Why Are Macs Becoming More Popular?

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Oct
13

By: switchtoamac at: 12:02 PM on October 13, 2006 | Comments (126)

Apple and its Macintosh computers have been the subject of increasing attention, especially over the past few years.  In fact, during that period many Windows and Linux users have purchased their first Mac.  The trend has gained momentum over the past few years and Apple earlier this indicated that their tracking data shows that 50 percent of new Macs sold in Apple retail locations are sold to those who are New to Mac Why have Macintosh computer sales risen over the past few years?

If you ask recent Mac purchasers, reasons for purchasing a Mac will range from an ever-growing frustration with Windows to reasons that say a Mac is elegant, it's hip, or it's just cool to own a Mac.  Why have people come to accept the Mac with greater enthusiasm?  All you have to do is read the latest headlines or visit a packed Apple retail location and you'll come to the realization that the Mac is becoming more popular with today's consumers.  Another indicator would be to visit a local coffee shop, library, airport, or college campus and you'll see a higher concentration of Macs.  Of course, many people in any given Apple retail store are there to purchase an iPod but you can't ignore the hard facts that Macintosh sales are on the rise.  Apple's market share is on the rise and net data demonstrates that Safari use is climbing.  Apple's upcoming October 18, 2006 Q4 2006 earning announcement should provide additional insight into recent Mac unit sales.

A few though provoking questions come to mind:

  1. Has the popularity of the iPod and iTunes Music Store made people "Apple aware" and encouraged them to consider a Mac as their next computer purchase?
  2. Could it be the inherent "coolness" factor of owning a Mac?  Let's just say that Apple has historically made some of the most eye-catching computers, you know those systems that get people to take a second look.  This is especially true of the aluminum encased MacBook Pro and Mac Pro.
  3. Could it be Mac OS X, Apple's advanced operating system and easy to use software such as iLife?
  4. Did Apple's switch to Intel processors help break the misconception that Macs are more expensive, underpowered, and incomparable to their PC counterparts?
  5. Has Boot Camp beta made the Mac the one stop platform?  Boot Camp beta allows Intel based Macs the ability to boot into both Mac OS X and Windows.
  6. Did the introduction of the Mac mini in January 2005 with a starting price of $500 (now under $600) finally give people a reason to try a Mac?
  7. Is Apple's "Get a Mac" advertising campaign playing a role, is it a revitalized switch campaign?

Whatever the reason and motives aside, it's a well known fact that the Mac and OS X are becoming a more popular option for today's consumers and businesses.  Now is a great time to make the switch.  Apple's Intel based Macs in conjunction with Mac OS X offer the features, options, and cutting edge software for today's digital computing lifestyle.

What's your take?  I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Updates

October 14, 2006

  • I've also added this post to the "Switch Stories" category as many commenters have described their Switch

126 Reader Comments

I bought a Mac after i used my friend's MacBook. Thought it was easy to use so I bought one just before I went back to college this semester knowing that I could always boot into Windows if I ever wanted to stick with Windows. My experience thus far ... what is Windows?

I bought a Mac because I had never used a mouse or graphical interface before. I loved it then (1985) and I still love it now. BTW, what's this windoze stuff I always hear people complaining about???

I grew up on the Apple II, but by high school my old IIGS was showing signs of its age and in came the 486 which made me a PC user for the next 10 years or so. Along comes the Mac mini and I'm now tempted to try out the Mac. I'm not sure why I was tempted to switch back in 2005, some of it could have been the iPod effect, some could have been the buzz... all I knew for sure was that the day Tiger came out, I was waiting in line in SoHo to pick up my brand new Mac mini :) In the 18 months since then, I've added a MBP to retire my old Vaio laptop, and convinced my parents to retire their XP box in favor of a shiny G5 iMac (which was bought 4 weeks before the iSight iMacs were released d'oh!).... at least it doesn't break, so i can spend time with THEM when i visit, and not THEIR PC!!!!!

I don't miss PC's, although I'm forced to use one in the office, my MBP sits next to it and probably gets 80% of the actual work (100% during the daily occurrence of Outlook crashing)

More popular because you actually can get stuff done and the inclusion of iLife means you don't have to shell out extra cash for software to do things that iLife lets you do on a new Mac.

I'd always been curious about Macs since 94. I'd never owned one until about 5 years ago. My Windows PCs never were connected to the intertron so I had no security issues, but I did have software incompatibility and stability problems.

Back in college I didn't even know that there was difference in the OS. OS 9 was confusing to me. But OS X was a dream, very intuitive for me, easier to use than Windows, less hassle, more attractive.

I haven't had an OS crash in 5 years. I'll never buy a windows PC ever again. All they're good for are games.

People are finally just realize that it's a superior operating system with no major flaws. The only complaint I hear nowadays about macs is "I've never used them, so I don't want one." Instead of the old "too expensive, no games, slow, crappy, IhaveNoRealReason" complaints :P

I just switched to Mac after being with Windows since it first started (my first Windows OS was 2.11).
I'm just tired of Microsoft and the fuss of dealing with Windows, trojans, virus, etc.
Now that Microsoft has release a new EULA for Vista with severe restrictions I'm glad I made the switch. It's been very easy and that's what I expect from a computer. Good-bye activation, daily testing to make sure I'm legit, and system crashes galore!

I spent many months researching for the right laptop to buy. After talking with people and looking at reviews of dell, gateway, and many other PCs. I decided to give the Mac a shot. So I started looking into them, I mean I love the iPod I have. So after researching and talking to people I bought a macbook. I have never been so happy. It literally has taked stress of my life. I would recommend a Mac any day.

Well, mac will be my next buy! Just need $$ right now.

I got my MacBook Pro after using my school's Macs (they were iBooks), really what made the decision for me was one morning when I had to make a rushed video presentation from all these clips I had on my camera, I started up iMovie and... that was that. Took 10 minutes. I was like, "Wow, that was way easier than trying to do the same thing with Windows..."

Really I love how warm and fuzzy and easy to use OS X is.

I first used Apple II's in grade school. Then High school rolled around and I would use the yearbook computers that were LC II's. My first computer was a Performa 637CD (Money Magazine Edition) with a whopping 8 megabytes of RAM and a 350 megabyte hard drive. At the time the standard Perfoma model came with 4 megabytes of RAM and a 250 megabyte hard drive. Then I bought an iMac DV and had that for years. Now I am on an iMac Intel Core Duo. I have never bought a typical "PC" nor will I ever. I do run windows on my Mac using Parallels but it is just a backup if I find something on the web that I can't do on a Mac like virtualapple.org (kind of an oxymoron, huh) I have been using the Mac platform for now over 13 years. Always Mac!

Peace,

iMac79

I think the reason why Macs are suddenly becoming more popular is because of the iPod. Old Macs were also initially expensive and the OS had limited hardware support. In effect, people became less interested in the Macintosh world. With the advent of OS X, it was no secret that it was so advanced for its time. The Aqua GUI was just incredibly pleasing to look at. It was also really easy to use. However, people didn't take notice because Microsoft already holds 90%++ of the consumer-level computer market. It was the iPod that attracted attention back to Apple. People flocked to the nearest Apple Retail stores and saw what else Apple had to offer (my wild guess). Thus, people felt silly sticking with Windows XP when they saw OS X.

I got my first mac right after they released the mini for $500. Now, it's $600, which is too much. If it was $600 I never would have gotten it/ been able to afford it.

I've been a windows user all my life, my job is to support MS Products (Sys Admin).

Yet, with the advent of the Intel mac (which now also seems more affordable - £899 for 20" iMac) + Boot Camp, Parallels and a possible windows API and a very slick looking OS:X the reasons not to get a mac have simply vanished.

I want a fast, quality, good looking, stable, secure machine - my next PC will be a Mac!

What will I miss? Right click...

Will Vista be MS's last desktop OS? I have a feeling it just might be.

I'm sure I'll have to spend more than £899 to get a Vista capable machine that will run slower than my aging XP PC.

The sad truth is the majority of Mac switchers I meet and greet are the ones too dopey to run Windows. Thank goodness you have an alternative.

You can't "do more" on a Mac, and you can't "do more" on Windows. They're both Operating Systems that run programs. But you can run "more programs" on Windows because it's more ubiquitous. But the ones who make their PCs crash and then blame Windows deserve to have the shiny, simple Macintosh. Knock yourselves out of the park.

I have far more respect for the Mac users who laud its unique offerings. To say you've switched to Mac because Windows kept crashing makes it very clear why you switched. You might as well say you switched from walking to crawling because you kept falling down. We forgive you, all of you. And use both confidently.

Being a mac "convert" myself (before the intel changeover), I'll let you know what got me to switch and what's getting my friends to switch now.

I "grew up" with windows, since 3.11. I decided to get a mac mini because it was another OS I wanted to learn. I never planned on it becomming my primary OS, but something to tinker with. I did this for about a week before I realized that I was doing most everything on the mac, and very little on the PC. Why? It was easier. Installation of a program involved dragging it to my Applications folder. Uninstallation? Drag the same program to the trash.

Another reason I switched is that most of the software I need is now (or has been available) for mac. Firefox, Office, Instant Messaging software, etc. etc. I (I'm sure like many other PC users) remember Apple when they had the "itty-bitty" section in the software dept, and the majority was windows based software.

My friends are switching to macs because they can dual boot (thanks to boot camp). N o longer do they have to worry if they can't find an Apple equivelent program, they can just boot up into the Windows portion of the machine. Then, reboot back onto the mac side. Eventually, just like me, you find that you're doing more on the OS X side then the Windows side.

Yet another reason is security. Apple is waay ahead of Micro$oft with their OS's. It's funny to listen to M$ talk about all of the new additions to the user interface to find that Apple has had most of them for quite some time now. It almost seems like the ideas for some of the parts of Vista came from OS X.

The mini helped them as well. I had always viewed macs as expensive machines, which they were. With the introduction of the mini, they made it afforadable.

Some people wonder if the iPod has any effect. Maybe. The only link I can imagine is that people are using them and finding that they "just work", which is what most hardware does on a mac. There (usually) isn't a driver to hunt down, just plug it in and go.

Switching to intel also helped them because now people have a CPU speed that they know what to do with. Talking to my friend, he has a 400 mHz G4. My PC portion of my brain imagines XP running on a 400 mHz P3 and can't imagine how he does it, forgetting that the G4 was much faster then the intel when he got his machine. If I tell someone who's PC based that I have a 1.25 GHz mini, they wonder why I don't get a newer, faster one. I usually have to explain to them that the speed of the G4 isn't the same as an Intel. Now, I don't have to have that discussion anymore.

Last reason, and then off to bed, is that the OS is more secure and realible. Some would argue that it's "security through obscurity" becuase the majority of computers out there are PC's, so the majority of flaws will be windows based. My personal feeling is that the OS IS more resillant because it's built on top of UNIX. As far as I can remember, the exploits that have appeared in the past have targeted the GUI, and not the actually "engine" of the OS itself.

Hope this helps.

I used a pc for many years and was quite proficient with it. I also played around with linux and loved it, but apps were not there to keep me with the platform and too many things needed to be tweaked to make a useable system.

The Mac mini came out, I had a play with in the store and I thought - this is just like kde. I bought it and have never regretted it a single day. Now I spend more time actually doing things on the Mac, not wasting time maintaining a pc.

I bought a PowerBook G4 about 3 years ago because it looked sexy - both the hardware and software - and because I felt it offered me the opportunity to learn more about Unix, which it did.

Since then I've had issues, but mostly hardware ones - the software has always worked well - and I don't miss Windows and I doubt I'll use it again, unless MS does something quite a bit better than Vista.

Thats retarded. Windows PC's hardly ever crash. The MACs at my school lock up and crash all the time, and I hate typing on ghey MAC keyboards. People ask me to name one thing I can do on a PC that they can't do on a MAC. I tell them "Right-Click"

I had never owned a computer until OS X came out because quite frankly I did not like Windows or the classic Mac OS. When I saw OS X, I knew it was time to get a computer. An Apple computer. And I couldn't be happier with my choice. I just wish OS X had come out earlier so I would have more experience.

I just like running OS X on my Intel PC. There is great satisfaction in triple booting XP, OS X, and Linux.

Unix-based with all the unix goodness

I started using MacOS because my family has always been diehard unix users. Because MacOS X is built on BSD Unix, we have all the benefits of unix and no longer have to spend weekends configuring things like we did with Linux. Joy!

How about the simple fact that they core OS is built better.

Windows has many problems that need to be resolved at their source. Apple has done a great job fixing those core problems by not starting with them to begin with.

For me I think all of the above apply. Yup, I heard about Mac's before. There are even some folks in our company graphic design department who have them. Even though I am in IT, I don't have to fix them really. However, since the switch to Intel I know now what the processor is. Being a Windows guys helps with that. I am now drooling over the MacBook Pro 17" version. I'm going to get one when the new ones come out.

I have now come to figure this out: Toyota is to BMW as PC's are to MACS. You get more bells and whistles with the Mac. I want my moneys worth.

Have you seen the MacBook Pro keyboard light up?? Sweet.

Oh please, Mac is nothing special. All I hear is "Mac is so great, I am so cool for having a Mac and you are not."

Um, I have never had a single problem using Windows, and I can play games and use any software I please.

Only idiots get viruses or spyware, which is the brutally honest truth.

The XPS 410 (Dell) beats the Apple iMac 24 inch model (Intel Core 2 Duo) by nearly 2 times in all benchmarks. 2 friggin times! And its cheaper!

It's true what they say that when you buy an Apple PC, your buying the OS. But, did any of you realize that Mac is based on free software with just a fancier GUI slapped on? I can't believe people are actually happy that they are getting ripped off.

Come on, I'm getting tired of all these condescending mac fan boys.

And no, I'm not a Microsoft fanatic. I use Linux just as much as I use Windows, but I do prefer Windows for its extreme ease.

I use both a mac and a winXP machine side by side at my job. About the only thing the mac is good for is the "my pictures" screen saver.

It was the x86 hardware that did it for me. I can do all my mac stuff and simple launch parallels and do anything I need in Windows. I know boot camp is available, but I dont see why I should give up a chuck of my hard drive to Windows.

I needed a laptop for college and I had it down to the Macbook and vaio sz. I ended up choosing the Mac because I knew most of my work would be simple office applications, and I couldn't afford to have Windows crap out on me. Also the construction on these things is just elegant. You could drop it off a building with nothing but a few scratches to boot.

I think all six of your points are valid but I think it's points 1, 4 and 5 that have been critical in driving the Mac resurgence. Like all Apple products, the iPod exceeded what consumers had come to expect with its great esthetics and ideal functionality. But the iPod was the perfect product at the right time, effectively creating (if not inventing) the digital music market. People who bought iPods suddenly realized that Apple created great products not just "for the rest of us," but pretty much for everyone. The iPod put Apple and Macs on people's radars.

But moving Apple from the margins is a long way from making the Mac a viable computer option. Most people don't know any better, so they continue to buy Windows. And the PowerPC-vs-Intel wars made people wary of the Mac. (It was like the rotary engine vs the piston engine. Sure the rotary engine might have been better, but we didn't trust it — it was "different") So by embracing Intel and giving people the ability to run Windows on Mac hardware, Apple made the risk of getting a Mac computer a lot less, well, risky.

My guess is that switchers look at it this way: "I love my iPod, so other Apple stuff can't be bad. And if I get a Mac and don't like the OS, I can always use it to run Vista (and still look cool). So why wouldn't I get a Mac?"

I work in prepress. Mostly macs lots of people snearing at PCs.

I used to laugh at them whenever i'd buy a peripheral for almost half what they'd pay. Or when it was hard to pick a game to buy 'cause there where too many to choose from.

But then I got tired of USB never working quite right. Endless spyware and virus updates and scanning. And a fresh windows box is nice, 6mos. later though is not a pleasant thing, no amount of cleaners, uninstallers or whatever would bring back that zippiness. And endless fighting with network cards and wireless networking that didn't "just work." Oh and I've never been able to get the sleep mode or power save mode on a windows box to work like a macs does, something always hangs.

The real clencher though was how much easier photoshop is to use with th e os X interface vs. XP. On windows it's like a thousand little cuts that just wear you down.

Each version of os X at work impressed me more and more. I soon started preferring it to XP. And I became jealous of an OS that got incremental updates, new features every 12-18mos. versus 3 years. Oh and then there was those times i wanted to watch DVDs on XP, what a pain. Media Edition solves this some, but to the many millions who didn't buy that one....

Then the intel iMac.

Now my PC just get turned on about once a week. But as soon as ICUII 7.3 comes out for os X then I guess i'll have to figure out whether I even wanna keep the PC.

And my main concern of price equity is gone. Even if there were a difference it wouldn't matter, it's worth it.

I've always wanted a mac, since way back when when my grandma's boyfriend had an old Powermac G3 with Mac OS 8. I loved the pinstripes. Since then, my love for mac has matured, and I now own a macbook. It rocks. I also own this behemoth of a PC that I just spent $2300 bucks on building last year. Since then, I have been so eager to sell it and replace it with an iMac or Mac Pro that it's about to kill me. Sadly, I'm in college and am too freaking poor to afford one right now. But soon, I should be getting at least $1100 bucks in the mail from the government for my grant, so I should be able to afford it, after selling my computer of course.

I'm going for a 24' iMac, but if I can afford it, I'll get a stock mac pro with at least a 20" Cinema. I'll upgrade it later.

I've always loved OS X's interface. Altho, there are some keyboard navigation issues that REALLY irk me, it's sleek and useful. I hated everything before that.

The switch to intel was the kicker for me. I still work in a mostly windows environment, and need it to function. I knew it was just a matter of time before someone would let you boot up windows. That and I heard of parallels as well.

who would have thunk apple would have their own boot camp. I haven't used it, but will more likely launch up a VM as I don't game.

So far, day one of my return to os x (i had an ibook) has one major fustration... the keyboard navigation I mentioned... tab doesn't always go through all the dialog box options, and on webpages, likes to skip out on checkboxes and drop down lists.

I've been strongly considering a mac for the simple fact that OS X is based on BSD. By running a mac I would be getting a sexy interface with a rock-solid base OS with all the power to meet all of my developer needs. Still, the hype and overpriced hardware keep me from taking that leap of faith.

I started usin a mac last year for a few reasons, and im never going back. These are the main resons i switched, and why im keepin with the mac;

1.) Aqua looks amazing. The first thing that caught my eye was actually the sleeknes of the UI! (i was looking at the iPod section originaly) The design of apple hardware also made me "Take a second look"

2.) I then had a go, one of my teachers owned
an iBook (im at High school still) and it was simple to learn and had heaps of little extras and tricks that seemed so clever (like Expose` and the Dock)

3.) Last year i needed a computer for school (Bording skool) and decidd i had nothing to loose and bought an iMac. (i jst missed out on the iSight too...) Since then, ive never had a blue "Death" screen, never had a virus and ive never had my computer kick the bucket while typing an assignment!

Im glad that i stumbled upon the mac, (while
looking for the iPod + iTunes page... i didnt even know that a different platform/OS existed!) and to sum up experiences, it just plain better.
Anyway, study-wise its probly better that i cant get many games for it!

If I ever buy a computer because it "looks cool" shoot me. It's a tool. I'll take linux over OSX any day. Apple should become a marketing agency, it's the only thing they really excel at.

I switched because I got fed up with the "up-keep" on my PC. Anti-virus, spyware, trojans, exploits, etc. I was apprehensive at first having never used OS X or any Mac for that matter, but after I started using it, there's no going back. Hell, a friend of mine and my brother in law saw how satisfied I was and switched as well and they tell me what I had been telling myself; what the hell took me so long to switch!

I bought a MacBook Pro not quite six months ago because I loved what Apple had to offer, and I was just getting sick of Windows. Not only was Windows always giving me problems, but all the PC venders I saw always seemed.. out of it.

I think the rising popularity with Apple Computers is the fact that the iPod is the most popular music player on the market and that has made more consumers aware of Apple.

I think that point plays a big role, and the fact that they switched to Intel processors recently definately did break that underpowered misconception...well it did for me anyway.

I'm presently a Windows user on Dell machines. We're running Windows Server 2003 as our gateway to the outside world, Windows XP on the desktops and non-tablet laptops, and Win XP Tablet edition on the tablets.

For a number of years, the reason we've been a Dell/Win shop was business expectations. We intergrate with a number of small businesses, where--until recently--MS applications (especially Outlook and Exchange Server) were the norm.

For some time, I've known that my next machine purchase will be a Mac.

As we learn more about Vista's licensing terms and cost of implementation, along with tighter and tighter restrictions of use (including unconscionable DRM in its media products), difficulty with support, etc.; Windows is becoming a liability.

At the same time Windows is becoming more onerous, Apple's usefulness is flourishing. Over the past several years, Apple has brought some serious game. There was a time--not that long ago--the only Mac true believers were in the PPP industry (Printing, Publishing and Packaging). But that's not true anymore.

Macs are working great in the businessplace. They're getting the job done and their interoperability is no longer an issue.

While Redmond seems driven to make their user experience ever more unpleasant, Macs are making life easier.

The transition is still going to be tough--all our business software is licensed for Windows machines. Some of it isn't available on the Mac platform. We're not entirely sure what applications we'll migrate to. But the trends of Win and Mac have hit the tipping point: The advantages of switching are starting to outweigh the costs of abandoning our Windows investments.

The only real question in our office is whether the next machine purchase here is going to be laptop or a desktop. We know it'll be a Mac.

I'm a IBM/Lenovo thinkpad user
I'm considering to buy a Mac mini
Reasons:
1. It's hardware support windows XP dual boot via bootcamp (also windows Vista in the future probably)
2. It's in an UNIX architecture since OS X, so that a lot of Unix / linux packages that I use / I'am interested in are ported to it: this is important as I can't enjoy these softwares using a Windows box
3. It's small and package
Why I'm still considering:
1. It's much more expensive than a mini PC equivalent
2. The windows XP / Vista support is not 100% guaranteed for the hardware

I'm still sticking to IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad instead of trying to use a MacBook / MacBook Pro
Because:
1. MacBook temperature is way too hot to be used on the lap
2. Thinkpad has a really ergonomical keyboard
3. The presence of Trackpoint on Thinkpad make mouse-use effortless - you just need not to move the wrist and leave the keyboard default hand/finger positions
4. MacBook is elegant looking but the battery last shorter and its build is not as rugged as the also-stylish Thinkpad
5. I'm a developer and packages and support for developers are much more abundant in the windows environment

In my case it is #4 -- except it isn't a "misconception". The PPC chips have been a long way behind the Intel chips for quite a while -- finally the hardware has caught up

I think all your ideas are correct and I would say there isn't one single reason why, but many reasons.

I think the first idea is probably the highest on the list, I have had so many people come into my office and see my mac and say "can you actually get work done on that?". Note that I work with mostly PhDs, these are not stupid uneducated people.

I got a mac a few years ago now (right around the beginning of jaguar) because I was sick of the linux desktop but wanted the unix core and disliked windows and cygwin even more. Since the day I got my mac I haven't looked back and couldn't imagine switching back to the alternatives.

The growing popularity of the Mac is a sign that the Microsoft Culture (if you'll forgive me for calling it that) is starting to break down.

If you talk to people who've switched from Windows to a Mac after about six weeks, you'll find that they keep saying the same thing: the Windows experience is characterized by little annoyances and workarounds. The Mac experience isn't.

Every Windows user has a personal catalog of network settings that have to be entered by hand every time, Product Demo pages that pop up every time they try to use the printer, error dialogs that go past every time they try to run the scanner, or other minor annoyances. No single problem is big enough to be a show-stopper, and people learn to work around them and get the machine to do what they want it to in the end. Over time, they develop a blind spot for the problems, and just assume that using a computer automatically means accepting a certain amount of low-level frustration.

Then people come to the Mac and find a user interface that's specifically tooled to avoid those annoyances. Again, the difference isn't big enough to make any single example a 'must have' selling point, but people find the cumulative experience refreshing.

Then there's the fact that the internet is the worst thing that ever happened to Microsoft.

Microsoft was blindsided by the internet. They didn't expect it to take off when it did, and they lost a couple of years trying to ignore the unix-based internet protocols in the hope that they could leverage their market share on the business desktop and force the rest of the world to adopt an internet based on Microsoft technologies. When they finally realized that wouldn't work, they had to raid university computer science departments for programmers who knew the unix-based technologies, because they didn't have anyone in-house with those skills.

The push to catch up with Netscape hurt Microsoft in a couple of important ways: First, if forced them to put their single-user desktop machine in a place where anyone could take it over. Second, it put an important set of user experience features outside of Microsoft and Intel's control.

Pre-internet DOS and Windows were built on the assumption that the only person who could control the computer was the one sitting at the keyboard. There was little or no built-in security, because it really wasn't necessary. In fact, Microsoft's pre-internet development strategy was to make it as easy as possible for a user to control every part of the machine from whatever program they happened to be running at the moment. This was called 'integration', and sold very well in the market. People liked to be able to drop an Excel spreadsheet into their Powerpoint presentation and see it update in real time as they changed the data.

Unfortunately, by the time the internet came along, a Windows machine had a hard time telling the difference between the keyboard and the modem when it came to user input. Suddenly people halfway around the planet could crash your computer by sending it the right combination of bits. Once again, Microsoft had to play catch-up to try and patch the holes while still keeping the 'integration' features that customers liked so much.

In the meantime, there was another problem. Before the internet, the performance of a Wintel computer was pretty much what Microsoft and Intel wanted it to be. Microsoft geared its software to the speed of the processor, and either you upgraded to a new machine or put up with sluiggish-but-functional performance on your old one. But the internet gave computers a new performance bottleneck: the modem. A 2GHz computer doesn't load webpages all that much faster than a 250MHz one, so the growing population of people who use a computer to surf the web and send email didn't see much payoff from buying a whole new computer with the latest version of Windows.

Those two factors made Microsoft look stagnant. Meanwhile, Linux was growing by leaps and bounds, and Apple cranked out four (going on five) versions of OS X built on the same unix foundations but with Apple's traditional attention to detail.

Apple has worked hard to undercut the anti-Mac rhetoric that was common five years ago. You just can't keep the 'underpowered, overpriced toy computer' meme going in public these days, nor can you sell the 'Apple will be going out of business any day now' one. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been stuck dealing with a series of problems that turned into the anti-MS rhetoric of today. Anyone who has the good sense to use AV software gets a detailed description of the machine's insecurity every morning as they sweep away the day's viruses, worms, and trojans. It's gotten rather hard to invent FUD against Windows (including Vista) that outpaces the daily news.

People are willing to give Macs a try because it's gotten harder to knock Macs over the last few years, and equally harder to justify sticking with Windows. The people who have hopped over to the Mac side have found a good user experience, and the internet let's them tell everyone the world about it. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been stuck putting out fires, and hasn't been in a position to bring compelling and competitive products to the OS market.

Microsoft has done almost as much to lose market share (albeit inadvertently) as Apple has done to gain it.

I believe amany use it simply because of the viral problems which threaten PC's

PC's are the target of viruses because the majority of computer users use PC's. Thus making their target the larger population
(PC Users)

It would be the same if Mac's were the most used and had tons of viruses, Everyone be like "Im gonna switch to a PC!"

I moved to Mac after I first got my hands on Tiger. I had a friend who was pro Mac and I had been reading about Tiger at the time. Due to my heavy concentration in Music, I decied to use it, and I then purhcased an iBook of my own less than 6 months after. I have gone back, and now I tell all of my friends, and everyone I know that has computer problems to move to a Mac. They talk about Spyware, and I talk about UI. They talk about the system being crappy, and I talk to them about how I can't wait to get my hands on a new iMac. Unfortunatly, the Window's world is not looking for inovation. The Mac World, is however.

I switched about 4 years ago and bought an ibook g3. I was a heavy duty windows and linux user (dual booting) for years prior to that. I was tired of the constant maintenance overhead required to keep linux & windows running. I would never have considered mac until OSX was released. It offered an integrated platform for my needs with both high quality gui productivity apps and a unix command line. Plus the hardware is sexy. Since then I bought an intel macbookpro. I truly love this system and am hoping to get my employer to allow me to have a mac at work too.

I bought a mac this month for the first time because I think MS is evil. But I'm a tech geek. Running Win was a draw, but I must say I never use it.

For me, #3, #4, and #5 played a part in my switching to Macintosh. My biggest reason was Vista and the precautions I had to take being a Windows user. I had hopes that Vista would solve most of the problems of being a Widnows user. After looking at Beta 2, I realized that it was just XP with some eye candy added. Oh sure, there are some security features added. However, those features are more problematic than anything XP had. Having to deal with 20 modal dialog boxes making sure I really want to install a program is simply ridiculous!

I switched my parents to Macintosh (Mac Mini) due to having to spend close to 8 hours reinstalling Windows XP after the system had been infested with some nasty MalWare that they inadvertently installed because even though they had Firefox as the default browser, some program they were using loaded IE as a browser and they didn't notice.

That experience was the final straw for me. I now own a MacBook and a Mac Pro. Don't have any regrets at all!

I've been a Windows user for over 12 years and finally got so fed up with Viruses/Spyware/Adware and other BS that I went out and bought a MacBook. Like someone else said earlier, my take so far is "What is Windows?".

I have to say that people such as myself, whom Seth Godin would call a "Sneezer" - are responsibly for products like Macs getting more popular. For 12 years I've been learning PC's, the ins and outs of Windows and my phone rings off the hoook all day long with people needing help with their PC's, mostly because of viruses or spyware. The first thing I tell them now is that the easiest solution is to go down to the Apple store or CompUSA and pick up a Mac Mini or MacBook and give Apple a shot. They ask why I say so, I tell them I did it and love it and eventually they all make the switch and then call me to come give them initial training and consultation. My business continues and I get to support what I now see clearly as a superior product in the marketplace.

Thank god for this alternative...Windows, in fact Microsoft as a whole, is slipping bad - they're going down and Apple is coming up. Woohoo!

My fisrt mac was a mini... after years of hearing how much better Apples were from a user's point of view, they are awesome... but from a programmer point of view, objectice-c is still tough to get into...
Can't wait til december to buy my macbook pro to replace a Dell.

I personally just bought mac a month ago.
The fist time I got to know apple was a long time ago (when I was a kid I learn computers with Apple 2C) but since then I havent seen any.

Two years ago my mini disk die on me - so I decided to get an MP3 player - and then I got my first iPod - I fell in love with Apple great UI and elegant design - the easy of use too.

When Apple introduced the Intel computer I knew that my next one will be mac since I wont have any problem install windows on it if I wont like it or run XP on boot camp for programs I cant find on the mac world - so I got a mac book as my first laptop.

I love it - its great to use - very elegant - very simple to use.

Any way - if Vista wont be a blast I think my next desktop will be an iMac.

I'll stick with Windows and its cheap hardware, thank you, I don't like to waste my money.

XP has only crashed on me three times (damn you, Creative drivers). Never had a virus, never had spyware. Just use Opera, don't download crapware, and you're good to go.

I'm buying a macbook pro because i need a laptop, and all of the windows laptops look extremely ugly.. Also, the fact that I wont be having to deal with viruses, spyware and the like will be such a relief!

I can tell you why I bought my first Mac a few months ago.

* It's pretty, powerful and the chepeast duo core machine I could get at the time.
* Being a long time Windows & Linux user learning another OS wasn't really a problem and surprisingly easy.
* My iPod works better with my Mac than my PC
* Parallels allowed me to run any Windows programs I needed without rebboting.

I haven't had any problems with it so far so I'd recommend it for anyone.

Mine is a Macbook (black) with 2GB memory upgrade.

When it comes to computers, I'm a PC person. I run Linux on several machines and Windows on a couple. I'd say I use the Windows more, since I work on 'em. (Linux being more a hobby) Anyway, I'm going to get my first Mac when Leopard comes out because, well, Vista's beta's stink. I'm tired of the MS junkware and bloat. Time for a computer that just works. I've been a die hard PC fan for 20 years, though the first GUI I ever used was a Mac IIe or whatever it was... Thing is, Redmond isn't hip (anymore?), and we all want to be cool. All your suggestions are right on, but the biggest one for me is Windows (Vista) is a sinking ship and Mac OS X rocks. Period.

Oh, and yes, I bought my iPod a year ago and it certainly started making Apple a household name around here. There's absolutly no doubt it too is a contributing factor.

Basides, their commecials are so good I watch them online. That says alot considering I didn't even know they existed (I watch TV through my Linux MythTV recordings and it skips all commercials!) until a friend pointed them out saying, "have you seen the new Mac commercials? They're hilarious!" Now I can't wait for new ones to download and play over and over.

Yep, I'm going to be a Mac addict!

I haven't bought one because they are too expensive for specialized hardware except the mini which is limited.

The reason I would like to have one though is that the new pricing/licensing debacle for vista is going to make life a huge pain in the ass!! I DON'T plan to upgrade from XP to vista.

Now if you could buy OSX and put it on a machine that you have built from parts with your hands...I would have had it long ago.

I THINK THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1-7 ARE YES.

Here's why I plan to switch and buy a Macbook Pro early next year:

- BSD core to OS-X (means I expect to see a good shell I can go into if the need arises, plus the included dev tools look promising)

- Intel Chipset (potential for running old apps with emulation/duel boot)

- Apples User base holds Apple to a higher level of quality and complain loudly when it fails to meet expectations. (I hate being the last person to know about a hardware issue especially when I find out _after_ it strikes me)

- Microsoft scares me. (eg Microsoft's plans to have Vista cripple itself if it thinks it's unlicensed sounds bad considering the problems Genuine Advantage has been having)

- Vista seems like it would need a beast of a computer to run and feature wise I don't feel like Vista is all its hyped up to be. Whereas Apple has been working to improve and build on OS-X since 2001 and it seems to have almost everything I could want out of the box.

- If I have a Mac people can't bother me with there windows/computer problems ... "Sorry I can't help you, I use a mac." j/k :p

For me it was a matter of web development on windows vs mac. My servers have been freebsd for so long, it only made sense to have a mac to test apache/mysql/php pages locally.

i have a mac because its a mac! When you own a mac, you are a member of special community...it reflects your taste and personality.

I use a PC. I have used a Mac. To me they are both computers.

I think that people who buy Macs just want to use a machine and not learn anything about it.

Most people tend to forget the Microsoft is NOT a computer company. Dell, HP, Sony, etc are. And when they bundle junk sofware on their machines it can cause Windows some issues.

Microsoft got sued for bundling software. They could include products similar to iLife but aren't allowed. Apple can bundle software like iLife because the are under the Justice Dept radar.

So, my opinion, easy to use without the burden of tens of thousands of vendors trying to get into the machine and messing it up is the best reason for novice users.

i bought a mac recently because i became more and more curious about them. now that i own one i can say my macbook pro that i blew $5000 aus on was the biggers waist of money ever. i ended up selling t on ebay for $3500 three weeks later. all i can say mac osx has come a long way since os9 but not quite far enough

One of the biggest but not quite obvious reasons would be that in the past year, Apple's opened up and started to make themselves open, universally. The move to the unix based kernel was a big key in it all. A lot of open source productivity came out of it and because of it, more applications were produced that allowed anyones experience to be more enjoyable. For those of you who have been watching the progression of Boot Camp and how it's functionality is going to be completely released in the Leopard release of OS X, it's a open invitation for users to not only install Windows operating systems on it, but also run it seamlessly with OS X, and to tell you the truth, it runs better. OS X is just overall more stable and incredibly hard to crash to lag to the point of not being able to use. The best part is that with Apple opening themselves to the ability to use Windows, is that it's just beginning... There is a ton more they have under their belt that they haven't even opened up to the general publics eye.

They aren't getting more popular... Unpaid corporate shills like yourself are just getting louder.

I am a long time user of PC/Windows. I bought a Mac because of OS X. Its ease of use and user interface elegance. Partly because I'm a designer, the Mac suits me better because everything on the Mac is beautiful. Even their icons are beautiful, it just inspires me just looking at it.

I was also sick of the bugs of Windows XP, spyware, inconsistencies, crashes, unfriendlyness of the interface and so on. Not that Windows is not 'ok', but OS X was just better for me.

When the Intel Macs came out, it made my choice easier, because I could still run Windows XP on it. I need Windows to do 3D. And a few games now and then.

Yeah and last but not least. A Mac is COOL! :D

Bought my mac last year a rev a g5
nver looked back,only lack of games is the prob
when my relatives come over and check their mail,all of them were awestruck
most of them have switched already

I would think that the iPod has definitely had an influence, however one of the most important influences is changes in computer use.

As more people own computers primarily for the internet, and as internets have more and more advanced pages with 'flash' games and online applications the importance of which operatiing system you have diminishes. The operating system of Apple is (I think) much more user-friendly than Windows, but windows is also the operating system most people will use at work and thus familiarity has its advantages.

Apple's share will rise more and more as computer-games are developed with dual-system capability - with Apple moving to intel I expect more games will come out of Mac.

All the pieces you note have definitely had an impact, but the intel one is too early to tell. Apple's name is definitely out there and known to everyone now, maybe 5/10 years ago people who were into computers/design or technology-fashion had heard of Apple because of the iMac but few people I know who were going to be buying a computer had heard of them, and then trying to explain the difference between them and Windows made for a 'negative' experience as Windows was the 'easy' option.

The downside for Apple is that now a little mistake makes a big impact, because they have a wider audience and becaues their reputation is based on high quality reliable equipment/software

well i dont yet own a mac.. currently a Dell 9300 laptop, which i must admit i love... BUT I am planing to buy a core 2 duo Mac Book Pro once introduced as i cant yet afford the needed MBP yet anyway.... but not that its intel AND unix... im quite impressed with stability and am more than willing to make the windows/osx transition.. since what ive seen of OSX is impressive anyhow... gotta love unix, especially when its standardized.... never thought ID say this but.... GO MAC.... im going to hell but im bringing my soon to be MBP with me... because Mac is the future of computing to me... they are thinking outside the box and ahead of the game instead of good ole winDOZE... at least mac stepped outside the completely proprietary world to utlize unix... very good move... as is the intel move... whats next... AMD and INTEL options???? Id be impressed...

My first was an iBook late last year. When the Intel ine came out I shipped the iBook to my son and bought a MBP and an iMac.

I went to a mac at first because I got tired of taking care of my PC to the tune of an hour or two each week. I had changed my box to Ubuntu linux, but I needed a notebook for school and the Mac caught my eye, the price was right and it was not an XP box.

I can run M$ Office except for Access, but there you go. The only gripe I have about OS X is the crappy way you have to copy and move files in the Finder, prefer the thread effect like in explorer. But at least Quicksilver helps with that as well as automator.

Mac users since my birthday and Always will be. I actally didn't know what the mac would be like I had this urge (after no ads and not really thinking about Mac's) and brought one as an upgrade and what an upgrade it was, yet we are forced to use PC at school, but can use our computers at home to do work, so I can use my Mac for my work and make it good :)

I recently switch from windows to the Mac. Being an IT support guy, I have been dealing with windows problems for years, both the home and at work. I can now rest at home and do great things I never did before because in windows it was too much of an effort. Now I only used windows at work, and at home the Mac has been my primary computer for about 3 months. It used to be that I would recommend windows systems to everyone, but now the only thing I tell people is to just get a Mac and be happy.

What about the games? Macs definitely don't appeal to gamers compared to PC's. Usually the newr games come out, but a year after the PC release date. Plus, with a PC, you can mod it, like put a new video card in, or a new USB hub. PC's are really flexible compared to Macs. Macs should be for people that don't know how to use computers. It's not that people don't know how to use Windows, it's that they only know how to use the basic part of and they want to learn more. If you want to learn more about using Windows, your right where you need to be. On the internet. And question number 2 in the article is kind of false. Windows is a very advanced operating system. That's why it can get kind of tough to use. Because it's advanced. There are just so many features that you have to adapt to. Is that bad or good? You tell me.

I got a macbook pro and mac pro for one major reason. Parallels. The fact that I could run the one windows program I need without having to use windows most of the time was the clincher. I've been using Linux for years but liked the full gui / unix integration of the mac.

I bought a mac-mini to try it out and when I found out how under-powered OSuX is, I sold it to a friend who basically only uses it for his recording studio.

According to him, he would only use it for digital recording because OSuX lacks a lot of power user features (like being able to cut and paste files, and get REAL software tools for software development, web design, etc.).

i actually just bought my first mac, a mac mini. i've had an aging windows computer for years now and figured it was time for an upgrade. First off, i just love OSX. It is more attractive and more functional, in my opinion, than windows or linux has or will ever be. the thing that really tipped the scales for me was the release of the intel macs. knowing that i could (although now i don't know why i would) run windows as well, if I needed to.

also, college students get macs, right?

Steebs,

College students can get discounts on Macs at the Apple Store. Be sure to check out the deals. You can really save some cash.

When I first tried using a Mac I absolutely hated it. Both the OS, software, and hardware.
I am a case modder and overclocker, and I don't see how it's possible to mod a Mac due to their weird cases. There is no space to fit a fan or more drives, making it a computer for the average consumer.

The only reason people buy technology like this is because it looks good on the outside, but the quality of the inside may suck. Engineers and the sales department know the latest ways to trick consumers by sealing the inside, adding a couple of 4-cent blue LEDs, and making it smooth and shiny in appearance at minimal cost due to outsourcing. I am not saying that Macs are like this, but most "hi-tech" technology they sell for the average consumer. Only engineers know the real secret...

-I just laugh at those who say "I built my own computer!!!", "I did this all by myself...3GHz of power!" An average person with an IQ of 80 can do this. People are proud of themselves because it is fast, but you just bought a couple of ready-made blocks and wired them up using regular cabling. Now open up an electronics catalog and you will get a mental brain freeze.

To all those imbeciles that believe you cant right click in Mac OSX, try plugging your microsoft mouse in and see what happens.
Configure it in system preferences.
One less uninformed reason not to switch

I switched about a year and a half ago... I was sick of windows and supporting windows boxes where I work... So I switched and I've switched half of the rest of the office out..... By the end of 07 we'll all be on macs.... Windows isn't that bad if you know what your doing... but just regular users are constanly screwing up their computer... As I started switching people out to macs, I noticed that even the most computer ignorant people started LOVING their computer... and then they end up training the next person I switch more than I do...

Banish your right click worries. I have owned Macs forever. For six years, I have also owned a Kensington trackball with a right click button. Works great.

I have used both in school and at work and I still stick with my PC.

I myself stick with my PC and use the Macs at school if I have to do animation work. I like my PC because one of many reasons is that if a part in the PC goes freaky on me. I can get a part just about anywhere with no problem. Mac parts I can get yes but only in certain places and after the guy at the local apple store here told me what it would cost to fix the problem that i described. I deverted away.

Viruses: Yes there are less viruses for Mac but that is because virues writing hackers (not to be confused with information searching hackers) use them as a target towards microsoft itself because they don't like them. Since Mac is unix based it is in a way like linux (yes I know not completely) so at the moment they don't feel mac is a target.

But Mac can run MS Office and Windows: Office was part of the payback program from Apple to Microsoft since Microsoft gave mac 200 million dollars (i may be a few off) a while back to keep it from going under. While on Microsofts side they did this to keep Mac alive so they would not be a monopoly.
Yes they can run windows. Good for them. Yet to so many who believe that this is a sign that windows is going to lose, think about this. Everytime you buy that copy of windows to run on your mac who makes money? Microsoft.

Will I get a mac one day? Most likely. I would like to learn how to use them much more than I already have. I would honestly like to own one. But for the stuff that I do at the moment i will stick with a PC and dual boot to linux like i normally do for now.

My Mac story: Grew up with a IIGS ($6000 computer at the time; I was fortunate). Used Macs a lot in school until in 4th grade they started replacing them with PCs. Then used PCs a lot (including at home). Fast forward, I went to college. Saw someone use a *book when they did a presentation. I almost s**t a brick when I saw how this was not how Macs were when I last left them. I felt like I missed a significant revolution in the computer interface, and felt compelled to get one when I saw that and learned that it was UNIX-based (a must for a CS student). Got an iBook over a year ago, and best investment I've ever made. Upgradability kinda sucks for their desktops other then their top of the line Mac Pro, but doesn't matter for a laptop and most users.

I will probably switch when Vista comes out since the main project leader left the Windows project to go to Amazon the rules for Windows have changed so drastically that I believe I will switch.

Unless you own the ultimate edition you can't save Iso's on your HD? Hey Microsoft how am I supposed to dual boot linux if I can't download the ISO to install it?

I just bought my first Mac, and it is a mini for my parents. Frustration is historicaly consistant with everything from 98SE to XP screwing up their most basic e-mail connectivity. Over the years this has become more and more frequent. I am angry with the ever growing expense and constant maintenance Microsoft OSes require. The MS cycle of patching, updating and verification is very time consuming and not dial-up friendly.

I bought the MacBook over any other PC laptop because of the fact that it had a built in camera. I think I just fell in love with that and thought made communication via video/audio so easy. Now although i have been a PC user for so long by this purchase i'm slowly transitioning all my apps to mac. But overall a mac is refreshing and breathtaking compared to any other laptop on the market. And although I can install Windows XP with dual book on my macbook, the question is "why do so?". Everyone needs macs now in days to simplify everyone's complicated life.

I fix computers for a living, PCs mainly. When I get home, I'm usually sick of using XP. I want things to work, and a little eye candy never hurt. So, I got a Mac Mini a year ago. The little thing has hooked me for life. It was before the Intel based ones were announced, so I plan on getting an Intel one to replace this one someday. I REALLY like Crossover and Parallels, that will be the final nail in the coffin for me.

I was a life long Windows user. My initial exposure was to the intuitive(ness) of the Itunes software. That got my attention and as I began to explore my next computer I began to look into Apple and saw what they had to offer: Stable OS, Intuitive UI, Great packaged aps and a quality product. My 24" iMac is fantastic!

I switched from a PC when I went to art school to become a graphic designer. If you can understand why it's useful it blows Windows out of the water! It seems people have a love/hate relationship with PCs and now they are realizing there is a very popular alternative that is very love/love. So the next few years will be a hoot!

MACs are becomming more popular due to the changeover to the INtel chip.

I hated MACs for years, even owned one for a few months then resold it.

Recently I was able to boot OSX off a old Pentium3 computer that wasnt doing anything. I was livid at my Windows install due to it losing my login and not allowing me into my desktop. (long, annoying story)
I have been running a bootleg version of OSX on a PC for 5 months now. Due to this experience I am in the process of buying a 24"iMac to implement as my full time machine, replacing my haxx0rd OSX/PC and another PC that runs Photoshop and Dreamweaver.

MACs run smoother with less hassle. When I sit down at a MAC, I get work done. When I sit down at a PC I work on the pC, in hopes of getting some work done when its fixed.

I'm an IT Pro.
I've always used linux and windows for work and play. However, now I have a Macbook to run all 3 OS's. No matter what situation I come to - I can run ANY software I want.

I made some turn-key distro's for ya
http://forum.parallels.com/thread4065.html

;)

Burke~

Used windows all my life 'till 11th grade when I switched highschools, and my new one was mostly Macs. At first I wasn't in any tech classes, so I was stuck with OS 9, and i hated it, I never wanted to use a Mac after those experiences. Second semester I had a graphic design class with eMacs all running OS X, and I wanted one immediately, but had no reason to get a new computer. So when I graduated highschool, I was without a Mac, and since I needed a new computer for University, I got that long awaited Mac. So I guess it was OS X.

I have a few factors which influenced my choice. First, I work in a shop which uses a lot of open source tools and I needed a laptop which was easy to program on. Being based on Linux, and the wide variety of good terminal programs was a strong plus for OS X - I'm not a fan of IDEs, and editing programs in TextPad is just plain painful.

Second, I really like the way that Mac laptops sleep automatically, and wake up immediately after you open them. You wouldn't believe how many prople I've seen in the elevator at work, going in between floors their company owns, with their laptop cradled in their arms, still partly open to avoid the very long startup times of XP laptops. I've heard that XP has a feature to deal with this, but if so, why have I never seen a machine with this feature turned on.

Third, there is a cool factor and the OS obviously has a much nicer look and feel than XP. Also, any accessories I've tried (Airport, iPods, Audio Interfaces) are truly no effort to add to the machine. Also, the form factor for my 12" iBook is perfect.

I used Macs back in school (pre-OSX) and thought the ease-of-use was incredible, but that there wasn't enough there for a poweruser (I program, like to host web services, and generally love the CLI). So for the longest time I used Windows.

When OSX came out, I looked and saw pretty colors and went, great, nothing has really changed, but the core. I didn't realize that there was a terminal to access all the unixy goodness underneath.

When MS started putting restrictions on installing their software (i.e. the Activation stuff) it really annoyed me. I like to change my hardware often and would be stopped by that stupid thing. I started using pirated copies of XP Corporate edition just to get around the activation thing. The multitude of problems getting some things to work right and not having what I considered basic operating system components (i.e. a good scripting language, a good CLI) finally got to me after having used unix-like os's for a while.

Finally, when my PC died, I went and checked out the Macs at the Apple Store. They OS was clean, simple and elegant. And anytime I wanted true Unix power, I just popped open a Terminal session and there it was.

I think that frustrution with Windows is the primary reason people are switching. I think seeing their friends switch is the primary reason new computer owners are buying Macs.

I think that the iPod has certainly helped get Apple into the spotlight so that they can go "Hey, look at me. I'm an alternative to Windows and not as complicated as Linux. Remember me?". Many people had only been thinking of Linux as an alternative because Apple had kind of fallen in to obscurity.

Finally, to new switchers, I think that the idea of being able to run Windows if they need to helps ease the thought of switching to a new OS. I know several who have thought of doing it this way and have never needed to go back to Windows for anything.

I purchased my first Mac last year and will never buy a Windows based PC again! I've used PCs since DOS. I work in a mainframe environment, and am familiar with Unix, Linux, Novell Netware, et al. Mac OSX operating system, to me, combines the best of the Unix worlds with the retail environment - you get an extremely stable platform with consumer oriented software that not only is affordable, but it works!

My home network consists of 2 Windows PCs and a PowerMac G4 running Tiger and I haven't had any near the frustration and aggravation from that Apple computer as I have had from the Windows - and the Mac has the slowest speed processor of the bunch. It starts faster and runs cleaner. Applications interact as they should. I can't say enough good things about the Apple. It works like a computer should work -

I got my first Mac three years ago. I found Windows to be endlessly frustrating with its crashes and bugs. When I upgraded to Windows 2000 on a brand new machine I nearly went crazy because of all the things that just did not work.

I switched to Mac for two reasons: (1) the frustration with Windows poor quality, and (2) that I think Microsoft's goal to dominate the world market in operating systems with its mediocre product is simply, morally wrong.

In the three years that I've been using this Mac I've been astonished at how well so much of it works so much of the time. I take it for granted until I sit down at Starbucks with a friend who has a Windows laptop, and then I'm reminded why I switched as I hear their groans of frustration. Plus, now I'm 99 and 44/100% morally pure!

You may also want to talk about the fundamental differences in the philosophies behind the Windows and Macintosh Environments, in part one "Key Questions" of "How-to-Switch", Windows being "application-centric" and Macintosh being "document-centric".

the only reason people are switching is because there feddup with windows, its NOT the only operating system out there for a PC. You can build PC's yourself, you can get better hardware with PC and you can just do more. So instead of switching to mac just switch to Linux.

And also the ipod is NOT that great either. I have a 5g and have had a freakin nough of it. Switching to Archos ASAP!

You may want to update "How to Switch" to answer specific issues raised by Larry Bodine in his article at http://www.law.com/jsp/legaltechnology/pubArticleLT.jsp?id=1160730321685.

I don't want to know everything about running a computer in order to make it work smoothly -- I would rather have a life of my own. I don't need to spend my time building my own Windows box just to say that I've done it. I don't play games on my computer (PS2 and Gameboy fill those needs, and they do it more easily and conflict-free than any computer).

There are many things that I don't have to worry about, and I'll give credit to my iBook.

Apple's been pacing themselves just right over the past several years (nearly a decade since the first iMac, too). iTunes/iPod was given Windows support right when everybody wanted one; the iTunes Music Store was introduced at a similar peak in interest. The Mac mini was brought out when OS X was even further ahead of XP, giving Windows users a good reason to sample a Mac for the first time and enjoy it. They were always developing OS X for Intel, so it's no surprise that the hardware switch has been accomplished so easily.

Apple's popularity is no coincidence. It's been part of a pretty serious multiyear plan, and thankfully for Apple, it's worked.

i got a mac because I wanted Final Cut Pro for editing. I used mac on the apple 2 and so on when I was younger, but I switched to PC in 8th grade (1999) because I wanted to do PC gaming, and napster was on the rise. I thought I hated macs then up until this last year. I started to use macs in school again for editing and realized I actually liked them. Alot. Then I started playing around with a friends' mac, with frontrow and expose,' and fell in love.

I would never go back to windoze. Apple is perfect in every way. No freezing, never slows down on me (at least not like windows), quick boot time, and an extremely elegant interface.

I've never had much of a problem with Windows - even Win98! - XP is fine for me, no maintenance in years, literally. But all these good things about Mac and dire warnings about future Windows made me want to try, and look.. well, I just can't appreciate the Mac interface in a 1,000 ways- e.g. no fullscreen window?? Certain big things are great - formatting and partitioning external drives for instance, but daily life is simpler and easier on Windows, for now. Plus iTunes, which I used to like, isn't good enough - I use Media Monkey, for its "Location" support, i.e. I control where I put my data, I don't leave it up to the ungainly ideas of [any] computer program. etc.

Most of the people who buy are Mac aren't smart enough to do anything except read into Apple's hype and advertising.

Com'on people - a Mac is just a hardware device that runs a specific, as in proprietary, operating system.

So let me pose a question. There is currently a class action lawsuit being formulated because of the crap called a Macbook - overheats, warps, color fades, etc.

So, what other brand of computer can you buy that runs MAC OS X? Try none!

Now, consider this. If you don't like the hardware that your Windows OS is running on, you've only got about a 100 or more options. Including a Mac.

If I was going to buy into an operating system, I'd sure like to have more than one hardware option to run it on. That may be why even though there are a lot more Macs being sold, the percentage of users running OS X has not increased much.

Let's face it... most people who buy a Mac arent' worried about using it to make money, at least not many of them, because if they had to use it to make money, they'd buy one that ran Windows.

Honestly, if I was looking for a space heater or a portable frying pan... then I'd consider a Mac.

I've been a Windows user for most of my professional life and have installed, supported and endured almost every incarnation of that OS since it's birth. Working, as I do, with Solaris and Linux systems I used to run XP with Cygwin at home over a VPN and at work without too many issues.

Two years ago, I switched to an old Dual G4 running OS X and thought it was sweet. I'm now running Tiger and looking forward to the release of Leopard. I like the power and relative security of running Unix operating environment and I especially like the GUI that Apple delivered to sit atop the Mac's Unix heart. The combination rendered my old PC setup redundant and the Mac environment just feels more capable and comfortable.

Another reason for switching was the growing tide of malware affecting Windows users. I've never been caught out, but how long was that going to last? Like many PC enthusiasts, I get roped into supporting numerous 'less experienced' friends and have been getting heartily sick of eliminating the plague of trojans infecting machines with so-called protection. To these folks my new mantra is "Stop using Outlook; stop using Explorer and, if you can, stop using Windows ... buy a Mac when you upgrade." And some of them are listening.

Two reasons: the move to Intel, and the price was right (and it doesn't hurt that I could claim back the VAT as a self employed person!)

I don't care about coolness or crap, I don't have a need for an iPod. Linux is still my primary desktop OS. The laptop is handy when I want to work on the move.

I do like the Macbook I bought however!

I think you're questions are so leading. What if you include ther question, growing in popularity or not, Apple stills controls a small minority of the computer market? Ask the question, why do gamers prefer the PC AROUND THE WORLD. Apple junkies are always trying to make their facts fit their world view like bad debaters. Apple produces first rate products and has the best marketing team in the world. They are gaining market share because they have led the entry into sharing digital music using a handheld device. Other then that, they need another innovation VERY SOON.

I see a lot of comment that you can't right click on a Mac. Get this straight. Mac accept any usb or bluetooth mouse and right clicking by default brings up the contextual menus. Also any button can be easily configured for numerous tasks. Scroll wheels perform beautifully on macs with different options for scrolling behavior.

Apple's acquisition of Emagic was the main reason I made the switch from Windows. Having used PCs for years and years for music, I really think that the Macbook Pro running Logic Pro 7 can't be beat as a portable solution for any recording musician or live electronic musician. It's simply fabulous.

And OSX is such a joy to use - you just forget you're even using a computer! As soon as I either get my hands on Parallels or take the Boot Camp plunge, I'll have no further need for my PC. Until then, I'll keep suffering Windows for the odd little things it's good at, like web design...

Just an information for the windows dual-booter, why bother?? Virtualization Technology is very advance at this time, why mess with dual booting when you can virtualize?
What is the point of installing Windows on Mac Hardware? It makes it a PC not a Mac anymore ( at least not without OS X).

I've read a few of these comments that suggest that you can't right-click on a Mac. This is patently untrue - with the Mac single button mouse you only have to select Ctrl and then click to get a contextual menu in applications and in the finder (file manager) - and a Mac Mighty Mouse negates the need for a Ctrl-Click as it has a right mouse button.

The need for contextual menus, however, is minimal in Mac OSX (for example) due to consistent UI design, that in the main follows the general rule that any commands in an application should always be available as a menu item. I don't think I've found one app that I use that doesn't follow this rule.

Lastly - the most refreshing thing that I've found with my Mac (a PowerBook purchased late last year) is the sheer simplicity and flexibility of keyboard commands in Mac OSX - negating the need to be concerned about the dexterity of your mouse !

The Windows folks here who claim Macs can't do right-clicks are absolutely dead wrong.

As a matter of fact, Mac operating systems have included contextual menus (i.e. right-click menus) since 1997. I've been using two-button and multi-button mice with Macs for years. In fact, I'm using an eight-button Logitech MX500 mouse with my Mac as I type this.

On a Mac laptop, holding down the control key with one hand and clicking with the other does the same thing as a right-click. This can also be done on a Mac desktop computer that has a single-button mouse hooked up to it.

And for the Windows Alt-Tab fans out there, the Mac's apple-tab keystroke does the same thing as Alt-Tab.

Unlike Mac OS 10.3 and above, Windows doesn't have Exposé, which is one of the most useful and cool features ever invented. You'll understand what I mean when you press the F9 key while a number of windows are open. Then there's F10 and F11. And finally, hot corners and multi-button mice for making those function key actions happen are wonderful.

I used to need to run a Mac and a PC. I built my PCs with high performance options for playing games. Macs did present a problem for gamers as there were never very many published and they were always brought out a year behind the Windows versions.

Since I bought my Mac Pro and installed Win XP on it, my Windows games are now all installed on the Mac and run better than they ever did on my gaming PCs. I have no further use for my PCs.

Let's get one thing cleared up. Macs, thankfully, are nothing like PCs. The Mac can be thought of as an appliance. Its hardware is an integrated whole with everything matched to work together reliably. And the MacOSX pulls it all together. An Apple is a dependable integrated whole with good quality assurance in manufacture. The result is a computer that never needs its hardware upgraded and is generally kept in service years beyond the life of a PC.

Microsoft has a problem. It has to provide an operating system that can run what is basically a box full of disparate bits and pieces and drivers from a plethora of different sources. It is remarkable that a Winbox can run at all, and it is clear to me that a PC can never be considered to have the dependability of the Macintosh. And don't get me going on Windows malware and constant nagging as it proudly boasts that some update or other is ready to be installed. And then there is the frequent reboots following updates. For most software updates, the Mac does not need to reboot — so I just carry on with what I was doing.

I'm thankful that that there is an Apple who makes appliance computers so that I can get on with being productive with my pro applications and not be even aware that there's a computer behind my work. The antithesis of this is that I wouldn't trust a Winbox to sit there quietly serving my needs as I work with my applications. I'm utterly fed up with all those crappy popups that XP so frequently tosses up to distract me from my work. And not forgetting Window's silly missing keyboard application quit commands, or the missing keyboard function to make a new folder.

Well, in a nutshell, the Win XP GUI is a shocker. I've been a PC user since DOS and it continues to anger and frustrate me every day.

I switched to Mac with OS9, but in my mind I think Apple have been powering ahead of all other OS's with OSX, now running since 2001 and coming up to its 5th major new version. And every version just gets beter and better.

OSX, and of course their outstanding product designs, set them way apart from any competition today.

Those still "choosing" Windows (did they ever try a Mac to test the differences?) are suffering from 'Stockholm Syndrome'.

A simple question: why does every Mac owner always say they wished they had switched earlier? Mmmm...hard to answer that one.

Does the author notice that the majority of comments posted here are positive about the Mac and OS X? This should be a clue to the clueless.

A couple of notes for a comment posted by soup:

"The sad truth is the majority of Mac switchers I meet and greet are the ones too dopey to run Windows. Thank goodness you have an alternative."

>> Microsoft has obviously convinced you that you need to be a computer engineer to be able to use a computer. Ever think that the reason you have to be a computer genius to run Windows is because the OS is poorly designed? Huh? No, because you're too dopey. Computers should just work like an appliance. Seems like you, "Soup", are bit smug about your Windows expertise.

"But the ones who make their PCs crash and then blame Windows deserve to have the shiny, simple Macintosh. Knock yourselves out of the park."

>> I guess if your Car breaks down you shouldn't blame the dealer or maker? It's all your fault.....What a dope you are, "Soup".

My first computer purchase was a 2001 iMac.. the timing was perfect, had some tax refund money, and the price had fallen under US1,000.00. I always knew that Macs were better than PCs, from the product itself, to the corporate cultures. Plus I've never been interested in knowing all about the nuts and bolts of a computer, with Macs you don't need to. Now that Macs have Intel chips, and the price is lowering, Apple has nowhere to go but up, so long as nothing catastrophic happens (i.e., major security breaches) tripping up their momentum.

Windows only but annoyed
I was a Windows-only user (developer by trade) since the Windows 3.0 days. I grew up with Commodore computers so Apple was always "the enemy" to me. In the late 90s I started getting more and more frustrated with Windows instability, MS Office assuming complete control of all system resources, and Outlook's horrific memory footprint. I started shifting to any alternatives I could find (Eudora e-mail, OpenOffice, and so on) but stayed on Windows because that was "the only choice." I dabbled with Linux but it was too much trouble. The computer was, to me, an appliance not a project. I just needed something that worked.

Cute notebook for the wife
In the meanwhile, my wife bought an iPod after trying and hating five different MP3 players. She fell in love with that and, being equally frustrated with Windows, wanted to get an iBook when it was time to consider a laptop for school. I figured a Mac would be fine since she wasn't a "real" computer user.

New territory
Of course I tinkered with her iBook a bit at first (feeling quite dumb since I didn't know the first thing about OS X) and found myself borrowing it more and more. When we got to a point where I needed a laptop as well, I decided to include Macs in my comparison shopping. I finally narrowed my choice down to two: a Vaio and a Powerbook (based on a set of aesthetic and functional criteria I had created). The Powerbook was actually a bit cheaper so I bought it. I've never looked back.

Why did I take so long to switch?
I'm using a Macbook Pro now and my wife has a Macbook and we dread the times we have to use Windows. After you've used a OS that's so intuitive and though-out like OS X, the convoluted mess of an interface in Windows XP is downright annoying. Who's with me on hating the Start Menu?

Spread the word
Because of my wife's switch three years ago, there are now 12 additional, happy switchers (people I've talked to, people they've talked to, etc.) that I know of. Many have said it before but the reason more people don't switch is that they think Windows is as good as it gets. Do your friends a favor: show them your Mac, don't be pretentious just because you saw the light first, and give them time to come around.

My parents have a mac that I need to fix because it keeps freezing, but unlike Windows, you can't just hit ctrl+alt+del and kill the problematic app, and don't say thats not a problem because it does freeze, and the only way to fix it is power-cycling it by holding the switch on the back.

It's even more annoying if say theres a printer problem, you can't just change the setting manually using say, the dreaded registry, you have to sit thgough a seiries of dull and pointless wizards.

Macs are all I have ever known. I make my living on these beloved machines and I can't imagine my life without them.

I've owned everything from a 1988 Mac SE/30, Mac IIsi, Quadra 650, PowerMac 7500/100, PowerMac G4/500, PowerMac G4/dual 1.25Ghz and now my latest, a brand new Intel 2 Duo Core iMac with built in isight camera. I can't imagine my life with out these beautiful and productive machines.

I lived through the dark years, 1994 - 1997. I would have clients ask me why on Earth I was using an Apple computer? They would continue to make comments that Apple was dead and would be out of business within the year. I stayed true to my beloved machines and I'm happy I did. Now, if I had only been wise enough to buy the stock at .28 a share in the early 1990's I would be a wealthy man right now. =)

I purchased a MacBook as my first 'Mac', as I wanted to try an 'Apple' computer. Also with the Intel chips, I found the price of the laptop is favorably comparable to 'Windows'-based laptops.

i never switched to mac. i am mac user since '89 and i am very happy because of that. used windows to work only 3 days in my life. worst days in my life. i quit that job very fast and btw i was one year ago at same guy on job interview, he got macs now.

Macs. Just. Work.

Seriously - the new MacBoom Pro - how could you go past it?? Great hardware, looks hot and you have Boot Camp if you decide (how??) to hate the OS X. Even then you'll still have your great hardware package.

I’m convinced and I'm getting my Mac thanks to Rishwant but my admiration for Microsoft stays intact. I see a game here being played between Jobs and Gates that their diehards haven’t caught on.

I noted last Sunday at the art gallery that Juliana and Rishwant were tearing at Microsoft and I gather too its dominance - but doing a little reading I note that almost all 7 million Mac users - about 3% computer users worldwide - depend on Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit to develop Mac versions of its products such as Word Excel PowerPoint etc, their key to a world where Windows is the dominant operating system. The irony is these products were developed for Mac before they appeared in Windows and any way I wash it, if Microsoft’s the maker then Mac’s the guinea, at least in this context.

The other irony is MMBU turns a profit year after year selling the very people who are mental against it, not to mention the folks at MMBU use Macs to keep current with an environment trying to do them in, which they continue to support.

Have we diehards lost our sense of irony? Next time Jobs spikes a feel good by ridiculing Gates or when Gates takes the pedestal just before a power outage or when some Microsoft executive is openly ‘disloyal’ packing a Macbook, I will chuckle at the fodder but not before reading the agreement between Apple and Microsoft which has been in place for a quarter of a century.

Even though I'm a die-hard Mac fan, and desperately want to own one, I must admit that I have had very less problems with my Windows PC. Yes, they are prone to viruses, but only if the user is ignorant. That's the disadvantage here: you can keep your Windows safe (like me) but you will need to spend a lot of time doing this, always checking behind your back.

Thanks Tom for pasting my name up on the internet, what more next to Juliana's.

Yes I made my first Macintosh purchase about a month now. It has been difficult to get the brain to learn new things. But the Mac OS X 10.4.8 is great. Its easy. I do not need the manual to learn this thing. I agree with most of the comments here. Reasonable they are. And reasonable they are in saying that the Mac is nothing superior etc.. or that Microsoft is not really worthless. It stands to reason that Microsoft cannot be totally useless or Gates is doing nothing right. The figures say otherwise.

What sold me on the Mac is its architecture (it boots up superfast... no underlying DOS-like program to first load), its originality (unlike Vista, the Tiger and Leopard OSs are original), its functionality (built in microphone, firewire, isight, no cd tray, battery level indicator when laptop is off, magnetic power cord).

Hey, I better stop. I am sure you are all thinking that I rehearsed this, but no: it came spilling out like spaghetti. Windows copies the Mac and call me a fool but I think innovation ought to be rewarded.

Finally, if not for everything else, my Lisa is original. And I need not worry about viruses or spyware. Sure, right the commentors are that you need worry only if visit 'certain websites' etc.. But let us wake up. When I plug in my thumbdrive or floppy in another person's PC or my brother's PC and I absent mindedly plug it into my PC, what about then? What about when my antivirus subscription expires or if I forget to upgrade it? Then what about the valid argument that we need not worry about all the 100,000 odd viruses out there for the Windows PC: we only need to be concerned with the latest, say, 10,000? I have no time for this.

Then, what about that latest microprocessor I purchase for my IBM compatible. Will it spend a lot of its energy (and memory) scanning for spyware and viruses? It really reminds me of the PALM and WINDOWS CE battle: Windows CE is a truck: it requires large storage spaces and engine capacities. Same thing for the Windows PC.

Let us awaken to the fact that this has consequences in so far as processor speeds and memory is concerned. A sacrifice is made. I don't have this problem with my PALM or my MAC. And I luv 'em both, silly sod that I am.

Years ago, a tv movie called the Pirates of silicon valley detailed how steve jobs stole quickdraw from hewlett packard and them microsoft stole as much of the mac interface as they could.

at the end of the movie steve jobs says (to microsoft steve whatshisname) Our stuff is better. Microsoft reply? It doesn't matter.

Hmm Maybe it does.

I haven't got a mac yet, but will at the end of this year. I have been a PC user for all of my life and have decied to make the switch for a few reasons...

1. I recently got an iPod for Christmas. Liked and decided to check out other Apple products
2. Sometimes go into an Apple store and love the style of Mac's
3. Like the 'Get a Mac' ad's
4. My friends all have one and get positive comment from them

I recently joined the military. When I was doing all of those push-ups, what kept my mind occupied was dreaming about how I was going to spend some of my sign on bonus. I was going to get a decent car, and a top notch computer. Something in a laptop. Something reliable. I did all my research. I asked around. And I went with Mac. They are just better, period. They have a lot of really good innovations. They are friendly. What sold it was the fact that they can now run Windows as a 2nd OS. I figured I couldn't go wrong. If I didn't like the OSX, then I could have a really good looking Windows machine. After about 10 minutes of using the thing, I was hesitant to install Windows. But I needed it for work. What surprised me was the fact that she ran Vista better than my dad's Vista machine! That's why I'm always shocked to hear so many people so eager to bad mouth Apple. I powered on my old Dell last night to check for updates and waited, and waited, and waited....made some coffee. And waited.....Why does it take so damn long for a Windows machine to boot up?! The Mac cold boots in about 30-45 second. I guess my biggest gripe is this: If you don't want to buy Mac, then don't. This is a free country. You can buy whatever you want. I reccomend that you try a Mac first though. Just go to any Apple store and a specialist will help you. But please stop bad mouthing these elegant machines. If you don't like Mac OS, Fine! Just have a point before you say how much you hate them!

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