This post is going to be a little out of the ordinary for me. I feel that I have some experience with technology, so I want to share a few points of advice. You can go to a lot of other places on the web to find more comprehensive “studies” and benchmark tests, but I just want to provide something helpful and simple to understand to our readers.
First off, I am no “fanboy” (A person who goes into an outburst every time something he likes is questioned). I enjoy technology that is quick, efficient, and of good value: no matter what the brand. My arsenal of computer technology is wide-spread. I have a five-year old Dell desktop PC, a Dell netbook, an LG phone, an Apple iPod Touch, and a Nikon digital camera. All I want to give is a simple opinion from my point of view…
Over the last ten years or so, Apple Computer, Inc. has risen from the dead. During the 1990’s–with the release of Windows 3.1 (I actually remember that operating system!), Windows 95, and Windows 98–Microsoft captured and ran away with the computer operating system (OS) market. In the late 90’s, Microsoft released a bug-riddled OS called Windows Millennium Edition, which gave a large segment of computer users a bad taste in their mouth. At about the same time, a little toy called the iPod began to really show itself popular. This reintroduced a large segment of people to Apple. With different innovations for the iPod, people began to really look what else Apple really offered. In the 2000’s Microsoft introduced Windows XP, which firmly solidified the Microsoft grasp with the average computer user.
However, with the introduction of another bug-riddled OS called Windows Vista in 2007, many users began to look else ware, specifically Apple. Even after Microsoft fixed most issues through service packs within a few months, people still had a bad taste in their mouth. Thus began the huge rise of Apple–helped, of course, by the release of the iPhone.
Now, doesn’t all of that make you want to go out and get an Apple instead of a PC? Let’s think all of this through. Here is a list of points that Mac users make on why their system is better…and my own explanations of why they are not good arguments.
- “Mac computers don’t get viruses.”–Ha! This is simply semantics and common sense! Right now, Mac has about 8% of the computer market. Microsoft has about 90% Reference. Do you really think that malicious people are going to try to make viruses for 9% of the market, or will they focus on the larger piece of the pie? The virus industry is all about money–stolen identities, advertising, and pop-ups. They are naturally going to aim most of the time at the bigger market share. By the way, did you know that cell phones can get viruses? Guess which phone is the most likely to get one? The Apple iPhone. Reference
- “Mac computers are faster and generally preform better”–A very blanket statement. You can find several places on the internet that will say either way. In general, if both have the same hardware or close to it, they will preform about the same. Reference
- “Macs are simpler to use.”–Just try Windows 7. That’s all that I have to say.
- “Macs can run all of the same software that Windows can.” Yes, this is true, but with a necessary piece of software called an emulator. In layman’s terms, an emulator is like running 2 computers on one machine. The performance goes way down.
- “Macs don’t crash”–Just search on the web for “Mac crashes.” You will find plenty.
- “Macs have better exclusive software.” There is a point to this argument. I do think that Apple’s Safari internet browser is slightly better than Microsoft Internet Explorer. I don’t like either of them myself; I prefer Google Chrome or Firefox in a heartbeat. And if you are talking about a video editor, iMovie from Apple is better than Windows Movie Maker–by a long-shot. Media players are up in the air: iTunes versus Windows Media Player. For me, I don’t really like either very much. iTunes is slow and clunky, where Windows Media Player is disorganized. Just get Winamp, people–fast and organized (not available on Macs)! With photo editing and organizing, again, I don’t like iPhoto or Windows Photo Gallery: get Google Picasa! It runs a circle around Photo Gallery, and multiple circles around iPhoto.
Problems with Macs
Not all printers and cameras are Mac compatible. You always have to look on the label to see if the product you are interested in is compatible–an issue that Windows users rarely have to deal with. Productivity software for businesses is extremely hard to come by. Apple is very touchy about their software coding and who has the right to make software for them. For example, those of you with iPod Touches or iPhones, try to view a website that has Adobe Flash (about 70 percent of all websites). Apple will not let Adobe produce Flash for their products. Why? Again, they are very touchy about letting people make things for their Operating Systems. Macs are also not compatible with some of the newest Intel and AMD technology when it comes to fast and mobile processors. The same goes with network devices.
This is a big issue for me. It is very hard to upgrade aspects of your Mac hardware, like a video card. With a PC, all you have to do is pop out the old one, install the drivers, and you are good to go. If it is possible with certain Macs, you have to buy one of only a few choices that are way overpriced from their Windows counterparts, and usually don’t preform as well. It’s the same thing with adding extra memory, hard drives, and optical drives.
For less money than a MacBook Pro ($1699.99), you can buy a Dell Studio ($749.99) with the same or better hardware specifications and overall performance. That’s about double the price! All for the Apple name and “coolness” factor, basically.
A friend of mine said this very well (not an exact quote): “Macs are oversimplified computers–watered down so art students and sorority girls from public colleges don’t have to know how to do anything. The premium you pay for the Mac is making up for your general lack of technological knowledge.” If I had to buy a computer today, which I don’t, I would probably build my own anyway–Windows based. Now there is the whole argument about Linux, which is another story. That OS just seems like a big pain to deal with. Also, Google is supposed to be coming out with its own OS later this year, which I am somewhat interested in for our netbook–mainly due to my like of the Google Chrome browser. Plus, it’s free!
The bottom line is research all of this stuff out for yourself before you buy any computer: PC or Mac. Do what fits your needs most. Don’t just follow trends or the looks of a computer! I guess that Macs look a little bit neat, but so do some PC’s. Find the best overall value. And believe me, you won’t always get what you pay for.