Windows to Mac switchers: recommendations and Total Cost of Ownership analysis

“After 16 successful Mad as Hell rants with hundreds of comments and nationwide attention about my switch to Mac, I’ve developed these two tools to show the world that the switch is worth every penny and will save you plenty over a very short period of time,” Winn Schwartau writes for Security Awareness.

Schwartau writes, “These are my final Recommendations and Total Cost of Ownership Analysis for anyone in the world that wants to switch to a Mac. This is what I think you should do if you want to maximize a carefree and secure personal computer existence.”

Schwartau offers two document’s on his website:
• Part I: A pdf download Winn’s Recommendations: Includes “Top 10 Mac Security Benefits” and much more.
• Part II: An Excel spreadsheet Winn’s Total Cost of Ownership Analysis: “Just fill in the Yellow areas. Everything else is protected. Adjust the numbers to your heart’s content. Then make a better informed decision.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Switching to Mac after 15 years of Windows, security expert says he’s ‘too stupid to use Macs’ – September 06, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005
Security expert sums up first month with Mac: ‘much safer, more secure, more productive than Wintel’ – June 02, 2005
Windows PC security company’s switch to Apple Mac causes overwhelming reaction – May 28, 2005
Mad as hell Windows PC security company finally just gives up, switches to Apple Mac OS X – May 25, 2005


  1. knowing how a computer works is far from knowing that people have to go to a separate site to opt out via “special” cookie from an advertiser that completely tries to over-ride our preferences by forcing there ads on us is completely different. telling someone that does not know this to “never come back to this site” is “spectacularly silly”. if think that is of “value as a contributor”, maybe you should re-think how you contribute. this is a matter of principal, not knowledge.

  2. Paul,

    Every situation is different. You can now draw a broad conclusion about TCO from your single experience. I am employed as tech support and fix Windows computers all day, every day. My Macs rarely, if every, need any service attention.

    You stated that you use Macs because they offer a better environment. Does that mean that your time spent on the Macs far outnumbers that of the PCs, which could explain why the Macs needs more service? I bet if you used the PCs half as much as the Macs, then they’d need service twice as much.

  3. JackA – I understand what you’re saying, but unless you actually *do* pay someone $5 an hour to do the things on the computer you dislike, then it’s meaningless. It’s an imaginary cost of ownership.

    FWIW, I put in my figures on the spreadsheet and the minimum Mac TCO was almost $400 more than the maximum PC TCO. Which is about right – but I still prefer my Mac…

  4. Paul, you cannot draw a conclusion about TCO because it does not support the theory in favor here. All other anecdotes which do support it are of course accurate and we can derive spectacularly complete analysis from them.
    Please stop making sense.

  5. Paul.

    I don’t know what Microsoft-issued narcotic you are on, but from real-world experience, your statement “MacOS remains less reliable than WindowsXP in terms of needing reboots, although admitedly with Tiger there’s not much between the two – both are very reliable.” is far from the truth. At my work all the computers are Dells, and mine crashes about two times a day during normal operations if you go a little deeper than using a Word file. My Mac at home has been running without problems for more than a year under OSX 10.3 and 10.4. My previous computer also did not have any problems under 10.2. I am not saying Macs never have problems, some do and they can be quite persistant. However, few Macs have to be written off due to mechanical failures and most problems are caused by mishandling of the computer itself. In case you are one of the few people who ended up with a malfunctioning Mac than I’am sorry you are out of luck. Try contacting Apple, perhaps considering the repair history they might offer a replacement. But don’t confuse those troubles with the general state of the OS. My Dell at work sometimes even crashes during the bios start-up, and it is less than a year old. Installing the software on the computers at our work was a nightmare. Especially Outlook can be a real pain in the ass to get it to work properly. We use Office 2000 at our work, and it is not fully compatible with Windows XP, giving weird problems, especially in the database program Access. We have had a new server installed and my boss wanted to know what would happen if he cut the power to the server. The result: badly crashed computers. Windos XP is only stable in everyday situations. Beyond that it is still carrying the problems from the past with it and is, like most software on the PC, confusing and counter-intuitive.

  6. running 10.4.2 build 8C46, safari

    visit MDN at least 15 times a day.

    Never had a single pop-up or pop-under.

    I am not denying that some people are plagued with pop-ups/unders, Just wanted to make it clear that its not happening to everyone.

  7. To kill many of the pop-ups/unders, you could just edit your “hosts” file to redirect to or any of the fastclick domains. Just open up your Activity window in Safari to have a look.

    Works pretty well for me.

  8. One of my friends has a problem with Mr. Winn, and frankly I haven’t found any kind of refutaion that’s made a liar out of him, but it puts in question Mr. Winn’s reputation! Who is this guy, and how come nobody outside of MDN reports about him? It seems that the only thing Mr. Schwartau has going for him is his blog, but what other credentials does the man have? A quote from my friend!
    Like I said before, as far as I can tell, this guy’s pretty much one of
    those media phony’s who has no real credentials. If you have any evidence
    that he’s actually worked in computer security doing real work, I’D LOVE TO
    SEE IT. Yes, he wrote his book and its clear his promo packet gets into the
    hands of gullible and harried editors looking to fill space in their
    publications — but I’ve yet to see anything from this guy showing he’s
    actually any kind of “security expert” with anything approaching real world

    As far as I can tell he’s a big phony. Who cares what kind of computer he

  9. Paul,

    Your obviously a new Mac user that is used to working for the computer on PC’s and consider it a hobby. Like working on a car or something.

    Mac users on average don’t want to bother, they want their machines to work for them in a more “appliance” type nature, like a microwave. Open the door, stick the food in, set the time and press Start.

    Mac users on average prefer to go do something more enjoyable with their time, like getting some sunlight and out of their parents basement or using that time to make $25 a hour instead.

    Mac’s are about productivity and ease of use. Health too if you consider how many times a Win snag has fouled up your afternoon of golf.

    Now wouldn’t you rather get laid by a nice girl in the middle of the green than fsck around with your filthy godddam piece of sh^t PC you bastaard heathen!

    Oh sorry Windows flashback.

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