As I mentioned in my post last week about switching to a Mac, I’ve had a number of posts in the back of my mind, many of them observations that I’ve made since taking the plunge.
Today’s is about how the Mac seems to sell itself. And all of us Mac users tend to help. :-)
I’ve got two examples from my own recent experience (I’ve actually got more, but I’ll keep it down to two here).
I was over at my sister’s house for Thanksgiving, and her and her husband had a couple of friends over to join us. One of them brought along his Macbook Pro. My brother-in-law mentioned that he had just installed a new printer, and it was on his wireless LAN, but some configuration thing must have been messed up because none of his (windows) computers could see it.
His friend, just for grins, opened his Mac and went to the printer setup area, and within seconds it discovered the printer on the network, and installed it. He printed a web page…and while my brother-in-law was in the next room picking up the print, his friend called over to him “it looks like your cyan ink cartridge is low!”
Pretty funny…but the important point here is it just worked, without any CDs or complicate configuration. You know what he asked for for Christmas? Gift cards for the Apple store, so he can buy a new Mac.
The second example is a coworker, who has a nice video camera, and has played with some movie editing, but has not been able to successfully burn a video DVD from Windows (it always ends up with problems on his DVD player). He’s going home tonight with a DVD created with iDVD – and he said if it actually works, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll get a Mac for himself.
I think Apple is in the middle of a bit of a perfect storm at the moment. People I’ve talked to, while not necessarily disillusioned, are not generally impressed with (or excited about) Vista. It seems there is no “wow” factor making the average Joe want to take that step, unless he’s buying a new machine where it comes already installed. And even then, I’ve got some friends (Tom is one of them) who have new laptops with Vista, and are trying to figure out how to switch back to Windows XP. So while usage remains obviously strong, I think loyalty to Windows is waning.
At the same time, it seems that – especially at home – the Mac has plenty of software available for it. Mention just about any common task that we all do with our computers, and while there might not be as many Mac apps as Windows apps, there are typically enough to choose from. And I think this may be the case even in the office, but that will be the subject of another post.
And finally, the Mac has the reputation of being easy to use and trouble-free.
I think all of these things have come together to form quite a force. When I mention to people that perhaps they should consider a Mac, and they hear that even I use one :-), probably 80% of them at least consider it. And that, I believe, is a pretty big shift from where things were say 5 years ago.