Help, Guides, and News on making the Switch To Apple Macintosh Computers
Macs are Faster - Benchmarking - Virtualization Technology - Increased Market Share
Historically, there has never been a true test to compare Macs with Intel based PCs. New data and benchmarks demonstrating that the Intel powered MacBook Pros and iMacs run Windows faster than today's PCs dismiss the myths that Macs are slower, behind the technology curve, and are more costly. The point I'd like to make is that the Intel based Macs were designed and engineered to be Macs that run OS X, not Windows. The fact that they run Windows XP faster than WinTel machines proves that Apple's hardware engineering, innovation, and quality surpasses its competitors.
Gearlog reports that Apple recently joined BAPco, the industry-standard Windows benchmarking group that tests the performance of Windows based PCs. Some of BAPco's members are Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Dell, HP, Toshiba, ATI, and nVidia. Why would Apple make such a move and join BAPco? Apple may be interested in testing the speed of the Intel based Macs in an effort to compare them to PCs, perhaps a marketing campaign comparing OS X on Intel versus Windows on Intel could follow.
Intel's upcoming Yonah Processor possesses "Virtualization Technology". According to Intel, Yonah will be capable of running "multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions." You can view Intel's Virtualization Technology at their website. For an overview of virtualization, check out PCmag. An Anandtech article shows slides and pictures from Intel's Developer Forum 2005 demonstrating the Virtualization Technology in the Yonah processor. Apple has also been granted a patent for 'hardware-specific code' as described at Silicon.com
Looking at the BAPco news, the Virtualization Technology, and 'hardware-specific code' patent in context, I'm inclined to believe that Apple has something more up its sleeve. Apple likely realizes that consumers can't fully abandon Windows because several applications and software will only run on Windows. My belief is that Apple intends to appeal to a larger segment of the consumer base in an effort to increase its market share and the way to do that is to allow both OS X and Windows to run on Macs simultaneously.
Rumors have hit the market that Apple may include virtualization support in a future version of OS X, perhaps as early as the next release 10.5 Leopard slated for the end of 2006 or early 2007. If Apple includes the feature in OS X, Macs would be able to run Windows or other operating systems in parallel without needing to reboot. What it means for most consumers is that they would be able to run OS X and Windows at the same time. Imagine the thought process for a consumer who sees a Mac running OS X and Windows side by side. They'll begin to question if their current Windows based PC can do the same and they'll quickly come to the realization that a Mac is the way to go. I would expect Mac sales to ramp up and a new wave of Switchers to hit the market. Apple's market share would rise sharply. I would also expect businesses and enterprises to give Macs additional consideration as a future hardware purchase.
Of course this is all speculation. If all this comes to fruition, my belief is that over the next few years consumers and businesses will purchase an increasing number of Macs. This will give Apple a larger user base and increased market share. This in turn will be a trend that software manufactures will fail to notice. I would expect to see increasing numbers of Enterprise software vendors offering OS X versions of their software. This in turn will slowly wean people off of the Windows platform.
This would only be possible if Enterprise Software vendors port their software to OS X. Companies such as Oracle already have their enterprise software available for OS X. Oracle's 10g Database and JDeveloper 10g are available for OS X. Oracle could port their other software to OS X as Oracle already supports UNIX variants such as Solaris, HP-UX, Linux, and AIX.
A July 2005 article at Macworld demonstrated that OS X is gaining acceptance with medium and large sized businesses. Historically, Macs have had a difficult time penetrating the enterprise market but the switch to Intel processors will open the door to greater acceptance of Macs/OS X in the enterprise. The end result will be a larger install and user base of Macs leading to overall greater market share for Apple.