The REAL reason Apple does Windows
The real reason Steve Jobs "allowed" Windows booting? Well, he didn't just allow it, but probably ordered it a couple of years ago, if not much earlier. OS X, iPod cross-platform integration, the move to Intel chips- all of it was part of a long-term plan to have Windows run on Macs. But for what reason, really?
Steve Jobs, regardless of what you think of his personality, is indisputably a visionary. I think it's safe to say that the majority of what he does and has accomplished has not been by accident. Additionally, his style, the whole "RDF" thing, the "one more thing" thing, etc., the very things that endear him to his legions of fans (and seems to irritate non- believers and critics), is precisely what makes this look to be just another of his impeccable planned and executed strategies.
We have heard official dictums by Apple that WIndows would not be supported on Macs. There was the contest and bounty to see who could hack a Mac to boot Windows. Then, a couple of weeks later, Apple releases Boot Camp. Some Mac users were aghast, some overjoyed.
Did Steve do it out of philanthropy- was he finally yielding to the wishes of some users? Was he admitting that because there are certain "proggies" that users needed that couldn't be found on Macs that Macs were inferior? Was he trying to increase the Macs' market share by giving in to the masses' will which made them follow the heard? Was he attempting to penetrate Dell's inroads into the educational and commercial markets by making them replicate what Dells could offer? Was he trying to crack the all-important "gamers" market to increase hardware sales?
I won't go into each reason why these reasons are improbable, but suffice it to say that Apple has never been marginal regardless of its overall market share of PCs. Apple has made a lot of money just fine, thank you, with its 3 or 5%, or whatever. Apple, as sometimes is said, has been "proudly going out of business for 30 years!" And, Steve was never one to particularly give much weight to what the vocal masses whims were. He always just kind of did what he thought was right and, so far, he's been kind of right more often than not. So, what reason was there to move the immovable Steve Jobs?
He did it to finally castrate Redmond's last stranglehold on Apple; to wit, "Office:mac." (sic) No longer would Apple be subject to the MBU's whims, threats, foot-draggings and feigned indifference to gain leverage and force Apple to do its bidding. The impetuous, jealous and child-like Bill Gates made truck-loads of cash peddling the horrendous (but vital to millions because, as Chef Joanna says "it's what everyone else uses") Office to Mac users, but it's not like he needed the money. No, it did something much more entertaining for Bill- it gave him power over Steve. Now, if Microsoft folds up the MBU tents (takes its ball and goes home), who cares? Windows can be run on a Mac, along with Office or any other crappy-but-necessary Windows "proggie."
Beginning with storied interactions between the two men and their companies, Bill has always enjoyed toying with Steve; like a cat toys with an injured mouse before devouring it. Humiliating it, prolonging its suffering for its own perverse amusement. Unfortunately, this "toying" has also affected we Mac users. When Microsoft bailed out Apple with an investment, part of the conditions were that Apple cease its own web browser development and other coercions- the whole "knife the baby" deal. For a decade we had to suffer with either Internet Exploder or Navigator and what outsiders felt like porting to the Mac. That is why Mail, then Safari, when the terms of the agreement expired, were so important to those of us who remember. Now, the last vestige of bullying by Redmond is gone. With an Intel Mac and a copy of Windows XP home, we can go out and pay extortion prices for crapware just like 95% of the world does minus the bullying and hassling courtesy of Bill Gates.
Gates and the Evil Empire are finally slain (as far as their sway over Apple and Mac users.)
Thank you, Steve, for being such a brilliant visionary and strategist.