64 Comments

Summary:

How many of you Mac users out there have ever attempted to persuade someone to Get a Mac? How many of you have ever engaged in a debate or argument with a user of a certain other operating system over the virtues of your respective OS? […]

Cult of Mac How many of you Mac users out there have ever attempted to persuade someone to Get a Mac? How many of you have ever engaged in a debate or argument with a user of a certain other operating system over the virtues of your respective OS? Quite a few, I might guess. How about this: how many of you have ever been coaxed to convert to Windows? Anyone? Yes, you there, in the back, how did that conversation go?

“Look at this nice Toshi-”

“No.”

As a preacher of the merits of a Mac myself, with a few notches on my belt at that, it’s interesting to see how people feel about such things in their life. In the ever raging operating system debate, Mac users often try to convince family, friends, and even strangers on online forums to convert to our beloved OS X. However, the flip side is rarely true, the times I’ve seen a Windows user try to convert a Mac user are few and far between (as well as unsuccessful).

Gaming consoles are another area where people are fiercely loyal, the difference in that case being that there’s more equality, both among market shares of the three gaming giants, as well as fanboyism of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft users respectively. However, have you ever tried to convince a friend to switch from Crest to Colgate? Have you ever extolled the virtues of Nike over New Balance? Methinks not.

Just what is it about certain things that make people so protective of their selection? Perhaps the underdog status of Apple make people question their decision, when so many others choose Windows, therefore leading them to bully others so that you know your decision is right. Maybe you’re ecstatic with all the benefits switching to OS X has given you, and you want others to feel the same way. But even if those hot new Adidias sneakers improved your mile by 5 seconds, you probably aren’t jumping to make the rest of the world choose your brand of sneakers. If your Nova Scotian Christmas tree lasted six weeks longer than your previous, Ireland-grown tree, you don’t seem to be causing Nova Scotia gross domestic product to even budge. But if you got your hands on a coveted PlayStation 3 (and aren’t a scalper), I bet you’ve been flaming away at the Sony haters online.

(EDIT: Fixed an error differentiating between two growth regions of Christmas trees)

  1. “If your Nova Scotian Christmas tree lasted six weeks longer than your previous, Canada-grown tree, you don’t seem to be causing Nova Scotia gross domestic product to even budge.”

    Uh…

    Nova Scotia, the last time I checked, is part of Canada.

    So a Nova Scotia tree WOULD BE a “Canada-grown” tree.

    “Hi, I’m Richard, and I know nothing about Canada”.

    Share
  2. You forget, not everyone *chooses* Windows, it’s just how PC vendors preload their hardware.

    A lot of people probably don’t even know that Apple make a “PC” because Dell and HP seem to saturate TV advertising (here in the UK at least). A PC is a Dell or a HP, etc. An Apple is a Mac. Nobody outside of computing circles knows what a Mac is today. But I do see that changing over time, especially with the high street presence, Apple is playing a long-term game in consumer appliances. Microsoft, in the mind of the prospect, is equated to Windows and Office and maybe Xbox. They may find it difficult to break that perception as they stand still and the world moves on without them.

    Share
  3. You should check out Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Tipping Point.” I think most people that get Macs are what he describes as “Mavens” (people who constantly search for the best products and best prices and then feel the need to help and educate others about those products). I think it’s not so much the product or brand but the people who own these products that makes the difference.

    Share
  4. I’ve always been interested in apple, ever since I was young and so was the Apple IIe! When I first started buying personal computers, the price point of apple was prohibitive. It still is to a lot of people, but I’m a lot more wealthy now, but that wasn’t the tipping point for me.

    I’ve always liked the car analogy. I built PC’s for years and years, and I’ve also been a mechanic. A PC was always like a high school car, you get something affordable, economical even, it gets you around. If you have a bit of extra money you can tool around on it and make it a little bit nicer. If you want to invest a lot of time and money into it, you can make it an amazing performing machine… but it’ll still break occasionally. A Mac is more like a finely engineered luxury car. It may cost quite a bit more to get a model that accelerates as fast, but the overall experience is.. luxurious. You don’t need to upgrade anything, it’s already got the best. You just get in, and drive, and enjoy it. This analogy has lost a bit since the price point on a mac has come way down in recent years.

    The advent of OS X, which is such a better designed system from the ground up than anything available on non mac hardware really was the last straw. I was tired of dealing with windows, Linux, etc. I was tired of fighting with conflicting hardware components. I wanted something from the ground up that was designed to work well. That’s a Mac. You get what you pay for. I can’t imagine ever going back, it’s simply a better experience through and through.

    Share
  5. A thoroughly entertaining read because it sums up my personal experience quite a bit… but in point of fact, I’m exactly like this in everything I do. When I got the iPod + Nike kit, I explained to other runners in my neighborhood how I could track my statistics. When I saw Deja Vu in theaters, I spent ample time explaining why I enjoyed it to other movie buffs. It doesn’t matter what the subject is — in my experience, Mac users in general take initiative and tend to be more reflective upon the choices they make and why.

    As a veteran of Best Buy off and on over the last two years, I’ve engaged in countless examples of “Mac Witnessing” to PC users, and operating system superiority debates. The only defense Windows users have is that they “don’t like the feel of Mac,” and code monkeys typically default to Solaris or GNU/Linux.

    Gaming consoles are a different beast because it’s a far more accessible market and takes on a major, MAJOR mindshare in youths, where competition is paramount all the way down to “My dad can beat up your dad” and the choice of gaming system often carries weight on how many of your friends actually show up to your house.

    Share
  6. NWJR: Sorry about that, I was thinking about how Boaton gets sent a Christmas tree every year from Nova Scotia, and blindly forgot it was part of Canada. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Mike Peter Reed: I was thinking about that as well. That, in part, is what Apple is trying to do with the Get a Mac ads, but if it’s as you say and Dell and HP air commercials aplenty, it might be hard to get noticed. What I think would be great for Apple is if a movie could do to it what Borat did to Kazakhstan. Before I heard about Borat, I never really thought about Kazakhstan as anything more than a name on a map. By portraying Kazakhstan in such a big way in a wildly popular movie, I’m sure Kazakhstan will remain in people’s minds for quite some time. In that case, it’s not really helpful to them, since they’re portrayed in a poor light. However, I think if Macs could be used in such a big way in a popular movie, that might help a lot more than the Get a Mac ads.

    BLin: Thanks for the suggestion, however, The Tipping Point already holds a spot on my bookshelf.

    Share
  7. I’m a windows fanboy.

    It’s like this: when my computer breaks down (and it will) I want the ability to be able to purchase a **single component replacement** for the part that broke, not take my machine to Apple for a (unwarrantied, expensive) fix or scrap it for a new machine. As someone with a knowlege of computers, it is a level of freedom I enjoy. Macs in the past have been plagued with this issue, now granted the switch to intel hardware (steve’s foot firmly in mouth) may mitigate it somewhat however Apple’s firm embrace of TPM will/already prevents unsigned component switchout in the near future. Home-built computers do not suffer from this, and Windows can be built on any white box (along with Linux), which is why I prefer Windows and Linux and recommend either above an apple.

    Share
  8. If you don’t think people try talking people into Windows you obviously don’t game much. Unless you want to play nothing but WoW you need a to be running Windows not OS X. Sure the latets Macs have bootcamp, but you still have to boot to Windows to play the vast majority of good games out there.

    Share
  9. Apple Blog Visitor Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    This is exactly the PROBLEM with Mac users, the preachy “must-covert-you” thing that keeps Apple where it is in the marketplace.

    Without being mean / rude to anyone here…what is the NUMBER #1 thing you hate most about buying a car? Seeing the saleman coming right for you. Oh, My, God…Run! Run!

    It is the same thing with Macs. Look, I don’t need a sales pitch from a guy who owns a Mac every time I stand still.

    I don’t need the “switch” campaigns that show people that look stoned or are too dumb to make a printer work…switching to a Mac.

    I really don’t want to be associated with the Justin Long types. Nobody I know even hangs out with those types of people (and, apparently neither does 95% of the computer market that uses Windows machines) but Apple flaunts them like a merit badge.

    I’d like to meet a Mac person that doesn’t try to convert me. Or make me feel inferior or stupid for owning a PC. Lump me in with stupid people that NEED to switch because a two button mouse confuses them.

    In short, all the things Apple flaunts is what keeps the other 95% at bay. Maybe you SHOULDN’T be trying so hard and people might come your way. It worked when you adopted Intel and dropped all the “PowerPC pWns J00 411 in Photoshop” stuff. Let the rest of the image go and you might just win people over without saying a thing.

    Share
  10. **single component replacement** Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    You obviously no nothing about mac hardware. I have been working with windows and macs for 10+ yrs. At this point, there is nothing that you can replace on a pc that you can’t on a mac. Where do you get off making this comment.

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post