I think it's more like
Many windows users are experimenting with Macs, but have still got their Windows machines.
The stereotype goes that Mac fans are markedly loyal to their platform. And while a new study by the NPD Group shows Apple adoption is on the rise, the vast majority of Jobs-fearing homes also keep a Windows PC running under their roof. More than 12 per cent of US homes have at least one Mac, according to NPD's latest …
There is still some software that only runs on Windoze.
I'm down to one application that probably will never run on anything but Windoze. I use V'box to run it. I'd write a clone/competitor if it weren't for the fact that it's too big and I have too many other things to do with my time.
I bought an iMac shortly after Leopard came out - it was my first. I had heard enough horror stories about Vista, so before it came out, I bought enough dual core XP machines for the family so that I could keep them happy in XP land until Microsoft came out with something decent.
I keep my mac "pure" - no virtualization, no boot camp, etc. I did not install Microsoft Office - I bought iWork. I installed Firefox and use it for most sites rather than Safari. It runs great, does all the multi-media stuff I every wanted, and I am only one click away from a "$" prompt.
But there are still a bunch of small, dinky applications that no one writes an equivilant for on the Mac, that I already own. If I want to use Outlook Web Access to get to the office mail, I need an IE browser. For those reasons, I keep a Windows box around. But over time, I find I spend less and less time going back to the Windows machine, and spend more time looking for replacement applications.
If you were going to rob me, I would gladly turn over my PC....but you would pry the iMac from my cold dead hands......
As much as I'd love Linux based installs to have more adoption, the reality is that 99.9% of consumer level desktop users don't know or care. Many wouldn't even be able to tell you what version of windows they are using.
Netbook usage trends highlight consumer reaction when faced with a Linux based system - it wasn't long before XP became the netbook OS of choice amongst those who DO know what operating system they are using.
Argue whichever way you wish, market forces tell the truth of it and for the most part, dictate it.
Familiarity and market dominance account for the bulk of this picture.
That can change, with significant OEM deals and investment in popular software versions for systems based on Linux.
Well perhps it is because I've migrated from a Windoze PC to a Mac? Don't the researchers ask this important question? How many have migrated from a PC to a Mac?
Perhaps another main reason is that some people may keep a PC around just for gaming (not me).
Most of the people I know that use Mac's have multiple DSLR's. Yep I'm a semi pro Photographer.
Pah. Another flawed study. When will they get around to asking all the relevant questions.
Oh yes I develop FOSS Software hence Tux.
"But does that explain why Mac owners feel the need for a Windows machine too?"
I think the obvious answer is, in a household with three or more machines at least one of those is probably being used by the family's kids. Most people aren't gonna spend $1000 on an iMac for a ten year old, are they?
This study also goes to show that most Mac users have exposure / experience on both platforms and still choose to buy a Mac because they prefer the platform.
20 years ago, I had 2 PC's on my desk: a Mac Plus (with a stonking 20MB HD) for writing documentation, and a MSDOS box for doing real work (with an even more stonking and eye wateringly expensive 30MB HD). I do recall that my first encounter with Excel was on the Mac and I can't say that it has improved much since then!
For me, the death knell for the Mac was the release of Duke Nukem. The Mac has lagged ever since.
"100% of Apple product owners had so much spare cash that they didn't mind paying double the going rate for a piece of electronic bling."
Err, why do you think they have so much spare cash? Maybe because they are not underachievers that don't waste their time fighting their OS and can get some money back when they sell their old machines!
So, you've got a Mac. You're likely to be in one of two scenarios (Unless you're a Linux fanboi):
You had a Windows PC and you've replaced/supplemented it with a Mac. In which case, you already have a Unix based OS, so you wouldn't need Linux (unless you're a geek tinkering, in which case you probably wouldn't have bought a Mac to begin with.....)
You had no machine and bought a Mac. Then found you needed (or preferred, as I do) Windows for whatever reason. You buy a cheap PC (a netbook?) or acquire Windows for use in Bootcamp. Again, the Mac Unix under-belly means you don't need Linux (unless, once again, you're a geek).
At the end of the day, while Linux is 'bundled' with so little hardware, only real enthusiasts (or perhaps some businesses) will jump on board. Mac+OSX or PC+Windows is currently the High Street choice, so omitting Linux is no real surprise.
We need an evil Tux. It's not just light that comes from the penguins posterior.
"Netbook usage trends highlight consumer reaction when faced with a Linux based system - it wasn't long before XP became the netbook OS of choice amongst those who DO know what operating system they are using."
Nothing to do with MS crapping their pants when they saw how many Linux netbooks were flying out of the shops?
And yes, their study that Linux netbooks were being returned at a greater rate than Linux netbooks was bollocks.
It's clear that MS used their muscle with manufacturers & retailers whilst cutting the costs of their cut-down redundant XP system to counter it.
I have to agree about market forces telling the truth of it. A Rolls-Royce is crap compared to a Ford Ka, look how many Kas there are.
"21% of the USA gets an income of over $100,000!?
Please say I'm missing something important here..."
21% of computer owners...who responded to the survey...online.
A good demo in how to bias your statistics in three easy steps! The survey is complete nonsense, the most obvious being that it says that 9% of computer owners have an iPod Touch. Now that is an easily disprovable stat.
Want to run MS Project ? Need Windows.
You could try Merlin, ITask, plus many more, most export in various formats, *.mpx, *.XML, etc, etc and behave better than MS Project, which in real terms has not advanced much since '97 OK It has a few extra bells and whistles, but for the most part it is still a pain in the ass to use.
CAD Software provided for school ? Need Windows... VIACAD, TURBOCAD, to name but a few and they are cheaper too.
Why else would anyone get Windows - only for the Apps.
I switched to a Mac for stability and ease of use. I got sick of losing CAD work through crashes, even the autosaves could be corrupted. I do run a PCB design program in Windows XP via Parallels, but all the other programs that I used to use under windows have been replaced, MS Office? Nah, open office or IWorks, and have a holiday in the Med with the money you save.
The only time I'm anywhere near a windows box now is when someone else has a problem with it, and I'm asked to help out. Why do they put up with such poor quality software and systems is beyond me. It is accepted by the consumer that it will crash and burn, they know no other.
Ignorance is bliss eh?
Could it be that it's because in today's world it's damn-near impossible to get a government organization, corporation, or other entity one MUST interact with to provide platform independent DATA, rather than requiring that people use one or more of Microsofts abominations? In other words, such organizations are dictating what O/S people must use rather than providing data in a platform independent fashion.
Until THAT is made illegal, yeah, I can see Mac users needing a Windows platform lurking somewhere around the corner.
Wrote my first book on a BBC Microcomputer in 1987. Transferred text file to MS WORD on a borrowed Apple Mac Plus, (Had no choice - there was no Windoze version in the summer of '87.) Formatted text in WORD, adding headings, chapters etc. then Laser Printed a copy for the printers to lay up. Sold several thousand copies and made a handsome profit, allowing me to buy my own Apple Mac. Went on to write and publish several more books, allowing me to buy more Apple Macs. They work for me, AND I can afford them, so never found a need to downgrade to Windoze.
I don't think it fair to say "successful people use Macs". A lot of complete bozos use Macs, too. However, if you use a Mac, you are likely to have less distractions, making you more productive, since you can get on with the work, rather than spending much valuable time in sorting out computer problems.
I have a couple of Macs and love them but no serious user could use one without Parallels or Bootcamp installed. It just takes one bit of specialist software that is Windows only or a peripheral that only has a Windows driver and you are screwed. With Parallels and Bootcamp you get the best of both worlds
"But does that explain why Mac owners feel the need for a Windows machine too? "
This is easy. For us it has more to do with the fact that my wife needs a PC for one program that she needs from work. I will note that I refuse to support the hardware (really the OS) AND it is owned by the company - not us. Other than that we have 7 macs. (4 for the 4 kids, a music one, my work one and one for tracking household finances.) The computers range in age from ~8 years old (G3 iMac) to a 4 month old laptop. The laptop also came with a free iPod... :)
Apart from Apple gear being more pleasing to the eye (and less pleasing to the wallet).
And really, do you think MS are quaking in their boots when most Mac fans end up using Fusion or bootcamp to run windows alongside their Unix environment?
The people who really should be worrying are the rival harware manufacturers (Dell, HP, Sony etc) They are the ones who don't have a look in in the Apple success...
At one time I owned a one BMW, two Fords, one Honda, one Suzuki and one Mitsubishi ... all under one roof. No big deal, the prudent buyer acquires his toys and tools based on need and features not brand. And apparently that goes for Apple juicers too.
I've had two very different wives too but not concurrently. I may be crazy, but I'm not stooopid.
The same goes for S&W, Glock, Casull, Browning, Ruger, and ... well, enough of this diversification already.
Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade RRP £200, Snow Leopard Upgrade RRP £25
Microsoft Office 2007 Pro RRP £450, iWork '09 RRP £70
Snow Leopard + iWork + iLife RRP £130
I do all my document work with iWork, it all exports happily to Word and back. Apple do need to do a bit more work on compatibility with more complex spreadsheets though.
Now lets see...
Free support from Microsoft/Resellers on demand in high street stores? No
Free support from Apple? Yes
That initial price doesn't look so bad now, does it?
So OK, what uses are Mac users likely to find for old bits of PC gear?
1) taking out the innards and using the case as a rubbish bin;
2) door stops or book ends (but only on the shelf containing the Works of Satan);
3) occasional use of Powerpoint, just to remind themselves how many lights years better Keynote is;
4) teaching Offensive Aesthetics 101 (Hardware) courses;
5) teaching Offensive Aesthetics PhDs (Insulting OS Design and Software Disjointedness);
6) just plain and simple wondering what all those buttons on a mouse are for;
7) a totem to ward off evil spirits;
8) target practice;
9) performing unchallenging computing tasks (eg doorbell management, fridge temperature monitoring, streaming Classic FM) whilst doing the real work on an iPhone that's squintillions times more satisfying to use (although even the diehards will have to admit that an App promising "Plan & execute a manned mission to Mars" for 59p is, how shall we say, likely to have one or two functional limitations...); but the most likely of all is
10) rather like some increasingly gaga and incontinent old aunt or dog, everybody's still circling self-consciously around, trying to avoid taking the hard decisions such as 'she/it will have to go into a home/be put out its misery'. In the case of dog or aunt, you'll have to steel yourself when the time comes, in case a pleading look or a particularly pathetic drool should challenge your resolve to go through with it. However, with Windows, it's much, much easier: just let it play you to the 'Help' noise one final time, and you'll have it under the streamroller in a jiffy.
hmmm, lets see now, Xbox360, vista HTPC, 40" widescreen TV, his 'n' hers nintendo DSs', his 'n' hers winXP/Vista laptops, his 'n' hers winXP work laptops, his 'n' hers winXP desktops, his 'n' hers blackberrys, his 'n' hers nokias' hiding in draws/cupboards/bags, house wired for gigabit over cat6, windows home server, multiroom audio/video via network, fat juicy uncapped broadband, pile of amiga/sun/sgi machines, pile of old consoles....
apple? that's something you eat as part of your five a day isn't it?
If there were as many apps for Mac that there are for Windows, then Mac would be a choice. But unfortunately, Mac is too limited and frankly I don't know why people spent top $ for an OS that can't run half the world apps, regardless how good the OS is.
Linux has a long way to go to satisfy both the ease of use and compatibility with apps.
Mac owners need a PC because outside of Safari, iTunes, and Photoshop, there is little other decent software for the mac (sorry, I called iTunes and Safari decent there by mistake).
This news must not be good for Apple, the TCO of owning a Mac just doubled.....
People that buy a mac, have chosen style over functionality.
I see what you did there, i might fool the iSheep, but it does not fool those with even an ounce of common sense.
You compared iWork to Word. You should have compared iWork to MSWorks.
MS Works 09: RRP: £30
iWork '09 RRP £70
Not so good now is it. I also note you also picked the Ultimate version of Win7, rather than the reasonably priced Home/Pro versions, which are £50/£80
Like I said, you are a typical iSheep, bleating whateveer Jobs cronies tell you to say. I hope they pay you.
"I have a couple of Macs and love them but no serious user could use one without Parallels or Bootcamp installed"
Why would a 'serious user' need to have Parallels or Bootcamp installed?
I'm a serious user of Mac software and therefore have no need for any windows software. My day (or life even) is not compromised in any way.
"Mac owners need a PC because outside of Safari, iTunes, and Photoshop, there is little other decent software for the mac (sorry, I called iTunes and Safari decent there by mistake)"
I think you need to go back to that small world under your bridge as you obviously have had very little experience in the Mac world.
"Mac is too limited and frankly I don't know why people spent top $ for an OS that can't run half the world apps, regardless how good the OS is."
Because the half that we don't use are completely irrelevant . And what's this 'too limited' statement?
I really must try and find all these things I'm not supposed to be able to do on my mac that would make my life so much better.
The point in having a Mac is getting the work done with the minimum of fuss and frustration.
My wife is a teacher in an all windows school. Last year she roped me in to help with a project that was being done borough-wide (after I'd been CRB checked of course). I went in, talked with the kids and worked out what we were going to do. The following week we had 2 hours in the computer lab to get the job done. By the end of the session we had achieved less than 5% of our target.
As there was a deadline for getting this done I took one of my old macs in to the school. In less than an hour the project was more or less complete (including redoing what we'd done the previous week), the rest of the time we used to make little tweeks to make it look even more professional. That's the difference.
My wife's cousin makes wedding videos and uses a fairly powerful home-built windows box. When we go to visit he is invariably not working because his software is not playing ball with windows, or windows is not playing ball with his hard-drives or.. or..
In the last year I've only seen him working once without interruption from his "way superior" operating system and software.
That's why I use a mac.
I'm always amazed at the amount of FUD people buy into. Comments like this:
"Mac owners need a PC because outside of Safari, iTunes, and Photoshop, there is little other decent software for the mac"
"I don't know why people spent top $ for an OS that can't run half the world apps"
Really, if that's what you think then you are clueless cretins.
Firstly, quantity != quality. Sure, there are loads more Windows programs, so what? I'd rather choose between a few quality apps than a ton of rubbish ones. Do you keep copies of all the bundled garbage that comes with a new Windows PC or wipe the disk and do a clean install?
Secondly, in 5 years of using OS X as both a geek (developer, unix admin) and creative type (photographer, music producer) I have yet to come across a Windows app I formerly used that didn't have a Mac equivalent, and in most cases the Mac app has been far better.
"You compared iWork to Word. You should have compared iWork to MSWorks."
Bollocks! Where's the Keynote equivalent in MS Works? Pages and Numbers may not have all the power features found in Word and Excel but they're certainly a cut above the Works apps.
"Not so good now is it. I also note you also picked the Ultimate version of Win7, rather than the reasonably priced Home/Pro versions, which are £50/£80"
Windows Home? Most people will want to be able to run their XP programs, so will have to choose Pro, at least, which is $199 RRP (source: microsoft.com). Note too that OS X gives you the equivalent of Ultimate for £30. Which is better value?
I wonder how this changed after MS intentionally crippled Excel 2008 by removing Visual Basic and hence many of the advanced features of Excel like regression, solver and data analysis. Now, to show my students how to use these features, I have to run Parallels and switch between Keynote and a Windows... um, window.
@AC I wasn't even considering the workplace. Microsoft make the best corporate package therefore enterprise goes down that route.
The majority of users just want a machine to surf interwebs, write emails, manage digital pics, and let the kids do homework etc. A reasonably priced Windows based PC does this.
For developers/designers etc a high end PC (with a personalised spec not available from Apple) running Windows does the job.
The only real advantage of owning a mac is image. Apple are currently riding on the crest of cool. The Sinclair Spectrum ZX once did this...
@Ivan Headache There is no f in process. But then what do you care? Your a mac fanboi, you can't ever be wrong....
"For developers/designers etc a high end PC (with a personalised spec not available from Apple) running Windows does the job"
Not for me. As a developer / designer I'd pick a Mac any day over the alternatives. A Linux box (probably Ubuntu) would be my second choice, followed by Windows and then Solaris.
"The only real advantage of owning a mac is image"
That's why more and more geeks (especially ones coming from a unix background) are choosing Macs, right?
Just how much experience do you have of OS X?
In April, after 20 years of owning only Macs, I finally bought a secondhand PC laptop to go alongside the new Mac. I finally got sick of having to beg or borrow a machine every time some Freeview box, digital radio or phone needed reflashing or set up from a windows serial port, and I couldn't be arsed with wasting space on the Mac HD running Boot Camp. Buying games for PC, either new or secondhand via CEX is way cheaper too. But apart from prising open the odd file in an obscure format, thats all the use it gets or will ever get.
@Ivan - "because Windows users claim we can't do anything." Oh? I apologise if you read that out of what I have written, your Jobsian stance seems to compel you to go on the defensive. Whatever the shortcomings I'm sure your heart is in the right place.
@magnetik - My OS X experience is limited, but I've yet to see the Mac do something a PC hasn't/can't do (apart from run Apple specific software and even at that Psystar is making inroads (and no, I wouldn't buy what they produce)).
Unfortunately I did sell my argument short: "For developers/designers etc a high end PC (with a personalised spec not available from Apple) running Windows does the job" should be "...Windows or UNIX/LINUX..." Bit of a slip from a LINUX user...
I know a number of fanboi's, all of whom have XP running on their machine one way or another.
The programmers amongst them fire up LINUX to get anything done.
As for the geeks - They are not cool by default. Unless they have a Mac. Then they are as cool as everyone else who owns a Mac.
Anyhoo, before the Jobsian Borg collective try to hunt me down, I'm not denying the ability of Macs. But they are just like every other PC, except they are cool. They do the same as everything else, but they look cool doing it. Right up until the next best thing arrives....
We have a MAC & multiple PC's. Several versions of Windows & Linux. The MAC was a late addition to the collection. I didn't see any details on how NPD collected the data for this study.
Are the MAC computers the primary device? My household would seem to fit, but in reality, the MAC is a secondary device here.
" I've yet to see the Mac do something a PC hasn't/can't do"
That argument could also be applied to Windows vs Linux. I don't care that all three OSes can do the same things, to me it's important *how* they do them. A Ford Ka and a Mercedes SL55 will both get you from London to Edinburg, but we know which will be a more enjoyable driving experience. Apple's software tends to be polished and elegant with a lot of attention to detail.
I've been running Linux desktops for 13 years now. Much as I love Linux for servers I just don't think it competes with OS X as a desktop OS, and Windows feels horribly clunky and badly thought out, not to mention the hours of maintenance you have to do just to keep the thing running properly.
Give OS X a try, you may be surprised at how good the user experience is. :-)
I have no doubt about the OS X experience. However, some people may prefer a Ford Ka over a Merc as it better suits their needs and doesn't come with the same hefty price tag.
I agree that Linux has a serious amount of UI work to do before it could be a real mass market contender (and I was gutted when BEos vanished as it could have been a massive threat to Windows. I am aware of the links to Apple, but BEos ran on my computer, i didn't have to go and get specific kit for it (though a BeBox would have been nice.))
The long and short of my arguement is that Windows/Linux allows people to have kit they want/can afford doing all the things they need to do. Apple provide a similar service except they alter the user experience and add a premium price tag to that. And even at that, many Apple users run VMs of Windows/Linux.
Its one of those debates that can run and run....
Yes, you could drive to Edinburg(sic) in a Mercedes Benz SL55 rather than a Ford Ka, but you'd look like a complete tosser with more money than sense.
You could also surf the web and knock out the odd letter on a Macbook Air rather than a £300 Windows notebook, but... Oh, I think you know where this is going.
Both devices will do the job just fine, and Windows 7 really does go a long way to close the 'user experience' gap, so why is everyone getting so wound up? For most normal people budget is the most important buying criteria, however, if you absolutely must project some sort of 'image' then I'm sure your posh Merc and your fancy Mac will make you very happy.