Over at Apple Matters is a discussion of the Windows-on-a-Mac effect. The article confirms something I’ve said from the beginning. Potential Apple hardware customers were afraid of switching because of the comfort of knowing Windows.
The reality of the world is that a majority of people are familiar with Windows, and quite possibly are under the impression that Mac OS X is just as difficult to use as Windows. Consumers know that Apple puts much thought into thier products, and if Mac OS X isn’t working out for them installing Windows XP is a piece of cake. So if you’re still wondering why Boot Camp is important, it’s starting to become very clear that it is the corner piece in the puzzle known commonly as the iPod Halo.
But is the iPod Halo a valid moniker? It seems at this point that it is more of an Apple Halo (Not to be confused with the RDF emanating from Cupertino). Most associate the iPod with Apple (I say this only because I hear people say “I’m in the iPod store” and not “I’m in the Apple Store”), and then determine the same type of quality exists in Apple’s other products. The last statistic I remember from (2002) Microsoft marketing was roughly 40% of their customers were continuing to use Windows 98/ME despite the end-of-life status on it. That means this group will either upgrade to XP (either through a new machine or retail box of XP), wait for Vista compatible machines, or look to Apple. Assuming these computers shipped with Windows 98/ME, which sold until 2001, would mean these systems are well into retirement years. There is a small chance they will even install XP, and a fraction of that possibility is a chance for Vista. That leaves waiting nine or more months for Vista machines, or buying XP compatible system now. Since the Mac can do this NOW, and has the promise of running Vista, then it seems like the clear winner to most consumers.