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Microsoft Losing Big To Apple On Campus 764

destinyland writes "Apple is closing in on Microsoft's share of operating systems among the computers of incoming freshmen at the University of Virginia, confirming earlier reports of an ongoing trend. A yearly survey shows that among 3,156 freshman who own computers, Microsoft's share is just 56% (down 6%), with Apple's share rising to 43% (up 6%), continuing a six-year pattern. In 2004, it was Microsoft 89% vs. 8% for Apple. 'It seems likely that the Mac-using students will outnumber their Windows cousins this school year,' notes one technology blog, citing a new study showing that 70 percent of college freshman are choosing the Mac. Other interesting data from the Virginia study: In 1997, 26% of incoming freshmen said they didn't own a computer, a number which has now dropped to 0. Laptops now comprise 99% of the computer population. And Linux use has dropped from a high of 2.5% in 2004 to a rounding error this year."
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Microsoft Losing Big To Apple On Campus

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  • Linux dropped to a rounding error? Really??

    Maybe those running Linux didn't want to goto jail for knowing how to use a hacker OS with that scary black screen and gray text mode or maybe this article is full of shit.

    • by Andorin ( 1624303 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:05PM (#33175712)
      I agree. Call it fanboyism, but I do not think Linux is such a terrible operating system that it would see no use whatsoever, or practically so. Perhaps more colleges are requiring certain software that's Windows- and/or Mac-only. Perhaps there's been an increase in multimedia design students, for which I understand a Mac is best. But Linux is a pretty decent OS on its own merits, and it's free- something that ought to appeal to poor starving college students.
      • by nacturation ( 646836 ) * <nacturationNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:12PM (#33175768) Journal

        Perhaps there's been an increase in multimedia design students, for which I understand a Mac is best.

        Perhaps the decrease in Windows use is due to a drop in enrollment for spreadsheet classes, for which I understand a PC is best.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Afraid I have to be a bit tough on that one, "student employees of ITC, known as Computing Advisors (CAs), a group of first-year students hired to advise and assist their peers with computing", the tough world of statistics. So the students that require the greatest assistance in computer use are using either Windows or Apple, students using Linux require very little assistance and that's down to rounding error area.

          So 43% of computer assistance requests are made by students that use apple computers (reg

          • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @05:56AM (#33179132)

            ...So the students that require the greatest assistance in computer use are using either Windows or Apple, students using Linux require very little assistance and that's down to rounding error area.

            Shame you couldn't be bothered to read beyond the first sentence, and then went on to make a blindingly stupid assumption.

            "The data is based on a census of first-year residence halls each fall conducted by the CAs....This table documents how many first-year students brought a personally-owned computer with them to college."

            It's nothing to do with counting assistance requests. It's a census of ownership using the population "living in first-year residence halls", not the population "sought assistance with their computing."

            Was it poor comprehension on your part, or just a demonstration of how far an OS fanatic is prepared to twist any facts that don't match his preconceptions?

      • by raving griff ( 1157645 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:13PM (#33175770)

        and it's free- something that ought to appeal to poor starving college students.

        Most college students purchase a computer before their freshman year and intend it to last throughout their entire four year program. That means they are still at home, still largely unphased by the costs of college, and living far more dependently on their parents' income than they will on campus.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          >>>That means they are still at home, still largely unphased by the costs of college

          Good point. A former teacher just asked my recommendation for her college-bound kid. I searched the advertisements and said, "Here's a nice HP laptop for $350, or you can get the better Toshiba with double the RAM for $450. Both hav the latest Windows 7 OS." Well my ex-teacher followed my advice but her kid had a fit and insisted she "had" to have a MacBook...... they ended-up spending $1500.

          Kids don't care if

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:38PM (#33175952)

            Well you're either lying or simply mistaken.

            http://apple.com/store [apple.com]

            Choose the macbook. Add all the internal upgrades (RAM, HDD)

            And it's not even close to $1,500. Not to mention as a teacher (and with her daughter being a student) they'd be entitled to a fairly big discount, at least 15% when I bought mine.

            • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:46PM (#33176000) Journal

              I'm not lying but maybe the teacher was - SHE'S the one who said it cost her $1500.

              The cheapest MacBook is still $1000..... still a hell of a lot more than $350 or $450 for the WIN7 machine. Way overpriced. Why buy an Acura when a Honda is just as good (and made by the same company besides)?

              • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:22PM (#33176252)

                The $450-range Toshibas are pieces of shit. The 15" laptops have horrible ergonomics and build quality. They feel like they're going to fall apart if you move them around too much and the keyboards are off-center from the screen which makes them horribly uncomfortable to type on. The number pad they so "thoughtfully" include isn't used nearly enough to make up for the ridiculous ergonomics. Even the smaller laptops are bulky and don't fit well in backpacks or messenger bags. The power supplies are monsters and have very fragile feeling DC connectors. If you tilt your laptop back a little too far you're likely to snap the damn thing off in the plug. They're also really unbalanced so tilting your screen back too far will cause your laptop to topple backwards.

                You can (and obviously will) naysay Mac laptops but at least some thought went into their industrial design. They fit neatly into bags because they don't have oddly shaped bottom panels that catch on things. The MagSafe adapter has saved me from destroying my computer on a number of occasions, and they go to sleep and then wake up from sleep very quickly. I'll spend the extra money to get a laptop with features that actually make it nice to use. Bullet point features like a faster CPU or RAM don't mean a whole lot when I'm putting it into or pulling it out of a bag a hundred times a week.

                The justification would be the same as for the nicer car, if the car feels nice and has better fit and finish it's probably worth the extra money. You interact with the fit and finish every single second you're using the thing. If it's build cheaply you feel it every time you touch it. I'll get a car with power windows and locks so I don't have to check every door handle when I get out like a rube to make sure they're all locked. I can roll all the windows down at once when it's been sitting in the sun so I don't need to crank the AC when I get in it. I'll get the more comfortable seat that's easier to adjust because I sit in it every single day.

                • by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:42PM (#33176368)

                  Excuse you?

                  The $450 toshiba laptops are fine and half the models in that range come without a keypad.

                  On the other hand I prefer my $550 lenovo. They did include a keypad but with thin keys, making the keyboard about normal sized since the screen is 16:9, which I prefer anyways and have on all of my desktops. I could have gotten a $400 lenovo or toshiba but I wanted a video chip that didn't have intel written on it.

                  The three macbooks I've used on the other hand I can't stand, the keys all have that weird feeling like theres already a fine powder spilled on them. Other than that, which admittedly is a personal pet peeve and probably doesn't apply ot a lot of other people, they're fine ergonomically, but by no means far superior to any other laptop.

                  Also they should check the numbers on how many people buy a mac going into college, realize its an expensive piece of shit after a year(Compatibility? Whats that?) and have to go buy a real computer anyways. I personally know 3 people that have "had to have" one and were immediately disgusted that they had spent so much money on something that offered very little extra and was actually worse in some cases. Of those people 1 admits it freely and 2 give you a strange look and espouse the virtues of the mac while already having admitted they won't buy another one.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  Couldn't agree with most of what you said more, just wanted to add one thing:

                  and they go to sleep and then wake up from sleep very quickly.

                  I finally got around to using the Windows 7 upgrade I bought (on pre-order so it's been a while - it was just too cheap to pass up, but I never figured it would be much of an improvement). My formerly Vista laptop now wakes from sleep, with network connection, just as fast as my girlfriends Mac! (like 2 seconds) I am kicking myself for waiting so long...

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Antisyzygy ( 1495469 )
                  The MagSafe adapter has saved me from destroying my computer on a number of occasions If you were more careful in your movements it would be irrelevant. The Apples are not worth the extra money. You can get cheaper computers with similar or better ergonomics and better hardware. The magnetic power cable is a pretty cool feature, but seriously, if you just take an extra 2 seconds to handle yourself you will either arrange the power cable so you as well as others can't trip over it, or you will watch where
                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by jcr ( 53032 )

                  The $450-range Toshibas are pieces of shit.

                  It's not just the PCs in that price range. I remember when you could buy an HP computer that would wear like a Sherman tank, but since the Dell/Gateway/Acer race to the bottom, there hasn't been enough profit margin in the windows world for hardware makers to afford to make anything that wasn't flimsy as hell. I use a unibody MacBook Pro, so I'm used to having a machine feel solid. I picked up a friend's Sony VAIO laptop a couple of days ago, and I could feel i

              • by Arkham ( 10779 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:59PM (#33176472)

                Why buy an Acura when a Honda is just as good (and made by the same company besides)?

                This is telling. I'd buy the Acura. Heck, I drive a Lexus instead of a Toyota. They may be made by the same company, but they aren't the same car. The noise suppression alone is worth the difference in cost, but there are a dozen other reasons to choose the Lexus too, including resale value, dealer support, complementary car if you ever need warranty service, etc.

                It all comes down to what you value. If you value price above all else, you're not the target audience for a Mac. If you care about elegance, simplicity, compatibility, and longevity, Macs are not a bad deal.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by catmistake ( 814204 )

                I don't think you are lying, just missing salient details.

                Most MacBooks will last a long time; 6 years would be about average, but 7 years or more is not uncommon. That's better than twice as long as any other laptop manufacturer. So consider the useful life of the machine before you throw money away on garbage. Because, no matter what, you get what you pay for. I don't even have to know what the machine is to tell you a $1500 machine is gonna be a lot better than a $350 machine. They aren't made of the sa

              • by Low Ranked Craig ( 1327799 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @07:39PM (#33176708)

                I've done countless comparisons of Macs to comparable Lenovo's, Dells, HPs, etc. For comparably equivalent machines, (sames size LED backlit IPS panel, same HD size and speed, same bus, memory, processor, bluetooth, camera, etc, etc) with comparable software (that generally means Win 7 Home Ultimate) Macs are, generally, 10% to 20% more, and not way overpriced.

                Generally the Mac will have less ports, but has as compensation the large multi-touch track pad, the smaller mag safe power adapters, and that ultra-rigid unibody design.

                I don't consider it overpriced, but it may be over spec'd.

                I know the average Mac user doesn't actually know how to use a computer

                as for this piece of GP AC weaksauce, the average Windows user doesn't know anymore about using a computer than the average Mac user. That's because they're, uh, average users. The person who actually knows how to really use a computer is in reality pretty rare - most people just learn (barely) how to use the software they need and do things by rote, and this isn't limited to Mac users. I see people double-clicking links in IE all the time...

            • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:37PM (#33176328)

              Stop calling them either liars or idiots. You are the one who is way off. Take a Macbook, expand it from 2GB to 4GB, change the 250GB drive to 500GB, add iWork, add Microsoft Office home and student edition, and add Applecare because now you've got quite a lot riding on a measly 1 year warranty. You're looking at $1676.95. And that's without Aperture, Logic Express, Final Cut, Filemaker, no DVI adapter, and no airline adapter. Just that stuff will take you up to $2491.90, and that's the CHEAP version of Filemaker.

              So, $1500.00 is easily reached with the bottom of the line Macbook, even with a 15% discount.

        • by daedae ( 1089329 )
          Nah... here at UVA they're living equally dependently on their parents' income all four years. At least.
      • >>>I do not think Linux is such a terrible operating system that it would see no use whatsoever

        Maybe it is being used, but the students checked "Windows" because that's the primary OS installed on their machine? I'm surrpsied how far Mac has come. When I visited Penn State 1.5 years ago, I went to all the old Mac labs but they no longer existed. Everything had been converted to IBM PC compatibles. Ditto another local college which had just 6 Macs on the whole campus (located in the music buil

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Foofoobar ( 318279 )
        Thats the most likely answer. That schools require software that can only run on Windows or Mac. It's as common as requiring a textbook but they do not realize the politics of their decision in not allowing an equally suitable software substitute on alternative OS's.
      • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:42PM (#33176372)
        You also have to remember that this survey was conducted on ONE university, on top of that, there's no information about how this study was done.

        At my college (an engineering college) you'll find it nearly impossible to find anyone that uses a mac. 90% or more of the students here have windows based machines, only an odd handful of people have macs. That's for numerous reasons.
        1. macs are bloody expensive. A lot of mac models have really nice hardware, but this is completely negated by their price. You can buy a nice windows based laptop for about $800. A comparable mac laptop is somewhere around $1200 at the minimum.
        2. macs won't run the software required for a lot of engineering. Now, let's be very clear here. This isn't idiot college admins making windows software mandatory when there are suitable alternatives. The software we use is stuff like solidworks (3d modeling program) and NI labview. These applications have no OSS equivalent. Even if they did, these applications are industry standard so it actually makes a lot of sense to use them.
        3. Most of the people here are smart enough not to fall for the hype that apple likes to spew. "Thinking different" is great and all, until your computer costs 3 times as much as everything else and isn't even compatible with what you need to do. People here are generally smart enough not to fall for the "OHHH! SHINY!!!!" factor that macs have going for them.

        And now to my second point. How was this study done? Did they survey every student on campus? Did they just ask the people that hung out in the local starbucks (and thus skew it towards mac users)? Did they send an email to the mac users group and ask them what systems they used? Does this university focus on liberal arts, engineering, both? How many people are from each department? I looked it up on wikipedia, but couldn't find detailed statistics. Different professions and fields of study demand different computers. Multimedia generation and editing will be done on mac, engineering stuff will be done on windows, and experimental physics stuff is generally done on linux.

        And of course this survey is only about INCOMING FRESHMEN. What about the people that have been there for 3 years? How many people stuck with their mac? How many people found it to be worthless, sold it, and bought a windows machine?

        Long story short: This study should be taken about as seriously as political polls.
      • free (Score:4, Insightful)

        by zogger ( 617870 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @07:28PM (#33176662) Homepage Journal

        Most people don't care about "free" when all they see are computers for sale that come with the "free" operating system already installed. Very few people really buy a barebones computer and then go pay retail or otherwise acquire some OS. All they see is a bundled price, this has been industry standard for like forever, so that is how it goes. A starving student will buy used, and THAT will come with a "free" operating system on it.

        Yes, it SHOULD have been made a requirement at the retail level ages ago to SHOW the software cost in the total bill, or to force these guys to offer alternatives, but the government didn't care, people didn't seem to care, so there ya go. It's just what comes with the machine, so the software is "free enough" for people.

        And for that matter, very few people build their own desktops, and when it comes to laptops, that falls way way down to insignificant levels, even within the hard core tech savvy crowd. They may wipe the disk and install something else, but the incidence of barebones laptops or build from scratch laptops is microscopic in terms of numbers. It is possible, just very unlikely.

        So "free" or Free never enters the picture for most people. Just the way it is.

        And that deal with Dell and Canonical..from day one you could see Dell wasn't sincere about it, it was a sop or something, just to get them shutup and to "prove" to the shareholders or whatever that "linux doesn't sell" so they could eventually abandon the idea and have it go away.. They had "dell recommends windows..yada yada" on top of the pages for the few models with ubuntu they were selling! I mean, WTF, I saw that and thought "no way am I ever buying from them for being such dickheads about it". And there was no price savings, and most models you couldn't get, and you had to hunt to even find those. It was a con from day one. Ya, they would sell you one, but their effort was some sort of con, a half assed attempt designed to fail. That's my opinion of course, can't prove it, but recommending windows on top of the linux computers page is rather glaring evidence that they never were sincere about the effort.

        The fix has been in for a long long time now. Wintel on your boxes, or now Apple has such good cred with phones and whatnot they are using that to boost sales with their other offerings, and free operating systems are relegated to mostly server use and the one dude out of a thousand-that's it, one in a thousand maybe- who geeks out with the hardware. And even there the free software enthusiasts are dwarfed by just the gamers. Heck, most hardware geeking that kids do revolves around video games, I don't think this can be disputed, so that means Windows.

        It looked for awhile that netbooks might provide the big breakthrough, but that is lost now as well, back to mostly windows on those things from the manufacturers.

        I like linux just swell, use it exclusively. never tried any of the BSDs but I assume they work fine as well. so now you have to ask the question, why having totally free stuff doesn't work, and the only credible answer is, it isn't a real mainstream business, and there is no credible mainstream retail level business to be made from it. As such, it will continue to exist, but at low levels and "hidden" like in various gadgets with embedded systems, android phones, etc. But mainstreet-mainstream desktops and laptops, DOA. When Free and free doesn't work, it is no longer much of a viable business model, if it ever was to begin with.

        Now if someone with really DEEP pockets wanted to out canonical canonical, and do a "stack", hardware plus guaranteed to work free software offering (just offering the software is not a real business model with any hope), and then advertised the snot out of it nation wide/globally..perhaps.

        Short of that, small mom and pop "linux installed" sales, and a few enthusiasts, and that's it. And half the enthusiasts (right here on slashdot for one example) still use windows and a

    • Linux dropped to a rounding error? Really??

      That's essentially where Linux stands in the July stats from Net Applications. The iPhone at 0.7%. Linux, all flavors, at 0.9%. Operating System Market Share [netmarketshare.com]

    • Depends on how they're counting the installs - notice that they ask in the survey about their "primary" OS... so dual-boots would likely translate to "Windows", since they'd use that on their non-mac computers for the majority of their actual schoolwork (read: Office docs, especially those ending in *.docx, *.xlsx, and such).

    • by TheRecklessWanderer ( 929556 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:22PM (#33175854) Journal
      It amazes me that people can take one small piece of data and extrapolate so much from it. Incoming freshmen from one university. So what? If it really was news, it would be at all campuses around the US (or North America, or the world for that matter). Rage on MacBois
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by camperslo ( 704715 )

      Perhaps the headline should be "PC Vendors Losing Big To Apple On Campus".

      Surveys dealing with what kind of hardware people buy or plan to buy may not even ask what OS will be used, or if more than one OS will be installed. Certainly there are some people using Macs with more than one OS, but the share totals don't add up to more than 100% proving my point.

      I think if a little effort were made to educate students to some of the advantages of Linux, many of those with PCs would at least add it to not be tota

    • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @07:21PM (#33176618)
      Actually, if you look at UVa's IT support policy, you begin to understand these numbers:

      http://itc.virginia.edu/wireless/encrypted.html [virginia.edu]

      At the bottom:

      *ITC provides limited support for these operating systems to connect to the unencrypted wahoo wireless network.

      Sounds like they basically tell incoming freshman, "Don't use 'Linux,' use Windows or Mac OS X, or else we will not help you." Here is something else to consider:

      http://www.uvastudentcomputers.com/shop_undergrad.asp?mscssid=30F0745C151949448828BA5BF0423D90 [uvastudentcomputers.com]

      Notice that they place Apple's laptops higher on the page than Dell's or Lenovo's -- and that they choose words like "fastest" and "most powerful" to describe them (compare with the descriptions of other machines). This store is located in UVa's bookstore, and so incoming students are likely to purchase their computers from there. No surprise, then, that so many students at UVa are using Apple products.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Linux isn't on there because they didn't poll terrorists and communists.
  • Wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:02PM (#33175688) Homepage
    ...don't they know that Steve Jobs wants to control their lives?

    Joking aside, I wonder how much that market share number changes when you look at the mobile market. I'd bet 95% of incoming students have cell phones of one type or another. I'd also bet that Windows-based mobile phones are probably near zero percent, with iPhone and Android sharing the lion's share of the market, but it'd be interesting to see what those numbers are for college students as compared to the outside world.
  • by jmcbain ( 1233044 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:04PM (#33175706)

    Linux use has dropped from a high of 2.5% in 2004 to a rounding error this year.

    Paraphrasing Principal Skinner: Why, there are no children using Linux, either! Am I so out of touch? (pauses to think) No, it's the children who are wrong.

  • Now we just have to wait for the generation of programmers educated/weaned on MS tools to die off, and we're good :)
    • Wouldn't it be easier to just watch them adapt?

      I'm sure the majority of COBOL and FORTRAN programmers back in the '70s and '80s are still alive today, after all...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

        I'm sure the majority of COBOL and FORTRAN programmers back in the '70s and '80s are still alive today, after all...

        Oh, we're alive, all right, but as to how many of us have decent tech jobs currently... that's something else. We cost more to insure, we tend to be less "hip", and we don't have the energy levels of a 20-year old. Nor are we particularly enthused about working more than a normal workday. And these are the (essentially correct) assumptions us "oldies" face when applying for any job. There

  • by lyinhart ( 1352173 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:11PM (#33175752)
    I wouldn't be surprised if this is true. This generation of Freshmen went through high school using iPods and iPhones, which serve as "gateway drugs" to Apple's PCs. Plus laptops are supposedly more popular than desktops, especially among college students and Apple's laptops tend to be highly rated in the media. Plus, there's that sweet deal of getting a free iPod with the purchase of an Apple laptop for education... I'm with George Burns from back in the day. Ah, to be 18 again.
  • Apple is now the big man on campus?

  • Which is going to suck extra hard for them given what a complete disaster Microsoft Office for the Mac is!

    (iWork is marginally better for some things, but in my experience both MacOffice and iWork suffer from various glaring compatibility problems with Windows Office!)

  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:17PM (#33175796)
    Interesting result. Certainly isn't the case at my local University. I do wonder about the demographic of the surveyed college? For example are they fairly wealthy? I cannot imagine students around here even being able to buy a Mac Book, you see many more cheap Dells, HPs, and Acers. You also see a lot of people who don't own laptops at all and certainly don't bring them to classes. Also very odd how few of the students owned a desktop... With it claiming that tons own two or more laptops but only a small selection owning a laptop AND desktop. Again, locally many students here have a desktop in their room and no laptop at all (which is largely down to how cheap desktops are). As I said, I am deeply curious how rich these kids are.
    • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:38PM (#33175954)

      UVA is a state school, but is sometimes called the "public Ivy" (Bobby and Ted Kennedy both went to law school there after Harvard). UVA and William & Marry cater more to the polo shirt and pearl set crowd than other state schools here like VCU, ODU, etc, which are more what one would consider "public".

      Everyone I know that went to UVA came from a fairly well-to-do background, or had insane amounts of financial aid. A couple of my friends had full-ride scholarships + stipends for undergraduate to UVA.

      I would be surprised if more than 10% of the students there couldn't afford a Mac if they wanted one.

    • Not really (Score:4, Informative)

      by DesScorp ( 410532 ) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:42PM (#33175978) Homepage Journal

      Interesting result. Certainly isn't the case at my local University. I do wonder about the demographic of the surveyed college? For example are they fairly wealthy? ...

      As I said, I am deeply curious how rich these kids are.

      UVa is a so-called "public Ivy". It's consistently rated in national Top 25 rankings every single year. Its competitors are schools like the Ivy's, U. of Chicago, the big 3 in California, Northwestern, etc. They're as selective as any Ivy, and so they're attracting the same kind of affluent students. There have been some complaints in the state of Virginia that UVa prefers out of state "stars" to some of its own better students (whether or not that's actually true, I don't know). But most UVa students, academic-wise and income-wise, wouldn't be out of place in any Ivy school. UVa has more in common with Brown or Dartmouth than they do with, say, Penn State.

    • by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:59PM (#33176084)

      Interesting result. Certainly isn't the case at my local University.

      Bellevue Community College isn't a University... it's a Microsoft Outreach program.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      I definitely see the trend growing here in St. Louis, MO -- including with students just getting ready to go away to college. They're not necessary well-off financially, but many of them work over the summer to save up for a new Mac to take with them. (That's exactly what our last babysitter was doing....)

      A basic Macbook notebook just isn't all that expensive, in the grand scheme of things! I find it interesting so many PC/Windows users act like anything with the Apple logo on it is unattainably expensiv

  • by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:20PM (#33175826)

    You can run Windows on a Mac when you need.. But if you buy a Mac for the better hardware specs, you might as well play with the Mac OS - which you'll find runs smoother on Mac laptops than any Windows-based laptop I have seen. Just try the touchpad on the newest Mac laptop and you'll see it is far superior to any touchpad on any Windows laptop available now.

    Seriously.. the laptops available for Windows fucking suck. They're shit. They're all shit since IBM sold Thinkpad to Lenovo. Dell makes shit. HP makes shit. The consumer 'Best Buy' laptops are shiny shit. The 'enterprise' class laptops are flimsy shit. Nothing available holds a candle to any of the Mac laptops in terms of hardware. They're all too thick or flimsy or get too hot. The only thing Mac is missing that would allow it to take over the enterprise is a docking station (probably because that's against Steve Job's whackjob religion.)

    Show me a Windows laptop with hardware that can hold a candle to Mac's current lineup, and I'll buy one. I'm currently using a Dell M4400 and I think it's a flimsy piece of crap that has a formfactor as usable as a potato chip and somehow it gets good reviews. I don't own any Macs - but other developers I work with use them.

    Oh ya.. and Windows 7 is a crappy OS that just happens to be less crappy than Vista.

    It's really sad.. I went from being the biggest nerd in the world that had to have every latest and greatest gadget to being the most jaded. Every new electronic device from cell phones to laptops is missing features I used to have with an old device. At least Mac is making an attempt to introduce higher quality with newer devices. Every other company is racing to offer the cheapest piece of Chinese shit they can find.

    If I haven't affended you a little, it's because I spent so little effort in my rant. Am I the only one that is completely annoyed by the lack of technological progression in consumer electronic devices - both hardware, software, and everything else that has to do with them?

    • OK, I accept your challenge: The HP EliteBook line. (Which are never in stock at Best Buy/Future Shop.)

      I'm typing this on a three year old HP 2710p which has since become the 2740p. It's an extremely tough 3.6lb machine with a lovely screen and stylus support, trackpad and trackpoint, a light (like the ThinkPad lights). The battery is rated for 5:30, up to 11 with an optional slice. It can take a very slim dock for extra USB, DVD, video, etc. The 2740p has both touch and stylus support and can be conf

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by guacamole ( 24270 )

      Seriously.. the laptops available for Windows fucking suck. They're shit. They're all shit since IBM sold Thinkpad to Lenovo.

      You have a good point. I remember when I worked at university's IT department we treated Apples and Thinkpads as equals. When an affluent professor asked for a laptop recommendation, we recommended one of those, depending on OS choice. When a poor postdoc or a graduate student needed a laptop with the most computing bang for buck, we offered to setup a Dell Inspiron (price/performanc

  • Good thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slasho81 ( 455509 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:21PM (#33175840)
    This is a good thing. Not because Apple is better than Microsoft but because the diversity of operating systems will lead to more portable designs of software which will eventually free us from specific OS dependency altogether.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Recently the private school my daughter goes to went 100% Macbooks and servers. Support and forced upgrade costs pushed the IT department to draw a line in the sand and decreed absolutely no MS allowed (except for Office).

    Of course it's a double-edged sword. There's higher upfront costs but the TCO is greatly lowered through IT not having to deal with the all the problems related to using Microsoft software. And switching from one monopoly with crappy products to another potential monopoly with ok produc

  • At IIT (the Illinois one, not the one in India), the tech department didn't collect this sort of data. But if they had, they would've thought I ran one Windows machine instead of two Linux boxes, because they didn't know Linux and would not help me get the network going unless I told them I was running a single Windows or Mac computer. I ended up getting all the network settings for Windows and putting them in the right place myself, and hiding both systems behind a router. Several of my friends had simi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:03PM (#33176120)

    I answer help desk phone calls at a large research university that brings in about 10,000 freshmen a year. It's very common for them, or their parents to ask "Which kind of laptop should we buy, PC or Mac?". It's not that they don't like one or the other, or they don't know the difference. It's not that they care which is cheaper, or which looks prettier. It's not that there's a particular processor that's better than another, or the graphics chipset is faster, or any of the geek stuff that we argue about.

    They just want to know, for this campus, which machine will give them or their kid the least amount of hassle while doing everything they need to get through four years of classes. Will it run MS Office? Does it work with the on-campus apps (online class material, email, calendar, etc)? Is it going to break and cost me more money in two years? If it *does* break, how much of a PITA is it to get it fixed?

    When people, incoming students or parents, ask which they should buy, I tell them honestly that I have a 13" white MacBook with OpenOffice that does everything I need for all of my classes, works with all of the on-campus apps I need to deal with, and generally causes me no grief, and I like it.

    When people ask me which is better for dealing with viruses, I answer that 100% of the calls I receive for malware/virus infections are from PC users; I add that I still run antivirus software on my Mac, and the university requires all Mac users to run it, but I've never taken a Mac virus call. I am enough of a hacker to know that Mac OS X is not perfect, and that it has security holes. But I've yet to take a call that dealt with the results of one, and I've taken plenty of calls for Windows machines whose end resolution was a complete reinstall.

    After that explanation, people go next door to the store and buy a Macbook, and I never hear from them again unless they have forgotten a password.

    That, friends, is why Apple is kicking the crap out of machines running Windows.

    • Your post can be summed up in one line:

      Computer *USERS* want the least amount of hassles to get the job done.

      That is something many of the computer *ENTHUSIASTS* in the FOSS community do not understand, can't keep up with or refuse to accept, finding the idea offensive. That is why Linux is barely on the map ( I am and have been a linux user for 10 years ).

      Microsoft won its market share on price for "good enough" quality versus excellent quality at a stiffer price.

      That was a long time ago. As the article

  • by Megor1 ( 621918 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @06:17PM (#33176228) Homepage
    I went to all the links and the only one with actual information (The University of Virginia) shows the majority of students are using windows. The analyst that is cited as the source provdes zero information.

    I did a quick search and it appears I am not alone in thinking this guy is making up these numbers.

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/07/big-macs-on-campus/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+fortuneapple20+(FORTUNE:+Apple+2.0) [cnn.com]

    I wager he just shorted the stock and knew apple fan boys would parrot his lies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Where are my mod points when I need them? Mod parent up!
    • by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @07:33PM (#33176690)
      You know, if you're going to call bullshit you might try getting your own facts straight first. The study in the summary states very clearly that it's a survey of incoming freshman only. The study in your link is of all students. In fact, if you take the link the summary and take the last four years of students (= all students like your study), you get that Mac ownership of that body is 32%, which is DAMN close to the study in your link showing 27% of the laptop owners of the total student body owned macs.

      So is it my turn to talk about how you probably shorted the apple stock and new that the apple haters would parrot your lies?
    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @08:33PM (#33177062)

      I work at a university and I can confirm that you see a lot more Macs there than in the population at large. Number of reasons for this:

      1) Apple is in with the hipster crowd and a lot of university students are. It is "cool" to own a Mac so they do for that reason alone. Same reason they'll spend $60 (really) on an Ed Hardy T-shirt (there's an Ed Hardy store right next to campus)

      2) They tend to have more disposable income in that regard and income they aren't attached to. Normally their parents buy them a computer since all programs recommend it and some require it. Easier to spend extra money when the cost isn't your direct consideration.

      3) The university computer store pushes Apple really heavy. The staff there are Mac fans and Apple gets a large amount of floor space, and that space is right near the entrance.

      So you see a lot. But the majority? No not really. Also there's a big difference between Apple winning and MS losing. The computer store also does brisk business in Windows licenses and VMWare Fusion. Part of the reason Macs are now viable is that they run Windows. One of our student workers told an amusing story of the first test for 1Ls at law school. You have to have a laptop for it, they use a crappy automated testing software. Also, said software is Windows ONLY. This is clearly stated in the materials you get. This leads to much whining from the Mac owners, and then a run to the bookstore to buy Windows 7 and install it with bootcamp (said crap software won't run in virtualization mode).

      Same kind of thing in the department I work in. We have a number of professors that buy Macs for their labs. In some cases, they only get a few. Their desktop, maybe a couple others are Mac and are used mainly for word processing and Internet surfing, maybe some Matlab work. The research systems are Windows. In others they are all Mac, and right after they get their shiny new Mac, they have us get a license for Windows 7 and Fusion. We have a number of important software packages that are Windows only. Also paying a premium for a Mac for a desktop isn't such a big deal, it is grant money anyhow. Paying a premium for a bunch of computers for simulations, well that is a bit harder to justify.

      So ya, the point of all this rambling is that I've no doubt Mac sell well on campus, that is easy to see. However I do doubt that it is a majority, and I doubt even more that it is hurting MS.

  • Brain Limit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by b4upoo ( 166390 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @09:26PM (#33177302)

    College can be very demanding and any time at all spent paying attention to a computer or its software or its operation needs to be avoided. Linux is a superior OS but there is a learning curve and the time spent paying attention to the computer may drain the constant pressure towards narrow concentration on subject matters. Back in the day we used to see hackers who used Apple machines simply because they wanted to use all of their concentration in penetration of other peoples' systems.

  • by LodCrappo ( 705968 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @09:37PM (#33177354) Homepage

    Wouldn't lack of experience with Windows be a detriment to someone looking for employment in the business world, where Windows runs on well over 90% of all computers? I realize you can run Windows on a Mac, and many people do, but that seems like an expensive approach to gaining these valuable skills.

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