Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
I, Cringely - The Survival of the Nerdiest with Robert X. Cringely
Search I,Cringely:

Predictions
BOB Predictions TRIBE Predictions
BOB Predictions
< Previous | Next >     View All 2006
#3
OUTCOME: No Way!

Look for OS X to run (unsupported) on Generic Intel Hardware

Status: [OPEN] comments (1) | add a comment | confidence poll
But Apple WILL make some inroads against Microsoft. The new Intel Macs will run Windows XP unofficially, and Apple Support acknowledges that they are only days from running XP officially, too. So Apple finally has a solid argument why Windows-centric companies and homes should consider trying a Mac. The best case, though, says that Apple sells an additional million units, which aren't enough for Steve Jobs, so I see him going into a kind of stealth competition with Microsoft. Here's how I believe it will work. Apple won't offer versions of OS X for generic Intel hardware because the drivers and the support obligation would be too huge. But just as you can buy a shrink-wrapped copy of 10.4 for your iMac, they'll gladly sell you a shrink-wrapped Intel version intended for an Intel Mac, but of course YOU CAN PUT IT ON ANY MACHINE YOU LIKE. The key here is to offer no guarantees and only limited support, patterned on the kind you get for most Open Source packages -- a web site, forums, download section. and a wiki. Apple will help users help themselves. With two to three engineers and some outreach to hackers and hardware makers, Apple could put together an unofficial program that could easily attract two to three million Windows users per year to migrate their old machines to the new OS. Imagine the profit margins of three engineers effectively generating $300-plus million per year in sales.
UPDATES
Confidence Poll

Status: [CLOSED] responses (238) | Jan 08, 2007

53%
AGREE
47%
DISAGREE

Comments from the Tribe

Status: [OPEN] read all comments (1) | add a comment

Writing's on the wall for Bob's comment and has been there. While Mac OSX will trail in application compatibility this isn't the crowd that Steve would aim his i Suite at. Semi-passive, media hungry users is the new target market, not the high-end graphics/media artist market which has been lost to Windows. So if you can easily, more seamlessly, beautifully run your apps, sync your iPod, and be secure without a bunch of additional software (white lie), make home videos, surf the web, play with Mac OS gadgets, and run it on today's hardware you're the target audience. To heck with application compatibility, a broad expanse of solutions, and extensive hardware compatibility b/c this market values SIMPLICITY and ease of use above all else. They'll follow to buy the iTV, iPOD, iLivingRoom, or whatever hardware/software combination comes next b/c they know 1-It'll work, 2-It'll be simple, and 3-It's pretty. Steve will easily find several million users a year that fit this bill, and I believe that he has just the formula to do it. Will it take over the Windows market, ever? No, there's not enough broad utility to support all Windows users. Will it capture a 5-10% marketshare over the overall computing market? Perhaps, with time. I'll say this, Jobs has the formula to do it more than anybody else.

Dave | Dec 21, 2006 | 3:13PM

ADD A COMMENT

Ground rules for posting comments...

  1. No profanity or personal attacks, please.
  2. Please restrict your comments to the subject of the column and directly relevant topics.
  3. Be more funny.
  4. Those who violate these ground rules will have their comments deposted (which is a bit like being deported, only you don't have to leave the country).

name:

e-mail:

url (optional):

Comment