John C Dvorak believes Apple may ditch OS X in favor of Windows.
His rationalization for such a belief? A professor has noted that;
- They stopped the switch campaign Well duh, all ad campaigns stop eventually
- They dropped FireWire on the iPod Mac’s have USB, PC’s have USB so go with USB and save a few bucks
- Apple switched to the Intel chip Had enough of not being able to follow the industry’s MHz race?
Okay, not even Dvorak can be that gullible so what other evidence has he got;
Dvorak now believes that having an Intel chip in the box means they can’t possibly control the hardware any more and Mac owners will expect to be able to stick any old card in and it just work.
The Mac has had PCI slots for over 10 years and USB for almost as long but users don’t just expect to plug in any old “for use with Windows” device. Anyone buying a Mac is quite aware it is not Windows even if it uses an Intel processor.
Dvorak also fails to notice that Apple are using EFI – Intel’s BIOS-replacement. EFI lets you load EFI-aware drivers before the OS starts much like DOS and Win16 used to do with the BIOS.
What this means is that as EFI takes off device manufacturers could, in theory, write a single EFI driver and have it work on any EFI compliant OS. That could be Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD… It’s some way off but it’s a brighter future.
Apple is a hardware company
Dvorak states that Apple is a hardware company and now they have the iPod they can afford to drop OS development.
Creative is also a hardware company and had an MP3 player out long before Apple. So in fact did Rio, another hardware company.
What gave Apple the edge to trample over the competition and wrap up this lucrative market? Is the iPod hardware much better than the offerings from Sony?
No, not really… it’s the software. Without iTunes the iPod would never have been such a success.
Could Apple have achieved this without years of experience in developing operating systems and applications? No chance. Sony has some experience with software and a music label under its belt and it still couldn’t achieve what Apple has managed.
Being both hardware and software gave Apple the chance to own an entire new industry while the hardware vendors and Microsoft couldn’t get their respective software and hardware acts together to deliver a unified solution. You have a problem? Is it the store, maybe it’s the music software… or maybe the device. Who’s to blame? Who’s going to help?
Preserve the experience
Only somebody who has not used Mac OS X extensively could believe that the experience could be easily replicated by another layer on Windows.
Third parties go to great lengths to mimic the appearance of the UI and the dock on Windows. And that is just skin-deep.
The Mac uses a development system called Cocoa that works though a system of messages to discover and extend the user interface and controls. Windows has no such low-level capabilities.
Right-click on any text box in OS X and you’ll see options for spell checking or any other service that has been registered for handling text. On Windows you’ll be treated to the same cut-copy-paste menu Windows 3.1 had.
Vista is not due out to the end of the year. Two features slated for delivery are the hardware accelerated UI and the searchable file-system. Both arrived on the Mac last year – or was it the year before?
People fed up with Windows and trying to keep it spyware and virus free consider and switch to the Mac. Having an x86 processor in your Mac means that porting just became a bit easier…
Dvorak notices that the Apple fan base will not be happy. Most of them have tried Windows and come here to escape. They’d destroy their existing niche and semi-protected user base to grab some of the Windows user market-share.
Which part of that market-share? Those prepared to pay a good few extra notes for a smarter well-built machine loaded with additional system utilities, shell extensions and media tools.
Right, so that’s the Sony Vaio market-share which is already less than Apple’s in all markets bar international notebook sales where they have an extra 1%.
In the mean-time Mac sales are up to 29% as part of the iPod halo-effect.
Apple’s Market share is increasing and it has removed perceived negative performance by sticking to Intel.
Success with the iPod shows it to be the only company out there capable of delivering a whole package of slick hardware, software and content delivery.
Apple is in a unique position to take new markets with its integration of software and hardware. Who would give that up to compete with tens of established Windows hardware pushers?