Will Apple Adopt Windows?

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by JayS, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. JayS


    Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185221,00.html

    Dvorak: Will Apple Adopt Windows?
    Monday, February 20, 2006
    By John C. Dvorak

    This would be the most phenomenal turnabout in the history of desktop computing. There's just one fly in the ointment.

    The idea that Apple would ditch its own OS for Microsoft Windows came to me from Yakov Epstein, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, who wrote to me convinced that the process had already begun.

    I was amused, but after mulling over various coincidences, I'm convinced he may be right. This would be the most phenomenal turnabout in the history of desktop computing.

    Epstein made four observations. The first was that the Apple Switch ad campaign was over, and nobody switched. The second was that the iPod lost its FireWire connector because the PC world was the new target audience.

    Also, although the iPod was designed to get people to move to the Mac, this didn't happen. And, of course, that Apple had switched to the Intel microprocessor.

    Though these points aren't a slam-dunk for Epstein's thesis, other observations support it. The theory explains several odd occurrences, including Apple's freak-out and lawsuits over Macintosh gossip sites that ran stories about a musicians' breakout box that has yet to be shipped. Like, who cares?

    But if Apple's saber-rattling was done to scare the community into backing off so it wouldn't discover the Windows stratagem, then the incident makes more sense. As does Bill Gates's onscreen appearance during Apple's turnaround when Jobs was taking a pot of money from Microsoft. The Windows stratagem may have been a done deal by then.

    This may also explain the odd comment at the Macworld Expo by a Microsoft spokesperson that Microsoft Office will continue to be developed for the Mac for "five years." What happens after that?

    This switch to Windows may have originally been planned for this year and may partly explain why Adobe and other high-end apps were not ported to the Apple x86 platform when it was announced in January. At Macworld, most observers said that these new Macs could indeed run Windows now.

    Bigger companies than Apple have dropped their proprietary OSs in favor of Windows — think IBM and OS/2. IBM also jumped on the Linux bandwagon over its own AIX version of Unix. Business eventually trumps sentimentality in any large company.

    Another issue for Apple is that the Intel platform is wide open, unlike the closed proprietary system Apple once had full control over.

    With a proprietary architecture, Apple could tweak the OS for a controlled environment without worrying about the demands of a multitude of hardware add-ons and software subsystems.

    Windows, as crappy as many believe it to be, actually thrives in this mishmash architecture. Products, old and new, have drivers for Windows above all else.

    By maintaining its own OS, Apple would have to suffer endless complaints about peripherals that don't work.

    As someone who believed that the Apple OS x86 could gravitate toward the PC rather than Windows toward the Mac, I have to be realistic. It boils down to the add-ons.

    Linux on the desktop never caught on because too many devices don't run on that OS. It takes only one favorite gizmo or program to stop a user from changing.

    Chat rooms are filled with the likes of "How do I get my DVD burner to run on Linux?" This would get old fast at Apple.

    Apple has always said it was a hardware company, not a software company. Now with the cash cow iPod line, it can afford to drop expensive OS development and just make jazzy, high-margin Windows computers to finally get beyond that five-percent market share and compete directly with Dell, HP and the stodgy Chinese makers.

    To preserve the Mac's slick cachet, there is no reason an executive software layer couldn't be fitted onto Windows to keep the Mac look and feel. Various tweaks could even improve the OS itself.

    From the Mac to the iPod, it's the graphic user interface that makes Apple software distinctive. Apple popularized the modern GUI. Why not specialize in it and leave the grunt work to Microsoft? It would help the bottom line and put Apple on the fast track to real growth.

    The only fly in the ointment will be the strategic difficulty of breaking the news to the fanatical users. Most were not initially pleased by the switch to Intel's architecture, and this will make them crazy.

    Luckily, Apple has a master showman, Steve Jobs. He'll announce that now everything can run on a Mac. He'll say that the switch to Windows gives Apple the best of both worlds. He'll say this is not your daddy's Windows.

    He'll cajole and cajole, and still hear a few boos. But those will be the last boos he'll hear, for then the Mac will be mainstream. We will welcome the once-isolated Apple mavens, finally.
  2. Tauvros


    Looks like they have no choice as the Mac OS X operating system has been hacked to do just that.

    Feb 17, 8:08 PM EST

    Mac-user sites shut for possible violation

    AP Technology Writer

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Two busy Web sites that focus on Apple Computer Inc.'s Mac OS X operating system went silent Friday just days after they featured links to information on how to hack the software and run it on non-Apple PCs.

    The OSx86 Project Web site stated Apple had served it with a notice on Thursday citing violations of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the site was reviewing all of its discussion forum postings as a result. The site has always aimed to adhere to copyright laws and is working with Apple to ensure no violations exist, according to a statement by the site administrator.

    The other Web site, Win2OSX.net, was completely shut down. Administrators there could not be immediately reached for comment.

    An Apple spokesman declined to comment Friday on the DMCA-based notices. The federal law prohibits anyone from distributing software or hardware that can circumvent copy protection mechanisms. The law has been criticized at times as being unconstitutional and too broad.

    Apple does not authorize the use of its Mac OS on machines other than its own, and earlier this week, the sites posted links to the Web site of a hacker who claimed his software patches could be used to run a version of the Mac OS on a non-Apple machine.

    The hacking endeavors are, for now, relegated to a small, technically savvy set, but it underscores a risk Apple faces if a pirated, functional version eventually becomes as accessible and straightforward as installing other software on a computer.

    It's a risk that became more apparent after Apple decided to make a historic transition from Power PC chips to Intel Corp.-based chips, the same type that its rivals use in predominant Windows-based PCs.

    Apple so far has two Intel-based computers on the market and plans to migrate the rest of its Macs to the Intel platform by the end of the year.

    The Mac maker had anticipated some people would try to crack its new Intel-compatible OS X operating system and deeply embedded some warnings to would-be hackers in the software, including one written in the form of a poem.

    The OSx86 Project Web site, which was formed after Apple announced its switch to Intel in June 2005, was among the many Mac-user sites that posted a copy of the poetic warning earlier this week.

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  3. alanm


    Seems like a ridiculous idea (the first post, not the second, opposite, one). AFAIK, people buy Macs for the UI and the design philosophy behind it and the apps that run under it. Put Windows on a Mac and it's just another Windows box. Why would people buy that, at a worse price/performance ratio, with much more limited availability, etc.? Chic? I doubt it.