Mac mini – The Masses Can Switch Now

Macworld Expo had the big keynote today. Two very large things were announced that I know of right now. The flash iPod, and much more importantly in my eyes, the Mac mini.

My Mother is in dire need for a new computer. Her and her boyfriend are currently using a 5 year old Compaq running Windows ME. The thing isn’t usable due to spyware and viruses that constantly infect it. The computer can be used for about a week after I visit and clean it up, but after that it returns to a state of chaos. The Mac mini is exactly what they need. It’s cheap, it lets them use the monitor they already have, and it’s Mac. I truly believe that the Mac OS, OSX, is much more appropriate for the average user than Windows. I’m not saying that as a fanboy. I’m saying that as a Windows user of 10 years, who in the last year bought a Powerbook. I know Windows quite well, and consider myself a “power user”, someone who uses a computer to its fullest ability. Windows has uses, and Mac has uses. I strongly feel that Mac is more geared toward the average consumer. No viruses, no spyware… and configuration seems to be about 20 times easier (subjective scale there).

Back to the Mac mini… just looking at Apple’s website the Mac mini is 2.9 pounds, measuring 6.5″ x 6.5″ x 2″. The case is made up of the same aluminum that the Powerbooks and Powermacs are constructed from. That discovery delighted me to no end… I like the white and clear plastic look of the Apple consumer products, but it’s hard to beat the sleek finish of Apple’s aluminum Professional products.

Will this be the point of mass propagation of Switchers? The main con against Apple computers has always been prohibitive cost, but the Mac mini changes things. The argument of being able to walk into Best Buy to pick up a $500 Windows machine won’t hold water anymore. Additionally, OS 10.3 is the best I’ve ever seen, and with Tiger (10.4) around the corner, things are only going to get better.

Chris Owens


  1. > The main con against Apple computers has always been prohibitive cost

    Actually, I would suggest that the main con, especially after the release of budget Macs, has been application and technology compatibility and a perceived lack of capability (speed) on the low-end (I am loathe to work on an iMac), as well as a lack of gaming power and options. Sure, there are a couple of major titles out there that can run on most Macs, but gaming performance has never been touted as a strength, and you have nowhere even near the library of games and applications that’s available on the PC.

    I myself cannot justify even the cost of a Mini Mac, as I’m quite happy with my PC, and the Mac would simply be a hobby/interest purchase. I would much rather spend that money on a high-end LCD or something along those lines. Maybe I could hook it up to the new UltraSharp 2005FPW I ordered today… Hmmm… ;)

  2. Excellent and very valid points. However, from your post I would label you as an exceptional computer user, and apparent game enthusiast. I don’t feel that Mac is really targeting that audience. I see the Mac mini targeting users like my parents, who manage a few photos, and listen to a little music, but mainly use the computer for e-mail and web applications.

    You bring up a great point about “conceived limitations” which is something I absolutely forgot about. My girlfriend has a new iBook, and on more than one occasion people have stopped and asked her if it can “use the internet like a real computer”. That’s a direct quote. I imagine the only solution to this hurdle is a mass marketing campaign.

    I can’t give up my Windows desktop because of the things you’ve mentioned, including great games. That’s why I use both Windows and Mac, as they both have things they do great at. I simply feel that the average consumer’s needs (ease of use and security near the top) would be much better accommodated for by an Apple computer.

    Thanks for your comments!

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