BusinessWeek columnist Charles Haddad has posted his most recent Byte of the Apple column entitled
Why Apple Has That Special Glow. It’s focused on the widespread adoption of Mac OS X, which he said “has achieved liftoff.”
At this month’s Macworld Expo, Haddad noted that a simple question poised by Ted Landau — who had adopted OS X? — generated hundreds of hands in the air. That, compared to a year ago, when “the same question had drawn barely five fingers.”
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Haddad said that’s a good omen and signals an important turning point for Apple itself. Although official info on who’s switching from Mac OS 9 is scant, Haddad said that anecdotal evidence points toward a more widespread adoption than has happened up until now.
“Nearly every exhibitor at Macworld had a finished version or a beta software made for OS X. The list includes such influential developers as Microsoft, Connectix, Casady & Greene, Intuit and Maya,” said Haddad. The one big hold out is Adobe, he noted, which is still working on Photoshop for Mac OS X.
“It was hard to find a shopper who hadn’t scooped up the OS X version of Office or the game Myth III,” he said. And users with Internet access were downloading the latest cornerstone digital hub application from Apple, iPhoto.
“This is a potentially huge change,” said Haddad, referring to Apple’s decision to make Mac OS X the default boot operating system on its new computers. “A whole new generation of Mac users — whether it be kids getting their first iMac at home or teenagers packing an iBook for college — will know only OS X.”
Acknowledging critics’ complaints about the amenities in Mac OS 9 that are missing from Mac OS X, Haddad has faith that Apple will take care of those shortcomings in due course.
“I think the day is quickly approaching when the OS 9 will become like vinyl records and cassette tapes — relics fondly remembered as the breakthrough products of their day. And to this old veteran, that’s a happy ending — and a good beginning,” said Haddad.