Macs cheaper than PCs but there are some holes Mac software market

“Compare Apple’s dual G5 to the top of the line Dell dual Xeon Precision workstation and the PC has most of the features but costs a thousand bucks more than the Mac. The two lines are closer to even in the midrange, where the Apple 15-inch PowerBook is only about US$180 cheaper than the nearest comparable Dell 15-inch Inspiron,” Paul Murphy reports for LinuxInsider.

“The first enterprise-class commercial database that can take you from pilot to deployment for zero dollars and zero risk. About two months ago, I looked at the cost of the Macintosh relative to Dell PCs and discovered that not only are Macs cheaper than PCs once you upgrade the PCs to rough comparability, but the PC line is narrower than Apple’s, with Dell offering nothing to compare to the 17-inch Apple powerbook, the X-serve/RAID combination, or Apple’s cinema displays,” Murphy reports.

“What seems to happen on pricing is that Apple’s inclusion of multimedia capabilities generally missing from the PC skews its price advantage toward the high end,” Murphy reports. “Compare Apple’s dual G5 to the top of the line Dell dual Xeon Precision workstation and the PC has most of the features but costs a thousand bucks more than the Mac. The two lines are closer to even in the midrange, where the Apple 15-inch PowerBook is only about US$180 cheaper than the nearest comparable Dell 15-inch Inspiron.”

Murphy reports, “At the low end you get the opposite effect: the stripped Dell 2400 is $350 less than an eMac — but the Dell is a Windows/98 class machine that lacks the processor power and memory needed to run Windows/XP effectively and ends up significantly more expensive than the eMac if you upgrade it to match the Mac on a feature basis. Last month I looked at the performance issue to find something almost equally surprising: if you strip away the effects of software and market differences by looking at “whole box” usage in GRID style super computers, desktop Macs turn out to outperform Dell’s best dual CPU servers by 30 percent while the X-serve blows them away by 50 percent.”

“Microsoft is selling the PC community an interim solution, or ‘hack,’ it knows Mac users would never accept. ‘Live Meeting’ on the PC, for example, is rightly considered very cool in that environment, but looks utterly hokey when put against iChat. Similarly the Mac community is sufficiently knowledgeable about SGML and related document processing issues that Microsoft’s attempt to use XML as a Web programming language would most likely arouse only derision and disbelief if marketed to Mac users,” Murphy reports. “Nevertheless, there are clear ‘holes’ in the Macintosh software market — areas where there is significantly more software variety and therefore functionality on the Wintel side of the ledger.”

Full article here.

50 Comments

  1. Here’s the holes. Big whoop!

    “So what’s the bottom line? It’s a mess with no simple answers. If you look just at current software availability, there are clear holes in the Mac market — particularly in action games and some business processing. Outside of those areas, however, the Mac software markets offer a greater range of choices and, including available Unix freeware, both more functionality and lower total cost.”

  2. Holes?? The only hole I can think of is that PC users get Doom 3 sooner than I can. I downloaded the 30 day trial of Office just to get the free fonts such as Edwardian that I would’ve had to purchase otherwise. Micro$in free and virus program free and counting.

  3. I need some some landscape design software, and there just isn’t any for the Mac. I have to fire up an old PC just for that purpose. I’ll admit its a niche piece of software, but its damn annoying.

    -Michael

  4. actually – it’s a solid analysis. no matter how you look at it, putting both platforms on a level field – Apple and the Mac is superior to Dell and MS.

    sheer volume of software titles is only relevant for games, but that is another MYTH (similar to teh MHz myth) that PC vendors cling to keeps sales high compared to Apple.

    the consumer market is now realizing the overall superior value Apple provides, and we can thank the iPod and iTMS for that.

  5. Here in Mexico, things are worst. Our economy isn’t like that of US, Canada, etc., so, there are a lot of people assembling computers and giving away XP licences (pirates) and that costs $400 less than the eMac.
    On the software side, a lot of Web sites are programmed on MS software that only runs on MSIE for Windows and not for Safari. The Social Security have software for the companies to calculate and report (auto-determine fees) that only runs on Windows. Also, our IRS site, on which you can pay your taxes, do not work on Macs.
    So, there are worst problems here in order to suggest a person to buy a Mac…

    Anyway: Go Apple!

  6. actually (again) just read the entire article.

    he hits the nail on head! this accurately exemplifies the mindset difference between platform development camps.

    everyone i network with he truly knows their sh*t praise Apple for their development efforts, their platform efforts, and even their open source support. there is a consensus the MS code is extremely poor quality and developers on teh MS platform and not very good in general.

    now, there are a few GREAT windows platform developers that produce high quality code – but they are anomolous. developers on Darwin/BSD/UNIX are the true hard-core developers that know what they are doing. look at it this way – who is primarily responsible for the viruses and worms plaguing PC’s? hacks – teenage hacks who don’t know what they are doing.

    you wonder why the UNIX and Mac platforms are more or less bug free? the platform is too mature and developers have to be very competant to work in that environment.

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