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Software aims to ease Mac switch

Apple Computer has a new weapon in its campaign to woo PC users: a $59 piece of software that makes the switch to Macintosh easier.

    Apple Computer has a new weapon in its campaign to woo PC users: a $59 piece of software that makes the switch to Macintosh easier.

    Detto Technologies has started selling Move2Mac, a combination of software and a customized USB (universal serial bus) cable that helps PC users move many of their files, settings and even background pictures to a new Mac running the latest version of Mac OS X.

    The 25-person company developed the software at the request of Apple, although the Mac maker did not pick up any of the development costs, nor is it providing marketing dollars. Apple does plan to carry it in its retail stores, according to Detto.

    "Apple came to us," said Frank Coyle, vice president of marketing for Detto. "They said, 'Can you do PC to Mac?' We said sure."

    Apple has been on a campaign to try to lure more PC owners over to the Mac. Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated an early version of the software at Macworld Expo in New York this past July.

    For the past year and a half, Detto has been offering similar software called IntelliMover that allows Windows-based PC owners to move their files and settings to a new Windows-based PC.

    Move2Mac transfers Internet settings, files, contacts and more, Coyle said. He added that some files, like pictures and music, are automatically moved to the proper location on the Mac.

    "The idea is we get you over quickly, and once we get you over, the things are in the same folder locations as they were on the PC," Coyle said.

    Although music lovers may find that it takes hours to transfer all their files using the USB cable, Coyle says that many consumers find they have only about 500MB of files that need transferring--a process that takes around 15 minutes.

    Bellevue, Wash.-based Detto was started by two former workers in Microsoft's technical support unit. The company received funding at the end of the Internet boom by touting the idea of transferring files to a new PC over the Internet.

    However, Detto quickly learned that the settings for getting onto the Internet were among the things that people wanted help bringing over from their old PCs. That's when the company switched to a cable-based approach.