Helping people Switch to an Apple Macintosh one person at time
If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the Archives & Previous Posts. The links are on the bottom right
This site is created out of my appreciation for Apple products and the Mac community. I spend a lot of time adding to this site for everyone's benefit. I love Apple products and I think most people would feel the same if they were given the chance to use a Mac. My goal is to help, guide, and influence people to "Switch to a Mac". Your generosity goes a long way to help cover the expenses, time, and helps me justify the work I put into this site. Your "click" support is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Switch To A Mac: Key Mac OS X Security Features
Friday, April 28, 2006
Switch To A Mac: New To Mac - 50 Percent of New Macs to Switchers
A great read that demonstrates that 50% of new Macs sold at Apple's retail stores are purchased by Switchers.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Switch To A Mac: U.S. Patent Office e-filing system now Mac compatible
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on launched a new e-filing system on March 17, 2006 offering support for Mac OS X. The system allows patents to be submitted online via the USPTO website. Prior versions of the system were not OS X compatible which made it difficult for patent applications to be submitted by Mac users. The revamped system allows Mac users to submit their applications directly from OS X instead of having to submit them from a Windows based system.
Continue to the read the full article.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Switch To A Mac: Microsoft Messenger for Mac 5.1
Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.2.3 Update
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
switchtoamac.com: Apple Q1 2006 Earnings and Conference Call
From the article:
Apple Computer Inc. reported a 95 percent rise in its December quarter profit compared to the same quarter last year. Surging sales of its iPod music players played a key role in Apple registering more than $1 billion in sales through its company owned retail stores. Apple sold 14 million iPods in the quarter, a 207 percent increase year-over-year. iPod sales accounted for $1.74B in revenue, up 46 percent from the same quarter last year.
Apple sold 1.24 million Macintosh computers during the quarter comprising 667,000 desktops and 587,000 notebooks/laptops, figures up 20 percent from the year earlier period. Notebook sales accounted for $812M in revenue, up 34 percent from the same quarter last year. Desktop sales accounted for $912M in revenue, down 9 percent. Overall, Macintosh computer sales accounted for 41 percent of the company's total revenue in the quarter.
Macintosh sales exceeded the company's internal expectations in the quarter. According to Tim Cook, Apple's Chief Operating Officer, Apple saw "a bit of a pause" in the holiday quarter associated with the transition to Intel microprocessors. "We did see what we think was a bit of a pause from some customers associated with the Intel transition."
Cook also stated that Apple was “very pleased with customer and analyst response to our new Intel based Macs.” The first Intel based iMac and MacBook Pro were unveiled at last week’s Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Cook said that Apple may end the current quarter with an inability to meet demand for the MacBook Pro.
The strong Mac sales lead me to believe that more consumers and businesses are making the switch and that the trend will gain momentum during 2006 as Apple completes its transition of the Mac line to Intel Corp processors. I expect Apple to add a significant number of users to it's base and to expand its marketshare.
Apple to Report Earnings
I am looking for signs of increased Macintosh computer sales. Furthermore, I am looking for more evidence of the "iPod halo effect". Increased Macintosh sales are a key metric as it points to ongoing strengh and more consumers to making the "Switch To A Mac". I would however be open to the possibility that Macintosh sales lagged as consumers may have held off on purhases in anticipation of new hardware announcements at Macworld. Steve Jobs already commented that iPod sales reached fourteen million units in the quarter.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Switch To A Mac: Quicktime: Play Windows Media Files
Software from Flip4Mac™ allows you to view Windows Media® files on OS X.
Switch To A Mac: Apple Intel and Increased Market Share
Commentary with a prediction:
"The new Macs will usher in a new wave of Switchers. I predict that Apple will gain significant market share on a percentage basis in 2006 whereas Microsoft will see a slight decline."
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Apple Sales Exceed Expectations
Apple Computer sold 14 million iPods and 1.25 million Macintosh computers during the quarter. Apple has sold a total of 42 million iPods and 850 million iTunes songs since the launch of each product. The 14 million iPods sold in the December quarter represent 33 percent of all iPods sold by the company. An amazing metric demonstrating that demand for iPods is surging and that the company is not seeing a slow down in demand for it's music players. Apple now has an 83 percent share of the legal music download market.
Mr. Jobs also unveiled new Intel microprocessor powered Macs a full six months ahead of schedule. Jobs also indicated that all Apple computers will have Intel chips by the end of 2006.
The new iMac is based on Intel's Core Duo processors. The nee systems boast speeds two to three times faster than previous iMac G5 models at the same $1,299 starting price. The new iMac are now available for order at the Apple Store.
Jobs also unveiled the new MacBook Pro notebook based on Intel's Core Duo processors. The system runs four to five times faster than the company's prior PowerBook notebooks and will begin shipping in February. Prices start at $1,999. Orders can be placed at the Apple Store.
I would expect to see a continuation and strengthening of the "iPod Halo Effect", the idea that the popularity and strong sales of iPods to Windows PC owners translates into increased Macintosh computer sales
It's clear that Apple experienced a new wave of iPod sales during the 2005 holiday shopping season and this provided addition fuel to drive the "iPod Halo Effect". This is demonstrated by the sale of 1.25 million Macs, marking the fifth straight quarter of at least 1 million Macs sold. It's likely that a significant percentage of those units sold were from consumers who purchased thier first Macs. Apple is gaining market share demonstrated by these numbers and by the increase in Safari market share.
On a prior post, I indicated that I expected the Halo effect to gain momentum.
Consumers and businesses are making the Switch to Macintosh computers and OS X platform. With these new systems and the popularity of iPods, I expect the Switch trend to continue and to gain momentum.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Safari Gains Marketshare in 2005
In September 2005, Safari's market share was 2.39 percent. According to MarketShare, Safari's market share was 3.07 percent in December 2005. That's a growth of over 28 percent in just three months. You can view the growth of Safari during 2005 at the following link.
Considering that Safari is only available on Mac OS X, this is a strong indication that number of Mac users is on the rise, another sign that more switchers are moving to the Mac. This is a very positive report that demonstrates Apple's increasing market share gains. I expect Safari's market share to increase in January following the recent holiday shopping season and I expect the trend to continue during 2006 as Apple continues to gain popularity across most market segments.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
iMac G5 Recommended - Forget Dell, HP, Sony or Gateway Desktops - Make the Switch
According to a new review by Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret of the Wall Street Journal, no desktop on the market from the four largest Windows based PC vendors can match the new Apple iMac G5. My view on the review is that it will encourage those considering the switch to purchase their first Mac.
The following is a powerful quote from the article:
"We've been testing this new iMac, and our verdict is that it's the gold standard of desktop PCs. To put it simply: No desktop offered by Dell or Hewlett-Packard or Sony or Gateway can match the new iMac G5's combination of power, elegance, simplicity, ease of use, built-in software, stability and security."
The review has great comments about Apple's Front Row software. Front Row is seamlessly integrated with Apple's other software to allows iMac users to play music (from iTunes), view photos (from iPhoto) and watch videos stored on the iMac's hard drive. You can also control Apple's DVD player to watch DVDs. All this made possible with a remote control that comes shipped with the iMac G5.
For you potential switchers you'll like to know that the reviewers stated the following:
"From setup to performing the most intense tasks, it's a pleasure to use. And, contrary to common misconceptions, this Mac is competitively priced, when compared with comparably equipped midrange Windows PCs; and it handles all common Windows files, as well as the Internet and email, with aplomb."
The article demonstrates that most current Windows users no longer need to be reluctant to make the switch. Mac OS X handles all of your Windows based files. Be sure to read my previous post on how easy it is to make the switch, Part 7- It's Easy
Mossberg and Boehret go on to state, "The combination of the new, improved hardware, plus Front Row, makes the iMac G5 the best consumer desktop you can buy this holiday season, period."
The review also outlines the benefits of using a OS X over Windows:
"Like all Macs, the new iMac comes with Apple's excellent Tiger operating system, which hasn't yet attracted any successful viruses and has no reported spyware. Tiger already includes the key features Microsoft is promising for its next version of Windows, due in about a year. These include an integrated desktop search, parental controls and tougher security. And it comes with Apple's iLife suite of first-rate multimedia programs for managing and creating music, photos, videos and DVDs -- better than any similar software for Windows."
To top off the review, they state, "All in all, we can heartily recommend the iMac G5."
For those of you who are considering the Switch, this article speaks for itslef and demonstrates the benefits of using a Mac. No other desktop on the market from a Wintel vendor can give you all the features, software, security, and stability that the new iMac G5 offer.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Computerworld Journalist Loves the New iMac
Ulrika Hedquist of Computerworld, recently reviewed the new iMac G5. Her biggest complaint, "please, don?t make me part with this wonderful machine"
She was able to get the iMac unpackaged, setup, and in use in ten minutes. In addition, she was impressed with the overall design stating: "The Mac is beautiful ? shiny, white, minimalist. It is flat (about an inch deep) with a slightly convex back to fit in the whole computer behind the screen. Fancy." Her PC on the other hand suffered from a lack of design and was loud and bulky.
Ulrika also praised the included Mighty Mouse, built-in iSight camera, and Front Row remote control.
Monday, November 28, 2005
A Switcher's Experience
My hope in posting his email is that thier experience will encourage those of you who are considering the Switch. I've removed thier name and email address for privacy reasons.
Impressions of Switching to my 17" Powerbook
- It looks awesome, the slim aluminum enclosure is better than any laptop that I've ever owned. It does have an inherent "wow" effect on others. When I take it to work, my co-workers tend to check out my system and ask what it is. The complements are a nice experience as I never got that from my previous Windows based laptops. Many have asked why I bought a Mac. On numerous occasions, I end up in a long discussion with and often find myself engaging in demonstrations showing it's ease of use and great features. I've launched the preinstalled iLife suite of applications and many are surprised how easy they are to use. My more technical colleagues find the UNIX underpinnings to be quite useful on a laptop when compared to it's Linux counterparts.
- It's easy to use. I find OS X to be a more intuitive operating system. It's easier to use and navigate. I like the interface. I am always working in multiple applications at any given time and therefore liked to use the "Show Desktop" icon in the Windows Quick Launch taskbar to minimize all open programs in XP. In OS X, I've come to love Expose as I can hide all open programs and windows with a simple keystroke. I am also able to switch from one running app to another in much less time than in XP.
- Logical and customizable. With OS X, I can launch the terminal application to access almost anything from a command line. I can easily do whatever I want from a UNIX perspective from writing and modifying scripts, navigating across directories, viewing log files, modifying permissions on files and directories, or anything else I want to do. Mac OS X gives me the ideal computing platform. I get a great looking, easy to use and learn GUI (thanks to Aqua) and I have the ability to customize the UNIX underpinnings. I can modify the OS to be as simple or as customized as I want. Thanks Apple!
- Integrated and optimized. OS X allows me to run those critical Windows based applications thanks to Virtual PC. I can stay productive with my colleagues by running Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac. We can easily share Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. My Powerbook allows me to work seamlessly with Windows-based systems in my employer's network. I can easily access the network; get email, and access files/peripherals that the Windows based systems use. Furthermore, there is a vast developer community out there that provides open-source applications/software. For example, the Firefox browser is available for OS X as well as chat programs, file transfer (ftp), and countless other software for free or minimal costs. I love checking out the http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/unix_open_source/ site and I highly recommend it.
- More stable than XP. I've had better stability with my Powerbook running OS X compared to my previous laptops running Windows XP. I constantly find myself more productive in completing my day-to-day and workload intensive tasks.
- Community. I love the friendly, intelligent, and open OS X/Apple community. I've found that Mac users go well beyond the "general" interest in using their systems. Most are technically savvy and are willing to assist fellow Mac users. I find the community to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I've found the Apple Discussion Forums to be a great resource and the people there helped me get up to speed on OS X as they answered my questions clearly and coherently.
Those of you who are considering the purchase of your first Mac, I can say from personal experience that you will not be disappointed. The decision to invest in an Apple Powerbook, iBook, G5, iMac or Mac mini may provoke you to ask yourself numerous questions. You will likely be inclined to compare the specs with a Dell, HP, or other PC manufacturer. In most cases, those systems will be less costly than a Mac but the difference in functionality, ease of use, and overall computing experience speak for themselves. I have no regrets paying the Apple "premium" as my experience has surpassed my expectations, it was worth it. I encourage you to make the investment and to reclaim your computing experience.
My hope is that potential switchers will find this write-up beneficial to making their decision and you can post it on your blog.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Opinion: 1 Million Switchers
A Yahoo! News article makes the point that Windows users are making the Switch To A Mac as a result of thier desire to get away from the viruses plaguing the Windows platform.
From the article:
"Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf observes that cumulative iPod sales have reached 28 million since 2001 and that the momentum of the iPod, in conjunction with the ubiquity of malware on the PC, has created a halo effect that benefits the Mac platform. "Windows users are buying Macs in increasing numbers," he wrote. "We estimate in the first three quarters of calendar 2005, over one million of them have purchased a Mac compared to our estimate of 500,000 for the entire calendar year."
A releated article can be found at AppleInsider. I found the following to be a powerful statment:
"According to checks with Apple Store Specialists, Wolf also said a larger than expected percentage of Windows to Mac converts appear to be purchasing Apple's higher-end systems and that their transition is fueled by the epidemic of viruses and malware on the Windows platform."
My view is that Apple's compelling operating system, hardware, and innovation are driving the transistion. The migration to OS X and Macs is just beginning.
I've indicated in earlier post titled Macworld UK - 400,000 Windows users switch to Mac - analyst that I expected the number of switchers to gain momentum. I stated the following:
"Up to 400,000 users thus far this year is a huge number which could potentially double by the end of the year if the trend is maintained"
Based on the current numbers, I underestimated the number of Windows switchers moving to the Mac. In an earlier post titled, "How to Switch to a Mac - Part 7 - It's Easy" I stated:
"there are no known malware and spyware that are able to compromise a Mac. Tiger is the safest and most secure release of OS X to date. New viruses, spyware, and malware infect Windows systems on a daily basis. Windows based systems require daily software updates and frequent installation of Windows security patches to close vulnerabilities, an inherit problem with Windows. OS X comes shipped with an industrial UNIX firewall that outperforms it's Windows counterpart. The Windows firewall is weak and ineffective. OS X allows you to enable firewall logging to keep a track of blocked traffic and failed break in attempts. With Tiger, you can enable "Stealth Mode" which hides your Mac's existence on the Intenet. For parents who want a safer online experience for their children, Tiger comes with "Parental Controls" that limit what can be done on a Mac. In order to get these secure features on Windows, you'll have to purchase costly third-party software."
In another post titled, "With OS X you spend time working", I wanted to make the point that Microsoft agrees that Windows is an insecure operating system:
"We all know that Windows systems are prone to virus infection, spyware, malware, and unpatched systems are begging to be exploited. In fact, Windows is the most attacked, least secure operating system around. A Windows system is unsecure out-of-the-box and keeping a Windows system safe demands a high degree of vigilance. After purchasing a new Windows computer, it's vital to run Windows Update to download the numerous "critcal fixes" that if unpatched "could allow an attacker to remotely compromise your Windows-based system and gain control over it". Now that's a scary quote from Microsoft. They admit in thier security bulletins that an attacker can gain control over your computer thanks to holes in Windows! In fact, it's highly likely that an unpatched Windows system will be exploited within minutes if connected to the Internet."
All in all, Windows users are realizing that there is a choice and that choice is OS X running on a Mac.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Strategic Move: Intel-Based Mac Mini at Macworld 2006?
Could Apple release an Intel based Mac mini in January? A quote from the Forbes.com article:
"the company may be ready to launch lower-end Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people )-based Macs earlier than its original June 2006 target, with the possibility of an Intel-based Mac Mini at Macworld."
With stories indicating that the PowerPC and Intel builds of Tiger 10.4.3 are esentially identical, I would have reason to believe that a release of an Intel based Mac mini at Macworld 2006 is possible. Furthermore, it would be a great headline story to jump start Macworld as it would demonstrate to the market that Apple has the ability to make the transition.
If Apple can get an Intel based system out well in advance of Leopard OS X 10.5 (scheduled for release as early as late 2006), they'll likely to accomplish the following:
- The ability to increase the test base as Apple would get more feedback from users on any problems faced on the new platform. This would give Apple plenty of lead time to resolve these issues prior to the release of Leopard.
- Get the ball rolling from a developer perspective as Apple would have a "non-development" environment to test applications
- Kick off a new wave of buying from potential Windows switchers as consumers wouldn't be restricted from running Windows on the mini
- Generate momentum and fuel the interest for the next wave of the Mac upgrade cycle. Many current Mac owners have indicated a willingness to hold off on upgrading their systems until the Intel based Macs are released. The success of an Intel based Mac mini could drive those current Mac owners to purchase the intial round of Intel based iMac, iBook, Powerbook, and Powermac systems instead of opting for second generation systems.
- Get another leg up on Microsoft, yes, I said another!
How to Switch To A Mac - Part 2
Where to Start?
For those of you considering the Switch, here's what you need to start thinking about and answering:
- Are you a Windows user tired of all the security holes and vulnerabilities?
- Are you willing to free your computing experience of viruses, Spyware, and the "blue screen of death"?
- Are you ready to start enjoying your computing experience?
- Are you ready become a more productive computer user?
- Are you ready to become a more knowledgeable computer user?
If you've answered yes to any of the above questions, then a Mac and Mac OS X will be your refuge.
Mac OS X
OS X is the operating system that runs on a Mac and according to Apple, it’s the "world’s most advanced operating system". It offers an ease of use, simplicity, and user interface that are not found in any other operating system. OS X makes it very easy for you to be productive and have fun at the same time.
Today's cyber threats range from viruses, trojan's, spyware, arbitrary code, pop-up ads, and security vulnerabilities. As a result, a computer user needs a safe, secure, and stable computing environment. The answer is a Mac running Mac OS X.
Mac OS X was initially released on March 24th, 2001. OS X 10.4 known as Tiger, represents the fifth version of the operating system. Leopard will be the next version of OS X and will be numbered 10.5.
Darwin is the core of the OS X operating system. Apple designed OS X around UNIX, the industrial-strength operating system originally developed by AT&T Bell Labs. For you techies, Darwin is comprised of two major components: Mach 3.0 and BSD - Berkeley Software Distribution, particularly FreeBSD. The Mach kernel, originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University, manages the tasks and processes that run on a Mac. The beauty of the Mach kernel and thus Mac OS X is “Protected Memory”, where the operating system gives unique space in memory (RAM) for each running application/program. The benefit of this implementation is that the operating system will not allow applications to share memory space. In other words, one application cannot use the memory space that is utilized by another program or the operating system itself. This provides an inherient crash-resistent safety mechanism.
This contributes to the safe, secure, and stable computing environment mentioned above. When applications/programs are isolated from each other in their own chunk of memory and the application crashes or becomes unstable, MAC OS X doesn’t require a restart! All you need to do is either let OS X shut the program down, you manually quit the program or kill the “process” under which the program is running. As a result, the program will cease execution and OS X will clear it's memory space. The benefit is that the other programs running on the sytem will not be affected. WOW, what a difference from Windows. Too often do we see a program running in Windows lock up and the likely outcome is an unusable system or a system crash, better known as the “blue screen of death”.
UNIX has historically been a “command line” operating system where users send commands to the operating system via a terminal. Although Mac OS is UNIX at it’s core, Apple created the beautiful and easy to use “Aqua” interface. All you Windows users will feel at home in this environment.
For those of you wanting a more in depth read on the architecture of OS X, read this from Apple http://images.apple.com/macosx/pdf/MacOSX_UNIX_TB.pdf
Viruses and Spyware
Windows users exposed to the Internet are well aware of the viruses, spyware, malware, and hackers goals of attacking and compromising PC's. Microsoft, the company who created the Windows operating system, urges users to install anti-virus programs, firewalls, and other securing software because they built an operating system full of security holes that make an unprotected system vulnerable. In fact, Windows is the most attacked, least secure operating system on the market.
How does a computer user who wants to leverage the vast benefits of the Internet and the Digital Age avoid viruses and spyware? The answer, Switch To A Mac. As of this posting, there are no threatful viruses written and spyware targeted at Mac OS X. Furthermore, the vast majority of viruses floating around are written to exploit the Windows operating system and if one of those viruses were to find it's way onto a Mac, it would be incapable of infecting OS X.
Combine this with preceeding write-up on OS X, it's easy to see that Mac OS X is not only more secure, but it's the operating system of choice for the Internet. With Apple's vast collection of Internet based software such as iTunes, iPhoto, iChat, Quicktime, Safari, and Mail, the union of a safe, secure, stable, modern, and easy to use operating system with the benefits of the Internet is not only possible, it's a reality.
An Enjoyable Computing Experience
Windows based systems require that you spend a lot of time and effort to keep them secure and operational. With Macs and OS X, you spend your time working which in turn, leads to productivity and an enjoyable computing experience. With OS X, less time is spent securing and protecting the operating ystem and compuer, your time is focused on the issues that matter most; work, productivity, and having fun.
Mac OS X allows users to enjoy their computing experience. With OS X, Apple has made using a computer fun again. In fact, Macs and OS X enable your Digital Life. With Safari, it's easy to surf the Internet. OS X has made it easy to transfer photos from a digital camera to iPhoto. Once uploaded, you can easily edit and organize those photographs. You can easily trasfer your home movies to iMovie. You can edit and create your own DVD's with iDVD. You can easily share your moments with family and friends by uploading your photos and movies to .Mac. You can communicate with the world via email using Mail or participate in a video chat by using iChat. You can purchase and download music with iTunes. You can keep that music on your Mac or load it onto an iPod. You can create and record your own music with GarageBand. With Spotlight, you can find your documents and files with ease. OS X provides the tools and ease of use for today's fast paced lifestyle.
Computing doesn't have to be a headache, with a Mac and OS X, using a computer is a fun and enjoyable experience. Thanks to Apple, we have a choice. Make the Switch To A Mac.
Check out the previous update, "Key Questions"
Check out the next update, “What kind of user are you”?
Friday, November 04, 2005
How to Switch to a Mac - Part 1
This is the first post on how one begins the process of switching to a Mac. The goal of the this post is to get you to start thinking about the answers to a few general but simple questions:
- Where to start?
- What kind of user are you?
- Which Mac should you buy?
- How do you use a Mac?
- What to transfer and install on your Mac and how?
I'll be updating this series to address each one of these general topics and to provoke you to think about making the switch. Check back on a periodic basis for updates.
Once you make the Switch To A Mac, you'll find your computing experience free of all those malicious viruses, spyware programs, Microsoft security vulnerabilities, and the dreaded "blue screen of death". Thanks to Mac OSX, you will also be in for a treat, your computing experience will become enjoyable as you become more productive. You'll have time to devote to actually using your computer as opposed locking it down, updating your anti-virus and spyware programs, recovering from crashes, and reinstalling your operating system.
Sit back and let's begin the Switch To A Mac journey!
Read part 2 - Where to start: http://switchtoamac.blogspot.com/2005/04/how-to-switch-to-mac-part-2-where-to.html
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Why Worms Shun Apple's OSX
A nice article from BusinessWeek. The headline of the article starts off with the following statement:
"Successful assaults by viruses and other malware on the Mac operating system are rare as it has better security and attackers are less keen"
Overall it's a nice article and it demonstrates that OS X is a more secure operating system than it's Windows counterparts.