I’ve been waiting for John Gruber to chime in on the Boot Camp beta, and I’m not disappointed. He has put everything into words much more eloquently than I ever could, and he is (as usual) one hundred percent correct. I highly recommend the read.
“But everything about Boot Camp is calibrated to position Windows-on-Mac as the next Classic-style ghetto — a compatibility layer that you might need but that you wish you didn’t.”
And here’s someone with the opposite view, a view I believe to be wrong. If you read the article (from Apple Matters) the author uses the example of Apple’s previous hardware-based forays into the Windows world — when you could purchase a compatibility card for your Mac allowing you to run Windows at native speeds.
He claims (without evidence) that this hardware actually spawned Mac users to switch to Windows, and that this is the likely scenerio, in the long run, from Boot Camp. I disagree. Apple has a much more advanced, and robust operating system this time around with which Windows cannot compete. Not even Vista (as Gruber points out in the article linked above), whose betas are widely available and documented, can hold a candle technologically to what Mac OS X contains today. Microsoft is forced into spending too much time plugging its vast security holes, and in the process has delayed Vista by at least 3 years already, and stripped it of anything that would set it apart from being something more than just Windows XP SP3.
That said, I don’t believe there’s a posibility of Mac users ditching their elegant, working, advanced systems — which by OS X 10.5 later this year, will be even further beyond what Vista can’t even pretend to be — but I do believe there is a posibility of the opposite.
And let’s not forget the key point: even if people end up switching to Windows, they are still using a Mac. And Apple Computer, Inc. is first and foremost a hardware company, that is no secret. They may have the nicest, most robust operating system available, but that’s irrelevant to them when it comes to selling hardware.
Apple has done nothing less than show its confidence in its products. They are sending a very clear message to consumers: we are so sure that you love our product, we’re going to let you run the competitor’s product too. We’ll let you decide which OS you want, but one thing’s for certain: you won’t regret buying this hardware.
Apple will get a few more percentage points of marketshare from this. No doubt about it, and lots more cash.
Perhaps the most telling detail of all of the coverage of Boot Camp is this quote pulled form c|net news.com:
“Benchmarking by CNET shows that running Windows applications on an Intel Mac with Boot Camp is just like any other Windows PC.”
The keypoint: running Windows on an Intel Mac is just like any other Windows PC… obvious to some, but I think for most of the PC-buying public, this bit of info circulating is going to decrease the barrier to entry even more, and cause switching in itself. It all comes down to the comfort thing… just being armed with the knowledge that a Mac can run Windows, just like any other computer, will make the switch decision much much easier for many.
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