Our World. Our Minutae.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Apple BOOT CAMP - Winners & Losers

It’s hardly ever boring in the new Mac-age we all live now.

WINNERS – Through 2006

Apple OSX Marketing – of course, there’s only so much convincing you can do in getting switchers. The Mac Mini was a nice start. Buy a Mac Mini, plug in the mouse, keyboard & monitor you’re already using – you have a Mac. That was nice but people are set in their ways. Okay then, how about this new feature? How about being able to load that other OS used by hundred of millions of people. In theory, if you hate the Mac OS after using it for a while, just use the Windows XP portion. Obviously Apple is not going to spell that out but people can connect the dots ... Of course, Apple is figuring most people will realize the conclusion they draw after connecting the dots is that OSX is just a wee bit nicer of an OS. In fact, I’ll bet you by this weekend, there are a thousand PC users who rushed out to buy a MacProBook to test out – and be STUNNED that after a few clicks, the mac installer has partitioned their drive and guided them through to installing and installed WinXP with hardly a hiccup ... And with nary a guy flinging folders across the screen ... Or a dancing paperclip.

Apple OSX Hardware – whether it’s true or not – the perception is that you’ve suddenly doubled the ‘value’ of the Mac personal computer. It’s like the PS2 being able to play PS1 games – doesn’t matter that 90% of people sold off their old PS1 games, the fact that you have that option and none of Apple’ competitors can offer that appeals to a great many people (since most individuals loading Linux do not “buy it,” it doesn’t count as a direct competitor). Now, does this mean people who are buying $399 are going to buying Macs in droves? No, but if your budget is $1,500 or $2,000 for a PC – only the most rabid anti-Mac user is going to not consider the Mac. I don’t think there will be a massive shift but there aren’t many PC users who don’t glance over at the Mac and wish they could have that build quality and style on the PC side – again, the perception is that it’s a no-lose scenario. They can use most if not all their old software and the OS they know and maybe they’ll “never” use the OSX ... Well, maybe I’ll just see what the fuss is all about with iPhoto ... Or iMovie or GarageBand ... Humm, this Spotlight thing seems tow work spookily well or this Expose thing ... I keep pressing the same F-Key in WinXP but nothing is happening!

Apple – okay, d’uh on this one. It further cements their reputation with the tech geeks. There is only one company pushing the envelope.

Microsoft XP Retail Sales – yea okay, d’uh on this one also. Though the retail marketing alternative channels is going to have to suddenly put down the pool cues and have to work overtime up with POP along the lines of, “Um, Now for your Mac, Windows XP! (No, Really!)”

LOSERS – Through 2006

PC Makers – First, they have no VISTA to sell this sell this Christmas but they did get a crapload of stickers from Microsoft that reads VISTA CAPABLE or VISTA READY ... Because the first thing all PC’s need are a few more stickers on the case or the trackpad. AND NOW THIS. But their pain won’t be evenly divided. DELL probably won’t feel much of an effect since 98% of their buyers are corporate or agency buyers who are just shopping by price. These are companies or gov’t agencies who just need to put X number of PC’s on X number of desks and the capital goods budget is all about the most for the least – never mind TCO or anything else – that’s not their budget. HP will probably feel a little more but not much more. Both Dell & HP have plenty of enterprise sales & support to grind away. Many people advocate that Apple goes hard & heavy into the enterprise market but frankly, it takes a lot of work and staffing and frankly, it goes against Apple’ philosophy. The philosophy that – hey, we make a great product. If you want it – buy it – if you don’t – well, that’s your loss. Yes, Apple is giving up sales but it also takes a lot of work to get to a point where you have a well-oiled selling machine and Apple is smart to stick to the server end. Gateway probably won’t feel that much of an affect as long as they can go on selling sub $600 machines and continue as an on-going business because above that – even their skinflint customers are going to look at the their 1987 plastic PC cases and notice that for $100 to $300 more, they can have a PC that runs OSX & WinXP – let’s them use their old software and looks just a tad better ... The Pc makers that will actually be hurt most are those in the $1,200 to $2,500 range. For individuals given a choice of spending $2,500 – you want a PC that looks pretty much like the $399 PC or would you want a computer that looks like the G5? (my guess is the Mac Intel desktops are not going to look like crap ...) AND of course, only an Apple Mac gives you two (or more Oses) to run. While this will appeal somewhat to enterprise buyers, their main focus is still the bottom line but for individuals or departments that have more say over their choice of computers – and while not everyone is clearly going to choose a Mac – they are now in that ballgame. This will hurt Sony, Toshiba and many others.

LOSERS – Through 2007

Microsoft Vista – Enterprise/corporate buyers has already said announced that VISTA is on a slow rollout path. After 4 years, there are still some 45% of enterprise who have not upgraded to XP so this will slow down the upgrade path even more. For the people who switched over, why bother upgrading – they have all the advanced features AND they can run all their old software? What more do they need from VISTA? Wonkiness and patches for 11 months –um, no thanks. Will Mac’s LEOPARD spotlight include the XP partition? Probably. Will LEOPARD have virtualization or offer file access across partitions? I wouldn’t bet against it. So, while they’ll eventually get around to upgrading to VISTA, no reason to hurry. After all. VISTA 2.0 might actually offer all the features stripped out this year ... Features they will have been using all along in OSX ... Maybe the switch will be complete.


Software Makers – This is an interesting one. For companies without Mac versions, they should see some increased sales – probably the best example is AUTOCAD or games but while others are quick to say that Mac software makers will just issue PC versions going forward – even if they do so, they’ll have to come back around. Once people have expectations of how software should install and work from using OSX, they will expect the same from their PC installers ... And since they are writing apps for the Intel chip anyway ... Many will probably start offering a dual installer and let people choose the one they prefer or people will want/demand that ... My belief is that people will gravitate towards using the Mac OS as their main one and use VISTA like 2nd gear, using that only when they are traversing down a hill so people will demand Mac versions and as the audience/users grow ... Their voices will grow louder – as Mac users tend to grow :-)

And let this be a lesson to all things who prefer a simple life where history repeats itself ... It’s a complicated and chaotic world now ... Certainly not for Steve Jobs and Apple ... It will be interesting to see who can keep up ...  



Anonymous Peter said...

I'm not as convinced on the software side.

Let's say Dick & Jane have been using Windows. They have a batch of software which is Windows-only. So they figure that this way they get "the best of both worlds."

But where do they spend most of their time? Well, they have Microsoft Office for Windows--they got that from where they work. So they're doing all their word-processing in the Windows side. And, of course, they want to e-mail those documents. You really think they're going to reboot into Mac OS X just to send e-mail? Nah, they'll set up Outlook on Windows. So while they're writing, they need to check something on the Internet. Think they'll reboot into Mac OS X to use Safari? Nope--they'll just fire up Internet Explorer under Windows. iPhoto and iMovie may be worth booting back and forth.

So you'll have people spending most of their time in Windows. And, of course, Mac OS X is just different enough from Windows as to be unfamiliar and clumsy ("Where's my Start menu?") so that people will not "commit" to Mac OS X. And when they go looking for software--say, something like software to do floorplans for that new addition they're adding onto their house. Will they search the web for High Design or will they just go down to the corner software store (which only sells Windows software) and pick up something there?

Sorry, but I think Mac OS X will end up as "second gear."

10:46 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

peter -

that's why I bet final version of bootcamp in leopard will actually just run the windows programs in OS X - you won't even see the start menu or any of that other windows stuff.

11:03 AM

Blogger Metro said...

Yes, I agree with both your statements. If BOOT CAMP continues as is as a separate app/sequence - you're right - people will just send it off in Windows and continue to work in it but presumably Apple will develop Leopard so that XP launches like CLASSIC did - in its own window so you could switch back and forth easily - of course, Apple will have to figure out a way to quarantine possible virii files but that's another matter.

1:18 PM

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