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Aquatic Mac

Switching Off Mac OS 9

Andrew W. Hill
2002.09.12

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"Over 75 percent of customers using these Macs have elected to keep Mac OS X as their default operating system." - Apple Press Release

Okay, so 25% of customers think OS X is confusing enough to go through the bother of switching. I know my Dad didn't like OS X at first, but he didn't want to have to reboot in OS 9 without giving X a shot, so he did. Now he's up to perhaps 50% time in OS X.

If 25% didn't want to bother to learn the already installed Mac OS X, why would they bother to buy a new computer? They'd stick with the aging one until it was no longer good enough. Then, when they have to switch operating systems anyway, they may just buy the cheapest one at the time from Gateway or Dell.

Is Apple saying they're willing to cut their market by 25%?

In my opinion, yes.

Apple did it once before, switching to the Mac from the Apple. There was a transition period with some emulation coming from the Mac XL and the Apple IIgs, and then they cut the Apple line around 1991. So about a seven year transition period.

I know many people that switched to Windows 3.1 instead of Macintosh after dumping their Apple IIs.

Again, switching to the PowerPC architecture. In 1994-95, both PowerPC and 68k systems were released by Apple, but more importantly is the software support. The first Power Mac was shipped in 1994, and the last 68k Mac OS (8.1) was released in 1998. That's a four year transition period.

With OS X, which has been around publicly since late 2000 (with the full release in early 2001), there will have been a two year time when you could run either 9 or X when OS 9 support is cut in 2003.

Very few people will argue that switching from the Apple command line interface to the Macintosh's GUI was a bad thing, even though it cost Apple a significant portion of their user base. Again, nobody will argue that switching from the CISC based 68k series to the RISC based PowerPCs was a bad thing. And five years from now, I don't believe anyone will argue that switching completely to OS X will have been a bad thing.

With the Macintosh, we switched to a more efficient user experience. With the PowerPC architecture, we switched to a more efficient processor design. With Mac OS X, we are switching to a more efficient operating system.

Yes, it's worth it.

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Andrew W. Hill (a.k.a. Aqua) has been using Macintosh computers since 1987 and maintains that the Mac SE is the perfect Macintosh, superior to all - including the Color Classic. He is on the verge of being evicted from the family home due to its infestation of Macs (last count: about 50). Andrew is attempting to pay his way through college at UC Santa Cruz with freelance Web design and Mac tech support.

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Aquatic Mac begun December 28, 2001. All Tech Reflections articles ©2001-2003 by Andrew W. Hill. Low End Mac is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. Opinions expressed are those of their authors and may not reflect the opinion of Cobweb Publishing. Advice is presented in good faith, but what works for one may not work for all.
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