Will Apple Adopt Windows?

March 2, 2006 — 7 Comments

I am not really a Mac guy. Even though I have recently acquired one to use for the NewCov podcast (whi will soon have an enhanced version), I am still essentially a PC guy. I used to work for Microsoft… what do you expect?

I got a free subscription to PC Magazine when I bought my Dell. I enjoy skimming through it (I just read it for the articles).

Recently John C. Dvorak (read his blog HERE) wrote a column about his thoughts regarding the possible future demise of the Apple OS in favor of… wait for it… MICROSOFT WINDOWS!

Right now I can hear Carlos, Rich, Brian, and Justin sucking wind. I spent a week at a table with these Mac guys – they had their cute little PowerBooks or whatever they were. Sure, they were kinda sexy looking (the computers, not the guys… OK, I think Los is kinda hot – it’s the bald thing…). But at the end of the day, a Mac is still a toy.

OK. I don’t really believe that. I’m just looking to generate some comments.

Anyway…. Here are some of Dvorak’s thoughts on why Apple may in the future ditch their OS in favor of Microsoft Windows:

The idea that Apple would ditch its own OS for Microsoft Windows came to me from Yakov Epstein, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, who wrote to me convinced that the process had already begun. I was amused, but after mulling over various coincidences, I’m convinced he may be right. This would be the most phenomenal turnabout in the history of desktop computing.

Epstein made four observations. The first was that the Apple Switch ad campaign was over, and nobody switched. The second was that the iPod lost its FireWire connector because the PC world was the new target audience. Also, although the iPod was designed to get people to move to the Mac, this didn’t happen. And, of course, that Apple had switched to the Intel microprocessor

This switch to Windows may have originally been planned for this year and may partly explain why Adobe and other high-end apps were not ported to the Apple x86 platform when it was announced in January. At Macworld, most observers said that these new Macs could indeed run Windows now…

Another issue for Apple is that the Intel platform is wide open, unlike the closed proprietary system Apple once had full control over.Windows, as crappy as many believe it to be, actually thrives in this mishmash architecture. Products, old and new, have drivers for Windows above all else. By maintaining its own OS, Apple would have to suffer endless complaints about peripherals that don’t work.

As someone who believed that the Apple OS x86 could gravitate toward the PC rather than Windows toward the Mac, I have to be realistic. It boils down to the add-ons. Linux on the desktop never caught on because too many devices don’t run on that OS. It takes only one favorite gizmo or program to stop a user from changing. Chat rooms are filled with the likes of “How do I get my DVD burner to run on Linux?” This would get old fast at Apple.

Apple has always said it was a hardware company, not a software company. Now with the cash cow iPod line, it can afford to drop expensive OS development and just make jazzy, high-margin Windows computers to finally get beyond that five-percent market share and compete directly with Dell, HP, and the stodgy Chinese makers.

To preserve the Mac’s slick cachet, there is no reason an executive software layer couldn’t be fitted onto Windows to keep the Mac look and feel. Various tweaks could even improve the OS itself. From the Mac to the iPod, it’s the GUI that makes Apple software distinctive. Apple popularized the modern GUI. Why not specialize in it and leave the grunt work to Microsoft? It would help the bottom line and put Apple on the fast track to real growth.

The only fly in the ointment will be the strategic difficulty of breaking the news to the fanatical users. Most were not initially pleased by the switch to Intel’s architecture, and this will make them crazy.

Luckily, Apple has a master showman, Steve Jobs. He’ll announce that now everything can run on a Mac. He’ll say that the switch to Windows gives Apple the best of both worlds. He’ll say this is not your daddy’s Windows. He’ll cajole and cajole, and still hear a few boos. But those will be the last boos he’ll hear, for then the Mac will be mainstream. We will welcome the once-isolated Apple mavens, finally.

So what do you think? Are you Mac or PC? And if you are a Mac user, how would you feel about the Mac OS migrating to Windows?

Read Dvorak’s entire article HERE.

Pat Callahan

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I'm a picker. I'm a grinner. I'm a lover. And I'm a sinner. I make my music in the sun.

7 responses to Will Apple Adopt Windows?

  1. I am totally a PC – DELL – GUY!And I agree with you….Los is kinda hot!

  2. I have always been a PC girl. I took my first computer class in High School on a Mac and Apple IIe and was disappointed in a few ways. One was control, through DOS and BIOS but all that is emulated now. Given that I haven't worked on a MAC since Power PC came out I don't know if that is possible on the apple comupters. The other big thing about Mac is that they are primarily for the artistic types. Not being artistic, I have been left out;). If Apple migrated to Windows there wouldn't be as much application seperation so the divide between the artistic and nerdy could close. I do have to says the iBook is cuter than my laptop…I might be able to get one in a cute girlie color…(OK a girlie color to me would be navy but anyway).

  3. PC. I was just telling NerdMom yesterday that I actually recently contemplated getting a Mac. She cursed at me. (Not really, but close.) The one I was looking at looked VERY cool.

  4. I do not curse I warn;).

  5. I think Macs are generational – like foreign cars.I have a mac (I've had three of them) and my dad uses a Wintel machine (a Dell I think). I drive a Nissan (and before that two Toyota Camry's) and my wife drives a Mazda Minivan (but really wanted a Toyota). My father? Chevy and Ford all the way.Now, my SHLOG.COM traffic is 13% MAC OS users this past month. But my twenty-something bible study website (ikoncomunity.com) and its blog (ikonblog.blogspot.com) are 53% MAC. Now, factor in that about one fifth of our folks are involved some type of artistic study or career and, even if you dropped those folks out of the stats, the number would be high. Much higher than the supposed 5% market share Mac is said to have.My point? MAC converts are being made, but like users of foreign cars, they are young. Think about converting to MAC like getting "saved". It's more likely before 18. ; )I have to go polish my iBook now.SG

  6. If I read Shlog's blog at home, he would get more mac traffic, but I read it at work a lot where I am forced to use a PC. I can't believe that people actually prefer PCs. If everyone bought macs, then schools would go out of business, because no one would need computer classes anymore. They're easy and very sexy.

  7. First off, Pat how the heck are you man? I was listening to Hells Bells yesterday and thought of you. :)>Mac is the only way to go bro. Spend too much time with it and you will leave your PC cold. It's like driving a Volkswagen all your life and then driving a Mercedes. Once you have driven something with that type of performance and superior quality you are ruined. Don't say that I told you so.And you said I was sexy when we went to dinner together that last night of re:create. :)>

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