02 May 2009

A Fair & Balanced Pro-Mac Article &mdash Finally!

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I have no great love of all things Apple.

I've used both Windows and Mac operating systems. At one time, Mac was about the only thing I used. My experience in both worlds is enough to know what I like and don't like. Macs certainly have some good things about them; the look of the OSX, in particular, is very pretty and fun. But it takes more than looks to impress me.

Now, in comparison to the disaster that is Windows Vista, Macs are much more appealing. But, I'd still choose my XP OS over a Mac OS any day of the week. Why? It meets my needs so much better than a Mac.

And that's the beauty of the article the folks at Smashing Magazine recently published:
Five Reasons Why Designers Developers are Switching to Mac
Not only do they point out why Macs are great, they also point out what make them not-so-great. Here are some of the points they raise that illustrate my frustration with those who indefatigably hold Macs up on a pedestal.
  • No second mouse button (I hate, hate, hate that Macs don't come with a right click button. It's special order. I know they want simplicity, but what's more simple? Clicking the right click button or holding CTRL while clicking the single click button?)
  • "When pressured to explain why they prefer OSX, Mac users often rest on qualifiable and subjective arguments such as 'it feels intuitive' or 'I enjoy using it more' or even 'I can’t explain why I like it better, I just do.' The Windows user, when presented with these arguments, usually rolls his or her eyes and continues on their way." (This is me, the eye roller.)
  • "If you are on a Mac, at least for the next few more years, you can pretty much rest assured your days of worrying about virus and spyware scans are a thing of the past." (Note the "at least for the next few more years." The less the gap in percentage of Mac vs. Windows users, the more likely Macs will no longer be so safe. I've been predicting this for a couple years now. Don't be surprised if in a few years, a whole batch of unsuspecting Apple products are hit hard by some dubious hacker.)
  • "OS X is more opinionated than other platforms. It’s more difficult to customize its look and feel, there’s no easy way to get it to run on anything but Apple hardware, and OS X can be very particular about the way certain things are done." (So much for how "intuitive" or personal the system can be. According to the article, you can configure your Mac as you want, but it takes a lot of work to do so, far more than Linux or Windows.)
  • "Apple notebooks are free of stickers, screws, vents, buttons, switches, and graphics." (Sorry, but this an extremely weak argument for why Macs are better. Any stickers or logos on my Dell never distract me, ever! If that kind of stuff distracts you, you might want to see a shrink, or at least learn a little focus for crying out loud.)
  • "For those of you who value a product that gives you many choices, Apple is going to fall short. It is often pointed out that upgrading a Mac is easy: 'Just throw it away and buy a new one.'" (This falls into another point they make that says if you like to build your own PC, Apple will not do for you. I've upgraded every computer I've ever owned and it's so simple to do. Try to do that with a Mac.)
  • Macs are expensive. (When it comes down to hardware, there is little to nothing that gives Macs an edge over any Windows-operating PC. Apple has merely refused to offer a competitive rate for their products because it would slim their profits too much. [And they call Bill Gates an evil capitalist.] This only feeds the image I have of Apple products as "elitist." I equate someone who has only basic computing needs buying a Mac to the person who buys $120 running shoes when a $40 pair would do just as well.)
And my favorite quote that sums up my feeling toward the Mac vs. PC debate:
"Mac is certainly not an option for every user, but it is definitely an option worth considering"
Anymore, it all comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Of course, I've highlighted only the negative points about Macs here. That's just because I'm so not-Mac-friendly. If you are considering switching to a Mac, you should definitely read Smashing Mag's article and see if a Mac truly is for you. They offer some compelling points.

One final point I'd like to add, thanks to Microsoft's affordable systems many people in the world are computing - no matter what the OS. Had Apple cornered the market years ago and maintained their high rates, computing would most likely remain the domain of the elite.

Kudos to Smashing Magazine (an obvious pro-Mac design group) for presenting the most balanced review of "Why go Mac" that I've ever read.

1 comment:

Ivan said...

The new MacBook with a touchpad does have a right button - two finger click.
I never want to see another mouse again - Mac is an elegant tool, a pleasure to use.