Most active Mac users intend to buy
Intel-based Macs in the next year, with plans to run Windows software alongside Mac OS X, according to a survey of Macworld readers.
Conducted by market-research firm Karlin Associates, the survey of 1,884 Macworld readers found that 12 percent of respondents already own an Intel-based Mac. More significantly, among the 1,654 respondents who have yet to buy an Intel Mac, 67 percent described themselves as likely to do so in the next 12 months.
Combined with the respondents who already own Intel-based hardware, that means that 71 percent of those surveyed said they would likely own an Intel Mac a year from now.
Of those readers who already own Intel-based Macs, 81 percent reported that they use an Intel-based Mac at home, compared to 45 percent who say they use an Intel-based Mac at work. (Roughly a quarter of the respondents use Intel-based Macs both at home and at work.)
The large percentage of home users most likely reflects the lack of Intel-based desktop Macs targeted at the professional market, as well as a lack of widely available
Universal versions of high-end software that can run natively on Intel-based systems.
The survey also asked readers about
running Windows in general and using Apple’s
Boot Camp software in particular. Thirty-nine percent of current owners of Intel-based Macs say they’ve either installed or are planning to install Boot Camp, which lets users install and run Windows XP on Macs with Intel processors. Would-be Intel-based Mac owners are even more enthusiastic about Boot Camp—60 percent say they plan to install it once they buy their new hardware.
However, current owners of Intel-based Macs also indicated an interest in virtualization software, such as
Parallels Workstation, that allows those Macs to run Windows within Mac OS X. Among Intel-based Mac owners, 47 percent said they had installed or were planning to install some form of virtualization software. That compares to 32 percent of potential Intel-based Mac owners.
A majority of the panelists also concluded that the ability to run Windows software on Mac hardware will have a positive impact on the Mac market. Sixty-nine percent agreed that Boot Camp was a positive development while only 8 percent disagreed.
“I think it will be a great way to get Apple hardware into a situation where a [Windows PC] was chosen if only one machine could be used,” said one respondent. Another survey participant who described himself as a grad student added, “Several of my peers have said that they’re more likely to consider buying a Mac now that they have the safety net of being able to run Windows if they have to.”
Other survey participants were unimpressed by Boot Camp and what it enables Macs to do. “If I wanted to run Windows, I’d buy a PC,” said one. “I can appreciate that it might help other users, but I love the Mac and won’t abandon the platform.”
A strong 83 percent of those surveyed said they expect Boot Camp to attract more users to the Mac platform, while just 5 percent disagreed with that statement. Only 17 percent of those surveyed felt that software developers would stop producing Mac-compatible programs because of Boot Camp; 55 percent disagreed. Exactly half of those surveyed said that Boot Camp made them more likely to stick with the Mac, while 37 percent disagreed.
Attitudes Toward Boot Camp
Software developers will stop producing programs to run on the Mac
Boot Camp is likely to attract more users to the Mac platform.
Boot Camp makes me more likely to stick to a Mac.
Source: Karlin Associates
One-third of the participants in the survey said they were unlikely to buy an Intel-based Mac in the next 12 months. However, more than two-thirds of these respondents said they weren’t upgrading because they were happy with their current Mac model. Thirty-seven percent of respondents cited money-related issues, while 27 percent said they didn’t see a need for an Intel-based Mac. Another 19 percent pointed to a lack of Universal software that can run natively on Intel-based machines. (Participants could choose more than one answer.)