updated 12:25 pm EST, Thu February 16, 2006
Apple to switch OS?
A professor at Rutgers University thinks Apple may be setting up to switch to the Windows OS. John Dvorak of PC Magazine writes that professor of psychology Yakov Epstein has noticed a few "coincidences" that point to Apple moving towards the Windows OS. Epstein's observations include the fact that the Apple Switch campaign is over, and "nobody switched;" the lack of FireWire connectors for new iPods as the PC world is the new "target audience;" very few consumers have switched to Macs after being more exposed to Apple products via the iPod; and the switch to the Intel-based microprocessor. Dvorak points to the fact that Apple has reacted strongly to Macintosh gossip sites, saying it is Apple's way of attempting to stem future rumors about product development.
The list of coincidences continues, with Dvorak noting an onscreen appearance by Bill Gates "during Apple's turnaround when Jobs was taking a pot of money from Microsoft," a comment by a Microsoft spokesperson at the Macworld Expo indicating that Microsoft Office would conitnue to be developed for the Mac for "five years" ("What happens after that?" asks Dvorak.)
"This switch to Windows may have originally been planned for this year and may partly explain why Adobe and other high-end apps were not ported to the Apple x86 platform when it was announced in January. At Macworld, most observers said that these new Macs could indeed run Windows now."
Dvorak says that a switch to Windows would make more financial sense for Apple, as it could allow Microsoft to do most of the work, put Apple in the mainstream to compete directly with Dell and HP, and with a little tweaking Apple could retain its GUI and perhaps even improve the OS. "Now with the cash cow iPod line, it can afford to drop expensive OS development and just make jazzy, high-margin Windows computers to finally get beyond that five-percent market share."
The main problem, according to Dvorak, would be appeasing the angry Mac lovers, whom he suspects Steve Jobs would be able to sooth with reminders that any program at all could run on a Windows-Mac, giving users the "best of both worlds."