The PC industry is keenly awaiting the launch of Windows 7 in the hope that it will deliver it from its woes. Probably, Apple also has its sights firmly fixed on the sandglass counting down to the launch, but for a different reason, of course. Apple need not be fazed by the launch, though, if Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall is to be believed.
"We have concluded that no negative correlation exists on Apple's (AAPL) hardware sales when Microsoft launches a new OS. Ironically, we believe new OS launches from MSFT may have even acted as a 'delayed accelerant' to AAPL's computing sales," Marshall wrote in a report.
Following the launch of Windows 7 next week, if Microsoft's upcoming OS can avoid deleting user data, it will have bragging rights over Apple's recently released Snow Leopard. That's because Snow Leopard users have been reporting lost data due to a bug in the OS.
According to the complaints, the problem crops up when a user logs into the Guest account, whether on purpose or by accident. Once the user logs out and then back into their regular one, users are greeted with a fully reset account where all the data has been eradicated, just as if they had created a new one.
Users initially reported that the data was unrecoverable, but Cnet published steps on how to restore the files from a Time Machine backup to a new, identical user profile, although the method can take over two hours to complete, Neowin.net reports.
The stereotypical Mac user is apparently not so stereotypical. While often portrayed as smug, self-righteous, and clueless about Windows-based PCs, it turns out they may well be smug, self-righteous, but not so clueless about PCs.
According to a recent study by the NDP Group of 2,300 households, nearly 85% of Mac owners also own at least one Windows-based PC. Mac users also tend to be more acquisitive of electronic gear than their PC counterparts, being more likely to own an iPod, digital SLR camera, a laptop, and three or more computers. Not surprisingly, Mac households also have pretty deep pockets, with 36% of them reporting incomes greater than $100,000 (compared to 21% of all consumers).
The study also reports that Mac penetration is on the rise. Between 2008 and 2009, the NDP Group reports, Mac households jumped from 9% to 12%, a possible sign of the effectiveness of Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ads. But this increase doesn’t necessarily appear to be at the expense of PCs, with Mac owners being likely to have a PC as well.
Upon the release of version 3.0 for their web browser, Chrome, Google has stated that they’ve got some pretty sizeable goals for the fledgling application.
Google has reported that Chrome currently holds less than three percent of the browser market, but they expect that a year from now that number will grow to five percent. But, in two years Google is planning on that number growing twofold, and jumping up to ten percent. If it doesn’t, Google’s own Engineering Director of Chrome Linus Upson will be “exceptionally disappointed.”
Sure, the goals are a bit lofty, but between the advertisements running on both the Internet and TV and the soon to be released Mac version, Google should be able to make up some ground.
Microsoft has been exuding confidence ever since Windows 7 made the tech scene a while back. Now they’re reaffirming their lack of concern over competition in the OS market. Microsoft’s Charles Songhurst said that netbooks will not hurt Windows 7. He also brushed aside questions about Intel’s Moblin Linux distro, and Google’s (still vaporware) Chrome OS. Songhurst indicated that being free isn’t enough to beat Windows.
Windows 7’s improved performance on netbooks, combined with users’ familiarity with the Windows interface may help Microsoft protect its market share. The Redmond giant also feels confident about business users staying clear of Macs. "If they are not compelling to the CIO, they are not going to make inroads in the enterprise," said Songhurst.
A couple of days after an anonymous forum poster, who claimed to be a Best Buy employee and a Linux aficionado, exposed Microsoft’s surreptitious anti-Linux training material for Best Buy employees, it has now become apparent that Redmond is providing them with anti-Mac training material as well.
The training material is part of its ExpertZone training courses, which are aimed at sifting bitter facts from popular myths about Mac computers and Linux. AppleInsider was the first to post screenshots of the Mac-centric training material. Upon their successful completion of the course, Best Buy employees are handed close-to-free Windows 7 retail copies.
Psystar once again flips Apple the bird by confirming it will support Mac OS X Snow Leopard on all new Mac clones. Furthermore, the company said it had developed "new virtualization technologies" to better integrate with the newly released OS like "never before."
At the same time, Psystar issued a warning to its customers not to install Snow Leopard until the OEM had a chance to work out any kinks and ensure a no-fuss upgrade.
"We ask you not to attempt to install the new OS X as it may cause harm to your computer, resulting in a possible re-installation of Leopard OS 10.5 and a loss of data," Pystar wrote in a blog post. "As with all previous software updates to the OS, Psystar meticulously tests and retests all software updates to confirm their compatibility with older Psystar machines."
As could be expected, Apple is none too happy about Psystar's continued defiance and has asked a California judge to order a 30 day "re-opening of discovery" to give Aple time to obtain Psystar's modified Snow Leopard source code.
Microsoft's "Laptop Hunters" ads try to drive the point home that PCs (as in, Windows-based) are a better value than pricey Macs, but all that goes out the window if you can pick up a Mac for free. Of course, there's a caveat. In order to cash in on the five-fingered discount, you have to be morally inept, willing to break and enter an Apple Store, and not be phased by the prospect of jail time.
A surveillance camera picked up just such a situation in an Apple Store in Marlton, NJ. Five thieves broke into the location with a brick and quickly went to business making off with 23 MacBook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPods in just 31 seconds, escaping before the security guard rushed in.
Catch the video here, and don't try this at home, or anywhere else.
RussianMac is the latest company ballsy enough to tempt fate, and enter the fake Mac market.
On their site, they state that all of their machines come with a full version of Mac OS X Leopard pre-installed. They also state that the operating system will be able to receive automatic updates from Apple once everything has been installed. However, Apple has been able to dominate the Mac market because the OS X End User License Agreement (EULA), which clearly states that no one may install their software on hardware that hasn’t been sold by Apple. This clause has successfully shut down the entire Mac clone market.
But, in a twist, RussianMac claims that since they have bought the OS directly from Apple, they’re not in violation of the EULA (though, they are yet to explain how they’ve installed it on Apple’s hardware). It should be noted that the German company PearC was able to use that defense in order to sell machines in Germany, so perhaps this defense could work in Russia as well?
We’ve all seen the laptop hunters in action over the past several weeks and though you may not have noticed it at first, these ads represent a significant shift in tactics. The new marketing campaign by Microsoft takes a much less passive aggressive stance than in the past, and for the first time, charges head on into their primary competitor. In the previous campaign which featured a diverse group of actors claiming to be PC’s, Apple is never specifically mentioned, but clearly if you’re not a Mac you’re a PC right?
Microsoft’s strategy up to this point has been to ignore Apple completely, and to never give them the satisfaction of being acknowledged publically as a valid alternative to Windows. This new campaign is much less subtle about the value of a PC when compared to a Mac, and it is not surprising that they have invoked a response from Apple as a result.
According to an Apple spokesman “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price." So close, yet so far”. Certain publications such as BusinessWeek would also have us believe that Anti Virus software and Geek Squad visits will make up the price difference between a $699 HP & a $2,800 Mac, but we don’t buy that argument either. One thing is certain however; we can likely expect Apple’s next ad campaign to respond in kind, making this the start of a very interesting and public war between the two rivals.