Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Apple: the piracy option

I phoned some of the the computer stores listed in the "Windows Compatible" ad (above) and asked them what it would cost extra to run Windows on a Mac.
Each salesman explained about Boot Camp, and how you would need to reconfigure a Mac's partitions to create a Windows partition. They also confirmed that Apple does not provide Windows support. The sad thing is that both salesmen encouraged me to install a pirate copy of Windows.
They talked about using "an existing Windows CD" and were quite surprised when I asked for the cost of buying Windows new, instead of using an existing copy of Windows. I was quoted R1126 for Vista Home Premium and R 1582 for Vista Business, but with no support. Perhaps those prices are excluding VAT, because PriceCheck lists WinXP Home edition DSP pricing starting at R1168 including VAT. Unless those are (illegal) upgrade prices, but even so they are lower than those indicated on PriceCheck.
The salesmen were surprised when I told them that installing Windows from a CD that came with a different PC was called piracy. The one guy ducked the question by saying "it depends on the number of licenses you have". That may be true for a large business with multiple licenses, but if a home user installs Windows on a different PC to the one it was supplied with, you are technically breaking the law. I wonder what Microsoft has to say about all this?

Update 26th January: Greg Hill, the product marketing manager at Core Group, the Apple distributor in SA, called me.
"The intention of the "Windows Compatible" decal on the marketing material that you came across was not to mislead the consumer at all, but rather to highlight the fact that these fantastic machines are also capable of running MS Windows.
In future we will ensure that the consumer is made aware that the price does not include MS Windows.
We will also takes steps to coach the retail staff to communicate clearly that a legitimate version of Windows is required in order to take advantage of this feature on the Mac."

And on a lighter note:

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard


Anonymous said...

The only reason they are selling macs is because windows is such a spectacular failure ....

The whole piracy thing is a farce, why on earth would it bother you?

Donn Edwards said...

What are you smoking? Or are you affected by the Jobs reality distortion field?

Anonymous said...


To be honest i'm not an apple fan really, even less windows.

Linux, community based development WITHOUT the corporate BS, actually works better than the rest ..

*puffpuff* want a drag?

Donn Edwards said...


Linux users should be up in arms that the Macs weren't advertised as "linux compatible", which they are, without the extra expense of buying Windows.

I use Windows for one reason only: MS Access. It's the best database user and programming environment I've ever found. If there was an equivalent on Linux I'd probably switch. Unfortunately OOoBase sucks.

Anonymous said...

I think we agree then :)

Access is part of my job, so have no choice, but i use open office for all html and doc files. MySQL is the linux answer to access.

Excel is also worth more credit than it's given, and sadly if you use advanced features OO isn't up to matching it.