Apple Macs are less expensive, more secure, longer-lasting than Windows PCs

“For real long-term security improvements… the right answer is to look at Linux, or any other Unix, on non x86 hardware,” Paul Murphy writes for CIO Today. “One such option is provided by Apple’s BSD-based products on the PowerPC-derived G4 and G5 CPUs. Linus Torvalds, for example, apparently now runs Linux on a Mac G5 and there are several Linux distributions for this hardware — all of which are immune to the typical x86-oriented exploit.”

“In addition, Apple’s Mac OS X has several compelling attractions of its own. First, it’s the most advanced and user-friendly graphical user environment in commercial use. It offers thousands of commercial applications, including Microsoft Office. And it runs nearly all open-source applications,” Murphy writes. “Also, Macs are less expensive. That’s not what you see in the PC press, but it’s reality. The explanation for that, besides dishonesty on the part of PC reviewers going as far back as 1984, is primarily that Apple’s product cycles resemble those of other consumer electronics manufacturers, not those of the PC industry.”

“Thus, Apple’s products have generally been considerably less expensive and faster than PCs at the beginning of the Apple product cycle, and comparably slower and more expensive than PCs at the end. That probably ended, however, in the late 1990s when the combination of decreasing hardware prices with increasing Microsoft licensing cost reduced the pricing advantage enjoyed by PCs introduced at the end of an Apple product cycle,” Murphy writes.

“Notice that in assessing relative price and performance, both aging and software confuse the issue. Macs run more functional software and have a much longer useful life. As a result, the Macs that PC users see most often — in schools or at grandma’s house — tend to be significantly older and slower than the PCs people compare them to because Wintel product churn means that a three-year-old PC is a museum piece, while a six-year-old iMac running OS 9 is likely still to be in use,” Murphy writes.

“…if security concerns are your most important driver for desktop change, and Microsoft Office compatibility is your most significant barrier, then switching to Macs actually offers you the best of all possible worlds. Microsoft Office on Unix/Risc with a better GUI, longer product life, some cash savings and a performance bonus thrown in,” Murphy writes.

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 4:55pm ET – edited last quoted paragraph for clarity]

MacDailyNews Take: Revel in Murphy’s truth and common sense. Find out more about the thousands of software products for Apple’s Macintosh here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Switching from Windows to Mac? Save money by asking to ‘crossgrade’ your software – April 12, 2005
InformationWeek: Apple Mac is better, faster, cheaper – October 06, 2004
Apple Macs are cheaper than PCs – August 26, 2004
Macs are quite often cheaper than comparably equipped Windows PCs – February 14, 2003


  1. You know, I remember when 10.3 was first coming out, and people were comparing it to Longhorn. Now 10.4, Tiger is coming out, and once again people are comparing it to Longhorn. Honestly, what the heck? If Longhorn was ‘scheduled’ to come out within the next 3-6 months, sure you can compare the two. But when they the software releases are *years* apart, that’s ridiculous.

    Sorry this is off subject…

  2. MDN,

    Please use an ellipsis between paragraphs or some kind separator. You last bit of quoted material

    — … OS 9 is likely still to be in use,” Murphy writes. “In other words, if security concerns…. —

    make no sense. When compared to the original, there is approximately 7 paragraphs of text between the two points that you join together.

  3. While I am an Apple Kool Aid Drinker…

    I would hardly call the 167 MHz bus in the PB G4 cutting edge technology… It’s been at that speed for years now… and they’ve finally gotten the processor upto 1.67 GHz… show me another computer in which the Bus Speed is 1/10th of the processor speed… Frankly, that’s sad… and to charge effectively 4 times the price of admission for eMac level hardware save for the opportunity to get a 64/128 MB video card… (Which will change with the next eMac revision as you’ll be able to get a better video card, 64MB, as the rumors say)… You can’t tell me that’s a good value….

    At least with Intel products, you get the same damn chip that’s in a desktop without such a “premium” for it… In the case of Apple, you’re paying 4 times as much for the privilege of running the same OS on something portable… that’s ridiculous when the specs of the PB are nowhere near what the desktops can deliever…

    Frankly, it’s a ripoff…..

    With all the above said, Tiger’s a great OS in search of some decent hardware to run it on.

  4. Speaking of longer lasting, my slot loading 500 MHz G3 iMac still gets plenty of use and it runs 10.3.9 without any glitches. On top of that, my G4/400 (AGP) is still running without a hiccup. I’ve since upgraded it a year and a half ago to an 800 MHz machine and upgraded the system drive and added another internal drive with no hitches. I can feel the age of the machine a little, especially when working in Photoshop. But, all in all, my Macs have remained far more useful longer than any PC I have owned. I’ve thrown out (or donated) three PCs b/c they stopped being useful. Top that with a horribly inefficient OS and you end up with a bunch of junk after two years.

    Apple definitely knows how to build quality from my perspective.

  5. With all the above said, Tiger’s a great OS in search of some decent hardware to run it on.

    Look no further than the Power Mac G5s ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Eric the Red:

    The megahertz myth was exposed years ago.

    High bus speeds are only an issue if you are constantly moving massive amounts of data (think server), as opposed to moving that data in bursts.

    The advanced caching and bottleneck-free designs of Apple’s hardware (seperate buses for I/O, etc.) have always allowed the lower MHz machines to compete favorably with similarly-priced Wintel hardware.

    Even data intensive applications like video editing have always performed on a par with similarly-priced Wintel hardware.

    I would feel ripped-off if I bought some high-priced, high MHz Wintel hardware and found out that it performed the same or only marginally better than the lower MHz Apple hardware.

  7. I’m milking my G3 All-in-One for all its worth. G3 867Mhz, 576MB RAM, 80GB HD, USB, FW 400, CDRW runninb 10.2.8. Yeah, I am limited by the OS updates, but I am as happy as a college kid can be.

  8. Seriously off topic:
    Anyone else notice the charming “Kiss Brad Pitt and get a free handbag” promo on the rhs?

    Very nice. I’ll look so great with a pink handbag over my shoulder. Perhaps if I can just win an entire ensemble, I could change from being a “Glen” to being a “Glenda” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  9. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Hey someone who actually writes the facts and knows what he’s talking about. Hey Thurott you need to read this article dude and get informed.

  10. Although I do brag about it constantly, my shoebox runs 10.3.9.

    It is a shoebox that may catch on fire if ever pushed over 330 mhz. Only 256 ram too.

    Macs are built to last.

  11. Informed: I have an iBook running on a 1.33 G4 and a Dell Inspiron running on a 1.8 P4. Both have 512 MB RAM and a 32 MB video card. The iBook smokes the Dell. In fact, the only PC I use that compares or does better than the iBook is the hp I use at church (3 Ghz Athlon 64FX, 512 RAM) and it has been crashing ever since my church bought it. We even had to do a harddrive wipe a month after buying it. Lets just say my pastor wishes he had bought a Mac.

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