The return of the Mac: Behind the headlines

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Michael Morey (DW Letters, 21 March) is missing the point. The design industry has taken the Mac on board as a de facto standard for very good reasons. Not only is it the platform of choice for much graphics software but, more importantly, it offers a truly cost-effective option for designers. It is easy to learn (lower training costs), easy to use (increased productivity) and, because of its wide-installed base, easy to work with repro suppliers, printers and the like as they all have Macs too. Morey admits he has problems with “ignorant Mac editors” – perhaps he should have taken this on board when he bought a PC.

Morey feels Macs are expensive for what they offer. This may have been true ten years ago but today they are very competitive with PCs, especially looking at total cost of ownership including maintenance and training.

As regards media hype about Apple’s imminent collapse, I suggest people look behind the headlines to see what is actually happening. Apple is a big business, making big profits. Its fortunes have dipped, but the moves it has made in response, including licensing the Mac OS, have put the business back into profit and increased the Mac OS market share by several percentage points. Analysts predict Mac OS could have as much as 20 per cent of the market in a few years’ time, especially if a version of the new Rhapsody operating system is launched for Intel machines.

Windows is recognised as deeply flawed; while the Mac OS is not perfect, at least Apple has the guts to let users know what it has planned to bring it up to date, and is doing something about it.

Software developers will write for the Mac as long as it pays them to do so. With an installed base in tens of millions worldwide, I don’t see them jumping ship.

I agree Apple made a mistake not licensing the OS sooner, but it’s no use crying over spilt milk. If Morey wants competition for Microsoft, why doesn’t he put his money where his mouth is and buy into a competing OS?

Talking of making blunders, at least as a Mac user I don’t have to worry about the year 2000.

Graham Mitchell

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