I have finally decided to take the plunge. Last night I upgraded my
Vista desktop machine to Windows XP, and this afternoon I will be doing
the same to my laptop.
Good for him. I respect and admire Bill Gates; and what his productive efforts have done for the world should never be taken away or diminished — but goddammit! People are just not going to put up with this crap, and the more used to using computers people get, the less tolerant they are going to be with crap that doesn’t work right.
I was discussing this last night with some very smart tech people at a Christmas party at the home of a hardware engineer who’s responsible for in excess of a dozen high-tech patents, mostly in the video space (he is largely responsible for the first mini high-res video screen on the iPod several years back).
Think about it. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, everyone thought Apple was insane to not open up their hardware, or at least allow their OS to run on other open hardware. The "IBM" PC was up & coming, and open hardware was exactly what was needed to get the ball rolling into mass production, economies of scale, and the steep deflation in hardware prices (even steeper when you factor capacity and speed / cost).
And look who’s laughing now? Apple has the luxury of explosive sales for a product where they have total control over both hardware and software, i.e., they can make it work right, every time. At the same time, competitive pressures have forced MS to increasing complexity at the same time hardware manufacturers have to stay on top of things, and MS has the unenviable task of producing an OS that can function properly on any one of millions of possible hardware combinations. Apple controls the hardware, and thus the range of options you can get on any machine. As such, there are only a small number of possible hardware combinations they need to worry about. Having the option of a million possible hardware combinations — while curiously appealing — though I can use but a single one at a time — is less of a value than having the one or two configurations I might actually possess work exactly right all the time.
And there’s more. With OS X, Apple opened up the OS, so what you have now is something that Sun did in the workstation market (way overpriced hardware killed them), only for the consumer market.
I love almost every thing about my MacBook Pro, which happens to be the fastest notebook in the world (even running Microsoft); and I’m not the slightest bit shy about telling anyone who will listen that after 20 years as a hard-core PC user, I have no regrets about switching and I have no plans of ever going back. I even loaded up Crossover Mac the other day to test, and promptly got rid of it. So far I have needed a PC only for one app (the software that goes with my Sony Reader, oddly enough), and it’s just not worth it to mess with the complexity of Crossover for a single app (which didn’t work anyway).