CNET: Apple’s Boot Camp is a smart gimmick

“With only a 2.3 percent share of the U.S. PC market last year, however, the switch campaign has a long way to go. It’s all well and good to be part of a self-styled elite, but Steve Jobs can’t be satisfied with those numbers,” Charles Cooper writes for CNET.

MacDailyNews Note: According to IDC, Apple Mac’s 2005 U.S. market share was 4% on 32% growth year over year, not the “2.3 percent” stated by Cooper.

Cooper continues, “Doubtless many people still refuse to buy the Mac because of a reluctance to give up certain prized applications that run only on Windows. So it was this week that Apple took matters into its own hands with the introduction of Boot Camp, a Windows utility that lets users of Intel-powered Macs run Windows. The download, which is free and, so far, glitch-free, ignited a veritable media scrum. For good reason. On the surface, it’s a can’t-lose proposition.”

“Apple’s not endorsing Windows. It’s endorsing the idea of Windows running on a machine that it sells. Most of the securities analysts who follow the company immediately upped their price projections. The stock gained 10 percent in the next couple of frenzied trading sessions. As far as the Apple faithful posting on the online chat boards were concerned, Boot Camp was a stroke of genius. Period,” Cooper writes. “Apple’s not endorsing Windows. It’s endorsing the idea of Windows running on a machine that it sells. But dare I say this aloud? Boot Camp is a gimmick. A smart gimmick but a gimmick nonetheless. Boot Camp functions as a security blanket for PC users who would wet their beds without their favorite Windows application. With one download, Apple removed any lingering barriers holding back the potential universe of switchers.”

“With all due respect to Messrs. Gates, Ballmer and Allchin, Windows makes very few hearts (outside the environs of Redmond, Wash.) go pitter-pat. Folks are not clamoring for Windows; they’re clamoring to run Windows applications. Do you think that once they get their hands on a Mac, people won’t be the least bit curious to experiment with the Macintosh operating system to see what all the fuss is about? Apple hopes so. The company won’t put it so bluntly, but it has zero interest in getting people to use Windows on a Mac. (No accident that Apple’s not going to support Windows on the Mac.) They want the voyeurs to take a peek at Mac OS and be seduced by all its charms,” Cooper writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, duh, Chuck. That bit of common knowledge hardly warranted the breathless writing and the “Dare I say this aloud? Boot Camp is a gimmick” headline. We – and many others – been saying it all along: Boot Camp lets potential switchers take their “Windows insecurity blanket” along with them where, after a bit of side-by-side testing, Mac OS X will win their hearts and minds. It ain’t rocket science, but we certainly believe that it’s going to work for Apple, big time. We’ve seen what happens when you take a Windows-only person and expose them to Mac OS X for a couple of weeks. “Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back” isn’t just a cute saying, it’s the truth.

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Related articles:
Apple trying to steal customers from Windows with Boot Camp by letting people try superior Mac OS X – April 09, 2006
Macs that run Windows will calm potential switchers’ irrational fears – April 06, 2006

29 Comments

  1. Hmmm, Just me, why does everyone seem to think like Pinky and the Brain. “Tonite, we do what we do every night, Try to take over the World!”

    Hey, make a good product at the right time (iPod, Mac, etc) and the world does in fact seem to beat a path to your door, in its own sweet time.

    I think that there will always be a place in this world for cheap hardware with a “sorta runs” OS. If you only need to do word, excel, music, and internet, ——- ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    N.

  2. Leonard, if you can’t see the genius of this after reading gobs and gobs of articles, and maybe gobs and gobs of forum posts regarding why this is a good thing, then I think it might be time for you to check and see if the fries are done.

    MW simply, as in this is simply genius. At least if you aren’t Leonard.

  3. Apple’s Boot Camp is a smart gimmick…I only know about the Apple Store in Shortpump Virginia.
    Over the weekend they sold over 1200 iMac’s to Windows PC users. Find out what your Apple Store sold, and post it.

  4. All Boot Camp does is break down the risk barrier. The person who is interested in the Mac but is a little affraid of the unknown. Now they can try the Mac with the thought that if for some reason they don’t like it they can always return to windows. Before Boot Camp they didn’t have that option.

    I think we’re going to see alot of Macs being sold because of this and I’ll bet only a small percentage will ever have windows installed. They will love OSX and never look back.

    Like most Mac users.

  5. Somebody, please tell me: Did Steve Jobs piss in somebody’s cornflakes at C|Net? Between them and the Inquirer, both sites never miss a chance to take a swipe at Apple whenever possible. Either Shelby Bonney, the CEO of C|Net, made a pact with the Sith Lord years ago, and it seems that way, or somebody at Apple really PO’d C|Net. Everything I read from them is pure FUD.

    If you read the actual article, and the reader responses, it’s the same old shouting match between Mac and Windows fanboys. I see the move to Boot Camp as a clever bit of marketing, and a company being responsive to demand. All’s fair in love and business, so a pragmatic move from Apple should be no surprise. I sense that Cooper has his shorts in a knot because he realized that it is an adroit flanking move by Apple. It’s good strategic thinking. And that’s something a pro-Windows site like C|Net can’t stand.

    I agree with another poster that the noise amid C|Net and its coterie of Windows fanboys about all this will be missed by the mass of Windows users who frankly could not care less. Most Windows users likely have no clue what C|Net is. The trick for Apple, to take advantage of this “clever gimmick” as Cooper characterized it, is to get the word out again and again. The media feeding frenzy, however much it was shot through with errors about Boot Camp, is a good start. But long after a few days of headlines ebbs away, Apple will have to keep marketing this. But a check at my local Apple store made it clear: people are coming to the stores in response to the news and walking out with new Macs.

    What is interesting is the comment of an Apple Store employee, that he is noticing the change in the type of customer walking through the doors. When the first batch of Apple Stores opened, it was frequented by Mac fanboys like me. But over time, an increasing number of Windows users have become more commonplace. He noted that the neighborhood has changed, and not always for the better. Sadly, that appears to be the price of progress. But it’s proof to me that B of A Securities got their recent downgrade of Apple stock totally wrong. I have a hunch that Apple will beat their street numbers in the next several quarters.

    You heard it here first.

  6. Mike,

    I think we’re on the same page, but different paragraphs. I don’t think many people will be buying Macs to run Windows on a pretty case either, and I didn’t mean to imply it. I’ve said in other threads that the people who buy a Mac and install Windows on it will fall into one of two camps:

    1. People who are already Mac users who need Windows for a specific non-Mac app or games (I fall into the latter group).

    2. People who have been PC users but have always been Mac-curious. This group will have heard about how great the Mac supposedly is and will boot OS X to have a look around. In my experience, however, unless they have a compelling reason to stay, they’ll often go back to their comfort zone. This is where iLife comes in. Once they try iLife and see how there is nothing that even comes close to comparing to it on the Windows side, they’ll spend more and more time in OS X, becoming more comfortable and eventually realizing that, although it may have seemed awkward at first, and despite it’s low market share, the Mac is the superior platform, not Windows.

  7. I am still not clear about what actually in his view (indeed anyones) is the gimmick about it. The only logic in the use of this word appears to be that it makes a catchy headline while in the commentary outside of the actual word gimmick itself states the product as being anything but.

    But then I suppose one shouldn’t expect these writers bereft of a flashing bulb in their creative grey matter should be anything less than dim and dimmer.

  8. Am I the only person who is getting tired of reading about Boot Camp and whether Apple intends to sell that god-awful Windows crap on Mac hardware or so other idiocy?

    It is probably a good bet that those running Windows on a Mac might try using OS X and it eliminates the objection that some apps are Windows only and therefore a Mac can’t be used.

    It is really frustrating trying to understand how the pundits, in all of their wit and wisdom, just don’t get the Apple/Mac culture.

  9. Those who can do (and work for Apple). Those who cannot don’t and troll for C|net, Zdnet, et al.

    The status quo is being rocked at its foundation. Get used to it trolls!

    Does anyone actually read their shit? Scary and sad.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”shut eye” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Hasn’t anybody else come up with the thought that with Boot Camp to run their precious idiotic Windoze OS, those who are tired of all the adware and viruses and worms, etc. ad nauseum, will first start using OS X for the purpose of accessing the internet. They’ll run their office stuff and what-not on Windoze, thinking they can’t do it on a Mac, but will access and surf the net on the Mac OS. Eventually, they discover how much they prefer the Mac OS over their idiotic Windoze, and they’ll also find out that most of the things they need Windoze for they can find similar or superior apps for doing the same thing on Mac. And … bango … you’ve got a switch.

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