Is World Domination By Apple Reality Or Marketing Hype?

It is no secret that Mac users and PC users have constantly argued over which company makes better software and equipment. Some say that Macs have a faster hard drive, a more user-friendly operating system, and much better security; while others believe that Windows is the better operating system; that PCs are generally more affordable to the public; and are more reliable than the average Mac. Hundreds have tested the validity of these claims, only to have the answer of “which is better” shot down by users due to the lack of information on which PC and which operating system was actually tested against the other.

There are a lot of factors involved in the functionality and usability of our computers, not least of which is the particular needs and interest of the user. Ratings on both products tend to vary from the most experienced computer technician down to the technologically inept.

Preference in Businesses

Just as this argument has governed users on a personal level, corporations often hit a wall on which computer they should have readily available for their employees. This is either due to the CEO’s preconceived notions about an operating system or computer, or is based on the type of work the employees are expected to accomplish.

That said, many PC owners are beginning to feel they are becoming the minority; as more and more of their business associates turn toward Macs.

“Everyone I know uses Macs, even my family,” comments Dr. Mark Weiser, a cosmetic dentist in Santa Barbara who also owns and operates his practice. “I’m the last of the PC-ers that I know of. I don’t have any biases about Macs or PCs. There are only PCs in my office. I figure that if people are proficient in Macs, they can also be proficient with PCs.”

Personal Preference

Macs have become something of a trend among younger generations and seem to be coveted by those with enough cash, while PCs remain the computer for the “common man.” However for some, the differences between the computers transcend the pocketbook.

“Macs are fine and a lot of people greatly prefer the operating system,” comments Trevor Smith, a physics major at Colorado University and talented musician. “But I would highly recommend a computer running Windows if you are fine using Windows. Apple laptops look really nice, but in my experience, they are actually very mediocre computers. They are built with cheap parts that break often, they overheat, and have a myriad of other problems. Simply put, they are about as unreliable as lower-end computers.”

Trevor has owned both PCs and Macs, and has come to the conclusion that certain PCs are more reliable than basic Macs.

“I personally prefer the company called Lenovo,” he says. “They make the best laptops around. Also with Windows you will have less software compatibility issues, better security and a better built machine.”

The beauty of Windows-governed PCs is that users have their pick of most computer brands. The Windows operating system has been made to work on a wide variety of PCs including many Macs, if that is what the user desires. On the other hand, Apple designed its operating system to be most compatible with its own computers. It is very difficult for a user to load the Mac OSX onto a Dell. In fact, creating a “Hackintosh” is technically illegal.

Still, others greatly prefer Macs or enjoy using both Apple and Microsoft operating systems based on their needs at any given moment. Samantha Carey, a student at the New England School of Communications (NESCom) explains that she is used to using both, depending on what part of her projects she is working on.

“Here at NESCom we do all of our rough work on PCs and then polish them with our Macs for sound production and engineering,” Samantha says. “If we do video or graphic design it’s done on a Mac from the start.”

Samantha has studied different computers for a few years, coming to an understanding about the different interfaces and how they pertain to the users.

“For higher-end creation and production, the programs still stay specialized to the computer,” she says. “For example, Digital Audio Workstations, such as Logic, are designed to be used with Mac while FL Studios is designed for PC Though they can be interchanged when done right, they work best on their specific computer and operating system.”

Macs are unique in the computer world; as Apple holds a kind of monopoly on not only its operating systems, but also various programs that are specific to the user. Often, those that are interested in programs pertaining to design or anything arts-related, including music compositions and the altering of photography, tend to gravitate toward a Mac to accomplish the fine tuned details.

Give ’em the Specs

As with anything, there are both good and bad sides to regular PCs and Macs. PCs are generally viewed as slow and not really reliable, but around 92 percent of the general population owns at least one PC that runs some form of Windows; while only about 5 percent own a Mac, according to various statistics. Those numbers vary depending on the source that you look at, but in general, PC users still greatly outnumber Mac users. Some claim that Macs are not susceptible to viruses; however others say that Macs get just as many viruses as PCs.

We probably wont see a resolution to the Mac/PC debate any time soon; but it’s safe to say that PCers are certainly not in the statistical minority. Even in the tablet market, Android tablets took 20% of the market share away from Apple. Until then, the iPad was reigning supreme. Now, the future of the tablet market looks more like the PC market, with new contenders coming available at lower price points all the time.

If you need a new computer, take the time to compare not only the operating system, but compatible software and various components that might make your computer-use more efficient. Keep in mind the amount of RAM you need; how much space will be needed to hold all of your MMOs or Word documents; and remember that, despite the price differences with Microsoft and Apple, you are almost always paying more for a name than its components.

Shanna Laub writes for Off-Topic Media. Photo by Matthieu Riegler. Special thanks to Trevor Smith, Samantha Carey and Dr. Mark Weiser for taking time to speak with us. Dr. Weiser can be reached at his Los Angeles sleep apnea dentist’s office at:

Mark T Weiser DDS
2080 Century Park East, Suite 1601
Los Angeles, CA 90067

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