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Mass Microsoft Defections to Apple Possible 722

An anonymous reader writes to mention a MacWorld article covering research by the Forrester group. Their report shows that mass dissatisfaction with Microsoft and its products could lead to defections from the company. From the article: "Over all, only Apple and Tivo saw their brand trust rise in the last two years, according to the report. The final tally saw Bose, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic and Sony earn the highest marks, while Microsoft, Gateway and LG ranked lowest. The low scores for Microsoft could mean good news for Apple as consumers showed their distrust of the Redmond-based software-giant."
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Mass Microsoft Defections to Apple Possible

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  • High marks for Sony (Score:2, Interesting)

    by patternmatch ( 951637 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @01:24PM (#15130712)
    The final tally saw Bose, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic and Sony earn the highest marks...

    ...unfortunately indicating that outrage over the Sony rootkit [wikipedia.org] was a tempest in a teacup.

  • by ShyGuy91284 ( 701108 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @01:31PM (#15130802)
    Computer specialists and hard core Linux users and stuff may have a distrust towards Microsoft, but I think the general public probably could give a rats ass, and probably trust MS as much as any other company. iPod sales are more likely to cause conversion due to interest then distrust of the alternative. And most people that use a computer for email/web and don't really like to fixate on it would probably prefer to follow the "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" philosophy, which will lead them to using Windows systems for a very long time. I'm a big Mac user, but from most people I've talked to that use a computer as a tool for communication and that's all dislike OS X, because it's too different.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @01:33PM (#15130821) Homepage
    Dell, HP, Panasonic, and Sony all make crappy PC's compared to an Apple product. Apple is super stable and hold their resale value in ways that even a gold plated Alineware laptop can only dream of.

    Tell me where you can sell your 2 year old PC for nearly 60% of it's value and easily get it sold. Apple's usually get that premium.

    I know of many people switching from Windows to MAC for video editing and graphics simply because the software on the windows side is utter garbage compared to the apple offering, and the regular consumer is starting to see that.

    When you get high end hardware with high end software and couple it with a system that you do not haveto hire a company every 2 months to clean it out you get the general public looking at it very closely. The mac-Mini entices them further as it's cheap and will use their monitor. (Actually a Dual G5 tower will use their PC monitors, just the FUD surrounding the apple products leads them to think otherwise.)

    Also faced with dropping $300.00 for Vista and the requirement to double ram, speed,etc... people will really look at apple closer as their current system ages.

    Other than games or wierd business apps from the vertical market, there is no real reason to not switch to a more stable, secure and user friendly platform like OSX.

    anyone that lived in the windows world for their computing life will be up to speed on OSX within 48 hours.... I know, I did that switch.

  • by benbritten ( 72301 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @01:39PM (#15130886) Homepage
    Here is some karma suicide for yah:

    I agree, MacWorld is a glass always full kinda publication. And as an avowed mac freak, i for one do NOT want there to be a mass exodus of sheeple to the mac platform. One thing that keeps mac great is that in order to survive in the mac market, your software has to be pretty damn good and it has to just work. I do not look forward to our new Apple overlords. Being the little guy means more innovation, new interesting technology. As soon as Apple becomes the new M$ then it becomes all about keeping the cash cow alive at all costs. So, please, all you windows apologists! get crackin! We dont want your market share!

  • Don't be fooled (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iXiXi ( 659985 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @01:40PM (#15130895)
    Don't be fooled by current trends or market statistics. Remember, Japan claimed they wanted to get into the auto business many decades ago. We laughed at them. What has been the popular choice for the last 20 years may or may not sustain. Taking gradual small percentages of market share over the 5-10 years will be the sneaking dagger. Apple is making distinct changes in how they are positioning themselves. Microsoft is just patching and repatching the same old monolithic liabilities. I mean who needs 6 different versions of the same crap? You can take fecal matter, shape it into bunny shapes, squirrels, etc. but at the end of the day it is still fecal matter. Look at the latest rewrite decision. I would bet that the personal home computer in it's current config will be a dinosaur prior to MS tanking though.
  • Re:Defect my butt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Da_Biz ( 267075 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @01:58PM (#15131065)
    Actually, in terms of your comment, I believe the article would be referring to "mass defecations", something MS has also been doing to customers.

    Seriously--having spent several years as a Windows sysadmin prior to becoming a IT apps/systems analyst, I thought that it was nebulous for a medium-sized company to need to pay $60-80K just to get access to NDA KnowledgeBase articles.

    I'm sure some of you remember the great fun had with needing to keep comments off the Windows for Workgroups workstation name configuration because the Master Browser record was getting too big, and you couldn't see all the machines in your workgroup. We only got access to specific details on that because we had an MS Premier Support account.

    Thanks for the mammaries, MS, you big teat. Sheesh.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14, 2006 @02:06PM (#15131161)
    From what I've seen and heard, the OS X kernel is a complete mess, and Apple is considering a rewrite since they are having trouble making it meet their performance (particularly with respect to threading) and stability goals. On the other hand, the Windows kernel is supposed to be quite a clean, although with parts here and there that are excessively messy.

    For userland, the situation is probably the other way around; Cocoa at least is probably much cleaner than Win32. Which may explain a lot of the reason why Microsoft is pushing .NET--it allows future development to be done on the much cleaner .NET code, with Win32 being put in maintenance mode.
  • Re:Trust report? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @02:13PM (#15131235) Homepage
    Sony? Highest level of trust?

    I buy their TVs and they are great. I wouldn't go with any other. I don't buy their proprietary crap, but they make excellent televisions.
  • by TheLastUser ( 550621 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @02:35PM (#15131459)
    Luxury items oftem cost more. Why are people assumed to be idiots if they don't buy the low bid computer?

    The appearance of the MacBook versus the Dell, is, alone, enough of a reason for me to spend more. Not that I do, I happen to own an old Toshiba 7200. My point is that some people buy Porsche, some buy Ford. To say that the Porsche is over priced because they both have the same horsepower is to miss the point entirely.
  • by Daniel_Staal ( 609844 ) <DStaal@usa.net> on Friday April 14, 2006 @02:42PM (#15131535)
    I'd really love to see Apple with, oh, 25% of the market. Enough that people really take them seriously, but not enough to be in charge.

    Apple is innovative and amazing, and makes some of the best personal computers and software on the market. And the moment they started to get control of that market they'd be worse than Microsoft. (Who occasionally has to listen to people outside their company: the PC manufacturers for instance.)
  • Re:No news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zebra_X ( 13249 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @02:51PM (#15131612)
    I'm sorry, who exactly is putting a gun to the head of Mac owners and forcing them to upgrade their OS? Every non-techie Mac owner I know continues to happily use the OS that came with their computer, just like the non-techie Windows users do. Upgrade cost: $0.

    How many people do you know that are still running Puma? Ummm, yeah, thought so. If you've bought another computer between now and 2001, the OS has been paid for as part of the cost of the machine.

    Let me get this straight. You're trying to turn the fact that Microsoft has been too inept to get a successor OS to XP out in the last five years into a plus???

    No, I'm making the point that Apple has far more to lose revenue wise than Microsoft. I'm also making the point that this is by implication "No News" - it's not really a big deal for MS.

    Yeah, Apple really needs to come out with some entry level hardware to entice switchers. Maybe a small form factor machine based on those Intel Core Solo and Duo CPUs I've been hearing so much about. They could sell it for $600 or so and call it the "Mac mini" or something.

    $600 bones - two hundred more than a Dell, with a free monitor and printer. The value prop of the mini just isn't there. Making the next step up to the iMac is going to cost them another grand. Finally, the people who *want* to buy don't have a ton of cash, and have kids (think tight budget). Keep in mind that iTunes works just as well on a PC as it does a Mac.

    The mini makes a good "kitchen pc" for rich mac users.

    The iPod has been such a great success because almost anyone can come up with ~ 300 bones to buy something that looks cool. The OS switch is much more complex, especially for most end users. The bottom line is that the people who want the high end apple products don't have the money to pay for them.
  • Re:Trying a Mac (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Poeir ( 637508 ) <poeir...geo@@@yahoo...com> on Friday April 14, 2006 @03:04PM (#15131727) Journal
    Windows Vista and Mac OS X appear to be very similar, at least if this video [google.com] is any indication. The audio is from a preview of Windows Vista, while the video is a live Macintosh desktop.
  • by TobyRush ( 957946 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @03:08PM (#15131773) Homepage

    I just bought a Dell and a MacBook Pro within a week of each other. Both have 100 GB hard drives, 2 GHz core duo CPU's, wireless, 15+" widescreens, etc. The Dell has 2 GB ram. The MacBook Pro has 1 GB, but it does have a camera (iSight) that the Dell does not, so we can consider that a wash I suppose.

    The Dell was $1,400.

    The MacBook Pro was $2,500.

    Now, could you give both of those to Joe Consumer for 3-4 years and get back to us with the total again, including support, upgrade and repair costs?


  • Riiiight. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tgibbs ( 83782 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @03:13PM (#15131821)
    If Apple is going to capitalize on the distrust people have for Microsoft, they need to get OS X 10.4 running on any Wintel box and they need to do it now, and have it for sale on shelves before the eye-candy smoke-and-mirrors that is Vista can be shoved out the door by Microsoft.

    I am amazed that anybody could seriously believe that Apple could profit by going head-to-head with Microsoft for its core business. Microsoft has previously shown a willingness to cut prices radically when necessary to protect its near-monopoly. So you have Apple taking on enormously increased support costs, while getting into a price war with a much wealthier competitor? And you think this will benefit Apple?

    On the other hand, Apple has had a much better reputation than MS with consumers for a long time, and it hasn't helped them build market share. However, the Forrester report predated the ability to dual boot Windows on new Macs. I'm surprised at the number of Windows owners I'm now seeing talking about buying Macs. It seems that the major obstacle for many people switching to the Apple was the fear of getting locked into OS X and then finding that something they needed was only available for Windows. That concern has now vanished. It will be interesting to see whether that frees up all of this pent-up Apple envy and translates into big sales for Apple.

  • by hunterkll ( 949515 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @03:49PM (#15132141) Homepage
    Blows the doors off of?

    My little $1,000 iBook seems to handle Final Cut Pro 5 / video editing in it fine ..

    I'm sure the HP can too, but where's the nice software?

    Where's the build qualitiy?

    How's the warranty?

    What's the battery life?

    How much does it weigh?

    When I bought my iBook, these were the features that mattered to me...

    My ibook has taken several 5 foot + drops

    The dell I had did that once ... it's why i got the iBook :)
  • by jonfelder ( 669529 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @04:01PM (#15132229)
    The key words in the parent's post are "run all software". People are going to be upset when they realize they can't use their purchased software and can't use any of the software (like say games) that is available in their software store.

    There simply are not viable linux choices for all the commercially available software that people buy out there.

    It's not just that either. For example, most linux distro's do not ship with the ability to play dvds since there no licensed dvd player for linux. Try it. Install a full copy of suse or redhat for a novice user and tell them to get dvd support working. See if they succeed. In the unlikely event that they do, see if they feel using Linux was worth the hassle.

    Essentially if there's something you cannot do after performing a full install of a given distro, it will not be easy for a novice user to figure out. Unfortunately in a closed source world these things are many.
  • by macslut ( 724441 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @04:06PM (#15132273)
    I just started a new job and got a brand new MacBook Pro. I have it running Windows XP just fine. I forgot how much better virgin Windows was than installs you get from Dell, HP, etc... I also have Parallels running ok. There are still a few issues with that beta, but it's developing very rapidly and is already useful in many ways. Since starting a few weeks ago, our office is switching over pretty much daily with a new MacBook Pro. It's pretty cool to have happen...especially when we want to do video conferencing. Boot Camp is definitely a strong selling point. It's allowing us to run a few pieces of software that are Windows only, or that we don't want to cross-grade. Plus it's a safety net of allowing people to run Windows if they find they don't take to OS X, though so far everyone has.
  • by grouchofan ( 921134 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @05:10PM (#15132701) Homepage

    Sure, mass numbers of Windows users MIGHT defect to the Macintosh and OS X. They might also just defect to Linux, which runs on the hardware they already have. That seems more likely to me. Realistically, though, Windows users aren't about to move to the Mac in any great numbers. There are lots of reasons.

    Already here in the comments, Mac users have boasted about Macs giving you more for the money. Shortly after the MacBook Pro was announced, I published this article [mikesalsbury.com] showing that the Apple laptop offered little or nothing over a comparable Dell, HP, or Acer laptop. Then a bit later on, I wrote another [mikesalsbury.com]. Again, Apple has little to offer. I'm not the only one [mikesalsbury.com] who thinks so.

    As for resale value, it's no surprise that a Mac retains more of its value. Faced with paying $2,500 for a new Macintosh with marginal speed improvements over the previous generation unit decked out for $1,800 I would imagine many users on tight budgets would opt for the older unit. Or they might look at a brand new Dell machine running Windows for $600-1000. As noted by other writers here, if Apple had to compete with some other brand on equivalent Mac hardware, their resale prices would change accordingly.

    Performance is important to many computer users, especially most Windows users I know. This is one thing that will keep the masses from moving to the Macintosh. OS X can't outperform Linux [mikesalsbury.com] on the same hardware, doing the same tasks with the same software. OS X can't outperform Windows [mikesalsbury.com] on the same or comparable hardware. OS X has lots of little hidden performance problems [mikesalsbury.com] just waiting to be found.

    Consistency is also important to many computer users. It's not uncommon for a major Service Pack for Windows to break something, but it rarely breaks anything major. It is, however, extremely common for even minor updates to Apple technology to break things. Just this week I found that the OS X 10.4.6 update broke a script we've used at login to set up home directories for network authenticated users. The same update on Intel-based iMacs broke the same script in a different way. I spent hours troubleshooting that, all for a minor update of dubious value. It took a slight change to how I installed the script and one command change to one line of the script, but finding those needed changes wasn't easy. This isn't the first time OS X has done this to me in the past year. Windows hasn't done this to me since Service Pack 2, and a quick update to the affected software fixed the only compatibility problem I had in seconds... not hours.

    Gaming is important to many computer users. Most new commercial games are released on Windows first, and later (if ever) to the Macintosh. Now that Apple has offered "Boot Camp" as an option, it has been suggested that Mac-specific gaming might be dead [raphkoster.com] soon. Why create a Mac-compatible game when you can release just a Windows version and tell Mac users to run that on their Intel-based Mac? Sure, you'll always have little Mac boutique companies putting out Mac-only or Mac-first games, but the Electronic Arts' of the world likely drop any Mac support quickly.

    Build quality is also important. Where I work, we get hundreds of new Dells in per year and a handful of new Macs. In 2005, we got in 6 Macs. 3 of them were dead out of the box. 1 had to be taken completely apart and replaced piece by piece for the tech to figure out that the power cable had been crushed into the motherboard at the factory, shorting out the system and preventing it from booting. In about 400 Dell systems (desktops and laptops) we received

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14, 2006 @05:39PM (#15132865)
    Build quality? You wanna talk about iBooks and build quality??

    Let me tell you about my iBook and a little thing known as the logic board problem [apple.com]. This was a design flaw that Apple refuses to correct. Oh sure, they have the replacement program, but they're just using defective boards that haven't shown the problem yet! They didn't actually correct the flaw, they just give you a different board and cross their fingers that it doesn't show the problem. Only, it will. It's just a matter of time.

    I'm on my third logic board now. It just failed recently, but I'm now outside the 3-year window for the replacement program. Mind you, this is due to a design flaw, not normal wear and tear. I could pay for a new board, but there's no guarantee that it'd work for any length of time. What is guaranteed is that they'll give me another defective board with the same flawed design, only one that hasn't failed. Yet. What a bunch of bullshit, and way to treat your customers! Just keep sending them back with stuff that'll fail eventually, until they pass some arbitrary cutoff date and are totally screwed.

    By the way, this rant wasn't really about build quality (strict adherence to the design in the manufacturing process), but it's all the same anyway. Apple has little if anything to do with build quality that's outside of the design. Manufacturing contracted to outfits like Asustek, which make a whole shitload of other companies' laptops too. Same manufacturing quality, I'd guess, even though they're different designs. So, if you're talking about build quality with Apple, it's best to limit the scope of your discussion to what Apple themselves do: design.

    And who can say Apple makes a quality design, considering the iBook debacle? Please.

    You know what pisses me off the most? I love OS X, I love my other Mac, but I need to replace this dead iBook. Most likely, Apple will get my hard earned cash for a new Intel iBook soon, precisely because they made a product that sucks and failed! I wasn't planning on replacing it for a few more years (without that design flaw, it would have lasted, no doubt), but now they get rewarded for making a substandard product. That isn't how capitalism is supposed to work! Fuckers.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.