Friday, November 25, 2005

Mac vs Windows

Saw a blog today on Apple Macintosh. You can also read it at http://mv.vexite.com/2005/11/25/is-mac-for-everyone/

While the blog was insightful, it does not present the whole picture.

First of all, the selling point of the Macintosh is ease-of-use. The hardware compatibilities and graphical user interface are so intuitive that you can immediately set it up and operate it with almost know training whatsover. That is the point of the ad slogan: "The truth is Mac is for everyone."

However, that is not what the Mac is all about. I know the the Mac is more expensive than the Windows counterpart, but if you think about fully-loaded, the cost is not too far apart.

Consider first software. Of course, when comparing the price of a pirated copy versus the original copy, a pirated copy will ALWAYS be cheaper. If you compare original Windows software versus original Macintosh software, then you will see that the price is comparable. In its original version, Photoshop for Mac and Photoshop for Windows cost the same. Same with World of Warcraft.

Next, lets talk hardware. It is true that you can get a P20,000 Windows PC. I checked Villman and their P20,000 PC is a Celeron 2.26Ghz with 256Mb memory, 15" CRT monitor, 40Gb hard drive, 64Mb integrated video graphics. You still have to add in a copy of Windows XP (P5500). Good enough for internet surfing. But when we start talking about gaming or even the most basic photo manipulation software, believe me this baby will CRAWL! And a 40-gig hard drive? Where will you keep all your pictures and MP3s?

I admit that the lowest end iMac G5 is about $1500, but it already comes with 2.1Ghz PowerPC CPU, a 17-inch LCD monitor, 512Mb memory, 160Gb serial ATA hard disk, built-in wireless LAN, built-in bluetooth, basic video camera, basic software. I tried to build a comparable PC with approximately the same specs and you know what? The cost of a similarly-powered PC was more expensive!

Then add in the compatibility factor. Count the number of hours spent trying to get hardware to work in a Windows PC, downloading the latest drivers, installing the latest patches. Factor in the anxiety, frustration, headaches. Thrown in all those Windows vulnerabilities and patches.

Ok ok ok . . . I know that people will say that they don't need all that power that an iMac G5 can offer. But these people have not thought it through. The near future will see a merging of the TV, DVD players, and audio systems into one box. This is what the tech pundits call convergence. Think that this is still science-fiction? Consider this:

As network speeds become faster and cheaper, the internet will become the preferred distribution method. Already we can purchase download music through the internet. Apple in fact has already began to outsell traditional music retail stores. Apple iTunes has already begun the wave of downloadable TV shows and music videos. Movielink will soon offer 20th Century Fox movies for download. Podcasts are now becoming as mainstream as the radio shows of old. And instead of printing your pictures to show to your friend, you can display it as a slide show, with background music to boot!

And very soon, you will be able to run software through the web. And this is why tech experts are looking at Google and Yahoo as the next technology behemoths. And Microsoft is now playing catch up with their Microsoft Live web concept.

But I digress. To get all this content, you will need a powerful PC. And a P20,000 turtle will not be able to handle it.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous PHL said...

I have to admit I never had much chance to work with a MAC (any kind). But I do know that since it is mostly proprietary (APPLE calls the shots) that things (like Plug-and-Play) works a lot better than PC.

On the PC side even when original software are considered, PC have more business software. Where as MAC excel in Graphics, Sound and Education. Having much to do with the original specification that give MAC good graphics and sounds.

And the PC (originaly IBM PC) was primarily designed as a number cruncher (the killer application that launched the PC revolution was a electronic spreadsheet) so much else was forgone in the interest of cost. Of course, the current specifications of PC are catching up but things like Plug-and-Play that doesn't quite always work, etc. still give the average computer users a big headache especially if they are just being introduced to the personal computing or computer literacy.

MAC are design to be friendly, at the same time hides a lot of the details of the computer's operation. That's why a lot of the first time buyers are looking into MAC now that APPLE came out with lower priced models. But for the time being, if you need business software (original or otherwise) like accounting, you have a much better choice going with PC not to mention the price. (Meaing you might still find all the business software and what not on the MAC platform but they tend to be more expensive or support is more difficult to get, no matter if you're in the states or Philippines. So, that's my take on the 2 platforms, based on practicality.

11:04 AM  

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