I can remember my first computers which included the Apple IIe, Radio Shack TRS-80 and even my Kaypro CPM based portable (luggable) PC.
My first real business computer was an IBM PC/XT and I've owned PC computers with every CPU upgrade since that first 8086 Intel processor. Many readers may not understand the mixture of smiles and cursing that was associated with AST Rampage memory boards, ATI Video cards, Seagate Hard Drives, Phoenix BIOS chips, serial port cards, SCSI hard disk drives, ESDI hard drives, Novel networking software or the turn in the marketing when Compaq came out with the first 386 desktop. I feel old just recalling all those names that once were very important to me as a computer consultant.
Tomorrow Is A Day of Change
Tomorrow, on Black Friday, Apple is planning a special one day sale
and some have reported that the Apple sale will include discounts on hardware and software. After all the years as a PC advocate, I am going out to purchase six iMac desktops
(List: $1,199) and two Mac laptops for my newly hired staff. The sale details will be posted on midnight, Thanksgiving night.
I'm sharing this story because the world of PC hardware and software has dramatically changed in the past few years. Most of the work done on computers today are either web based applications or productivity software like Microsoft Office.
In fact, my office recently switched most of the productivity software to "Open Office" which is a free software platform with features comparable to Microsoft Office. Adding a thousand dollars in software costs for every new employee was getting old fast. All my WordPress microsite
developers need is a text editor, FTP software and a web browser to work all day long and all of these tools are free.
As more open source, free software becomes available and more application move to the web, the hardware platform will become less import and the OS will rule the day. The Apple iPhone and new Blackberry Phones can surf the web in a pinch very nicely and they are a PHONE. This is one reason why Google has decided to go into the OS business, but more on that in a minute.
With the emergence of cloud computing, large server closets or data centers in corporate America will soon be a thing of the past. Being a PC hardware specialist has less demand in the current marketplace. Hardware is becoming disposable just like when a phone breaks, you don't decide you open up the device and fix it. The world is becoming a network of web browsers connected to cloud computing data centers.
Operating System Alternatives
As previously mentioned, Google has even moved into the Operating System (OS) business with new devices based on their web centric OS. It is not as robust as Windows 7 but it does not have to be to gain momentum in the market. Many consumers use their computers for only email, web surfing, social networking, photos, music and video. All of these common tasks can be done seamlessly on a Mac and in the future, maybe Google OS.
and Firefox have made Internet Explorer obsolete. WordPress Guru Rich Galiano
calls IE "Internet Exploder
". The web experience on a Mac is richer and the tools that come with a Mac are more user friendly and innovative.
Hardware Costs Can Be Deceiving
PC hardware is less expensive than Mac hardware so if you just look at price, you would never buy a Mac. That's why I think there has been less of a conversion to the Mac Operating System. You can purchase a decent PC laptop for $700 and the new Mac laptops start at $999.
Those $300 in hardware savings can quickly evaporate with PC support costs. My top of the line Dell PC and Windows Vista locks up every week and is annoying. Vista has been a train wreck and my last batch of Dell laptops with Vista have been a nightmare. Of the five that I purchased, two of them have intermittent software problems that cause hours of nonproductive time each month. Dell can't fix the problem.
I'm planning on purchasing the Apple Care
support package and have all purchased hardware covered for three years. This locks my costs in upfront and based on my experience, the added costs will be paid back for me in the first two months.
Goodbye Microsoft Operating System
It's been a love hate relationship since the early 80's but I have to admit that I have been courted by a slick operating system and sexy hardware that is more reliable and easier to master in a web based world.
I need to focus on my business and productivity and I believe the time has come to face the reality that in a web based world we can lose the tether
of the Microsoft Operating System.
P.S. I'll be at the Apple Store in Freehold at 5:00 am.