PC Mag’s Miller: ‘You can never say enough nice things about a Mac’

“Those of us who have been writing about computers for a long time know that whenever you write about the Macintosh, you’re bound to get a lot of negative comments. Mac fans are really fans, and they aren’t shy about telling you how wonderful the Mac is and how awful Windows is in comparison,” Michael Miller writes for PC Magazine. “So even though I’ve really liked the new Intel-based Macintoshes, and I’m intrigued by BootCamp [sic], I was expecting some comments about my recent blogs and columns on the subject.”

“I wrote a couple of recent pieces on the MacBookPro [sic], the MacMini [sic], and BootCamp, in which I mostly had good things to say about Apple’s new Intel based machines. All three of these machines (the iMac, MacBookPro, and Mac Mini are very well designed and well integrated with Apple’s software. And of course, the ability to run both OS X and Windows XP, whether through BootCamp or some of the alternatives, gives the new Macs more flexibility than anythng else on the market,” Miller writes. “These eventually became the basis for a column in PC Magazine (not online yet) and another for the Toronto Star. Then MacDailyNews criticized and summarized some of the things I said. So I’ve gotten a lot of comments.”

“The two big areas of comment were price and software availablity, so let me address them,” Miller writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: First off, on April 27, 2006, we criticized Miller’s ridiculous contention that “Mac users will start installing Windows (to do things like play games) and eventually start doing more and more on Windows.” (Related article here.) Now, if Miller wants to change the argument today, here ya go:

If you write about the Macintosh, you’re only bound to get a lot of negative comments if you write something that makes little or no sense. For example, “Mac users will start installing Windows (to do things like play games) and eventually start doing more and more on Windows.”

In general, we don’t comment negatively about writers who have done their homework, have obviously used a Mac before writing about the experience, and/or who don’t overreach when trying to push certain agendas. You know what? We write about the Mac all the time (see our “Opinion” section) and we really don’t get a lot of negative comments, even when we’re critical of Apple or the Mac. People seem to be fine with Mac criticism when the critic has obviously used the platform and sticks to the facts. Typos can be excused, but getting the model names right helps show people that you understand what you’re writing about, too: it’s “MacBook Pro,” “Mac mini,” and “Boot Camp,” by the way. We’re not saying that Miller hasn’t used a Mac, just that the articles Mac users react most negatively to usually come from people who have clearly never touched a Mac or haven’t used one since 1989.

The price issue: you get what you pay for and some people don’t tie themselves in knots trying to save fifty or a hundred or even five hundred bucks upfront. Some people understand the concept of “Total Cost of Ownership.” Some people aren’t cheap. They value their time and don’t like to waste it due to poor workmanship (hardware and software). They prefer quality and attention to detail over saving a few bucks off the initial sticker price. Some people know how to shop. Some people don’t.

Miller’s whole software availability argument falls flat, since if a piece of software is good enough to sell well, it’s either available for the Mac already (for one example, Photoshop) or Apple has a Mac-only application that’s usually better than whatever’s popular on Windows (one example, iMovie) or Mac users have both options at the same time (for two freeware examples, FireFox for Mac and Windows, and Safari for Macs only). It’s the same old argument: “We have a ‘choice’ of 20 different Word processors,” Windows sufferers declare. “You Mac users only have 9 Word processor ‘choices.'” Well, guess what? Mostly everyone uses the same one word processor, but we Mac users also have the Pages option and Windows users don’t. There’s an old saying, of which we’re fond, “Window users are Mac users’ beta testers.” If your app is good enough, you’ll make a Mac version. If not, thanks for not wasting our time with your “choice.” More doesn’t equal better. Better equals better.

There are currently over 20,000 Mac applications. Explore many of them here: http://guide.apple.com/index.lasso

[UPDATE: 11:55am EDT: fixed typo on “ownership” and corrected usage of “[sic]” above.]

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Related articles:
Mac users can now use Windows, will Windows PC users shift to Apple’s Mac OS X or vice versa? – April 27, 2006

42 Comments

  1. can u honestly say that Miller has not used a mac? considering his article is about using macs im pretty sure he’s more then qualified to give his opinion. And i agree, mac users (such as myself) will intall windows to play games, i dont think i will ever change back to windows because, lets face it, its windows. But there are things windows just has to be used for such as games. Will many convert from mac to windows, i doubt it, but who knows. I think Mac users are a bit like Linux users (although linux is worse then windows) they’re to ready to defend it, let people have their opinions. ps macs rule.

  2. In Germany they had a computer show (c´t) on TV about Macs. They praised them, but regarding Bootcamp they did not recommend it – reason; Apple keyboard problems in Windows OS and touchpad on Mac is one button only.

  3. Hello everyone. Just spend 20 minutes or so at millers site:
    http://blog.pcmag.com/blogs/miller/archive/2006/04/27/980.aspx

    It was a VERY interesting read. No, not his stuff, but the replys from pc and mac people below. The incredible thing I found was the reasoning of the people making their comments.

    Forcast. PCs (and probably windows) are going to be around for a long time. Live with it. The reasons people give for liking windows or PCs show why. OK, some of the reasoning may sound stupid to you or me, but the fact that people are reasoning that way is there. The least we should do is to understand what they are saying.

    It will allow us to have sympthy for them later with their buggy, virusis infested and crashing machines driving them crazy. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    N.

  4. I generally like the stories you guys run. But beating the point about the missing spaces in the Mac model names seems a bit childish, especially in light of the often less-than-perfect spelling and grammar in your articles. (For example, “Ownsership.”)

  5. So many jackasses (macasses?) that want to lynch anyone who doesn’t say everything is perfect in the Apple universe. Gimme a break, this guy did a pretty decent job and what has come from it? Mac users are assholes. That’s what people will remember now.

    GET THIS: Apple doesn’t compete well in price on the low end. IT’S A FACT. DEAL WITH IT.

    GET THIS: MS Windows has more software available for it, especially in the Games and Business markets. IT’S A FACT.

    and, my personal gripe: The Mighty Mouse SUCKS.

    I love Apple, and am a huge fan, but I’m not a freakin’ extremist, or fundamentalist, or so emotionally involved that I lose sight of reality.

  6. norm,

    I don’t want to have sympathy for them. I want them to either leave me alone or follow my advice. I use a Mac for a reason. That reason being that I don’t want to put up with junk computers and I don’t want to do tech support for them either. I want them to quit asking me how to remove a virus or how do I get my wireless to work or how come my PC doesn’t recognize my camera/printer/scanner/etc.

    Leave me alone, that’s all I ask. There is a reason that I appear to have a nice computing experience. I use a Mac, not a PC. I am no more smarter than at least half of the people that ask me the same stupid questions. I’m just smart enough to use a Mac!

  7. I mostly agree with you on software availability, except in two areas: Trip Planning softare (M$ Streets & Trips, or whatever it’s called has no equivalent in the Mac world) and Air Combat simulations, which seem to be weak in the OS X world (some may disagree, but my needs for a simple piece of software that just works have not been met).

    The software I’d most like to see updated is Appleworks. It’s probably the best single piece of software ever, but it is just out of date with the current Mac interface. I don’t know if Apple will ever update it, but where else do you get word processing, presentation, spread sheet, data base, paint and drawing all in one tightly knit package. Yes, there is software available for each of these areas, but a there is no other package that has the foundational concepts for all these areas in one place (more that foundational, enough for many users total needs).

  8. There are tons of Windows-only programs that will never get ported to the Mac (IIS, SQL Server, Visio, etc) that tons of people are using and will continue to use. Sure, there are alternatives on OS X and Linux, but if your company has chosen these options, and they are functioning well for you, then there is no incentive to switch. So, while to say there are software alternatives on the Mac is technically true, in reality switching is often so impractical that it just won’t happen.

    That’s why the Parallels solution is so exciting to those of us who work on PCs during the day, but have Macs at home. I want to be able to run all the OS X software that is reasonable, and only use the PC software that I have no choice but to use.

  9. The ENTIRE article is illogical, when you consider that Macs also run Windows! Every intel Mac runs thousands of more programs than any PC competitor. Windows apps + Mac apps.

  10. Before y’all start puttin’ on yur Grammar police badges, I really don’t think that MDN is even using OS X for these posts of theirs. If’n they were, it would have caught the misspelling of “Total Cost of Ownsership.”

    And while we are grammar checkin’, ya don’t need to be placin’ your “[sic]” all over the place. It only needs to be done at the first instance of the misspelling of the word. The continued misspelling of the word is taken as being the originator’s fault, because the cluttering of “[sic]” all over the page is very distracting to the reader.

  11. This comment says it all:

    “I was expecting some comments about my recent blogs and columns on the subject.”

    He’s a troll. DO NOT FEED HIM!

    Tell you what MDN, why not by default simply tell us not to contact this (or any other troll) directly ourselves, (because that’s what they want).

    Let’s allow MDN to answer for us, with a balanced, non-zealot retort, also mentioning that you speak on behalf of millions of Mac-users.

    That way the troll is informed to do their homework/use a Mac/open their eyes/get their tongue out of Bill Gates’ a** etc, and the troll does not get the traffic that their editor is demanding.

    In future, they would have to actually work at an article in order to get decent hits, and they just might learn something in the process.

  12. If you write about the Macintosh, you’re only bound to get a lot of negative comments if you write something that makes little or no sense.

    No, that’s not true. Time and time again, especially at sites like MDN, the more fundamentalist Mac users will often post scathing comments if a reviewer is only slightly incorrect! They won’t care that a columnist is 99% right, if they find a teensy tiny error, they’ll jump all over the guy! I’ve seen it over and over again. And then the Mac community wonders why it’s thought of as a cult. As a Mac user for over 20 years I read that article and it didn’t look too bad.

    As proof, look at this article, headlined “You can never say enough nice things about a Mac,” yet MDN <b>still</a> finds a way to blast the guy.

    Sheesh, way to treat your allies.

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