post

Top Five Reasons that Leopard will be Apple’s tipping point

Moments ago I finished reading John Markoff’s New York Time’s piece entitled, “As Apple Gains PC Market Share, Jobs Talks of a Decade of Upgrades” and it added to my belief that the introduction of Leopard this Friday is going to mark the tipping point of Apple’s acceleration in the PC marketplace (disclaimer: I own a fair number of shares in Apple).

Much analysis and opinion has swirled around this coming OS upgrade — most positive and pleased with features — but I’m going to point out what I see as a deeper meaning behind some of the top features and why a tipping point will occur:

1) Time Machine: We all have the best intentions to backup but most of us just don’t. Now that many of us have both a desktop, a laptop, an iPod and many an iPhone too, keeping everything in sync is a friggin’ nightmare. As more new form factors arrive (like the rumored Mac tablet/multi-touch device/ultralight portable), keeping our data synchronized is going to be even more challenging. From what I’ve seen and played with in the developer version, this is going to be a laughingly simple backup and sync that normal non-techies will adore.

2) iChat: I just cannot emphasize enough what a game-changer this could be. Every single day I connect with someone that wants to show me something or have me show them. Videos, presentations, web sites and more are shared but it just isn’t easy. I have an atypical ability to communicate with all the available tools at my fingertips, but almost everyone I connect with gets frustrated because they can’t return the favor.

3) Parental Controls: If you don’t have kids (and especially a teenage boy like I do!) this isn’t a big deal perhaps, but the ease of setting this up, controlling access and some level of filtering is fantastic. I’ve actually delayed a purchase of a 3rd party application that does much of this in order to use Leopard’s…it’s that good.

4) Boot Camp: Though I run Parallels on my Mac with Windows XP installed, I’ve discovered that I almost NEVER USE WINDOWS for anything. There was a period of time where I absolutely required it, but as I write this I’m struggling to figure out what’s out there that I can’t do on my Mac. Still, I’ve loaded even old PC games in Parallels and it’s just too slow. My son and his pals are pumped for Leopard (two of them are PC users whose parents will buy a Mac but wouldn’t use a beta Boot Camp pre-Leopard) since they’ll be using the reboot-into-Windows capability to load the machine with games. This will be a game-changer (pun intended) since all PC games will run in a PC environment and a Mac can now be two machines for the price of one!

5) Dashcode: For power users and web developers, I believe this is going to be THE biggest and most important feature in Leopard. Why? Imagine libraries of thousands of widgets as well as every creator of application functionality has widgets as part of what they deliver.  Most people don’t know what widgets are and don’t care. But for those that do, this extremely simple method of creating them is going to change delivery of applications and information on the Web. 

If you think Dashcode will be hot too, peek at these two posts to understand my thinking more:

Will Apple Own Mass Market Web Applications?

Will Safari be an Rich Internet Application Container?

No question in my mind that Apple delayed an iPhone SDK (see “Third Party Applications on the iPhone“) until Leopardshipped. There are too many signs pointed that way. Also, the still anemic .Mac service will undoubtedly leap forward with more features after
this Friday.

Lastly, I’m surprised on a daily basis with the people that are connecting with me about their decision to buy a Mac and switch from Windows and are asking for guidance. From my cousin Kathy to my Aunt Marlys (PC users) to my pal Kevin, these are people I never expected would switch. When asked why, they all talk about the design, how “gorgeous” the operating system is, how well it works and how hideous Vista is. They’re sick of adware, spyware and viruses and the intrusive and bothersome Vista popups making them decide on just about everything that occurs in the OS (or so they think).

Then you read articles like this one from Princeton University’s newsletter describing what I’ve seen anecdotally: “This year, the University’s Student Computer Initiative has sold more Macs than PCs. Students were offered a selection of Dell, IBM and Apple computers, and 60 percent chose Macs, up from 45 percent last year.

This evening’s Apple earnings call ought to be interesting as I suspect good news about Mac shipments is coming (and iPhone shipments too). This is going to be a good holiday season for the kids from Cupertino, heh?

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.

Comments

  1. It’s amazing the speed at which Apple is innovating. Hard for others to keep up.
    Like you, I’m observing a mass switch to Mac by friends and looking forward to iChat, will make little tech support calls easier.

  2. First: I own 3 macs and 3 iPods but
    1. Time machine – nice but does it work with external drives where most of my data lives?
    2. ichat – great app but almost nobody I know overseas has a mac so I never use it. My wife’s family is from Mexico where there is rarely a mac in sight. Its almost worthless. Skype for me and most others as far as I’m see it. I was angry when I saw apple added glitzy background compositing when cross platform is needed so badly
    3. Parental controls – there have been so many iterations of this – why is this any better
    4. Boot Camp – nice but adds a lot of cost
    5. Dashcode – cool but I never found a reason to use widgets beyond the calculator , dictionary or weather – I have it tuned off now

    I will probably upgrade one of my macs (there others are too old) but not right away – next year probably – I just don’t agree with Steve B or Steve J so much on this one

  3. @Jim
    you’ll buy a mac when they add a button … ?
    man … people nowadays just blows me away …
    amazing …

  4. While I don’t doubt that Apple’s new release will be solid, do you seriously think that people are going to look at an instant messaging program as the tipping point between a mac or a pc. That’s stupid. Maybe you do alot of messaging, but I don’t know the last time I heard someone ask a sales associate when buying a computer, Mac or PC, what instant messaging software came pre-installed.

  5. Nothing original here, just the same fanboy cooing which quickly degrades into the oh so scientific “my aunt, mother, and cousin are all switching, it must be a sign!” drivel.

  6. I think widgets are severely overrated. Sure, when I got my first Mac capable of running Tiger a few years ago, I thought they were cute. I ended up building a few and nothing much past that. Fast forward to now and many, many users associate widget with “something that slows down my Mac” – and with good reason. Search for any “speed up my mac” type articles and it’s sure to list disabling the dashboard or shutting down trivial widgets.

    Instead, I think “THE” biggest feature for power users will be Spaces. Macs are already great for productivity with Expose, Quicksilver and Spotlight; spaces just helps out that case tremendously. http://paulstamatiou.com/2006/06/01/why-im-more-productive-on-a-mac/

  7. What I really want to know is where can I find that badass wallpaper?

  8. Sorry dude, I love Apple and their OS, but this won’t be the tipping point until Apple allows for OSX to be installed on any hardware, not just Apple hardware. I see the trends too, but we’re not at the tipping point yet.

  9. I think you’re wrong about Apple accellerating market penetration in the computer-space.

    Linux is handily beating Microsoft already, and most people don’t have the kind of $ it takes to get onto the Apple bandwagon. And the quality of their hardware is abysmal. Left Linux 5 years ago to to go MacOS X with a G17. Java support was terrible with bugs that affected my ability to earn a living as a java architect. Saw many people walk away from the lousy support, lousy attitude, and constant $$ upgrades (want java 5? Upgrade, because osx 10.4 doesn’t and never will support java 5).

    I hope Linux destroys Apple completely.

  10. @Zach

    dumbass.

    It’s not about instant messaging. It’s about allowing people to connect and share things easily.

    “Every single day I connect with someone that wants to show me something or have me show them.”

    And while I can take screenshots, draw notes all over them with photoshop, zip them up, email them or post them on an ftp server and send a link back to the person….the average person doesn’t know how to unzip things!

    I never use ichat or msnmessenger or anything like those ever (irc all the way) but at least I know communication and tech support with any of my mac using clients will by 100 times more productive and faster than with any of the windows users.

    Disclaimer:
    Windows user since 1996, Mac user since 2004, Linux user since 2007.
    I hate all 3.

  11. Balboa Peterson says:

    Until there is a two butotn mouse/trackpad, then Apple is going NOWHERE. Get over it Steve!!! Bring us two frigging buttons and I’ll start buying apples.

    (and no, buying a separate mouse does not count – I want it on the macbook trackpad)

  12. I sell PCs and Macs at a major electronics store. I have two comments on the article:

    1) Many people do not want to make the switch to Apple because of cost.

    2) The higher rate of adoption will increase the viruses and spyware on Apple systems. Many people that write malicious code are profiting off of that code; either from control for spamming, identity theft, etc.

    I think Apple has great products, but cost is a strong deterent.

  13. Mathew Byrne says:

    Are you serious?

    A messaging client and a widget IDE are going to shift an entire market over to Apple?

    Get real, Timemachine and Bootcamp are serious features that may pursued a sector of the PC market to switch. But equating them with iChat and Dashcode? Those features are Apple Fan-Service and are not going to influence a mass shift from PC to Mac.

  14. Apple is the most overrated company in existence. There products are innovative, over priced, and under-featured (the iPod STILL doesn’t have an FM tuner). Not to mention that their DRM policies are the most restrictive out there.

    Its funny how all the uneducated fan-boys are drawn in by aesthetic aspects of there products.

    People complain about Windows – but seriously; if you can’t get XP (or your linux distro of choice) to work how you want it too all the time then your an idiot.

  15. @Balboa Peterson:

    Macbooks have allowed you to using two fingers on a trackpad to scroll and right-click for quite some time now. It works far better than you’d imagine. So much so, that I wish it were present on both my Compaq and Toshiba laptops as well.

  16. I disagree that Leopard is the tipping point. Vista was the tipping point. Vista failed to leapfrog anything. It’s an incremental upgrade to XP. A huge, bloated, crappy incremental upgrade, but an incremental upgrade, nevertheless.

    When Microsoft took seven years to introduce a new operating system, and the eventual operating system they introduced failed to rock, it sucks. Vista does not rock, therefore it sucks.

    When Vista was introduced, it was a major yawner. New computers were sold with it installed, that weren’t powerful enough to run it. I have a Windows faithful friend who bought a new computer with Vista and couldn’t use it until he bought 512k more RAM than it shipped with. In twenty years of using Macs, I’ve never heard of that happening on an Apple machine.

    Leopard is going to sell like Chunky Monkey in Hell.

    Microsoft had better reinvent themselves really quick.

  17. I disagree that Leopard is the tipping point. Vista was the tipping point. Vista failed to leapfrog anything. It’s an incremental upgrade to XP. A huge, bloated, crappy incremental upgrade, but an incremental upgrade, nevertheless.

    When Microsoft took seven years to introduce a new operating system, and the eventual operating system they introduced failed to rock, it sucks. Vista does not rock, therefore it sucks.

    When Vista was introduced, it was a major yawner. New computers were sold with it installed, that weren’t powerful enough to run it. I have a Windows faithful friend who bought a new computer with Vista and couldn’t use it until he bought 512k more RAM than it shipped with. In twenty years of using Macs, I’ve never heard of that happening on an Apple machine.

    Leopard is going to sell like Chunky Monkey in Hell.

    Microsoft had better reinvent themselves really quick.

  18. I bought a Macbook pro a couple of years ago and paid Apple 500 dollars for their ADC program (Apple Developer Connection). I used Leopard (legally) for 8/9 months and finally switched to Vista on a Thinkpad. I have my reasons for ditching the Apple platform – but I assure you…”Leopard is not a tipping point for Apple”.

  19. Man oh man …..wait a minute If apple gets more market share she’ll (OS X) will be hacked to bits and people will “try” to write spyware/virus 🙁 the good thing about having low market share is no one wants to go after you if only 5% use the product.

  20. So Leopard is going to allow me to play all of my windows games on mac hardware?

    Cause if not, I’m still not interested.

    PS: Yes, I get that dual-booting lets me play my windows games under windows on mac hardware. On the other hand, a mac desktop is very expensive compared to a windows desktop.

  21. Easiest and fastest way to tell if a poster is <16 yrs old: there/not/their and rediculous/not/ridiculous.

    I'm in for the chunky monkey! Making the switch Friday!

    With millions of lines of new code DEVOTED to keeping people from watching "premium content" on their PCs I think that it is MS who has the most restrictive DRM policies out there.

  22. Well It excites more with the features which MAC has introduced. But There still exists that More Expectation and less Productivity has always hindered the growth of MAC. They Might Play in trillions if they Introduce Mac to Other hardware support. Well Thats not enough though, but, if you actually see the stats of MAC against LINUX and WINDOWS, They are a bit behind the competition in regions like India, Sri-lanka, Pak, and the gulf region. There isn’t much Advertisement in here(Esoecially Indian Sub continent). So, Wel can just say that,….. Lets see how it goins when it comes out…
    Rajat Jangid
    India

  23. Haha, I am amazed. Next thing we learn is they include an ON-OFF-Button!

  24. Matt Chancellor says:

    I very much doubt that Mac OS will ever be the dominant platform. I think there will be a “tipping point” when people realize that Microsoft is no longer relevant. That may have already happened with Vista. Time will tell. I think the future is standards based computing. Linux distros have come a long way in the last five years.

    Apple, I believe, is and will remain the “Mercedes S-Class” of the new computing world. Nearly every major innovation, crumple zones, disc brakes, seal belts, air bags, antilock brakes, and so on and so on, all made their first appearance with the S-Class. That’s like Apple.

    Apple’s a premium brand. Apple’s computers are more attractive than most, better equipped and more expensive. As a result, their market share will probably remain modest.

  25. I started on Apple says:

    you’re kinda bland sounding..

    are these really…POINTS?

    god, tell us something new and interesting.. and realistic.

    this is just one more tired Mac OS update. they havent done anything truly new in AGES.

    are you paid for? do you work for Apple? maybe…. trying to hype up such ‘nothingness’…

    Cheers.

  26. Alex Tirrell says:

    >1. Time machine – nice but does it work with
    >external drives where most of my data lives?

    Yes.

    >2. ichat – great app but almost nobody I know
    >overseas has a mac so I never use it. My wife’s
    >family is from Mexico where there is rarely a mac
    >in sight. Its almost worthless. Skype for me and
    >most others as far as I’m see it. I was angry
    >when I saw apple added glitzy background
    >compositing >when cross platform is needed so
    >badly

    iChat has always had cross-platform support with AIM for Windows.

  27. 1. Time machine – nice but does it work with external drives where most of my data lives?

    Yes.

    2. ichat – great app but almost nobody I know overseas has a mac so I never use it. My wife’s family is from Mexico where there is rarely a mac in sight. Its almost worthless. Skype for me and most others as far as I’m see it. I was angry when I saw apple added glitzy background compositing when cross platform is needed so badly

    Cry more.

    3. Parental controls – there have been so many iterations of this – why is this any better

    Built-in.

    4. Boot Camp – nice but adds a lot of cost
    Your comment does not make sense. Either you have windows and need to use it on your mac, or you don’t have windows and don’t need it. Either way, no added cost- only value.

    5. Dashcode – cool but I never found a reason to use widgets beyond the calculator , dictionary or weather – I have it tuned off now.

    Good for you. Lots of people only use their computers for word processing and think that google is the internet.

    I will probably upgrade one of my macs (there others are too old) but not right away – next year probably – I just don’t agree with Steve B or Steve J so much on this one.
    You obviously haven’t even seen 10.5, thanks for your oh-so useful commentary.

  28. Not sure I’d agree about “tipping point” but it sure is starting to look like a serious contender for mom and pop through it’s ease of use and it’s sexy look.

  29. Every one of those points is stupid and here is very simply why

    1) ghost or the other 500 choices
    2) ….lol
    3) netnanny or the other 500 choices
    4) imitation
    5) Not that these havn’t been on pc for YEARS (I used to use samurize) but no one cares about these things, mac fanboys love to talk up widgets though because apparently it’s important to show how much % your cpu is workin and what the date is 5 days from yesterday and how much the dollar is worth and how to eat a seal etc etc

    you can never come up with any feature, no matter how bullshit it is, that hasn’t been done on windows 100 times before and 5 years earlier. It’s like people don’t know you can download programs that do stuff windows doesn’t AND osx for that matter

    paid for? I think so 🙂

  30. Does iChat suddenly work when all parties are behind NAT gateways? No? It’s still useless then. Skype wins again and is available now.

  31. I agree that Apple’s iChat could be a game changer. But it’s missing one thing: A Windows version.

    http://www.iSights.org/2007/10/is-leopards-ich.html

  32. I want Apple to stay under 5% of market share. IMHO, the biggest reason to buy a Mac is because no one had one and so the virus writers ignored it. This allowed me to buy my wife a Mac and get out of my nightly sys-admin role. If more damn fools buy the machine, I loose the whole reason for the mac premium.

    1) Keep the price really high Apple.
    2) People, please don’t buy those expensive Macs.

  33. I want Apple to stay under 5% of market share. IMHO, the biggest reason to buy a Mac is because no one had one and so the virus writers ignored it. This allowed me to buy my wife a Mac and get out of my nightly sys-admin role. If more damn fools buy the machine, I loose the whole reason for the mac premium.

    1) Keep the price really high Apple.
    2) People, please don’t buy those expensive Macs.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is a fanboy post.

  35. Good luck with that . . .

  36. @subcorpus:

    You talk about “uneducated fan-boys”, but you don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between there and their or your and you’re. I know this is rather petty, but it is rather hypocritical for you to talk of “uneducated” people. If your grasp of the English language is anything to go by, I would say you need to be re-educated.

  37. Five Reasons why Leopard will be Apple’s tipping point

    I came across an article written by Steve Borcsh on his site Connecting the Dots. He has done an article on the top five reasons that Leopard will be Apple’s crowning glory. Here is a synopsis of his analysis but you can read the entire article after …

  38. Everyone wants to take a shot at the front runner…

  39. There is no tipping point for mac. Macs are always going to be the artsy alternitive. Because regardles about how you feel about there OS they force you to buy their overpriced hardware. If they released OSx for all platforms they probably would have taken over the market in 05. But NO NO NO the mac people are just way to GREEDY! I love the way Mac OS works and looks. I hate things like the Mac store and all that apple philosiphy shit they try to shove down your throat. Not to mention that they try to nickle and dime the fuck out of you with add ons and upgrades.

  40. iChat? Tipping point? Oh dear! And to all those that say Apple OS should be released for all platforms: this is part of the reason Windows is the way it is. Reams and reams of backwards compatibility code, driver issues etc. But the difference is, no big business will run on Mac, because they aren’t running 16bit programs from 10/15 years ago, which Windows still attempts to do. Blue chip companies won’t be switching anytime soon, so there won’t be a tipping point.

  41. For me game-changer is Spotlight which in Leopard is going to be faster and work across network.

    Now for every “Where did I save that file? Where is it?” I’ve got answer “There, in Spotlight”.

    “How do I launch SomeObscureUtility?” “Type it in Spotlight”.

    it’s just sooo easier than “folder this, folder that, click that, menu bla control bla”.

    Why it’s so great? Because it beats Google Desktop. GD is slow (it can’t find files that were saved just a second ago, only hours later after reindex), reindexing hammers the disk, and you can’t easily use it as application launcher.

  42. Well I have decided that I am leaving OSX. This trash article os just another example of why the Mac Fanatics are killing the platform. Apple stopped trhying to innovate with their OS almost a decade ago. The few things they have added are copies of Amiga OS and Windows tools, or natural upgrades of tools so long in the tooth that they cant be swung without self castrating itself.

    Mac fanatics are the reason I and my family are leaving. They accept and promote their limited and limiting existence. These fanatics also attack any and all Mac users who dare speak badly of Apple or ask for something that is not purely “Apple”. Yet they will switch to using copies of Windows tools if Apple “Invents” them, and they will happily use the enemies CPU if Steve Jobs says it is a great idea. In fact, I half expect Steve to stop selling OSX, and have Apple machines preinstalled with XP. And I fully expect Mac Fanatics to buy the innovative new OS because Steve told them to.

    This is a cult. Nothing more. There are always people with such low self esteem that they will give up their individuality to follow one crackpot or another. The good news is that followers like these always make up a small part of the population.

    My final note is that Apple have recently had the Mac faithful have their traditional second gen’ buying spree. I know this is about to end. In USA, it must seem great with a larger than normal Mac adoption, but Americans fail to realise there is a whole world out here, and Apple market share out here is dropping, and Linux is about to become the second largest installed user base in the world. The day of OSX as a viable alternative is nearly over.

  43. Frisky Dingo says:

    Have you seen the Search Tool in the Vista start menu? Now for every “Where did I save that file? Where is it?” I’ve got answer “There, in The Start Menu”. any file you dont even need to know the name just type in the first three letters
    A mac is NOT a computer that comes with two machines in the price of one, it’s a computer that comes with one machine in the price of two, you’re perfectly able to make a $300 PC and load both Linux (every distro you want) AND Windows, even Leopard if you’re so much inclined, Apple sells you shiny plastic, always did and always will do and people will continue paying their $2500 for it.

    Feel free to START hating now

  44. Mac Overpriced?
    I don’t consider it luck-of-the-draw that I have purchased relatively few Mac machines compared to my PC friends. I have never lost a hard drive or a mother board in 20 years. Never spent a dime or any loss of sleep knocking down viruses. I’m still using several Old Macs on my home networks without issues.
    You can pay up now or you pay down later albeit with a much lower value.
    Your choice. Your money.

  45. Mac Overpriced?
    I don’t consider it luck-of-the-draw that I have purchased relatively few Mac machines compared to my PC friends. I have never lost a hard drive or a mother board in 20 years. Never spent a dime or any loss of sleep knocking down viruses. I’m still using several Old Macs on my home networks without issues.
    You can pay up now or you pay down later albeit with a much lower value.
    Your choice. Your money.

  46. Mac Overpriced?
    I don’t consider it luck-of-the-draw that I have purchased relatively few Mac machines compared to my PC friends. I have never lost a hard drive or a mother board in 20 years. Never spent a dime or any loss of sleep knocking down viruses. I’m still using several Old Macs on my home networks without issues.
    You can pay up now or you pay down later albeit with a much lower value.
    Your choice. Your money.

  47. Mac Overpriced?
    I don’t consider it luck-of-the-draw that I have purchased relatively few Mac machines compared to my PC friends. I have never lost a hard drive or a mother board in 20 years. Never spent a dime or any loss of sleep knocking down viruses. I’m still using several Old Macs on my home networks without issues.
    You can pay up now or you pay down later albeit with a much lower value.
    Your choice. Your money.

  48. Your kid’s watching porn anyway, parental control is a useless thing. Replace that point with Logic Studio 8 🙂

  49. Mac Overpriced?
    I don’t consider it luck-of-the-draw that I have purchased relatively few Mac machines compared to my PC friends. I have never lost a hard drive or a mother board in 20 years. Never spent a dime or any loss of sleep knocking down viruses. I’m still using several Old Macs on my home networks without issues.
    You can pay up now or you pay down later albeit with a much lower value.
    Your choice. Your money.

  50. Mac Overpriced?
    I don’t consider it luck-of-the-draw that I have purchased relatively few Mac machines compared to my PC friends. I have never lost a hard drive or a mother board in 20 years. Never spent a dime or any loss of sleep knocking down viruses. I’m still using several Old Macs on my home networks without issues.
    You can pay up now or you pay down later albeit with a much lower value.
    Your choice. Your money.

  51. The Admin is Watching says:

    Mac Overpriced? yes they are. I work for a record company we use Mac & PC. Mac hard drives fail and their motherboards fail like every other computer. but thanks for re-posting your comment 5 times we get it your a fanboy if Steve Jobs wanted a blow job I bet you would be the first one on your knees

  52. Geek Smatterings: CSS Tutorials, iTouch, Leopard, Stagnerator

    TOP 22 CSS TUTORIALS. Useful CSS enhancements on this list of 22 CSS tips and tutorials worth checking

  53. Geek Smatterings: CSS Tutorials, iTouch, Leopard, Stagnerator

    TOP 22 CSS TUTORIALS. Useful CSS enhancements on this list of 22 CSS tips and tutorials worth checking

  54. Geek Smatterings: CSS Tutorials, iTouch,

    Geek Smatterings: CSS Tutorials, iTouch, Leopard, Stagnerator

Leave a Comment