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View Full Version : Does the New MacBook Air Worry Microsoft?

Michael Knutson
10-27-2010, 04:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20020332-56.html?tag=rtcol;inTheNewsNow' target='_blank'>http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-2...ol;inTheNewsNow</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"Ordinarily, the release of a single ultraportable Mac should not be reason for Redmond to quake in its boots, but yesterday's announcements by Apple should give the Windows team plenty of reason to fear. It's not that the product itself will put that much of a further dent in Microsoft's still-massive share of the PC market. However, the product demonstrates some capabilities that the Mac now can offer that Microsoft would seem to have a tough time matching."</em></p><p><em></em><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/at/auto/1288146246.usr17748.jpg" /></p><p>My guess is, no, they're probably a bit sorry that they didn't push harder (and sooner) on the SSD concept, but their market share remains overwhelming, so worry, probably not. The gauntlet has been thrown down. There -are- Windows-based laptops that match-up well with the new MacBook Air, when hardware is compared (the Sony Vaio X is mentioned). But, Mac OS X really gets a boost when run on an SSD. The instant-on (from sleep mode) really is instant. When I'm done with Windows, close the lid. Ditto for the Mac. Open the lid, both come back, the Mac almost immediately, Windows needs a bit more time to awaken.</p><p>As for building more 'iPad-like' features into the Mac, it's a good idea as long as the 'old ways' continue to work. Windows has had touch capabilities going way back as well, so as operating systems evolve, we can expect the distinctions to blur a bit. Witness BootCamp and virtualization. Admittedly one-way to this point, but maybe the Hackintosh community will succeed (and/or be commercialized).</p><p>The concept of an App Store for the Mac is intriguing. Anyone who has ever searched for software for the Mac or Windows (or Linux) knows how iffy the whole process can be. Bad code, Viruses, Spyware, Keystroke Loggers, ad nauseam, are rampant. A "trusted" source is really the Holy Grail of software, so of course Microsoft will follow. Again, who benefits besides Apple and Microsoft? All of us.</p>

Sven Johannsen
10-29-2010, 06:57 PM
I doubt they would be that nervous. Just looked at Apple's site and it says
"Available in 11- and 13-inch models. Now starting at just $999." I certainly believe they could be worth that but the rank and file think with their wallets. You can still get darn nice Windows PCs for well under $500. If you have a need for the ultra-portability, or an eye for style, you have to decide what that is worth to you. Even if the specs and capabilities far outpace the alternative, sometimes the bottom line still wins.

10-30-2010, 05:58 PM
I doubt Microsoft has thought much at all about the Air, other than to once again admire Apple's attention to design. For far less than the price of the 13 inch Air, I just bought an equally attractive and almost as thin HP dm3. Unlike the Air, it is of course upgradable, although it is so capable as delivered I doubt I will do that. Instant on is a function of the SSD and not OSX and I expect that hybrid HDDs will come to notebooks far sooner than SSDs do and greatly speed wake up time.

And while one can admire the engineering of the Air, which weighs one pound less than my dm3 and is a few millimeters thinner, neither of those "features" provide any measurable benefit to a user.

Sven Johannsen
10-30-2010, 09:05 PM
Instant on, and I haven't seen what that actually means, is possible because of the SSD, but it isn't a given because of it. I bought my HP Mini with SSD to see how that worked, and while faster, it certainly wasn't instant, in the way my iPad is instant. The OEM does need to to do some special work to get that sort of apparent response. There is something to be said for that feature. I would rarely get out a laptop in an airport to check some mail or surf, while I have no problem doing that with my iPad. Like I said though, I haven't touched an actuall AIR yet so I don't know if it is instant as compared to normal MACs, or compared to iPads. Heck my Windows 7 desktop is instant on compard to my old XP laptop ;)