Mac Scope

Evangelists Unite!

Stephen Van Esch - 2001.10.03

The consumer acceptable version of OS X is now out of the gate and on track to be the standard operating system in the Mac universe. It's time to start beating the drum.

Over the last few years, the Mac community has more or less made amends with the folks on the PC side of the fence. Live and let live has been a common refrain. Microsoft, the punching bag of the PC industry, has smoothed many Mac waters with its Office suite. The same office suite has made the Mac minority almost invisible when it comes to transferring files. Because the majority of popular software is cross-platform, Mac users can operate in stealth mode easily enough. No one needs to know that a file came from "the other side."

OS X, though, ushers in a whole new ball game. Is it time for Mac evangelists to take up the cause once again? Most signs point to yes.

OS X does away with many of the common gripes about the Mac platform. With its "buzzword compliance," Macs have come a long way since Type 11 errors.

The Unix core also opens up a whole new realm to Mac users, as George Wagner of Brave New Mac points out.

The time appears to be ripe for people and businesses to start considering a switch. Microsoft's heavy-handed licensing schemes are not earning it any friends, and, if scuttlebutt is to be believed, many firms are casting about for ways to divorce themselves from a relationship with a (very) dominant partner. Linux, as a free system, is really getting the eye these days, but it remains less than user friendly, causing many companies to balk.

So where can they go to get the power they crave and some flexibility in what they buy and when? Do I have to answer that question for you?

Now, more than ever, effective marketing coupled with strong, informed, and measured evangelism can do nothing but good for the Mac platform. Sure, the Mac isn't the perfect solution for every situation, and many companies will definitely give the Mac a pass because of the massive hardware upgrades that they would have to go through.

Smaller companies and companies just getting started may give the Mac a serious look, and any new support is a good thing in the long run.

So, stand up tall, learn about OS X, its advantages over Windows, and its licensing scheme. Give your favorite platform a helping hand.

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Stephen Van Esch is the founder and president of the E-learning Foundry, an online training resource for Mac users. Steve loves the Mac and is doubly bilingual, since he's also fluent in Windows and French.

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