Why Windows lost to Mac
Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM by Dave Winer.
  • First, understand that this is a blog post, a highly prejudiced thing, completely determined by one self-important person's experiences.
  • I'm a hypocrite too. :-)
  • Anyway, I lived through this.
  • A picture named smallLaptop.gifI was a Windows user in 2005, when I had to get a Mac because I was supporting people who used my OPML Editor app on the Mac, as well as Windows. It didn't seem right that I couldn't see what the updates looked like on the Mac, even if it was open source software, and not generating any money for me. So I bought a $1000 white plastic laptop in the Apple store in Toronto. It was the first time I had been in an Apple store.
  • It's a long story why I was so uninterested in using Apple products at the time. I had been an early Mac developer, shipping a product in 1984, and continuing to develop through the mid-90s. But when my product, Frontier, became available on Windows in 1998, I switched to Windows. Windows machines performed much better than the Macs of the day, and Apple had a new strategy every four months. I was very happy to get onto the safe ground that Windows offered.
  • Back to 2005, the first thing I noticed about the white Mac laptop, that aside from being a really nice computer, there was no malware. In 2005, Windows was a horror. Once a virus got on your machine, that was pretty much it. And Microsoft wasn't doing much to stop the infestation. For a long time they didn't even see it as their problem. In retrospect, it was the computer equivalent of Three Mile Island or Chernobyl.
  • Anyway, that's why when I read Gruber's and Arrington's discussion about why the Mac won, I was once again amazed about what a fog we all live in, and how little grasp there is of other people's experiences. I don't doubt that for these guys malware didn't make a big difference. Maybe I was the outlier, maybe not many other people thought it would be nice to take a vacation from fighting the viruses. And then the vaction became permanent. (As it did for me. I dabbled in PCs after getting the white laptop. But I bought basically every bit of hardware Apple has offered since then. And I made most of my friends do so too.)