With Windows 7 set to hit store shelves on Oct. 22, the inevitable alphabet soup comparisons of operating systems, including Windows 7, Mac OS X, Windows XP and, of course, the now infamous Vista, are burning up the blogosphere.
It's enough to leave a user trying to decide what kind of system to buy dazed and confused. What all the reviewers and pundits seem to be forgetting is that it's not about the operating system. The operating system is simply the engine that runs the PC.
You don't go into a car dealership and buy an engine. You buy a car. And it's all about how reliable and dependable that car is, how long will it last and of course, how much that car costs. And how much can you afford to pull out of your pocket -- particularly in these credit-squeezed times -- and plunk down for a computer?
When you come right down to it, there is no contest. If you're going out and buying a system starting Oct. 22, there is no better ride for the money than Windows 7. That's right Apple fans. Get over it.
Check out Best Buy and search by brand under Apple. The first system that comes up is a Mac Pro 2.66GHz system Apple priced at $3,299.99. Now, click on HP. The first HP system that comes up is an HP Pavilion Slimline Desktop with Intel Core 2 Quad Processor priced at $879.99. The Apple Mac Pro is nearly four times the cost of HP Pavilion. Does anyone really believe the Mac is four times better than the HP Pavilion? And who has that kind of cash to spend on a system in this day and age?
All technical tirades aside, Windows 7 is the back-to-basics operating system. It's the right product for the times. It's the leaner, faster and much improved operating system that the market is demanding. It's all about getting rid of the excess, waste and bloat that crippled Vista.
Vista is a gas-guzzling SUV. Windows 7 is a Toyota hybrid. If Vista represented the out-of-control financial speculation and excess that culminated in the collapse of the world financial markets, then Windows 7 represents the new economic reality.
That economic reality is something that Apple and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs have not considered for a moment, even from the early days of Apple. Jobs made a strategic decision from the founding of the company to price Apple systems as high as the market would bear. Jobs wanted to build a Rolls Royce, not a Ford. And he did it. Apple is not a producer of mass-market PCs.
Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates, on the other hand, is all about building Fords. Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Co., revolutionized the car business by pioneering assembly lines and mass production. Bill Gates did the same with PCs. His dream from the beginning of Microsoft was to put a PC on every desk. That was something Jobs never even considered. Apple co-founder Stephen Wozniak, the inventor of the early Apple computers, built PCs for himself and his friends. For Jobs and Woz, it was never about putting a PC on every desktop.
The PC war was over long ago. Apple has less than 10 percent of the worldwide market share. Vista, of course, gave Apple an opening that Apple exploited for market share gains over the last several years. Those gains are now destined to disappear. PCs running Windows 7 are for the masses. Macs running OS X are for the rich.