I am a hardcore PC geek. I have Microsoft certifications with a career in Information Technology Management at a software company. I have been using PCs since I was 14 years old and had my first consulting job fixing PC problems for various firms right out of high school at age 16. I have built almost all of my computers myself and fix all of my friends PCs. I almost exclusively play games on my Uber PC. In short, I know PCs.
Want to know a secret? The computer that got me excited about computers was the Apple IIe. The computer lab at my high school offered two choices… Unix based terminals for word processing or Apple IIe for programming. Naturally, I chose programming. I learned BASIC on AppleDOS and moved onto Pascal after that. My second BASIC program, a text adventure game, ran out of RAM: all 32KB of it. I loved those computers. I eventually moved onto the one and only Mac II that my high school had and played Dark Castle every change I had. I remember the first Mac IIcx I saw that could play sound bites from movies. Man, I was hooked. Alas, my future was not with Apple though. When I met my best friend, he showed me the world of PCs and the thousands of programs you could use and the rest is history.
Here I am, 30 years old, feeling nostalgic about Apples. I want a Mac, but they have never been practical for a windows IT geek. I don’t really have a good use for them and having a Mac for the sake of having a Mac is a luxury I cannot afford. Besides, a Mac sitting next to my PC would collect a lot of dust. I might hop on it once in a while, but really, what would I do with it that I couldn’t just do on my PC? I might like the video editing software better. Certainly the 3D interface seems better. I love to play with the UI in the Mac Store, but it’s cool factor yields little productive value for me. If I was a graphic designer or an amateur movie editor, then I might get some use of it. As it stands, I can’t even play my favorite games on it. My most used applications don’t have native versions.
So I have a proposal for those Holier-Than-Thou alleged geeks at Apple: Write the next version of your OS for the PC platform. Leave the Mac hardware in the dust where it belongs.
That’s not to say there is anything wrong with the Mac hardware… other than it’s not a PC. The PC market has thousands of peripherals, thousands of games, programs, and other doo-dads that only work on a PC. All of you elitest Mac users need to take a deep breath and realize that, really, the only thing unique to the Mac is the UI and the only reason it can’t run on a PC is because Apple won’t let it.
Sure, the Mac hardware has a distinctive, clean look about it. But under the hood, there’s no reason it couldn’t be a PC. Imagine the latest G5, with it’s distinctive look, and lack of wires (inside and out)… with PC based hardware under the hood.
Heck, Apple is already part way there. Ditching the PowerPC platform for the Intel platform is a step in the right direction. However, those not-so-worthy-of-the-title geeks that run the show have stated and restated that the Mac OS will never run on anything other than a Mac. Way to go. Yay. I hope that business plan reveals it’s sour fruit sooner than later.
95% (guesstamation) of the free world has a PC (or 2 or 3) in their homes. I don’t know what the market share really is, but Macs have to be a very small piece of the computing pie. Here’s what Apple should do. If you’re reading this Steve, feel free to steal this business plan and use it. You are welcome to it. Honest.
Goal: Create larger user base. Increase revenue and profits.
Step 1: Create new design team to integrate the Mac hardware experience into the PC platform. In short, built cool PC cases and related peripherals that cut down on wires, offer the well known Mac look, and innovate the user experience with hardware. You’re good at this already… just needs to be applied to the PC market.
Step 2: Develop Mac OS XI for the PC platform.
Step 2a: Develop strong relationships with hardware manufacturers (Intel, ATI, NVidia, ASUS, Abit, Creative Labs, etc). Develop tools and APIs that make it easy for them to write hardware drivers compatible with the new OS. You don’t have to support everything, but the major stuff would be a huge win.
Step 2b: Develop strong relationships with software makers. Develop tools and APIs that make it easy for them to port existing and write new apps for OS XI.
Step 3: Develop cool hardware detection and driver installation software into the OS. The OS should be easy to install and require little effort to setup (similar to Windows). You don’t have to support all hardware, but supporting the latest 2-3 years worth of hardware would be a start.
Step 5: Sell the MacOS as a stand-alone product and bundled OEM with new PCs. There is no reason that you should be able to select “Mac OS XI” or “Windows Vista” when purchasing your new Dell.
Step 6: Watch money roll in and Microsoft squirm in their seats.
Seriously… PC users want cool. We just want cool *with* business functionality and games. Games Steve-o. Games.
You might argue that *nix already offers a viable alternative to the Mac OS. Maybe someday, but even Linux with X-Windows can’t touch the market share of the Mac user base. Mac users already exist. Cool, albeit few, software packages exist for the Mac. Mac is something easy to use that people will actually install in their home. Heck, most software stores don’t carry Mac software anymore. It’s just doesn’t have the power to sell itself. Imagine if Apple set their minds to building a Media Center style application for Home Theatre use. Unlike Microsoft, Apple gets UI. They understand user interface and are leaps ahead of their OS competitor. I just want to see their potential realized in the market that needs it. I know it’s not this simple, but I believe it is the inevitable future and Apple needs to quit fighting and embrace it.
Select an OS to continue booting.
1) Windows Vista
2) MacOS XI
Steve, your latest commercial said that the Intel processor was waiting to be set free inside the new Macs. You’re wrong Steve. The latest MacOS is waiting to be set free inside a PC. Built it and we will come; and we will come with money.