Macworld

Tomorrow is the annual Macworld conference, which is always shrouded with tons of fanboy hype and nonstop rumors… But it’s usually anybody’s guess as to what is unveiled until Steve Jobs hits the stage, gives a long presentation, and then at the end smacks his forehead and says, “Oh, I forgot. There is one more thing…”

Most people talk of an Apple phone or an “iTV” portable media center – things which I couldn’t care less about. But I figure I’ll make my Macworld prediction now so that if I’m right, I can gloat 28 hours from now.

Apple is going to announce that OS X “Leopard” will officially be compatible with any x86 or x64 PC. For ages, you could only run Mac OS on a Mac (for a little while there were others, but Steve pulled the plug). I think that while there is virtually no hard evidence to support my theory, now would be the perfect time to do such a thing. Windows Vista will be out to consumers later this month, bearing a hefty $400 pricetag for the best version. Meanwhile, Apple has spent the past 5 years becoming the darling of consumer electronics, and it now has an excellent overall reputation, thanks to iPod + iTunes. Macs far less frowned upon, far less incompatible, and the iPod already has created a “halo effect” that entices those who have experienced the ease of Apple’s music solutions to switch their computer hardware to Apple, too.

In the next year, people are going to be weighing the need to spend hundreds upgrading to Windows Vista. I’ve used it extensively at work, and yes, it is very good, but it offers very few new features to the average user. OS X runs for about $130, and if Jobs & Co. were to release OS X to all PCs, they would gain considerable market share by stealing would-be Windows upgraders.

Yes, I have an ulterior motive for this post: really, I just want this for myself. My Dell E1405 would be a perfect OS X machine: the macBook is slightly underpowered and has its performance quirks, and the macBook pro is simply beyond my budget. There are ways to put OS X on a PC, but you have to violate the DMCA to do it, and there are known hardware incompatibilities with my hardware.
So it most likely will not happen, but just to play it safe and be able to brag about it tomorrow, that is my fanboy prediction.

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