HP Takes on Apple with the New Voodoo

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 6/11/2008 12:00 AM EST


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  • shady28 - Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - link

    A mac it isn't.

    The biggest problem I find from companies like HP is all the crapware that they load on their machines.

    This touchsmart software is destined to become more crapware. How many times have you seen some interesting somewhat useful proprietary software that a hardware manufacturer like HP loads onto a computer become garbage that needs to be removed within a year or so?

    They have a real neat software package that works on this one computer. In 1 - 2 years, it'll be unsupported garbage. At some point, MS will do something to break it and whatever time / effort the user put into learning and using it will be wasted.

    The fundamental difference here between Apple and HP is that Apple makes the OS AND the hardware. When they roll something out, it's supported within the OS for a long long time - it is not destined to become crapware. Witness iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand. I've seen plenty of PCs with 'equivalent' software pre-loaded, but ultimately it becomes crapware because they have no intention of using it to do anything but sell that particular season's PC models. Incompatibilities arise, and it becomes buggy and unreliable.

    Then there is the 'crippleware' that's often included - unsupported scaled down 3rd party software. Want to get it supported and make sure it keeps working with each new MS patch? Get out your wallet. Hundreds of dollars for software if you want to get all the full versions buddy.

    What's killing MS and these PC makers isn't Windows itself, its the model that Apple has where the hardware / software is all integrated, supported, and tested by a single company that they can't beat.
  • joey2264 - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    The bias is dripping! I expect that from MSM like NYT or Washington Post, but this is Anandtech. If I see another article so unbelievably biased against Windows and towards Apple, I will remove my bookmark from this site and not visit here unless directed by a source like Engadget. I suspect I won't be alone. Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    What is the problem? Windows has 90% of the market-is there some reason you are so affronted when #2 makes better products?

    Do you think AMD shouldn't get good press for it's innovations? How about the XBox 360 or the Zune?
  • eraigames - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    My friend succumbed to the Apple hype and bought one of their laptops because it was so small and cute. I had brought over my Dell laptop which despite its faults cost half what my friend’s mac did, performs better and has more usb ports. While using his laptop he kept complaining about what a pain in the ass it was to use the mac OS. Despite Apple’s minor advances by switching to Intel, their hardware is still proprietary, slower than the competition and overly expensive but their greatest fault is their horrible software. Sure the mac OS has some visual fluff but it is just that: fluff. Has anybody actually tried zipping around the mac OS and multitasking? Impossible. Despite the fact that computers are tools to be used, macs are obviously not designed with the user in mind. Apple products have always been and continue to be about one thing only: fashion. What was it that sold all those ipods? Was it because they were such wonderfuls piece of engineering? NO, it was because of all those silhouette ads that branded the ipod as a trendy fashion statement. Anyone who’s ever used an ipod knows what a pain that stupid circle button is and how tedious scrolling through long lists can be. -Never mind the horror that is itunes… The new Ipod Touch is a step in the right direction but even then most people only bought it because it’s cute and it looks like the new iphone they wish they had. Reply
  • Mogget - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    You quite clearly haven't the faintest clue what you're talking about. Take this (out of any sentence -- I commend you for being so consistently wrong):

    Has anybody actually tried zipping around the mac OS and multitasking? Impossible.

    This is beneath even sarcasm. Multitasking on OSX is ludicrously easy. Spaces (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/spaces.html)">http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/spaces.html) makes having many apps open at once simple to manage, and swtching between them takes no time at all. Please refrain from making sweeping statements based on you incompetence with (and no doubt minimal exposure to) the OS in question.

    There are plenty of valid reasons for critcising Apple, so please use them instead of spouting garbage.
  • wvh - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    My girlfriend bought a portable recently. She's not a "technical" computer user, unlike me. She just didn't want anything with Microsoft Windows on it. There is no way of getting a laptop in Europe from any major manufacturer that doesn't come with Windows. It's bloody disgusting. The one alternative option we could find, was a bit too geek oriented.

    So she spent a bit more than she was planning for and bought a MacBook Pro... Just because it wasn't Microsoft.

    I've never tried Windows Vista, but especially on laptops and small form factor devices, there are much better options. The biggest issue that was holding back Linux was support from hardware manufacturers. If manufacturers start designing their system and hardware with Linux in mind, just like Apple does, Microsoft will get a serious beating. If you need to buy a new computer just because of the operating system, there's something wrong.

    I can't wait for Microsoft to loose its stranglehold on the industry.
  • sprockkets - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Let apple open up the OS to other manufacturers, and see what the first step they would do. It is easy: they will undercut Apple on price every time. Then they will offer machines that are plain clones, offer off shore support, since the machines are so cheap.

    Now, what do you think will happen? If people really like OSX, then they will buy it cheap on other machines. Then apple will be forced to go cheap and skimp on their support and design. Hell, maybe they will be pressed to stop advertising their products on 4 different times and channels a day (the mac book air commercial aired each day during The Daily Show).

    Obviously, Apple does not want their crap being sold as a commodity. They want the supply to be small. While keeping complete control over the hardware and software is a valid reason, it isn't the only one.

    And that is what happened to the pc market at the turn of the century. Everyone stopped offering a pc with distinctive features and designs, and started making the same old computer.

    And why? One reason could be that emachines with their "What the hell? A $400 PC? Wow I'll buy!" forced everyone to go cheap. Of course, everyone who bought one found out you got what you paid for.

  • tbcpp - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    But under all the fluff, it's still MS Vista crap. A turd with whipped cream on it doesn't make it any more palatable. Reply
  • AssBall - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    I beg to differ. It slides right down with less fuss, and tastes better. Reply
  • Focher - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Why do I often sense that those who launch into anti-Apple diatribes actually have no direct experience with their products? They hang their opinions on false premises like "Apple products cost more" which is patently untrue. Take a comparably equipped Apple computer and compare it to any other major vendor and you get only minor price differences.

    If you don't want to buy a particular brand or product, that's fine. If you don't feel that you get the value from a particular brand or product versus another, fine. But do us a favor and if you've never used the product just spare us the opinion.

    I use XP, Vista, various flavors of Linux, and OS X on a regular basis. Vista is, as MS's latest offering of cutting edge, a pathetic OS. Yeah, it works ok but it's practically the first major OS MS has released that is not even somewhat better than its last one. It provides nothing new of significant benefit to a user while forcing a user to endure layers upon layer of bad architecture and user interface design. To claim that MS's OS offering is not a fundamental cause of the lack of interest in PCs seems a silly proposition. After all, Apple's sales are doing quite well. What's the difference between the two markets?
  • BikeDude - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    [quote]provides nothing new of significant benefit to a user while forcing a user to endure layers upon layer of bad architecture and user interface design.[/quote]

    Is this provided as an example of an ignorant opinion, or do you have anything to back up your statement?

    FWIW: I spend most of my keyboard time on a MacBook Pro, running Vista64. Best of both worlds as far as I am concerned.

    Sure, Vista64 has "problems" running some crappy antivirus products, but that's due to proper OS design. MS finally had the balls to tighten an old security hole now that there was no point in being backward compatible with old drivers (because old 32-bit drivers won't work anyway).

    Apart from that I haven't noticed much issues with Vista. I've disabled services I don't need or want, just like I did with Windows XP and 2003 (2003 Server was noticably easier in that regard though -- less stuff running by default).

    Oh, I've had driver issues like everybody else, but that is hardly MS' fault. It is not as if Vista shipped ahead of schedule and surprised all the OEMs. Creative Labs et al had _plenty_ of time to get prepared, but instead chose to stick their head up their ass instead.
  • MalodorousYeti - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Err, I'm going to have to politely disagree with your "minor price differences" comment.
    I've recently been shopping for a notebook to take to college with me and replace my desktop, and I was very keen on the MacBook Pro. I mean, its stylish elegance and great features makes it a perfect candidate, not to mention that it comes with Leopard, which is a very fine OS.
    I configured the MBP in the Apple Store for Education so I could receive the hefty $200 discount. The total for my base-level MBP was still $1800, which was, sadly, too much seeing as how I had a $1500 budget to work with.
    I began to look for other premium laptop models and wandered across the Dell XPS m1530. I like the way it looks, too: the notebook is stylish, but in a different way than the Macbook Pro. I configured the m1530 with the same exact specs as the MBP had, LED screen and all., and the total came to $1600 without any discounts. $200 may not seem like much, but as a student who will be attending full-time at college and paying for it, I think it's a lot.
    To add to the price gap between the two, I used a 25% off coupon and effectively lowered the XPS's price to $1200, literally 2/3 the price of the "comparably equipped" MacBook. That's when I stopped considering the Mac altogether. Still, it was the more stylish of the two (but $600 for style is a little steep, and though the Envy 133 is probably the most beautiful ultraportable I've ever seen, I wouldn't shell out 2 grand for sexy).
    Anyways, that's just my two cents.
  • batu - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    looks nice. i cant understand the choice of font for the keyboard though. the X, H and K keys look virtually identical.

    a ps regarding HP keyboards:
    I wonder if HP will continue to burden the majority of their Canadian customers by only offering bilingual french keyboards for most of their laptop line...i refuse to buy HP laptops with keyboards designed for french. the enter and shift keys are moved and made smaller and the keys are also made busy and harder to read with accent markings. Why doesn't HP do the same to the USA, where a far greater percentage of the population also use accent keys?
  • Barack Obama - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    That laptop looks so good! So expensive but:( Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    "If you talk to any of the major PC OEMs off the record about Microsoft you'll get the same response: they are frustrated. They are frustrated that the Vista launch went the way it did, they are frustrated with Microsoft's lack of action in addressing major issues that exist today and they are frustrated that the most innovative player in the PC space right now happens to be Apple."

    I can not say I agree with 'Apple is the most innovative player in the PC space right now". Anyone can make ultra portable PC fit in a tissue box using laptop hardware, or an OS run seemingly very well on a very limited hardware selection. HOWEVER, since Microsoft is not the only player in the 'reverse' side of this statement, they are not the only one to blame, and finger pointing just makes the 'pointer' look stupid.

    While I will concede that the Vista launch *could* have gone better, you have to admit that a good portion of that probably had to do with user error. The 'Vista Ready' fiasco with certain laptops etc could have easily been avoided if the two parties involved had stronger communications between each other, or *if* a certain *cough* company *cough* did not try and bully Microsoft into lowering their driver certifications for AERO, forcing Microsoft to take the media coverage heat. But hey . ..we all know everything is Microsofts fault, even if we're too lazy to get off our butts and do something about it.

    Anyhow, I would have to say that Microsoft has been at least as innovative as Apple, and probably far surpassing Apple where software is concerned. That while supporting a vastly larger list of hardware components on their OS. That said Microsoft is far from perfect, and neither is Windows, but you name me an OS that is perfect, and I'll try to keep from laughing . . .
  • michael2k - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    If it is so easy to make a proprietary system explain the lack of success for the XBox or the reliability issues for the XBox 360?

    Microsoft has a pervasive culture that lacks quality and perfectionism.

    If anybody could make a ultraportable PC fit in a tissue box... why didn't they until after Apple released the Mac mini? Or the MacBook Air? Prior to the mini, there were only Shuttle sized cases (which, come to think of it, were only released after Apple made the G4 Cube!)

    It's hard to call Microsoft innovative: Zune after the success of the iPod, XBox after the success of the PS2, Live after the success of Google, Marketplace after the success of iTunes Store, etc.

    On the software side, all they have is Windows, IE, Office, MS-SQL, and devtools. Apple at least has OS X, iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, .Mac/MobileMe, XCode, and Safari.
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    You sir need to pull your head out of that Mac of yours, and take a good long whiff of reality.

    By the way, Creative made an MP3 player FOR THE PC long before Apple had a clue of what may be the iPOD, and this was not even the first 'DAP' made. The first DAP was made in 1997, a full 4 years before the ipod made it to market. Guess what, the software was written for Windows 9x.

    MSN was created in august 1995 LONG before google, or the iTunes store."Microsoft Network" in case you're confused.

    mini ITX was conceived on or just before march 2001, the first motherboard was pushed out by VIA in april of 2002. the Mac Mini G4 was announced January 11 2005 . . .

    OSX has it's root heavily tied in BSD.

    Starting to see a trend here ?

    At some point, I think it is safe to say that very few in the market today are truly original, but Microsoft has shaped the future a bit, and what has Apple done ? They've ported their OS to x86 hardware . . .
  • michael2k - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    I never said Apple invented the MP3 market, so bringing Creative into the conversation is irrelevant.

    MSN, in 1995, was also just a portal and service provider(just like AOL) and cannot be compared to either Google or iTunes store: Google was a search engine in 1998 while MSN search was unveiled in 1999. iTunes store was first iTunes music store in 2003, while the MSN Music site didn't go live until 2004.

    If miniITX was available until 2002, the Apple G4 Cube was on sale in 2000.

    So what is your point? My point is this: Microsoft is not innovative, but derivative (copying, in other words). Apple IS innovative, and derivative (inventing and copying).
  • ElFindo - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Lets make a quick list:

    1) "Google was a search engine in 1998 while MSN search was unveiled in 1999"


    Quickly scrolling through the article will reveal:
    "MSN Search first launched in the fall of 1998".

    2) "iTunes store was first iTunes music store in 2003" (assuming you meant first online store)


    "In 2000 Sony... available for sale on the internet... pricing of US$3.50 per song track".

    3) "the Apple G4 Cube was on sale in 2000"


    "The NeXT Computer and NeXTcube were high-end workstation computers developed, manufactured and sold by NeXT from 1988 until 1993."
    "packaged in a 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped case"

    Now I'm not saying Microsoft is better, but your argument is fundamentally flawed. Apple =/= innovative with the references provided, not saying they aren't in perhaps other areas.
  • michael2k - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Your link betrays you: MSN Search was powered by Inktomi, Looksmart, and AltaVista. I got my dates mixed up but you got your facts wrong. MSN Search was not MS powered until their first beta in 2004, which means Google was out in 1998 and MSN Search wasn't a search engine until 2004!

    You also bring in Sony for what reason, exactly? Never in my posts did I say Apple invented the music store; I only said that Microsoft copied it after Apple did it (and additionally, Apple made it successful AND profitable).

    Finally the NeXT Cube was the inspiration for the G4 Cube. Do you know why? Steve Jobs was CEO of both NeXT and Apple when both designs were unveiled. So if you really want to pick nits, the point was that Apple made the first small desktop computer, the G4 Cube, that was copied by others such as Shuttle. The G4 Cube itself is a logical successor to the NeXT Cube, since Apple bought NeXT in 1996.

    The Via mini ITX was a great contribution to small computers, in 2002, only hobbled by the processors available. Again, what is your point? That Apple doesn't innovate? Or that I am wrong?

    Apple's innovations in this discussion:
    G4 Cube as a small desktop (after the NeXT Cube)
    Mac mini as a small desktop (after the G4 Cube) The Via mini ITX was only for DIY kits
    iTunes store for low prices ($1 a song) and liberal rights (unlimited iPods, 5 to 7 PCs, burn to CD)
    MacBook Air as a powerful small laptop (1.8GHz CPU, lowest price)

  • ElFindo - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Sorry for the double post, however I forgot to mention:

    Even if Microsoft wasn't a true search engine independant from others until 2004 (which doesn't mean I got my facts wrong as I never called it a search engine, I referred to it as MSN Search) it simply doesn't matter as not even Google was the very first search engine. Surpisingly, I'm sure, they copied others.

    Why is Microsoft non innovative then if others everywhere do it too?
  • michael2k - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Because Microsoft fails after copying something else. Live Search is ranked behind Google and Yahoo, XBox 360 is behind the Wii and Xbox is behind the PS2, Zune is behind the iPod.

    In a similar vein, Mac marketshare is clearly below 10%, yet at the same time in the field of industrial design (compared to HP, Dell, Compaq, etc), they are clearly innovating with designs such as the Mac mini, G4 Cube, MacBook Air, etc.

    So when Microsoft is first AND successful, or second and MORE successful, I can give them credit. They obviously deserve credit for DOS, Windows 95, and Windows XP, but their other recent endeavors?

    Live Search, UltimateTV, Zune, XBox, XBox 360, Zune Marketplace, URGE, PlaysForSure, and Zune-2?

    Their only recent successes seem to be XBox Arcade, Surface, and Sync.
  • ElFindo - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    The point is, and why Sony was brought up, is that innovate is to produce something new, and Apple is clearly doing the exact same things you're accusing Microsoft of. Although you seem willing to turn a blind eye to that. People copy because of competition, yet you seem to want to portray Apple as making all these wonderful ideas that everyone is wrongly 'stealing' when its quite clear that, like their peers in the industry, they do the same thing. Basically, stop preaching and look at both sides for just a little longer than what it takes to snub the other side off as inferior. Reply
  • michael2k - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    No, the difference between what Apple is doing and what Microsoft is doing is that Apple is succeeding.

    If Microsoft released the MSTV that was 10x better than the AppleTV due to MS innovations, that would be "cleary doing the exact same thing."

    You must have your own agenda and bias; I've never mentioned stealing, I only used the word innovation and derivation. If I "snub the other side off as inferior" it is because it is more derivative than innovative.
  • ElFindo - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    "If Microsoft released the MSTV that was 10x better than the AppleTV due to MS innovations, that would be "cleary doing the exact same thing."

    This makes little to no sense and has very little to do with my statements to this point. I pointed out Apple has done its fair share of creating competition in areas pioneered by others and its not a Microsoft specific pracice.

    I've not once mentioned a bias towards either of these companies and at times have shown support for both sides. Any percieved bias would simply be towards anti-beligerance. And most of your points have referenced a perceived Apple 'innovative' product followed by a rip off or 'derivative'. Most of my points have shown the precursor to the 'innovative' Apple product mentioned.
  • WeaselITB - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    On the software side, all they have is Windows, IE, Office, MS-SQL, and devtools. Apple at least has OS X, iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, .Mac/MobileMe, XCode, and Safari.

    Wow ... just, wow. If that's all the software you can think of when you hear "Microsoft" ...

  • pauldovi - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    Both this and the Mac Book Air are toys compared to the Lenovo X300. Why is that not mentioned. Reply
  • michael2k - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    Because the X300 has a slower CPU and is more expensive? Reply
  • DiRRRtyFlip - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    Benn a lurker for quite a long time but I just had to pipe in on this.

    Wow, didn't *I* predict this...

    Dunno why Voodoo is taking on Apple, I guess they can't sell their overpriced gaming rigs LIKE THEY USE TOO. Oh wait, they STILL do... though I don't think they're selling as many units as they use to. ;)

    "The Voodoo brand will stop servicing gamers specifically and turn into much more of a lifestyle brand."

    Abandoning gamers that bought their 'gaming' PCs in the past, those same gamers who made them who they are are now below them - now they're a lifestyle brand.

    Marking up an UGLY Mac Air Clone with a "carbon-fiber chassis" that umm... can't play games (due to on craptastic onboard Intel video) AND badge it with a Voodoo logo, price it accordingly at $2,099 and then call it one? They're sure are REACHING these days.
  • feelingshorter - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    I started typing some anti-apple stuff and i decided to delete the message and say that I've given up. Its impossible to get through to some.

    But I would like to mention that you haven't even read the article or must have lost your attention span half way through. It does not say the laptop is a gaming laptop, and even says its quite the opposite. I'm sorry but that laptop is priced exactly like the MacBook Air and beats it in every aspect from looks to features. Even before the Envy 133, there are lenovo notebooks out there that really beats the macbook air in features/weight/battery life. Compare the 3000 dollar macbook air and the x300 from lenovo and you'd realize that Steve Jobs is just selling you a whiff of his fart. And your sniffing it up thinking its the best perfume you ever smelled without looking further.

    Why isn't there a rating system on these comments as compared to comments on daily tech?
  • araczynski - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    its looking like these voodoos are also trying to imitate apple in their higher pricing.

    no thanks, they can both keep their fancy schmancy designs. joe schmoe wants an affordable computer first and foremost, not a fancy paint job or case that'll just end up getting scratched to all hell anyway within a few months.

  • michael2k - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    Joe Schmoe definitely wants the fancy paintjob and case, but since he can't afford it he will settle for the affordable computer.

    Every Joe wants a fast, fancy car, a stunning wife, a Rolex or Omega watch, and a shiny gadget.

    Most of the time Joe just can't afford any of it.
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    "The Voodoo brand will stop servicing gamers specifically and turn into much more of a lifestyle brand."

    A lifestyle brand? So their premium gaming PC line will be reduced to a fashion statement? Words fail me...
  • Inkjammer - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Exactly what happened to the XPS line. XPS used to be awesome gaming systems, now they're just flashy, expensive laptops... Reply
  • Bobattack - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    It is amazing that after all these years, with all the various kinds of iMacs and Powerbooks and PowerMacs - that the big PC companies can't figure it out.

    Many years ago there was a site trying to make something different, but nothing came of it. Check it out, it still looks like a neat idea:


    Its old, but what is out there like that?
  • dysonlu - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    In the past, PC companies strived because people just wanted a computer. The computer, whatever computer, was fascinating in itself and they just wanted one. That's why those PC clone boutiques that appeared like muchrooms in your neighborhood were a sustainable business.

    Then, the computer became a commodity -- every family has one, or two, or three. The market has changed. The average population now want more than just a computer -- they want a trendy, cool and fashionable machine. They want something that distinguishes itself from the crowd of typical PC clones. People are more discriminating in terms of styling.

    Apple, with the iPod success and effective marketing, was able to capture these average joe's attention and imagination, the average joe who's cares more about form than function. I'm not claiming that Apple computers offer more form than function; just that the majority of people wanting an Apple computer are motivated by form rather than by function.

    Now those PC companies need to do catch up. The Apple brand is firmly engraved in the public's conscious as the stylish and cool computer brand, thanks to the iPod and the huge marketing machine (everyone in movies and TV shows uses a Mac). It will be tough for the PC companies exorcise the public out of this spell.
  • Bobattack - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    In the OLD days of computers - Many of the NON PC-Clones were about syle - including the IBM PS/1 & PS/2 which we kind of see today with Lenovo's (Ex-IBM) ThinkCenter designs. But yes, I understand the Clones were about commodity - without the Clones, the PC and Microsoft would not have survived in the form they are now. Remember, until Windows95 - Only Amiga and Macs had a top-notch usable GUI with a 10year head start.

    Look at the Amiga 1000, Amiga 3000, Atari ST, Atari TT, Mac II, Commodore 128 & 128D.

    I build my own PCs of course, using higher end $100+ cases because I don't want some generic looking $30 Dell/HP little case.

    PS: I couldn't past a working link last time, I don't think I did it wrong, perhaps it disabled?
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    I wonder if they'll end up having reliability issues with putting a wireless access point in the power brick? I know my power brick can get pretty hot when I'm using my notebook heavily while charging. My router gets pretty hot too, and while a access point is no doubt cooler, it's also serving as a bridge to the ethernet port too, not just being an end user. It's an interesting idea though. Reply
  • hamiltonguy - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    cripes gimme a break with the "it's all Microsoft's fault crap" The OS is not the reason why dell and HP are having a hard time selling pc's. Vista is a fine OS that yes has some quirks but works quite well. I have been using Vista as my primary OS for over a year and it is fine, even better with SP1.

    you want to know why Dell and HP are losing Marketshare

    1. Boring designs, thick and hot - not sexy at all.

    2. LOADED with CRAPLET's - HP is the worst at this. I refuse to recommend HP to any family member as it's always a huge chore to uninstall all the crapware.

    3. BRUTAL Support - There is no one worse than Dell Support. Web sucks, buit-in task pane support too sucks, 1800 support is friggin brutal. HP is not much better

    4. 0.0000 inovation, what the hell do these guys bring to the table that set's them apart. Where are the cool hardware features, where are the cool free software tools. - ONLINE BACKUP is not cool.

    HP seems to be moving in the right direction with this voodoo line and the TouchSmart 2, but they still have a long way to go.

    Dell - Now that HP have caught you in the price department, you guys are screwed.
  • gochichi - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    You know, I just don't agree with you at all.

    Dell has excellent support, very friendly. Dell has very good prices. My inspiron 530 is as reliable as a computer can get (perfectly reliable, never crashed or even misbehaved). It may not be a Mac Mini, but it's like 2-3 times faster for a little LESS money than apple(quad-core). My only real gripe with it is that it can't run MAC OS, because having all of that Video editing capable hardware and no Apple software to harness it is such a waste. Apple is a tremendous SOFTWARE company inspite of itself (can't stand the snobbery, can't stand being forced to buy expensive pretty hardware when I just want something that looks alright but is beastly fast, like Dell).

    In terms of designs, the build quality of the XPS M1330 is the real problem, I'll even deal with the decorations falling off, but the design itself is very slick and it's a VERY fast 13" laptop, if there's a faster 13" laptor, I haven't seen it (with Nvidia 8400 upgrade). Again, my main complain BY FAR on this laptop is that it doesn't run Mac OSX. To be perfectly honest, once you start using both Windows and MAC OS you're just bound to be dissapointed... cause they both have really big pros and cons. I much prefer PC hardware though.

    The crapware on my two Dells was minimal IF ANY. (I wouldn't call Roxio burner software crap, nor Works, etc.) Very little probs there. Do have a problem with being stuck with Vista 32-bit and having no option to have the 64-bit version (free of charge or at least low cost, Dell doesn't offer 64-bit at any price for the Inspiron 530).

    Dell is here to stay, their LCDs are very high quality, their designs on their desktops are clean and simple without being extreme and costly (in $ and performance). Their laptops are shifting, but yes, they have had some of the frumpiest laptops for a while. The XPS M1330 being an exception, as well as the new 13" Vostro. They are a big company, and they are listening. I think HPs designs are misleading, they look good in the store but then you take them home and you realize that the hinge isn't smooth and the screen is dim (not like the gorgeous LED on the M1330).

    I have to be perfectly honest, on both the Inspiron and the XPS M1330... the only thing that I felt left me wanting more was in the lack of Mac OS X. Mac OS X LOVES horsepower,yet they keep selling you desktops with laptop parts at outrageous prices... and the new iMacs are a "HELL NO" for me.

    I don't need any sexier than a Dell (the right Dell), what I need is a more pleasant to use OS. Ultimately, you can navigate and get Expose like functionality and stuff like that.. but iWork, iLife, etc. are just good software that can take your work over the top, make it stand out. Office 2007 IS better than Office 2008, but I don't like either too much... kind of prefer 2003, besides VM FUSION takes care of that stuff.

    Coming from Apple, and just recently switching to Dell... I am a BIG DELL FAN. Apple, however, is a tremendous software company, don't be fooled by the Windows-zealots... it just is a software powerhouse. Miss some of the software, do NOT MISS the "sexy" or the prices. Dell may fall, but they won't fall easily.
  • hamiltonguy - Friday, June 13, 2008 - link

    hi there,
    i am glad you are having a good experience with dell. I am actually an IT manager at a mid-sized company and have primarily purchased dell for the past 5 years. I am replying on a dell xps 1530. I do however, stand by my comments about dell support. We have approximately 300 dell pcs plus servers and desktop/laptop support gets worse every year -to the point where it is almost unbearable to call them.

    As for crapware, dell is no where near as bad as HP, but Works, google toolbar, symantec av 90 day, crippled roxio, google desktop are crapware and I don't want them on mt system.

    Dell support website is ok. Dell's automatic driver update tool is a joke. it can't identify your video card, nic, wifi card etc. it brings you a list of all of them, and there are a tonne.

    As for Mac OS, i am not a mac basher, I use leopard occasionally at work and it's ok, just not my cup of tea. I do however love ilife.

    I just don't see the innovation. Apple can do somrthing as simple as a mag connector for a power supply and people say coooool! why, it's new, it works, and no one else has it. Dell and HP don't need to re-invent the wheel just think outside the box.

  • CSMR - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    Yes the OS is not apple's key advantage, it's the system designs. How many people would buy a apple system inside a dell case over an identical windows dell? Some, but not many. Apple's advantage is a nice combination of hardware in good form factors with simple designs, painted white.

    This is exactly what the OEM manufacturers could do if they want: produce good windows systems in good form factors with simple designs, and paint them white. :)

    The OEMs can easily compete with apple by producing a range that focuses on style and simplicity: forget about appealing to the aesthetic tastes of gamers and leave out the legacy connectors and supporting chips: leave these to other ranges.
  • segerstein - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    There are two computer companies that I really admire: one is HP, the other is Sun.

    They both make excellent computers, HP printers, scanners, while Sun's Solaris is top notch.

    Apple is for shallow people :-$
  • michael2k - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    If Apple is for shallow people, what is the Envy, Omen, and Touchsmart for? Rich, shallow people? Reply
  • krnmastersgt - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    I'll agree with some of those points, but Vista had a horrid launch, there's no arguing that, most programs couldn't even run on Vista until SP1 or a rewritten and updated code for the programs was released. Even Microsoft's own Visual Studio had problems running. Sure, some stuff is the hardware and looks, but if MS can't even have all of its programs and apps from the past run well or even at all on Vista, you can't expect the majority of developers out there to like it very much. Most people I know who've used Vista have switched back to XP, and so have a lot of people I've only talked to. That spoke volumes to me. Reply
  • Griswold - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    "... there's no arguing that, most programs couldn't even run on Vista until SP1 or a rewritten and updated code for the programs was released."

    Yes there is arguing about that because its a truckload of bullshit. Most programs ran and run just fine. Fact. End of debate. There were and still are crappy written programs that cause trouble or wont run at all... so what? If you depend on that particular piece of shit software, run it in a (free) virtual machine of your choice with your previous edition of windows...problem solved.

    Please stop talking about vista when you obviously never touched it for more than 5 minutes and depend on "what you heard" on some forum...

  • Steve Guilliot - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    It gets even better. We all remember Apple's migration to x86 and Rosetta. Old apps either crashed or used 5x memory while running 5x slower. Almost all of the biggest software titles were affected until they could produce a native x86 binary, which often took a year or longer.

    Now let's talk about the blame-Microsoft BS floating around. The pro-Mac sentiment created by Apple's admitedly supperior industrial design, combined with the "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" commercials, is being transferred to MacOS. This is swelling the pro-Mac bandwagon, while increasing the anti-MS hype. Anand has apparently succumbed. PC's are not being held back by Vista. They are being held back by inferior industrial design.

    Bashing Microsoft is just trendy. Most geeky bloggers and webauthors will find a way to either attack MS, or compliment it with a backhanded insult, even if the issue at hand has nothing to do with MS. For a good example, see the intro to this very article.
  • preslove - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Now let's talk about the blame-Microsoft BS floating around. The pro-Mac sentiment created by Apple's admitedly supperior industrial design, combined with the "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" commercials, is being transferred to MacOS.

    You sir, are an idiot. Every single mac switcher I've talked to raves about OSX. It is the reason Apple is successful, not the design. The design obviously helps, but having an awesome OS is what differentiates Apple from every one of its competitors.
  • Steve Guilliot - Saturday, June 14, 2008 - link

    Mac users raving over OSX doesn't contradict my point, it's because of my point. How many Mac users are going to spend big money on a Mac and then compain about OSX? They bought into the Mac lifestyle, and viewing everything Apple in the most favorable light goes with the territory. OTOH, there is no Microsoft lifestyle to buy into or identify with.

    Apple really started taking off with the iPod success (wow, no OSX). Then Apple released the unbelievable cool MacBook Pros (they still appear in almost every TV show and movie today, and don't say it's becuase of OSX). Then the restyled iMacs and MacPros. Now the MacBook Air, again being driven 99.99% by design. Almost everything Apple is renowned for is hardware related. The popularity of OSX follows as a result. It's a good OS, without any major objections. Just good enough to not impede the desireability of the hardware.

    On the otherhand, you've offered a thin (and unconvincing) line of anectdotal evidence to conclude I'm and idiot...

    Sir indeed.
  • Thorsson - Monday, June 16, 2008 - link

    LOL. No using logic with a fanboi.

    Anyone who doesn't understand the importance of marketing needs to study the success of brands like Coca Cola and Budweiser. Did they get to be successful through having superior products?

    Guys & Gals, Apple has sold you a lifestyle. And you want it.
  • michael2k - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Were you a Mac user that bought the first Intel Macs?

    The software was at worst 2x slower.

    And... you say, "They are being held back by inferior industrial design", which is exactly what was written in the intro for this article. The only reason Vista was mentioned was because that was an aspect of PC design the OEMs had precious control over, so the only thing left for them to tackle was industrial design.

    You think you are superior for not "succumbing" to pro-Mac sentiment? Is that like not "succumbing" to pro-Zune sentiment, or pro-XBox sentiment, or any other "underdog gaining in popularity" sentiment?
  • Steve Guilliot - Saturday, June 14, 2008 - link

    Yes, I bought one of the first Intel Mac Minis, and I had to upgrade the RAM to 2GB because of Rosetta. I have some experience here, thanks.

    So I'm wrong becuase the speed hit from Rosetta was 2x instead of 5x. Don't you know you're making my point? Anandtech articles frequently make much of a 3% speed increase due to faster RAM, etc. Don't you think a 50% performance hit is significant?

    Second, if you only percieve a 2x slowdown, it's because the Intel hardware was fundamentally faster masking much of the slowdown. You can't seriously say the speed improvement from Photoshop CS2 to CS3 was only 2x.

    I notice you ignored my point about poor app stability. I've had apps crash in Rosetta far more frequently than Vista pre-SP1 (which is to say almost never).

    It doesn't matter that the article mentioned the inferior industrial design when they go on to put blame on MS. Maybe the only thing the OEMs could tackle was industrial design. So? They still failed at that, didn't they?

    I own a 5G iPod, a Zune, an Intel Mac, and a few PCs. I do see both sides, and I can say with certiantly that the pro-Mac position is hyped, and MS is getting shorted by the tech community who think it's cool to blast Windows.
  • Inkjammer - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    Yep, I concur. I've been playing around with Vista since launch day and I've only had one app (out of dozens and dozens) that wouldn't work right. Short of some driver issues (Creative and Nvidia) I never had any real Vista-specific issues.

    On my old Toshiba Tecra M7, Vista BSOD'd the first time I loaded it up. When I rebooted, Vista gave me a warning messaged that it detected the crash was caused by an incompatible BIOS and that a new BIOS was available for download, even provided a link as to where to get the update. Never had a problem after flashing my system. I was rather impressed with that.
  • ElFindo - Thursday, June 12, 2008 - link

    It seems to me that I had more trouble getting things running under XP out of the box. When there was that initial shift and everything was 'compatibility mode', which didn't work half the time anyways. In fact some of those same programs I had issues running under XP (mostly games in my experience) actually did run on Vista out of the box. Reply
  • Rev1 - Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - link

    I'll agree there with you on that, when i 1st got my comp last year at vista launch most of my probs with it not working right was vista, and a cheap nzxt 500w power suply which was purely my fault. Having said that though i think vista works fine now exept no Hd acceleration for sounds cards like eax. I thought my logitech z5300 on a audigy 2zs on xp sounded light years better than my current z5500 on a X-fi extreme gamer on vista. So bad actually i switch to the onboard realtek and use the optical connection for sound. Reply
  • adelaidewright - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    Definitely, Windows 7 is about to impresses the XP users who resisted to Vista on the ground of performance and compatibility. Windows' newest avatar has a great look and it consumes least of the system resources. It's not surprising that more and more users are migrating to Windows 7. Windows 7 is a multi talented Operating System which includes native functionality to read and write Blue-Ray discs. Windows 7 has many built-in tools to help with program compatibility and it also features an improved backup solution to help keep your information safe. Windows7 is an advanced Operating System with excellent features. Windows 7 builds on the substantial investment.
    The Window Support is an independent provider of on-demand tech support and not affiliated with any third party brand unless specified. Their service was very professional and resolved my problem completely. As always were very patience and knowledgeable. They managed to solve the problem.

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