Friday, March 04, 2016

Mac or PC? Which do you prefer?

Written by  David Sugar

While sitting here on an airplane flying out to Colorado for the weekend I was starting to read Steve Job’s biography. That made me think which type of computer do you prefer, Mac or PC – and why? Personally I try to stay as neutral as possible working with computers. The goal of this article isn’t to influence your decision to purchase a Mac or PC but to make you think about the computer you are using and why you’ve made the decision. Just fair warning, this article is somewhat opinionated.

Before diving into the pros and cons lets look at the options. You have Apple (Mac) and PC, which typically is Windows but could also run Linux or Unix. These days when you walk into your local coffeeshop or onto the campus of a college or university you see a lot of Mac laptops. If you walk into a business on the other hand, depending on the business, you most likely will find PCs as the choice of computer. Is this due to software availability? Maybe it’s the comfort level of the user? Price is also a big determining factor when choosing a computer. All these and more can influence your decision when purchasing a computer.

Let’s start with PC. Way before Apple or Mac ever was popular there were variants of the PC by makers such as IBM, HP, and other manufacturers. As such, most of the software on the market at the time was focused towards these computers and much less towards Apple when Apple appeared on the market. Still to this day you find old PCs running software not available on an Apple. So why do people hold onto these PCs or upgrade them for new ones rather than switch to Apple. My guess and argument is familiarity. When you are familiar with a specific operating system and software you tend to use what is familiar. My personal reasons for choosing PC over Apple is part familiarity but also the amount of software available for a PC versus the Mac OS. There is much more software available for PCs especially those running Windows. Yes you can run Linux on a PC, but unless you are a programmer or running a server I suggest staying away from Linux. So my argument for PC stands at the availability of software.

Now let’s take a look at Apple products. I asked the person sitting next to me on the flight to Denver why he chose Apple products over PC. He started off saying he owned a PC for the longest time. Then he purchased a Mac and today he finds the Mac OS much more intuitive to use versus an operating system such as Windows 8 or Windows 10. More importantly he mentioned a few years ago he purchased an iPhone and not only do Apple products interface well with each other but once you have purchased an iPhone making the transition to any other type of cellphone is hard. You’ve purchased all these apps and music that only will work on the iPhone so you buy another iPhone when your old one dies. So the argument for Mac is intuitiveness over Windows and Apple has you sort of stuck, once you buy one of their products since you can’t easily move it over to a PC. Now for my arguments for Mac and Apple products. First I agree that Apple products integrate quite well, in fact if I get a call on my iPhone I can answer it from my Mac. I can even respond to texts sent via iMessage on my Mac. From a programmers standpoint the Mac OS is built on Unix making the Mac OS much more stable than the Windows OS. Finally, since Microsoft made the move making Windows more of an operating system designed for touch screen devices; I am more inclined to use the Mac OS.

So which type of computer do I prefer? Personally I am more inclined to move towards Mac versus PC. Though as a programmer I try to stay as neutral as possible. Hopefully this article has given you some food for thought. Why do you use one computer versus another?

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