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Interview: Wim Schermer, Long-time Apple Reseller
By Thom Holwerda on 2005-08-04 20:49:19
The news that Apple is going to switch to Intel processors shook up the computing world. Many users and developers were eager to publish their opinions on the switch. However, one group of people were totally neglected during all this: resellers. Today, we feature an interview with Wim Schermer, first Dutchman to own a Mac (in 1984), and co-founder of one of the biggest Apple retail stores in The Netherlands, MacSupport. We discuss the switch to Intel, and much more.

Reseller Interview, page 1/3

1. First, tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Wim: MacSupport was founded by Niels de Vos and me, Wim Schermer, in 1988. Before that, I was already busy with Apple and Mac. Together with Chriet Titulaer (Ed. note: don't worry if you don't know Chriet Titulaer, you must be Dutch to understand) I was the first to own a Mac in The Netherlands, in January 1984. That was the 128k Mac, which was expanded later to a Fat Mac, 512k, and again later to a Mac+, 1024k. But anyway, we started at Ganzerek 5, Castricum (in a bedroom and attic), but we soon after moved to Anna Pauwlona Street 14, where we got our first real office building. We started there with only two people, and we moved to our current location in December 1995, with 11 employees. And in September, when we open our store-in-store shop in De Bijenkorf, Amsterdam, we'll have a total of 50 employees, spread over three shops (one in Uitgeest, and two in Amsterdam). The new department in De Bijenkorf is very attractive for us, as De Bijenkorf has 6 million visitors a year.

The Switch to Intel

2. What do you personally think about the switch? Can you understand Steve Jobs' reasoning?

Wim: I think that it's the only correct decision. Apple promised us that by the end of last year, we'd be at 3 Ghz. We're now at 2.7 Ghz, and that inhibits Apple in its development towards the most modern computers with the speed that Apple wants, and that especially counts in the mobile segment. The PowerBook G4 is a great machine, but you know, it should be a G5. And, they won't be able to make a G5 PowerBook, because it produces too much heat, and so Apple decided to bet on Intel because Intel can get the same speeds with about 5 to 7 times less the amount of heat. Then you've got access to greater performance, which you cannot get with the PowerPC. And Apple has always kept the possibility open by also working on a Intel version of OS X. It also makes the switch for current PC users easier, because Apple will not mangle the Intel processors that much that it won't be able to run PC/x86 software. So all in all, I find this a clever move.

3. Has Apple already informed you about the upcoming changes?

Wim: No. We know as much as the normal audience does. We know that somewhere in May and June next year, the first machines supplied with Intel processors will be made available. And, we think that the first machine will be a PowerBook, because we're most hell-bent to see that first.

4. Do you have a dev-transition kit here?

Wim: No, we don't.

5. For a long time you have told your customers that PPC was better, and now you have to sell Intel. Do you think it's going to be hard to sell the new Intel Macs?

Wim: I can assure you: the public doesn't care one bit. They come for a Mac, for the machine, they come for the wonderful software, stability, but they do not come for the processor. They don't care; as long as it runs, and preferably as fast as possible. But what type of processor? The customer doesn't care.

6. Apple has stated that they will not stop people from running Windows on the new Intel Macs. Is there a chance that you, as an Apple reseller, might sell Windows and MS Office for Windows in the future?

Wim: Look, we already sell Office for the Mac. We've been selling Office for the Mac from our first day! Word and Excel were first introduced on the Mac, and not on Windows. As long as Apple can stimulate developers to write real Mac software, we of course won't say "Hey, Macs have the possibility to run Windows, so go buy Office for Windows." That's not necessary, because we have Office:Mac. But, I admit, there are applications which a Mac user also sometimes needs, for instance a badly written website that requires Internet Explorer, or things written specifically for Windows. In that case, it's quite handy to be able to boot into Windows without the need for emulation. And for switchers this is extremely handy; they buy a Mac, and have the beautiful machine, the stability. But, if they still decide they want to go back to Windows, they can, very easily.

Table of contents

  1. Reseller Interview, page 1/3
  2. Reseller Interview, page 2/3
  3. Reseller Interview, page 3/3

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