Windows? Apple?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by floakster, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. floakster macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2003
    I have been an apple fan since 84. I used macs all through university, and although I dont own a mac I still keep my eye on whats going on, hence my presence here.

    Unfortunately, now I am a working man, I am forced to use Windows during office hours, partly because thats the OS of "choice" in most offices, but mostly because I use AutoCAD, which does not exist for the mac. (I know there is Vectorworks etc. but that is a different story.)

    Most of you will be familiar with the old OSX on x86 argument, Marklar and the rest of it, but what I want to know is, if Apple is a hardware company, why don't they make Apple hardware with x86 processors that can run Windows? Using Virtual PC is too slow to be used productively. I would happily pay a premium for Apple hardware because I believe it to be well made and well designed, and that is important to me.

    I understand that the integration of software and hardware is extremely important to the overall mac experience, but surely Windows would run better on the premium components that macs contain?

    Anyway, thats my question, flame on if you like, I'm here to take on all opinions, in the hope of developing mine.

    Cheers. :)
  2. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    You may be prepared to pay a premium for an 'Apple Windows PC' but I'd say that the majority of people aren't. A lot of people buy Apple's hardware solely for the OS, so if they were to make a computer that runs the same OS as everyone else, I doubt it'd sell.
  3. floakster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2003
    You could say the same for the iPod, there are many cheaper players out there, but the iPod is the dest design, best construction. People have bought it even though it was more expensive. Although that has now changed and the price has come down, hence the recent explosion of sales.

    Come to think of it, why would Apple hardware have to be that much more expensive than an off the shelf x86 box of similar standards?
  4. Veldek macrumors 68000


    Mar 29, 2003
    Because that’s where they make money. Apple can’t compete in the low-end market and they clearly stated this in the last conference call.

    I have to agree with Nermal. People buy Macs because of OS X and they pay a premium for it. There may be a few who would pay a premium for a well designed Windows Apple, but I think there won’t be enough to actually pay off.
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    What premium components? Don't get me wrong, I think that my PowerBook is great, but which components (that you could take to your supposed x86 Apple) are premium. Lets break it down:

    CPU: At the moment a standard Motorolla or IBM Power PC. Will become a standard (off the shelf) Intel, AMD or perhaps Via or Transmeta CPU.

    Motherboard: At the moment a custom Apple design. The x86 board could be the same, but is likely to use the same Via, Nvidia or Intel norht/south bridge chips as current x86 motherboards.

    RAM: Apple use standard PC RAM. They don't even use premium DDR RAM (say Cosair Low Latency sticks that cost more than twice what Apples cost).

    Optical Drives: Apple use standard drives, mostly Pioneer and Matushita.

    Hard Drives: Apple use standard drives.

    Case/PSU/Design: The only area Apple could "make a difference" on the x86 side. This would have no effect on the stability or quality of Windows!

    The only way that Apple could add value to an x86 Apple Computer (running Windows) would be to bundle iLife for x86 or something similar.
  6. floakster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2003
    Fair enough, you got me there, but then lets stick to the case design and image that Apples have. I'm an architect, and as such am part of the design community that supposedly are Apples biggest professional market. My earlier point about the look and feel of apple's products versus the rest of the market must count for something?
  7. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    They did, I believe, for a while. But it wasn't immensely popular. They (or some other clone company) sold Macs with a PCI card that had a Pentium chip on it to run a PC emulator.

    Apple doesn't make a computer with an x86 processor because Jobs believes the x86 architecture isn't good. Even though the Pentiums are at 3.6Ghz they are about as fast as a 2.5 Ghz Mac or so. Why? Because they're inefficient and stuff. Though if IBM didn't come out with the 970, the G5's would have been Pentiums.

    I say the company that comes close to Apple hardware wise might be Alienware. Not on mere specs, but they seem to try and get good parts that work together. I like alienware cases, but that's just me.
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Apple's Intel PCI card was a PC on a NuBus card. It ran Win/DOS on an Intel chip, a 386 if memory serves. There was no emulation involved. But, you are correct. Mac-Win/DOS compatibility on the same computer sounds much better than the market has shown. Virtual PC is a good way to go for Mac users who need Intel-compatibility. Hardware solutions just don't have the market demand.

    Back to floakster's point. What most people miss is that the Intel-compatible PC market and the Mac market rely on fundamentally different business models. Apple sees itself as being in the business of selling computers, not a collection of components. Steve Jobs points out that the Intel-compatible vendors are part of Intel's distribution chain. That is, he regards an Intel-compatible PC as just the box that an Intel processor comes in. And look at the market closely. Of the hardware vendors, only Dell (and possibly HP-Compaq) earns a profit. However, Intel and Microsoft each make a mint. If Apple were to go Intel, is it more likely that Apple would be a new Dell or would it be a new Gateway? The fact that there are lots of players in the Intel hardware business, but no more than two are profitable should give a strong hint.

    There is something about the Wintel business model that few seem to know. These computers are cheaper than Macs for the same reason that the New York Times is cheaper than War and Peace or that Law and Order is cheaper than Napolean Dynamite, advertising. Unless you build your own, Wintel computers tend to ship with third-party software, usually represented by icons on the Windows desktop. Each third-party icon represents a substantial sum money to the vendor. The numbers I hear are $70 per icon per computer. As in many ad-supported models, Wintel buyers are not the customers, they are the product.

    Lastly, the issue of standard components. It is true that Apple uses standard components. The word "standard" means the components are built to agreed-upon specifications, it does not mean that they are cheap. It is interesting that you mentioned AlienWare. AlienWare uses high-quality standard parts. In fact, everything in an AlienWare computer is interchangeable with similar parts available at your local computer store. However, AlienWare computers are priced about the same as Macs. And for AlienWare's price premium, you still get somewhat flimsy construction and you get Windows.

    People complain about Apple's this and Apple's that. However, Apple has changed the world at least five times. First came the Apple ][, which brought the personal computer to the masses. Then came the original Macintosh, which brought the GUI to the masses. Apple soon followed with the LaserWriter, which brought near-publication quality printing to the masses. Apple followed with MacOS X, which brought UNIX to the masses. Now, we have the iPod, which allows music to go anywhere. How many other companies can claim having changed the world even once?

    It is more expensive to blaze trails than to stay in ruts. I am willing to pay the price. Most Mac users are willing to do so as well.
  9. floakster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2003
    Great answer MisterMe, and thanks everyone else...

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