Coop: The Boot Camp Gimmick

Coop: The Boot Camp Gimmick

Summary: 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.

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TOPICS: Windows
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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.

Topic: Windows

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12 comments
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  • Think in terms of the numbers

    I think you're right in that the people who would go for this "gimmick" are people who would already have at least a glimmering of an interest in running OSX in the first place. But think of the numbers. A tiny percentage of Windows users switching would double Apple's business. Smart move on their part.

    Not sure about this bit though:
    ---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----

    Go over to Dell and spec out a comparable Inspiron notebook to a MacBook. You'll find the prices right in line, and the Dell is lacking a lot of the nice things standard on the Mac (firewire, iLife).
    tic swayback
    • How many people new to Apple...

      ... have heard of OS X? Is the operating system part of the panache? I wonder what percentage of first time Mac buyers think it runs Windows, or, better, the same software as other computers?

      Yes, there are those making an anti-Wintel gesture. But how many of those would know more than that Macs don't run Windows?

      And how many people buying a Mac think it will run Windows applications?

      I don't have answers, so I'll suggest only that the things "everyone knows" often turn out to be more limited than the confident would assert.
      Anton Philidor
      • I think it's pretty well established

        ...that Macs are different and don't run Windows. One wonders what percentage of computer buyers are complete novices who are buying for the first time, as those are the ones most likely to be confused by the things you mention.

        ---And how many people buying a Mac think it will run Windows applications?---

        Hopefully everyone, since it does.
        tic swayback
  • Not a well supported argument.

    Since there's next to no support for this conclusion in this
    article, let's look at the referred-to previous one:

    "For starters, most Macs that I know of are really geared to work
    with OS X. Putting Windows on them is like fitting a square peg
    in a round hole."

    That is ridiculous; the recent slew of performance tests posted
    on various sites totally undermines that argument. But wait,
    Coop isn't even talking about computing performance:

    "The great thing about the way Microsoft licenses Windows is...
    all sorts of whizbang features (eg: special keyboards) that
    enhance the Windows computing experience."

    Special keyboards? That's the big payoff? You must be kidding.
    First of all, you can plug those keyboards right into your Mac,
    duh. Second, if you're talking laptops, which whiz-bang
    awesome keyboard innovations are you referring to? Windows
    laptops have one (albeit major) advantage over the Apple
    laptops: a real Delete key (not a Backspace key labeled "Delete").

    The other half-leg to stand on is the battery-life argument when
    it comes to laptops. But beyond that, Boot Camp is a good play
    by Apple and it really doesn't warrant efforts to undermine it.
    It's a pretty bullet-proof maneuver.
    dgurney
  • Mac Price

    People are writing about expensive Mac hardware like you wrote 1/2 to 3/4 price of comparable Mac for a PC. Dell sells a similar laptop at close to $1700 without the integrated camera and a little bit heavier to Mac book pro which costs $1999. Sony sells high end dual core laptops with integrated webcams over $2000 I think the price difference is exaggerated. I acknowledge Apple prices are higher but it is like 10% and they are in general has some extra features and better design. By the way I use Windows based PC 99% of the time but I don?t think the so called cheap PC brands Dell and HP are not cheap. Yes you can buy a cheap PC but they might be even worse deals for the users than so called expensive models.
    space123
    • Don't forget

      ---Dell sells a similar laptop at close to $1700 without the integrated camera and a little bit heavier to Mac book pro which costs $1999.---

      Then add in $50 a year for 4 years for Windows Defender, and the price is even. And that's without even buying iLife replacements.
      tic swayback
    • Apple better value? Not even CLOSE!

      Well, I went to Dell's website AND to Apple's site so I could configure similar boxes with these stats:

      1.86 duo processor
      512mb RAM
      80gb Hard Drive
      Wireless
      128mb Video
      NO Software (no MS Office)
      3yr warranty

      Dell's 1505 (15" widescreen model) priced out at $1338 not $1700!!

      But APPLE's MacBook Pro (15" widescreen) with the added warranty (3yr) priced out at $2348!!

      That's over $1000 difference!!

      I don't know what you are comparing, but try comparing the SAME specs... not ones with added software like MS Office, etc.

      As to the weight, the DELL 1505 is 6.2lbs, the Apple is 5.6lbs... Hmmm... 6 oz... vs $1000... I guess I could handle a little extra weight!!

      Oh, and if you upgrade to a model with 2GB RAM and a 100gb (7200rpm) Hard drive, prices are:

      Apple: $3048
      Dell: $1870

      only gets worse... $1178 difference in price...

      Apple will likely NEVER be cheaper/close to prices from Dell, Sony, HP or others... Even with all INTEL/PC equipment inside!

      Now I wonder what I could spend that $1000 on...
      djalan
  • boot camp

    absolutely perfect: I have been waiting for that to score a mac mini.
    And PCs have internet stuff on them the mac just doesn't see, like all the TIVO stuff for instance. Oh, eventually, but I want to try what I want now. Many internet services are PC only.
    Having windows on a mac won't solve the need to have 2 computers, one to check up on the other. But running two OS's is just way too much for computer user... the system management load can be a killer... two sets of everything? nah, not unless you absolutely need to or you're into technology as I am.
    gberke
  • Apple Mentality

    What really bothers me about the two comments I always hear about Macs (too expensive and not enough software), is this: Why should Apple be castrated for not building a piece of junk bargain PC? This whole concept that Dell offering a $299 bottom of the barrel junk PC vs. Apple offering a high quality product is BETTER and worthy of kicking Apple around is just insane! To turn a nose up at Apple because they make a superior product and actually (GASP!!) CHARGE for that quality is a cheap shot. The ability to now run the two operating systems that make the world go 'round on one machine is not only brilliant, but amazingly cost effective. Calling that a gimmick is like saying I want less for more. Sure, go out and buy that Dell for $299. Or, go out and buy a Mac Mini for $599 and have the entire software library known to man at your fingertips PLUS a top of the line high quality computer. How in the world can anyone argue with that?
    ewoh24
    • BINGO

      You NEVER hear these people comparing an Lenovo Thinkpad or Sony Viao or Alienware laptop to a bargain-basement Dell and then declaring the Thinkpad, Viao or Alienware machine to be a total ripoff.

      This has never been anything more than a strawman argument.
      baggins_z
  • David: you missed the point. This is going to sell a LOT of (UNIX) Macs.

    And, ultimately, far fewer Windows-only Computers and fewer copies of Windows.

    The Personal Computer Industry just changed, Bigtime.
    Wayne T
    • How is the ability...

      to run Windows on a Mac going to cause the number of copies of Windows to go down? The point of Boot Camp is the ability to run a "purchased copy" of Windows on a Mac. Perhpas years from now if the people who bought a Mac to dual boot realize that OS X is superior, yes. But ultimately I think Microsoft is in a position to potentially sell 3% more versions of Windows (if the numbers of total Mac users vs. Windows only is correct).

      One thing I'm hearing NOTHING about so far is Apple states that Boot Camp affords the opportunity to run "Windows XP" only. What about Vista support when, and if, it comes out? Apple may really have the last laugh after all if Vista isn't supported.
      ewoh24