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Six reasons OSX will not go mainstream

Friday, November 14, 2008

Apple has a great consumer OS on its hands. Its sleek, it's easy to use and it will not ever make it to mainstream America.

There are 6 reasons why we will never see Apple take more than a third of the market share. For the sake of this article, mainstream will be referred to as greater than 33% of all computers.

Reason #6: The corporate world won't adopt OSX. Look around your office, more than likely you're looking at a Windows based environment. While it's true that not all companies run Windows, it is safe to say that the majority do in some form. Why wont corporations switch? Its simple, companies invest millions of dollars to keep up a Windows based infrastructure. The only thing costlier than maintaining thousands of computers is to replace them all, all with OSX.

If we can't convert our companies to OSX then we stand little chance in convincing institutions of higher education to do the same. The idea is based on a waterfall principle that we need a major change on one front to affect the rest. The problem is that the world revolves around money and it costs money to replace current infrastructures with OSX. While corporations are not the only user of computers they have a massive trickle down effect. The average person can pick up and use a Windows computer without a problem no matter what version they use; it's a 'comfortable' operating system. The same can not be said about OSX, while it may be easy to use, not nearly as many people have used OSX as compared to Windows. If our corporations use Windows our schools will teach upon it, how many people have taken a Windows based course before?

Reason #5: Software. Let's take a simple look at the available software titles out there for each platform. Regardless of the topic Windows based programs dwarf the OSX competition with ease. If your looking for a program to do a certain task you will, without a doubt, have more options on Windows PC. If you're a hardcore gamer there is no option but to have a copy of Windows at your disposal if you care to keep up on the most current titles.

If you're into business software the options for OSX are dismal at best. While it's unfortunate that Microsoft commands so much power, the latest versions of Microsoft Office always come out on Windows before OSX. While not a deal breaker for the home user it can be for reason #5.

Reason #4: Apples Image. Apple has built the image that it is modern and un-Microsoft. While this is working out great for Apple in the short term it also limits its user base. Take a look at any OSX vs Vista advertisement. It's always the cool kid making fun of the suit Vista. While this is great for the college student looking to get a computer it doesn't work so well with mom and dad who very well may see themselves as a 'suit' in that picture. Look around your dinner table and more than likely your father or mother is a suit at work. Professionalism is key to many adults and Apple has steered itself away from be the professional option. Good for poor college kids not so good for the hard working suit.

Reason #3: OSX is a closed platform. Want to build a custom computer with OSX; don't even try (legally). Apple has limited the configurations that OSX can be implemented on. This works well for Apple's business model but anyone who wants to construct a custom built computer is not able to use OSX (legally). If you're trying to build the ultimate computer with bleeding edge technology for your need, OSX is not an option. Lock the platform and you lock out consumers.

Reason #2: The Apple Tax. To get a computer running OSX you must buy a computer from Apple. Apple computers have a higher cost than a traditional PC from Dell or HP. Also it has to be mentioned that there is no low-cost option. The cheapest option is the Mac-mini which starts at $599.99. For someone looking to buy a budget PC, Apple is not an option.

Reason #1: Steve Jobs. To become a major competitor you must remain strong for the foreseeable future. Many people don't like to buy into a product that doesn't have a long life ahead of it. Regardless of how well OSX runs, how cool it looks, it can all be attributed back to Steve Jobs; he is the master of sales and marketing. Much of Apple's recent success can be attributed to his skills. Steve Jobs will not live nor want to work forever. When Steve passes the buck to the next person in line will his horde of followers accept this?


New MacBooks Can Do More than Apple Says

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On its website, Apple touts the just-introduced aluminum Macbook as being able to go up to 4 gigs of memory. However, history has shown that Apple sometimes stays on the safe side (if you will), when it comes to listing technical stuff. This time it's no different.

When talking about “Processor and memory,” Apple says its 13-inch MacBook has a 2.0GHz or 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (depending on what you want), with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 with processor speed, and 1066MHz frontside bus. As for the supported memory, Apple says the new MacBook ships with “2GB (two 1GB SO-DIMMs)” modules of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, while the notebook itself boasts two SO-DIMM slots. According to the company, the maximum amount of RAM supported is 4GB. “Not true,” sources reveal.

Being the 32-bit chipset that it is, it would be easy to assume that Nvidia's 9400M is limited to 4 gigabytes of RAM. According to 9to5mac, this is not the case. Why? “The desktop equivalent 9300 32-bit chipset maxes out at 8Gb of RAM. They would be unlikely to limit the max RAM on a higher model chipset,” the source notes. They went forth with calling up Nvidia on this, and what do you know – it's true. Apple's 13-incher does 8 gigs, or at least so it should, according to an Nvidia insider. An email from Nvidia's Ken (Ken who?), goes a bit like this:

“Yes! 8Gb MacBooks should be no problem ... an 8GB system can be built using two such SODIMMs after the memory is qualified with GF 9400M. I’m curious why you were thinking of loading up on memory? In terms of gaming perf, going from 4GB to 8GB of system memory would have little to no effect.”

Why anyone would want to beef up on the MacBook's memory is of little importance right now. What matters is that it's physically, and technically, possible to have a 13-inch aluminum MacBook packing 8 gigs of functional random access memory.

Adding this to the “hidden” compatibility with the iPhone headset, we now have two super-powers that Apple hasn't mentioned in regards to its best selling Mac. What else are we going to find in those things... living parts?

Linux and Mac OS X Eat Away at Windows, Even with XP SP3 and Vista SP1

Friday, July 4, 2008

Even with the latest service pack releases for the two supported Windows clients, rival operating systems Linux and Mac OS X are still eating away at the install base of Microsoft's proprietary operating system.

Concomitantly with the retirement of Bill Gates from his day to day role with the Redmond company, Windows has passes the 1 billion milestone in terms of its global audience. And while Microsoft is indeed gunning for the next five billion users, the fact of the matter is that the share of its client is going down month after month for the benefit of Mac OS X and Linux. 

Statistics published by Net Applications reveal that Windows was down to 90.89% at the end of the past month from 91.13% in May 2008. This, while Mac OS X is close to reaching no less than 8% of the operating system market, having jumped to 7.94% in June, up from 7.83% in May. In the past couple of months, Linux accounted for an impressive growth going up from 0.68% all the way to 0.80%. Net Applications continue to place Linux under the 1% market share mark, but the open source operating system is approaching the milestone at a rate that translates into a steady growth tendency. 

Responsible for the erosion of Windows' market share is not so much XP, even though it has been dropping like a rock ever since Vista hit, but older Windows operating systems on which Microsoft has already pulled the plug in terms of support. Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows 98 still hold together over 3% of the operating system market, but are seeing their users switch to alternative solutions from month to month. 

Service Pack 3 for XP did nothing to impact the descendant trajectory of the operating system which dropped from 72.12% to 71.20% in the past two months. At the same time, even with Service Pack 1, Vista's growth is still limited under 1% per month and has just hit a share of 16.14% at the end of June, representing approximately 160 million licenses of the operating system sold worldwide.