this - they know that content protection is a royal pain in the ass for consumers, but either they play along or they don't get the content. And with their digital home push, I'll leave it up to you which one their choice is.

        The content industry said that HDCP will be required for legal full-resolution playback on content with the ICT set (nothing now, but at some point (supposedly 2010 or later), all of the content on the winning HD format). So either support it or you can't play. Blaming Microsoft is either really ignorant or really fanboyish. Apple will require it too, the only difference that Apple controls its hardware so well that it should be fairly transparent to the end-user, unlike PCs where we tend to have a lot more give. Of course, displays are the one area where Apple products tend to have that give, but at least with the notebooks and iMacs, you can be damned sure that the display will be connected by an HDCP-compliant connection when they're packing a next-gen optical drive. I wouldn't be especially surprised to see Apple to be giving the Mac Pro an HDCP-compliant output at WWDC, or upgrading their Cinema displays for the same. Microsoft just writes the software - they have NO control over the hardware it goes on - so they take flak when these inconsistencies occur. If it was all well-done, everything with digital output and/or input would have been compliant for the start, and none of us would have been any the wiser since it's all transparent. But it's not, and Microsoft makes an excellent scapegoat. Blame Sony, they're the ones that actually helped come up with the stupid idea (with many others I'm sure, but they're also an excellet scapegoat) - just like CSS and AACS, but those two (well, we'll wait to see with regards to the latter) are transparent enough that it's usually not much of an issue.
      • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Sunday July 30, 2006 @12:54AM (#15809326) Homepage Journal
        MSFT is strongly pushing DRM for video content whereas Apple so far has been silent on the matter.

        Out of curiousity, which of the two companies is actively selling DRM encumbered video? [apple.com] I agree, HDMI is a terrible thing, another opportunity to charge people more in exchange for hardware that does less and in the process help stamp out fair use. But Apple's no more our friend in this than Microsoft.

    • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @08:20PM (#15808079)
      '' Even I, a long time PC user wanted to get a MacBook, but... I don't have 1100 to drop on one. Damn me not having much money! ''

      A MacBook will last you probably about five years. That is about $18 per month.

      Most porn sites cost more than that.
    • by fermion (181285) *
      Even, I, a long time Payless shoe consumer, wanted to get a pair of nikes, but i don't have $200 to drop on a pair of shown. Damn me not having much money!

      This is really a tired and quite frankly useless argument. If I had money for a computer, I had money for an Apple. Perhaps I chose to use the money for something else, and buy a cheaper computer, but that is no different from buying a cheaper pair of shoes, cheaper car, cheaper whatever. If you need a PC, fine get one. But as in everything else, v

  • They're Right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aredubya74 (266988) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:40PM (#15807659)
    I'm waiting with baited breath for the release of the Intel PowerMac. I've never, ever, ever owned a Mac in any form. I've got a ton of Windows workstations and Linux servers, but never a Mac. This will change in August. I'm tired of ridiculous Windows behaviors (disk defrag inadvertantly deletes required system DLLs...nice), and ready for new ridiculous Mac behaviors, knowing I'm not giving dollars direct to Microsoft ever again.
    • s/baited/bated

    • Re:They're Right (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ash-Fox (726320) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:09PM (#15807789)
      I'm tired of ridiculous Windows behaviors (disk defrag inadvertantly deletes required system DLLs...nice)
      I can't find any information on this from my sources [google.com]. :(
      • Re:They're Right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by aredubya74 (266988) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:25PM (#15807843)
        No FUD whatsoever. This happened to me 2 months ago. Running Win2K with the latest service pack, I found my system was draggy as hell. I virus-scanned and ad-aware'd to assure I had nothing stealing resources, and yup, no such problem. I used Microsoft's included Disk Defrag utility, and found the C partition (4 GB in size) was 90% fragmented. Assuming this was the culprit, I ran the utility, and went to bed.

        When I came down in the morning. The defrag had apparently failed to complete, and the system was frozen. I powercycled it, and when it came back up, I was no longer able to log in (I'll look up the specific error code from my notes and reply with it). Throwing the disk into another workstation, I was able to mount the partition, and found dozens of DLL files had mysteriously disappeared from my system32 folder, including some of the important ones used to process a login.

        Not knowing what exactly was missing and needed replacing, I bit the bullet and bought a Windows 2K OEM CD, as I'd misplaced my own (yes, I really did misplace it - I've certainly pirated Windows before, but not in this case). I ran through a reinstall, and Win2K was back to normal, minus the dragginess I'd seen prior. Bit Rot Happens, we all know that, but this was a direct correlation to running a defrag and watching system files disappear into the ether.
    • Re:They're Right (Score:5, Informative)

      by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:34PM (#15807882) Homepage

      You'll love it, especially if you love the command line environment of Linux. Being able to have both the great GUI and name applications (like Photoshop) as well as a true Unix subsystem and command line you can use were a big factor in switching to the Mac for me.

      You mention defrag, and that is one thing I've never understood. In the time I've been using Windows, it has never run well without 3rd party software. In the 95/98/ME days defrag was probably important, but I found that a little program called MemTurbo make the system feel like it just booted all the time. It would somehow clean up leaked memory, or force specific things to be paged, as well as defragment the memory allocations.

      Then Windows 2000 came along and it no longer needed that program (hooray!). But NTFS just gets SO fragmented SO fast. Without a 3rd party program (Disk Keeper, set to defrag during screen saver) then any system that gets quite a bit of use will slow to a crawl pretty fast in my experience.

      Vista is supposed to have that built in, so I wonder what users will need next to keep the OS running smoothly.

  • by NineNine (235196) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:40PM (#15807660)
    ... It is. Windows XP works pretty well, and there's really no more reason to switch PC platforms than there is to change your heat pump. It works. You'd be an idiot (quite literally) to waste time and money for no reason. That's the public attitude.

    Sorry to upset you. Mod me down.
    • by Eightyford (893696) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:42PM (#15807668) Homepage
      ... It is. Windows XP works pretty well, and there's really no more reason to switch PC platforms than there is to change your heat pump. It works. You'd be an idiot (quite literally) to waste time and money for no reason. That's the public attitude. Sorry to upset you. Mod me down.
      A 20 year old Mazda works "pretty well" too. I guess that's why nobody buys new cars.
      • by NineNine (235196)
        ... doesn't care. A computer is about as exciting as a heat pump. It's a dusty tan box that sits under their $50 pressboard "computer table" from Wal-Mart that they turn on to check email and surf porn, and every so often, open a pirated copy of Word to update their resumes. A car, on the other hand, is one of the biggest status symbols that Americans have. That, and many people rely on cars to do important stuff, like get to work. Computers aren't used for anything more important that a paperclip for
        • by Angostura (703910) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:02PM (#15807748)
          It's a dusty tan box that sits under their $50 pressboard "computer table" from Wal-Mart that they turn on to check email and surf porn, and every so often, open a pirated copy of Word to update their resumes.


          That's the issue. My parents (in their late 70s/early 80s) decided to get a Mac when they decided they liked the idea of getting a video camera and doing some video editing and DVD authoring. The bundled software simply sold them on the idea. Dad subsequently got a USB music keyboard just because he enjoyed the idea of playing with Garageband.

          But yes, their old Windows 98 box was fine for e-mail. I'm not sure about their porn-surfing habits.
        • by Metrol (147060) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:04PM (#15807762) Homepage
          Computers aren't used for anything more important that a paperclip for most people.

          A couple of years ago I would have agreed with you on this. One aspect that has changed in many people's lives is the entry of a wide variety of digital toys. Digital cameras, video cameras with hard drives, digital music players, and the stack of other goodies flooding the retail chains. Today the computer at home is an important resource for bringing all these things together, as well as the other stuff you mentioned.

          Apple has positioned itself pretty well in this regard, as the company producing the computer that is built to deal with this. I suspect that they'll be better positioned to take advantage of this over the next couple of years than Microsoft will be.

          Please note, I'm anything but an Apple fan boy. What the heck do I know though? I think KDE on FreeBSD is the bestest game around!
        • by jrcamp (150032) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:25PM (#15807847)
          And those old-fangled music player things used to be called walkmans. They worked pretty well. They were old, black, got the job done. People used them with their $5 headphones from Wal-Mart.

          And then there was the iPod.

          I think you're underestimating the market and an entire generation of people. Young, the desire to be hip, and lots of disposable income. It's a marketer's dream. Computing will only continue to be more integrated into everyday life. And if you don't think somebody won't capitalize on making it a status symbol I think you're sorely mistaking. Apple is definitely on the way to capturing it.
        • by Shag (3737) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:36PM (#15807883) Homepage
          If you're talking about desktops or towers, then yes, the public couldn't care less. And Apple has woefully small market share in that area - probably around, what, 3 percent?

          When it comes to laptops, though, there are different factors. Suddenly size, weight, battery life, and even appearance (well, for the fashionistas among us) come into consideration. And do I need to point out that a 17" widescreen notebook from Apple weighs about a pound less than one from anyone else?

          This January, Apple's share of the US laptop market stood at 6% - about double its share of the desktop market.

          This July, Apple's share of the US laptop market stood at 12% - double where it was in January.

          Apple has projected that as universal binaries of more applications for "creative pros" become available, that share could go higher.

          Maybe they'll continue to do better in notebooks than desktops.
          • Maybe they'll continue to do better in notebooks than desktops.

            Probably so. However, don't count out the desktop, though. There are lots of graphics artists that can't wait for whatever machine will replace the PowerMac G5. It will probably be released at WWDC in about three weeks. That's when the pros will start upgrading.
        • by apflwr3 (974301)
          I think you're wrong. If Sprint is buying 10,000 computers for a new office, then yes they'll go for the beige box. But if, ahem, "Joe Average" is buying a computer for his house then he's going to get the "coolest" one he can afford. Or that he can't afford, and will charge it. He may not appreciate the possibilities as much as a Slashdot Linux geek but don't tell me computers are an afterthough to the general public. It's at least as important (and heavily used) item as a TV or stereo... Really, yo
    • There is one very important reason to change your heat pump: When it breaks. Computers do break and, even if they don't, eventually go obsolete. When it comes time to buy the replacement, they might recall hearing something about this Mac thing a while back.
      • Heat pumps are basically interchangeable commodities. The differences between Windows and Macs are rather greater. Give up all your software and everything you have learned about how to use your computer? It's a lot easier just to stick with what you're used to.

        Maybe if Macs could run the consumer's old Windows stuff seamlessly (i.e., without a reboot and a copy of the latest version of Windows, which the consumer probably doesn't have if (s)he's replacing an old machine) it would be a more appealing opt
    • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:06PM (#15807772)
      Windows now has about 95% of the desktop market. Nobody is suggesting that will drop to 5% overnight.

      Yes, the vast majority, of windows users will stay with windows, no question. But there is always that segment of the market which will be shopping for a new PC soon, and may consider a Mac.

      How large could that segment be? 5% would be huge. If Apple could get another 2% - 3% of upcoming PC sale, Apple's sales would double. Clearly that is very significant.
  • Very true (Score:5, Interesting)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:40PM (#15807664)

    At least in my college-age demographic it is. I'm seeing a HUGE desertion of PC's in favor of the MacBooks (the MBPs are a little bit out of the range of the average college student). It's going to be a good year for Apple.

    • ... if only because that's how long it takes them to graduate and get lives.

      Seriously, though, College is where the main 'adoption' of new systems takes place, so it makes sense that colleges would get it first. Mac and Linux are used there much more than in the 'mainstream' world.
  • Good. (Score:5, Funny)

    by identity0 (77976) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:41PM (#15807665) Journal
    As long as George Clooney dies, I'm all for it. Heck, take Marky Mark too.

    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of Mac Minis making a giant wave, and the boat... almost... makes it...
  • makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:43PM (#15807674) Homepage Journal
    basically getting a mac now means being able to do all the stuff you've always done on your pc - plus all the stuff a mac can do. in the past there was always what you were 'giving up' - now that's gone. it is now the windows machine that runs less software.
    • Re:makes sense (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ash-Fox (726320)
      it is now the windows machine that runs less software.
      Actually, there are 'cracked' versions of x86 MacOSX that works on non-Apple hardware.
  • One chap in my neighbourhood purchased a Mac - his family had always used a
    PC before. This shows that Mac Sales are going to explode.

    Nothing to see, move along.
  • by TimMann (98520) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:45PM (#15807685) Homepage
    Isn't everyone tired of the phrase "perfect storm" yet? Why do people keep using it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:45PM (#15807687)
    *Just kicking it does not include gaming.
  • Competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @06:49PM (#15807702) Journal
    They face stiff competition when an almost identical Compaq laptop is $300 cheaper -- and has a bigger screen. Same CPU, same RAM, same graphics chip, same ports -- except the Compaq also support 802.11a -- same HD, etc.

    With the Compaq you can opt for an AMD Turion 64 w/ATI graphics chipset instead of the Intel and it's CHEAPER. The Mac has the built-in camera but the Compaq has the option of a built-in Lightscribe DVD+-DL burner for $25 more.

    Yes, the Mac is more fashionable but the big point is going to be OS X -- will the general public (i.e. -- not Apple fanboys) be willing the make the switch at a 30% premium?

      -Charles
    • Re:Competition (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nicholas Evans (731773) <OwlManAtt@gmail.com> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:03PM (#15807753) Homepage
      Yes, the Mac is more fashionable but the big point is going to be OS X -- will the general public (i.e. -- not Apple fanboys) be willing the make the switch at a 30% premium?

      An interesting question!

      I don't exactly qualify as 'general public' having been using Linux exclusively for the past few years, but I have finally decided to check out what all this talk about OS X is. And I grew up on PCs - I remember when I was like four years old and fucking around at the DOS prompt (like I knew what was going on =P).

      A few of my friends have Apple hardware, and they really like how 'OS X just works'. So after months of seeing my boss' Macbook Pro, I've decided to get one myself (after the conference, of course).

      And I realize I'm paying a *lot* for a Macbook Pro. I could get something almost as nice for 30% cheaper, as you pointed out. But I am willing to pay the premium for OS X, after not spending *any* money on Free software for the past few years.

    • Re:Competition (Score:5, Informative)

      by dhovis (303725) * on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:07PM (#15807781)

      And I'd be willing to bet that Compaq is at least 30% bigger than the Macbook. Find one with similar specs and dimensions and you'll find the price will go up. You pay for miniturization.

      Odd you picked Compaq. Ususally people find some Dell to compare it to and neglect to point out that the Dell is 70% greater volume.

    • One thing is that the strengths of OS X can't be fully appreciated without actually using it for a while. Sure, there are annoyances, but the amount of time needed to tune, tweak and futz with OS X is a LOT less than you would need to do with Windows XP. Currently, there isn't even a risk of running into registration errors like some see with Microsoft's WGA. There's no registry to go bad. Most programs don't even use installers, and uninstalling most programs is as easy as just deleting the application
  • I for one (Score:2, Interesting)

    by matt328 (916281)
    bow to our new ov;lkj aw forget it.

    Apple does seem to be getting 'up in our faces' alot more lately. Their new tv ads are a huge slap in the face to Microsoft, and may actually be the thing to get people wondering. Their only downfall is their prices, you see a Macbook, who's behind it, some clean cut suited up fellow sipping latte at starbucks.
  • I play games, games dont play on mac (Yes there are some games for mac, but the selection compared to PC is largely lacking), hence . . . no mac
    • Re:Not likely. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBCook (132727)

      This is the one Mac criticism that I agree with. I switched despite it. I just didn't play enough games on my computer to have that hold me back to Windows. That said, Macs are behind in that respect. Boot Camp improves it, so does the switch to Intel (Macs, especially the laptops, were horridly underpowered). The graphics card issue still needs to be addressed.

      There are quite a few people who only play casual games, and the Mac is fine for that. If you want it enough, you can use Boot Camp. Most of the ot

  • by bgfay (5362) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:17PM (#15807813) Homepage
    My old laptop is aging and I want something new. The Macbooks look good, feel good, seem to be so much more secure, and, in general, have only one drawback which is price. That's a one-time thing and I'm at the point where I'm ready to suck it up and spend it. This after twenty years of PC use. I can't be the only one drooling over these things.

    More than that, the next iteration of OSX promises to be more efficient while Vista is likely to be far less effecient, need way more resources, and still suffer the same fates as my previous Windows machines.

    Beyond all that, have you seen the Mac stuff? It's so cool looking!
  • Not hardly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davmoo (63521) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:22PM (#15807835)
    The *only* way that the general computer-buying public (read: not geeks) will massively switch to Apple is if Apple produces something that can compete in price with the $350 machines for sale at Walmart. Until then, the author of this article is living in a dream world.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:28PM (#15807860) Homepage

    I've got to say, I love my Mac. I used to love 'em, switched to PCs during the late Windows 3.1 timeframe, and then switched back last year.

    Macs are growing, and they are growing fast. Apple's US laptop market-share DOUBLED in the last six months. Now one in eight laptops sold in the US are Macs. For an alternate OS, that is huge. And because the MacBook was released during the middle of that period, there was a disclaimer with those numbers that the trend will very likely continue.

    And why not? Mac laptops are sexy. They look great. They have almost every feature you could want (I still don't understand why for such a media friendly company, they don't have media-card slots). They are light. They are thin. They are quiet. It amazes me that many new Dells and such have to have their fans on all the time and it's quite audible. When they dare to do anything complex, a little jet-plane enters the room. My Mac (admittedly a G4, although I hear the recent Intels aren't bad at all) is dead silent. It took me like 2 weeks to realize there was a fan in the thing (not that I was looking). When going full-tilt with graphics, it's about as loud as most people's Dells and such are at idle.

    Macs have had (and still do) a few issues. Graphics cards is a major one. I hope the switch to Intel helps this more, because my 1 year old laptop has a sorry graphics card compared to what was available on PCs at the time (Radeon 9700 or 9800).

    That said, the stars are converging for Apple. They have HUGE brand trust and are "cool" thanks to the iPod. Their hardware looks and performs excellent. The OS is amazing. I've been running Vista for about 18 months in the form of Tiger. When Vista comes out, I'll get Leopard and be ahead again. I help neighbors and such with computers and I can't tell you how many problems could be solved with a Mac. "I want to edit movies." If you had a Mac, you'd have all you need thanks to the amazing iLife. But they were on a PC so they had to buy a FireWire card, video editing software, DVD burning software, and none of it was as easy to use as the Mac software. I know people who can't find their files. They just don't get the filesystem organization (you've seen 'em: everything in My Documents). Spotlight would save them so many hassles. I've set them up with Google Desktop... but it's no the same. Spotlight is integrated into EVERYTHING. Even the standardized File dialogs.

    Then there is the Intel switch. Biggest complaint from people I've told about Macs in the past? "Then I have to buy all new software." This is people who run everything from just a handful to expensive things like Photoshop. Now with Intel, you can get a Mac and run those programs though Parallels or dual-booting. End up not liking the Mac (I doubt it), you can run Windows FULL TIME. You have very little to lose for what you stand to gain. If this was available when I was looking, I would have bought a Mac about a year earlier.

    Games could use a focus. Apple REALLY needs to advertise the OS. The latest ads were a good start, but I show people my Mac and even little things (the keyboard and screen responding to ambient light) wow them. Apple needs to get people to know about this stuff. Then there is stuff like Exposé that just blows their mind. They have seen NOTHING like it on the Windows side (as opposed to things like Spotlight that have rough equivalents).

    My biggest problem with Apple for the last 4 years or so (both as an observer and now as a user) has been their lack of advertising of OS X. They seem to be stuck with an almost word-of-mouth sales techniques. Maybe with recent moves (more stores, going into Best Buys and using Apple personnel to run the Mac section) will help.

    The Mac market is already exploding. Just wait to see what happens after WWDC. With the real power desktops out, I wonder how much their market share numbers will jump. What will Leopard do (especially if they advertise it). What will happen in Back-To-School season (between the MacBook and their recent free-iPod-with-Mac-purchase programs), and Christmas?

  • what an odd view (Score:3, Interesting)

    by saikou (211301) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:28PM (#15807861) Homepage
    In the article author writes mostly about "content creating customers" on Mac, which, true enough, can eat up as much CPU as available. Those users will easily buy new two dual-core CPU pro version of Mac -- they don't pay for it themselves, or write it off as business expense. Other users (Computer Klutz kind) don't care about speed and paying premium for Apple Pixie Dust, that gets sprinkled on top of new stuff. They swallowed transition from the "superior platform" to something that was boo-booed by them for years, because it got magic sauce of apple logo on it. They run old applications on old machine because it's "good enough" (and it's true, word processing on G3 is fast enough). And they won't upgrade until their old computer dies or they suddenly get a thousand bucks gift from Santa they can throw at new machine. Question is what is the ratio of klutzes to pros. All pros will upgrade to new platform when applications are there. Will all klutzes upgrade? I doubt it.
    Magical Torrent of Upgrades in this case is solely rests on new Intel platform's shoulders, that should invite "switchers" (I keep seeing ads for Mac with big "NOW RUNS WINDOWS!" stickers on top), which makes me think it won't be a "torrent", it will be a stream. And Vista and Mac OS X mean very little for this stream
  • by good soldier svejk (571730) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:42PM (#15807915)
    Along with the CPU came the PCI expansion bus, which replaced a wonderful, but proprietary, bus called NuBus that Apple had used for ages.
    Hint: It isn't a synonym for uncommon.

    NuBus is hardly proprietary. It is the IEEE 1196 standard originally developed at MIT. [wikipedia.org]
  • by Brento (26177) <brento.brentozar@com> on Saturday July 29, 2006 @07:59PM (#15807989) Homepage
    Hi, my name is Brent, and I've got a problem.

    Oh, wait, wrong meeting.

    I made the switch a couple of weeks ago, but the interesting thing I'm noticing is that the tech community, the network admins and programmers, are going to be the last ones to make the switch, and that's why it's going to catch us geeks off-guard.

    In my day job, I'm a SQL Server administrator. I rely on MS tools to get my job done, and I can't do my job on OSX - or at least, I couldn't until Parallels came along. Boot Camp is a nice idea, but since I have to have SQL Server Management Studio running all day, dual-booting would mean I'd have a shiny laptop running Windows. Big flippin' deal.

    Most of the guys around me said, "Why make the 'switch' when all you're doing is running Windows AND Mac OSX all the time? How can that possibly save you time or energy?" Well, it doesn't - it involves more work - but I'm having a great time doing it. As I write this, my keyboard is glowing. That's coolness.

    All of us network admins and infrastructure managers rely on more Windows-centric tools than we'd like, more stuff tying us down to Windows longer than our end users. The end users seem to use more generic applications like Office, and they're able to make the switch even faster than the supposedly high-tech guys.

    Normally, when a Big New Thing comes out, the geeks are the first one to make the jump. Apple's making it so easy to make the switch that the push is coming up from the end users. Attention, Windows network admins: there are probably people right now in your organization thinking about making their next computer an Apple. Be prepared when they start asking support questions like, "Which of our applications don't run on a Mac, and why?"
  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @08:21PM (#15808086)
    I work with Windows and Linux systems at work. When I come home, I do my computing on a Mac. I think Applie finally has a winning combo with OS X, an Intel-based platform that will also boot Windows, and peoples' change in computing habits. Some of the things Apple got right in OS X that they haven't done so well on in the past are going to help the transition. First, you've got the interoperability thing, which keeps getting better as versions of OS X increase. You have a powerful OS underneath a bulletproof wall of GUI eye candy. If you want the command prompt and unix-like functionality, it's there. Otherwise, you don't have to see it.

    One other thing Apple seems to be doing is reducing the importance of a structured filesystem. If you open iPhoto, you see a set of photos, not a list of filenames. Same with iTunes. Something that I think computer people forget is that "normals" don't care about computers. Business users want to do their jobs and leave. Home users want to fill their iPods, and send pictures of the kids to Grandma. Making it so users don't have to remember how to navigate through a folder structure or other "computer stuff" really makes it easier to use.

    I don't know what will make it into the final version of Vista, but I'm sure they're going to take a stab at this too. Now all Apple has to work on is convincing people that the Mac is worth the premium price they get for it. That seems to be the #1 argument I hear about why someone would choose a Windows box over a Mac.
  • by partenon (749418) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @08:24PM (#15808101) Homepage
    for most of the geeks :-) Before being bashed by FOSS gurus, let me show my example.

    I'm a Java and Ruby (on rails) programmer. I've dropped windows about 2 years ago, and used various flavors of linux in this meantime (debian, ubuntu, gentoo and ubuntu again). Less than one year ago I bought my first mac (mac mini).

    Java development in Windows is "standard", in linux is good and in Mac it is great. You have the same tools [myeclipseide.com] as Windows or Linux and, since java is "portable", all other tools (frameworks) works fine. The difference between Windows and Linux/Mac is that Windows restricts you *a lot*. Ex.: I put all my libs in just one place, and make sym links to them in the projects I need. In Windows, its not possible (afaik) (yes, a simple example, but try to keep the libs updated on a windows box...) . And the difference between Linux and Mac is performance. *Usually*, a Java application runs faster on Mac than on Linux, because the Java VM in Mac is done by Apple, meaning that its built by the ones who knows the OS. In Linux, as you certainly know, is a certain pain to install Java (you need to follow one or another howto to get things working), and the performance is *usually* worse than in a Mac, because the VM is done by Sun, which is concerned mainly in getting things working. Yes, they care about performance, but not that much :-) (just remember that IBM and BEA's VM's performs better than Sun's)

    When programming with Ruby, Mac is really awesome. Again, Windows looses here. In Windows, you have a set [sourceforge.net] of tools [radrails.org] (editors/IDE's) that also exists in other platforms, but its performance is poor (afaik). Also, some Ruby libs requires some sort of compilation (mysql, rmagick, ...), and it can become a pain to get things working. On Linux, things are far better than Windows. You have almost the same tools, but its far easier to get things working: just apt-get / emerge / whatever and you are ready to go. In a Mac, just "port install" what you need, just like linux. The difference between Mac and Linux is in the tools. The same ones + a fantastic editor (and cheap for some, expensive for others). Ok, its not that smart to left an inexpensive OS to go to an "expensive" one just because of an editor. But trust me, it worth.

    Besides these work-related details, you also get an OS that just works, with enough applications [versiontracker.com] to do what you usually do on a PC, a good terminal (I definitely cannot use the "cmd" anymore), a more than nice UI and so on... And for people who asks me "why use a mac", I just ask the same: "why use a Windows". There is no reason to use Windows. I can't find something that Windows does better than Mac (ok, I left an space here for some +5 Funny comments).

    But yes, there *are* reasons to use Linux instead of Mac. Specially if you want "all the freedom you can get", if you don't want to spend a penny in software or simply don't care about the UI.

    Of course, I talked about just the OS itself. The hardware *is* more expensive, specially here in Brazil (macs comes from US, which means they are taxed in *only* 100%). But if you think a bit better, it probably worth. In my case, I spend more than 10 hours/day looking at a computer, so, it certainly worth for me :-)

    And I'm sorry, this would be a single-line comment, but it simply grows :-(
  • by Tronster (25566) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @08:46PM (#15808210) Homepage
    I take stock in the article; I'm about to switch, yet many would peg me as an unlikely candidate.

    You see, I'm a contractor who specializes in Windows solutions. Microsoft technologies are my livelihood. Microsoft is all over my resume: MCAD certified, a member of BaltoMSDN, etc... I attended a few DevDays and even spent the money for a Universal MSDN subscription back in 2004. But tell me I'd be a PC guy 15 years ago, and I would have said you were crazy.

    Not until late 1991 did I change my plan of tossing out my Apple ][e for a Macintosh and instead went with a 386dx-40. Maybe it was the stack of VGA games, or Deluxe Paint Animation's power, but after seeing a 386 run... I knew it was where I wanted to geek out. And I think that for awhile it was the right choice. But no longer...

    Despite the programs and speed for my AMD64 it's still not as "cool" as the Mac's I use at my church every Sunday. I don't know how to quantify what this "cool" is, but I'm sure the fact the GUI paradigm is both simple & slick, and I can drop down into a Unix Shell feeds the geek in me. The fact Parallels exists for Mac is what has convinced the "IT consultant" within me (who needs Microsoft tools to pay the mortgage) that a not-too-painful transition path is possible.

    Last year I bought a mini-mac for my TV. I love that machine.
    After WWDC I plan to purchase a 17" Mac laptop pimped out with a lot of RAM and Parallels.

    Hopefully in two years I can be adding insightful posts about being a Mac Developer using XCode. ;)
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Saturday July 29, 2006 @11:06PM (#15808818)
    I'd buy a mac in a heartbeat. I would still have to use a windows PC though for some software i use.

    The truth is, Windows sucks. Its a peice of shit. Windows 32bit... should be dead. We should all be running 64bit windows, Not VISTA 32bit.

    Microsoft is going to continue the 32bit mistake, with vista.

    Microsoft has no balls when it comes to progress. They dont take risks. They worry about everyone running dos applications from 89. It's time they stop caring about 32bit, 16bit app support and cut the cord. Go all 64bit Vista, force the stupid hardware manufacturers to deliver 64bit drivers, and not 32bit drivers.

    I'm tired of Microsoft. I really am. There is no innovation. They take forever to release an operating system, and its never anything new. Vista will have a new ui... and will require me to buy a new pc... yay. I hope it offers more than that...

    Linux isnt ready...

    The MAC is.

    I've been saying this for a while, due to the success of IPOD... people have a perception of quality when it comes to Apple produc ts. They will pay more for it because they understand that it works better, and their IPOD was so dam cool.

    Apple has balls, they really do innovate... Microsoft will do just fine with Vista, but many people will go Mac. I'll join them someday as well. I can not stand Microsoft products. Just look at Their media player attempt. Its garbage. Its version 11 and they dont have a good media player. Sure its trying to copy Itunes (quite poorly) but its a horrible video player. It has terrible playback controls and functions. Its a toy. Media Player Classic beat it years ago, as did winamp, and quicktime (on the mac) quicktime pc sucks). The dam media player is version 11. Version 1-10 sucked... 10 dam versions... and now 11... ? IT still sucks.

    Microsoft does not make software will everyone in mind. They dont care what people need from their software... they design it, how they feel you should use it. Maybe thats why it takes them so long to code an os. They dont listen to the people yelling at the door... they ignore them and make whatever they want, and whatever the MPAA/RIAA want them to do. :)

    Its apparent that Jobs was always correct about Microsoft. They steal ideas after they're safe to do, and they always do it poorly.

    That is more true than ever, the evidence is 98, 98SE, Mill, 2000, XP, Vista, Media Player 11, IE etc. They are late to the party because they cant do it right... and it takes them forever to even get close.

    I've had enough of this crap.

    The fact that vista is 32bit is the last straw. Microsoft cant progress us into the future because they're a lame duck. They're holding back 64bit because the average user can get away with 32bit and 4gigs ram max, and a cripple ware os.

  • by ajv (4061) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @03:59AM (#15809953) Homepage
    At most conferences I go to, you can always rely on one or two others to have a DVI to SVGA cable handy if you forget it, but usually you're SOL if you need the latest version of Keynote. I feel superior at these conferences.

    Not at OSCON. At my two talks, I had about 90% Macs in the audience. The amount in the hallways was a bit higher. I bet in the unlikely case that my Mac died, I could have asked for a replacement laptop with the latest Keynote and got more than one offer in either talk. Obviously, I was not as l33t as normal, and this is unacceptable. Maybe a nice black MacBook Pro would be a good choice for fashion victims like me. Apple, you listening? 15" Aluminum Powerbooks are too plebian!

    Short story, though - In the highly desirable "O'Reilly geek" segment, Apple has won. Yay!

    Andrew
  • by constantnormal (512494) on Sunday July 30, 2006 @08:03AM (#15810540)
    ... history tells us over and over again that the masses would prefer to buy a broken dysfunctional Windows system, even knowing it to be so, over ANY clearly superior product, so long as they can get the Windows system cheaper.

    And think about the likelihood that Microsoft, if it were actually faced with sales defections, would not sell Vista below cost in order to retain market share -- and then consider your answer in the light of what they have done with the Xbox (and will do with Zune).

    Look back at the demise of OS/2, which had only a modest price premium over Windows 95 or Windows 3.1, and was snuffed into oblivion largely by the disdain of the consumer -- both public and corporate. While factors like Microsoft's forcing Windows to be the default install and squeezing the competition off the store shelves was a big factor, those things did not prevent users from purchasing a copy of OS/2 and installing it. The herd mentality was what killed OS/2.

    Same thing with the promise of Linux taking the corporate world by storm. Here we have a situation where companies could skip a hardware upgrade, saving millions just by that alone, and avoid forever the annual or biannual Windows refresh and site licensing fees, which is an even larger amount over the long haul -- and how many have done just that?

    For Macs to be successful in this devoutly desired "perfect storm" of sales, a large chunk of the herd will have to convert both hardware and software to something different and unfamiliar to them, forsaking the familiar comfort of viruses, worms and malware for clean simple straightforward apps that operate a bit differently.

    How many corporations are capable of changing to a Mac platform, even one that runs Windows via either Boot Camp or Parallels, when they have entire support organizations dedicated to the premise of a seamless Windows world as far as the eye can see?

    They will cheerfully pony up the ginormous amounts of cash to replace their entire hardware install bases in order to upgrade to Vista, based on the premise that they are "saving money" by not having to purchase 3rd-party anti-virus programs, or some other similarly vacuous concept. And John and Jane Publicus will merrily follow in kind with their home systems, because "that's what they run at work". The notion of needing only software that can read and write the same format documents is just beyond them.

    I say this as a long-time Mac owner, so I know whereof I speak. A "Perfect Storm" of Mac sales is a marketing fantasy, nothing more. Ripples in the sales picture between 3% and 6% (or 8% or 9%) are just that -- ripples in the sales picture. For Macs to re-gain a market share in the double digits would require a substantial fraction of the herd to break away, and for herd animals, that just doesn't happen. They get concerned and agitated at the thought of leaving the herd, and most that do will eventually return to it.

    Free will and rational thought are illusory concepts that have no place in human societies. Just take a look at the front pages (via pixels or atoms) of any major newspaper and ask if this is the logical, rational way in which the world seems to work.

    Beam me up Scotty -- there's no intelligent life on this world.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley

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