back to article Fanbois taught to use Apple's new killer app: Microsoft Windows

Apple is preparing to train its shop staff to use Microsoft Windows in a bid to flog more Macs to business users reared on PCs. The fruity firm is planning to teach its shop staff to use a piece of virtualisation software called Parallels, which allows fanbois to run both OSX and any number of Windows and Unix operational …

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Anonymous Coward

Those boring accountants are going to need it

to run Sage Accounts and their Excel spreadsheets.

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Re: Those boring accountants are going to need it

Or they can use Orical virtual box for Free

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Those boring accountants are going to need it

So, you can now get real work done on a Mac.

nb - I have never seen an architect with a Mac as mentioned in the article. They mostly use AutoCAD on a PC....

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Re: Those boring accountants are going to need it

I've seen architects with Macs, but they've all been running BootCamp. I suspect Autodesk noticed the same thing, hence why AutoCAD is now available in a Mac native port again after a nearly two-decade absence.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow

so you mean I can spend £800 on an imac and then an extra £100 or so to run windows on it? Amazing.

Or y'know, I could just buy an equivalent PC for £300, an equivlanet monitor for £200, and save about £400. Although I could see this being useful for developers, Y'know people making apps for their iPhone / Android / windows phone etc using something like mono. Develop it in their fave environment on windows / linux / apple. Deploy on the favoured enviornment and bug fix, then port it effortlessly to the remaining two environments for testing.

Could be useful at the very least.

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Stop

Re: Wow

Show me the equivalent PC for £300. You can buy *A* PC for £300, but it won't be directly equivalent. You'll also find PC manufacturers selling AIO models like the iMac for about the same money as the iMac.

It's your money to spend, but don't pretend it's the same exact thing you are buying,

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Meh

Re: Wow

Yes, but you can't "legitimatly" run OSX on a non Apple Computer.

So, you must buy the shiny shiny thing if you want to develop for fruit, unless you go against the 'Cult of Jobs' and make yourself a Hackintosh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow

What you will tend to find is a PC laptop with similar RAM and CPU, but quite often the disk or GPU will be lacking. The PC laptop will come with UEFI which makes Linux booting troublesome, Macs come with EFI without all the locked bootloader junk.

Plus take into account that OSX is much more optimised for the GPUs Apple uses than Windows. A PC laptop will look good on paper but the user experience won't be great, "Made for Windows 8" stickers that remove the finish of the case, bloatware pre-installed etc.

Not to mention after sales service. I got a three year old Macbook Pro repaired for free by Apple, dropped it in on Saturday, collected it on Sunday. (It was repaired due to the GPU packaging fault that NVidia admitted liability for).

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Mushroom

Re: Wow

Feel free to point out these equivalents.

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Re: Wow

It's not a matter of equivalence, it's a matter of what's required to do the job and whether it's economical for a business to equip itself with Apple equipment.

Of course it's up to the business at the end of the day to make that call, it's their money - but I wouldn't spend the premium on Apple equipment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow

"The PC laptop will come with UEFI which makes Linux booting troublesome"

Go into BIOS, turn off.

Or get a Linux bootloader that supports it.

UEFI not required for "PC" version of 8.

Still, facts eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow

I run Linux on a box with uEFI, I didn't even know it had uEFI until I noticed secureboot in the BIOS which, because it initially came with a Windows pre-8 installed on it was switched off.

Even if you want to run Linux on a box and still keep secureboot, most major distros support it right out of the box.

Now, installing Linux onto my G5, with EFI, now that was a massive pain in the pain. These days, I use vmware fusion on my macbook pro and that's pretty good.

I also contend that if my experience and the experience of those around me is anything to go by you've been very lucky with your Apple customer services experience. Whenever I call them up I seem to get the phrase "not covered by Applecare".

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Re: Wow

Feel free to point out these equivalents.

There's plenty of equivalents but they also come with an equivalent price which kinda detracts from the original posters point.

It would have made more sense to say by choosing other than Apple you can have the choice of much cheaper devices or a device better configured to your needs but that wouldn't have sounded as good as trying to suggest you can have the same level of product at half the cost...

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Re: Wow

I run FreeBSD on a box with uEFI, I didn't even know it had uEFI until I came to flash a device's firmware to the latest version, at which point it failed, because the machine has no fucking BIOS.

3 days of swearing later, I had the firmware updated, via a loaner mobo that had the required slots and still had a BIOS. I'm so glad they took away that nasty slow simple BIOS and replaced it with that nasty slow complicated uEFI.

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Re: Wow

Interesting way to miss the point entirely.

I don't own a Mac and like you think they're overpriced for what they offer. But if someone does choose to run a Mac for whatever reason, having the option to run additional operating systems is a bonus rather than a spending fail. The point here is someone who normally uses the Mac OS out of choice, has the ability to use that Mac in a work environment where Microsoft products dominate, without having to wait for a version of Office to be released.

More importantly, as developers remove support for alternate platforms - they may only develop for Linux, Unix, Windows, etc - having the option of running a second OS in parallel is an extremely useful feature. Even having the option to run it exclusively could be important, especially if there are Mac specific application you must use along with say Autocad or Maya.

This isn't the direction I would choose myself, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

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Re: Wow

I am an accountant. I have a MacBook with Windows XP running in Parallels so I can run all my Sage stuff on it. I chose it because when I compared Macs with the equivalent spec PC, the price was actually pretty competitive. I also have my Adobe stuff on it, not in the Windows VM, for playing around with photos.

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Re: Wow

What it comes down to, however, is that Apple's unique selling point is their operating system, and now they're trying to sell systems to people that don't want to use their operating system. Seems a little iffy. If they were still using heavily customized hardware it would be one thing, but they're pretty standard parts now outside of the cases.

And while I don't want to touch the whole what's cheaper spec for spec argument (and I strongly suspect it may vary by location) it's worth noting that a $200 PC (using prices here in Canada as my basis) will run business software (spreadsheets, exchange clients, accounting packages, ERP packages, etc) without any hiccups. Spec for spec isn't that important when the minimum spec to do the job is many levels below the minimum spec Apple will sell you.

Touching the last point about support. I agree that Apple's retail support can be very good (in my experience it varies strongly store to store, some are populated by idiots and others not so much). However, Apple's support is extremely consumer-oriented; large IT departments can't be dealt with by retail support, the needs are simply too different. If an IT manager calls in asking about licensing details for deploying standardized images, you can't respond with a script that starts with 'have you tried to reboot the affected system, sir/ma'am?' So unless Apple is making the corresponding changes organizationally, I have a hard time seeing them gaining traction against the likes of Dell, HP, and so on, bizarre as that may sound at first glance.

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WTF?

OSX is much more optimised for the GPUs Apple uses than Windows

Apple uses the exactly same GPUs from AMD, NVidia and intel as any other PC manufacturer out there, and it's a widely known fact that the OS X drivers are worlds behind in terms of performance and capabilities than their Windows and Linux counterparts.

Because Windows and Linux is where high end users are going.

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Re: Wow

Good luck running Maya in a virtualised environment with no direct access to the graphics hardware.

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Meh

Re: Wow

>"Made for Windows 8" stickers that remove the finish of the case

Interesting that there are some people who attach significant importance to the presence of a sticker which they view as "removing the finish" of a case.

You learn something every day, as they say.

>bloatware pre-installed etc.

Yep.  PCs, Macs, even Linux come with "bloatware", aka programs I don't want.  I usually find that removing them solves the problem, if I'm that bothered, which I'm usually not.

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Meh

Re: Wow

Re: Wow

"I am an accountant. I have a MacBook with Windows XP running in Parallels so I can run all my Sage stuff on it. I chose it because when I compared Macs with the equivalent spec PC, the price was actually pretty competitive. I also have my Adobe stuff on it, not in the Windows VM, for playing around with photos."

I still think you really chose it because you're an accountant who believes you've made a cool choice (which not everyone does).

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Meh

Re: Wow

The bean-counters' tool of choice - not surprising so many companies have financial troubles.

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Re: Wow (@Arthur 1)

There's really no basis to conclude that Apple is "trying to sell systems to people that don't want to use their operating system". Much more likely they're trying to sell systems to people that do want to use the Apple operating system but falsely believe that they can't because a vital piece of software isn't available in a native port.

Otherwise they'd be demoing BootCamp rather than Parallels.

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Re: Wow (@Arthur 1)

The very first sentence in the article is the basis. It doesn't say anything about users wanting to move but being held back by critical applications, it specifically singles out users who only know and want to use Windows. Nothing about userland software is mentioned at all. The only thing I'm assuming is that the article author had access to more specifics than us and this was the strategy explained to him.

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PJI

Re: Wow

I've taken my six year old notebook to Apple three times, once after 12 months, once two years ago ( my fault both times) and once for the infamous white plastic cracking fault. All quick and free (in Europe).

As for installing Linux: why? BSD as supplied is better; X server works fine; all the useful GNU stuff not there by default is readily available, plus Eclipse and its ilk. If you must, use VMbox or similar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: OSX is much more optimised for the GPUs Apple uses than Windows

"it's a widely known fact that the OS X drivers are worlds behind in terms of performance and capabilities than their Windows and Linux counterparts."

By whom? No one who has actually looked.

By the way, MS Office 2011 for osx runs rather well and, so far, has not betrayed me with any incompatibilities such as OpenOffice used to display. For Word, Excel, Power Point etc. just run them natively. They are faster than on the equivalent PC.

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FAIL

Re: Wow

So you chose to pay over 1K for Intel HD graphics or a GT650 at best? Which specs are you referring to? My kids have Asus laptops with higher specs for substantially lower prices, and these run high end games without frame drops. I am very sure you are this person in Starbucks sitting with your macbook trying to look cool.

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Linux

Re: Wow

For those prices, you'll have a crap PC and a crap monitor, that are not remotely as powerful as the Mac, and look like crap too.

I prefer not to run Windows at all, but if I had to, I'd rather run it on a Mac.

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Re: Wow (@Arthur 1)

You take "Apple is preparing to train its shop staff to use Microsoft Windows in a bid to flog more Macs to business users reared on PCs" to mean "users who don't want to use OS X"? That's like saying that if shop staff are trained to demonstrate a browser then that means they're targeting customers who don't want to use desktop applications. It's a false dichotomy.

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Anonymous Coward

The latest version of VMware fusion is about £39 and you can easily move VMs to all different vmware products. What can parallels do that VMware can't?

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Anonymous Coward

"What can parallels do that VMware can't?"

Be used by people who don't know/care what a VM is?

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Parallels can make your new Core i5 Mac run Windows like an early 2000's Pentium 3

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So that's an improvement, then!

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What I Use

While the reporter took took the angle of "BEHOLD Mac dudes and dudettes, it's Windows! Proof of alien life in distant worlds!" I gather the point is that Parallels' maker has done a deal to gain in-store promotion.

It's a good product; I use the above mentioned competitor.

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

Parallels can make your new Core i5 Mac run Windows like an early 2000's Pentium 3

Wrong. Try it before you dribble at the mouth, you idiot.

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Anonymous Coward

re: It can be used by people who don't know/care what a VM is?

I've not used it and as I use vmware at work and in my home lab, I went with vmware, but I'm intrigued - presumably you have to spec a VM and actually install the OS, like you do with vmware? So how is it not like a vm?

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Gimp

Re: Parallels can make your new Core i5 Mac run Windows like an early 2000's Pentium 3

@William Donelson

Apple maturity: If someone doesn't worship at the Apple altar, resort to name calling.

I've been 'trying' Parallels for about 12 years now, and 'trying' is a very good description of the experience.

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VMWares Fusion and Parallels - used 'em both on my Mac over the last few years to get Windows running without needing to reboot - much of a muchness really IMHO. </InDepthComparison>

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Megaphone

Re: VMware

Yep, I agree. I use VMware Fusion with Windows 7 and its great. For info, I need windows to run MS SQL Server, ESRI ArcGIS and Visual Studio

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Is VirtualBox not available for OS X? It's free and fairly simple to use.

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@Fibbles

VirtualBox is available and just as good as elsewhere. Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt and assuming all decisions were made purely on merit, I imagine that Apple might prefer to push Parallels because it does a lot of work tightly integrating the two environments. For example, file associations work in both directions, from the Finder onto the Windows desktop and vice versa, the start menu is added to the dock, your Windows applications appear in /Applications and hence in the Launchpad, etc.

It's actually why I stopped using Parallels and started using VirtualBox. I needed Windows for a particular application only and otherwise to be contained in its box — I actively didn't want Parallels to start messing about with my whole system.

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Thumb Up

VMWare Rules

I tried various methods to get Wndows on a Mac disc partition and VMWare was the least painful and (IMO) proved the best way. In line with the Mac philosophy - "it just works". That said, there's only the rare occasion when I need to use it, but it's there when I do.

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Devil

I predict this will come to nothing

the reason i say that is they are using windows 8 to demo it.....

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Re: I predict this will come to nothing

I was thinking the same. I like Windows 8 but if your whole point of adding Windows is because that's what your potential customers are familiar with then put on a Windows they will be familiar with.

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Re: I predict this will come to nothing

In that case, you should put XP or 7 on it. Nobody uses Windows 8.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I predict this will come to nothing

Now, to listen to advice from someone who thinks that suggesting running XP is a viable option, or not?

They are ceasing support in only a few months time, regardless of your feelings about Windows 8, you're giving advice to buy imminently obsolete 13 year old software. That's not good advice. I realise you said or 7, but the fact that you even suggested XP gives you no credibility.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I predict this will come to nothing

"Now, to listen to advice from someone who thinks that suggesting running XP is a viable option, or not?"

I dunno about you, but if I was one of the many XP users wondering where to go next, and therefore potentially interested in something not dependent on MS, I'd be happy to talk to a non-MS vendor who understood my current needs.

In those circumstances, a non-MS vendor focused on understanding Windows 8 has missed the goalposts by a country mile. Understanding *both* Windows XP and Windows 8, that might make sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I predict this will come to nothing

I wonder if one of the downvoters could actually comment about why they think that someone advising the purchase of a thirteen year old Operating System that's about to go out of support is a good idea?

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