Apple’s 17-inch PowerBook G4’s ‘main problem is that nearly everyone else uses PCs’

“There’s no doubt that Apple’s latest notebook computer is a joy to look at. The enormous 17in widescreen means you can watch films on it at a size approaching that of a television, and the brushed aluminium finish is undeniably stylish,” Anthony Dhanendran writes for Computeractive.

“The main problem, of course, is one that’s long affected Apple computers: nearly everyone else uses PCs. This isn’t as big an issue as it used to be, however, as there are Mac versions of most PC software, including Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer,” Dhanendran writes “On the flipside, Macs are renowned for their ease of use, and the latest version of the operating system, OS X, is easier than ever. If Windows XP was a step forward, OS X represents a leap into the future – wireless networking using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is a piece of cake, as are most tasks.”

Dhanendran writes, “It can take a while to get used to how the Mac does things, though… The 17in PowerBook is a notebook computer that will be of maximum use to only a few people, but it is quite stunning to look at and a joy to use.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wouldn’t Dhanendran and his ilk be amazed to find out that we don’t don’t even use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Office on our PowerBooks and, in fact, run our Macs 100% Microsoft-free? This article neatly encapsulates one of Apple’s biggest hurdles to increasing Mac market share: Windows-centric users who simply cannot imagine a Microsoft-free existence and how wonderful it can be, who seem able recognize superior Apple hardware and even the superiority of Apple”s Mac OS X operating system, but who lack the ability to envision themselves working productively without the likes of Microsoft’s Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer. For our Windows-only friends who are willing to accept that there might be a better way, information about smoothly adding a Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal can be found here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software – May 16, 2003
I really wonder what some Windows users think about Macintosh – November 04, 2002


  1. Too true MDN!

    I for one don’t use ANY Microsoft software at all now – not since safari cam out.

    My company is in the last stages of not using any microsoft products too.

    The only virus that is on most macs is microsoft office – and that virus’s day’s are numbered!

    Come on APPLE- BRING OUT A MICROSOFT OFFICE KILLER!! and sod Microsoft!

  2. There’s a difference between being M$-free and being able to share files with PC users. Everyone in the PC world DOES use MS Office. As long as you can exchange files with them, then it’s all good. Otherwise, you’re limiting your capacity of productivity with Windows users.

    Now, having said that, you are able to do those things because there are Mac copies of Office, Photoshop, Flash, etc. Where the problem comes in is dealing with such engrained business apps as Visio and Project, as well as larger enterprise problems like working in Citrix servers.

    Apple is doing great things to change the enterprise part. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  3. Microsoft free is fine for people who work work in a professional setting where most of their co-workers use PCs. Then Microsoft-free is stupid.

    I had dinner with a Microsoft executive from the XBox division a couple weeks ago, and when I told him “I use the best version of Microsoft Office,” he said, “You use a Mac?” And then went on to say that most people at Microsoft think the Mac version is the best version. He even went on to descript Outlook as the ugly stepchild of Office.

    With Microsofties like that, who needs to be Microsoft-free? IE-free yes, Microsoft-free? No way, Entourage is a pain until they fix some major bugs, but the rest of Office is awesome. Why be an idealogue and deny myself great software just to make a stupid point?

  4. I do not use Excel, that would be the main reason to have Office. Keynote beats PowerPoint, and Word is bloated. For writing papers is not truly necessary.

    In our institution you may distribute ppt files but only if a PDF is added as well.

    Same for .doc files. Not allowed if not with the PDF as well. Needless to say after a while less and less .ppt and .doc files do circulate. People use whatever they like but distribute only PDFs.

  5. it’ll be a little more difficult to bring out an office suite than it was to bring out safari…

    open office is nice, but it runs in java, which means that it *is* the ugly stepchild of all office suites.

    i say they should make AppleWorks actually *work* better with MS Office. And change the name for crying out loud, it is far too reminiscent of the dreaded MS Works…

    that being said, I bet Apple has something planned. it’s difficult to even find AppleWorks in the Apple store… they’ve got to be pushing it to the back for some reason…

  6. I agree with Muddy Waters that having Office is fine. I don’t agree with some that think just because something says “Microsoft” on it, that makes it crap. I do agree that any version of the Windows OS and the Internet Explorer browser are so full of holes and bugs that I’d never run either of them on any computer I ever own. But the 2004 version of Office for the Mac is rather strong and unless or until someone comes along with something better, I’ll stick with it. Same goes for most Microsoft hardware, I have a wireless Intellimouse Explorer and it works great with my Mac and I much prefer it to any of Apple’s one button mice.

  7. And more and more I see people not shy and send back .ppt and .doc files if ever received with internal email. The refrain is invariably the same: “If you want me to read and comment, send it in a portable format.”

    Fact is that – because of the multinational environment – it is seen as not professional to send around those formats that force everyone to have costly applications installed. Not all institutions do pay MS with site-wide licenses, hence, PowerPoint and Word are slowly becoming neglected.

  8. RL: for as long as you distribute PDFs you would do fine here. But you would receive email of complains if insist in distribute .ppt and .doc files.

    After a while it does not matter much whether you have Office installed or not.

  9. Oh No. I have this nasty feeling that people are going to start touting Appleworks as a viable alternative again. Or even TextEdit.

    What are M$ people using instead of Excel ? I don’t really bother with spreadsheets at home, though they’d come in handy sometimes. I’ve not actually looked into what alternative spreadsheets are out there.

    I have Appleworks, but let’s face facts. It’s ugly. It also somehow has this weird ability to mess up the kerning so that WP docs look and print really badly. The SS part it simply appalling. One of the worst apps I’ve ever used.

    Given the following choices:

    a) Excel on a PC running windows
    b) Appleworks SS on OS-X.

    I’d actually choose a). Though in reality, I have this choice:

    a) Appleworks SS on OS-X
    b) Calculator and Omnigraffle.

    So I choose b.

    Is Appleworks, every time I print a spreadsheet, I get the column/row headings. I don’t think I EVER want them, but it’s burined in the print options to turn the damn things off. AAArrrggh!

    I don’t have Office because I dont’ really need it. But if I did need something more than a spot of single page layout with Omnigraffle with the odd column added up, I’d have to find something other than Appleworks.

    Appleworks is the ugly stepchild of the Mac.

  10. I’m proud to say I’m an owner of a Powerbook 17″ and it’s great. My so-called Windows friends oooh and ahhhh over this. Always. Now, I’m happy to say, I’m totally Microsoft free on this machine. No MSIE, No Office. It’s easy.

  11. I would ditch MS Office in second, no make 0.1 second… but not until I have a replacement for Endnote – it’s a total must for those of us writing scientific papers, it provides relatively seamless access to DB on line resources (entrez, pubmed) with MS Word
    So, Apple Office killa must also kill Endnote by providing an even better replacement that would be able to import Endnote libraries.

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