Cringley: Apple plans to provide best darned Windows experience anywhere -even better than Microsoft

“One part of last week’s column on Apple’s Boot Camp that slipped past many readers was the idea that Apple would actually start shipping OEM versions of Windows Vista with at least some of its computers. I believe that will be the case and, if so, it is a big deal, and could lead to Apple becoming the biggest vendor of Windows computers to business, which I think is a hoot,” Robert X. Cringely writes for PBS. John Dvorak’s idea “that Apple will drop OS X for Windows [is] not at all what I think will happen. Apple isn’t going to throw away its clearest point of differentiation and greatest technical advantage just to become another Windows OEM. That would make them little better than Sony and Sony can out-manufacture Apple any day. Where Dvorak is wrong is he believes Microsoft’s version of the story — that Apple will abandon OS X, at least for business, replacing it with Windows Vista. After all, isn’t that what this Boot Camp stuff is all about, enabling the choice of OSX or Windows? Not really.”

“The version of Boot Camp that will ship with OS X 10.5 will likely be very different from the version people are playing with today. The actual shipping version, I predict, will have full OS virtualization so that both operating systems can run side-by-side and a user can cut and paste data from one to the other. Apple may have already developed this capability, or maybe they’ll license or buy it from outside. Parallel Workstation 2.1 sure looks nice from Parallels, Inc. Maybe Apple should buy the whole company,” Cringely writes. “If Apple’s intent is to do virtualization, then why bother with this dual boot version of Boot Camp? My best guess is to throw off Microsoft until it is too late.”

“Don’t be surprised, either, to see that OS X 10.5 has a new kernel, finally giving up Mach and a big piece of its NeXTstep heritage. I write this for one thing — because OS X has kernel problems and needs some help, especially with swap space. I say it also because of the departure of Avie Tevanian, Apple’s chief software technology officer, and the guy who hung onto Mach for so long,” Cringely writes. “I have no insider knowledge here, but it isn’t hard to imagine an instance where Avie’s favored position with Steve Jobs was finally undermined by someone pointing out just these problems, so Avie had to go. That’s the way it is with Steve, who sees his people as either part of the solution or part of the problem.”

“So where Dvorak sees an Apple repudiation of OS X for Windows Vista, I see an Apple business strategy that combines OS X and Vista. Nearly all of Apple’s own applications, like iLife and iWork, will still be OS X-only, as will be thousands of native OS X apps, so there will be many opportunities to lure Vista users into the light,” Cringely writes. “Given Microsoft’s difficulties with data security and its long history of troubled OS introductions, there is the very real possibility that the Apple version of Vista will be by far the most stable. For awhile it might be the ONLY stable version. So Apple could, in a way, be Microsoft’s savior.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Cringely predicts Apple Boot Camp for non-Apple PCs to allow Mac OS X to run on generic x86 boxes – April 07, 2006
Dvorak: Will Apple ditch Mac OS X for Microsoft’s Windows? – February 16, 2006

64 Comments

  1. “Sony can out-manufacture Apple any day” ? ? ? so why dont they? or do they mean quantity wise? anyway, yes this all sounds quite good, lets just hope it does all go to plan, i love it when a plan comes together!

  2. Cringely has taken some heat in this forum lately, but his take makes sense. Apple is a business, not a philosophy, way-of-life or a belief system. Apple’s core business is hardware. Selling XP or Vista at Apple stores to go with a new MacTel, for customers who want it, is good business. It’s profit with little investment and little risk.

  3. OK, so XP might entice a few more switchers, but big deal. It won’t create a mass migration.

    But what about the iPhone?

    Remember the original strategy behind the iPod? It was Mac-only, as a carrot to lure switchers. Part of the “digital hub” strategy. It didn’t work, and since the iPod was a hugely profitable little gadget, Apple decided to sell them directly to Windows users and make a fortune.

    OK, so now for Round II. Apple will introduce the mobile phone we’ve all been waiting for. And it will be Mac only. If you’re a PC user, you will HAVE to get a Mac to use it.

    So why does this strategy have a chance this time around? Because now the Mac can run XP. The PC user isn’t asked to switch, merely supplement. To dip a toe, if you will, into OS X.

    The built-in iSight camera may be part of the same strategy. Says Joe PC user: “Wow, I can have video-conferencing that actually works, I can have the new iPhone, and I don’t have to give up Windows? Sign me up!”

    Apple then sells more hardware, which is exactly the point. Taking, say, a quarter-point each from Dell, Sony, HP, and Lenovo may not seem like much, but the end result of increasing Mac’s share by a full point, profitably, is huge.

    What’s sad, though, is that Apple has to innovate circles around its hardware competitors just to gain a small gains in sales. It’s not a just world, though, is it?

  4. Andy says, ‘”Sony can out-manufacture Apple any day” ? ? ? so why dont they? or do they mean quantity wise?’

    Apple strength is in design and everybody knows it. Apple’s manufacturing capacity has always been an issue. Far too often they have not been able to manufacture enough product. However, having too little supply is probably better than having too much.
    Besides, I don’t really know if Apple manufactures anything in thier own factories anymore. It appears all manufacturing is farmed out to 3rd party companies that work to Apple’s standards and design. This is not a huge issue unless you need to rapidly change plans.

  5. Eh! I don’t see there being a kernel swap. Avie probably left because OS X should be enough. He just doesn’t want any association with winblows. No matter how distant the association is.

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  6. Andy,

    He’s talking about Sony’s manufacturing prowess, not their innovation expertise. Sony is after all one of the largest manufacturing companies on the planet, many times larger than Apple in terms of the flood of product coming off their lines. Unfortunately for them they suffer some of the same problems that Microsoft does, most notably lack of focus. Like Microsoft hey’re absolutely stuffed to the gills with talented engineers but management has no idea how to harness their gifts.

  7. F! Windows I installed boot camp “just to see” and Winders SUCKS A$$ as usual. I’m sick and tired of hearing about xp and MicroSucks and an OS that is not even shipping or might never for that matter! Let’s get back to OS X!

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