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February 16, 2006

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Mike McC

With the caveat that I work in a traditionally Mac-friendly industry (online marketing) I'm seeing movement in the opposite direction. Certain business groups (such as Flash designers) are already 100% Apple hardware, and other groups wihtin the company have stated a preference for OS X over Windows. A simple majority of upper management in the company has adopted Apple hardware, and our bizdev people have just decided to move to powerbooks as their daily machines.

I've used Virtual PC but have never been happy with it. Because the majority of Windows-only tools that my company deploys are actually IE-only tools, VPC is too "heavy" a solution for most of my needs.

When we chose Resource Management software that requires IE on Windows (clearly, not all upper management is pro-Apple) we bought a dedicated server per office to be our terminal servers. The Mac employees use Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection and the terminal server to do the Windows-only portions of their work.

What makes me think that this migration will continue? The IT managers at the company who were staunchly anti-Apple agreed to acquire familiarity with OS X, and are all starting to use their Macs quite frequently, even in preference to their Windows desktops.

What's driving this at my company? Image, addiction to buzz, Entourage 2004 on Exchange 2003 (finally "good enough" although still not great), broad adoption of web based software for essential services, and perceived freedom from the virus/anti-virus culture.

My two cents,

Mike M

pwb

That's the *dumbest* thing I've heard in a long while.

Apple might include an easy way to run Windows apps and connect up to a Windows world but it *obviously* won't dump OSX.

Raj

Apple turning into another Microsoft OEM in favour of OS X would be their death knell.

Corporates can get Dell gear at far better prices with far better support (try getting an Apple engineer to provide 4 hour onsite support response to a dead PowerBook). Dell hardware may be comparitively cheap and nasty but its modular, easy to service and at least for corporates the service is pretty outstanding.

At least with OS X and super tight integration of hardware / software it provides a measure of differentiation / value add to their line.

Alfredo Octavio

Hi John, Dvorak predicted the Apple's jump to Intel, so I think we have to seriously think his crazy ideas from now on. The new Macs with Intel will run Virtual PC much faster. In that scenario, corporate may decide to give macs, but developers may decide to develop only for Windows... In that case, Apple's jump to Windows starts looking like a possibility...

Steve Kimbrough

This is probably Microsoft's version of viral marketing. Put out negative, dispiriting propaganda on your competition in hopes of driving their customers away. The guy's a hack, of the sort we usually see with political commentators. Fact is about 80% of Apple's OS is open source. Supplying the rest gives Apple a competitive advantage.

Dan Lyke

Dvorak is of the "throw enough crap against the wall that some of it will stick and he can claim success" camp, but let's distill this a bit.

While Apple may very well want to get out of the computer business and become a straight consumer electronics company, I think Steve is smart enough to realize that having OS X is a big differentiator, and that Cocoa (ie: the NeXT codebase) is a big reason that the Mac has vertical markets. And Apple having control over the operating system and the hardware helps in the stability of the platform; Macs are a lot more stable than Windows boxes, and the overall user experience is muich better. Period.

However, those of you who are mentioning VirtualPC in conjunction with the Intel Macs have never run VMWare, which already solves the Windows problem really nicely on Intel Linux platforms, without trying to emulate a processor. There are also several WINE derivatives which blur the line even further, although I haven't used any of them (yet, we're in the process of becoming an all Un*x house, mostly Linux, and TurboTax time is coming up...).

It's totally reasonable that the Mac developers could continue to take advantage of all that the Mac has to offer, corporate desktops could deploy Microsoft applications under VMWare or a WINE derivative, the Un*x/Linux crowd would be happy because all of their stuff is just another X based application, and the Intel Macs become the ultimate corporate desktop machine. Because they run everything, and because they have the Cocoa development environment.

sfenerule

Considering that NeXT had performed the migration to x86 once before, had hijacked AAPL engineering after the acquisition, and Jobs had, back in The iCEO Day, been heard telling Moto officials during a plant tour words to the effect that he looked forward to 'the day when he didn't have to deal with them anymore', Dvorak seems less prescient.

Windows ISVs aren't going to develop for the Mac anyway, even as Mac market share grows one, two, maybe three points over the next two years; most will have jumped troutlike into the locked trunk of .Net. Developers adopting Cocoa and offering Universal binaries will both 1) see their fortunes multiply as a rising tide of market share lifts all boats, and 2) have a place to go when AAPL drops a Yellow Box on proliferating, super speedy & cheap, Linux-operated Cell machines.

John Robb

Apple's marketshare is growing. So many of the professionals I know are going with Apple because life in the Windows world is so difficult (adware, viruses, etc.). My fear (which was confirmed yesterday with the announcement of ichat worm) is that Apple's marketshare may be high enough to attract attackers.

In the old permissive model, scale was everything. Today, with a growing number of attackers on the prowl (and positive feedback loops from criminal activity), a huge monoculture is a liability.

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