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The Year Of The Apple?

January 19th, 2006 at 11:53pm

I recently made some bold predictions about the general direction of IT in 2006, in this I said Apple would have a resurgence as a popular operating system developer. Early indications certainly show that this could be the case.

Myer is an Australian department store, which is in my view somewhat conservative and isn’t likely to advertise a product it doesn’t expect that people will want to buy it. It has been years (late 1990’s) since I have seen a non-Windows computer in a Myer or Grace Bros store (Grace Bros was at that stage a partner store of Myer as part of the Coles Myer corporation, the two stores have since merged), so you can imagine my surprise when I looked through a Myer catalogue today and saw three Apple computers running Mac OS X, as well as a bunch of software for Mac. For the record the other five computers for sale were all running Windows.

The Apple computers were an iMac, and iBook and a Powerbook. The software was Apple iLife 2005, Apple iWork 2005, Norton AntiVirus for Mac 2005 and Apple Mac OS X (Tiger) 10.4.3, interestingly this was the full version of OS X and retails for $199, which is pretty good considering that Windows XP Home Edition full version costs $324, and Professional costs $478.

I still think that Apple will anounce an x86 version of Mac OS X later in the year, which would give them an interesting advantage over Windows in that Mac would run natively on x86, the new apple-intel platform (whatever it’s called) as well as Power PC (assuming they continue to support PowerPC for a while), whereas Windows would only run on x86 and 64 bit platforms, and would require a fair bit of end user modification to run on apple-intel (I’m running with that name until somebody corrects me!), something which is probably prohibited under the End User Licence Agreement anyway.


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  • 1. Chuck Berry  |  January 20th, 2006 at 3:49 am

    Myer In Bourke St Melbourne has had an Apple Store for a few years now. I am not sure If they are an authorised reseller or what the full story is. I went in there once and a girl with an Apple t-shirt served me. She had a fair knowledge of Apple products where as the Myer staff who served me first, did not have the slightest idea.

    You can get OS X Tiger 10.4 for about $175 at most resellers so $199 from Myer is ok. Pity Myer is selling obselete stock. Because iLife06 and iwork06 have been released and customers who buy 05 will miss out on all the groovy upgrades.

    Garage band in ilife 06 has a fantastic podcast studio mode where you can add radio style sounds and effects royalty free and with the simplest of ease. (sorry for the tort). It is fantastic.

    I think you are right Samuel in that Apple will announce a version of x86 OS X. The apple intel platform is called “Intel Core Duo”. The products so far are “iMac Intel Core Duo” and “MacBook Pro” I think. It seems that this is what they are marketing it as.

    On their website they now put (Power PC) in brackets next to Power PC Macs. I think that once all their products cross over the products will again be known just as “iMac”, “Macbook Pro”, “Mac Mini” etc with a little sticker saying “Intel Core Duo”

    Apple will continue supporting Power PC and all Apples new software will be ‘Universal’. The logo for this looks quite good. It is a blue yin and yan symbol turned on its side.

  • 2. Samuel  |  January 20th, 2006 at 9:35 am

    The canberra incarnation of Myer is usually behind the rest of the country in terms of stock and pricing.

    Intel Core Duo, I spotted that a few times last night but was certain I heard some other name mentioned…could have been my imagination I guess.

    With rosetta, the compatibility layer for PowerPC software running on Intel Core Duo, I wonder how much of that is based on PearPC, a PowerPC emulator for x86 (and possibly others…)?

  • 3. Chuck Berry  |  January 20th, 2006 at 12:22 pm

    I think Myer doesn’y know if it’s coming or going when it comes to some of it’s departments. They keep changing around the Bourke st store. However, it is a good thing that they are selling an alternative to the dreaded windows.

    Apple just had Mac World 06 where they announced their new products and their total retail sales for the 2005 quarter. ($5.7 Billion). A huge Number!!

    A little fact for Mac geeks is that after Mac World and the release of Intel Core Duo, Apples share price closed at $80.86. The 8086 was the original 1978 Intel processor that spawned the x86 architecture. Freaky!!!

    On the other hand, Intel’s sales dropped in the last quarter of 2005. Is this because people were anticipating the Apple Intel announcement and were holding off buying a new system? No I don’t think so. I think they have just had enough of Microsoft and it’s inferior, sub-standard and archaic Windows, but are still scared to change to a different OS. Sheep. BA BA.

    When will the general public clue on to the fact that Windows equals nightmares. Just as they would have got their systems working Microsoft will release Vista and ruin their lives completely.

    In a way I kinda hope Linux and 0S X does not go mainstream.

  • 4. Samuel  |  January 20th, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Vista will contribute to Mac’s success. Most of the “new and exciting” features have either been canned or delayed. Vista is just going to be another similar Windows with enough annoyances to send people batty.

    I really think that Vista will be the release that turns people away…if Apple are smart (which they often are) they will pounce on that with an agressive marketing campaign showing that “Mac did all of this five years ago without the crashes, and now look what it can do!”.

    Why do I get the feeling that Apple may form a partnership with WINE?

  • 5. Samuel  |  January 20th, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    Whoops, just relaised that I sidetracked myself and forgot to mention that “This Week in Tech” recorded episode 38 live from MacWorld.

  • 6. Chuck Berry  |  January 21st, 2006 at 1:59 am

    I totally agree with you Samuel. You seem to have your finger on the pulse.

    This is a great podcst for anyone who owns a mac or who is thinking about it. I hope it is ok to put a link to it?

    Yes Vista will be the nail in the coffin. Or the straw. Which ever way you look at it……I hear the bell tolling.

  • 7. Samuel  |  January 21st, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    Not a problem, I’m sure maccast will be pleased with the link.

  • 8. bacco007  |  January 21st, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    I hope that now that Apple have gone Intel, it may drive their prices down. I was considering the purchase of a Mac Mini, until I saw how much of a rort the price is.

    Mind you, the safety net that many speak of with Mac’s being less prone to virii etc will start to subside as the Apple becomes a lot more popular (and mainstream, especially if your able to load OS X etc on an Intel based non Apple product)

  • 9. Samuel  |  January 21st, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    That’s correct, the most popular software will always be the most targetted software, the main difference being though that Mac OS X is UNIX based and therefore won’t be giving the end user administrative access by default, instead giving them user rights with the ability to have a secondary login inside their user login as an admin. Whilst that approach would break approximately a quarter of the software people like to use on Windows, it works quite well on UNIX based operating systems.

    Sure, there will be the occasional privilege escalation exploit, but that would be about the only way for malicious software to seize control of a UNIX based system with a default setup. (Assuming OS developer has some common sense).

    Another thing is that any mass exodus from Windows is likely to involve multiple alternative opearting systems, effectively fragmenting the OS userbase and making each OS a less attractive target. Oddly enough, this would improve Windows security as well. The sticking point would be data compatibility, but that seems to be mostly sorted for mainstream apps…multi-platform games is another issue, but I don’t think game developers will want to miss out on the current Apple hype.


January 2006

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