Dvorak: Will Apple ditch Mac OS X for Microsoft’s Windows?

“The idea that Apple would ditch its own OS for Microsoft Windows came to me from Yakov Epstein, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, who wrote to me convinced that the process had already begun. I was amused, but after mulling over various coincidences, I’m convinced he may be right. This would be the most phenomenal turnabout in the history of desktop computing,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine. “Epstein made four observations. The first was that the Apple Switch ad campaign was over, and nobody switched. The second was that the iPod lost its FireWire connector because the PC world was the new target audience. Also, although the iPod was designed to get people to move to the Mac, this didn’t happen. And, of course, that Apple had switched to the Intel microprocessor.”

MacDailyNews Question: If nobody switched, then why are Mac unit sales and market share rising?

Dvorak continues, “Apple has always said it was a hardware company, not a software company. Now with the cash cow iPod line, it can afford to drop expensive OS development and just make jazzy, high-margin Windows computers to finally get beyond that five-percent market share and compete directly with Dell, HP, and the stodgy Chinese makers. To preserve the Mac’s slick cachet, there is no reason an executive software layer couldn’t be fitted onto Windows to keep the Mac look and feel. Various tweaks could even improve the OS itself. From the Mac to the iPod, it’s the GUI that makes Apple software distinctive. Apple popularized the modern GUI. Why not specialize in it and leave the grunt work to Microsoft? It would help the bottom line and put Apple on the fast track to real growth.”

“The only fly in the ointment will be the strategic difficulty of breaking the news to the fanatical users. Most were not initially pleased by the switch to Intel’s architecture, and this will make them crazy,” Dvorak writes. “Luckily, Apple has a master showman, Steve Jobs. He’ll announce that now everything can run on a Mac. He’ll say that the switch to Windows gives Apple the best of both worlds. He’ll say this is not your daddy’s Windows. He’ll cajole and cajole, and still hear a few boos. But those will be the last boos he’ll hear, for then the Mac will be mainstream. We will welcome the once-isolated Apple mavens, finally.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, come on, how the hell are we supposed to write a “Take” for this one?

Oh, alright, here: A few boos wouldn’t be the only thing Uncle Steve would hear if he ambled onstage somewhere and announced Apple was dropping Mac OS X for Windows, even if it was “Windows with a Mac face.” Forget about wearing full body armor and having metal detectors at the auditorium’s entrance; he’d have to announce such a thing via satellite from an undisclosed location; like from high earth orbit or, better yet, from the moon. And he’d better plan on staying there.

We guess Dvorak’s saying that Apple would lose the 16% of the world’s personal computer users who used to have a perfect security record. But, really, where could we go? Eventually, we’d have to go with some Linux distribution or right back to Apple’s Windows (Macdows? Wintosh? WindeX?), we guess, right? And Apple would supposedly gain some sort of improved shot at the 80% of the rest of the market with this “Wacintosh?” By the way, Apple’s Mac sales are already quite profitable.

Oh, forget it. You guys and gals can tackle this one in the feedback. We can’t get drunk enough to understand Dvorak’s mindset, much less dissect it properly. We have had a few already, so we will leave it to you with this last bit: Doesn’t Apple have so many other much less crazy options to try out before unleashing such a nightmare? Options like releasing a shrink-wrapped Mac OS X for x86 or licensing Mac OS X to HP, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony, Gateway, etc. or making Darwine (running Windows apps without Windows) a working feature of Mac OS X Leopard or giving a free iPod away with every Mac purchase or vice versa or, God forbid, actually attempting to advertise and explain the Mac properly to the world first?

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Dvorak: Steve Jobs eventually intends for Apple’s Mac OS X to run on any x86 PC – August 08, 2005
Dvorak: Mac OS X is already better than Windows, Vista may be end of line for Microsoft’s dominance – July 26, 2005
Dvorak: Microsoft should shutter the company – July 13, 2004


  1. Yeah… a Mac-like shell running on top of Windoze, I would buy that, and I wouldn’t have to suffer ridicule from my colleagues in finance anymore. I would buy that as long as it had a partially eaten piece of fruit on it and had a name with an X in it. Yeah…..

    Nah, on second thought, USPS and an HP 12C calculator would be my weapons of choice. What, give up my Mac? Next I’ll have to give up my ’71 Beetle and drive a Taurus.

    I do, however, like the notion of relegating M$ to the commodity manufacturer of the OS, it could then become irrelevant.

    But all those driver conflicts and hardware incompatibilities would be enough to drive me to hire Al Queda to track down SJ.


  2. Smile. Gotcha.

    Dvorak loves to pinch and all of us have just been pinched. This could leave a mark.

    What differentiates a Mac from a Windows PC? Hardware? OS? GUI?

    Remarkably, even the differences in hardware have been nominal for years, despite the G5, FPU, and FW800.

    GUI? Windows XP/Vista et al, are really more GOOEY than a useable graphic interface.

    That leaves the OS differences. Mac OS is solid, dependable, stable, durable, secure, complex yet easy to use for the average user and the geekier among us. How does that compare to Windows XP SP29?

    Oh, what about applications? Let’s compare Mac apps (Apple’s and others) with Windows. Try AIM on Windows vs. iChat AV. See?

    It’s the OS. That’s what makes a Mac a Mac. Make the Mac run Windows and have it look like OS X and it’s still Windows, it’s no longer a Mac. So, why buy a Mac?

    Hence, goodbye Apple.

    John Dvorak loves doing this kind of thing knowing well in advance what will happen to hits on his web site (huge) while Mac users try to put out their flaming hair.

    MDN needs a take on this. Not a take on this latest idiocy from Dvorak (always a good read), but to track Dvorak’s past predictions as well as those from Enderle and Friends.

    John’s been around a long time, pontificating on anything and everything technical, but his own track record of predictions grows weaker with age and suffers from an egomanical virus in which he’s both carrier and victim. What’s sad is this: all that technical experience and knowledge is reduced to an aging ringmaster, star of a three ring circus of weekly entertainment that becomes a bit more outrageous each week.

    That act is tired, old, finished. Next!!!

    Tera Patricks

  3. I can imagine it now…

    “…so we have come to a decision which will benefit all our users and potential customers. This is Windows like you’ve never seen it. And I’d like to give you a demo if I could…
    ..Now as you can see, we have replaced the black aero glass look for a more mac-like white feel. The wallpapers have also been cha- whoops! seems like we have a little bug here… yes. i want explorer to close. No, i don’t want to tell microsoft…………..
    [30 seconds later]..Okay, enough of that. So as you can see, we have implemented much of the Mac User Experience into the user interface of Windows and all of our applications have been ported over. So if I go into iPhoto… boom – change resolution?… yes, I’ll go to display…. that should be fine.. yes, I’ll let the screen blank.. [2 minutes later] it seems this pre-release is having a few teething problems but we’re going to have it working great for our customers when it ultimately ships. moving on….”

  4. And maybe Apple will include “Virtual Mac” with every Macintel computer they sell. That way, you will boot in Windows and can emulate OS X through virtualization technology. And finally, the hardware will prevent running OS X in any sort of native install or dual boot more — for security reasons, of course.

    Dvorak, you are a total idiot and if sarcasm was your attempt, then you suck at that too.

  5. What the heck does he think will make Apple think different if such an idiotic plan?

    His attempt to get hits on his website shows his despeartin. We haven’t heard from him in months, and they must be threatening to pull the plug on his column. So now he’s trying to show how many hits he can bring it to sell cars and financial services.

    What a fool.


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