Compunetics Computer Consultants Inc.
Computer Services & Solutions
An Apple a day will keep Microsoft away?

Mac, Mac, Everywhere

Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and noticed all the people using laptops? Did you ever survey the number of Macs? A few years ago, you would notice 1 or 2 'white' laptops. Over the past few years, that percentage is rapidly increasing. Today, at the coffee places I frequent, that percentage is about HALF! If you only survey those under 25, I'd guess it would be at least 75% who are using Macs.

I have also noticed that trend in my hardware purchases. Most of my clients ask me to help them with their home systems. They would ask me what brand of laptop I used (HP/Compaq) and wanted the same brand. In the past few years (since the iPhone was introduced), all my clients' children insist on Macs. When I quote them a Mac and tell them I can get them 2-3 Dell laptops for the same price, the students all say they don't care about the price, they just want a Mac. They really dislike Windows. These are the future leaders and decision makers.

This trend has increased even more in the past year. I attribute this to the launch of the iPad. In the past two years, Apple stock has increased in value almost 350%.

Everywhere you look, you see young people with iPhone, iPods, iPads and MacBooks. Even people over 30 are talking about what they are doing with their Apple products. They get excited when they talk about streaming media around their homes and controlling everything from their iPods/iPads. When people talk about Apple, they always have smiles on their faces. No wonder Apple was voted the number one in some many areas: Best Brand, tech support, customer satisfaction, etc.

People line up for days waiting to buy Apple products. Think that will happen for a Microsoft product? Yes, I know it did happen back in 1995 for Windows '95 but what has Microsoft done for its customers lately? (Answer: Vista, Zune, Win7 SP1 bug).


So, what I have I been doing about this trend?

Over the past 2 months, I have been reading a lot about Apple. On a whim, I took some old parts (Pentium 4 processor, old Gigabyte board, some old ram and a 120G drive) and built a Mac. I showed this to our informal study group and convinced them to look into Macs. We have now successfully installed Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) on our PCs (laptops and desktop).

My main 'Test PC' is a Core i7 with 8G ram, a high end ATI graphics card and a 2TB drive. I was beta testing Microsoft SBS 2011 Standard. SBS is am amazing product and I highly recommend the Standard version (ie full product, not the ‘lite’ Aurora version), but testing SBS isn’t exciting work.  I’ve been working with SBS since version 4 was released in 1997. I wanted to ‘play’ with something else so I popped in a 2nd hard drive and installed Snow Leopard. You should try Snow Leopard on a Core i7 with 8G ram. Combine that with a high end graphics card and a 24" monitor and THAT is both exciting and FUN!

What are we going to do in the near future?

Clients often ask, 'So what is new?' I've been telling them about my Mac ideas and they too are excited. Everyone (myself included) would love a MacBook Pro with all the options, but who wants to spend over $2000? What if I can buy a basic Dell Linux notebook (why spend money for Windows when I am going to wipe it anyway right?) and install Snow Leopard and have a cool and thin notebook for 1/3 the price? I can even order it in vibrant colours too:)

A typical home now has 3-4 computers. When people ask about the cost to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 and I explain it, they flip out. Forgetting the hardware or labour, just the licenses cost over $200 each. If you want to upgrade five computers, that alone is $1000. Guess what Apple charges for FIVE upgrades (they call it a Family Pack)? $49 - YES - just forty nine dollar, that is not a typo.

The next version of Apple's Mac OS X (version 10.7 to be called Lion) is due this summer. Check out some of the upcoming features. They are calling it 'Back to the Mac'. The iPhone borrowed features and functionality from Mac OS X and improved on it. Next came the iPad which build on the iPhone and added more features. Now, Apple will improve on everything and incorporate it into Lion.

Interested in joining our study group? We plan on really learning Mac OS X. Drop me a note.

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