Better products or just better marketing?

Oregon State University is reporting a significant increase in Mac usage among its faculty, according to MacNN. While the article focuses on OSU, there seems to be a growing trend to look someplace other than Vista when purchasing new computers.

Oregon State University is reporting a significant increase in Mac usage among its faculty, according to MacNN. While the article focuses on OSU, there seems to be a growing trend to look someplace other than Vista when purchasing new computers. Water-cooler conversations with other faculty at my high school suggests that most are at least as resistant to migrating to Vista as they are to OS X or Linux, especially as more people purchase Vista-based machines for home use and have less than positive experiences.

The school cited easy virtualization and/or dual boot with Windows operating systems as one reason for the increase. Even using Boot Camp, the two partitions can talk nicely to each other while Parallels and VMWare Fusion work really well to give users access to legacy applications while keeping most of their productivity work in OS X.

Another major reason for the switch was Apple marketing.

Apple's popular 'Get a Mac' TV spots are also causing a stir, according to Dave Nevin, IT manager for college community network.

"The Mac vs. PC ads are very compelling marketing; and I think they've had sway," Nevin said.

Undoubtedly, Apple is particularly good at the branding/marketing game, but I'm not sure that the Mac and PC ads are going to convince the "average" college professor with a doctorate that he or she should run to the nearest Mac store.

As the article points out, Leopard (and Tiger, for that matter) are very stable operating systems with great software and a growing group of administrators with Unix background who can provide high-level support. As I'm finding while I continue to use my own Mac and put on the occasional impromptu dog and pony show for other teachers, the product really speaks for itself.

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