A funny thing happened on the way to Windows 8: 45,000 PCWorld readers, when surveyed, said they preferred Apple’s MacBooks, Pros and Airs over similar Windows laptops.
PCWorld caters primarily to–and the magazine’s main focus is–Windows PC users, which makes the choice even more notable.
In a recent PCWorld.com article Tony Bradley describes how this could have far-reaching implications for small and medium businesses:
Large enterprises are too entrenched in Windows to shift the entire IT ecosystem to Mac OS X. It could be done, but like stopping a train, or turning a cargo ship—it would take some time.
Small and medium businesses, however, are more agile and can switch platforms on a whim. And, according to a report by Intermedia, recent SMB tech purchases are overwhelmingly favoring Apple. BGR states that nearly 70 percent of all smartphone activations for SMBs in the most recent quarter were iPhones, and more than 90 percent of the SMB tablet purchases were iPads.
iPhones and iPads are mobile devices, and don’t represent any real threat to Windows. But, if you combine the SMB demand for iOS mobile devices with the popularity of Mac OS X laptops indicated by the PCWorld survey, it paints a picture.
Part of the concern both PC makers and Microsoft should have regarding this trend, Bradley says, is because Apple’s laptops are far better at synchronizing with iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, due to similar platforms and native apps like Calendar, Contacts, and Notes. This would make those laptops a more natural choice for users of those devices.
App development for Windows 8, while it has picked up, lags far behind iOS and Android. It’s hard to predict when–if ever–Microsoft will make Windows 8 apps available to sync with the iOS ones. The company has a history of not developing a lot of cross-platform software, especially across mobile platforms, as it wants users to remain tied to the Windows family of devices.
If it’s anything like Office–which iOS users are still waiting to run on their devices–it could be a long wait.