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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Or at least that's the way Apple seems to view it. But now that Apple's hardware is effectively just a PC with a proprietary BIOS chip, there's little reason left not to emphasize the software over the hardware. If Apple could figure out a way to make enough money selling software without worrying about hardware they could do just fine financially, like, say, a certain software company from Redmond. Apple's biggest limitation throughout their history has been insisting on being a hardware company, when it's really their software which makes them what they are.
Actually, this has more to do with consumers' perceptions than the company's strategy. Remember, Microsoft sells a huge amount of their software to hardware companies for bundling. I don't know what the split was, but when I was at Microsoft it was an ongoing issue.

And it's not really accurate to say that a Mac is a PC with a different BIOS. Compare the Macbook and Macbook Pro to your average Dell laptop. Even a non-techie can see that the design is a big part of the package.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #17
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Beyond all the marketing stuff, there would be major technical hurdles to overcome.

Since Apple has such a small market share for computers overall, they are free to tightly integrate software with the OS and hardware. Any time MS tries to do this, they're smacked around with monopoly lawsuites.

Part of the strength and efficiency of Apple's apps is that they are so closely knit with the OS and hardware. Motion accesses the GPU on video boards directly, the quicktime video engine is integrated into the OS, etc. These bits of code that fuse the Apple hardward, OS and software are not available in Windows. Re-engineering them for windows would be a major technical hurdle with no real benefit for Apple, since ... as has been said ... they're ultimately selling hardware.

As a result, don't expect to see these apps moving over to Windows anytime soon.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Maller
And it's not really accurate to say that a Mac is a PC with a different BIOS. Compare the Macbook and Macbook Pro to your average Dell laptop. Even a non-techie can see that the design is a big part of the package.
Apple does a decent job of designing hardware, but without their software few people would care. Would you buy a Dell laptop which was identical to a Macbook Pro except it only ran Windows? Conversely, if you could only get the Mac OS by buying a Dell-like laptop, would you do that? Clearly it's Apple's software which makes them what they are, and their hardware is merely a sidelight to that.

In any case, it's pretty obvious we're not likely to see Apple software available for Windows any time soon. If you want to run Final Cut Pro, you've got no choice but to buy a computer from Apple. At least now that doesn't prevent you from also running Windows software on your Apple PC...
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Old January 9th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #19
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Apple doesn't tend to think in terms of software and hardware...it's all one package to them. Developing/buying software always takes its' cues from what hardware is available to it...and vice verse. Steve Jobs has said many times, they are unique in the marketplace as they are the only company selling the whole "widget". I think this is what makes their approach so contentuous is their apparent lack of regard for how the technology world is supposed to work. harware manufacturers don't write software...and if you write software, you certainly don't make hardware. They do the whole game soup to nuts. This is what they sell. Their software being good is only good because they control the hardware. Their hardware being good is only because it only is supposed to run in the apple universe. Their design is so good because it is made to blend with the software interface as a unified product.

It would hurt apple to turn into a software company...it wouldn't hurt apple to undercut all of their software competitors. If they are offering software that equals or is greater than their competitions...to the point where it's cheaper for the consumer to buy a Mac for running shake than it used to be to buy the software alone, they've just increased their market share...and that is all that counts in public opinion in the technology sector...what does the guy next to me have.

Apple is really good at branding. They sell a lifestyle to encourage their users to use and show off their apple branded hardware in public. Since the public will only buy things it thinks it know or understands, this is the only way to gain ground against all of the competition who all happen to run the same OS.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #20
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Their software being good is only good because they control the hardware.
Apple's software is good because it's clevery designed, and that wouldn't change if the software ran on other hardware. Apple may not have any reason to let that happen but they easily could now, and I'd guess there's a lab somewhere at Apple where their software is running just fine on standard PCs with an emulated Mac BIOS.

Remember, for 20 years we were told the Mac OS worked so well because it ran on non-Intel hardware. Now we're told it works so well because, um, what...?
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Old January 9th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #21
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Remember, for 20 years we were told the Mac OS worked so well because it ran on non-Intel hardware. Now we're told it works so well because, um, what...?
I was always told it ran so well because they chose the specific components to support, thereby having more quality control and less bloat due to having to support every possible configuration of hardware ;) . openBSD is an intel based OS...it has been ported to many other Platforms (including the PPC), but this is the basis of NeXT and hence the basis of OSX. The reason it was ported to PPC in the first place (second place if you consider the NeXT Cube) was to work on existing apple hardware which was PPC based at the time. Much more development has happened on the Intel side of the camp in regards to the BSD underpinings of OSX.

Moving to intel was a good move. They moved away from being locked into a non-competitive chip market with the PPC into one that is fighting tooth and nail against AMD and whatever littler ones are out there for the PC buying public's hard earned money. Competition is good for the consumer. I know I was complaining at the lack of speed increases over the previous 10 years of being a mac user.

Don't believe what companies tell you, they are in this to make money...it's their responsibility to their share holders. Apple has made their share holders very happy over the last 15 years. All of the marketing serves one purpose...to sell product. All of the business moves serve one purpose...to sell product.

Apple's product is hardware, All of the software they've been developing/re-developing has been specifically geared toward selling more hardware. They're doing a fantastic job of it...

Now if only that iPhone were out now...
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Old January 10th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Apple's software is good because it's clevery designed, and that wouldn't change if the software ran on other hardware.
I disagree w/that a bit. Part of the reason Apple's first party software is so good is because they have a very limited (relatively speaking) variety of hardware, drivers, and firmware to deal with. They can spend more time optimizing the software for the hardware because they don't have to worry about supporting the nearly endless combinations of "WinTel" machines out there.


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Old January 10th, 2007, 09:11 AM   #23
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Apple computers really are now just really nice turnkey systems. I have yet to find a PC program that doesn't run well on a Intel Mac. Heck even a lot of the PC based HD boards run well on Intel macs running Windows. I know the Decklink cards have been used in PC form and a AJA Kona card has been used. Now the KONA card is a mac card while the AJA Xena is the PC card but somebody used the Xena drivers with the Kona card on their mac pro running windows and they said it worked great.

It is kind of hard to say Apple is mainly a hardware company when all they are doing now is taking some of the best PC components and building great turnkey PC systems. The only thing on these systems that make them different is the software OS. If you take a Mac pro and a HP 2 cpu dual core xeon and compare the two they are both pretty much the same except for the case. The motherbaord may also be a little different but the same chipsets are being used. So the only thing that is really different between a high end HP work station and a Mac pro is the OS and the bios. Now we start to get into the area of how is Apple any different then a PC user using Linux instead of Windows on thier PC.

As for FCP on a PC I don't see it any time soon. Forget about the hardware, it is the OS that would be hard to write for. Apple and Microsoft are very different and this is where the issue would be. Now perhaps if a new version of Windows was unix based it might become a lot easier.

At some point I'm sure we will see MAC OS ported to a PC. I mean if Windows can be installed on a Intel Mac then why couldn't the opposite happen as well. There really is no reason why it shouldn't work and then we could run FCP on our HP systems. It would be just like a special form of Linux with great media software that isn't free like most other Linux based programs.

So if you want to give up Windows then yes I think there is a future for running FCP on a PC. In fact it is already happening since Intel Macs are pretty much a PC with a special OS.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
It is kind of hard to say Apple is mainly a hardware company when all they are doing now is taking some of the best PC components and building great turnkey PC systems.
That's an interesting philosophical argument, but Apple is a hardware company because they make most of their money selling hardware.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #25
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That's an interesting philosophical argument, but Apple is a hardware company because they make most of their money selling hardware.
That is very true.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #26
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That's an interesting philosophical argument, but Apple is a hardware company because they make most of their money selling hardware.
It's probably pointless to debate this further, but Apple is primarily a hardware company by their own choice, even though it's mostly their software design which got them their claim to fame. If they'd opted to be primarily a software company the technology world might be very different today.

Apple's current market value: ~$83.35B
Microsoft's current market value: ~$291.57B

I for one wish Apple had opted to emphasize software over hardware...
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Old January 11th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Apple's current market value: ~$83.35B
Microsoft's current market value: ~$291.57B
However, look at the comparative stock chart I posted earlier. So in round numbers, if you invested $1,000 in Microsoft in January 2002 today it would be worth around $900. A $1,000 investment in Apple in Jan 2002 would be worth around $8,700.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years. I think Microsoft is facing a basic problem - their operating system is already installed on 95% of the world's computers; where do you go from there? OTOH, Apple only owns something like 4% of the market. So the sky's the limit for them. If they can increase that to 6% it would mean a 50% increase in the number of Macs.

Microsoft is aware of this problem, which is why they are trying to break into new markets with hardware like the xBox and Zune.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #28
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Apple only owns something like 4% of the market. So the sky's the limit for them.
Exactly. If they would open up their software to run on the billion or so computers which aren't currently allowed to run the Mac OS, the sky would be the limit for software sales...
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Old January 12th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #29
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Compare prices farther back

Boyd,

I don't know how old you are, but if your memory went back a little farther, you might remember the real value difference in the stocks, not just recently. Take a look at the attached comparison.

I like Apple products. But it is the Apple stock that has faltered over the years, not Microsoft.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #30
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It'll never happen.

As others have stated already, Apple deliberately (as a business model) tie their software to a very specific hardware platform. That makes it easier and cheaper for Apple to develop and maintain the software.

Arguments that Apple software is simple and intuitive, hence would sit nicely on non-Mac platforms, are false. Quicktime on Windows has always been clunky, a poor performer and, with the more recent incarnations, stomps all over the OS, forcing iTunes upon the system and leaving a lot of mess behind it when uninstalled.

Apple are very good at marketing their stuff (often deceptively - they have had commercials banned in a number of countries for being misleading) and charging a premium. Apple TV? Oooh, wow! Hmm, can you say "Media Center Edition"?

I'll never understand the "Apple = Good, Microsoft = Evil" thing. They are both multibillion dollar public corporations. They both ultimately do whatever is needed to placate the shareholders.
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