Apple’s Mac mini is an attractive option to Windows-based PCs

“The home and business PC soon may have to move over to accommodate an unwelcome guest: a new Macintosh. With its inexpensive, compact Mac mini, Apple aims to lure more users to the Mac platform and snare a bigger share of the home and office desktop–and maybe even space in the living room, bedroom, den or kitchen, industry observers say,” Russell Redman reports for Digital Connect. 

“Price, along with a relative dearth of Mac-compatible software vs. the Microsoft Windows platform, has historically hampered Apple’s computer market share. But the Mac mini starts at just $499, putting it squarely in the budget PC market and well within reach of users who previously didn’t want to fork over $1,000-plus for a Macintosh,” Redman reports. “The Mac mini’s price, portability, wireless networking capabilities and bundled iLife ’05 multimedia software make it an attractive option to Windows-based PCs for consumers.”

MacDailyNews Canard Alert: Dearth of software? There are over 18,000 software applications for Macintosh. Spend a week to learn each one and you’d be finished in just over 346 years. Check them out here.

Redman reports, “‘The base model of the Mac mini could make a fine second computer, possibly dedicated to music, movies and video, as its USB and FireWire ports enable storage, audio and video expansion,’ Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds said in a recent report. ‘Watch for the emergence of USB peripheral boxes that fully integrate the Mac [mini] into a home theater system, which will signal that the Mac mini has become a model for what a media PC could be,’ Reynolds added.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Mac mini would make a fine computer for 95% of the world (most people surf the ‘Net, type a letter, do their budget, send email; they’re not power users, they just want something that works) and the first thing anyone stuck with Windows should think about dedicating a Mac mini to do would be to use it to connect to the Internet for Web and email use. Have you used a consumer’s Windows machine on the ‘Net lately? Littered with malware, prone to viruses and worms; it’s a joke. Today they add a Mac, in a bit of time, they realize they haven’t booted up their Windows machine for weeks.


  1. To the ‘dearth’ comment, I just think: rhetoric

    there’s no motivation for this guy to even check his facts.. he was nice to put the word ‘relative’ in there…

    I wonder how many programs the average PC user buys.. probably around 19,000, right? The Mac selection at Best Buy may look scary, yes.. but the titles are out there..

    Shame this guy’s not willing to do homework..

    Wait a minute.. what if Macs do have the software, and the security and the looks and the price point?

    Well the 4% marketshare looks weird doesn’t it.

    The writer can either

    a)insult his readers by pointing out ignorance
    b)insult capitalism by pointing out a market failure
    c)insult the mac platform by spreading lies to protect the first two options.

    c looks to be the chosen path..

    man mac users are over sensitive.. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Another thing that impressed me since I bought my Dual 2.0 G5 is that it searches my old PC (which has three internal drives) that’s networked just as quickly and effectively as it does it’s own harddrive. Maybe Apple should release Spotlight for Windows!!!!
    On second thought, lets not try to polish a turd… Windows will never have the quality and function of an Apple OS.

  3. Come on guys, you and I all know that there are thousands of great programs made for the mac.

    But lets not be foolish. There are still many more programs made for windows (not all are great, however) for example, the music composing software TabIT, and lets not forget hundreds of games….

    Still, the apple platform is much better, and in time the numbers will be switched.

  4. “On second thought, lets not try to polish a turd… Windows will never have the quality and function of an Apple OS.”

    No, it won’t, but if Apple would do as you suggest, I think the net effect would be to cause many buyers of that software to think about buying a Mac next time.

    A good impression is a good impression, and it usually has good effects that are not always immediately evident.

  5. Overall a very positive article for the mini. He is technically correct that there is more software available for windows tho so I wouldn’t take him too hard to task for that comment. As long as Users know that there is a Mac app. to do pretty much anything they want to do we will be OK. I wish Apple would advertise this fact.

  6. Apple is in a very unusual spot right now. I say unusual because there aren’t many companies around that don’t ‘have to’ advertise their products.
    Take a look at the current trend in the media…
    “Mac has finally made an affordable version of their user friendly, safe, stable OS for the masses”
    “Microsoft: Company battles the law, OS battles more virus’ “
    Apple is getting billions of dollars worth of free advertising in the ‘pudding’. That is where the proof is and people have started to take major note of that in just the month since the mini was announced.
    Even this writer said “historically” as to state that things are not as they were.
    Hopefully, Apple will do some advertising but I think that even if they don’t create a huge campaign out of this, the money will be well spent on future offerings.

  7. I’ve been a happy Mac user for 3 years now–I’d never go back to Windows as my main machine–but there is a kernel of truth in the regarding the “relative dearth” of software titles on the platform.

    Much of my job entails processing documents, and there simply isn’t a good OCR program on OS X. I own OmniPage X, Acrobat Professional (Page Capture feature) and ReadIris, and have tried other offerings from ABBYY (FineReader in OS 9) and other vendor & versions. In contrast, I can think of 5 Windows-based OCR programs off the top of my head that do the job faster, offer better options, and do the work more accurately than any of the Mac-based programs I’ve tried or own.
    Nobody seems to update their Mac-version OCR programs.

    Granted, my OCR needs are significantly greater than most users, but there is significant lack of options in the Mac community. The OCR “market” is likely just one subset of various programs/applications that give would-be switchers pause. That is one of the drawbacks of being in the 4-10% minority (the numbers on market share, and, more importantly, installed user base, vary considerably).

    Hopefully the Mac Mini will change things by making it more appealing to software developers to write cutting-edge Mac software to match the fantastic OS and aesthetically pleasing yet functionality of Apple’s computers. Alas, only time will tell…

  8. “There are still many more programs made for windows […] for example, the music composing software TabIT […]”

    Yup. You’re right. TabIT is not available for Macintosh.

    However, you might check out Harmony Assistant or Encore.

    As I’ve said before, most people do the “It doesn’t have so I can’t use it.” For example, a few years ago, the Mac couldn’t be used in small businesses because Macs couldn’t do accounting because there was no Mac version of QuickBooks. Forget MYOB/AccountEdge and all the other Mac accounting software–no QuickBooks? Can’t use it for accounting.

    The place where the Mac performs poorly–other than Games–is software that talks to external hardware. For example, my Mom has a fancy sewing machine that let’s her download patterns. Of course, the software to do this is Windows only. Another example, I wanted to get some software to check out some things about my car. The only one I could find is VAG-COM. Unfortunately, no Mac version and no plans for one.

  9. A Mac mini as a second machine lets the user search the web for solutions when their Wintel box is down ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    More gewnerally, a diversified home network is always a good idea… even if it were Wintel and Linux, OS 9 and OS X, XP and DOS, whatever.

  10. I was surprise MDN hadnt linked to THE MOST moronic “article” (if you can call it that) on the mac mini to date.

    Let us all please give him the proper welcome to the world have online mac-bashing. I already sent him my e-mail response and told him to learn how to do research. He actually confused the mini and the iPod shuffle, LOL. There is a link at the bottom of the article.

  11. There are fewer Mac OS X programs (Games excluded, we loose big time there) but the good Mac programs that use the OS X GUI all work the same way. Learn one, you know them all.

    Lousy Windows ports are not good Mac programs.

  12. Pete:

    OCR is Optical Character Recognition. OCR “reads” a scanned document and converts it into text a program like a word processor can use.

    What RM’s example highlights is problems with industry or task specific software.

    The only way to get around this is for software developers to work on making cross platform versions of their products – with really strong feature parity across platforms. This is a big challenge.

    For example. I’m working on a scheduling product called QView for the transportation industry. I made the choice to write this product using RealBasic because it’s a fine product AND it compiles cross-platform.

    Recently I’ve been working on adding image scanning, MySQL database support for workgroups, and adding an order management module. Scanning is proving to be much more of a challenge on OS X than it is in Windows. This is because many scanners for the Mac don’t support the Image Capture Architecture, but instead use their own proprietary driver/software. Why?

    The problem is kind of an ugly cycle:

    A. Hardware and software manufacturers don’t take the Mac seriously as a business platform.
    B. Business look for industry specific software for the Mac.
    C. The business decides it has to by Wintel.
    D. Sales figures show most businesses purchase Wintel
    E. GoTo A

    Again. I think it really comes down to small-to-mid-sized software developers. They have to make enough noise and enough products to force large hardware and software companies to take the Mac seriously as a business platform.

    This is what I and many others are working hard to do.

    Anthony Dellos
    Inforge Systems, LLC
    Milwaukee WI

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