Are you a Mac or Windows person, and why?

4 Answers

Sam Wilson Profile
Sam Wilson , Mac user for five years, answered

This seems to be one of the most divisive questions of the 21st Century; at its root a simple case of brand preference, it seems to be an issue with the capability to reduce otherwise rational, socially adjusted individuals to near violent bouts of ferocious argument.

Am I a Mac or a PC?

As with what is probably an annoyingly large amount of issues, this is a question that I find myself firmly on the fence over. As annoying as it is to receive an indecisive and needlessly diplomatic answer to a black-or-white question, I can't help it - I like and respect both! I like the aesthetics, intuitiveness and usability of a Mac - but appreciate that their high price tag puts them in a fairly niche place in the Personal Computer market - inaccessible to most who just want a computer for ordinary day-to-day use.

I think it's also important to remember that it was Microsoft who really brought the PC into peoples' living rooms - making it a commodity that is now as essential as the television to any modern home.

Though a Mac user for the last five years, having got a Macbook before University - I now plan to run it into the ground and replace it with a middle-of-the-road Windows laptop. I've enjoyed being a Mac user but on balance don't think my relatively basic computer-use warrants spending nearly a grand on a new laptop.

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Melinda Moore
Melinda Moore commented
I'm with Christian on this one, speaking as a fellow creative. Just wish Macs weren't quite so expensive...
Dan Banks
Dan Banks commented
Apple products can all be seamlessly connected, which is a good thing as Christian says. However, this kind of closed-off Apple-only club isn't what modern technology should be about in my opinion.

The reason for the huge digital boom in the late 20th century was because of open-source products that any Tom, Dick or Harry could use to help create their own software/hardware. Windows promoted this, and wanted everyone to own a personal computer. In contrast, Apple promote elitism with their ridiculous prices. But as you say they do make great products.

You can't be creative without having a Mac? Not sure I'm buying that one!
Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson commented
Yeah, as an ex-hippy, I instinctively recoil from the 'you have to buy everything from us and pay the price' approach that Apple push. It smacks of the kind of monopolistic tendency that Microsoft used to get panned for, only worse because you can't even use somebody else's hardware or services.

The Apple Macintosh started life as a counter-culture product, and has morped into something that you must be seen with to be cool - in other words an elitist consumer fashion accessory. They are slick machines and look beautiful, but too much of the cachet comes from the exclusivity and price for me.
Paul Wilson Profile
Paul Wilson answered

Christian's drift to the pejorative proves Sam's point!

It all depends where you are coming from. My company provides business management software for manufacturing companies, on both Apple and Wintel machines. I also use a mixture in the home. I have therefore worked for many years with people who use both, or who use mostly or exclusively one or the other. The consensus among those that use both a lot, is that while the Mac is faster and slicker when it works, any need to dig a little deeper as a result of problems (which do happen, at least as much as for Windows in my experience) is much more time consuming than for Windows. Scratch beneath the highly polished surface of a Mac, and you very quickly hit it's Unix roots, with all the geekdom required to understand it. Windows provides far more control over lower levels of the operating system to ordinary users - another reason why it can be easier to mess up!

While basic use on the Mac, and use of software for the specialist areas that Christian mentions is usually slick, I have to report that for environments where a high degree of interoperability with networks, a variety of servers, third-party software and hardware is required, it is almost always less problematic to use Wintel. That is why the code base for Windows is much larger than OS X, and why it is slower and less reliable in some cases.

It would be indefensible if Apple did not produce a better quality machine than the average Wintel manufacturer, based on the price premium. There are specialist Wintel machines made to a much higher standard the Apple's, for a higher price of course. It is also much easier to produce a machine that is generally more reliable (as Apples' are), if you control every aspect of production - the relatively open ecosystem that results from the Wintel model leads inevitably to more compatibility issues. I am typing this from a Dell XPS M1530 with Windows 7 that has not missed a beat for 5 years, and my last Dell machine was equally well-made and reliable.

In short, if your usage is basic, or restricted to the specialist environments where it dominates, stick to the Mac. If you need to interact with more of the computer world than the limited Apple ecosystem allows, Wintel is the only serious option. My home machine will remain a Mac as long as I can afford it, while for work I will stick with Windows!

Paul Airey Profile
Paul Airey answered

Mac. Easily. Easiest to use. Less bugs. I've only got a windas partition on my hard drive for testing things out. If I go to none OSx then I prefer Ubuntu than Windas. About two years ago I decided to make all Microsoft products the last resort. The only one I still use is Office.

Adrian Snood Profile
Adrian Snood answered

The simple answer for me was when Windows moved to Vista.. That was it for me.. I moved to and never looked back. For audio editing and graphics the Mac won me over. The fact that Macs didn't patronise me whenever I inserted external drives or printers, equally reminding me to do 'this and that' with software updates etc..  A Mac just worked for me in every way.. And still does.

I have to use Windows 7 in my daily social media work, which gets the job done, but only because all my work is on-line based. If I have to edit graphics, video etc.. It always gets forwarded to my Mac.

2 People thanked the writer.
Dan Banks
Dan Banks commented
Thanks Adrian, yeah Vista really didn't inspire me either. I've been using Macs for over a year now and unless Windows dramatically improves, I probably won't be moving back.
Melinda Moore
Melinda Moore commented
Absolutely agree with you about Macs being by far the best for graphics and editing. I use mine to create and edit short films, play around with images etc and both are so much better done on a Mac than they were on a PC.

My son also much prefers using a Mac for creating and editing music to doing it on his old PC, too, even though that had been built to order - specifically for the purpose of music production - by a computer geek friend of his.

The only thing that irritates me about Macs (apart from the price) is that I do all my writing on mine (obviously) but then my literary agent and publisher both use PCs, which makes sharing the manuscript for editing purposes a bit of a pain. (Publishing must surely be the only creative industry where Macs aren't standard, surely?!)

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