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John Dvorak's Predictions
I only just got around to reading John Dvorak's two articles on Why Apple Should Switch to Windows and on Why Apple should Open-Source OS X. I was a little surprised because of all the bull I heard about what these articles were supposedly saying.
For one, I've heard he had predicted Boot Camp. But nowhere in the first article does Dvorak say Apple would drop OS X and switch to Windows. From what he writes, he seems to be more of a proponent of using Windows as the kernel underneath Mac OS X. He also mentions nothing anywhere that remotely sounds like Boot Camp. At most, you could argue that the drivers for Apple's keyboard and hardware that come with Boot Camp could be a testing balloon for what's to come later.
In addition, he claims that "nobody switched". Now, I may be delusional, but in the last three years at Uni, I've seen more and more Powerbooks pop up in lecture halls. While I was the only Mac guy when I started studying, by now Macs are almost at 50%, at least among laptops that people actually take with them (as opposed to the laptops that people buy because they don't want their computer to use up space in their flat).
So, while I agree that the "switch" campaign was pretty pointless (except for giving us the ever-lovely Ellen Feiss (I'm serious, she's cool) and some hilarious parodies of other switchers), what the press calls the "halo effect" seems to be working well. iPods are hugely popular as well. Admittedly, I don't have any numbers to back this up except my observations in two German cities, but then neither does Dvorak provide any.
His second article has a couple of oddities that make me consider it unlikely to be correct: If he'd heard the complaints from non-Apple Darwin developers complaining about how Tiger's Darwin core for Intel is incomplete, he'd probably agree. Why would Apple piss off their potential co-developers in such a way if they were still aiming at going open source?
As to Boot Camp: I expected the firmware patch. I actually expected it to be right in the computer when it shipped. For ages, "Enterprise people" have smashed Macs for not being "open" enough. With that gone, companies can buy Macs and reuse them as generic Linux or Windows boxen should they ever want to. It gets Apple hardware sales and OS X sales. It looks good in the statistics and invites people to just try a Mac. Why they went beyond the call of duty and added an assistant? That one has me stymied.
Still, if you ever had a system where you had to dual-boot, you'll know that this is annoying. Most Mac OS X users are used to just sending their machine to sleep and then wake it up in a second when it's needed again. With dual-boot, you can install most popular OSs, you can run foreign software, but you have to wait minutes to boot from one OS into the other. Admittedly, I'm not a representative user, but I'll still be asking for native Mac software exactly because of this. While I'm in Windows, I can't go to my Mac to check my mail for a second.
In addition, all I found on Vista's system requirements was that it would not show the Aero UI on some systems. To me this sounds like a nightmare to software developers with custom controls, but otherwise doesn't sound that much worse than what we had with Quartz Extreme and Core Image. But I agree that Boot Camp looks suspiciously like a test balloon, and if past experiences are anything to go by, we might not even see the result of this test until 10.6.
In short: Dvorak's facts aren't (IMHO). And I also haven't got a clue where Apple is headed. If rumors of virtualisation making it into OS X are true, I hope they know what they're doing. Since they're the execs and bussinessmen, and I'm just a programmer, it's more likely that they do than I. So I'm not worried.
Created: 2006-04-19 @131 Last change: 2019-03-20 @933 | Home | Admin | Edit|
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