THE REAL MAC OS X STORY

I read press coverage about Apple computers all the time. One of the favorite themes recently has been the wonder of the new Mac operating system, OS X, all new and cool, a real Unix desktop system, and all the rest.

Time for a reality check. Mac OS X is slow and full of bugs. (Check the archives on January 8 for links to a couple of articles about that.) Now figures are coming out about how slowly the new system is being adopted by existing Mac users. Apple estimates that as few as 1 to 2 million people have switched to its most recent OS, despite the fact that OS X has shipped for free on several million computers.

And a more telling figure from Microsoft: sales of Microsoft’s OS X-specific Office version, Office v. X, have been just 300,000 units since the suite went on sale last year. Microsoft had expected to sell more than 750,000 copies in the first year. Corel launched seven OS X-specific applications earlier this year, and reports the same feedback – Mac users haven’t switched over to OS X in any significant numbers.

The relationship between Microsoft and Apple is increasingly strained. Here’s an article with details. This week Microsoft announced that it might have to consider leaving the Mac market. Apple zealots don’t like to acknowledge that Microsoft’s support of Office for the Mac is crucial for Apple’s existence; Office is just as ubiquitous on Macs as it is on PCs, and Microsoft makes far more money from Macs than any other software developer.

Apple true believers: peace be with you. Go forth and prosper.

Those of you living in the real world: forget the hype. Apple Computer is dying. Buying a Mac is just foolish. Thinking of buying a Mac? Walk into a CompUSA or Best Buy. In your mind, throw sheets over 97% of the software and the hardware. Are you happy with what’s left? Do you miss anything under the sheets? Because that’s what it’s like owning a Mac.