Fixing one piece of nerd history...
June 22, 2005 1:22 PM   Subscribe

It turns out the Osborne Effect has nothing to do with Osborne, after all. Conventional wisdom has it that Apple's announcement of long-term plans to move to Intel will dramatically hurt the company in what is termed the "Osborne Effect", after the 1980s British computer company that seemingly went bankrupt due to announcing new products so soon that no one would buy anything.
posted by Rothko (19 comments total)

 
This is another "who cares" item that has been blown out of proportion by some people in the press.

If Mac users cared who made the processor inside their box, wouldn't they be just as upset about IBM (who makes the current Mac processor) as they would about Intel?

The truth is, the average Mac (or PC) user couldn't (and shouldn't) care less what company makes the processor inside the box, just like they don't care whether the computer housing is polycarbonate or ABS plastic.
posted by centerpunch at 1:39 PM on June 22, 2005


Most of the concerns behind the "Osborne" claims are not motivated by whether IBM or Intel is inside the computer, but rather that one knows he or she is buying obsolete hardware, or hardware that will lack useful features (Windows dual-booting) known to be in a future product.
posted by Rothko at 1:51 PM on June 22, 2005


So, something I'd never heard of isn't relevant to something I slightly care about.

Wow.

Apple needed to announce this early in order to give developers a chance to make sure their code would cross-compile. Most programs won't have a problem, but some might.
posted by delmoi at 1:54 PM on June 22, 2005


Does the twit who wrote this not remember that Macs used to run on 68k chips? Or that they just went through a much much bigger transition when they switched to OS X? They didn't exactly wait until 90 days before 10.0's release date before telling developers that they might have some changes to make to their products.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:27 PM on June 22, 2005


Apple is no longer selling single processor G5s models, in a barefaced attempt to unload their Snapplish glut of IBM processor inventory twice as fast. Coincidence? I think not.
posted by hal9k at 2:38 PM on June 22, 2005


"Snapplish"?
posted by boo_radley at 2:39 PM on June 22, 2005


So, something I'd never heard of isn't relevant to something I slightly care about.

Curmudgeons rule!
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:41 PM on June 22, 2005


The supposed Osborne Effect assumes that old product sales will slump due to the imminent release of a superior new product. However, moving from the PowerPC architecture to the Intel architecture seems more like a step backwards to me.

On the other hand, it might keep me from buying a Windows PC on the assumption that they will have some kind of wine style emulator out sooner rather than later.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:56 PM on June 22, 2005


"Snapplish"?
posted by boo_radley at 2:39 PM PST on June 22


I panicked.
posted by hal9k at 2:56 PM on June 22, 2005


The twit who wrote this doesn't remember that Apple is making money hand over fist with the various iPods and making a few bucks off that proprietary music store thing. Comparisons to Osborne fail to take into account that Osborne wasn't similarly diversified, product-wise.

"Curmudgeons rule!"

Bah. What a bunch of foolishness.
posted by majick at 3:00 PM on June 22, 2005


BrotherCaine: looks like you're in luck.
posted by BaxterG4 at 3:07 PM on June 22, 2005


They didn't exactly wait until 90 days before 10.0's release date before telling developers that they might have some changes to make to their products.

SpaceCoyote - X is software; it costs $129. We're talking about much larger investments here, for consumers.
posted by thejoshu at 4:39 PM on June 22, 2005


I have no idea what will happen with Apple, but I'm guessing Osbourne didn't have approximately $6 billion in cash in floating around...
posted by jalexei at 5:14 PM on June 22, 2005


Speaking of Apple hardware....
posted by keswick at 6:22 PM on June 22, 2005


X is software; it costs $129. We're talking about much larger investments here, for consumers.

Actually instead of $129 it will cost every existing mac user exactly $0 to continue using old and new software for as long as they like.

$129 > $0.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:02 AM on June 23, 2005


"The twit who wrote this"

It's great that everyone is queuing up to say how this "twit" is wrong and the Osborne Effect won't apply to Apple, but have any of you guys actually read the linked article? What it says - with justification - is that the Osborne Effect is a myth. The Osborne Effect didn't even happen to Osborne, let alone Apple.

Oh, and Osborne was not a British company - it was American.
posted by pascal at 7:57 AM on June 23, 2005


Thanks, Pascal.
posted by Rothko at 8:53 AM on June 23, 2005


Apple won't sell Intel Macs until almost a year from now, and not all Macs will have Intel chips until late 2007. The G5 tower, which hal9k mentions, won't go Intel until 2007 probably. (Which means Apple is not dumping G5 chips. Rather, they'll be buying more in the next 1.5 years.)

Yes, Apple will have better computers in a year or two. If you buy one now, in four, maybe five years it will be obsolete. When was that ever not true? Buy one when you need it, whatever the model is at that time. If the Osbourne Effect were real, no one would ever buy a computer of any kind.
posted by sidb at 9:44 AM on June 23, 2005


I once worked for a supercomputer company named Denelcor. We were already struggling trying to get our HEP 1 line accepted by the commercial market when we announced the HEP 2. All the customers who had expressed interest in the HEP 1 decided to wait on the HEP 2. There were delays in producing the software for HEP 2, no one was buying HEP 1 (we only sold 6 or 7 of them anyway), and the company went bankrupt.

The company was already having financial problems, but there's no doubt that the pre-announcement of the HEP 2 hastened the end. Denelcor Effect? -- nah, not catchy enough.
posted by joaquim at 11:20 AM on June 23, 2005


« Older Bob Parson's may have (somewhat) changed his tune ...  |  Have you ever been under anest... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments