As far as the tech world goes, I’m a virtual nobody. I don’t have any connections to anyone “in the know.” I’m not part of the “respected press.” I’m just a guy with a blog and a web connection. I haven’t been a Mac-aficionado forever. (Only since about 2000.) And although I consider myself more business-savvy than a lot of the folks that blog, talk on podcasts and offer their opinion on what’s happened and what is to happen, I’m certainly not ready to start talking on MarketWatch about what the most profitable move would be for Apple (or any other technology company, for that matter).
And with all of those disclaimers having been said, here is my wild, completely off-the-wall, batty prediction for MacWorld (this Tuesday January 9, 2007):
I predict that, at MacWorld 2007 on January 9, Apple will announce that they are releasing a version of OS X that will run on standard PCs.
OK – now before you close the browser and declare that I’m out of my mind and that I’m being sensationalistic, let’s think about this for a second. First of all, the reasons against.
Many who think that this is the most ridiculous move that Apple could make have pointed to the fact that with Apple selling their expensive Mercedes-like hardware at such high prices and with people willing to pay a premium for a Mac Pro, iMac, MacBook or MacBook Pro, why would they ever give PC users the opportunity to run OS X on mainstream PCs for a third of the cost. Allegedly, this would “kill” Mac sales. (Or so they say.)
The other issues point to the lack of compatibility with the current crop of PC-based peripherals. It would take a herculean effort to write code, even if it’s written in the following months, such that all video cards, printers, scanners and all other devices would work with OS X on the PC (or so I’ve been told.) And this is just the new equipment — not speaking about older PC printers, scanners, sound cards and other devices.
Thinking more optimistically, with Apple’s focus in recent years turning from a Mac-only focus to one where iTunes and the iPod are the revenue leaders, perhaps this time in history presents an opportunity to take some risk in other areas? It has always been Apple’s tragedy that amidst a bright future in the early 1980s, their failure to act quickly to move Macs into a more business-central environment would prove to be the point where Microsoft, through MS-DOS and subsequently through Windows, was able to become the market leader in operating systems. Undoubtedly, there isn’t a day that goes by where Windows doesn’t touch some portion of our lives. For many, it is the tie that binds.
Microsoft is set to release Windows Vista (after several years of delays.) At CES, they will present more information and hopefully soon we’ll hear more about the launch plan for Vista (including any launch parties, point-of-sale midnight launch events, a-la PS3/Nintendo Wii/Xbox 360). I’m pretty excited about a new Windows operating system, but I’m not sure that the rest of the public is. I haven’t heard much hype and the retail box is set to ship in less than four weeks.
From a historical perspective, this is probably a golden opportunity to strike while the iron is hot. Continue reading ‘My (Completely Ridiculous) MacWorld 2007 Prediction’