What exactly do Windows PCs do better than Apple Macs?

“Your friendly gadget columnist looks at a piece of hardware that make things easier in that corner of the high-tech universe where the Mac and PC meet,” Eric Convey writes for The Boston Herald. “The very notion of combining the two would have seemed odd just a couple of years ago, but then Mac released its first small unit in a few years that came without a screen attached. The Mac mini is a beautiful little white box that sells for as little as $500. Apple calls it ‘the most affordable Mac ever,’ and it’s a claim that’s hard to argue with,” Eric Convey writes for The Boston Herald.

Convey writes, “What if you could put a Mac mini next to a small Windows desktop computer and let them share a keyboard, mouse and monitor? Enter the Iogear switch. Hooking up the MiniView Extreme Multimedia KVMP Switch was a breeze… Paired with a Mac mini, it takes up a tiny corner of a desktop. The result is the ability to use the PC for those things PCs do best, and a Mac for those myriad things Macs do best. And with the Mac, you have a backup machine in case a virus takes out the Windows box.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Someone, anyone, please remind us again what it is that Windows PCs do best vs. Macs? Almost all of the time, in our experience, people run Windows-only software because lazy, short-sighted developers (who can’t tell market share from installed base or ATMs/cash registers/dumb terminals from actual personal computers used by actual people who actually buy software) haven’t bothered to create Mac versions. Microsoft seems rather happy to continue making and updating Office for Mac OS X, so there must be money to be made in Mac software. Isn’t it always some external factor that forces people to Windows, not some magic offered by Windows itself?

The reasons for using a Windows PC isn’t that the Mac couldn’t do what Windows can, it’s that the Mac simply isn’t being allowed to do certain things.

Some reasons we’ve heard for using Windows over a Mac:
• Our 10-year-old piece of Windows-only (or DOS) software is still being used over in Accounting (we save $139 annually doing it this way)
• That weird art guy’s 7-year-old large format printer doesn’t have Mac OS X drivers (we’d buy him a new one, but he’s named it “Morty” and he pets it while it prints)
• We already know computers are frustrating, difficult and break frequently. Therefore, we don’t want to learn whole new computer / can’t imagine a pleasant computing experience (the real genius of Microsoft)
• Yahoo can’t seem to figure out how to make their online games offer the same features on Macs as they do on Windows PCs
• This is what we’ve always done
• AutoCAD
• I thought it was cheaper
• We work for an anti-virus company
• Outlook. If Microsoft would only make Outlook for the Mac (Anyone wonder why they don’t?)
• Uh, duh, we’re virus and worm writers, dudes
• I like to tinker endlessly
• Mac OS X doesn’t work for build-it-yourself PC hobbyists
• Dell tells us they’re giving us us a “primo” deal
• I suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, with a touch of Cognitive Dissonance
• We work for Microsoft
• We run a Mom & Pop computer shop specializing in selling white box Windows PCs that we know will get infected with spyware, viruses and malware that our customers will repeatedly pay us to “clean.”
• Games. If only games came out on Mac at the same time as Windows games
• We can’t stand clean, modern, award-winning industrial design
• My buddies and I, um, “share” software, so we all need to use Windows. That’s legal right?
• Etc.

What inherent advantages does Windows have over Mac OS X? Aren’t all of reasons to go with Windows based on external factors, such as those described above? If you took a Mac OX machine and a Windows XP PC from today back to 1970, showed people what they can do with the computers, how to use them, and then asked them to pick which platform they would like their country to use to build and base a technology economy upon, which one do you think they’d choose?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Piper Jaffray: Apple Computer primed for continued market share gains – July 19, 2005
Gartner: Apple grows shipments 31 percent in Q2 2005, moves from 5th to 4th in U.S. market share – July 18, 2005
IDC: Apple gains U.S. market share at double overall market rate, up to 4.5 percent for Q2 2005 – July 18, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005
Survey shows Apple Macs owned by nearly 10 percent of US small and medium-sized businesses – February 17, 2005
More people use Apple Macs than you think; 8-12 percent of homes use Macs – March 31, 2004
10 percent of computer users use a Mac; 3 percent is Mac’s approximate quarterly market share – February 10, 2004
Syracuse Post-Standard: 3 percent is a false stat; Mac holds ’10 to 12 percent of the market for PCs – August 27, 2003


  1. Damn those lazy software developers that don’t want to make money writing software for a tiny market!

    Where’s altruism when you need it most!

    I’m sure these “lazy” software developers feel compelled to write software for OS X after than gentle cajole.

  2. how exactly is this thing looking on this guy’s monitor? Is the windows screen “minimized” or does he scroll off the screen and suddenly there is another OS next to the first one or what? This is very interesting to me. I have never considered this kind of setup.

  3. I usually really like your Takes, but this one is just ridiculous.

    Those aren’t external factors, those are the core factors for using Windows over OS X. It is the network effect that MS has worked so hard to create, and something that Apple has, frankly, always sucked at with their OSes. Apple got it right with the iPod and the accesory market, it is a positive feedback loop. Apple has allowed others to get rich on their platform (iPod) just like MS did with Windows. MS sold nearly EVERYONE on the ability to do anything with your PC based on the network effect, and its obvious now to some that what MS was selling is either extremely hard or impossible to achieve. There are just to many combinations for anyone, including MS, to verify works with Windows.

    What fans are you going to win by criticizing software devs as lazy because the idea of 90+% of the market would allow them to make all the money they could ever need?

    I am a huge Apple fan and have dropped a ton of cash on recent systems because they are great for my needs, but anyone realistically analyzing the situation knows those reasons are deal-breakers for the majority of people getting off of Windows onto OS X. And I am considering adding a Windows machine back into the environment to play games that will NEVER make it to OS X. MacTel can’t get here fast enough, and it better be able to run Windows.

  4. My bank only accepts online transactions from Windoze/IE.
    That’s the reason why I still need this piece of @#%&! around me.

    But when the Macintel will launch, I’ll be able to run IE on a Windows partition/WINE and it will be Goodbye Microshaft.

  5. The truth of the matter is MDN is correct. Software developers are lazy. That is the ONLY reason they don’t develop for the +25 million Mac users. It might also be because software developers hate GUI guidelines or that they discriminate against Mac users. One can never know

  6. Here’s a few reasons I haven’t thrown away my Dell now that I have a Mac Mini:

    It can still access the internet, so it backs up the backup, so to speak. It is essentially impossible to troubleshoot a computer issue that happens to affect your internet access without a second computer to get on the internet. A second Mac would be preferable, of course.

    I still play a few games on it. Next year, I hope that games will port over to Mac faster when Intel is inside.

    I need it to back up my Windows PDA. Mr. Jobs, I would drop that in a yoctosecond if you would introduce a Newton/iPod PDA.

    With some forms of CD copy-protection, it’s easier to rip the CD on a Windows machine (just hold down the ALT key as it loads). Any suggestions for doing same on my Mac would be greatly appreciated.

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