Open source better reflects customer needs

The word is out that Windows XP can run on Intel-based MacIntosh computers and the software is now available for downloading. However, Apple doesn’t seem to understand its own customers:

An Apple spokeswoman declined comment on the contest. Apple officials have said they have no desire for Windows to run on their hardware.

Earth to Apple – it’s not about you, it’s about your customers. Thousands of people have already downloaded the software, so there must be some kind of a demand.

That’s the joy of open source software, because any group can “fork” a project and the wisdom of the crowd will decide which way is better. No need for a “company spokesperson” to say what’s best for users.

6 Responses to “Open source better reflects customer needs”

  1. Chris

    Has Windows gone open source when I wasn’t looking? Has someone “forked” Windows or Mac OS X?

    So, has ‘Apple declined comment’ or have they “said what’s best for users’? Which is it? Can’t have it both ways, Harold. 😉

    Apple sells Mac OS X. Of course *they* think *it’s* the best thing to run on your Mac; they may even be right. 🙂

    But there’s nothing stopping anyone from installing Linux on their Macs (never has been, even in the pre-PPC, 68k days), and there’s nothing stopping them from running Windows on their Macs (I’ve been running XP on my PowerBook for years, albeit slowly, via Virtual PC).

    Apple’s not stopping anyone. I wouldn’t even suggest they’re discouraging anyone. But they’re not ENCOURAGING anyone. There’s a big difference. There’s no reason Apple should have to pay to support users who might get themselves into trouble installing an unsupported OS. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    In other words, they ARE listening to their customers. I may be grossly over-simplifying, but I think Apple’s customers are, by-and-large, on the edges of the bell curve. They’re home users who will never even upgrade the pre-installed OS at one end, and alpha geeks who’ve already installed ubuntu on the other. Apple’s position on XP installation satisfies both of those groups. If the software you’ve linked to is easy, reliable and legal (I haven’t really looked into it), then maybe it will appeal to everybody else, too.

  2. Harold

    I knew I’d get a comment from you, Chris. Just checking to see if you’re reading my blog 😉

    Good points on Apple’s business model, and you know the company much better than I do. BTW, Apple has said it has “no desire for Windows to run on their hardware”. I see that as similar to Dell only recommending Windows OS or Intel chips. It would have been less condescending to customers for Apple to state that customers can use their hardware in whatever way they prefer (less support), since they paid for it. This kind of attitude could even help to open a new market for Apple so that they can get into the middle of the bell curve.

  3. Dave Ferguson

    There are those who think Apple’s real business model is technology sold as religious belief, a faithful few devoted to Mac holy writ. It’s like Lake Wobegon, where Lutherans drive Chevys because, well, that’s what Lutherans do.

  4. Chris

    Of course I read your blog, Harold! Wouldn’t miss it.

    Phil Schiller, Apple’s VP Marketing (I would argue a better source than ‘an Apple spokeswoman’), when they announced the switch to Intel processors issued a statement to the effect that ‘Apple wouldn’t do anything to stop people who wanted to put Windows on their Macs’. Why on earth would they? Why would Microsoft (except to sell VPC)?

    The only people this would hurt (other than people who choose to run Windows) are Dell, HP, Sony, et al. But it won’t even hurt them too much, since it’s apparently about as easy to get OS X onto a PC as it is to get XP onto a Mac. It’s just that Apple’s hardware is generally nicer…

    And yes, Dave. I must be a religious nut. Like everybody who owns an iPod. You keep believing that.


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