It's very rare that my good friend Charlie Cooper and I disagree on matters involving tech punditry. Where so many are quick to donne rose colored glasses around this or that deal or announcement, Coop and I have FDA-approved grey cloudy sky corneal implants from C&C, Inc. (Cynics and Curmudgeons). In the same way the sky is blue, most silver linings are an illusion. But when it comes to Apple's Boot Camp, our cynicism has diverged. Coop has branched off (or, shall I say is out on a limb?) saying that Boot Camp is a gimmick designed to woo more people to OS X. Writes Coop in his commentary today:
But dare I say this aloud? Boot Camp is a gimmick. A smart gimmick but a gimmick nonetheless....Boot Camp functions as a security blanket for PC users who would wet their beds without their favorite Windows application....Folks are not clamoring for Windows; they're clamoring to run Windows applications. Do you think that once they get their hands on a Mac, people won't be the least bit curious to experiment with the Macintosh operating system to see what all the fuss is about?....Apple hopes so. The company won't put it so bluntly, but it has zero interest in getting people to use Windows on a Mac. (No accident that Apple's not going to support Windows on the Mac.) They want the voyeurs to take a peek at Mac OS and be seduced by all its charms.
Thinking this through, the implication is that people will buy Macs mainly to run Windows but will eventually succumb to the seduction of their systems' alter ego: the OS X operating system. In other words, these buyers will at first only be peripherally interested in OS X as an option, seeing some redeeming quality in Apple's hardware for running Windows. But maybe it's the other way. For example, maybe the idea is to give existing Windows users a theoretical no risk proposition with the idea being that they should go out and buy a Mac. Then, take it back to their homes or offices and, if it the end of the day, they're still not convinced that OS X is better for them, wipe out OS X and replace it with Windows. Now, if only I could rip the keyboard out and replace it with a more Windows friendly keyboard.
For the longest time, I had a PowerBook sitting side by side with my Thinkpad on my desk and spent more of my day on OS X than I did with Windows. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever want Windows to run on the PowerBook. Actually Coop is probably right. Steve Jobs is probably hopeful that the bait and switch will work. But, as I wrote last week, buying a Mac to run Windows instead of a system that was designed to run Windows in the first place is just plain dumb. If you need to run Windows, go online and spend half to 3/4ths the amount of money that you'd spend on a comparable Apple system and end up with something that's designed from the ground up with running Windows in mind. You'll be glad you did. If you're not sure what you need to run (operating system-wise), go to your local Apple store and play around with OS X for a while. If it does everything you need it to do and you think you'll be happy with your purchase, buy a Mac. Unless you run into some serious snafu in terms of an application that you absolutely must have -- one that's only available for Windows -- chances are you'll be very happy with your purchase.