It’s human nature for fans of a particular product or service to brag about how it beats its competitors. Ford enthusiasts berate Chevy owners. Harvard graduates put down Yale alumni. Cat owners quarrel with dog lovers. And anyone in the armed services knows how the Army and Marine Corps love to go at it. So, it’s no surprise that there’s a long-standing feud between devotees of the two largest types of computers: PC (or Windows) and Mac (AKA Apple). Who wins in the battle between Mac vs. PC?
Google the term “Mac vs PC” and you’ll get over 100,000 results, and each one has a different opinion on the subject. For those trying to decide which type of computer is for them, it can all be quite confusing.
So, what’s the truth underneath all of the hype? In this article we’ll look at the pros and cons of both Mac and Windows machines, giving you the facts without taking a side on the issue. Then you can make up your own mind on this topic. Let us begin!
Mac vs. PC
§ PCs are available from dozens of manufacturers in several different forms, including desktops, laptops, and netbooks. They also range in price from around $300 to several thousand, depending on the features, processing speed, monitor resolution, etc. So chances are you’ll find one that will meet your needs, whether you’re a computer novice or an Internet veteran.
§ Ninety percent of computer users have a Windows-based machine, so a huge variety of software is available for this format. Whether you’re interested in using your machine for games, Internet surfing, running a home office, or taking online classes, you’ll find plenty of programs to help you achieve your goals.
§ The world of PCs is dominated by Microsoft Corporation, which has a reputation of pursuing profit even at the expense of its customers. Many people believe this is why new versions of Windows seem to come out every other day, even though some of those (such as Vista) have proven to have serious operating problems, according to many users. So it’s no surprise that many people equate using a PC with being under Bill Gates’ thumb.
§ Consistent quality has been a hallmark of Apple products since the company’s beginnings in the 1980s. Simply put, Macs are well-built machines. And, for those with an eye for product design, an Apple computer is widely considered to be sleeker and more elegant in form than PCs, which tend to be clunky and utilitarian in appearance. Steve Jobs, who was Apple Computers for all intents and purposes, always placed a huge emphasis on the user’s experience. Put simply, he saw technology not as an end in itself, but as a way to make people happy. This is why his company’s products, such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod, are insanely popular. Their owners love them so much that they develop an emotional bond with them, making Mac vs. PC a moot point.
§ Apple’s operating systems, such as OSX, are generally considered to be easier to learn and work with than Windows. Also, Mac owners report less freeze-ups, crashes, and other annoying problems than do PC users. However, the difference between both systems has become so small that many people who regularly use both types of machines report little or no difference in the overall experience. Microsoft has taken giant leaps forward in the last few years in making Windows more simple and sensible. Nonetheless, Apple does maintain a slight edge in overall dependability and usability.
§ The biggest difference most people notice is that Macs cost significantly more than PCs. For example, a good, solid, well-built laptop PC can be bought for $500 or less, and there are many different makers and brands to pick from. On the other hand, a bare-bones Mac laptop will set you back a thousand bucks, and they go up from there. This is simply more than many people are willing or able to pay. As we talked about earlier, many people who use both types of computers report that they’re almost identical in their ease of use and reliability, so why pay hundreds more?
§ A lot of people are turned off by what they perceive as a smug feeling of superiority among Mac users. The term “Cult of Mac” has become increasingly popular over the years, due to the almost religious devotion many Apple fans seem to have to their machines. A disturbing example of this is seen in the fact that Apple stores frequently have to turn down offers by Mac enthusiasts to work without pay, just so they can be surrounded by the company’s products all of the time. If so many people worship Mac, no matter what product it is, it’s tough to get a true read on its real value compared to a PC.
So, What’s the Bottom Line?
That depends on your tastes, your budget, your goals, and your values. In this article we’ve laid out the facts, so you can make your own decision about which type of computer to choose. The answer to the Mac vs. PC question is to select the one that’s best for you. Whichever way you go, the important thing is that you enjoy the journey.