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December 27, 2007



I think the reason Apple is reluctant to push OS X too much into the mainstream is pragmatic.

1. Given the company's obsession with control, it is safe to assume that it would not give other companies licenses to build Mac clones -- in fact, taking back the clone license was one of the first things Jobs did when he came back to Apple.

2. And since one company can only do so much before things really start breaking at the seams (with the spate of bad user experiences with some Apple products, it seems we're already seeing that event horizon), we'll probably not see Macs break into more than, say, a 10 percent marketshare.

Steve Jobs probably chose not to chase after the mass market, and I think it is a prudent business decision. Even so, I'd say Apple has to expand to perhaps twice its current size if it wants to pursue the things that it seems to be pursuing (ie, "the four legs of the chair" thingy that Jobs was talking about).

As it is, the consumer gadget half of Apple is sucking away resources from the only part of the company I care about: the Mac division.


After reading the article ... Yawn!


I'm disappointed to learn that Vista doesn't do the print to PDF thing without third party software. Before Vista was released, I had been under the impression that feature would be included.

So my colleagues will be sharing documents as fat Word files indefinitely, eh?


Actually a friend sent a link about a PDF creator for Windows.


That is unlikely to be the path that Microsoft has in mind for you.

They have created a new "PDF" type format which is called "XPS."

I had not heard of it until I saw it as a file type save option for Word 2007.

I created and saved a simple XPS file. Then I sent it by email to my MacBook which is running 10.4.x.

I tried opening it with everything including OpenOffice. Nothing on the Mac would open it.

I did some Google research and came up with a program called NiXPS.


I downloaded the trial version and confirmed that it will let you view XPS files on the Mac.

Unless Apple has some way good way of reading XPS files, we should all pray that it disappears since NiXPS costs $99.


I haven't had much experience with big corporations (I'm a freelancer), but I would think that the big corps (who are probably mostly responsible for the huge Windows customer share) aren't stampeding to the Mac because 1) it would cost them enormously to make the switch, given the installed Windows base, and 2) they don't care that Windows, especially Vista, has lots of problems because they just hire IT professionals to deal with them as they come up. No big deal. And of course hardly any IT people want to make the switch to Apple.

Corporations have lots of operational problems; they just hire people to solve them. It's the individuals, like freelancers, who get incredibly frustrated by them. Even so, in my field almost all the freelancers still stick with Windows, mostly because of inertia, as you say. Though in the last couple of years I see some increase in the tendency to switch, which I think Leopard will probably accelerate.


That's very odd about the Vista machine not wanting to connect via wireless. My HP laptop connects in about 8 seconds to my home wireless system. It does it every time. I also travel with it, and have never had a problem unless the signal is marginal. I leave it hibernate mode and it wakes up in about 5 seconds. I suspect that the issue may be the hardware, not the OS.


Again I have the most problems with my home Airport Express network which I am going to replace, but I have had it in other places.

Since I rarely travel without my MacBook and I am usually surrounded by people with XP notebooks, it is pretty easy to check.

I also had a friend who works at MS tell me it was a known problem that they hope to fix in Service Pack 1.

If it were not a problem I doubt Microsoft would have posted this.


Pecos Bill

All your postings are about how you now hate Macs. You're a "reverse switcher" and can no longer claim that you're a Mac user.

That said, you're right about Vista being inevitable. You have to go through much pain to get a new computer with XP installed and sometimes pay extra for the favor.

Glad to hear that Vista was painfully slow for you as well. I had it on the cheapest new laptop (Centrino) and figured it was the cheap hardware to blame.

Snag-It is the only way to come close to what Apple offers via it's cmd-3 and cmd-4 built in options (I've not revisited Grab). At least you don't have to pay for those.

I suffer on XP every day at my office. I long for a way to make money on strictly Mac hardware to alleviate my pain.

Picasa's not bad, but I don't like their collection "management" anywhere near to Apples. Your iPhoto may run faster if you rebuild your thumbnail cache. Both are missing some critical features in Photoshop Elements for retouching.

I'm having challenges with Leo on my MacBook at home. I have a Trendnet g router and Leo loses it's mind so I have to reset AirPort (off then on) which is fast, but frequently needed. That's my only problem at this point. Am headed to a Genius to see if they have ideas. Other than that, Leo wakes from sleep even faster than Tiger. I can't finish opening the display before it's ready for use (network not included as AirPort needs time to log into WPA).

Pecos Bill

Also, keep in mind that market share is a percentage of ALL sales. Not installed base. It does include every embedded and POS (point of sale and Piece of ....) out there. And it includes the laptop I bought to play back mp3 files for square dancing and nothing else. That would be a tragic waste of a Mac.

Over 50% of all sales in Apple Stores are to switchers. It will take a LOT of time to increase market share, too.

I hate to disagree with you Pecos Bill, but I don't exactly see where my post says that I hate Macs.

I carry a Mac in backpack for times when my Vista Laptop won't do the job for whatever reason.

Not counting the older Macs in the closet, but counting the ones that I have bought for my kids, I probably have eight Macs running various versions of OS X. I use four myself in three different locations.

I do all my website work on Macs, and my Vista laptop would be MacBook Pro, if I could have gotten one for less than $1999 with XP or Vista installed on a 160 gig hard drive with 2 gigs of ram.

It is possible to like Macs and not care a whole lot about Apple.

It is possible to like Macs and still offer some valid criticism.

I have been pretty specific about my criticism of the new iPhoto. Cropping a photo takes far more steps now, and I find moving through the photos more of a pain than it used to be.

iWeb is a piece of software that has great potential if you didn't have to move around 50 megs of files to use it on a second computer.

Safari just doesn't work with most blogging software probably because Apple has few if any bloggers inside their North Korean technology world.

.Mac is overpriced, under featured, and has a lot of loose ends hanging since there have been so many different ways to manage photos and web pages.

The Mac Mini is overpriced and there is no reasonably priced desktop between the iMac and Mac Pros.

None of that stops me from using Macs and praising them when praise is due.

As to raising market share with Apple Stores, I agree that it will take forever. There are too few stores and their revenue numbers for computers are likely too low to make much of a difference even if 50% of the people who buy Macs are switchers.

I stand by this quote that I made in October of this year.

"Those of us who just want to get our work done and enjoy computing a little while we are doing it run Macs. What we do with our computers matters most to us. The world won't collapse if our computers don't work. We would actually be the ones left to run the world if all other computers died."



Snag-it, by the way, is far superior to Apple's simplistic screen capture.

You might want to check out the features before you knock it.


Sometimes Apple's model of including basic stuff for free backfires. After using Snag-it, I would have to say that screen capture is one of them.

I would actually like to buy something like Snag-it for my Macs so if anyone knows of something that fits the bill, let me know.

$39.95 is a reasonable price to pay for what Snag-it does.

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