Apple, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Intel

Posted on Saturday 14 January 2006

With the new Macs being Intel-based, there is now the possibility of running MS Windows on a Mac. One might ask, why would anyone want to run MS Windows on a Mac…especially given how expensive the Mac hardware has been….if you want to run Windows, why not just get a cheap no-name computer to do it with.

Well, there may be several problems with that thinking.

First of all, The MacBook Pro and other Intel-based Mac hardware is really now price competitive with most of the other computer brands, given similar specifications. Look at the CoreDuo iMac and compare it’s price to other first-tier computer brands. It is quite competitive. The MacBook Pro is also quite competitive with Yonah-based notebook computers from first-tier manufacturers.

Second, no generic, white box hardware is going to have the same level of hardware components that are included in the Intel-based Macs, without being comparably expensive. Often, if you get cheap hardware, it will show in the performance and reliability of the hardware.

Third, no Wintel platform will allow you to run Mac OS X, and I seriously doubt that a non-Apple computer will ever do so in the near-term. Long-term, who knows…anything could happen. The reasons I do doubt that Apple will endorse/allow running Mac OS X on platforms other than their own. Given that the price “premium” has essentially disappeared with their switch to an Intel-based CPU, there is no reason for them to do so. If people want to have the stability of OS X, then they will have to purchase Mac hardware.

Mac OS X is the most usable of all the Unix, Linux, and BSD variants out there. It is the only version of *nix that has an industry accepted (read MS Office compatible) productivity suite, and also runs most of the major core applications, like Adobe Creative Suite, Macromedia Studio, etc, but can also draw upon all of the *nix open-source applications. The fact that a Mac doesn’t have the virus and spyware vulnerabiilties is a major point in the Mac’s favor.

I’d run Windows on Mac hardware primarily to run games, as the entertainment software sector is one area where the Mac platform falls short of MS Windows. There are also some other applications that I’d like to use, which aren’t available for Mac OS X. Ideally, I should be able to run the Windows-based games and apps using something like WINE.

I see no reason not to continue with Mac OS X as my primary OS as I originally returned to the Mac platform 4+ years ago to avoid having to deal with spyware, viruses, and other Windows-based annoyances.

2 Comments for 'Apple, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Intel'

    January 16, 2006 | 1:53 am

    You’re making me drool. The primary reason I have been using Windows based machines is that for work I am required to use MS Word. If I can put Word on a Mac, and use the Mac systems for all else, I’m all set. (My employers would LIKE for me to use Outlook and Internet Explorer, but I already refuse to use those because of the virus and spyware problems.)

    The big problem now is convincing Pat that I really need the new MacBook Pro.

    January 16, 2006 | 9:45 pm

    Carol Anne-

    You can already use MS Word on a Mac. Microsoft Office 2004 has been out for the Mac for quite some time. MS Office actually started as a suite of Mac applications, and was migrated to Windows. Also, the files are pretty much interchangeable between the Mac and PC/WIntel versions of the Microsoft applications.

    Other good news, Microsoft has also promised to support a Mac version of Office for at least the next five years.

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