“It can be pretty difficult to make the key decision between Mac and Windows. But… Macs are the best choice for many users, probably you included,” Paul Vaughn writes for The San Antonio Express-News.

Vaughn writes, “All Macs come with a variety of software that will help you create movies and music without buying additional programs. Apple’s iLife suite is a nicely integrated package that includes iMovie, iDVD and GarageBand, among others. The combination of these lets you import your digital video, edit it, add titles, music and transitions, and then burn your movie to a DVD that can be played in any home DVD player. Movies created with iMovie have been featured at international film festivals like Cannes and Sundance — it’s that good. With GarageBand you can create your own electronic music, create podcasts, record live music and plenty more.”

“The same folks who made the computer and its operating system make all of this software, so everything works smoothly together and you get a fantastic user experience. There are also third-party applications available, but you get these tools pre-installed on any Mac as part of the price of admission,” Vaughn writes. “If you later want to move up to more professional software, Apple offers Final Cut Express and Final Cut Studio for more professional video work and Logic Pro for music. Many people working in the television and music industries use these applications.”

Vaughn writes, “But while making movies and music, don’t forget about your schoolwork. Microsoft Office is available for the Mac, and there are other alternatives as well. There are many scientific applications that work great on the Mac. If you need a specific application, check with the developer and see if there is a Mac version. If not, there may be an equivalent by another developer or you can run the Windows version on a Mac with programs like Parallels Desktop for Mac (http://www.parallels.com), Crossover (http://www.codeweavers.com) or another such application.”

“HP or Compaq (they are the same company now) will sell you a computer built by them, with a Microsoft operating system and some other third-party software that might be able to do some of the things you want. The software that comes with these systems is often there because the developer has paid the PC manufacturer to include it,” Vaughn writes.

“The Mac is an easy out-of-the-box solution and you will be productive on the MacBook within 10 minutes. Windows Vista sounds like it will be a nice upgrade, but you will have to choose from five versions,” Vaughn writes. “Every Mac comes with the full version of Mac OS X and iLife ’06; nothing is cut out for the less expensive systems. The version of Mac OS X is the same on a $500 Mac Mini as it is on a $2,500 Mac Pro. The only other version is Mac OS X Server, which is designed for servers and not average users. A Mac has all the features you want from Vista, but has them right now.”

Vaughn writes, “I recommend that you go over to the nearest Apple Store or Mac retailer and have the sales people demonstrate some of the software that comes with a Mac. I know you will be impressed.”

Full article here.
This is truly an excellent answer to a reader’s question, “Why Mac?” from The San Antonio Express-News’ Paul Vaughn. Vaughn is a freelance writer, graphic artist, Web designer and Mac consultant who invites readers to email him with any Mac-related questions at paulv@mac.com

Paul Vaughn’s San Antonio Express-News columns can be found  here.

Related articles:
Embrace and Extinguish in action: TechIQ’s ‘The VAR Guy’ dumps Windows, switches to Mac OS X – September 25, 2006
My switch from Windows XP to Apple Mac OS X – August 30, 2006
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
Development approaches of Mac OS X Leopard vs. Windows Vista yield very different results – August 15, 2006
The Age: Switch to Apple Mac; just say no to Microsoft Windows – August 15, 2006
NY Times covers the basics of switching from Windows PC to Apple Mac – August 10, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Liberal blogger on switch from Windows to Mac: I’m sold – August 03, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Top Ten Reasons I’m Glad I’m a Mac Switcher – June 20, 2006
Switching To The Mac: A Guide For Windows Users – June 15, 2006
Sydney Morning Herald Tech columnist dumps Microsoft Windows, switches to Apple Mac – June 13, 2006
Moving Microsoft Internet Explorer Favorites to Apple Safari Bookmarks when you switch – June 08, 2006
Apple Boot Camp’s ‘Windows Insecurity Blanket’ helps buyers decide to switch to Macs – May 19, 2006
PC Magazine: Top ten questions and answers about switching to Apple Macintosh – May 18, 2006
Macs that run Windows will calm potential switchers’ irrational fears – April 06, 2006