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I switch someone to a Mac nearly every time I work. Granted, I only work one or two days a week, and still for the benefits, but it's pretty interesting stuff. I've read a bunch of stuff about how "oh, those Switch ads aren't working" or "the market share isn't rising" or whatever. I'll tell you: I've got first-hand knowledge of the fact that those people are wrong.

Today a mother of 15-month old twins came in with a Canon Z25 (I think) DV camera. She said "I've never been able to get this thing to work on my PC." I grabbed a Firewire cable (we had two, but it took some time to locate) and plugged it in. I launched iMovie, and we made a short video of their children playing the drums and making noise in the back of the car. Just a minute long video. We added a title, a cross-dissolve, a radial wipe, some sound effects (audience cheers during the drum solos), and so on. I exported the movie to a file and burned it onto a CD (I'd have put it on a DVD, but those are a bit costly to just hand out like candy).

About twenty minutes later, they left the store with an iMac. So much for their Dell…

Another woman, partially paralyzed, came in about 15 minutes before I was scheduled to leave. A little over an hour later, she was out the door with the promise to return the next time I was working so thats she could buy her 14" iBook. This woman came from the Dell kiosk that opened in the mall for the holiday season. The Mac sold itself to this woman. I showed her Sherlock, how easily she could listen to Internet radio stations (Classical), and how light the iBook was, and she was sold. Kick in a killer RAM deal to beat Dell's offer and a "free" printer and there's no way she was going back to the kiosk. Heck, .Mac was a slam dunk after that with the virus protection and the 100 free 4x6's.

These people are not "switchers" in the sense that they didn't say "Hey, I saw that commercial... the one with the stoned chick..." (who, according to her own darn interview, was actually just on Benedryl). They didn't say "I'm sick of my blue screens." Yet they're switchers. They're switching from a Dell that they couldn't even use to make movies. They're switching to a computer from… not even having a computer.

The Apple Stores are effective because of one thing: they let people see Macs in action. People buy PCs because they've never SEEN the Mac. They don't know what it can do. Ignorance is not bliss in this case. They're not "choosing" the PC because they didn't know there was a choice. The only choice they thought they had, before now, was which store - Circuit City or Best Buy - to get their computer from. Now there's an actual choice - a better choice.

Macs sell themselves. My job when I'm there is to just get out of the way and ring up the sale when the iBook tells me the customer is ready.

Switching? Peh. Let's call it "upgrading" instead.