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Apple Businesses Hardware

1 Million Windows to Mac Converts So Far in 2005 891

UltimaGuy writes to tell us AppleInsider is reporting that according to one Wall Street analyst over one million Windows users have switched to Mac in the first three quarters of 2005. It is speculated that these numbers are a direct result of the popularity gained through the iPod and related technologies in addition to security concerns from Microsoft. From the article: "According to checks with Apple Store Specialists, Wolf also said a larger than expected percentage of Windows to Mac converts appear to be purchasing Apple's higher-end systems and that their transition is fueled by the epidemic of viruses and malware on the Windows platform."
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1 Million Windows to Mac Converts So Far in 2005

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  • Analyze this! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Paska ( 801395 ) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:04PM (#13973761) Homepage
    While I am sure this is probably random guesses and whohar from this one analyst, I actually somewhat believe him from my observations from down-under (Australia).

    As a young man that works for a family owned and quite large computer business I've over the years seen people generally not ask very many questions, to now every day hearing people wanting details on Macs, and how they compare to standard white boxes.

    Now bundle this in with the fact that our local, and only Apple store is constantly flourishing with business as compared to a few years ago when it was rare to see more then 1 person at a time in there, you'll understand why it's possible Apple have converted so many users.

    Just in my direct experience over the last few years, it's converted myself, my brother, my mother and a few friends of mine - (2 to be exact).

    It's also at the point, and while I am growing up and establishing my future that me owning and operating a Apple franchise is highly possible.

    I've also seen the websites I manage, which are local to our area, sky rocket from 5-10 hits per week from Mac users, to now over 250-300 unique Mac users per week and raising.

    Apple are on to something here, and Steve Jobs knows it!
    • Re:Analyze this! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CRC'99 ( 96526 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:11PM (#13973862) Homepage
      While this isn't the only reason...

      My personal situation is that I have bought 2 Mac machines in the past 6 months (does that make me 2 'converts'?) because the underlying system suits my needs better.

      I spend ~45% of my time using PuTTY on a Windows machine connected to a linux server doing things that I can't do on a windows laptop without a net connection. When you have this capability locally via the OSX terminal, I can do whatever I need to on the move and not be tied to an internet connection and SSH session.

      The other benefits I get is that the OS is very solid, I get all the unix tools I need, and it 'just works'.
      • why don't you.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ilf ( 193006 )
        put linux on your laptop?
        • Re:why don't you.. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by CRC'99 ( 96526 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:13PM (#13974547) Homepage
          put linux on your laptop?

          I was waiting for someone to ask this - and the reason is very simple. As a desktop OS, Linux sucks. If you look at what Windows and OSX has going for it, you'll quickly note that it's simple and easy to do just about anything.

          I think WiFi on my Dell notebook is about the best example that I can come up with off the top of my head. it's a dual band 802.11a/b/g card for which Linux drivers just don't exist. So I have to wrap them in an NDIS wrapper, and hope that they work that way. Then there's the annoyance of having X not like using 1920x1200 straight away as a desktop res (the LCD's native res). Then I have issues with sound (alsa isn't the be all and end all), then there's always something else to fix.

          Bottom line? You spend more time getting things to work than using the actual system. This might be fine if you want to do this kind of stuff as a technical challenge, but personally, I just want to be able to use my system for what I need to get done, and not have to worry about half of the crap I mentioned above.

          I did some work quite a while ago getting newer ALSA drivers working on the xbox-linux project, and it's not as pretty as it could be. I'm no newbie to linux, but damn, I wish sometimes I didn't have to do half the crap I had to just to get a decent, working system. Enter OSX.
          • Re:why don't you.. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Trelane ( 16124 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:25PM (#13974652) Journal
            So what you're saying is that we need a reliable Linux hardware vendor?

            I agree totally.

          • Re:why don't you.. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by TClevenger ( 252206 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @09:21PM (#13975536)
            WiFi is a great example. When I open the lid on my Powerbook, it wakes up correctly EVERY time, and before I can even get my screensaver password entered, it has reconnected to my Netgear WiFi router, reestablished all my SSH connections to my Linux servers, checked my POP server for mail and reconnected my iChat to AIM.

            I also can apply patches and updates without worrying about breaking anything, and I can continue to get fully supported OS and application updates for years (yes, even with the Intels coming.)

            Don't get me wrong; I love Linux. It definitely has its place (i.e. my servers.) I just don't have the time to play Russian Roulette with compatibility.

      • Re:Analyze this! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:10PM (#13974525)
        "The other benefits I get is that the OS is very solid, I get all the unix tools I need, and it 'just works'."

        It only "just works" when you use hardware that is compatible. When I got my mac I had many devices hooked up my windows machine that didn't "just work" because the Mac did not support them. For example my hp-3100 printer won't work at all, not even a little bit. I had to go and buy another printer to hook up to the Mac. Of course the reason for that is that it's a windows only printer and CUPS has no support for it.

        Macs (just like linux) "just work" when you stick with supported hardware.
        • Re:Analyze this! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:33PM (#13974718)
          Macs (just like linux) "just work" when you stick with supported hardware.
          I'm a dyed-in-the-wool "linux guy," but unfortunately hardware support remains my one major complaint with Linux, even when you go our of your way and pay extra for something that's claimed to work. Just skip to the last paragraph if you get bored reading my laundry list of supporting examples:
          • My WG511 wifi card is supposedly supported by the prism54 driver. In fact it locks up the machine in minutes.
          • My All-In-Wonder card was supported by GATOS, but the drivers weren't good enough to be usable so I ditched it for the best linux-supported TV tuner card there is, the Hauppauge. Lucky me, I got one with a new chip revision so it didn't work.
          • OpenGL 3d acceleration on my T40 laptop works, but the machine locks up if you suspend to ram while hardware acceleration is enabled.
          • My webcam is supposedly supported by the ov511 driver, but the images are heavily tinged with red, and the compression module that enables decent framerates doesn't seem to be supported anymore. It works OK under Windows.
          • My Lego Mindstorms kit has a driver through Lejos, but oops! it doesn't work because the usb lego tower is only compatible with one of the usb driver modules (I forget which), which isn't compatible with the usb ports on my laptop.
          • My Epson 1250 scanner, purchased specifically due to Linux support, has horizontal artifacts under Linux but works fine under Windows. (And descreening works.)
          • My Pinnacle IR receiver is supported by Lirc, but the lircd exits randomly and without warning causing the remote to stop working.

          I could go on, but the point is there's a big difference between a green X in a linux hardware compatibility list, and actually having a stable, working driver that supports all the features. And you never really know until *after* you shell out the cash. Macs have limited hardware support too, but from what I've seen if it is supported, it actually works. I stick with Linux because I like its principles, and after you get stuff going it's great. But when my parents asked what to buy for my grandpa it was a no-brainer: iMac.

          • Re:Analyze this! (Score:4, Informative)

            by makomk ( 752139 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @08:40PM (#13975235) Journal
            Unfortunately for you, at least two of the items on your list (the WG511 and the Hauppauge card) are items for which the manufacturer's totally redesigned the hardware (and changed the drivers required) without actually bothering to change the name or model no. As you can imagine, this makes hardware compatibility lists not that useful. AFAIK, all versions of the WinTV cards are supported by either bttv or cx88 (depending on version), but not all versions of the WG511 have working Linux drivers.
      • Re:Analyze this! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Beatbyte ( 163694 )
        As far as what work I end up doing, I'm in the same boat. Remote into something with SSH and using the "unix tools" to get stuff done. However, I've accomplished this with a 5.10 version of Ubuntu.

        Yes it did take a few hours to get it perfect (followed the ubuntu forums/guide for basic stuff) but I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 running perfectly. Every piece of hardware I have works. Even the blue function keys, the multimedia controls on the front of the laptop, the 1920x1200 resolution, the graphics accelerat
        • Time Value of Money (Score:5, Interesting)

          by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:58PM (#13974943)
          What was the cost different to get a comparable Apple laptop. What do you value your free time at... for me its a lot, because I don't have much... Given the choice between an extra $200 for the machine (and generally, Dell charges the same as Apple for the same machine, but Apple only has limited options, so you buy more machine... i.e. to upgrade the screen, you get a processor upgrade, that kinda thing), and a few hours of tinkering, I reach for my Amex...

          It all depends if you'd rather have two-four hours for yourself or a little cash in your pocket...

          My point on the Apple vs. Dell... any time I took an Apple machine, then went to Dell and priced an "equivalent" purchase, the price was +/- $50... however, if you start with the Dell, and then price out the equivalent Apple, it is usually a bit more... but you get stuff you may not need, but that is because Apple has limited models...

          The Mac Mini is a GREAT office desktop (we have 8, probably going to get 4-5 more)... and its dirt cheap... Once you price out the equivalent Dell and add in XP Pro (home is worthless for a business workstation), and a few other minor upgrades, the mini tends to be $25-$50 less, which is a great deal.
          • by bradleyland ( 798918 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @09:41PM (#13975657)
            That's almost laughable. I'm an independent IT consultant, and I'd like to personally thank Dell for their pricing strategy: slap together a box with 256 MB of RAM and Windows XP, advertise in flyers showing said system along side a 15" LCD for $499, profit!!

            The scenario goes down something like this. Customer receives Dell, is confounded by how slow it is, and is pissed that they received a CRT, not the flat panel pictured (a la asterisk "for just $179 more..."). Customer calls me, I come out and explain that 256 MB of RAM is no way to run Windows XP, show them the task manager with pagefile usage of 415 MB, they do the math (415 MB > 256 MB). Customer pays me $75/hr to install marked up RAM and a flat panel monitor since they won't talk to Dell anymore.

            Michael Dell, we salute you!

            PS - Posted from my 20" iMac.
          • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:59AM (#13977174) Homepage
            It all depends if you'd rather have two-four hours for yourself or a little cash in your pocket...

            You're deluding yourself if you think MacOS X doesn't require just as much tinkering. I'm a long suffering Mac user who has recently spent a few weeks with Tiger. I've easily spent 20 hours in the past month installing third party software like VLC because Tiger won't play DivX, finding various tweaks on macosxhints (eg, disable dashboard which is a memory sucking vampire), hunting down a crashing issue with ARD (had to replace it with OSX VNC), mucking about with configuration settings that have retarded defaults, and so on and so forth.

            It's amusing that the GP commented on the multimedia keys, because attached to this Mac I have a Logitech keyboard and the multimedia keys don't work. Not even with the official Logitech drivers. Yet they work perfectly on Linux and Windows.

            So don't give me any crap about Macs saving you "time and money". I use all three of the holy trinity quite heavily - Windows, Linux and Mac - and they are all about as sucky as each other.

    • As a Mac user (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:26PM (#13974043)
      These are interesting times to be a Mac user. It's incredible to say it, but Apple is actually on the upswing after a decade of total Windows dominance. Dell's revenues and sales are down while Apple's keep growing beyond the industry average.

      As a Mac user myself, I'll just say this. I don't want an Apple monopoly dominating computing; I would just like an Apple marketshare at around 35%-45% again. It would make for a much healthier market and would mean a lot more applications for Mac, instead of waiting a year later for a third-party port.

      So before you Mac-hating Linux kids start flaming another Apple article, most of us just want less Windows domination. That wretched pile of crap has wasted more time and money on reboots, endless "configuration wizards," registry cleanings, spyware cleanings, resource-sucking antivirus software, and so on. It's so bad that a lot of normal people are afraid of computers and their difficulty--they don't realize it's Windows that is difficult. Computers don't have to be.
      • Re:As a Mac user (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wiggles ( 30088 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:38PM (#13974196)
        Be careful what you wish for. The larger the marketshare that Apple has, the bigger the target their platform becomes. You'll not only see ports of your favorite apps, but crapware as well.
        • Re:As a Mac user (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:44PM (#13974267)
          Thankfully, there's a culture of excellence in software design on the Mac (and a thriving shareware market you can actually make money in, unlike on Windows). If by crapware, though, you're referring to spyware, I dispute the claim that Windows' saturation is the cause of its woes. For instance, OS X has no open ports by default and doesn't even enable the root account. However, Windows users got to suffer through, for instance, Blaster as it took advantage of full access to RPC. Windows is a poorly designed system that everyone was hoping would get a rewrite with Longhorn. Unfortunately, that did not happen. It looks like the registry is never, ever going to die. That's too bad, because the consumers suffer because of it.

          It's just that spyware and trojans just don't have anywhere to go on OS X, due mostly to built-in UNIX security measures. You can't even install something or have an app modify system settings without a quick password prompt.
          • Re:As a Mac user (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ComputerizedYoga ( 466024 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:09PM (#13974511) Homepage
            on the other hand, if an app wants to write to your homedir/dotfiles instead of sticking itself in system locations, it can do it. How many of the "it just works, I like it" crowd have EVER looked at what dotfiles live in their home directory?

            Most spyware comes from one of two places: renegade ActiveX or piggyback installations.

            While the mac and *nix platforms don't have activeX to worry about, nothing's preventing people from bundling mac spyware with otherwise useful apps, and if the app brings something that people want, they'll ignore the stuff that comes with it. How do you think Gator operates?

            It's just that nobody's decided to go after the mac market trying to turn shareware into adware or negotiating bundle deals, or even learning to write mac malware yet. Maybe that's the "excellence" you're talking about. But there's a big emphasis to be put on the "yet" part of that.

            The mac platform is not without its security holes, and those things that compromise a high privilege process don't NEED to prompt you to install themselves everywhere.
            • Re:As a Mac user (Score:4, Insightful)

              by RedBear ( 207369 ) <redbear@red b e a r n e> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @10:17AM (#13978254) Homepage
              While the mac and *nix platforms don't have activeX to worry about, nothing's preventing people from bundling mac spyware with otherwise useful apps, and if the app brings something that people want, they'll ignore the stuff that comes with it. How do you think Gator operates?

              (Emphasis mine.)

              This is the main problem on the Windows platform. Not that the system is inherently less secure (which it is), but that the market consists of a ton of users who are willing to tolerate having their machine infected with crap just to get some worthless "goodies". Of course it isn't impossible to make spyware/adware/malware for OS X (or Linux), but here is what happens in those communities, as opposed to the glutted-with-crapware Windows community: If there is any inkling of spyware, adware or any sort of malware in a piece of software, either it never appears for download on the sites where people go to download new software or it gets removed very quickly due to the huge community outcry, and that software author will never be trusted again. If a Mac software site consistently allows bad software to be listed and available for download, the users will quickly go elsewhere, permanently. Until the Mac community gets much larger and contains a lot more of the braindead general population, they simply will not tolerate their expensive and wonderful machines getting hijacked by bad software.

              Secondly, and perhaps even more important, if you do get infected with something it is ABSURDLY easy to do a clean reinstallation of Mac OS X WITHOUT hosing all of your preferences and important installed software. In comparison in the Windows world it is an absolute nightmare to have to reinstall the OS because you know you will have to reinstall every piece of software that uses the Registry, which is darn near everything. So your average Windows user limps along trying to fix things piece by piece, maintaining a broken, infected system that just keeps getting slower and more broken. The Mac user, on the other hand, does a quick backup of Home and Applications and nukes the thing and starts over. An experienced Mac user can be back up and running as if nothing happened within a couple of hours.

              So, wake me up when Apple has 25%+ market share and the malware/spyware writers are "targetting" the Mac platform as enthusiastically as they target Windows. My bet is that even with that much market share the malware will have little effect on Macs as a whole because the community they spring from is just too different and won't put up with it. Even the idiots among them will have their hands held and be constantly led away from doing what they might have done had they still been using Windows and downloading crap from just anywhere without thinking about it.

      • Re:As a Mac user (Score:5, Insightful)

        by klubar ( 591384 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:51PM (#13974334) Homepage
        Dell revenues are not growing as fast on a much larger base. Dell sales are $52.7 Billion. Apple sales are just shy of $14 billion.

        It's a lot easier to have high growth on a smaller base.
      • Re:As a Mac user (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Malor ( 3658 )
        Oh, I don't think most Slashdot readers hate modern Macs. That'd be kind of dumb, after all.. most of us are pretty into Unix.

        I do think a good chunk of us are worried that marketing is taking over their design, rather than technical excellence, but by and large, I think Apple has very good geek cred right now.

        I wouldn't, however, get all stuffy about 'no viruses on the Mac'... an awful lot of their code is closed, so it's hard to know how good it is. They were still doing some pretty dumb security-relate
        • Re:As a Mac user (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <> on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:04PM (#13974472) Homepage Journal
          Oh, I don't think most Slashdot readers hate modern Macs. That'd be kind of dumb, after all.. most of us are pretty into Unix.

          There are still quite a few, though. I'm thinking those are the people who haven't yet pulled their heads out and realized that OS X isn't the same thing as OS 9.

          Being a Mac hater for most of my life, I can attest to the difficulty of pulling one's head out when it comes to the Mac. But with all the raving of fans (and $$$ pouring into the market) it became hard for me to ignore.

          All I can say is, once you go Mac OS X, everything else seems inferior. And I mean EVERYTHING. :-)
          • Re:As a Mac user (Score:4, Informative)

            by nautical9 ( 469723 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @08:05AM (#13977726) Homepage
            You just described exactly where I was at earlier this year. I had the unfortunate experience of maintaining a Mac lab in highschool, and used a few during my university years as well. All pre-OSX days. I couldn't stand working on them, with their horrible multitasking and memory management. I just didn't get the appeal of the Mac when compared to Unix or even Windows.

            But after hearing all the fan-boys on this and other sites, and doing a fair bit of research into Mac OSX, I figured it was time to try out a powerbook.

            After a few months of using it exclusively, I can't stand working with Windows or even KDE/Gnome now. A stock OSX Tiger install is incredibly useful (Exposé, Spotlight, iLife, Dashboard, and all that BSD goodness through But after installing a few amazing (and free) utilities, it's the closest to desktop utopia I've ever been:

            • QuickSilver [] - The most useful app I've ever used - hard to describe, but think of it as a command-line interface to the GUI (some use it as just an application launcher, but it's so much more).
            • Fink [] - A BSD Ports implementation for OSX - think of Debian and Gentoo meets OSX - thousands of F/OSS apps just a command away from installing
            • XAMPP [] - Apache/MySQL/PHP/Perl in a simple to install and run package.
            • VLC [] - video watching without having to worry about installing dozens of codecs.

            Never thought I'd say it, but I guess I'm one of the fan-boys now.

            I still have a Windows box for gaming (although I have to admit there are far more games available for OSX than I imagined), and a few Linux boxes for serving, development, routing, etc. Although I now have all my development stuff running locally on my powerbook, so the linux boxes are less useful these days.

            My message to people on the fence about switiching: give it a shot. It's not perfect, but it's leaps and bounds ahead of anything else.

      • Re:As a Mac user (Score:4, Informative)

        by lar3ry ( 10905 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @08:04PM (#13974981)
        I'm one of those "Linux users converted to Mac."

        My first Linux box was before TCP/IP worked reliably on it... before X Window worked. ST-506 drive (hundreds of MB!) and 256KB memory modules.

        My first Mac box was a Mac Plus (well, I also had an Atari ST that had the Mac emulator running on it).

        I've always liked the Mac software, but got drawn in (and still am drawn in) to the Open Source / freeware / "All Software Has To Be Free" mantra.

        For fourteen years, I did my damnedest to make my Linux desktop experience as good as it could be.

        Then, I decided to go Mac again. Mac Mini... 512MB.

        It's not the fastest platform, nor is it the most programmable. However, it is the most consistent one that I've found. I'm back with a Mac, and use Linux as a server O/S and firewall.

        I wonder what would happen if I got a G5 system, or, peraps, should I wait until the Intel Macs arrive?

        If I have to design my own system (motherboard, case, RAM, etc.) then it's a no-brainer... Linux wins. If I have to purchase a complete system (or one for a non-computer person), it would almost definitely be a Mac.

        I'm really happy that the state of the art has gotten us here!
    • Re:Analyze this! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tolkienfan ( 892463 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:29PM (#13974076) Journal
      I've been recommending Mac to everyone for a while now. Windows is a PITA. Even if it were true that Viruses, Trojans, Worms and Malware are only successful on Windows due to the saturation, that's still a good reason to go to something else. I can't wait to go to PS/3 w/Linux. If the price point is good enough I'll be recommending that to everyone.
    • Re:Analyze this! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:34PM (#13974136)
      I will also say that OS X has converted many UNIX/Linux people as well. With me being one of them. I still love UNIX and Linux for server "headless" lets get work done here stuff, but as far as I'm concerned, OS X is the best UNIX workstation and general desktop that has ever been around. Just about everybody I work with has switched from either Linux or other UNIX-like desktop or MS Windows to Macs. The only people that haven't switched were already Mac users.

      I also think that current Apple software is very top notch. Apple Mail, Preview, Terminal, Soundtrack, and Keynote are all excellent. And there are others that I'm interested in trying Logic Pro. I've heard good stuff about Final Cut, and Aperture really looks nice.

      Apple hardware is pretty top notch as well. Just about any notebook or desktop system looks dated or junky compared to a comparable Apple product. The same goes with software. When I see a Windows desktop or Linux one or UNIX one, it looks dated like a picture of people from the 50s or 60s with those funny glasses or a picture of a parking lot from the 70s.

      I don't have too much insightful or informative to say, I don't think, but I think Apple has done wonders for computers in the past 5 years. I know they did innovate before that timeframe, but I simply did not like the pre-OS X operating system. I liked my Apple //c, but that was it until now.

      I guess I could be considered a "fanboy" or whatever, but in my opinion, they have earned it. Apple is not perfect, but for many things they are the leader of how computing should be.
    • by Jeff Molby ( 906283 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:43PM (#13974242)
      I bought a Mac Mini because it was a cheap way to get a debugging machine for my web app. That was solely to see how it looks in a Mac browser. I still rely on Windows for everything else. I hope they didn't count me.
    • by Alejo ( 69447 ) <alejos1@hotmail.cBOYSENom minus berry> on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:09PM (#13974513)
      Nike shoes are so much faster. I will never use Adidas again.
  • by conJunk ( 779958 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:04PM (#13973764)


    "If we assume that all of the growth in Mac shipments during the past three quarters resulted from Windows users purchasing a Mac, then purchases by Windows users exceeded one million," the analyst said. "Indeed, the number of Windows users purchasing Macs in 2005 could easily exceed our forecast of 1.3 million switchers in 2006."

    TFA seems to be using "switched to" and "converted" interchangably with "purchased", implying that every Windows user who bought a Mac was turning his or her back on PCs. I don't think that has to be the case at all. If we assume that TFA is right about the reason for such good Mac sales (derriving from the strength of the ipod), then isn't it reasonable to assume that a fair number of those are people who are buying Macs not as their exclusive computer, but possibly in addition or in complement to their PCs?

    Maybe the real signficance of this (assuming the numbers are correct) is that it's no longer uncool to own more than one computer!

    • by dave-tx ( 684169 ) * <df19808+slashdot ... m minus math_god> on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:11PM (#13973854)
      Excellent point. I added OSX to my arsenal this past year, but did not "switch" from Windows or Linux, both of which still get daily use by me.
    • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:22PM (#13973994) Homepage Journal
      I don't think the distinction between 'OR' and 'XOR' is important. That they chose a 'NOT PC' is really the telling factor. Ten years ago when "average" PCs were a thousand dollars, and "average" Macs cost more than that, very few people owned more than one computer. But now, it doesn't require a financially crippling investment just to try one.

      If Apple wants to call them all "switched", well, that's fine for marketing. But just having their foot in one million more doors, that's huge no matter what. And unless Apple pulls a huge boner, I would suspect most of those million will actually switch and stay switched. (At least until they get tired of Super Breakout. :-)

    • by nunchux ( 869574 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:30PM (#13974091)
      He's right... Just an an example I have a Powermac desktop (mostly for Final Cut) and a cheapo Acer laptop for Office and a specialized application I need for work. I know at least two guys with tricked-out Windows rigs for gaming and Power or iBooks for everything else. I know a few couples who have one Mac and PC in the house-- in fact I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of households and businesses with both systems, mixed and matched for need or personal taste.

      We're well past the era where having a couple of systems at your disposal is a novelty, and this whole notion that an OS requires a pledge of allegiance is ridiculous. But I guess the Mac press would wither and die without endless self congratulation, and the PC trolls would do likewise if there was noone to hear their cries of why Macs are Teh Sux.
    • implying that every Windows user who bought a Mac was turning his or her back on PCs. I don't think that has to be the case at all.

      Certainly NOT the case with me.

      I use a Mac at home, where I stay virus and malware free, and use my free time for games, web surfing, etc, and I make my living working fixing and making fucked up Windows machines useable. So I wouldn't say that I turned my back on PC's entirely. They fund my Mac addiction.
  • by killa62 ( 828317 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:05PM (#13973777)
    AOL has signed up 2 million new users for their newbie-friendly internet service thru their dell computer preinstalls alone.
  • No Suprise Here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flakier ( 177415 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:05PM (#13973784) Homepage
    I just wonder what the tipping point will be before we start seeing an exponential rise in Mac malware.

    Then what, the masses start switching to BSD or Linux?
    • Re:No Suprise Here (Score:4, Informative)

      by Absentminded-Artist ( 560582 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @08:19PM (#13975084) Homepage
      Well, any Mac expert will agree that there is a potential for abuse when Grandma and little Billy start downloading screen savers and games off the web on the Mac and just type in their username and password as they install indiscriminately. However, the fundamental difference between OSX and Windows is that even if malware is installed in OSX it has limited power. The vehicles for self-propogation aren't there. And even if little Billy downloaded a nifty game bundled with adware and rootkits and managed to install it on his system, his Dad and Sister's Macs wouldn't be in danger because Macs come with all ports shut off by default. Without knowing Dad's or Sis's username and password, the adware couldn't install itself across the network onto their machines. This means that virii can only spread via IM or emails through social engineering: i.e. trojans - which all systems are susceptible to. Malware may adapt to meet the Mac market, but it couldn't self-propogate the way it is doing in the Windows market.

      Of course, you may counter that we have yet to see what nefarious powers OSX malware one day may have. And I'll concede the point that even though there has been no malware, spyware, adware, or viruses for OSX in the five years it's been around that doesn't mean there won't ever be those sort of apps gunning for OSX security. However, my experience on both platforms has shown me that Apple's OS is fairly robust, their attitude about security exploits is very aggressive, and there aren't the same available vectors for attack in OSX that make Windows so attractive to phishers, crackers, and other binary scum...
  • by trib ( 184485 ) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:06PM (#13973789) Homepage
    ... is the prohibitive cost here in Australia. The 15.2" Powerbook I want (with a spare battery and 2Gb RAM as the only upgrades) will set me back in excess of AU$4200.
    I get to play with a Mac a little at work for some of my app testing, and I have serious envy of the guy whose desk it sits on...
    • by danrik ( 568865 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:29PM (#13974083)
      Your mistake is buying 2GB of RAM from Apple. They overchage for RAM unlike anything i have ever seen. Save yoruself some money and buy from someone else.
    • I bought a PowerBook in the Sydney city store about 4 months ago.

      Cost was $3918 including GST.

      It came with a DVD burner, 1 Gig Ram on a 15" jobbie.

      But the bonus is that I salary sacrifised the entire laptop and was able to reclaim $2000 in one single months salary rotation.

      A highly recommend this option if you earn a highish salary.

      This essentially meant I got the laptop for half price with no further tax penalities.

      Talk to your employer, they may be able to salary package at no to little cost.

      Remember we p
    • Just for all the non-Australians on the board, the Australian dollar is essentially the South Pacific peso. The price isn't all that bad.
  • Mac mini (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dots and loops ( 448641 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:06PM (#13973793)
    Actually, it was the Mac mini which caused me to use the Mac as my primary home computer, not the iPod.
    • Re:Mac mini (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:18PM (#13973946)
      Actually, it was the Mac mini which caused me to use the Mac as my primary home computer, not the iPod.

      For me it was the ipod that made me seriously consider the switch, and the mac mini that drove my decision. The mini was priced at a point where I could try it out and abandon it if it didn't work for me. The plan was that if I didn't like a mac as my main desktop machine, I would use it as a server, running linux, and buy a cheapo windows system. I never did end up buying that cheapo windows system.

      I'm just mad at myself for not having made the switch sooner.
    • Re:Mac mini (Score:5, Interesting)

      by booch ( 4157 ) <`slashdot2010' `at' `'> on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:42PM (#13974236) Homepage
      I second that. I bought a Mac mini the day they were released. I'd said since OS X came out that I'd buy a Mac if the prices were reasonable. And to me, the $500 starting price was quite reasonable for a computer to hook up to my HDTV. (I spent nearly $800, including the upgrades.) I'd used Macs frequently before, but never thought they were worth the extra cost.

      Just last week, I recommended a Mac mini to a small business owner whose PC got infected by viruses and spyware. I told them that it would be a lot easier to support a Mac, and wouldn't require all the anti-malware software. The owner ended up buying one for his receptionist as well.

      I wasn't really interested in the iPods at all. In fact, I'm more interested in an iPod nano now, BECAUSE of my Mac. I'm more interested in the NeXT-based OS, because I used NeXTs in college; and the ease of use combined with UNIX underpinnings. For other people, I recommend the Mac mini because of the ease of use, reduced maintenance requirements, and lack of security issues that Windows has.
  • by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) < minus caffeine> on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:07PM (#13973798) Homepage Journal
    Apple Store Specialists

    Do you suppose these specialists abbreviate their title on their business cards?

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:16PM (#13973919) Homepage
      "Apple Store Specialists"

      Do you suppose these specialists abbreviate their title on their business cards?

      Just be glad you didn't work as a Student Assistant (studentassistent) here in Norway. The abbriviation was stud.ass., I kid you not.

  • Actually... (Score:3, Funny)

    by kmartshopper ( 836454 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:08PM (#13973815)
    Actually I'm pretty sure it's a direct result of all those dads buying their college-bound daughters Macs because they were told they wouldn't be cool without them.
  • by Mkoms ( 910273 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:09PM (#13973833)
    They must have not experienced the Adam and Eve virus... you know, the one that takes a few bytes out of your Apple. [Credit: somewhere on the internet]
  • Startup School (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pHatidic ( 163975 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:10PM (#13973836)
    A few weeks ago I went to Startup School, a conference for hackers with entrepreneurial interests that was hosted by Paul Graham. I'd say 80% of the people there with laptops had macs. It was one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen, to look back from the front of the room and see an entire roomful of Apple computers. I think Paul is right that most of the new Apple users aren't switchers, but rather are switch-backers. I for one am extremely happy with my powerbook that I bought two years ago, switching back from XP, so I don't think I will ever become a switch-back-backer. The amazing thing is that even though this computer 22 months old it feels brand new, rechargable battery issues aside. I have never had to reformat the hard drive, remove a virus, or uninstall any adware. I know that it is theoretically possible to get viruses on an Apple and there have been proof of concepts, but personally I don't give a damn about theory. All I care about is my last two years of "just works" computing.
  • by Bazzalisk ( 869812 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:11PM (#13973863) Homepage
    Me for one ... my new machine will be the first I've had since 1997 for which Linux is not the main OS.
    • by MoOsEb0y ( 2177 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:17PM (#13973931)
      I actually switched from Linux to MacOS because I was sick and tired of fighting with my system configuration everytime I updated my packages or wanted to install new software. OS X allows me to run all of the same OSS apps that I loved on Linux (VNC, SSH, irssi, etc) while at the same time being a joy to use.

      I first was exposed to OSX from the leak to x86. After that, I loved it so much I got a Mac Mini (the first mac I've seen which I could actually afford).
    • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:37PM (#13974183) Homepage
      If TFA's speculation about the reasons for the switching are correct, then it's very bad news for Linux on the desktop:
      their transition is fueled by the epidemic of viruses and malware on the Windows platform.
      In other words, these are people who are finding that maintaining an internet-connected Windows computer properly requires too high a level of geekdom -- geekdom being defined as technical skill plus interest in spending time applying that skill. The level of geekdom (skill+time) required to use Linux is still much higher than the level required to use Windows or MacOS X, so we should expect Linux's share of the desktop to suffer for the same reason that MacOS's is apparently increasing.

      (Of course, the reasons why Linux requires high geekdom are different from the reasons why Windows requires it. On Windows, you're using a system that's designed to be insecure, and lots of your geek points are spent on fighting that. On Linux, it's issues like not being able to install it successfully on a laptop, or not being able to figure out how to get a printer working, or not understanding that X-Windows cut and paste doesn't work the same way as control-X/control-V cut and paste. But it doesn't matter that geekdom is required for different reasons -- Linux still requires higher geekdom.)

  • I'm a statistic. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heresyoftruth ( 705115 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:12PM (#13973875) Homepage Journal
    My hubby and I are two of those converts out there. After the zillionth windows disaster, we saved up and got a set of powerbooks. I can't say the iPods had anything to do with it because we didn't get a set of those until after we got the powerbooks. I always hated the overzealous mac lover, but it appears I just bought my way into the cult. I can't be happier to have switched, as I haven't had one problem since February. That's definitely longer than I went without having to tweak my PC box.
  • by observer7 ( 753034 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:12PM (#13973878) Homepage
    an apple a day keeps the viruses at bay
  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:12PM (#13973879) Journal
    And is anyone keeping track of the number of people that switched BACK after discovering that they have to re...invest substantial amount of money into Mac version of software titles they already own for the x86?
    • Think about it, most apps people are interested in are already included with the base Apple. My guess is that a lot of the switchers out there are frustrated users (generally older) who have HAD IT with the spyware and other BS security games on the PC.

      Now what do those people do? Hmmm. Word processing maybe, Internet (probably AOL), listen to music / watch movies (covered), etc. Years ago I think you'd be right about this. If you wanted a simple calculator program or even wanted to play a CD you had to buy
    • So what software are you thinking of exactly? Most software lets you crossgrade (like PhotoShop).

      And software that doesn't let you convert either is replaced with software that ships free with consumer Macs (like iLife with iPhoto and iTunes and iMovie), or is easily replaced by other low cost or free Mac versions.

      What software to casual computers have that would prevetn a switch? It's not like the whole world is running AutoCAD.
    • Yes, because people obviously plunked down several hundred to a couple thousand dollars without checking on software first. And if it turned out to be an issue, of course they didn't return the computer for their money back, but used it as a doorstop.


      Not to belittle the very substantial cost of software for switching, but I have to give people just a little more credit than that. Meanwhile, for Mom and Pop and "average" people. how much are they buying beyond standard fare like MS Office, Quicken, P
  • apples and oranges (Score:4, Interesting)

    by micromuncher ( 171881 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:18PM (#13973941) Homepage
    There probably is no correlation between people buying iPods, people using Wintel, and people buying Macs...

    The lifecycle of a PC is about 2 years. A mac is about 5 years. Its probable that this is just a turnover of pre-existing mac users.

    Nobody I know or has met who has a Mac bought one because of an iPod.

    One one person I've met has bought a Mac because of Windows issues... and they were also a frustrated Linux user.

    However, I've met a few people who have bought Macs just because they look cool, fit in with their Ikea furniture, and are trendy.

    (I'm a former Mac user. Now I use Windows, mostly for games. Not that I want to... I had the choice between starving MacOS developer, average Wintel developer, or corpulent enterprise Java developer. After starving for a number of years, I chose the corpulent route.)
    • by 3770 ( 560838 )
      However, I've met a few people who have bought Macs just because they look cool, fit in with their Ikea furniture, and are trendy.

      Part of that coolness and trendyness, I think, isn't just the look of the machines. It is because "coolness" is spilling over from the iPod to the entire Apple brand. It has also helped tremendeously with the brand awareness.
    • The lifecycle of a PC is about 2 years.

      Yes, and Mac users like their machines and use them a lot more hours per week.

      Developers of mass market software who base their strategies on platform market share and not platform usage share are making a big mistake. About half the machines I see in coffeeshops are iBooks and PBooks these days.

  • by DaveCBio ( 659840 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:20PM (#13973974)
    I am contemplating buying a Mac Mini just to check things out. Doesn't mean I'll be dropping my Windows machines any time soon.
  • ipods success (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oddbudman ( 599695 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:20PM (#13973975) Journal
    To me this increase in sales can be somewhat attributed to the success of the ipod. The ipod certainally has brought a whole lot more exposure to apple in general over the last 12 months. And it's not like OSX is a bad OS for them to be pushing, if someone is curious and checks it out they probably won't be too dissapointed. Couple that with the fact that Windows XP is a few years old and is starting to seem a little dated. Windows will probably strike back a little come Vista but I guess only time will tell.
  • Mini (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squison ( 546401 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:22PM (#13973996)
    I'm sure a lot of those 'converts' were due to the Mac Mini. I know, for me, the #1 reason why I never even tried owning a Mac was because I wasn't willing to spend $1-3k to try something out. $500 is a lot easier to spend than $2k for a PowerMac.

    Then you have an ever-growing application support for OSX. Large games like World of Warcraft coming with a Mac client at release surely can't hurt.

    Plus, damn if the iBooks don't look a lot nicer than my drab, boring Thinkpad.
    • Mac Gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:47PM (#13974291)
      Blizzard have supported the Mac long before WoW, that hasn't changed. Game support for Mac is still crummy on the whole, that hasn't changed either. In fact, WoW is one of a remarkably small minority of MMOGs that run on the Mac. I can might near count them on one hand.

      SWG? No. . . EQ2? No. . .

      Does anyone remember when Bungie was first and foremost a Mac developer? We were all talking about how Halo was going to sell Macs. So much for that plan.

      Does anyone remember when Connectix Virtual Gamestation was going to make the Mac an attractive gaming platform, because it could run most Playstation games? Then Sony bought CVGS from Connectix and buried it.

      I understand Civilization 4 and Call of Duty 2 were recently released for the PC. How many months will it be before they appear on Macintosh? How many features (like editors) will be left out of the Mac version, while we still have to pay full price?

      So . . . I really don't see any upswing in Mac game development, much as I might wish for it. Computer gaming still completely revolves around Microsoft (and DirectX), Macs aren't on the radar screen of most game companies -- and if the Mac platform does accidentally get something good, there are always entities like Microsoft and Sony standing ready to buy and/or bury it.

      I'm really not trying to rip on the Mac here at all. I'm just being realistic and telling what experience has shown. Games are the one big area where the Mac is weak, and I don't see anything in the works to change it. Apple could do some things to change it, but gaming just isn't in their corporate DNA.
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:24PM (#13974022) Homepage Journal

    TFA: "If we assume that all of the growth in Mac shipments during the past three quarters resulted from Windows users purchasing a Mac, Or Mac users wanted a second PC, or their kids or parents needed their first or new immigrant H1B workers bought them. How can they assume these numbers are ex-Win users?

    appear to be purchasing Apple's higher-end systems They appear to be? So they might not be? Huh?

    fueled by the epidemic of viruses and malware on the Windows platform. Based on what figures? Last year it was "fueled by better video editing" and before that "fueled by better graphics editing" as sales people only mimicked their pitches.

    the firm on Monday downgraded shares of the company's stock to "Hold," saying it believes Apple shares are now "fully valued." Because the 1 million Windows converts are all that will convert? Not only shit can be pulled from an analyst's ass.

    "During the past year, in response to the introduction of breakthrough new iPods and Macs and outstanding financial results, we've doubled our price target." And even $61 is a worthless number, offering no real income (profit dividends, interest, commitment sales, etc). Take your stock money, start your own business, and stop gambling.

    Still, the analyst hedges his bets, explaining Apple's "frenetic pace of innovation" could present new opportunities,"The ship is not sinking, but it might. It could also fly possibly." These people are worthless.

    I have friends who are analysts, and they're worthless, too. My Costa Rican bookie gives me good advice based on the pros. These analysts either give neutral advice, or just enough so that mom's stock will go up.

  • by systems ( 764012 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:29PM (#13974074)
    I think, as time pass by, and more developer and systems makers realize that as long as the data is portable (.pdf, .html, .jpg, .mp3, .ogg) the system used to access the data becomes less and less relevant, I think more ppl may switch to alternative platform as they learn that their data will move with them.

  • by Crouty ( 912387 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:30PM (#13974095)
    numbers are a direct result of the popularity gained through the iPod
    People switch their operating system because they heard of an MP3 player? Come on, give me a break!
  • i'm a contributor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xikzantric ( 929298 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:34PM (#13974148)
    I started working w/ a graphic design group (I do web coding) about 10 months ago. All they had was Macs and I was forced to use one. I began the job having an intrinsic hatred for OSX, but within about a month I was hooked. I've found it to be a much easier system to navigate and get things done in, and now use it exclusively (except having to use a PC to work with a client's PPT file here and there). Since then, I have also converted 8 friends to Macs. Apple should pay me a commission :)
  • Why people switch? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kildjean ( 871084 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:35PM (#13974153) Homepage
    I'm 35 yrs old. I started my life in the computer business with an apple IIe, then moved to windows, and stayed there, til just about June 29, 2005, when I bought a MacMini, because I simply said, "I gotta have one of those", and it changed the way I work, the way I do most of my things inside a computer. In a way it returned me my passion to work in a computer environment again.

    Sure, over 90 million computers world wide run Microsoft Windows. We run this OS because its not a choice, Windows is basically imposed in our daily lives, even our careers. As a computer engineer I know that. Go ahead and put in your resume, you only know Mac. You will never find a job... (at least on a computer oriented career), Windows rules all our lives and what do we get of it? More viruses, faulty hardware, lack of security and the same ol' beige box feeling we have had since we laid our hands on a PC for ever. I mean, anyone my age knows that the first PC they laid their hands on was a beige tower of some bulky size. And that was at least 15 years ago. Take a look how cars change in 15 years...

    Then look at apple... everynow and then, they shove out a new computer design, always pushing technology to an edge, first with the flat panel imacs, then the ipods, and then OSX, which is basically what everyone has tried to do with Linux. OSX to me is the embodiment of Linux on the Desktop.

    I just know that since i switched to apple, I dont worry anymore of viruses, nor i worry if my e-mail has some bundled adware into it, and like many other people have said in this post, it could eventually happen, but right now it hasn't happened for me.

    I recently dug myself deeper into apple. I bought a G5 Dual 2.0ghz and have it running with 4gb ram, and the works. Sure i admit i miss my games on the PC... although i play World of Warcraft, without any problems on my powermac, and any other games I play, i play'em on my Xbox, and eventually my 360. My GF who is also an Engineer uses windows because of her daily work, but she uses my mac everynow and often and she likes it a lot... im sure she will want one once we move in toghether.

    Finally, i don't know what future Vista will offer anyone. Everything Vista does, OSX does for me. Plus OSX is far more secure than Vista will ever be. The Software part, well its coming around... At least anything i need to use or do I can do it on my mac... no biggy there. Just think other companies should try to develpe more ingenuity and true innovation like Apple does. Instead of stealing ideas only to develop them shittierly than they are originally developed. OSX has brought apple out of the dark ages into the light. I just wish we could all enjoy of the benefits this brings forward.

    Now let me go back to my GF and keep raising those GF Points up... I want a video ipod... :)

  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:35PM (#13974156) Homepage
    "Can you feel the love tonight" ufeelthelovetonight.htm []

    While I agree that there are more Mac users, (I converted my neighbor)I think this is writing for eyeballs at best. The writer has wisely weaved together hot-topics to sell his story.

    Right now and until there is a release to stores on MS's Longwait, there will be plenty of extra Macs sold. In fact, it will likely BE the second-coming of the apple desktop.

    Once the available for retail date gets close on Longwait it all goes quiet and MS collects on their monopoly. Cha-Ching! The the media onslaught will include /.ers cooing about it and throwing a couple of jabs at Linux and Macs as well.

    Right now, Apple is getting some desktop face-time. Enjoy it while it lasts. Sad too, because the mac is superior in so many ways.
  • by geddes ( 533463 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:56PM (#13974387)
    I do tech support for my school, and a senior was having a problem where if she accessed files off of our network server, whenever she saved word would crash and she lost the file. It turned out that the problem was just a loose network cable, and office 2001 or whatever was just deciding to crash when it couldn't find the network connection. Out of nowhere she says while we are working on her computer "I heard that Apples are a lot better - is that true?" and I told her that it was true but that Dell had better warrantees, and if she was going to buy a new computer and would be graduating soon and not have access to our campus tech support than she might be better off going with Dell. I did however confirm that Macs don't have spyware/adware/virus problems, usually I'm a rabid apple fan-boy but I was genuinely worried that applecare would treat her like crap, so I didn't play of the Apple aspect at all. Two weeks later she walked in with a brand new iBook and wanted help transferring all her old files over :-). I have two friends who all throughout high school were ardent PC users. Now they both have Powerbook G4s, saying it was the best laptop on the market. It is incredible to me that the company that people were saying was going to go bankrupt is now doing so well. I credit OS X, the iPod, and apple hardware engineering. Oh yeah, and steve jobs!
  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @08:17PM (#13975065)
    Is the number of Mac users who have switched to Windows, Linux, or BSD in the same time period. Since Intel or AMD based machines are considerable cheaper, there may be a significant number of Apple users who switch when it is time to replace. Or not, but the article certainly ignores that.

    Also, for those rare types who read TFA, this is one of those nice sites that doesn't let you return to /. with your back button, at least in Firefox.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.