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Apple's MacIntel Marketing Opportunity

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November 21, 2005

Apple's MacIntel Marketing Opportunity

Peter Burrows

Reading Arik's post, Can Apple Truly Tie OSX Down?, I got to thinking about the glorious marketing opportunities Apple will have once those Intel-based Macs start to come to market. Sure, Apple will face some PR challenges as it wages its inevitable crusade to shut down the Maxxuss' of the world. But that will pale next to Apple's increased ability to reach out to switchers far more persuasively. Apple will be able to argue that the only remaining non-standard thing about a Mac is the lack of the Windows operating system. Given Windows' vulnerability to viruses and other malware, that's a comparison Apple's marketeers should have a field day with. (One new piece of potential ammo is a new survey from Consumer Reports, which indicates that only 8% of Mac users have detected spyware in the last six months, versus 54% for Windows users).

Then there's the possibility that Apple could itself come out with a dual-boot Mac, capable of running Windows as well as OSX. Apple has said it won't do this, and I can understand why. From a user experience point of view, I just don't believe it can be done without a big performance hit, or without sacrificing the Mac's trademark simplificy and elegance. Still, it could make for some delicious ad copy. I can just see the banners at Macworld: "Finally, it's Apples to Apples."

09:16 PM


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Intel Macs ("MacIntels") will be able to run Windows, and Apple is okay with it. From CNET

"Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. 'That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will,' he said. 'We won't do anything to preclude that.'"

It's a subtle distinction: Apple won't be selling Windows, but they're going to have machines that are capable of running Windows. I think it's a great idea--imagine VirtualPC, but with near-perfect performance...

Posted by: Matt at November 22, 2005 11:32 AM

"only 8% of Mac users have detected spyware in the last six months, versus 54% for Windows users"

Actually, even this number is misleading; to the best of my knowledge, there is still no known spyware which directly impacts OS X. What that 8% is referring to is, most likely, WINDOWS spyware which is sent to the Mac user via spam attachments--annoying, but *not* the same thing as actual spyware.

Posted by: Charles Gaba at November 22, 2005 11:37 AM

I do not understand why it would be difficult for apple to encrypt the entire operating system using a feature like FileValut; and have the TPM module decrypt on the fly before sending the instructions to the processor.

The code in the TPM module could be used as the password to encrypt the file when the operating system is being installed.

Posted by: Macademia Nut at November 22, 2005 12:17 PM

Dual-booting is so 1990's.


Posted by: Clue at November 22, 2005 12:50 PM

What a disingenuous article, does Peter Burrows have a clue? Clearly not, there IS no spyware for the Mac... NONE! Doesn't exist, I'm a 25 years IT guy at a college with 2000 Windows boxes, 300 Linux boxes, and 800 Macintoshes, there isn't such a thing as Mac spyware. Clearly Mr. Burrows is another clueless Windows user who knows nothing about the Macintosh, posting pithy at best, lies at worst, information about he knows nothing.

Additionally Apple will thwart every attempt at keeping all but the hard core hacker installing OS X on anything but their own hardware. In other words mabe 1% of 1% of all computer users will either have the know-how, means, or illegal Warez, to run it, not to mention it wont be supported and won't work properly on hardware it's not made for. Apple will not be making dual boot machines, Steve Jobs wouldn't accept this.

Move along, there's nothing to see here except a writer full of hype and short on facts.

Posted by: Colin Nekritz at November 22, 2005 01:05 PM

The biggest kick in the marketing area will be the ad money Intel provides to their users. Look for a bump in advertising in 2006 related to the Mactels.

Windows use on a Mac will, hopefully, remain at the VPC type level. I have to have VPC (with 2000 Pro) and have 2000 isolated from the internet. I see Mactels running Windows a lot faster than Macs do today, but that isolation is a nice safety net.

For switchers in the Mactel world I believe they will shift over time to where they only use Windows when necessary. That's what happened to me and there are only two small Windows only apps I use today.

Posted by: Ken at November 22, 2005 02:11 PM

Isn't it Pathetic that x86 processors are being considered a "standard"???? What a poor standard....

Posted by: NickCharles at November 22, 2005 02:50 PM

There is clearly no spyware on OS X. I'm glad he reported that 8% of Mac users think they have it though--I'm curious where the number comes from. Are they among the most clueless of computer users? Are they actually running Windows? Is there something vaguely scam-esque in MacOS that we don't realize?

The writer isn't short on facts--it is a fact that 8% of the people in that study claim to have spyware on their Macs. I want to know why they think that, and I'm glad he raised the point.

Posted by: Matt at November 22, 2005 02:51 PM

A good Windows emulation should have 2 components. The first component would be a complete Windows machine in its own separate environment, implemented inside a specific window (like VirtualPC) or in a separate user account with Fast User Switching. This component would be used whenever Windows administrative tasks are needed. The second component would be a full-blown set of Window APIs, used to run Windows applications inside the Macintosh environment a bit like Darwine does, or similarly to Classic applications in OS X. Most users would only have to deal with the second component which is almost completely transparent - so there is no reason to think, like the author does, that Apple would not be able to pull it out without sacrificing the Mac's simplicity and elegance.

Posted by: Pierre at November 22, 2005 05:47 PM


If you want to regain some credibility, remember this for your next article: There are zero Mac viruses and zero Mac spyware. If someone tells you differently, ask for a specific example and confirm it before publishing.

Posted by: Chris at November 22, 2005 07:18 PM

Dual boot? Not very interesting. Much more interesting/likely is Windows running "inside" Mac OS X. If classic, including 68000, can run under OS X for PowerPC Apple can (will) likely get Windows - the new x86 "classic" - to run under OSx86. No real problem. A much better strategy than "depending" on MS to keep releasing unbroken versions of Virtual PC.

Posted by: Bruce at November 23, 2005 02:12 AM

If you all will pay attention, as was pointed out by Matt above, that CONSUMER REPORTS reported that 8% of Mac users responding to a SURVEY said they had received spyware. Maybe those people are confused, but the claim was not made by Pete. He was just stating what was reported elsewhere. The exact line from Pete:

"(One new piece of potential ammo is a new survey from Consumer Reports, which indicates that only 8% of Mac users have detected spyware in the last six months, versus 54% for Windows users). "

Posted by: Jeff at November 23, 2005 08:24 AM

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