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Thursday, 13 July 2006 17:48

Why Microsoft should fear Intel Macs

There has been much talk about the threat that Apple Macintosh computers now pose to Windows PCs - or should we say Windows only PCs. Make no mistake, the talk is well justified, as recent market research shows. However, what hasn't been talked about as much is the very real threat that Macs now pose to the Windows operating system itself.

Stories about Apple's Boot Camp software and vitualization software from US startup Parallels, both of which allow Windows and Mac OSX to coexist on new Mac desktops and notebooks, are already sending shivers through the collective spines of Windows PC vendors. The new Macs are well priced, well made and now present an attractive alternative to the one dimensional PCs in the marketplace.

Who wouldn't want a computer that could enable you to run all of your legacy applications as well as provide you with access to a bunch of new ones that are easy to use and come preloaded in a package that is comparable in price to the alternatives?

The issue for Microsoft is that all of a sudden its users who have bought their first Mac, will be exposed to a new operating system which will enable them to do most of the tasks that they have been doing on Windows. Plus the new operating system will be less susceptible to malware, easy to use and have excellent inbuilt features that home users like, such as fast searching for files using with a feature called spotlight and a great media player. As a Mac user says, it's nice to feel that you can do your internet banking without worrying that you have a key stoke tracking Trojan installed.

All of the above may not be of concern to Microsoft in the business environment, but in the home there is a definite issue. Most home users couldn't care less about work applications. All they want to do is surf the net, listen to music, watch movies, send emails, talk to their friends using Skype, and maybe write a letter. You don't need Windows for any of that and you don't need monthly Patch Tuesdays.

Possibly the worst thing that has ever happened to Microsoft in recent times, aside from the rise of Google, is the move of Apple to the Intel platform. It is a law of physics that molecules in a densely packed chamber will tend to filter through a diaphragm separating the chamber from a less densely packed area. It's called osmosis. With Windows coexisting with Mac OSX on the same box, the osmosis of Windows users to the less crowded Mac OSX space is a real concern for Microsoft.

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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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