Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Opinion: 1 Million Switchers

Analyst: Viruses Pushing Windows Users To Mac - Yahoo! News

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.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Strategic Move: Intel-Based Mac Mini at Macworld 2006?

Apple Could Unveil Intel-Based Mac Mini In January -

Could Apple release an Intel based Mac mini in January? A quote from the 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."

Strategic Play
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!

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How to Switch To A Mac - Part 2

Revised November 7, 2005

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

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”?

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