The Big Switch

Consider this a case study.

In the past few years, I feel as if I’ve begun to finally be pulled into the right side of the force. If you don’t count the old Apple II computers that every educational setting used to have in the late 80’s and early 90’s, virtually all of my experience regarding the medium of my field has been with PC’s. Until the advent of OSX in 2001, Mac computers and operating systems seemed to simply be the fare of hobbyists and those who really just refused to get with the program. Especially considering that the time that I really came to realize that I was utterly fascinated with the internet and technology came along right before the first tech bubble burst in the late 90’s. Apple computers were somewhat of a forbidden during that time for some reason. And indeed, I would associate them with those green dot matrix computers of yesteryear that allowed me to play Math Munchers in the elementary school computer lab.

But early this decade, certain things started to fall into place that did not seem at all coincidental. The situation with Windows XP and OSX rung true with the stories of the days before my time in which Microsoft seemed to ape everything Apple did. The iPod went from curiosity to the overlord of the Earth. iMacs became more and more tempting throughout each generation. And suddenly, the realization hit me. Apple computers aren’t some sort of back closet fascination. They are awesome products that are a little more than just a fad. And the numbers are there to back it up.  So now I see what the rest of the industry and my peers are using, and I begrudgingly use a Dell with XP loaded on it.  And I find myself lusting after the glass and aluminum iMac on the market.

This Week In Tech is joyful of these statistics, citing that many of these customers purchasing Mac computers are first timers, indicating that they are switching from PC.  I find myself to be one of those prospective buyers as well.  So could this be it?  Is the tide finally about to turn, heralding in a new day in which the Mac equals the number of PC’s purchased?  Not quite, but close.  Having discussed this with co-worker friends recently, I think we’ve reached a consensus on what we expect five to ten years from now.  We all agreed that we would expect and wouldn’t be shocked at all to see a situation in which there are three main competitors, each holding a third of the market share.  PC’s, Mac’s and Linux based machines.  It seems logical.  PC’s for businesses, Mac’s for homes, and a share of both who are technically experienced and prefer what open source affords.  This also may seen far fetched, but again, concerning the numbers related to the recent release of Ubuntu, the numbers don’t lie.

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