Everyone knows Apple charges a bit of a “price premium” for its hardware, but just how much do you ask? Well if you consult Dell’s handy new Apples to Apples comparison chart Mac customers are paying over $1,249 more when buying a high end laptop. The chart doesn’t really point out anything we didn’t know already, but it does a pretty good job of summarizing why Apple stock has sent investors into a buying frenzy over the last few years and why Dell is in a free fall.
Nobody will argue that Apple doesn’t deserve to cash in on the niche they carved out for themselves on the high end through superior marketing, but those with an ounce of tech savvy have always known the PC is an all-around better value. The comparison case between the Mac and a PC is stronger now than ever before with widespread consumer acceptance of Windows Live Essentials as a replacement for Apple’s iLife. Tools like Windows Movie Maker and Live Photo Gallery arguably do a better job than iMovie or iPhoto, while apps such as Live Writer for blogging have no equal in the Apple realm.
You often hear people claim they are moving to the Mac because of higher quality hardware / software, and while that argument is pretty flimsy in the Windows 7 era, we would remind them they could probably keep 2-3 spare PC’s on the shelf just in case they run into problems for less than the price of a single Mac.
No one's under any impression that Apple's Mac OSX is on the way to beating out Windows in the market share department, but the July market share numbers still have to sting a little bit for Cupertino. The market share of OSX fell for the fourth straight month, landing at 5%. It's not like Apple is hurting for cash, they're selling more devices than ever before, thanks to the iPad and iPhone.
Windows 7 on the other hand, hit a milestone and is now running on more PCs (14.5%) than Windows Vista(14.3%). Microsoft has been talking a big game about their Windows 7 sales level, and this is just more proof. Vista numbers have fallen precipitously since Windows 7 was launched. Interestingly, the operating system stalwart, Windows XP still holds a 61.9% market share. XP has lost 5.9% this year though.
It will be interesting to see if Windows 7 can continue this trend, and if it ever makes a real dent in XP's market share. Also of note, is the continued move of Apple away from OSX, and toward vertically integrated platforms like the iPad. What do you think the future holds?
Apple is a company that loves to control the news cycle. The Cupertino based hardware maker has a reputation for calling press conferences to announce even the most trivial new products or feature enhancements, it's annoying, but it seems to work for them. We rarely see a departure from this approach, that is until yesterday. In its most recent 10.6.4 Snow Leopard upgrade Apple included new antivirus signatures to help fight off some of the more high profile OSX exploits found in the wild.
The most notable of these is a file disguised as the iPhoto application which, when launched, lets attackers send spam, take screenshots, access files, and do just about anything else you can think of. Our guess is that the Apple marketing department couldn't find a positive light to spin the new OS enhancement, so it was conveniently left out of the patch notes. Cnet pointed out, and we agree, that Apple's ongoing refusal to acknowledge security flaws in its products exposes users to greater danger since they are lulled into a false sense of security.
With low single digit market share numbers, OSX exploits will continue to be few and far between, but I don't think anyone would suggest that simply ignoring the problem will make it go away. I'm sure Microsoft would be happy to give Steve a few tips on how to deal with the emerging threat, but somehow I doubt they would take them up on the offer.
Is Apple misleading its customers by telling them they don't need antivirus?
If you use any operating system that doesn't start with a "Microsoft" and end with a "Windows" (and some kind of short letter or number designation), then you have utterly failed in your attempt to keep heathen software elements from besmirching the good name and reputation of your precious PC. And woe unto any who utter the forbidden name of a common Silicon Valley manufacturer of said "different" operating systems around these parts--you can trust me on this one. I learned the hard way.
But let it not be said that I wouldn't rise up to the challenge, see the error of my ways, and accept my restatement into PC-only territory with a bit of grace and/or slice of humble pie. I have even made a great sacrifice to prove my noble intentions:
I have come back to you now, as the great Gandalf would say, and I am ready to repeal anything positive I had ever erroneously suggested about non-Windows operating systems. Let this column be the Smoke Monster that forever keeps unwanted products off of my island PC.
As far as I'm concerned, Steve Jobs is the Man in Black; Apple and OSX are lost causes. Based on the platform alone, I can think of five excellent reasons why you should never, ever, ever consider letting any bit of the Apple experience ruin the software sanctity of your Windows system.
Psystar had big plans, unfortunately, their plans were pretty much the only thing that fit that description. Now that Apple has effectively won its copyright infringement case against the company, not only is it all but sure to close, but it will likely have to pay a fine for each and every Hackintosh that went out the door.
Just how many machines is that you ask? Turns out even though the company planned to sell as many as 12 million units by 2011, they only managed to pump out around 768 Mac clones so far. Either the Psystar machines were far less popular than the company (and media) let on, or they are fudging the numbers to try and dodge some of the fine. The numbers were revealed as part of a court ordered release to be used against them at upcoming injunction proceedings. Even if Psystar does manage to pay the fine, they will still be a company without a product, not exactly an ideal situation.
It seems as though Apple has done a pretty good job of nipping these guys off in the bud before they had a chance to cost them any customers, but do you actually think the Hackintosh crowd will actually buy genuine Apple OEM goods now that the hammer has come down against Psystar? I also can't help but wonder how many of those 768 machines were sold to the press.