Surfin’ Safari, or Wave of Mutilation?

FYI, a little techie post today. If you’re looking for the latest update on the home improvement project, I’ll have photos and commentary up in the next few days. Think yellow.

They say that opinions are like, well, you know. Everybody’s got one.

For Mac enthusiasts such as me (and no, I don’t prefer the term “fanboy”), this week kicked off with anticipation over the “Stevenote” at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Since Monday’s pep talk, the Mac blogospere has been abuzz over such exciting topics as SDKs vs. Web apps for the iPhone, and Safari being available on the PC.

I’m not much of a developer, and I’ll probably never have an iPhone, so that discussion is about as exciting to me as interscholastic high school bowling. The Mac web browser on the PC, however, that has my interest piqued.

For the record, I use Firefox on my Mac and IE on my work PC. Firefox is my choice: I just like it more. I’m not crazy about Safari’s brushed metal look, and my old version of Safari had issues with some websites. Firefox “just worked” better than Safari, and I haven’t looked back. IE isn’t a choice, it’s a corporate standard. Sit near me at work, and you’ll hear me curse at it 5 times a day, minimum.

So why am I jazzed at Safari on the PC? Well, for one, I like the idea of another choice. The fact that it comes from Apple is gravy to me. More significantly, however, I have a feeling that this newest inroad to the Windows desktop is like me sitting down on the first step in the swimming pool. I’ve gone beyond getting my feet wet, but I haven’t really committed my sensitive areas.

What follows is pure speculation, and completely unsubstantiated, but I think it makes sense. First, I think (like many others, I’m sure) that Safari on the PC is a marketing tool for Apple’s look and feel. Apple is saying “Hey, you like iTunes? Like how we do media management? Think it kicks the pants off of Windows Media Player? Well then check out our browser. That’s right, we have a browser. We think it kicks the pants off of IE, and we think you’ll think so too.”

So iTunes and Safari are now on the Windows desktop. What next? I say iPhoto. Get iPhoto to the WinMasses, and for about 75% of the computing public you’ll have covered their basic needs: The web, music, and pictures. That’s all my parents really do on their computer (an iMac, btw), and all my in-laws really do as well.

So where from there? I think from there, Apple should sell boxed copies of OS X (oe XI at that point) for Windows. Not OEM, not licenses to Dell or HP. Boxed copies, with system requirements right on the box. Apple won’t have control over the whole widget, but they can at least make their suggestions. Sell the OS for $125, and make sure it includes a way to install as dual boot over top of Windows.

It won’t be for everyone. Installing a new OS, even an Apple OS, is serious business. But in a couple of years, the way HD pricing has dropped, a decent PC rig should have room for a nice Mac OS partition, with a dual-boot option at startup. It will give the types of users who downloaded and enjoyed Safari and iPhoto a new option for the whole OS. It’ll soothe the fears of would-be switchers by keeping their precious Windows functionalities intact and readily available. And, if the switcher blogs I’ve read are any indication, a good portion of those fols will use Windows less and less as they get more comfortable on the Mac. And when those folks are in the market for a new computer, they’ll be more likely to pick a genuine Mac than they would have been without that test drive.

I know there are flaws in my logic. Probably huge ones. But I think it’s do-able. Boxed Mac OS for Windows. No partners, no licenses. When it happens, you heard it here first. (Unless, of course, some other blogger posted it. Then my bad. Seriously. I’m good with second, third, fourth, whatever.)

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5 responses to “Surfin’ Safari, or Wave of Mutilation?

  1. Uhg, you and your Mac crusade.

    Since this is a techie blog entry, I have a techie question: Do you run your own WordPress installation? I ask because I recently set-up my own and I’m curious.

  2. One day, you’ll see the light.

    Yes, I run wordpress on my own site. I found it to be easy to set up, and it, pretty low maintenance.

  3. The only flaw that I detect in your idea, is that if a MAC OS was made to run on a Windows box, then why would anyone pay quadruple to purchase a Mac box? I know they look cool, but at some point $1500 extra for cool will only work for the trendiest and wealthiest among us. Mac still makes decent money off of their hardware and this is why the ability to run OS X on a PC has not been a priority for them. Bootcamp? yes! Did you here that Apple was making a special Iphone for gay users? It’s called the homophone. Get it?

  4. Stu, not true.

    http://www.tuaw.com/2007/06/09/scot-finnie-on-mac-vs-pc-pricing/

    Yes, you can buy a Dell cheaper than a Mac, but it’s a piece of shit Dell. Apple doesn’t complete on the low end – there’s no piece of shit Apple lappy for $300 that you can get at WalMart.

    And the $1,500 difference you (over)state doesn’t exist anymore either.

  5. I refuse to see the light. I’m fully entrenched in my PC world and a happy man for it. As a webdesigner, the thought of working on a Mac is almost horrifying as debugging for PC and for browser compatibility for PC based IE and Firefox is headache enough. I couldn’t imagine developing on a Mac and then dealing with those issues.

    And as far as multimedia goes, CS3 does everything I need it to do on the PC level. At this point in time, the development of Adobe products for both OSs must be fairly close.

    What does that leave as a reason for me to reindoctrinate myself into an Apple? Not much.

    Apple has proved itself to be smart about innovation and I’m happier with Apple on the planet than not because the company inspires innovation in all industries in which it competes and forces PC manufacturers, Microsoft and other consumer electronics manufacturers to raise their game benefitting us all. But when the rest of the planet has pretty much roundly rejected the Mac in favor of the PC then that’s where I have to be, doing what I do.

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