Is Apple setting up the ultimate “Switcher” campaign by preparing to let Mac OS X speak for itself?

“Though the transition [to Intel processors in Macs] is likely to be rocky at first for Apple, programmers and customers, the move could lead to Macs that are both more competitive and more compatible with Windows. It could even open the Mac to software titles now available only to Windows users,” Greg Sandoval and Matthew Fordahl report for The Associated Press.

“At the same time, Apple would retain as much control as it wants over its software and brand… Intel has been touting a hardware-based security plan called LaGrande Technology as a way to keep systems secure by locking data with a key that’s embedded in a hardware chip. But LaGrande also could be used to ensure that certain software only runs on permitted machines, such as Mac OS X only running on systems built by Apple,” Sandoval and Matthew Fordahl report.

“But there’s a much bigger opportunity for Apple beyond faster, more efficient chips. Though it will prevent Mac OS X from leaking non-Apple PCs, it could allow Apple systems to run Windows – and its universe of programs – at full speed. Currently, running Windows programs on Macs requires emulators that slow down performance,” Sandoval and Matthew Fordahl report. “‘It seems to me that Jobs is putting himself in the sights of Bill Gates,’ said Don Yachtman, a Salt Lake City-based software developer. ‘Microsoft may act like they don’t care about Apple’s move to Intel but you never know until they launch an attack.’ But Microsoft isn’t likely to complain. After all, Apple or its customers would still have to buy a copy of Windows.”

Full article here.

In a related article, Thomas Claburn reports for InformationWeek, “David Moody, VP of worldwide Macintosh product marketing at Apple, says emphatically that this does not mean that anyone with an Intel-based PC will be able to install the Mac OS X. However, he notes that while Apple will not sell or support other operating systems with next year’s Intel-based Macs, the company has no plans to prevent users from concurrently installing a second operating system like Windows XP. The possibility of running Mac OS X and Windows on the same Intel box may make Apple hardware more appealing to enterprise customers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Mac users won’t be the ones buying many copies of Windows if this comes to pass. We already know which OS we prefer. It’ll be Windows users who like the idea of getting two machines for the price of one that will be buying that copy of Windows to run along with the included Mac OS X on their new Intel-based Macs. The question for which Microsoft might not like the answer is: how many of these initial dual users will decide Mac OS X does everything they need better and forego future versions of Windows altogether? Is Apple setting up the ultimate “Switcher” campaign by preparing to let Mac OS X speak for itself?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005
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

76 Comments

  1. Apple isn’t going to cross-promote Windows.

    The Apple brand is still going to cost more out of the gate. People are going to have to WANT OSX, or they’ll just go with one of the other clone makers.

    God I hate the sound of that, but Apple is a now clone maker. Yuck.

    When Apple completely accommodates Windows and/or easily allows Windows to be selected as a startup, Apple will have thrown in the towel.

    Of course, some may well perceive the towel already lying on the floor in the corner…

  2. It appears that MacDailyNews is perpetuating this “Windows on Mac” frenzy, and should be more responsible.

    Here’s some Apple-approved news, linked straight from the Apple Hot News page:

    Will users be able to install and run Microsoft Windows on the new Intel-based Macs?

    Apple’s official position is that it won’t block the use of Windows on its new machines. Unofficially, however, the company says people won’t be able to just buy a copy of Windows XP and install it on an Intel-based Mac. That’s because Apple is unlikely to build in all the standard under-the-hood hardware pieces that Windows is designed to mate with. And it won’t supply any special software called “drivers” to help Windows use the unique under-the-hood hardware Apple will use.

    However, I expect some third-party company to supply the missing drivers and otherwise make it possible to run Windows on an Intel-based Mac. Microsoft itself might even do this. That would allow Mac users to run Windows programs that lack Mac equivalents at speeds comparable to a Windows computer’s.

    Read the entire article here: http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20050609.html

    If you’ve got the know-how to make Windows run on a Mac with Intel, then more power to you. But this notion of Macs running Windows that’s spreading through these Mac sites by contributors who are not Apple engineers or Apple marketing reps confuses the entire “Mac switches to Intel” situation. From reading many of the posts since Apple’s announcement, newbies and non-Mac users interested in what’s happening are all wetting their pants that they can run Windows on their new Macs in 2006.

    And as these rumor sites go, word on the streets will soon enough be that Apple makes Windows machines now, and that OS X is Windows for Mac, etc.

    It’s important at this point NOT to evangelize Macs as Windows bait, and stick to topic:

    Macs will have Intel Processors.
    PPC will be supported for some years out.
    Applications will be Universal Binary for both PPC and Intel based Macs.

    It’s fine for the geeks and the techies, but it spreads false information and can have a serious backlash when these new Macs hit the streets and potential buyers see that the machines don’t boot Windows at all.

  3. I do appreciate MDN for cutting through the B.S. and not wasting time crying over the switch. I believe that Jobs has a master plan and selling Macs that run Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux while everyone else is stuck selling Mac OS X-less machines is a major, major deal. This week, we may have witnessed the beginning of the superior Mac platform’s rise to threaten Microsoft’s crappy Windows junk.

    Out of all of the people that I’ve switched, none of them ever went back to Windows after experiencing the Mac OS. This held true for the classic Mac OSes and it’s even stronger with Mac OS X.

    Microsoft is going to do something nasty to counter. I have no idea what Dell and the rest can possibly do to stop their customers from getting a dual use Mac instead of their crap. Maybe they’ll beg Jobs to license them Mac OS X? Or do a “Apple Mac by HP” kind of deal?

  4. justified,

    MDN is linking to an AP article. They wrote it, not MDN. MDN actually writes, “if this comes to pass…” in their “MDN Take.” Blame AP, Mossberg, and the others, not MDN.

  5. I believe Microsoft will make sure that Windows will run on a Mac. Apple is going to become just one more hardware vendor that they will be able to sell their software too. Why wouldn’t they do this?

  6. True, Apple won’t support it, but they won’t stop it either.. It’d be stupid for MS not to take advantage of this. Yes, they will supply all the necessesary drivers and what not to make this happen.

    If Apple thought that this was going to be very difiicult to do, Phil Schiller would have never made a comment about it. Obviously, Apple wants the public to know that dual booting Macs are a possibiliity or it wouldn’t have been mentioned.

  7. Because, sam, “Once you go Mac, you never go back” isn’t just a saying. It’s real. These Windows-only users who get a taste of Mac OS X will finally understand what they’ve been missing and the vast majority of them will become Mac users. Microsoft has two options, the usual FUD and/or making Windows as good as or better than Mac OS X. Good luck to MS on option two. Or MS will threaten behind-the-scenes to kill Mac Office or something – they’ve probably already delivered that threat to Jobs.

    Microsoft gets nothing but machines that will allow people to actually compare Mac OS X to Windows right in front of their faces. Microsoft loses very badly when this happens.

  8. Ed,

    The point is, MDN’s take SHOULD be, “Apple’s switch to Intel is not about Apple becoming a Windows vendor. It’s important at this point NOT to evangelize Macs as the new Windows machines, and stick to topic: Macs will have Intel Processors; PPC will be supported for some years out; Applications will be Universal Binary for both PPC and Intel based Macs.”

    MDN should not answer to the speculation with its own speculation.

  9. Sam–
    You nailed it. This is a win/win for Apple and Microsoft, if indeed true. The only ones getting hit will be the Dells of the world as more people realize that two OSs are better than one.

    Of course, fast forward a few years, and MDN is probably right…eventually, people will realize the superior system and ignore Windows altogther. After a little time, Microsoft will take a hit.

  10. MDN picks the news it chooses to run here.
    By editorially selecting the stories here it sets the tone of the discussion.
    MDN is slanting the Mac Daily News as it wants….and ignoring anything it does not want to promote.

  11. Fred Says: “Because, sam, “Once you go Mac, you never go back” isn’t just a saying. It’s real. These Windows-only users who get a taste of Mac OS X will finally understand what they’ve been missing and the vast majority of them will become Mac users. Microsoft has two options, the usual FUD and/or making Windows as good as or better than Mac OS X. Good luck to MS on option two. Or MS will threaten behind-the-scenes to kill Mac Office or something – they’ve probably already delivered that threat to Jobs.

    Microsoft gets nothing but machines that will allow people to actually compare Mac OS X to Windows right in front of their faces. Microsoft loses very badly when this happens.”

    Well Fred, how do you explain Virtual PC? Last time I checked Microsoft was supporting that. Being able to run Windows natively on a Mac will only make the Windows experience better. It is essentially still Windows on a Mac but without having to use emulators that slows everything down.

  12. The danger is that developers will stop making software for the Apple OS…based on the concept that just put windows on your mac.

    Eventually Then all you have is a Mac that runs Apple software.
    They will use the secure Apple OS to surf the web, but do all the serious computing on Windows…

    Remember, more people have Windows OS than Mac OS.

  13. they will probaly ave different intel chips without all of that i386, i486 stuf so the run faster on the same chips. And remember that intel did not like that m$ was not letting them innovate so lets see what comes

  14. justified,

    WTF are you, the MDN Take Editor? If that’s MDN’s take, it’s the MDN Take. Or is that too existential for you?

    Also, I read MDN’s take and they aren’t saying buy Macs to run Windows. They are clearly saying that current Windows users will buy Macs to get “two for the price of one” and eventually they’ll see that Mac OS X is far better and switch on their own. Their Windows use will decline to nothing in time: bad for Microsoft eventually. Very bad for Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. as soon as Intel-based Macs are available.

    If Jobs doesn’t think the way MDN thinks on this, he should.

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