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OSX replace Windows if hardware were cheaper?


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Old 23-11-2012, 14:42
lalaland
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Having just recently made the jump from Windows to OSX after many, many years of DOS and Windows usage I'm completely amazed at how good OSX and Apple hardware actually is.

My initial plan was to jump to the Macbook Pro and install Windows 7 on it using Bootcamp so I could still rely on Windows for certain tasks and software. However, since moving across I have found absolutely no need for Windows whatsoever, nor have I missed it in the slightest. As such my Windows 7 disk has now been placed in a drawer to gather dust.

The MacBook Pro is a joy to use and OSX feels like an operating system that works perfectly and reliably. Little perks here and there make it fun and easy to use and the transition between the two was also easy.

The only downside to all of this was the price. My MacBook Pro is the base model which normally retails at 999.99 (I didn't pay that thanks to some discounts etc.). For a laptop with similar spec running Windows I could have paid much less and had a lot of change to spend on other things. Having said that, I wouldn't now be enjoying the quality of the MacBook Pro.

It got me thinking, if Apple were to slash their hardware prices by about half it would seriously cause Microsoft some trouble. If you could head out and pick up a MacBook Pro for 500 say, instead of just under 1k I think there'd quickly be a shortage of them while at the same time places like PC World would be wondering why their Windows 8 laptops are sat on the shelves.

I don't want to start a Windows vs Mac war and in the past I'll admit I've sat using Windows and laughed at the thought of using OSX, but the whole Mac hardware and operating system is a joy to use and make me quickly forget about cheap off the shelf Windows laptops with a less enjoyable or stable operating system running on them.

I doubt it will ever happen because Apple know people want their kit and that they'll pay for it, but it makes you think. They could pretty much take over the home user market in one move.
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Old 23-11-2012, 14:51
Alan F
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Apple are currently siting on a cash pile that is greater than the annual budget of many countries.

Why should they change what they are doing?

Only when their profits fall will they feel any need to reduce prices to drive up sales.
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Old 23-11-2012, 14:53
whoever,hey
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I use OSX at work and installed hackintosh to see if i would like a Mac at home for home use. After the objective evaluation i decided i didn't like OSX at home either. So you couldn't even give it away to me, though you could pay me (because its my job!).

Finder is a joke of an implementation. I couldn't possibly enjoy using such a joke of file management.
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Old 23-11-2012, 14:59
Adam Law
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OS X is a much more competent operating system than Windows, Unix based makes it more reliable. Plus I love the desktop spaces and full screen apps.Easier to manage workflow.

Windows has it's benefits obviously, easier to upgrade a PC, more choice of software, etc. But I find all software I need is either available on OS X or there is a superior alternative.
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Old 23-11-2012, 15:30
big_hard_lad
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OS X is a much more competent operating system than Windows, Unix based makes it more reliable. Plus I love the desktop spaces and full screen apps.Easier to manage workflow.

Windows has it's benefits obviously, easier to upgrade a PC, more choice of software, etc. But I find all software I need is either available on OS X or there is a superior alternative.
Ever tried using Full Screen mode on a multiple monitor setup? Ewwww.

Agree with the OP though, I've generally been a Windows user at home but I've been a Mac user at work for a number of years. My next home machine will probably be an iMac.
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Old 23-11-2012, 15:31
lalaland
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It's the opposite for me. I now use OSX at home and I have to use Windows XP at work, which I hate. It's a nightmare going from a nice fast, fresh looking OS to the dated feel of XP on sluggish hardware that really needs replacing.
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Old 23-11-2012, 15:33
big_hard_lad
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It's the opposite for me. I now use OSX at home and I have to use Windows XP at work, which I hate. It's a nightmare going from a nice fast, fresh looking OS to the dated feel of XP on sluggish hardware that really needs replacing.
XP is a seriously old OS now, though. It'd be a fairer comparison to compare to Win 7 or 8.
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Old 23-11-2012, 15:41
lalaland
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I appreciate XP is old.

I have just moved from Windows 7 at home to OSX. I wasn't comparing the two, just pointing out that it's horrendous having to use XP at work.
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Old 23-11-2012, 16:18
Adam Law
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Ever tried using Full Screen mode on a multiple monitor setup? Ewwww.

Agree with the OP though, I've generally been a Windows user at home but I've been a Mac user at work for a number of years. My next home machine will probably be an iMac.
Yea, very true that's not great, I never use them on my mac with two monitors, but you can still put apps on different spaces, which, with a simple gesture can be swiped through.
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Old 23-11-2012, 16:24
stu0rt
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I started using OS X around three years ago. At first I was totally lost; no clue how to do anything. But part of the beauty of the Apple ethos is that one can pick it up fairly easily. I still struggled without a task bar until around 6 months ago when I realised I could do the "four finger swipe" to see all my windows.

By comparison, I was setting up some Windows 8 laptops the other day and had NO IDEA how to do anything! What really annoyed me is the lack of a start button even if you drop through to the desktop. How does one launch programs or find out where they are? No doubt there is a way to get a start bar back again, but it niggled me.

Back to the original question... OS X can be installed on non-Apple hardware with a bit of shoehorning and technical know-how, but it's really designed to work with the Apple products. That's why it works so well, because they don't have to bloat it with drivers to handle the myriad of products that exist in the PC arena.

You're right... bring the cost of a Macbook Air down to the price point of a similar Windows ultrabook and there'd be no contest. But on the other hand, the Apple brand would lose some of its prestige.
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Old 23-11-2012, 16:48
Staunchy
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I recently bought a Mac Mini, at 499 it's the cheapest computer I've ever bought. I was after a small form factor off the shelf machine with a bit of oomph and the Mini's price point was spot on for what I need it to do, it's the one area where Apple's prices don't seem to be too bad.
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Old 23-11-2012, 18:04
IvanIV
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OSX only works with a very limited hardware range, Windows OTOH works with anything that you throw at it. Thus the quality of the system depends on the quality of drivers.
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Old 23-11-2012, 18:38
Maxatoria
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One of apples advantages is like the old Stella Artois advert "reassuringly expensive" and its stability is due to its carefully controlled environment that it exists in as it picks and chooses what its hardware will be and ensure that the relevant software will work with that where as Microsoft has to have 10's of thousands of machines for testing purposes making compatibility a much harder problem than Apples 3 choices of graphics cards etc and unless you have the skills to make a kernel extension/test it and support it and fix any problems for which Apple did try on when they gave graphics card developers full access in the mid 1990's but found that they suffered from the same problems of buggy drivers etc that windows users suffer from so they decided to wall the garden unless you wanted to get serious with kernel extensions
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Old 23-11-2012, 18:51
whoever,hey
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One of apples advantages is like the old Stella Artois advert "reassuringly expensive" and its stability is due to its carefully controlled environment that it exists in as it picks and chooses what its hardware will be and ensure that the relevant software will work with that
And yet they still dont get it right. XCode beachballs all the time trying to debug iOS, especially older devices.
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Old 23-11-2012, 19:08
Maxatoria
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And yet they still dont get it right. XCode beachballs all the time trying to debug iOS, especially older devices.
Well what does apple care about stuff that no longer brings it profit?
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Old 23-11-2012, 19:19
barky99
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OSX could replace windows if apple made it available to other brands of PC builders .... they don't so it won't
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Old 23-11-2012, 19:19
cnbcwatcher
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I've been using Mac OSX for two years now and in some ways it's a good thing it hasn't replaced Windows. It makes me feel superior If OSX were on 90% of the world's computers it wouldn't feel the same. Then Windows would be a minority product and the hardware would be expensive! Imagine that I find it a fairly good OS. I will agree Macs are expensive though. The Retina Macbook Pro is vastly overpriced for what it is.
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Old 23-11-2012, 21:52
lalaland
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OSX could replace windows if apple made it available to other brands of PC builders .... they don't so it won't
I think it's more a case of price rather than hardware.

Only a small number of users buy hardware brands specifically. The majority base their choice on cost with a close number looking at spec.

While I appreciate a minority will always want to pick and chose hardware, the majority just want something that works and looks good.

I think if it was a choice for your average user of a Toshiba, Dell, HP laptop in PC World for 350 or 400 for a MacBook Pro that the majority would jump on the latter.

I think the major bar for stopping Mac knocking windows off it's perch is cost. Drop the price, windows would quickly start vanishing from people's homes. Of course Apple won't do this, so windows is safe.
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Old 23-11-2012, 22:12
DotNetWill
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I switch between the two and outside of doing dev work there is very little difference. Both have usability problems and major pluses. For dev stuff VS kicks XCode's arse but for doing python/node OSX is great unix like but works.

Most people live in browsers these days and Chrome on OSX is exactly the same as Chrome on Windows. The only major thing Apple in their favour is the quality of their hardware.
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Old 23-11-2012, 22:39
Gormond
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Apple hardware is very good but so are other brands if you compare that price scale.

The issue is when people say their Lenovo G580 is as good as a MacBook Pro as its the same spec which just isn't true, the Lenovo is great for the price but I would ave got a MacBook if my budget stretched that far.
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Old 23-11-2012, 22:51
lalaland
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That's exactly it. They're overpriced and as such they aren't bought as often as they could be. Half the price and they'd be selling out.
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Old 23-11-2012, 23:01
Gormond
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That's exactly it. They're overpriced and as such they aren't bought as often as they could be. Half the price and they'd be selling out.
Yeah it's a pity really and keeps Apple with a tiny PC market share.
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Old 23-11-2012, 23:39
1saintly
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You're right... bring the cost of a Macbook Air down to the price point of a similar Windows ultrabook and there'd be no contest. But on the other hand, the Apple brand would lose some of its prestige.
I've been using Mac OSX for two years now and in some ways it's a good thing it hasn't replaced Windows. It makes me feel superior If OSX were on 90% of the world's computers it wouldn't feel the same. Then Windows would be a minority product and the hardware would be expensive! Imagine that I find it a fairly good OS. I will agree Macs are expensive though. The Retina Macbook Pro is vastly overpriced for what it is.
Its just a pc at the end of the day, the hardware isnt anything special.
Its mostly a image thing, as the 2 post above prove.
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Old 23-11-2012, 23:54
Gormond
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Its just a pc at the end of the day, the hardware isnt anything special.
Its mostly a image thing, as the 2 post above prove.
The quality of the build is far greater, rather than using cheaply moulded plastic like my cheap Lenovo, it's a really solid block of aluminium.

But sure at the end of the day it's more durable, longer battery life and looks better, is that worth twice what I paid for my Lenovo? Evidently I didn't think so but I would have paid 100 more.
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Old 24-11-2012, 00:57
Helbore
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OSX only works with a very limited hardware range, Windows OTOH works with anything that you throw at it. Thus the quality of the system depends on the quality of drivers.
This is true. Anyone who's ever tried to build a Hackintosh can tell you straight just how unreliable OSX is when installed o anything other than the select hardware Apple has approved. Ever heard of a kernel panic? That's OSX's equivalent to a BSOD - and its far more prevalent on OSX than Windows if you start mixing and matching hardware.

The simple fact is, OSX gets away with certain advantages due to its locked-down nature. Even then its not perfect. I've seen enough problems on Macs to know they don't "just work" like advertised. But if OSX were to be pushed out en masse, it would inevitably have to end up on a myriad of hardware configurations.

One, Apple don't offer enough options for all usage scenarios and two, if they ever got such a market share, they'd be hit with an antitrust suit and be forced into licensing the OS to third parties. Once that happened, it would soon be discovered that OSX is not actually superior to Windows.

There's an advantage in having a small market share and a tightly-controlled platform that would be lost if the operating system ever achieved mass market penetration.
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