Mac users can now use Windows, will Windows PC users shift to Apple’s Mac OS X or vice versa?

“One of the big stories in technology this year has been Apple’s decision to move its Macintosh line of computers to Intel processors. This has been a big deal because for the longest time Apple was the one major vendor that used something different: the PowerPC chip. But things are changing, and Apple has already moved three of its lines of machines to the Intel processor,” Michael Miller writes for The Toronto Star. “But what really sets the Mac apart is its unique software, which Apple has also moved to the Intel processor. All these machines come with the OS X 10.4 operating system and Apple’s iLife 06 suite of applications, which includes iTunes for music, iMovie for editing videos, iPhoto, iDVD and the GarageBand music-making tool.”

“Apple just came out with software that lets the new machines boot Windows XP. Called Boot Camp, this creates a “driver disk” with all the instructions that are specific to the machine, and then lets you install a full copy of Windows. You can choose which to boot. I’ve tried it with a lot of applications and it works well; it makes the Macs work just like Windows machines,” Miller writes. “Still, it adds a good deal of expense (you need to buy a full copy of Windows), and takes away what is one of Apple’s core strengths — the integration of hardware and software. So my guess is most people who buy Macs will buy them for running Apple’s software, and most people who want to run Windows will choose less expensive Windows machines.”

“Perhaps the biggest issue is price. Macs aren’t cheap. The iMac starts at $1,499; the Mac Mini starts at $699 (and doesn’t include a keyboard or mouse); and the MacBook Pro starts at $2,299. In almost every case, you could get a similarly equipped Windows machine for less money, or a lot more features for the same money. Apple’s move to Intel hardware makes a lot of sense. The result is some nice-looking machines that are a lot faster than their predecessors,” Miller writes. “The move to allow Windows on the machine is an even bigger deal. In the long run, this may get more Windows users to try out Macs, and then slowly move over to OS X. Or it could mean Mac users will start installing Windows (to do things like play games) and eventually start doing more and more on Windows. So this is a high-risk, high-reward strategy for Apple. It could end up with a high-end hardware vendor selling Windows machines, or it could convince more people to run Mac. Either way, it’s good to have more competition.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Macs are quite price competitive when you actually spec out machines are closely as possible. No matter how you spec it out, though, only Apple Macs can run Mac OS X and Windows. All the rest are stuck with just Windows. To get both major OSes, you can buy a Dell, for example, and a Mac, or just buy a Mac. Why pay for two machines when you get two for the price of one Mac? Which is cheaper now?

For over two decades and counting, Mac users could have stopped using Macs and started using Windows. We don’t know why Miller thinks that Mac users will all of a sudden now switch to Windows just because they can play the odd game or run some Windows-only application on their Macs. The idea that Mac users will now use and switch to Windows XP (most of us use Windows every day at work, by the way) and drop the much more advanced, safer, and fun Mac OS X in order to “experience” the Windows kludge, just flies in the face of basic common sense. In our experience, in general, when you take a Window user and really let them use a Mac for a few weeks, they do not want to go back to Windows; they want to continue using the Mac. Mac users who are forced to use Windows at work, in our experience, in general, cannot wait to get home to their Macs.

You can tell the Boot Camp articles that are from Windows-only users from a mile away.

In general, we hold these truths to be self-evident: Mac users are familiar with Windows and believe it is markedly inferior to Mac OS X. Windows users are unfamiliar with Mac OS X and when they really get to use it, they become Mac users.

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48 Comments

  1. I agree. People who are avid mac users use mac because it is better than windows. This is why I don’t think boot camp will have that significant of an effect on hardcore mac users. Why would someone want to run windows when #1 OS X is much safer and much more stable and #2 There’s a huge community base of applications that are equal (if not better) than their PC counterparts.

    Oh? The gamers? Do they really count?

    —as

  2. Aren’t we all getting a little tired of responding to articles like this? The whole price argument, the whole switching thing?

    It’s like trying to convince the masses that there’s better music out there than what they hear on the radio. We have to understand that most people don’t care about other options, they want to listen to the same music everyone else is listening to, they want to see the same crappy movie remakes everyone else is seeing, and they want to use the same computer that everyone else is using.

    Maybe we should close up the Mac borders and not meddle with PC users any more—mind our own business. I don’t have the energy to argue any longer.

  3. For every Mac user that switches to Windows because of boot camp there will be hundreds of thousands of Windows users that will switch to Mac.

    For every Mac user that switches to Windows because of boot camp there will be a free complimentary straight jacket at the Funny Farm of their choice, if we can trust their choices.

  4. funny shit

    “Or it could mean Mac users will start installing Windows (to do things like play games) and eventually start doing more and more on Windows.”

    Like, getting rid of viruses and spyware? Or downloading drivers for the new creative Mooboo mp3 player to work unseemlessly with Napster?

  5. I have had a couple of Mac users say they were thinking of buying a Windows PC because of games and use PC-only versions of software.
    Now with Bootcamp, they are rethinking that – waiting until Longhorn.

    Wonder how many other Mac owners were thinking the same line?

    I can´t imagine a Windows owner buying a Mac to run Windows on it – they already have a windows computer. But I can see Mac people wanting to run some Windows-only programs.

    With Mac Apple share barely moving up, does Apple know something we don´t…such as for every Window switcher to Mac there are just as many Mac switchers to Windows???? My parents and one brother switched to Windows in the past year from Macs; another brother has a Mac but just bought a Windows computer for his kids to play games.

  6. mudflapper, I know how you feel. But it’s the flip side that sometimes pulls me into these pointless debate-a-thons.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to hear better music on the radio? …to go to the cinema and have a wide selection of genuinely good movies with original plotlines?

    …to not have to listen to your parents or friends constantly complain about their Windows computer problems, and to walk into one of the many computer stores that are everywhere and know that the hardware and software is of a higher calliber, and that it will run (and run well) on the superior computer that you already own?

    These will be our tiny rewards for enduring all this pseudo-journalistic misinformed Windoze bullsh*t for all these years. I, too, wonder if it’s really worth it.

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