Vista Delay, WinXP on Macintel Gives Apple an Edge in 2006
What a surprise this week that we all find out Windows Vista has been delayed yet again. First it was scheduled for 2005, then 2006, and now it won't be out until January 2007 (or will it?).
PC manufacturers are extremely disappointed with Microsoft - and for good reason - as the release of Vista before the holidays was expected to drive PC sales in 2006.
Just a few months ago, the only option for those awaiting the new release of Windows was to wait - or run Linux beside the existing Windows installation if they wanted a more up-to-date operating system.
Of course, one could have bought a Mac as well as a PC, but for many it's tough to justify the purchase of two computers and all the software to go with them.
That all changed this past week. Now Windows can run on any of the Intel Macs with a few modifications to the installation files. After 22 years of complete separation, it's now possible to run Windows natively on a Macintosh without emulation software or any additional hardware (remember the Quadra 610 DOS Compatible?).
With a 2 GHz Core Duo processor, the iMacs can handle Windows XP perfectly, just like they do the Mac OS. That's right, you can run Windows XP and OS X on the same machine without having to uninstall one operating system before using the other.
Apple has said in the past that they would not prevent anyone running Windows on the Intel Macs, and hopefully they will stick to that statement. Allowing Windows to run on these machines benefits Microsoft, Apple, and Windows users.
Microsoft will be licensing more copies of Windows, and Apple will be selling more computers to those who'd like a change from their Windows PCs but aren't ready to give up Windows entirely.
Vista or OS X?
Unfortunately for Microsoft, the whole Vista situation might just swing the balance of favor over to Apple. Vista is purported to have relatively high system requirements - in fact, it most likely won't run on the majority of PCs in use today without some significant RAM and video card upgrades.
This means that many people will have to buy a new computer for Vista. Many of them were holding off a computer purchases until Vista - and now that it's not going to be out until 2007, they may reconsider.
If they have a machine that's already four or five years old, it may be difficult to wait another three months to replace it - and if they do wait three months, what happens if Vista is delayed yet again?
Add into that the fact that the Mac has fewer viruses and much less spyware (none in the wild in either category), as well as more features than many competing PCs (Front Row and a built in webcam in the case of the iMac and MacBook Pro). Then factor in the newly enabled Windows capability of the Intel Macs, and which computer are these people likely to be buying?
No, not the Dell.
This also gives Apple an advantage in the laptop market, too. Not only is the MacBook Pro a great laptop in general, it's also a great laptop that can run OS X and now Windows as well. Perhaps businesses won't be convinced to adopt MacBooks for the office (especially given how new and unproven running Windows is on it) , but it could certainly convince those who may depend on one or two Windows applications for work, yet would like the security and usability of the Mac for email and the Internet.
How practical is all this? To install Windows on a Mac, one needs to make a modified version of the Windows install CD. This is fine if you're familiar with the files on the disc, but for a casual user of both platforms, it may be too much of a challenge.
Of course Microsoft has the option to actually release a version of Windows specifically made for the Mac - sort of as a replacement for Virtual PC - and this might go over well with the public.
Given that Vista's been delayed so much, I somehow doubt that will happen in a very timely fashion. Regardless, it's a distinct possibility that more people will be buying Macs once they realize that Windows can run natively on them.
While the delay of Vista may not improve PC sales, it just may help the Mac.
Recent Apple Archive articles
- iPods, notebooks, and other modern electronics more readily replaced than repaired, 2007.12.07. Whether it's an intermittent failure or a broken display cable, more often than not it's cheaper to replace a broken electronics device than repair it.
- Options for replacing your older iPod, 2007.11.19. Whether you've run out of space on your old iPod or want features it doesn't have, here are your options in new and used iPods.
- Could the $200 'green' PC with gOS Linux become a threat to Apple?, 2007.11.14. The low cost, low power Everex desktop comes with a customized version of Ubuntu Linux, has a Mac-like Dock, and sells for $400 less than the Mac mini.
- More in the Apple Archive index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Color Classic, introduced 1993.02.01. A cult classic, this was the compact Mac with color that everyone had been waiting for.
- May 23 in LEM history: 00: A computer I understood - 01: Mac: A dream fulfilled - 02: PowerKey - 03: 12" PowerBook better than 15" TiBook - 05: The First Macs - 06: What's in your workspace? - Picking the right laptop - Sun has set on the G4 - 06: Running your notebook using flash memory - 08: MacBook holds its own against Dell and HP
- Support Low End Mac
Recent Content on Low End Mac
- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
- More links in our archive.
- Best Mac mini Deals
- Best 13" MacBook Pro Deals
- Best Intel iMac Deals
- Best iPod touch Deals
- Best iPhone Deals
- Best iPod nano Deals
- Best iPod classic Deals
- Best Apple TV Prices
- More deals in our archive.
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ