OS X + XP: Who will really win?

What will the competition between OS X + XP result in?

  • Mac and Microsoft will both keep the same market share.

  • Mac will gain market share among niche groups.

  • Mac will gain market share from the general public.

  • Mac will lose market share.

Results are only viewable after voting.


I have to admit that within most technical circles here in Montreal, the Mac is seen as a toy and not a computer. Even though in many cases a Mac will outperform a PC (especially if the PC has shit 'standard' hardware in it as it the norm). The fact that it has colors, the fact that everything that Apple makes is 'lovely' doesn't impress a lot of people who feel they're supposed to be DOING something with the computer they buy.

On the other hand, I have to admit that Steve Jobs' decision to turn a computer into something you're proud to show off isn't necessarily a bad one. It allows people to feel unique and not just another head in the crowd.


With the schools and the labs, I do not know how things are now, but it used to be (7 to 8 years ago) that Apple was giving really good discounts for students and education. I think that stopped a couple of years ago before Steve Jobs came back on the scene. During that time, a number of schools switched over to PCs and haven't looked back.

From a lab maintenance point of view, Macs have never really offered the system security advantages like NT has. At Ease was secure enough for about 90% of the people that use it, but the other 10% could cause a great deal of havoc. Now with OSX, you can equip a lab with iMacs and get the high end security and AppleWorks for FREE. The only issue with OSX is the ability to put in the install CD and change the Admin password. Personally, I think that Apple should have a jumper inside the Mac that would disable this feature. If the person has access to the inside of the mac to change this jumper, then it doesn't matter about the security issue. (this just came to me and I think it is a VERY good idea -- a new macs to have a security jumper.)

Back to that Postscript PDF thing:

I recently wrote and article to our clients telling them how to setup PDF files for output. The problem is that we have a lot of hand-holding that needs to be done with our clients, and it is almost easier to let them do it the way they always do it. Also, PDF is not able to support SPOT colors (instead of CMYK), and we get a lot of jobs with special printing techniques. If I feel that it would be easier to use PDF instead of sending it straight from the application, I will convert it. There are a lot of designers that save their image files much too large, and using PDF reduces them down to working size. Mostly, even with the hassle of the fonts, I prefer to take the files in the traditional way because I will not get a customer complaint if their PDF comes out wrong and they saying, "I did it just like you told me to..."


Old Rhapsody User
Originally posted by sLimey
I have to admit that within most technical circles here in Montreal, the Mac is seen as a toy and not a computer.
Boy, I would hate to hear what they have to say about Silicon Graphics! They have been making beautiful boxes for more than ten years. The again, at 400MHz I'm sure that those same people in those "technical circles" would think they are slow too.:D


Originally posted by knighthawk
My opinion is that OSX will gain marketshare with the general public.

Let me remind you that XP (although very easy to use) is a variation on Windows 2000 and Windows NT, and is aim at the professional market, not for the general public. Unless I am misinformed, this means that Microsoft will follow with XP Lite, ME2, or something else for consumers. While the professional XP may have the hardware licensing issue, the consumer version may not.
That isn't true. Windows XP has 3 variations available @ launch and 1 to come shortly thereafter

Windows XP Home Edition - XP for the Consumer

Windows XP Professional Edition - XP for the office / power user

Windows XP Server Edition - XP for servers

The fourth one to either come at launch or shortly thereafter (I'm not sure when it's getting released) is

Windows XP 64-bit Server Edition - Heavy Duty server edition.


Matrix Agent

Masochist Mascot
How do you think the stores will change Apple's market share?

I for one think that it isnt a huge risk, and they will eventaully pick up about 3% because of it.


Senior Lurker
Again, there is no WinXP Server version. There IS, however, a "Whistler Server", aka "Windows 2002 .NET Server", which is somewhat related to the WinXP roadmap. Obviously, this product is being planned for release next year.

The only versions of XP planned for launch are "Home" and "Professional" - see www.microsoft.com/windowsxp

As borparadox said, the 64-bit "Professional" version is to be released next year, also.

(Personally I think it would be stupid to release a successor (read:replacement) to Win2000 for the business market so soon after the introduction of a major upgrade to the NT line. Corporations are just now really starting to buy into active directory, 2000/NT4 migration, etc., and even if the product is "heavily based on" the 2000 core, and even if the product isn't being SOLD as a replacement for Win2k, for Microsoft to continue to develop, market, and sell three generations of server operating system would be both confusing and inefficient.

If nothing else, it makes a lot more sense to begin phasing out NT4 before bringing out Win2002 .NET server. It's only the fact that Microsoft is so hot to unroll .NET (read:Take Over the World, your Lives, Etc.) that I think they'd make an otherwise poor business decision like that.

Sorry about the OT stuff here.)


I just read in the paper today that HP (number 3 in computer sales) is buying out Compaq (number 2). (The number one being Dell) Combined, they estimate that HP-Compaq will control 70% (now beating Dell) of the personal computer market. I do not believe that this will be the case, and that they will drop down to 50-60%. I believe this to be the case because there is (my opinion) no way that one company can control the market like that (other than microsoft). What this means is that other computer manufacturers will make up the difference. With the rumor of Gateway closing (or maybe this will save them), this would be the perfect opportunity for Apple and Apples stores to make a bigger impact on the market.

We will also see what happens this Fall with school starting up again. If Apple is able to strengthen their standing in the school bookstores, there may be more Macintoshes sold.

There are a couple of articles about XP on www.cnet.com, one of which is a review that is pretty good.


Senior Lurker
To Matrix Agent:

Not really. The closest things to "servers" that XP supports are:

- Windows File Sharing, or CIFS/SMB server... Though you kinda expect that, don't you?
- The ability to provide remote control (like PCAnywhere) (though the Home version and Pro version do this differently. Home only allows another XP machine to control your computer).
- Internet Connection Sharing (NAT, DHCP, etc. services), similar to how a cable or DSL router work
- Pro also includes the ability to build a network bridge between network interfaces, which is distinctly (frustratingly!) unavailable in Win2k or OS X...

Of course, Win2k server (and, I presume Win 2002 .Net Server - whew, what a mouthful!) includes native www, ftp, smtp, ras, dhcp, wins, dns, and nat servers, though their ftp and smtp servers are badly lacking and there is no built-in pop3 server. I was also surprised to find that it includes a built-in, fairly full-featured router (similar to the services that Cisco routers offer)

Even with 3rd party apps (more $$$) XP really can't touch OS X as a server... Though that's not what the products are being built or marketed as.


Piet Keizer

The main reason for a computer company to distinguish a pro and a home line is to reach both target groups and make as much money out of each of them as possible.

A home user won't pay that much for pro software, but the company still wants to sell it. So they need to make a special home version which is cheap and unusable for pros. That's why Microsoft excludes some business critical stuff (i.e. multi processor support).
If the same counts for Apple, let's see what Apple sees as business critical! We should know by the differences between the i-line and the power-line.
(sorry if i'm incorrect, i'm doing it by head and i'm not an expert)

- Clock speed
- Velocity engine
- PCI cards
- Option to choose your own screen

- Clock speed
- Velocity engine (recently)
- Serious looks

Who knows some more?


Weird, most of the people consider macs a toy? The biggest argument for PC's appears to be that it has more games and they run faster.

I have 3 macs, 1 SGI and a brand new 1.7ghz p4 + all the bells and whistles - I am sorry to say that the P4 has ended up being a glorified gaming console - or less politely put, a toy.

With regards to the actual topic, I think that as people are becoming more computer literate, they are looking for alternatives to PC. In the last 2 weeks, 3 good friends and my brother have migrated. I think that M$ licensing policy will tie some people in even deeper, but at the same time it will push people into looking for alternatives.

I still can not believe that when the PC was delivered, there was no CD based copy of ME, an image was placed on my drive and a little book said something about legal issues around supplying me with a copy of the ME software.

I guess I just bought a very xpensive X-box, without the X...


Simply Daemonic
That is what happened to a friend of mine that got a PC in greece and they did not supply him with a CD copy to windows. They just gave him some stupid "tutorial" as to how to reinstall the software from his HD... that is STUPID!!! What if you have to format c ? or have to use some of that 650Mb taken up by the installer ???

M$ blows... just let it suck... oh my god!! "It's been switched from suck to blow!!!!" --> spaceballs :p


Old Rhapsody User
Remember that Windows is the BEST word processing platform, second to none! More secretaries and typists use it than any other type of system (that is NOT counting authors of course). And we shouldn't forget all the data-entry that is done on PCs either.

So yes, they are used as toys, but they are also the systems of "choice" (or burden) of the entry level white collar work force.

"Microsoft: We are making the tools for the sweatshops of the 21st century":D


Saiyan Member
Fist off, it has been said that Apple already has an intel compatable version of OSX finished, however debate and M$ threats have held back any discussion on releasing public opinion about OSX on winBoxes.

Also, to a user above that has an IT friend, I too have an IT friend that told ME that he is asking his company to buy him an iBook for work becuse it would improve time becuse he wouldn't have to reboot just to make the TCP/IP settings to work (by the way he is and has been a long time windows user that found the mac on his own!).

I have to say OSX has a great shot at getting more market share of the general public and nich groups, however M$ will remain in controll.

Here's another sad thing...M$ is (from what I have heard) developing a government/microsoft controlled ballot system for voting. Now isnt that scarry!? Talk about controll. Knowing Bush and MS it sounds like the truth (big business pays off the puppet), so in 4 years guess who wins! What a joke, no wonder the anti-trust case was tossed.


I would like to see what happens when people truly start to take note of M$'s licensing and payment policies. There is still an air of disbelief at the office with regards to these policies.

One of my mates, a heretic windows users ;P (I can say that), reckons that win XP will be cracked within a few weeks. My question regarding this is, if there are so many free OS's available for x86 architecture, why use it pirated?

With regards to Office use, I would say Word is the premier word processing tool, does it truly matter id they use a mac or a wintel box? I would use Star Office on a PC, afterall, it is free.

Actually, I would kit all the "users" out with a mac, everytime a new virus comes out on windows, my office seems to get infected...can you say downtime?


I think OSX will bring over many Linux/Unix users but I have been using Windows XP and OSX and OSX is the slowest thing I have seen in since Windows 95 on my old 486. I pray that 10.1 will fix this nightmare. The new tools in XP are far ahead of OSX. I have been With a Mac since system 6 and Windows since 3.0, and Linux since Red Hat 5. I will use OSX in place of Linux but never as my main OS, I love windows 2000, and think XP with the classic windows theme, is a better choice for photo shop and Fireworks, than OSX. I’m sorry I’m I mad any Mac fans mad, but just for once, just try windows XP. I have always given Mac a chance and have been driven to the point of giving up on it but I ill wait for 10.1 but XP is tops for me for right now.


Saiyan Member
No, I mean really...what planet are you from?

You must be one of the few people that is siding with windows after being with the mac, man that's just strange? But hey what ever works for you. Will you please explain why you have come to this conclusion?

I used to use Windows and no longer will I touch one, although I am interested in XP, but Im sure it will still be Windows; so please explain your point-of-view.


Reading this post is quite amusing. Even though there's lots of useful and intelligent commments, there's still a number of people who seem dead set on a particular system. I'm a Windows user mainly, but have interacted with Macs on and off for the past 7 years.

To the people who think XP is great:

Do any of you actually know about some of the security issues in Windows XP? Do you really want Microsoft and it's partners tracking your every last move? If you don't know what I'm talking about, try searching at google.

Fact is in reality, they're probably as good as each other, but in different ways. The choice is down to the individual.

OSX has my vote, not just of it's lovely interface, but because of it's potential power. Who can honestly say that any Microsoft OS is better than a unix derivative? Maybe it'll take another year or two for OSX to be a real solution for everyone, but I'll be there waiting.

And as for Mac hardware being more expensive, the only reason this is true is because the hardware is of a much higher quality than an average off the shelf pc. A real pc, made of quality components (with a real video, sound and network card) will cost about the same as the equivalent performer in the G4 range.

One last thing: XP will run on a P2 233/128Mb, but OSX will run on a 604e 200/128Mb. XP is useless on anything below a 500 Mhz with at least 192Mb.

Microsoft's attitude even to their beta testers appears to be "Here's the new OS, tell us if it works." Apples seems to be "This is our idea, how can we improve it to serve you better". That sums it up for me.


As far as I'm concerned Apple has already won.

As with many here I've used both platforms for years, watched them develop. I always felt more productive on a Mac (Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, BBEdit, etc.). But I've watched Windows go from 3.1 to 95, to 98 and in the meantime, Mac OS wasn't upping the ante much in the transition from 7 to 7.5 to 8 to 8.5 to 9. I was really worried about Apple's future, but I figured the worst thing that could happen would be I would have to switch to Windows. That wouldn't be all bad, after all, I can get my work done nearly as quickly on Windows.

Now, however, my enthusiasm about Apple is at an all-time high. Not only is Apple doing better than any other computer manufacturer this year, but Mac OS X finally lets me leave behind my anxiety about investing in a non-Windows platform. I no longer care if Apple gains market share, because with the transition to a BSD-based OS and other standards like PDF, I no longer sit in the lonely Mac-world where I have to depend on Mac Developers or even Apple to release what I need. Now I'm sitting in the unix, open-source world, where if I really need something done I can do it myself, and better yet, start an open-source project for all Mac OS X users.

It's mostly a moot point, however, since as a web developer, OS X has already met my needs perfectly. Running Apache w/ PHP & MySQL next to Photoshop, Dreamweaver & BBEdit has increased my productivity by a solid 10%, not to mention the benefits of being able to test code upgrades without renaming PHP files and such.

At this point I couldn't care less about XP. XP could have dozens of cool new features, a great new interface, be easier to use than Mac OS X. I wouldn't care. I just sit back and smile at the beauty of Apple's GUI on a true network platform... 10.1 can only be better...