Dare Or No Dare, I'll Say It Outloud... Your Gimmick Just Got The Boot...

by M. David Peterson

and I'm not talking about the "Size 11" kind of boot, although in a way I guess it would be getting this from me as well...

Dare I say this aloud? Boot Camp is a gimmick | Perspectives | CNET News.com

But dare I say this aloud? Boot Camp is a gimmick. A smart gimmick but a gimmick nonetheless.

Boot Camp functions as a security blanket for PC users who would wet their beds without their favorite Windows application. With one download, Apple removed any lingering barriers holding back the potential universe of switchers.

These folks are still running Windows, but for how much longer? With all due respect to Messrs. Gates, Ballmer and Allchin, Windows makes very few hearts (outside the environs of Redmond, Wash.) go pitter-pat. Folks are not clamoring for Windows; they're clamoring to run Windows applications. Do you think that once they get their hands on a Mac, people won't be the least bit curious to experiment with the Macintosh operating system to see what all the fuss is about?

Apple hopes so. The company won't put it so bluntly, but it has zero interest in getting people to use Windows on a Mac. (No accident that Apple's not going to support Windows on the Mac.) They want the voyeurs to take a peek at Mac OS and be seduced by all its charms.


... instead, I'm refering to the simple fact that Boot Camp does nothing more than present to the x86 Windows user a boot choice between Windows, or Mac... but not both. Well, not at the same time anyway.

7 Comments

Rob
2006-04-12 18:07:06
Geez, what a stupid, pointless commentary. And "Pant-Peeing"... "legs crossed"... You actually write for a living?
M. David Peterson
2006-04-12 19:29:55
Yup. Isn't it great! :)
Oh, and the pant-peeing comment was in response to:


>> Boot Camp functions as a security blanket for PC users who would wet their beds without their favorite Windows application <<


I agree... not necessarily all that funny of a topic... but keeping things related to the commentary I was commenting on is a part of writing... Although, to be fair, while I do write for a living, its software that makes the living, blog posts are recreational.


I do have a question though... Why is it that when people leave derogatory comments they never provide their last name, nor a URL to their blog, web site, or other web-based pointer that gives a clue to who they are? In all of my posts here on O'Reilly -- and that represents a lot of posts -- you are only the second to leave something that I would consider a pointless derogatory comment, instead of well reasoned commentary that argued against the content of my post, but did so using constructive criticism. And each and every one of them always leave their first name, last name, and a link to their own blog, web-site, etc... if they have one.


Thats always seemed strange to me... But then again, strange is subjective to each (different) observing entity.


Which is Yet Another Great Thing About Life...


Being different.

M. David Peterson
2006-04-12 20:47:53
Yeah, I just re-read the post, and your right... the pant-peeing part was pretty dumb. I should try and avoid writing blog posts at the end of a VERY LONG coding session.


That said, I do stand behind the overall point that Boot Camp doesn't provide any incentive to use OSX. Its incentive to buy Mac hardware, but the point of the author was that Boot Camp, in and of itself, provided all the right pieces to lure Windows users to Mac. It doesn't. If my Windows apps are what keep me using Windows, then the notion of me converting to the MacOS full-time is nothing but a simple pipe dream. I might play with it here and there, but if I have to shutdown Windows, and restart to gain access to OSX, then shutdown and boot back into Windows to gain access to my applications, hasn't that pretty much killed any real chance for OSX to lure me in to using it for anything other than recreational computing activities?


Regarding the whole OS/Application argument... Isn't the point of an OS to be an OS, not the entire OS/Application package? Seems to me MS got into a bit of tussle with the US Government over trying to be too much of an OS, or more than just an OS, or however you might choose to express what it was they were accused of/settled on.


Of course all of the Mac lovers were all over that one (against MS, in favor of the US Gov Anti-Monopoly suit), but now they try to use this as the reason why MS is behind the times...


Its either one or other... you can't argue that MS is abusing their position by trying to make the OS more than an OS, and then turn around and suggest that with Mac you get "SO MUCH MORE!" than just the OS... How does this make justifiable sense to the Mac community?


"We just LOVE having few to no choices!"


Ahhh, the power of the cult.

Rob
2006-04-13 10:15:24
Mr. Peterson, now that I have a little more time, I'll address your comments. First, I didn't identify myself because with the Internet, everything is forever. These days many employers will do a Google search on prospective job candidates as a part of their interview process and I don't want to go into a job interview and have someone say to me, "Didn't you once say such and such?" I don't want to one day lose out on a job because of an opinion I expressed. Once I put my name and thoughts out there, even if someone takes the page on which I expressed them down, they'll live forever in Google's cache.


Now as to your comments, first of all, you really shouldn't write after a long coding session. Besides your rather lame attempt at being funny, it was just plain difficult to understand what your point was. I had to read the last paragraph a couple of times to get what you were driving at.


Is Bootcamp a gimmick? I don't think it is. I think it's a clever attempt by Apple to get all of those people who have purchased iPods to take one step off the fence and consider switching over to a Mac, or at least trying it out. Would it be better if you didn't have to reboot to go back and forth? Why yes, of course. And I wouldn't be surprised if that becomes a feature in the OS after Leopard. But I also have anecdotal evidence to support my opinion. As one example, my brother, who is a small business owner, is ready to buy a new computer. He currently has a couple of applications that run under Windows and he was concerned about not being able to run them if he switched to a Mac. He's looked at the Macs and has really liked what he's seen, but he still needs that security blanket. Well, now he has it. Example number two. I have an acquaintance who works for Microsoft. I'll admit I'm not a Microsoft fan (more about that later) so I've always kept my opinions about Microsoft in check around them because I like this person and didn't want to get into arguments with them. Well imagine my shock when they pulled a new MacBook Pro out of their knapsack the other day! We were talking about Bootcamp and this person (who, mind you, has their paycheck signed by Steve Ballmer) revealed that they were a closet Mac fan who uses a Mac at home for all their family computing chores. This friend of mine went home after work on the day Bootcamp was announced and installed Bootcamp on their MacBook in about an hour (approximately forty of those minutes were spent installing Windows) with no problems. Why? Because this person is going to graduate school and has one particular program they need for their studies that isn't available on the Mac platform.


Now as for me, I'm one of the Mac converts. I got an iPod for my birthday last summer and was so impressed by its elegance and simplicity of use, that I decided to try the Mac OS X when it came time to buy a new computer. Now I've been in the computer industry for over twenty years. I started out as a systems administrator, I then moved into networking, and for the last eight years I've been developing web applications for Windows servers. I watched both the Windows and Mac computers evolve over that time. In the last ten years, as someone who has worked on Windows computers for eight hours or more a day, day in and day out, I've become increasingly frustrated with Windows. I grew tired of the "blue screen of death," of having applications hang, forcing me to reboot my computer. I also got tired of having to reformat my disk and reinstall all of my applications every six months because my applications began misbehaving. I just wanted to get my work done. Now granted, with Windows XP I no longer see the "blue screen of death," but DLL hell and memory leaks still seem to persist. As a matter of fact, I'm having my company's tech guy reimage the hard drive on my company notebook (which I only received eight months ago) because various applications aren't behaving properly. With two versions of Visual Studio to install plus all the libraries plus my other application development tools, this will cost me at least two days of work.


Now when I talk about why I've become a Mac convert to people whom I work with, they always say, "You're not making a fair comparision. Windows was written so that it could be used with computer hardware from any manufacturer around the world while the Apple is a closed, controlled system." My response to that is "true, but so what?" I don't care. I just need to get work done. Period. Let me put it this way. Let's say you're thinking about getting married and you have two suitors who, for all intents and purposes, are very nice people and you like them both. However, suitor A has spent the last ten years trying to "find themselves." First they worked as an office assistant (no pun intended), then they worked at an entertainment theme park running one of the rides, then they poured coffee at Starbucks. Now, ten years later, they've worked fifteen different jobs and they're still only making seven bucks an hour. Suitor B on the other hand, went to college and when they saw that the world was changing, went back to graduate school and got some more education so that they could reinvent themselves. They then got out of school, decided they they wanted to focus on one particular area, say consumer marketing, and they been getting promotions and raises, and now they're making $125,000 a year. Both suitors A and B are nice people but B offers you security and stability to boot. Who are you going to marry?


Sure, this isn't a perfect analogy since Microsoft has over 95% of the desktop market. However, I think you see my point. IMHO, Microsoft is now where General Motors was in the 80's. They're at their zenith but at the cusp of a long decline. Why? Because Microsoft continues to try build more and more features upon an OS architecture that is inherently unstable and poorly architected. Just has GM is now weighed down by the exorbitant health care costs of its retired workers, Microsoft is weighed down by the need to continue providing backwards support for this huge installed base of computers whose CPUs may be made it America, the disk drives in Taiwan, and the memory chips who knows where. Unless Microsoft decides to start from scratch as Apple once did, eventually the platform will collapse under its own enormous weight. Look around you. Vista is delayed yet again? I know, Mr. Peterson, that you have a vested interest in seeing Microsoft suceed because you're a Microsoft developer. I probably do as well because I develop web applications that run under IIS. And hell, I have to say that Visual Studio 2005 is the best IDE I've ever worked with. But in spite of this, I'm writing this post from an iMac and I couldn't be happy. I never have to fuss with it; I don't have to reimage it every year, it just works. And therefore, I get work done. End of story.

Rob
2006-04-13 10:19:24
Damn, there's always one typo you miss. I meant to say that I couldn't be happier than I am working on a Mac.
M. David Peterson
2006-04-13 10:35:22
Hey Rob,


Thanks for your follow-up and explanation regarding use of your first name only. Thats's actually as far as I got as I am running out the door for a couple of hours. But your comments look incredibly interesting so upon return and I will sit down and finish reading and reply as necessary.


Thanks again for taking the time to follow-up! I appreciate folks who are willing to take what looks to be a significant portion of their time to respond as it shows they obviously have a great deal of feelings toward the topic at hand which usually tends to lead to me learning a thing or two. I like to learn :D


Back in a few.

M. David Peterson
2006-04-13 18:36:19
Hi Rob,


Still don't have a lot of time as I am behind on the release of a demo for the new Saxon 8.7.1 release, but its going to be a bit yet before I get this done so let me quickly respond on a few things:


>> These days many employers will do a Google search on prospective job candidates as a part of their interview process and I don't want to go into a job interview and have someone say to me, "Didn't you once say such and such?" I don't want to one day lose out on a job because of an opinion I expressed. Once I put my name and thoughts out there, even if someone takes the page on which I expressed them down, they'll live forever in Google's cache. <<


True. I personally don't believe that expressing your opinions yet hiding from them at the same time suggests that your opinions mean all that much to you. The fear of "losing out on a job" is just that, fear. You're suggesting that because theres a chance someone might disagree with your opinion, and therefore not give you a job, this justifys hiding your identity. I disagree with that philosophy. In fact, Googling for "M. David Peterson" (with the quotes to ensure that matches returned contain only that exact sequence of characters, in proper order.) should show just how much I disagree with your point as this currently returns 132,000 matches. I believe strongly in publishing on the web, and standing behind what I state. Does this mean I might lose out on a job someday? Maybe. But I would rather work for someone who wants an employee who is willing to work hard and stand up for what they believe in instead of one who wouldn't hire me because our opinions were different.


I have my belief, you have yours. I believe your stance suggest lack of a backbone. You don't. We have different beliefs. And thats okay.


>> Now as to your comments, first of all, you really shouldn't write after a long coding session. Besides your rather lame attempt at being funny,


Hmmm.... Wasn't trying to be funny. Was simply extending from the bed wetting comment. I agree, its not very funny. In fact I stated that in my first response. Maybe you forgot to actually read it.


>> it was just plain difficult to understand what your point was.


Fair enough. I can take that criticism to heart and apply it to future posts.


>> Is Bootcamp a gimmick?


Yes.


>> I don't think it is. I think it's a clever attempt by Apple to get all of those people who have purchased iPods to take one step off the fence and consider switching over to a Mac, or at least trying it out.


I disagree. And thats okay.


>> Would it be better if you didn't have to reboot to go back and forth? Why yes, of course. And I wouldn't be surprised if that becomes a feature in the OS after Leopard.


You can use Virtual PC and gain an integrated solution on the PowerPC-based machines. Its emulated, and as such, slow... But the very fact that MS owns Virtual PC, and furthermore already has an x86 version suggests that chances are good that it will be MS that integrates the virtualization piece of this. If you read some of my posts over the last two months you would already have known this.


>> But I also have anecdotal evidence to support my opinion. As one example, my brother, who is a small business owner, is ready to buy a new computer. He currently has a couple of applications that run under Windows and he was concerned about not being able to run them if he switched to a Mac. He's looked at the Macs and has really liked what he's seen, but he still needs that security blanket. Well, now he has it.


But he has it in the form of shutdown/reboot to gain access to it. That gets REALLY old after about the fifth time. You see, I have anecdotal evidence as well, and its my own that I am refering to. I dumped the notion of dual partition a LONG TIME AGO and only use virtualization now. It works EXTREMELY well, no reboot required. But of course this is only for an OS compiled with an x86 architecture, so in essence this gives me a WinXP host, various flavors of GNU/Linux, and Open Solaris. there are others, but these are the virtual machines I have loaded and ready to go at any time. I have a Mac laptop as well. And it runs by itself, on Mac hardware obviously. So I don't use it very often. In fact I use it for testing and every so often I will take it with me when I run for coffee, but even that is becoming less of an occurence. I simply don't like the Mac experience. It assumes too much, and forces you to dig deep just to change a few things here and there. I don't have time to deal with computer manufacturers who believe its there decision to give you access to the things they think are best. You might disagree with me that this is the case, but if I suggest that this is the experience I have when working from my Mac, then you suggesting that I am wrong only helps promote the idea that your not concerned with how others feel, unless they agree with your points. I'm beginning to believe (and if I am wrong, prove it) that you are one of these types of people.


>> Example number two. I have an acquaintance who works for Microsoft. I'll admit I'm not a Microsoft fan (more about that later) so I've always kept my opinions about Microsoft in check around them because I like this person and didn't want to get into arguments with them. Well imagine my shock when they pulled a new MacBook Pro out of their knapsack the other day! We were talking about Bootcamp and this person (who, mind you, has their paycheck signed by Steve Ballmer)


Steve Ballmer signs his/her checks personally; by hand? Hmmm... I'm pretty sure that Steve Ballmer has more important things to do than sign paychecks given that a) The payroll department handles payroll. b) Most folks these days have direct deposit, and they get a stub each week for there own records. Are you suggesting that he/she works directly for Steve Ballmer?

>> revealed that they were a closet Mac fan who uses a Mac at home for all their family computing chores.


A lot of folks at MS use Mac. Thats not surprising. They're not bound and gagged and forced to use ONLY Windows on x86-based hardware. So I'm not sure I understand your point.


>> This friend of mine went home after work on the day Bootcamp was announced and installed Bootcamp on their MacBook in about an hour (approximately forty of those minutes were spent installing Windows) with no problems. Why? Because this person is going to graduate school and has one particular program they need for their studies that isn't available on the Mac platform.


Okay. Cool. They'll have to reboot to gain access to it, and they can use various existing virtualization solutions right now that would allow them the best of both worlds... But if they want to reboot every time, I have no issues with that. My guess is that, like I did, they'll get tired of dealing with that in a hurry... but if not... then more power to them.


>> I just wanted to get my work done. Now granted, with Windows XP I no longer see the "blue screen of death,"


So, in essence, your refering to pre-XP machines for the blue screen of death. And XP came out in 2001. So for the last five years you havent had the blue screen of death, or if you did, it was because you chose not to upgrade to XP until??? Either way, it seems you have... so why are you bringing up the blue screen of death when it doesnt happen anymore. Your using something that doesn't exist as part of your argument? Why would you do that? That doesnt make any sense.


>> but DLL hell and memory leaks still seem to persist.


I don't have a problem with DLL hell anymore... havent for years. And the only memory leaks I see come from applications that MS had no hand in developing, and even then its only a minute few that have this problem.


>> As a matter of fact, I'm having my company's tech guy reimage the hard drive on my company notebook (which I only received eight months ago) because various applications aren't behaving properly. With two versions of Visual Studio to install plus all the libraries plus my other application development tools, this will cost me at least two days of work.


Sorry to hear that... I don't have these kinds of problems anymore. I used to... but I run both versions of Visual Studio just fine, and an extensive list of apps that again, have no problems.



>> Now when I talk about why I've become a Mac convert to people whom I work with, they always say, "You're not making a fair comparision. Windows was written so that it could be used with computer hardware from any manufacturer around the world while the Apple is a closed, controlled system." My response to that is "true, but so what? I don't care. I just need to get work done. Period. "


Hmmm... neat ideal. I think it's a bit much to expect others to feel the same way, but its your right to believe what you want. I'n not sure why you're not getting work done, not a problem I have... but I certainly would hate live in a world in which lack of choice, competition, etc... in the world of computer hardware didn't exist because Apple doesn't like competition from ANY angle.



>> Let me put it this way. Let's say you're thinking about getting married and you have two suitors who, for all intents and purposes, are very nice people and you like them both. However, suitor A has spent the last ten years trying to "find themselves." First they worked as an office assistant (no pun intended), then they worked at an entertainment theme park running one of the rides, then they poured coffee at Starbucks. Now, ten years later, they've worked fifteen different jobs and they're still only making seven bucks an hour. Suitor B on the other hand, went to college and when they saw that the world was changing, went back to graduate school and got some more education so that they could reinvent themselves. They then got out of school, decided they they wanted to focus on one particular area, say consumer marketing, and they been getting promotions and raises, and now they're making $125,000 a year. Both suitors A and B are nice people but B offers you security and stability to boot. Who are you going to marry? <<


The one I'm in love with.


In fact, your example showcases pretty much ALL that I believe is wrong with this world. What respect I thought I might have walked away with after reading your follow-up is now all pretty much gone.


>> Sure, this isn't a perfect analogy since Microsoft has over 95% of the desktop market.


The reason there are so many Windows applications is because of the 95% ownership of the desktop market. Imagine if each country hadn't standardize on a particular power outlet to plug appliances into. That would suck. The same is true about an OS. If you have no where to plug your application into except the proprietary hardware and software it was designed to run on, we will still be living life in the 80's. That would suck. People gravitate to common ground. That common ground is Windows. Thats not going to change anytime soon. Sorry, but its not.


>> However, I think you see my point.


Nope. I don't at all. Its quite honestly the worst analogy I have EVER heard in my life. It flat out sucks.


>> IMHO,


You're not humble. You're opinionated and believe your opinons are gospel.


>> Microsoft is now where General Motors was in the 80's. They're at their zenith but at the cusp of a long decline.


I disagree. Show me the hard numbers that prove this.


>> Why? Because Microsoft continues to try build more and more features upon an OS architecture that is inherently unstable and poorly architected.


Which OS is that? XP? What features have they been building on top of what already exists? Bug fixes, patches, etc.. yes. But thats software, no matter who it comes from. Linux, Mac, they have patches as often as MS does. So what's your point?


>> Just has GM is now weighed down by the exorbitant health care costs of its retired workers, Microsoft is weighed down by the need to continue providing backwards support for this huge installed base of computers whose CPUs may be made it America, the disk drives in Taiwan, and the memory chips who knows where.


You mean just like a Mac? Yeah, believe or not, a Mac is full of parts made in the same places. If you read the material that comes with the hardware they use the phrase "Designed in Cupertino, CA" or "Designed in America". The hardware is manufactured overseas for the most part, and in all cases contains parts made all over the world. Thats actually a good thing... we live in a global economy now, whether the US citizens want to realize it or not. But using this as the basis of your argument in favor of Mac/against MS? You need to do your homework because you're so far off base its laughable.


>> Unless Microsoft decides to start from scratch as Apple once did, eventually the platform will collapse under its own enormous weight.



They did. It's called Vista. It'll be out in just under a year. I look forward to its arrival. Any questions?


>> Look around you. Vista is delayed yet again?


Good. Means theyre more concerned with doing it right, and less concerned with giving in to pressures to ship something thats not ready to be shipped. Good for them!


>> I know, Mr. Peterson, that you have a vested interest in seeing Microsoft suceed because you're a Microsoft developer.


Most of the code I write runs cross-platform -- XML, XSLT, and various .NET supported languages, which run on top of Mono as well as MS.NET, so that covers about 10 or so different architectures, including PowerPC and thusly, Mac. I want MS to succeed, yes. And I want Linux to succeed. In fact I mentioned this in the article. I want Apple/Mac to succeed for that matter... I think they're all important to the overall computing landscape, regardless if the code I write runs on them or not... the fact that it does is a nice feature... but if it didnt, that wouldnt mean I want them to fail, just that my code doesnt run on their hardware. But it does, so I'm happy.



>> I probably do as well because I develop web applications that run under IIS. And hell, I have to say that Visual Studio 2005 is the best IDE I've ever worked with.


The funny thing is that while I agree Visual Studio is good, I actually like writing most of my code in Eclipse.


>> But in spite of this, I'm writing this post from an iMac and I couldn't be happier (MDP: corrected due to your follow up). I never have to fuss with it; I don't have to reimage it every year, it just works. And therefore, I get work done.


Neither do I. and I get a TON of work done every day on my WinXP/GNU/Linux/Open Solaris machine, all of which run within the same environment at the same time.


>> End of story.


Yep.