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Thursday, 13 April 2006 17:21

Apple & Windows: a hyped tale of two proprietary systems

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Also see
Mac OSX on PCs floodgates opening
and
It's a wireless world, but not for Apple
and don't miss
Apple targets PC giants with Boot Camp 

Over the past week we have seen numerous reports of basically much ado about nothing. Contrary to what many pundits are saying, the fact of the matter is most Apple Macintosh users hate Windows and vice versa, so who cares if the new Intel Macs can run both operating systems?

Another fact that appears to have been all but ignored is that Macintosh, being the most elitist and closed proprietary operating system in the world, has such a tiny market share, that it is all but irrelevant to most users except arty types. It is true that Macs are high quality machines with superior graphics and plug-and-play capabilities. However, any enterprise (other than Apple) that even considered deploying overpriced Macs with their overpriced software packages on the desktop would need to have their head examined, even if they can also run Windows.

As for home users, walk into any home today and chances are you will find a clunky old PC happily running some version of buggy old Windows. The reason is that the PC will do everything the Mac does and more that the average home user wants at a fraction of the price. Ok, it won’t do it as elegantly in some cases but most users couldn’t give two hoots. So why would they want to pay thousands extra for a Mac?

On the other hand, speak to Mac users and they will turn up their noses,  grimace at the thought of using a Windows PC and smirk at all those unfortunate souls who can’t understand why spending thousands of dollars on locking themselves into a proprietary computer system that hardly anybody else uses is necessary. So why would they want to lower themselves to the level of the masses and install that horribly buggy and backward Windows system on their beautiful, elegant pastel coloured Macs?

Windows users, as any Linux evangelist will tell you, are also locked into their proprietary Wintel platform. However, at least they can feel a measure of comfort that most of us are in the same boat and Windows has after all become a standard of sorts.

So why on earth is such a fuss being made about the Boot Camp program? Who knows? If it is indeed an attempt by Apple to win back some of the market share it has squandered over the past 20 years by pretending the game was all about the hardware rather than the software, then it is way too late. Computers are now such a commodity that they’re rapidly becoming a waste disposal problem. As for software, much to Microsoft’s chagrin, we are now in the era where much of it is now open source and can be downloaded for free.

Incidentally, we ran a story a couple of days ago about how a PC user had successfully pirated Mac OSX. The story barely created a raised eyebrow. Perhaps the reason is, in the scheme of things as they exist in the desktop world of today, who cares?

 

Also see
Mac OSX on PCs floodgates opening
and
It's a wireless world, but not for Apple
and don't miss
Apple targets PC giants with Boot Camp 


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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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