Somehow, Apple muddled its way through, and now that we are well into the Second Age of 
Steve Jobs, it appears Windows users are finally getting the message. For the first half of this 
year, an estimated 400,000 Windows owners bought Macs as Apple outpaced the growth of the 
PC industry. 
It may be too early to break out the champagne, but it appears a number of these Mac converts 
were influenced by the iPod. To think Apple could build something that would become a cultural 
icon rather than just a boutique product. But Microsoft has also managed to shoot itself in the 
foot in recent years, suffering from the programming lapses of yesteryear that made the platform 
vulnerable to all sorts of malware. 
At the same time, Apple faces an important challenge. If those 400,000 newcomers embrace the 
Mac OS with enthusiasm, they could become evangelists for the platform, encouraging others to 
make the move. Here first impressions count for a lot, and if the Macs they buy fails to "just 
work," it could have a really bad effect. These people have already been burned by Windows. 
They came to the Mac hoping that life on the other side of the tracks would be better, and if they 
have any suspicions that it s not so, Apple may not get a second chance. 
As much as you d like to regard your Mac as an appliance, it s a complicated and sometimes 
temperamental beast. True, most of you will unpack your new Macs, turn them on, and get on 
with your business. But the experience isn t always seamless, for otherwise there would be no 
need for troubleshooting sites, books and articles to help you get a handle on the problems you 
confront all too often. 
In fairness, you can t expect perfection. No personal computer comes even close to behaving as 
reliably as a typical household appliance. Sure, the Mac is close, and it s true that many of you 
can carry on for days, weeks, or months without encountering a lick of trouble. I still provide 
consulting services for a number of local clients, and I delight in the fact that I can set them up 
with a new Mac, or perform a "tune up," and seldom get a call to make a return visit to fix some 
new problems. It s not that I am so perfect, but it s a nice thought. The truth is that Macs don t 
require near as much maintenance as the counterparts from the Dark Side. 
But there are still problems that are just too irritating, and Apple has to work harder to improve 
its quality control. Tiger, for example, was probably released prematurely, and it s taken two 
maintenance updates for things to settle down. And now the pressure is on to deliver the goods to 
those brand new Windows switchers, and Apple can t afford to drop the ball. 
  MPN, LLC 2005 macCompanion 
Page 18 
August 2005, Volume 3 Issue 8 

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