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The Compatibility of Macbooks

Team Information

Team Name

Macbooks United

Team Members

Kelssay Hurd

Rocky Kwan

Thalia Kamel


Technology & Issue

We will discuss the problem that Apple Macbook laptops, hereby referred to as Macbooks or Macs, have with software and the ways around it, and why it is worth switching from Microsoft PC to Apple Macbooks. These days, Macbooks are becoming more and more popular, with more users switching from PC to Macs.

There is a problem with it because of a new operating system, called Leopard OSX which is a subset of Mac OSX, which apple uses instead of the Windows Vista operating system.

The question arises.

Can Apple Macbooks really survive in a computing world that was created by Microsoft, with everything designed for Windows? or is there a way around this issue?


The first Apple computer was released on April fools day in 1976 by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. It was the first single circuit board ever to be used in a computer. Just a short year later the Apple II was released which was the first personal computer with color graphics, available for $1298. At this time, Macintosh was already facing competition with a company called Commodore, who has also just released a computer called the PET for half the price.

The next move for Macintosh was in January 1983, a $650 million dollar task to create the Lisa computer which would have such features as a menu bar, a mouse, the ability to copy and paste, multiple tasking, icons and folders. The Lisa would sell for $9, 995 but once released only sold a disappointing amount of 10, 000 units.

Approximately one year later the Lisa 2 was released with half the original price tag. The difference of the two computers was that the Lisa 2 has a 3.5" drive rather than the original Lisa’s two 5.25" drives. The Lisa 2 was later renamed the Macintosh XL in 1985 and filled with MacWorks software. Macintosh was so confident with their newly designed Lisa 2, now the Macintosh XL, that Steve Jobs claimed:

"We're prepared to live with Lisa for the next ten years."

In 1983 Macintosh ran its first commercial on an unknown station for the single purpose to be eligible for awards in 1984. The commercial ran once but was constantly replayed by talk shows and news stations. The following month Macintosh played their commercial during the Super Bowl which is where most viewers saw the Macintosh computer for the first time. By finally introducing the Macintosh computer to their Board of Directors and the world in January of 1984, the computer world, and Apple computers have never been the same.

Rising Popularity

There are many reasons for which Mac computers are gaining popularity, one being the fact that Macs are completely integrated computers that are secure, stable and powerful. This is due to the fact that the same company that makes the computer creates the software. From computers, to tvs, ipods and cellphones Apple has revolutionized the technical world. As of the end of the 2008 fiscal year, Apple had a remarkable quarter, selling 11 million iPods, 6.8 million iPhones, and 2.6 million Macs. Here are some specifics:

*Revenue: $7.9 billion, up from $6.22 billion in Q4 2007

*Profit: $ 1.14 billion, up more than 26% from $904 million in 2007

*Earnings Per Share: $1.26 per diluted share, up from $1.01 in 2007

*Gross margin: 34.7%, up (!) from 33.6%

*International sales: 41% of revenue, up from 40% in 2007, down from 42% in Q3

*Adjusted sales (including deferred rev. from iPhone and Apple TV): an astonishing $11.68

*Adjusted net income: $2.44 billion, more than double its net without the deferred revenue

*Macs shipped: 2.611 million (21% unit growth, 17% rev. growth from same quarter 2007)

*iPods sold: 11.052 million

*iPhones sold in quarter: 6.892 million, up from 1.119 in Q4 2007

Apple seems to be gaining much popularity, and sales of all aspects have increased. Sales to Mac newbie’s seem to have a domino effect, as happy new owners discuss their purchases to friends, family or coworkers. The problem is, what’s preferred by the Apple makers might not be what the average user wants. Hardcore Mac users are almost notorious for “thinking differently” than PC users. The two have completely different computing experiences. Regular PC users, like students, switching to Mac is different. They want to use what they know. This leads to one issue, compatibility and Macs.

Apple Market Share

Operating system

What is an operating system?

An operating system is the brain of your computer, the thing that connects your hardware to the user. According to the dictionary, it is ‘a program which acts as an interface between a user of a computer and the computer hardware.’ The purpose of an operating system is to organize data in a manner that allows the user to use their computer easily, whether it means easier accessibility, or new age interface. There are many different operating systems out there, each one with its own unique specialty, much like how there are different brands of cell phones, each one with a different specialty

Different operating systems

There are many different operating systems out there, from the common Windows and Linux to the IRIX or the MS-DOS. But they can all be classified into basic types of systems


GUI is short for Graphical user interface, and is basically an operating system that is made up of graphics and icons, and uses the mouse to navigate through it. A common example is windows 98, an old version of windows that was simple and ran on the GUI type system


Much like the title describes, it is an operating system that can allow for multiple users to use the same computer and the same time. A common example is Windows 2000, a newer version of window that allowed users to “network” their computer with other users, and ran on this Multi-User type system


This type of operating system will allow you to run multiple applications and programs at the same time. The Unix operating system runs on the Multiprocessing type of system, and allows users to do multiple things at the same time


Much like multiprocessing, but it allows multiple parts of software to run simultaneously. Such examples include Mac OSX

Compatibility Issues and solutions

there are certain issues, good or bad, with certain things not being able to run on Macbooks, these cam simply be broken up into three categories as listed below. also listed is the solution, if necessary and the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions.

New websites are constantly coming up that reflect specific Mac based software and reflect that there is a growing market for Mac products. The obvious website to being a search for any new Mac software is on apple’s store (http://store.apple.com/ca/) where developers are constantly launching new software to compete with Microsoft Software. this new software will do one of two things, as explained in this section.

virus compatibility

Much like any other program, a virus is essentially a program that is booted up onto your computer. Since Macbooks use the Leopard OSX operating system, and most viruses are written with the intention of users using the Windows operating system (such as windows 2000 or windows vista) these programs are not compatible with the Leopard OSX. In basic terms, we can think of the virus written in a foreign language, and the operating system doesn’t understand that language, therefore any insults (think of insults as the damage) the virus is trying to deliver will not work, because what we cannot understand cannot hurt us.

Another reason is that the Mac operating system is built on UNIX, and that's a more secure operating system that is not as susceptible as the other operating systems in getting viruses or spyware.

This virus safety comes at a price though, with the average Macbook being anywhere from $100-$500 more expensive than a PC (depending on the brand) with equal power and processing strength, as stated by www.computerworld.com

gaming compatibility

As far as games are concerned, there are certain games that will not run on Macs, and are currently being developed by the Apple team to reach the goal of being able to work.

As in the previous example regarding viruses, games as well can be seen as foreign languages. Without a translator, the Mac cannot understand the game and cannot run it.

this is becoming less and less frequent though. Developers of games understand that Macs are rising in popularity, and therefore are starting to create all their games for both the Macs and the PCs. The only games that may not be compatible for Macs are the ones built before the year 2004, when the apple boom began, and even then, small developers have created patches that you can download to make these old games compatible!

these patches can run anywhere from $10-$100, while new games will cost the same amount whether you buy them for PC or for a Mac, therefore it clearly reflects that no matter what game you're playing, you can access it on a mac, as long as you're willing to pay a little more at times.

everyday compatibility

Programs geared towards everyday use, such as paying taxes or doing your homework, are for the most part Mac compatible. Mac’s user friendly interface has allowed most everyday programs to be usable on the Mac. Microsoft office is Mac compatible, so the average student can do all their work, while Quicken, one of the leading tax programs on the internet, and is also Mac Compatible.

Getting around compatibility

Developers have created programs that allow users to boot up Windows onto their Macs, so that users who may not be able to find the specific software needed, can now simply boot up windows. the most popular program to do this is Parallels which allows you to install windows (meaning you will need an antivirus program for your windows) and switch back and forth between two operating systems on one computer.

Finding a different program

another common solution to the compatibility problems of Macbooks is to simply find another program out there that does what you are looking for. apple has an extensive list of apple specific products, such as iLife, GarageBand, and many others that will allow you to do the same thing that your Windows movie maker, or tax plus program wanted to do.


After extensive research, our group has found that although all products do no work for the Mac, it is a small sacrifice to pay in order to own a piece of technology that is virtually virus free. Macbooks may be pricier, and their software a little more expensive, but the growing popularity of Macbooks shows that users should not fear, because there are many solutions to find a product that will do what you need, and is compatible for your Mac, as long as you’re willing to pay a little more.


Kelssay Hurd










Rocky Kwan

internet security: http://www.videojug.com/expertanswer/internet-security/why-dont-mac-computers-get-viruses

compatible mac programs: http://www.computerhope.com/os.htm

more mac programs: http://offleashdevelopments.com/filelock

info about paralllels: http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/

apple store: http://store.apple.com/ca/browse/home/shop_mac/software?mco=MTE2ODk

Apple compatible games: http://www.blizzard.com

inside details about apple products: http://www.appleinsider.com

Apple wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_computers

Thalia Kamel

apple's main site: http://www.apple.ca

apple popularity: http://www.dabledoo.com

more on popularity: http://www.crunchgear.com

apple statistics: http://www.macworld.com

more statistics: http://www.appletell.com

Macs and viruses: http://elliottback.com/wp/macs-dont-have-viruses/