Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple

By SteveJack

Let’s face it, Windows-only users have no idea what they’re missing and most are not inclined to do a several hundred dollar “test” to see if they really like Mac OS X and the Mac platform. Imagine if they could feel “safe” in buying a Mac that can run their Windows that also happens to let them run Mac OS X. And we all know what happens once someone really gives Mac OS X a try—Windows quickly falls by the wayside.

That’s why these Intel-based Macs will help expand Mac market share, if average people can be made to understand that the machines can run both Windows and Mac operating systems natively. Remember, it’s a good bet most of these average people (we’re probably talking somewhere around 70-80% of personal computer consumers) don’t even know what an operating system is; they think Windows is a personal computer; you know, the ones who think the “blue e” is the “Internet.” For most people, Macs will become the “2 for the price of 1” computer. Even for the nearly illiterate personal computer buyers, with a little Apple-supplied education via marketing, it would make little sense to buy a limited Windows-only machine from the box assemblers like Dell, Gateway, etc. Give them their “Windows Insecurity Blanket” upfront and they’ll throw it away themselves after they realize how tattered and threadbare it is in comparison it to Apple’s Mac OS X.

The only question left would be: now how do we get them to boot into Mac OS X instead of Windows? The best answer for Apple would be to have the machines always boot up into Mac OS X and allow a “Virtual-PC-like” way to run Windows and Windows apps (but, natively, with no emulation speed hit, thanks to the Intel processor).

The old water cooler conversation:
– Hey, Bob, I just bought a new Mac!
– Gee, Jim, that was stupid, now you can’t run any of the programs we’ve got pirated from work!
– Hey, everybody, look at Jim, he’s a Machead cult member now, sucking down Kool-Aid, no software, no games, what a nut job…

The new water cooler conversation:
– Hey, Bob, I just bought a new Mac!
– Gee, Jim, that was very smart, you got two computers for the price of one. You can run all of our pirated Windows software, plus you have iLife and can surf the ‘Net without becoming infected in 8 minutes! I cant wait to ditch my Dell! Can I come over and try out your new Mac this weekend?

As for Mac OS X running on a generic PC like something assembled by Dell, it isn’t going to happen (very easily, at least). According to CNET, After Jobs’ presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. “That doesn’t preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will,” he said. “We won’t do anything to preclude that.” However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers’ hardware. “We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac,” he said.

One more thing… don’t overlook the enterprise ramifications. It may just get a whole lot easier to justify Apple Macs at work.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Twin Mac website debuts, dedicated to dual booting Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X and Windows – June 10, 2005
Cringley: Apple and Intel to merge; Steve Jobs finally beats Bill Gates – June 09, 2005
Fortune: Apple’s switch to Intel processors to accelerate Windows users switching to Mac OS X – June 09, 2005
Will developers stop writing Mac applications if Apple ‘Macintel’ computers can run Windows? – June 08, 2005
Why buy a Dell when Apple ‘Macintel’ computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005


  1. Wouldn’t you be opening your computer up to the same windows virues ?
    I have never used Window’s in my personal life, so I only use Excel and word @ Work.

  2. Is there any guarantee that Windows will run on the Macintel? If Apple is still doing its own mobo design and chipset, then Windows might not work and I doubt Microsoft is going to make it work.

  3. I hopeful that we’ll soon see quite a few very interesting and appealing promotional campaigns directed toward alerting the public about the dual-boot opportunities in the new Macs. Should neither Intel nor Apple ultimately pick up the ball on this, it would nonetheless seem likely that the software developers themselves would be anxious to heavily promote their own dual OS compatible versatility in this regard.

  4. The problem with a dual-boot system is, what incentive do developers have to write software for the Mac OS? It’s the OS/2 Warp scenario, and you gotta believe Apple is conscious of that.

  5. The problem with a dual-boot system is, what incentive do developers have to write software for the Mac OS? It’s the OS/2 Warp scenario, and you gotta believe Apple is conscious of that.

    This is what scares me the most. Windows[-only] developers are lazy enough to not offer their solutions for 2 different hardware platforms, so what will be different when the Mac is pretty much the same hardware platform as the PC and the operating system becomes the only differentiator. Maybe Apple and Intel are doing something special CPU-wise for the Macintels.

  6. The percentage of “Average” computer users who don’t know what an OS is probably more like 90 to 95%. I still get amazed when my college educated clients (and friends) think that when you swap out the monitor, you’re changing the computer or some just think that the monitor is the computer. I always chuckle to myself. But when I try and explain that the monitor is an output device, they give me this blank stare. By this time, I am dying on the inside. More people are ignorant to computers than you would think. Trust me, an iMac terrifies these “average” computer users.

  7. dank,

    apple is the one keeping dell from packaging OSX on their machines. apple owns OSX and macs-microsoft only owns windows and sell licenses to dell et al, so theoretically apple could bundle XP with their computers. apple makes computers and software, microsoft only makes software.

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