Why John C. Dvorak is Wrong About Apple

25 Feb ’06

John C. Dvorak’s recent column in PC Magazine speculating that Apple may soon abandon OSX for Windows created a small firestorm of controversy. (You can also hear him explain the theory on TWiT 42 (“Dvorak’s Lost It”) – the sound in the background is Leo Laporte beating Dvorak with a sneaker.)

So is Dvorak crazy? Or as Mathew Ingram suggests, is he on drugs? Both, perhaps – he’s always been crazy, as far as I’m concerned – crazy, provocative and controversial, now more than ever, and that’s why I’ve been faithfully reading him for — is it really about 20 years?? Only Dvorak would have the nerve to float this one, and he must have swallowed hard when he did. So, while I think he’s wrong and very possibly pharmaceutically over-medicated, I think it’s also worth spending a few minutes laying out exactly why.

So, herewith Dvorak’s reasons for thinking the theory may have legs (the reasons come from his column, and from TWiT 42), and why I think it’s farcockteh:

1. This is Dvorak’s #1 reason: Adobe hasn’t ported its apps to Universal Binaries. As a result, they have to run under Rosetta for now, with the result, as Steve Jobs explained at MacWorld, “While the performance is not going to be strong enough for professionals who spend hours a day in Photoshop, it’s going to be enough for the rest of us, even under Rosetta.” Dvorak’s theory is that Adobe is holding back because they have inside knowledge that Apple is going to abandon OSX, and a native version would be a wasted effort.

This just doesn’t hold water. The creative class has, of course, long favoured the Mac, and Adobe’s software is the preferred platform. It’s also fair to say that if Adobe apps aren’t quickly produced in native Intel versions for the Mac, the creative class is going to take its time making the switch. Which, naturally, gives Adobe a lot of leverage in any negotiations with Apple. So, knowing that Apple was desperate to make the switch and not get left behind in the Intel-AMD chip wars, why would Adobe merely play along? Wouldn’t it be smarter to play hard to get and extract some concessions from a desperate Apple? To my mind, this is nothing more than Adobe wisely playing a strong hand. It’s not personal – just business.

2. The switch to Intel. Dvorak also suggests that the switch to Intel is just a necessary step to the switch to Windows.

The early reports are of a 4x speed improvement from the Powerbook G4 to the Core Duo version. 4x, with the same heat and the same battery life. This one’s not complicated: Apple made the switch because the PowerPC was falling behind Intel falling behind AMD.

3. The Apple Switch campaign isn’t working – no one’s switching. Dvorak suggests that Apple needs to do more than OSX to maintain its customer base; customers aren’t coming over, he says.

The way Macs work – all Apple OS’s for that matter – is woven as deeply into the company’s DNA as any other virtue. … Apple needs its OS to dream.

I read posts by gleeful switchers every week. And I follow them carefully, because I’m considering the switch myself. Surprisingly often the switchers are long-term, hard-core Windows users. And everywhere I look I see Mac laptops – more and more of them, it seems, every day (though sometimes you have to squint to see past the forests of other Apple schwag in the way). As Mathew points out, it just ain’t so. But perhaps more importantly, now that the Mac OS has been opened up it will become much more appealing and powerful as time passes. Switching should accelerate. (Admittedly, based purely on anecdotal evidence) I think it already is.

4. The iPod was designed to get people to move to the Mac, but this hasn’t happened. Dvorak suggests that the iPod has failed as switch-bait.

See #3. People are switching. And the iPod has helped to make Apple even more wildly creative, inspired and cool than it was before. And what’s good for Apple is good for OSX.

5. The iPod lost its firewire connector. Dvorak suggests that Apple dropped the firewire connector from the iPod because the Windows crowd – a USB bunch – is the new target market.

Well, if you want to sell a lot of iPods, you sell them to the Windows crowd, too. There are more customers there. But more to the point, the standards battle is over and firewire has lost – at least for the iPod’s purposes. With no firewire 800 on the MacBook Pro, but two USB ports, it’s clear what Apple is thinking about whether it makes sense to have two standards. Apple is simply deciding not to fight the VHS-Beta battle all over again – we all know how that ended.

Apple would be dead as a hardware company. Apple sells dreams, not computers – the dream to be different, to be unique, to be cool.

6. Apple’s assault on the gossip sites. Dvorak theorizes that Apple went after ThinkSecret because it was worried the gossip sites would find out about the Windows switch.

Wasn’t the ThinkSecret suit launched before Apple announced the Intel switch? Perhaps the lawsuit was aimed at preventing that disclosure. But in any event, Apple’s mystique is built on marketing, and its marketing is built on controlling perception. It’s much more likely that Apple went after Think Secret because it was interfering with Apple’s ability to control spin.

7. Microsoft’s announcement that it would support Office for the Mac for 5 years. Dvorak refers to Microsoft’s announcement at MacWorld and wonders, why 5? What happens after that? He theorizes that Microsoft won’t agree to more than 5 because it knows Apple is planning to dump OSX.

No, Microsoft won’t announce more than 5 years of support because while it knows how much its support is worth to Apple now, it’s worth waiting for a few years to see how much more its support will be worth to Apple then. Avoiding a long-term commitment when you’re in the driver’s seat – and when you don’t know what the future will bring – is just good business. Apple’s vulnerability to Adobe and Microsoft for critical applications is probably the company’s single biggest strategic vulnerability (other than the risk of Steve Jobs getting hit by a bus) – and Adobe and Microsoft know it.

8. Finally, Apple is a hardware company, not a software company. Dvorak thinks that with the iPod being a cash cow, Apple now has the nerve to be a hardware company.

Apple would be dead as a hardware company. Apple sells dreams, not computers – the dream to be different, to be unique, to be cool. The way Macs work – all Apple OS’s for that matter – is woven as deeply into the company’s DNA as any other virtue. As Mathew says, it’s “the last thing that makes the company unique”. Without that differentness, Apple would soon be just another slick box designer. Apple needs its OS to dream.

……………

So, as I often say when I’m hedging my bets, Dvorak may be right, but if he is it’s not for any of these reasons. They just don’t add up.

Note: the ‘toon is from Nitrozac and Snaggy’s work here.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Manny September 12, 2006 at 14:12

Is this the same John Dvorak who predicted (in Macworld no less..or some other Mac only publication he used to write a column for), that Apple will be out of business by the year 2000 or thereabouts?

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albert May 13, 2006 at 05:52

here are some facts:

1 – dvorak is an egocentric idiot
2 – dvorak is retard
3 – who cares about dvorak’s opinion?

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David S. April 19, 2006 at 14:44

It seems someone just got owned….and it wasn’t Dvorak.

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Mark Fuqua March 7, 2006 at 22:47

Apple will not switch to windows, but is surely going to create Macs with the ability to use either operating system. So those people who think Apples are cool and really wish they had the time to learn how to use OSX, but a fearful of a switch, can have the confidence to make the leap. They will not lose anything…just gain a new better OS.

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cpurick February 28, 2006 at 21:18

Sorry, guys, but I think Dvorak may be right. Very few people switched. For every one who did, there were others who switched the other way. Apple’s a publicly-held company, and if its market share was growing they’d be bragging about it.

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Bruce February 28, 2006 at 07:42

Only Jobs would know the truth to this. Why do someone or a reporter follow up with Jobs to get clarity to the mist?

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Brian February 27, 2006 at 19:42

I agree re: switching. As laptops commoditize, people will add weight to design as one of the purchase criteria. Like a car, it will become more than a way to get something done, people will purchase the aesthetic. Like the Mac Plus of yore, powerbooks evoke an emotional response in contrast to their ugly PC cousins. Now that Google Earth is offered for OSX, I have no regrets.

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Andy Ferra February 27, 2006 at 13:11

Bottom line: No one would ever spend that extra $500 – $1000 on their machine unless it was to get into that luscious platform. If it was just another wintel machine no one would pay what they’re asking. And frankly, there would be reason other than “ooo pretty” to buy a Mac.

It simply doesn’t make any sense.

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Sivad Ttocs February 27, 2006 at 12:16

Apple should take the reins off OS X and release it to the world now that it’s X86 compatible.

OS X 86 is a Windows Killer. The start would be slow due to the installed Windows base software and the cost of buying new applications. The basic OS X package offers so much more than any Windows XP version NOW!

I want stability, Microsoft can’t or won’t manfacture it! I would also like the freedom to build my own machines using AMD dual core cpus running OS X.

Sivad

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jerome_horwitz February 27, 2006 at 11:31

“Apple sells dreams, not computers – the dream to be different, to be unique, to be cool.”

Idiots would buy a computer based on this premise.

I really don’t know if the switch is true or not. Apple’s real goal is to be successful. If they’ve convinced idiots that Macs are “cool” or “dreams” or whatever and that’s why they should buy them, well it’s pretty easy to understand how “I want to be different. Now everyone go buy a Mac!”. That’s like putting a kid on Ritolin then telling them that drugs are bad!

If that’s what Macs are about, then you Macphans should be telling others NOT to buy Macs. After all, through growth they will become NON-unique, and UNcool.

At any rate, what idiots fail to understand is that Apple is a company, and they are there to make money. They will try to do whatever it takes to make the most money, and if they want to switch to Windows they will if it would be more profitable. Apple is just like every other business idiots, which definately makes them UNcool.

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Drew February 27, 2006 at 10:53

“People” might be switching, but “businesses” aren’t. You see a lot of mac laptops? You must be frequenting campuses.

Anyone who’s anyone uses a windows standard for their business networks/laptops/desktops. And I’m sure you’ll see a post or two refuting this point, but for every post you DO see, just think about the market penetration that Windows has. For every, “My work supports Macs!” post there are 9 other people reading my post and saying, “Yea, good point, we don’t support macs either.”

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Joseph Nilo February 26, 2006 at 17:46

Great points . . . good job standing up for Apple. I’d assume it’d take a person who’s NOT an avid Apple user like Dvorak to make assumptions like this because the best part of being an Apple owner is the superior OS and programs.

We’ll be discussing this topic and your post on our upcoming Mac Roundtable Podcast at http://www.macroundtable.com

Keep up the good writing!

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Gabe February 26, 2006 at 15:48

Continuing in the stream of Gabes…

> These are the same people that said that apple would never switch to intel (which Dvorac predicted).

No, we’re not. To believe that mean would mean that you had to believe that Apple’s value was somehow in the PowerPC chip and that there was nothing to gain from switching to an x86 architecture, which is silly considering how Intel was eating IBM’s lunch on the low-power front. Dvorak just makes ridiculous claims, and if there happens to be some credible reasoning behind them, so much the better, but he doesn’t go out of his way to find it. Claiming Apple will switch to Windows is just a way for him to up the ante.

Unlike the PowerPC chip, OS X has a lot of value. For one thing it’s not bogged down with legacy considerations like Windows. It does not suffer from widespread viruses and spyware that almost inevitably degrade the performance of the system over time. Their development cycle runs circles around Microsoft. And they have the world of UNIX software at their fingertips.

Now tell me, how would selling an overpriced Windows machine that runs iLife be a competitive advantage for Apple?

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Gabe February 26, 2006 at 15:21

Iraq continued….

by the way i’m a different gabe than the post above and i just bought a used g4 cube on ebay…

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Gabe February 26, 2006 at 15:18

These are the same people that said that apple would never switch to intel (which Dvorac predicted). All he said was that it could be a possability, not that he was sure it would happen. We are all entitled to our opinion. I just wish there was this much opposition to going into Iraq.

Don’t get your panties in a bunch ladies, no matter what apple does you will still buy what Jobs is selling. And it is good stuff…

There are weapons of mass distruction in Iraq and Apple will never go to windows…sometimes no matter how sure you are about something you just never know.

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Gabe February 26, 2006 at 14:20

Don’t feed the troll.

You do Dvorak justice just by publishing his ‘arguments’ without all the nonsense filler in between. None of these points stand up from any critical examination. His premises are not only false, but even if they were true the conclusions wouldn’t follow either. Dvorak is truly the king of the trolls, and that’s why he keeps getting published, because it translates to ad dollars. I mean who could honestly believe for one second that Apple’s next move would be to dump their entire product line and compete head to head with Dell. The Apple corporate culture alone would sink that plan before it started. Grey boxes indeed.

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Wilbur February 26, 2006 at 13:29

>> Apple is the only integrated hardware and software company.

>Try Sun Microsystems…

Sun seems to be having it’s own problems lately with that approach.

Methinks you all protest too much. If you really thought there was
NO chance of a switch, it wouldn’t have created such a firestorm of
protest. (Kind of like the one created when Dvorak predicted a switch
to Intel)

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vsync February 26, 2006 at 12:18

Michael writes:

> Apple is the only integrated hardware and software company.

Try Sun Microsystems…

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madman II February 26, 2006 at 11:53

You know it funny there are still people that dont believe that apple switched to intel processors!!!???

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Ahmed February 26, 2006 at 10:05

I’d switch ..if Autodesk produced anautocad version for mac.. thast the only reason why i got 2 computers .. one for everythign and 1 for autocad

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stevan February 26, 2006 at 09:15

Dvorak’s credibility dies quickly in the PC Mag article when on the first paragraph he states “after mulling over various coincidences, I’m convinced he may be right.”

He’s *convinced* that he *may* be right? He may as well have said he’s convinced that he’s unsure.

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switcher February 26, 2006 at 06:40

I switched from a Windows machine to a Powerbook G4 in November last year. Before that time I was a Windows user always claiming that while Windows is not perfect it’s absolutely usable when you know how to operate computers. In other words: I was happy because I always knew how to fix any problems that I had.

Then I ordered my Powerbook, because I had a glimpse at the Intel version of Mac OS X in summer last year – and I simply didn’t want to wait any longer. I know that the Mactels would be coming, but I thought it would be way cooler to work on a Mac.

I don’t regret having spent more than 2000 dollars for the 15” Powerbook – even with the Macbook Pro out now much sooner than expected, because I wouldn’t have wanted to go on working with a trashy PC notebook running a trashy Windows XP.

I’m absolutely happy with my Powerbook. And yes, its design is great, I think. And yes, Apple makes cool hardware. But NO: if I couldn’t run Mac OS X any longer on that cool piece of hardware, Apple would not be an option for me! Most of the ‘cool feeling’ comes from the OS. The hardware just puts the OS in a pretty box. That’s it. I agree: Apple would be dead as a hardware-only company.

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Robert Padbury February 26, 2006 at 05:31

Dvorak is wrong, and it’s clear he doesn’t understand Apple’s philosophy and approach to product design. I would say that in addition to the obvious speed and power consumption benefits of switching to intel, Apple switched because it would allow people who want to get off Windows the ability to run it on their computer alongside Mac OS X. You put Windows and Mac OS next to each other, people will fall over wanting to switch.

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Joseph J Gudac Jr February 26, 2006 at 02:37

Dvorak got exactly what he wanted. PRESS and web site hits. He has been the talk of the net for the past couple of weeks. A Reserection!

First, I think Apple would have went to Intel 5 years ago when OS X came out if it wasn’t for trying to stay compatible with Classic.

Second, dropping Firewire on the iPod was another cost effective cut. Plus the Intel Macs are capable of booting from USB so Firewire is not as big an asset as it was in the past.

Third, the idea of Apple switching to Windows has been floating around for the past 15 plus years.

Fourth, Apple has said that they will have their PRO Apps ported to Universal Binary by March. The Intel iMacs may not be pro level machines but the MacBook Pro using Rosetta is still a bump ahead of the the Powerbook G4 native.

Fifth, Microsoft saying that they will continue to support Office for the Mac for 5 more years. Has any other company come out and given a time frame for their applications.

Sixth, I will shut up! I am sounding like Dvorak and one of John is enough for the industry.

Love you Dvorak, Apple couldn’t buy press coverage like you just gave them.

Joe Gudac

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ahh February 26, 2006 at 02:37

He may be, but I doubt he uses “OMG” in his stories.

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Jez February 26, 2006 at 02:02

OMG is it just me or is dvorak a pompos arrogant jerk?

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Matt February 26, 2006 at 01:36

Strong arguement, but Apple thinks of itself as a hardware company, both Steve’s are convinced of it and Jobs is on the record saying that he has always thought of Apple as a hardware company. John C. Dvorak has misinterpreted that though. Jobs said that in a business sense that they don’t profit off of software like they do the hardware. The integration and vertical platform give the experience that make the whole system seemless

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ray February 26, 2006 at 00:50

>You have been trolled by Dvorak. Have a nice day.

Thank you! I thought I was the only one to realize this. Dvorak’s charm is just like most talk radio shows which is to get people charged up mentally so they will do things such as this which is to call him an idiot, a liar, a false prophet, or a chalkboard eraser.

Even reading through people’s comments has been entertaining/informative/enraging/confusing which is great IMHO. This has been fun people and lets do this again the next time he does/says something dumb and call him on it.

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Switched To Windows February 26, 2006 at 00:49

If Apple is getting switchers, why is that they sold almost exactly the same number of Macs last year as they did in both 2000 and 1995? See http://pcnmac.com/pcandmac_marketshare.htm

40 million iPods sold and Apple can’t sell any more Macs in 2005 than they did versus both five and ten years prior? Considering that the PC world sold over 200 million PCs last year, I’d say that it’s pretty clear Apple has a very solid base of clients that upgrade about every five years and PCs are getting all of the new computer using clients that come along every year.

Anecdotes don’t count for much in the face of raw data.

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ht February 26, 2006 at 00:45

This conversation seems to be more of a debate on the merits of John C. Dvorak rational than the merit of his idea. While his logic is puzzling to say the least, and I think everyone here can see the flaws in his examples, it would be prudent to look at this from a business POV.

At first glance I was like, what the fu&$! is this guy smoking? There isn’t a doubt in my mind that his rational would have holes the size of a dotcom’s pocket during the bubble. I remember Jobs once saying “having an OS is like having the ability to print money”. After reading the article, however, I’m kinda wishing it would be true. I mean, if Apple address the shitty aspects of Windows (e.g. GUI, security, etc.) they could be on to something. If you take away the OS menu experience between OSX and Windows in Photoshop, you practically have the same experience. It really doesn’t matter to the end user what OS lies beneath. Shit, it could be Linux but what’s the point? The world is using Windows. This would mean Apple would be a premium brand in the PC world, like Prada or Gucci, but they could be savvy—which they are–and target mid to upscale computer market. Imagine what Jonathan Ive’s brilliance could do for Apple’s bottom line if he had access to 90% of the computer market. This move also wouldn’t affect their other product lines (e.g iPod, displays) but like Dvorak said, it could make Apple a major computer manufacturer. Well, more than the 4-5% market share they own today. Imagine the revenue they can generate for all their software (e.g. iLife, Final Cut, etc.) on the Windows platform. Of course they can do this today if they choose to, but what’s the point of maintaining two development platforms if in the end, what users really care about is good products that have universal support.

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Tod February 25, 2006 at 23:52

Leaving OS X for windows just doesn’t make sense, for all of the above reasons plus the addition of having a *nix core. It’s a trivial proposition to port many unix app over to OS X, with the real work in building the Mac UI. And people are doing it. Look at the huge increase in openwar and shareware for the mac.

To really make the mac a killer, nowe that the new mac are on intel architecture, someone need to build a WINE like emulation package that will run windows apps natively on the hardware. Who needs (or wants) dual boot. If I can run windows apps under OS X without a big performance hit, the ‘more apps for windows’ is dead in the water.

As an IT consultant who’s run Windows, Macs and unix boxes the only reason I can see that people run Windows is that they don’t know any better. Windows users seem to calmly tolerate problems in the OS that would be unacceptable for Mac and *nix users. Reboot your computer? That’s for hardware changes.

They can have my mac (with OS X) when they pry it from my cold dead fingers.

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kc February 25, 2006 at 23:49

John C. Dvorak is the most famous guy on the internet right now. I never even heard of the guy before a few weeks ago. Everytime someone bashes him, more people wonder about him. If you really dislike him and don’t want people to read him, stay silent. There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

As for his theory, If you were to put aside the feelings of “mac addicts” and look at it from a monitary perspective. Would Apple sell more computers if they ran Windows? The majority of the population are not geeks like us.

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Randlemen February 25, 2006 at 23:43

Ya Right

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Tyler February 25, 2006 at 23:23

No Firewire 800.

Why?

IBM’s chipset doesn’t support it.

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Chris February 25, 2006 at 21:52

I do recall a TWiT episode, around 2 months ago, when John C. Dvorak was handed an iPod and spent the next 10 minutes playing with it. He’d never seen one before. That’s in touch he is with Apple and their products.

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Insane Theorist February 25, 2006 at 21:13

Firewire chips added cost and size limitations to the iPod that a majority of its audience (Windows users) couldn’t gain anything from (since firewire ports on Windows boxes are still pretty rare), hence, no firewire ports and smaller, cheaper iPods.

Meanwhile FW800 as a standard is most definitely not going away. It’s actually on the rise in newer video production equiptment, particularly prosumer lines. As strange as it sounds, removing it from the standard equiptment list for Macs might just expand the market: If a disproportionate chunk of high-bandwidth users (think pro audio and video) were to occur on Macs and all new Macs have FW800 built in, it leaves a much smaller market to entice third party FW800 adapter manufacturers, which means fewer FW800 options for Windows users and a fractured market that is less likely to standardize on the better solution (Firewire800 still trounces USB2 for sustained data transfers). By not including it as a built-in option, the economic incentive to build these adapters just got stronger. As good as FW800 is, it’s still not cheap and not everybody sees the advantages of it – so Apple dropped the dedicated 800 port for now, cut the costs of building new machines, and left the door wide open for third party companies to create FW800 cards which use the built-in ExpressCard/34 card slot (the successor to PCMCIA, which has boatloads of bandwidth – look it up), cards which will be compatible with devices that will work on Windows Machines as well as Macs ( if the manufacturers have any brains at all ), which gives these companies the entire market to pursue, not just the Mac-phobic portion.

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Pepe February 25, 2006 at 21:03

Good points. One point that I think is important and I’ve seen snubbed in similar reasonings I’ve read in the past are the Pro Apps. Apple produces a bunch of Pro Applications that I think are as important in their community as Adobe Apps are important to the Graphic Designer community. AFAIK Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro and Motion are heavily used by top tier individuals in the music and video industry. So, Apple *IS* as software company after all and a good one. IIRC, I think Adobe has payed less attention to their Video Editing software in the Apple realm, due to the hegemony that Final Cut Pro has.

Switching to Windows would make no sense whatsoever, as porting this apps to windows might not be trivial; in addition, these apps would start competing with other apps that already has an installed user base in the Windows world. There is so much to loose and to little to win in a switch to Windows.

The best thing Apple can do right now is to give out a solution on booting Windows XP on their hardware. I think that would speed the amount of early adopters.

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James February 25, 2006 at 20:56

Before all you come down on me for having an opinion, I would like to say I am mac user and I don’t want to see it go anywhere. But in defence of Dvorak, he did predict that Apple would be moving to Intel. And as far as the OS, he is presenting an argument that suggests that something may happen with the OS going away. I don’t think he is saying that it should go away. In fact I have heard the contrary from him while listening to TWIT- something along the lines of Apple should make the OS and MS should just stick to making office for the PC market.

Just a thought- no more, no less.

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Yaanu February 25, 2006 at 20:41

Technically, they already have switched.

http://www.maclive.net/sid/134
http://www.maclive.net/sid/135
http://www.maclive.net/sid/136

Why yes that IS Billie’s voice!

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Steven February 25, 2006 at 20:36

The iPod lost its firewire connector.

Wireless USB for the iPod?

USB 3.0?

How about this, Microsoft may soon abandon Windows for OS X.
See I can do it too.

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Inactivist February 25, 2006 at 20:18

Apple is the anti-Microsoft. Apple is Pepsi to Microsoft’s Coke. Can you imagine what would happen to Pepsi if it licensed Coke and put it in a Pepsi can (and announced that they were doing so)?

Hah.

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Sarah February 25, 2006 at 20:15

Magnus said, “…For a most people (me included) mac isn’t even an option. And thats for one single reason, lack of software…”

There are well over 10,000 titles for Mac OS X, and there is nothing you can do on Windows that you cannot do on a Mac.

That being said, the primary Mac limitations are 1) the inability to run a number of video games, which makes it a less than optimal platform for hard-core gamers, and 2) the inability to run a number of niche applications designed only for Windows (mostly business industry-specific applications.) Otherwise, the Mac can do it all for 90 % of people.

If you’ve concluded that there is a lack of software from visiting your local computer store, that’s a poor way to judge. ;)

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Dan Vader February 25, 2006 at 20:06

“But it would make a lot of sense to switch to windows. For a most people (me included) mac isn’t even an option. And thats for one single reason, lack of software. Apple could solve that problem by having windows running under the hood. They can still keep their caresteristic design, and probably triple their sales.”

Two problems: First, you can run any task you need on Mac, a specific software might not be available, but there are many ways around such small limitations. Second, if Apple went with Windows, they’d just be a more expensive version of Dell (with nicer design) – they would not triple their sales.

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Fusebox February 25, 2006 at 20:02

So lets assume Microsoft does know that Apple will switch to Windows in 5 years. This would, according to Dvorak, mean that Adobe is willing to give up it’s Apple sales for this period because it doesn’t want to go to universal binaries… This makes no sense!?!
Congrats to Dvorak on the publicity stunt though!

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Mark February 25, 2006 at 19:41

Microsoft pledged to support Apple for five years back in 1997, too, and no one started proclaiming doom in 2002. Also, I don’t think Apple would go through all of the trouble of porting their apps to Intel (even if they were already compatible, they certainly weren’t polished) if they were planning to switch.

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Magnus February 25, 2006 at 19:24

But it would make a lot of sense to switch to windows. For a most people (me included) mac isn’t even an option. And thats for one single reason, lack of software. Apple could solve that problem by having windows running under the hood. They can still keep their caresteristic design, and probably triple their sales.

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Darren Stone February 25, 2006 at 19:08

You have been trolled by Dvorak. Have a nice day.

Every week that guy spews some more outrageous crap and every week slashdot, digg, et. al. go nuts about it. Why do people read this guy? Honestly. Why don’t more people see the pattern here?

The only rebuttal necessary is that it’s Dvorak’s idea and is therefore complete and utter bullshit.

Don’t read Dvorak.

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Scott February 25, 2006 at 18:51

Limited to Dvorak’s points that might remotely have have merit…

1. Adobe hasn’t ported its apps to Universal Binaries

This is nothing new. When Apple transitioned from OS 9, Adobe didn’t release a OS X native version until their next major release.

In addition, Adobe’s photography workflow application, Lightroom, is now available as a Universal Binary. In addition, it’s Adobe’s first product using Cocoa / Objective-C, instead of Carbon. If Apple was switching to Windows, why would Adobe develop a new app for Mac OS X first, and using Cocoa no less?

2. The switch to Intel

While IBM makes great desktop processors, it has no mobile roadmap. With laptops outselling desktop systems, Apple had no choice but to switch.

5. The iPod lost its firewire connector.

As of version 2.0, USB is as fast as Firewire for most tasks. Since USB 2.0 is supported by recent hardware from both Apple & Wintel, why waste money including both ports?

8. Finally, Apple is a hardware company, not a software company

Apple is a computing experience company, and a damn good one at that. Giving up the software part of the equation would be nothing short of suicide.

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sarah February 25, 2006 at 18:50

“(Admittedly, based purely on anecdotal evidence) I think it already is.”

let’s look at non-anecdotal evidence. it has been widely reported that apple’s u.s. marketshare is up from 3.5 to 4.5 percent and that worldwide marketshare is up from 2.2 percent to 2.5 percent over the past year. these seem like small increments but add up to substantial earnings for apple. if you compared them to another niche car maker with small marketshare (bmw, for example), these numbers are very healthy. apple is the 8th largest pc maker in the world.

more evidence that apple is not switching to windows: apple continues to make mac-only software as an inpetus for people to switch, especially in the pro creative markets. apple is going to stick with Mac OS X and marketshare is only going to get larger over time. :)

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Mitch Cumstein February 25, 2006 at 18:43

I switched about a year ago when the Mac Mini came out. I was a long time hard-core Windows user/developer but I had been eyeing OSX for quite some time. A year later and I couldn’t be happier – we’ll, I’d be happier if I could dual boot on a new MacPro, then I could have the best of all worlds.

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Michael February 25, 2006 at 18:41

THANK YOU for not letting Mr. Dvorak’s absurd speculations go unchallenged. I would like to tweak a few of your points.

1. Adobe is likely to know or be able to estimate the schedule for Apple’s truly Pro version of Mac destroys. Apple is starting at the bottom of their Mac line and working up. No Pro Adobe Mac user is going to use the current MacBook Pro, the iMac or the upcoming Mac Mini. Once the Intel version of the PowerPC G5 ships pro users may even want to wait until the OS X is truly solid. Put this all together alone with your points and Adobe does not need to have their pro level tools out yet. The Adobe suite is a lot of code and its true they release on a suite level basis so its totally credible that they will release the universal binary version on their next full version release schedule. Mr. D may not understand this but those who build software for a living certainly do.

2. IBM never intended the PowerPC for low power laptop. Apple made the PowerPC choice a decade ago. And Apple’s volume for laptop was not sufficient to just ify the significant development costs for a low power version. Intel already had a low power version as well as a strong desktop version. IBM has a strong commitment to PowerPC (its a part of most of their enterprise class computers) and the cell processors. It was time for Apple to find a new partner. Trying to tie this logical processor change to a bizarre Windows strategy is simply insane.

5. Apple dropped the firewire on iPods because it was not needed (all Macs had USB) and more importantly, it was too expensive to have both firewire and USB and USB only took much less space, a requirement for the smaller form factor of the nano and the 5G iPod. A little odd since Apple INVENTED firewire, but hey, USB2 was on ALL platforms (PC & Mac) so keep it simple and cheap. Mr. Dvorak’s conspiracy theory here is absurd….

8. Apple is the only integrated hardware and software company. The Mac and OS X is distinctive because of Apple’s vertical integration. This is also why the iPod and iTunes worked when everyone else failed. This may be Apple’s first real opportunity to truly eat into Microsoft’s customers and developers.

Apple knows why their products are distinctive and why they can command a premium (and make more profit). They are in a position today they could only dram to be in the past. Conceding to Windows would be a strategic disaster. Mr. Dvorak has been in the industry a long time. He’s laughing all the way to the bank because his real motive was just to get people to react (yes, including me…)

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Joel Wright February 25, 2006 at 18:39

I “switched” beginning 3 years ago and have now replaced my 5 computers with Apple. The thing I became most impressed with was, and is, the way Apple integrates its hardware with its os and the os integration with the applications. Long ago I lost that feel of “oneness” with Windows. The question became whether, or not, my hardware would run the newest slap-dab effort from MS. To me, elegance is in the feel more than in the look. Kinda like having the right braking system on a fast car … it works better than you could have hoped for in advance.

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bebopredux February 25, 2006 at 18:33

Let’s spam Dvorak. He complains he doesn’t get any and I think he’s ripe for pushing over the edge.

I can only imagine what he comes up with for the reason. Maybe “Gate’s is upset at me for spilling the beans about Apple dumping OSX”. Whatever, he’s like watching your grandfather become demented slowly over time. It used to be cute but it soon becomes…………just sad.

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Rui Pacheco February 25, 2006 at 18:30

John C. Dvorak and Robert X. Cringely. Those two hacks are way over their prime time.

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Tim February 25, 2006 at 18:30

A few other points:
1) Adobe is doing exactly the same as when Apple moved from OS9 to OSX.
2) Microsoft also are doing a similar thing again
3) I would have thought more people would buy Mac for the fantastic OS over the the nice looking hardware.

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Asher February 25, 2006 at 18:04

When Apple first ported to Power platform and again to OSX Adobe took a very long time to catch up. I remember reading an Adobe spokesperson commenting that OSX would end Adobe’s support on the Mac platform. I was shocked. But, in the end, they did end up writing for that OS. Adobe takes longer, perhaps, because they’d like to make sure all the bugs are cleared out and they can offer a rock solid build instead of a hack/slash version. I agree about Dvorak being way off.

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DTG February 25, 2006 at 18:03

I think the part that struck me as Dvorak being a complete idiot, is his belief of Apple solely being a hardware company…

There is obsolutely nothing to back this up whatsoever. Most people buy Macs because of Mac OS X at this point. Thats why Apple is going after the osx86 project to run Mac OS X on generic hardware. Considering also that Apple has been making software for as long as it has been building computers. I don’t think Dvorak knows about the many suites of apps that Apple produces. The numbers are just as high as Microsoft.

I guess I just found it utterly amazing that someone could claim Apple isn’t a software company after all the people I talk to who think Mac OS X is the reason Apple is strong in computer sales. Most people don’t switch to make in the geek realm because they enjoy building systems not because they actually believe Windows is superior.

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smuth February 25, 2006 at 18:03

Like anyone listens to that goof! He talks about things he knows nothing about all the time, he thinks he’s Kreskin or something and if he predicts enough odd crap some may happen. He knows DOS 3.1 maybe, beyond that hes out of his league and hoping people will listen to him. Do you talk to your mechanic when you need open Heart surgery? Then don’t listen to him about any technology newer than 5 years, especially Apple, hell he doesn’t even own one! I only believe other Mac users not Windoz hopers.

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Michiel February 25, 2006 at 18:01

“John C. Dvorak is Wrong About Apple”

…and the sky is blue, grass is green, and consumers get ripped off.
The guy is wrong on so many things its like an ongoing joke. Except its unfunny.

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lou February 25, 2006 at 17:54

I agree with everything else you said. Also, i would like to add a few more ideas.
As far as the adobe thing. Adobe is working on a whole bunch of upgrades and i’m sure they have mac engineers on the staff working on the upgrades. They could pull them off to make universal binaries and let the mac upgrades come out later or they could hire more. But just from the economic standpoint they could just let them keep going and sell the next version to both people wanting the newest features and the people who have bought the macintels.
Another idea, and i can’t remember who to credit, but someone suggested that apple actually may have asked adobe to postpone so that they could continue selling the powermacs this year to the professional community.

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Justin February 25, 2006 at 17:38

> I’m thinking about an Apple switch, too. Any websites that will convince me?

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Neil February 25, 2006 at 17:37

Wow, you refuted something that Dvorak said. That’s a bit like winning the special olympics.

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Paul February 25, 2006 at 17:22

Steve Jobs said at WWDC last year (when anouncing the move to Intel) that OS X has set Apple up for the next 20 years.

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Yaanu February 25, 2006 at 16:55

I’m thinking about an Apple switch, too. Any websites that will convince me?

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ben February 25, 2006 at 16:40

Didn’t apple drop firewire (at least partly) because of the size of the chip in the actually iPod, and the fact that it wouldnt fit into the nano?

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