It is an age old question. If you take to the net you will find many proud and spiteful words dedicated to the subject, the for and against of each proclaimed with an energy that borders on religious fervour. But let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? There are reasons to choose one over the other – they are very clear and easy to comprehend and we’re going to go over them right now. So, forget the hype and get the facts.
It might be odd to consider philosophy in terms of computers but believe it or not it is a very real concern and it affects each and every one of us. It comes down to how you relate to computers. With PCs everything is right there for you to fiddle with. The question is: does this terrify you? Over the course of your computer’s life you are going to have to get you taking to the net in search of knowledge, or pay someone to do it for you. Don’t let this put you off too much, because Microsoft tries hard to provide a smooth and pleasant experience. Sure, in the past there have been issues, but they’re getting better. Windows 7 is a great leap forward in this department.
For some this is part of the joy of the PC. It can also be the source of the nightmare. Apple take a different approach. Everything about their computers is designed to be appealing, to seduce you. You are encouraged not to look behind the curtain, not to plunge those inky depths. We have people who will do that for you – you’ll find them in the apple store, at the genius bar.
For many this will be the real deciding factor. At the end of the day you can get a very respectable Windows-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a Mac. All that touchy feely greatness comes at a price and Apple are very protective of their babies and which companies they let contribute hardware to them. They are something of control freaks in that manner – it’s how they ensure such a pleasant experience. With Windows-based computers there are hundred of thousands of places making hardware for them meaning there is a lot of competition and price-brackets. Apple? Not so much. In recent years they have loosened their grip a little, aided by their movement over to Intel based architectures, but it’s still a very matriarchal relationship.
This is the choice in a nutshell. If you have the cash the world is your oyster – you can choose a slightly more edgy learning experience or you can have a luscious consumer Mac-bubble. If you have a limited budget or want more bang for your buck there really is only one way to go.
Photo: cschirra – Fotolia