Mac-Out My Windows Software – The Responses!

You know, when I put the word forth for your ideas, I never feel let down by the flood of responses that I receive. On this round of Q and A, I asked you what your thoughts were regarding regarding Windows software on a Mac, how this might be possible, and even if we could, one day, see an OS independent software world within our lifetimes.

Responses received were both predictable and unexpected. No matter how you slice it though, I am thrilled to present the following thoughts on the matter:

I don’t know if you’ve been following things much, but by this time next year, Mac OS X will work on Intel boxes. Well, specially made by Apple Intel boxes. Anyway, they’ve been shipping these boxes out to the developers to work on and low and behold, they load up XP without a hitch in addition to OS X.

So that means within the next year, you can have one machine that’s Apple Cool that runs both OSes without the need for emulation software.

I agree with you about Open Source being the best solution, but barring that eventuality, I think Apple’s latest move is going to be a smash hit!

Kay

Why do most techies think that everybody wants to switch to Mac in the first place? I’ve been in the Networking biz for 15 years and have seen no reason to switch to Mac. Isnt there some type of Mac newsletter this could be discussed at?

John

Initially, Apple limited its suitability for office use by producing products which did not offer 80 column text displays. (Apple II, 1977) Its choice of a different processor family has further inhibited its acceptance ever since and, combined with the proprietary nature of the hardware platform, left Apple with a niche market of desktop publishing.

Adoption of hardware standards like PCI slots and USB began a change in those core problems and its upcoming release of Intel based systems could lead to an explosive growth curve because it will remove the need for processor emulation, altogether (hmmm… maybe I ought to buy a little stock)!

Within the next year it ought to finally be possible to buy Apple’s OS? and install it on your PC or, buy an Apple and use a “virtual PC” product to fully run Windows based software, natively.

Geeze, if they follow the rules of computer design, placing all of the hardware drivers in the core of the O/S, we might finally escape from IBM and Microsoft’s blunder in 1982 and overcome the not-trivial issue of hardware compatibility. Now that’s exciting!

Davis

Matt, I may be totally “whacked out” with this idea, but is it possible to run a Terminal Services Window on a Mac to a Windows PC? Perhaps one that would allow an exchange of info through cut and paste? Maybe you can do that now? That way if I bought a Mac, I could still quickly refer back to programs on my PC? Maybe I need more coffee?

Wayne

The biggest thing that’s rarely mentioned is casual software piracy. Many home users rarely buy software, copying it, instead, from friends or colleagues. Most of those friends or colleagues use Windows.

That makes it difficult (and expensive) to be the first in your circle to move to Mac… that person would have to buy all their own software.

A similar dynamic (though legal) exists with computer support… most people have a friend or colleague they rely on for help. Once again, the informal support person is probably running Windows. While the Mac community-at-large can be very welcoming and helpful, for a person to consider making a switch, without knowing a Mac-using friend or colleague support-person can seem scary.

AZ

I’d like to buy a Mac. But an entry level Windows computer here is about $600 and an entry level Mac is over twice that price.
Learning how to use new software would also be annoying. And here, finding the software would be doubly annoying. It just isn’t available.

Perhaps owning a Mac is like using Linux over Windows. It accomplishes the same thing in a different way. And the users just like it that way.

Kind of like buying a Mercedes instead of a Ford or Chevy. Or in the case of Linux, kind of like buying a Yugo instead of a Mercedes, Ford, or Chevy. They all get you to the same destination.

Glenn

There are a couple of things that keep me using my PC. I play games, new games, not two or three year old games. The other thing is some Web sites, or appliances, require IE to use them or some of their functions. This keeps me turning on my PC at work.

As far as roll your own, I just got my Mac back from replacing the power supply, a job I could have done in a couple of days, if I had parts, as it is I had to have warranty work done. As you know, that sometimes takes forever. A new day is coming, though, with the Intel powered Macs on the horizon. I am not sure this is a good move for Apple, but what I see happening is people buying OS X and building their own. There will be hacks out there that will get around requiring purchasing hardware from Apple. Could this actually lead to some competition for MS in the OS field? Maybe, but it may spell the end of Apple.

Randy

As I see it, the primary reason people stay away from Macintrash is the outlandish cost of everything having to do with the parent system. I am forced to provide support for Macs in a graphics environment and I HATE it. Without fail, whenever something goes wrong, the fix is always difficult if not impossible to diagnose and consequently extremely expensive. Last month one of our dual processor G4s had a processor go bad. I cannot simply buy a replacement processor off the shelf and install it myself. As a user, I cannot even run diagnostics on the system to try and troubleshoot the problem. I HAD to send it to an authorized Mac Service Center that charged us ONLY $500.00 for a new processor… That’s a two year old processor that, if I could buy a PC equivalent, would have set me back perhaps $100.00 (I’m highballing the price).

Although strictly speaking the following opinion doesn’t keep individuals from switching to Macs, I still see it as contributing to the overall problem that keeps the price of Macs artificially elevated. It is unfortunate that Mac users have been suckered into The Cult of Macintosh. Thanks to incredible marketing, people seem to believe Apple to be a “friendly” company that really cares about its users while nothing could be further from the truth. Ever since Woz left, Apple has been a greedy, mean-spirited corporation that cares about nothing but the bottom line. It is not fun, it is not free-spirited, it is not rebellious in the marketplace, it does not do anything special for its employees; it is simply a company like any other. Nonetheless, Macheads continue to practically worship the ground upon which it walks (over them). This in turn allows Apple to charge exorbitant prices for hardware that is mediocre at best. Which of course means fewer people can justify spending money for the product.

Just for the record, I despise ALL proprietary manufacturers, not just Apple.

Dan

Since I started to get interested in computers around 1990, I always wanted to get an Apple computer. When the time came to buy my own computer, three things stopped me from purchasing an Apple. 1. They were too expensive for my budget. 2. The software I wanted to use (namely games) were in the Wintel side of computing. 3. Did not have a choice in configuration or upgrade.

Now 15 years later running on Windows and Intel (actually AMD), I am happy with my choice. I have learn much thru Wintel machines. I have four computers at home, all build by myself and never had any problems with virus, crashes, or any of the hoopla people keep talking about. I enjoy working with them and repairing others people computer.

I still would like to buy an Apple. Just to tinker with it. I am looking for a laptop for my daughter for college. But I still have the same three issues on not to buy one. It’s still too expensive compare with other brands. I cannot use the software I have and accumalted through the years. This means buying all new softwares. The choice is limited. For the size I need or want, I am looking for is a 14″ but only the iBook comes in the size which is underpowered and white. Dirty keyboard after some time. The powerbook has the power but is too small or too big and too pricey at $2,000. My local Best Buy, CompUSA, and Circuit City have similar laptops for around $1,000.

So, as you can see, Apple is for a selected few with the money but no brain. I will still stick with Wintel computers unless Apple does a drastic cut in prices.

BTW, I tried Linux. But since my Windows computer does not give me any problems and I could you all the software I want, why bother with it? I changed back to Windows.

Luis

I don’t know much about Mac, but I believe that the OS was born out of UNIX… if this is the case, then drivers and apps should be written to be compatible with both Mac and Linux. We could then kiss MS goodbye!

Graeme

I’m trying to dump windows… but there are some programs that I use that are Win-only: Collectorz.com Movie Collector; Pinnacle Studio 9 (although I do also use iMovie, iDVD, and Final Cut Express); BeyondTV3; Ilium eWallet/ListPro (PC&Palm); Camtasia Studio & SnagIt; PaperPort; and MS Streets & Trips – If I could find Mac versions of these… I’ve used Virtual PC – and will possibly use it again – although I’d prefer not to corrupt my Mac. But, on my ‘other’ computers – I have various versions of linux running (dual boot) – so I can at least keep them away from Windows problems.

Jack

Well, it seems that a lot of ground was covered here. The cost concerns of the Mac (software or hardware), compatibility, troubleshooting headaches and even the argument that some might just be better of sticking with Windows or using Linux instead. All of these interesting points to be sure. As I read through the responses, I found myself with more to think about than when I first started. “Geez, thanks guys!” Kidding, kidding. Actually, I did learn a few things and might even venture to say that I came away richer for asking the questions in the first place. Good stuff, fellas. Thanks!

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