Relax, You're Not Losing Your Mac

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Date: Thursday, June 9th, 2005, 07:57
Category: Opinion

PowerBook with Intel Inside LogoApple made the announcement this week that they’d be transitioning the chipset at the heart of the Mac again, and the entire Mac community seems to be wailing and gnashing their collective teeth. It’s the end, they say. What will we do? How about relax? Read More…


PowerBook with Intel Inside LogoApple made the announcement this week that they’d be transitioning the chipset at the heart of the Mac again, and the entire Mac community seems to be wailing and gnashing their collective teeth. It’s the end, they say. What will we do?
How about relax?
What makes a Mac a Mac is not any one chip. What makes a Mac a Mac is a combination of things: care given to design; quality materials and (usually) craftsmanship; a thorough thinking through of what you’ll need, not what you’ll cheap out on (i.e., you always get all the ports, good video, optical drive, etc); the experience; and oh, yes, let’s not forget the OS.
None of those are changing, folks. Zip. Zero. Nada.
Apple will still make their own hardware, and it will continue to be imbued with the same design considerations, the same ease of use, the same elegance. The OS will be virtually unchanged – it’s already there, you saw it. So long as Aqua runs perfectly and the Finder is the Finder and the rest of the OS is the same as it is now, and it’s all framed inside an Apple monitor, and you’re using an Apple keyboard and an Apple mouse, and the CPU is inside an Apple enclosure that works as simply and seamlessly as your Mac does today… what is the difference? It’s a Mac. It’s still exactly as far from a PC as it is today.
Apple’s just changing vendors, that’s all. They just did it a couple of weeks ago with their laptop battery vendors – were you all worked up then?
The one interesting thing to watch will be the name Power. If a PowerMac or a PowerBook no longer contain a PowerPC chip… will they keep the name? There’s a lot of marketing inertia built up behind the name… it’ll be interesting to see.
This opens up a whole new branch for Apple. Walk with me for a moment.
Apple has always considered itself a hardware company. That’s how they think of themselves… it’s only comparatively recently that they have even charged for their OS (but they made a quick 260 million in the last couple of weeks on Tiger). This change could give them an opportunity to greatly enhance their numbers.
Think about it. If you’re a corporation who needs to run Windows on your computers, but you want to buy hardware that looks great to impress your customers, you know that the life expectancy of a Mac is longer than that of a Windows box (impacting ROI), and you want to leave yourself the option of running multiple OS’s if you decide to later, you’re going to start buying Macs for your desktops, and installing Windows on them.
Will this happen in droves? No, not likely, at least not at first. But just as the Mac community, generally thought to be a self-selecting group that thinks for themselves more, is in this collective angst about a chipset, the inverse is going to be true on the other side with the herds: if it has Intel inside, it’s not foreign, it’s not scary, and we can consider buying it.
(Heck, I’d love to have the ability to boot my Mac with Windows for the occasional need I have for Windows. It’d be a more graceful experience, I’d only have to have one machine, I’d save money by only having to buy a Windows license instead of a whole box… this could be helpful to us, once we get used to it.)
You think the halo affect is happening now, with the iPod, and the Mac Mini? This will just drop a massive intellectual barrier, and the numbers will go up and up.
And don’t forget how companies claim their market share numbers: sales this quarter. All those customers buying Macs to run Windows are actually contributing to the Mac market share figures; the machine is sold as a Mac OS machine… what you do with it is up to you, but we figure you’re running Mac OS on it.
Folks, the sky is not falling. Your Mac will continue to be your Mac. I know, we have a lot of intellectual baggage about Intel being evil, but they’re just a chip manufacturer, and if IBM wasn’t willing to devote the resources to keep Macintosh healthy, a move to a vendor who can is the smart one.
Say it with me: “My Mac will still be a Mac.”
Breathe.
Look at the blue sky.
Remember that Cupertino still loves you.
Your Mac will still be your Mac.

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