“Analyst Needham & Co has found that if the new generation of Intel Macs can run Windows applications then Apple could see a sharp rise in the number of PC to Mac switchers,” Simon Aughton reports for PC Pro. “The research firm quizzed 255 students in the US, 44 per cent of whom said they would be more likely to buy a Mac if it was capable of running PC apps. The proportion who said they would definitely buy a Mac was 13.5 percent. Without the support for Windows software the equivalent figures were 24.7 per cent and 1.8 percent.”
Full article here.
“Needham & Co analyst Charles Wolf believes Apple is in position to achieve a massive growth in its market share – with consumers very ready to make the switch,” Jonny Evans reports for Macworld UK. “Apple should make every effort to eliminate every last obstacle that may prevent a PC user moving to Mac, he says, particularly as the Intel processor switch means Apple can now ‘match the performance of Windows PCs.'”
“Wolf’s research suggests that consumers and others may be on the edge of a mass Mac migration: “The magnitude of possible Windows defectors suggests that Apple should go all out to remove the few remaining hurdles to running Windows apps on a Mac,” Wolf writes… Wolf’s survey showed that if Apple was to make it easy for Macs to run Windows applications the number of students who would buy an Apple computer would double… However, Apple is it’s own Achilles Heel, Wolf warns. When the company announced its shift to Intel processors in June 2005, Apple took the line that it would not sell or support Windows itself, ‘but would do nothing in its hardware design to prevent users running that OS if they liked,’ Wolf writes. ‘In our opinion, Apple comments are important for what they don’t say. They leave open the possibility that it will support the efforts of others to bring Windows to the Mac platform. Indeed, there have been unconfirmed reports that Apple itself may be secretly working on virtualisation software that would provide native support for Windows,’ he writes. Apple has the most to gain from allowing such support to emerge, Wolf said.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: If Apple actually sold Macs that ran Mac OS X and Windows applications at native speeds, especially running the Windows apps without needing Windows using something like Darwine, we believe the the Mac platform’s market share potential would be even greater than the Needham survey indicates. The architecture industry that depends on AutoCAD (Windows-only) and the real estate industry (highly dependent on Windows-only apps) would be but two examples of entire industries that would open immediately for Apple. After all, why buy a Windows-only PC if Apple Macs could run both Mac OS X and Windows applications?
But if all Macs one day will be able to run Windows, won’t application developers stop creating Mac versions of their programs?
“It’s possible, but not very likely. Mac users are Mac users because they want to run software in the Mac interface. The large software companies that publish programs on the Mac understand that, and so do the small Mac developers who are making the coolest OS X apps around. I’d tell you that the middle-range developers with a flagging commitment to the Mac would be the ones most worth worrying about, but honestly, the Mac OS X transition already shook most of them out of the Mac market,” Jason Snell, Macworld, June 8, 2005.
As we wrote back in October 2005:
The ability to run Windows and Mac OS X only on Apple Macs could drastically alter the personal computing landscape. Apple doesn’t need to license Mac OS X to other vendors. Other vendors will need to figure out a way to compete with Apple Macs that can run Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux flavors. We don’t see how other vendors will be able to compete with Apple, especially if users can run Windows in a protected Mac OS X environment with no performance hit.
This idea doesn’t kill Microsoft right away (eventually it will, though, as users compare Mac OS X to Windows and end up using Windows less and less until they realize they don’t need Windows at all), but Dell, HP, Gateway, Acer, etc. wouldn’t fare every well pretty much immediately. You think Mac market share is growing rapidly now? Just wait.
Buyers could soon have the choice between buying a Mac that runs both Windows and Mac OS X or buying a butt-ugly, cheaply-made Dell and only being able to run Windows. Can anyone explain why would anyone in their right mind would buy a Dell or any other Wintel box assembler’s kit again? This could become “license Mac OS X or die” for the Dells of the world. But, what if Steve Jobs doesn’t feel like licensing Mac OS X? Checkmate.
[UPDATE: 10:22am EST: Added Jason Snell quote and link to “Take.”]
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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Using virtualization to run Windows and Linux apps plus Mac OS X could double Apple’s market share – February 11, 2006
Intel’s Virtualization Technology runs multiple operating systems simultaneously – February 08, 2006
Windows to run on Intel-based Apple Macs before end of year? – January 18, 2006
Is Steve Jobs prepping ‘The Cupertino Project’ – Intel-based Macs that will run Windows apps, too? – December 27, 2005
Will future Intel-based Apple Macs offer multiple OS worlds via virtualization? – November 16, 2005
Apple patent application describes Intel-based Macs that run Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows – November 05, 2005
How Apple can win the OS war – October 19, 2005
Is Apple morphing Mac into the ultimate PC capable of running Mac OS X, Windows, Linux? – June 20, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005
Intel’s built-in virtualization tech could be one way to run Windows on Intel-based Apple Macs – June 16, 2005
If Intel-based Macs can run Mac OS X and Windows, buying a Mac will be a no-brainer – June 15, 2005
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005
Why buy a Dell when Apple ‘Macintel’ computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005
Will developers stop writing Mac applications if Apple ‘Macintel’ computers can run Windows? – June 08, 2005