“Woe unto anyone who publicly questions the efficacy of Macintosh computers. You will be set upon by the cult of Mac users. They will call you names. They will tell your boss that you should be fired. They will write long letters and e-mails detailing the history of home computers. I know this because last week I wrote a column supporting the Sarasota County school district’s decision to phase out Macs and replace them with PCs,” Rich Brooks writes for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
“The column did not criticize Macs, but pointed out that with 97 percent of the home computer market going to PCs, phasing out the Macs was a no-brainer. Nevertheless, this seemed to offend the Mac cult. Since the column appeared last week, I have received roughly 700 e-mails from such faraway places as Great Britain and Australia chastising me for even suggesting that the school district made the correct decision… Some asked the publisher to end my journalistic career,” Brooks writes. “Other than the personal attacks, the e-mails contained several common threads. Purchasing computer equipment for a school district is a matter of public policy, not personal preference. If more than 95 percent of the students with home computers operate on a PC platform, it makes sense for the school district to use the same platform.”
“And it’s more cost-effective for schools to maintain one type of computer platform. Writing that Macs should be phased out of the school system is not an attack on Macs or Mac users,” Brooks writes. “Even so, I doubt that I would ever buy a Mac. I’ve seen what owning one can do to people. And I don’t want any part of that.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Mr. Brooks is confusing quarterly market share with installed base; two very different measures. Market share figures for the last quarter are not an indication of how many people are using different platforms. The Mac platform has about 10% of the installed base. It only stands to reason that 10% or thereabouts of Sarasota’s students have a Mac at home. Teachers should be using cross-platform applications, so that all students can participate fully. How cost effective is it to standardize on a single platform that also happens to be most susceptible to virus, worm, and other attacks that can render the entire installation unusable? Why standardize on Windows when studies show that Mac installations require far less technical support? Mr. Brooks is wrong on this issue. Teachers, educators, school board members, IT professionals and any business or individual who is making a Mac/PC decision have a valuable resource online in John Droz’s Mac vs. PC website here.
Related MacDailyNews article:
Techno-illiterate columnist advocates dumping Macs in schools for Windows ‘compatibility’ – December 01, 2004
Windows XP Service Pack 2 causing major headaches on college campuses – August 24, 2004
More people use Apple Macs than you think; 8-12 percent of homes use Macs – March 31, 2004
Pennsylvania school district’s PCs infected with virus; their Macs unaffected – October 01, 2003
Montana school district’s Windows computers offline due to worm; Macintosh computers unaffected – September 03, 2003
More schools experience Windows virus, worm problems while Macs just keep working – August 22, 2003
A tale of two school systems: Windows schools crippled while Mac schools unaffected – August 21, 2003