Originally posted by kwatson
Yes, and Sun's not doing so well, and oh, how about that SGI? I've never seen a company that could dependably choose the WORST option each time, every time, like SGI...
But you don't understand why they still have problems.
It was because they waited too long. Both companies were at the top of the heap in their respective areas.
But as x86 machines began to get closer to their performance at far lower prices, they turned their noses up at the thought that they would ever be serious competition.
By the time they looked down, they were surrounded. They finally made their moves, and they did good jobs of it too. But they were already so undercut that they haven't recovered. And they may not.
Jobs made a very good point at the keynote. With the chart up there showing Apple's 40% increase in sales against the industry's 10%, he said that because Apple was strong, this was the time to do it.
He's right. If Apple's sales were in the toilet and they made this switch then people would be saying; "uh oh, this is their last ditch chance, they're doing any desperate thing they can to get attention", and it might very well fail.
But to do it when your sales are at an all time high, profits are up, you have other product lines that are doing very well, and public awareness of the company as a provider of quality products is not under serious threat, it the best timing I can think of.
Apple seems to have done a good job of it. Programs are already running, and development machines are going out the door.
For those who have small programs that are shareware and can't afford the total of $1,500 for the development kit including the select membership, I'm sure that any Apple store would allow you to spend some time at a free machine at the store to try your stuff out. The idea that they wouldn't is unrealistic. Just don't make a habit of hogging a machine for hours at a time. I've already spoken to the manager of the SoHo store here in NYC about this.
I remember the switch from 68xx to PPC as going very smoothly. Old programs did run more slowly on the new, much faster, machines. But that passed.
As Apple HAS done a very good job of this so far, my worries have mostly passed about the technical shift itself.
The rest is user perception. If Apple can show that buying a machine now is not going to be a mistake, then I think that problem will take care of itself. I expect some falloff, but as I say, if it's managed well it should come back. The old machines won't be left in the dust for some time to come. Just remember that developers have every reason to produce the universal binaries, and none to not produce them. It will take years after the x86 machines are established for them to surpass 50% of the Macs out there. By that time any of the old machines will have been ready for pasture anyway, and moving to a new one will be no different than it is today.
In my user group here we have around 800 members a fair percentage of them still are using OS 9 and earlier. They know that for most of their machines new software or OS X itself is impossible, but they don't care. When one of these people decides to move up, they just do it.
I think that it will be the same here as well.
Stop kvetching already.