Windows 7 and Apple’s Lost Opportunity

I’ve been extremely happy with Windows 7.  And I’ve been reading that millions of other people love Windows 7 too, including businesses that’s been holding back from upgrading their zillions of XP machines.  This makes me wonder if the anti-Windows crowd has lost their window of opportunity.  Microsoft truly stumbled with Vista.  I liked Vista just fine, but it was the laughing stock of the OS world for many years.  Mac and Linux users thought Microsoft’s success on the desktop was finally over.  It could have been if Steve Jobs would have played his cards right.

If Apple had sold OS X to Windows users to install on their machines during the Vista years, I wonder if the Macintosh would have overthrown the Windows dominance on the desktop.  What a missed opportunity.  You’d have thought Apple would have been offering $49 convert to Macintosh deals to get unhappy Windows users to switch teams.  But no.  And now that Windows 7 is hot, I don’t think they will. 

I did get an old friend to switch to Linux this week.  He had a Vista machine that was badly infected with malware.  It was a laptop that was given to him, so he didn’t have the original Windows disc.  He was thinking about buying a new copy of Windows when I asked if he wanted to try Linux.  I first asked if he had an iPhone or iPod, and when he said no, I then asked what he did with his laptop.  He did everything on the net using Firefox.  He had no stored local files.  I sent him a copy of Mint Linux and he installed it with no trouble and he’s very happy.  Apple could have had a convert.

I have another friend with a slow Windows machine.  I’ve offered to put Linux on her machine, but she said she’d rather buy a new laptop. She’s afraid of Linux.  She does use an iPod, so I’m not sure if she would be happy with Linux, but except for occasionally using Word or Excel, and iTunes, she spends all her time on the net.  I’m hoping she’ll let me convert her old laptop when she gets a new one.   She mostly uses iTunes to rip audio books and put them on her Nano.  I’m wondering if I could get Linux to do that.

Because she hates her current laptop for going so slow and acting up, she doesn’t believe it will ever run good again.  I’ve also offered to wipe it and reinstall her original Windows, but she doesn’t want to do that either.  She thinks only a new machine will make her happy.  I’m wondering if the old machine with Linux would have made her happy.  If Apple had a $49 deal to switch to Macintosh I bet she would have tried it.  She’s always wanted a Mac, but whenever I’ve taken her to the Apple store she freaked out over the Mac prices.

I have Ubuntu on my second desktop at home, but I don’t use it.  I’ve thought about putting Linux on my Toshiba netbook.  I like the idea of Linux even though I love Windows 7.  I would put Windows 7 on the netbook but I don’t want to spend the money.  If Apple offered a cheap OS X upgrade I would do it because I’ve always wanted a Mac at home to play with.

I wonder what the Macintosh OS X market share would be if Apple sold its OS to run on Windows machines?  And would it lower the price of Windows 7.  If I had the choice between Windows 7 or OS X for my netbook for $49 it would be a hard decision.  Apple wants us to buy their hardware, that’s not going to happen.  If we could dual book our existing machines into Windows 7 or OS X, I wonder what the world would end up preferring?

JWH – 3/11/10

5 thoughts on “Windows 7 and Apple’s Lost Opportunity”

  1. The next version of Linux Mint will support iPods, so if that’s the only thing holding anyone back, it’s one less concern. The Alpha version of Ubuntu/Xubuntu already does! But it’s not ready for prime time yet… when it is released as Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, and later Mint Isadora, both will include support for iPods.

    Depending on what folks use a computer for, Linux is already an awesome (and free!) alternative to Windows and Mac.

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