On Oct 14, 7:23 pm, MuahMan <muah...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Why fear Apple? Gates could buy Apple with his spare change jar.
The U.S. Government - which is not for sale - might object. There's
that nasty little thing called antitrust law.
Referring to an "Apple Tax", though, does just make him look stupid.
Yes, if you choose Apple, you pay more, which does make it not the
best choice for people who view computers as commodity items and want
the widest possible choice of software at the lowest price. (Well, at
least if you don't connect your computer to the Internet, so that you
don't have to worry about viruses.) But that's not comparable to the
"Microsoft Tax", the pricing that means that people who want to buy a
Linux computer end up paying for a copy of Windows - at least if they
buy prebuilt, especially if they buy a laptop.
But that may be the whole idea, to bury the complaint about a
"Microsoft Tax" in confusion with the "Apple Premium". Sure, this may
sound stupid to people knowledgeable about computers, but what
fraction of the people who buy computers are that?
Is Apple scary?
Well, Linux is scary to Microsoft. After all, given the per-user
licensing for Windows Server, Linux is a very sensible alternative for
server-type applications, because you can get database programs that
run on it.
Linux, though, is roll-your-own. You can't go into a store near you
and buy packaged software for Linux. You can for a Mac.
So Linux threatens the Microsoft server market.
The Macintosh - and *not* Linux, yet - threatens Microsoft on the
Yes, threatens. The Apple Premium notwithstanding - which the virus
problem for Windows does somewhat counterbalance - and it *would* be
an Apple Tax if you bought a Mac and didn't do anything with it but
run Windows under Boot Camp on it, but why would anyone do that
(unless after buying a Mac, they became dissatisfied) - the Macintosh
is a *choice* for the desktop.
You can get the *most* popular applications. You can get the *most*
popular games. You can get enough software to get by, and if you don't
expect to need some really exotic program that's only for Windows,
it's not a problem.
And *now*, _if you buy a Mac_, you can have BOTH a Mac and a Windows
computer for just the price of Windows software! (Full version,
admittedly, not upgrade or OEM.)
This is like the OLD days, where if you already have an IBM PC-
compatible, you have a choice between buying a new computer to have a
Macintosh, or just buying a copy of Windows 3.1 for the price of the
software. But turned around in favor of Apple this time - buy the
Macintosh first, and having both types of computer, *if you end up
needing them* is cheaper.
So if you are surprised by needing a copy of some exotic Windows-only
program, there's an out.
So the Mac is gaining.
Will it ever win?
Microsoft sells the software; Apple sells the software _and_ the
Thus, if you compare gross revenues from Microsoft sales of Windows to
gross revenues from Apple sales of OS X *and* Macintosh computers...
which could be considered a somewhat unfair comparison, of course...
with 18% market share, Apple has already "won".
With Windows Vista - which is plagued by serious speed problems, but
Microsoft *ought* to be able to *fix* them (one major cause is that
they decided to leave out video acceleration applicable to older
programs, as an article on _The Register_ noted, but since it also
noted that file copying is slow, that can't be the only thing - and
I've seen claims things have improved with Vista SP1) - Microsoft has
at least taken steps to reduce the virus issue to the proverbial "dull
And the extra flexibility of having a toe in both worlds by buying a
Macintosh is only worth something if the Mac offers something you
can't get on a PC. If security against viruses isn't it, and if the
better user experience percieved by Mac users isn't valued highly
enough (hey, I get to point and click to do stuff under Windows,
that's close enough)... what's left?
The killer app. What killer app is Mac-only?
So the Macintosh isn't even on a lot of people's *radar screens* as a
possible choice. Yet.
In my opinion, Apple is shooting itself in the foot a little by being
greedy, and not including "Carbon" and OS9 as a free-of-charge feature
in OS X. Backwards compatibility with all the *old* Mac software would
not hurt Apple to provide (unless they're paying per unit to license
the JIT tech in Carbon, of course) and since the big weakness of the
Mac is the software you can run on it, being able to run the old Mac
software would be a plus in a weak area, even if a small one.
So the Mac is not a hog like Vista, and not as virus-plagued as the
earlier versions of Windows, and maybe offers a better user
experience... but it costs a bit more. The advantage would be with the
Mac... except that the much larger pool of Windows users is
irresistible to *applications* developers, and applications are what
you buy a computer _for_.
So the basic Mac situation hasn't changed for the last decade or so,
the lack of applications options is still the issue? But the Intel Mac
and Boot Camp has made it not as utterly an issue - the penalty for
guessing wrong is an overpriced PC, not an expensive doorstop. (That's
how it _seems_, anyways; PC users aren't familiar with how well Macs
do in resale value.)
So things are a *bit* more vulnerable to change if:
1) a really good application for the Mac only comes along, or
2) Mac market share, in its slow climb, reaches a point where software
developers are less likely to ignore it, or
3) the virus situation for Windows gets worse, or
4) Apple comes out with something sort of like the Mac Mini that is
just a bit cheaper which becomes the 'obvious' choice for the I just
surf and check E-mail crowd.
None of these are all that likely. Apple could control (1) by writing
the application itself. (4) is definitely under Apple's control, but
it isn't in Apple's character to...
make a stripped-down Mac, and accept the pain of selling it through...
If you want to strip the crown of being "the Standard" away from
Windows, you have to bite the bullet and do something on that order.
Does Apple want it that badly? Maybe it thinks computers are passe,
and the future is the iPod and the iPhone and other new products.
That's up to them, but I think that it's very worthwhile for the
Macintosh to survive, but it won't be sure to survive without bigger
mindshare as well as bigger market share.
Microsoft won't buy it for pocket change, but it could step on it and
squash it by accident.