Apple’s Mac vs. Microsoft’s Windows

“In the struggle between Apple and Microsoft for the minds and hearts of computer users, clearly Microsoft has come out ahead. Despite its second-place finish in the operating-system race, however, Apple continues to fight and win key popularity battles on the secondary hardware and music fronts,” Walaika K. Haskins writes for Sci-Tech Today. “To its credit, Apple continues to defy certain ‘expert’ predictions that it will fail, particularly with the company setting the industry standard for music downloads and portable music players. In addition, with analysts estimating that as many as 500,000 Windows users have switched to Mac under what observers call the ‘iPod halo effect,’ the reports of Apple’s demise clearly have been overstated.”

“What lessons can we all learn from the company’s success? According to technology experts, the differences between Apple and other manufacturers can be summed up in one phrase: Keep it simple and innovate,” Haskins writes. “One major difference between Apple and Microsoft might be the type of person that each company perceives its users to be. ‘It’s almost like Microsoft is designing for geeks and Apple is designing for real people,’ said Joe Wilcox, a senior analyst at Jupiter Research. Wilcox said that, in terms of functionality, Microsoft’s approach produces interfaces that are too complicated. You have to plug in something that launches a wizard, he explained. Then you have to go through several steps to get a device to complete a first-time configuration. ‘Whereas Apple’s common-man approach is ‘you plug it in and it works,” said Wilcox.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Macintosh. It just works. The vast majority of personal computer users would be far better off, happier, and more productive with their personal computing experience if they dumped their Windows PCs today and got themselves Apple Macs instead. As we’ve written before: “Apple teaches computers about people. Microsoft teaches people about computers. Apple’s way is better for people.”

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51 Comments

  1. “It Just Works” Oh, were it only so.

    If it just works, why do I have to pay so much to ensure somebody at Apple will talk to me about all the times it doesn’t work and why do I keep getting all these notices from Apple about the things I have to do to keep it working.

    It does work better than the systems used by 96% of the population who own and/or operate personal computers. But, it does break and it does so with regularity and predictibility – especially Apple’s own software products, like parts of iLife, that Apple refuses to support in spite of thousands of voices asking for help. Don’t believe me, check out the discussions boards on Apple’s own web site. How can they keep ignoring all these people who have paid good money for products that do not perform as promised? Freeking amazing.

    “It Just Works” is a lie.

  2. Apple is not only setting the standard for music downloads but also the operating system. M$ waits to see what Apple does and then slaps themselves in the forehead and wishes they thought of it. Then they begin to come up with ways to copy it, but first they have to bugger up the idea in some insane way to make it more of a geeky, non-intuitive, ugly thing. The last step is marketing. How do we make this look like we created the whole concept? In this, the relatively minor market share of Apple and the ignorance of the masses become useful.

    The above copying process takes about 6 years.

  3. Johnny,

    Nothing is perfect. As you say in your post, Apple’s Mac is as close to “It Just Works” as the world has today – by a long shot, too.

    Contrasting my experiences with Windows vs. Macs, I think “It Just Works” for the Mac vs. the nightmare of Windows sums up the whole 10+ years that I’ve been working with both quite nicely.

    MDN brilliance:
    “Apple teaches computers about people. Microsoft teaches people about computers. Apple’s way is better for people.”

  4. ‘It’s almost like Microsoft is designing for geeks…’

    Are you f’ing serious? Come on, I resent that. I’m a geek. Linux is designed for geeks, not Windows. I don’t really know who Windows is designed for, because its design is crap.

    I am far less productive using Windows at my current job than I am at home on my Mac or at my previous job where I was a Linux administrator and ran Linux on my desktop.

  5. Johnny–
    “If it just works, why do I have to pay so much to ensure somebody at Apple will talk to me about all the times it doesn’t work and why do I keep getting all these notices from Apple about the things I have to do to keep it working.”

    Why does mine work unassisted and you have troubles? Some maroons even have a hard time driving.

  6. Johnny,

    Wow. I’m amazed at your story. I work at a company where we have used Macs exclusively since 1987. We have been through literally hundreds of machines. Care to guess how many times we’ve had to call Apple for tech support or send a machine back? Zero, zilch, nada, empty set. Not a bad track record. If we’ve been through hundreds of machines over the course of 20 years, and you are having these problems with your Macs, Apple must have it out for you personally. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> BTW, we are still using some beige Macs and they are still going strong.

  7. What am I doing wrong? I’ve been a Mac user since 2001, and I’ve never had a virus, rarely had a system crash, had only two kernel panics on my Intel iMac (both when I left it on sleep overnight), never had to call Apple tech support…why am I such a loser?

    I set up my own Airport network in 15 minutes…and it would’ve been 10 if I’d realized I needed to reset my cable modem instead of swearing for 5 minutes.

    Yes, Apple does “just work”…

    MW=instead; I’d rather get stuff done on my computer instead of worrying about viruses and settings…

  8. Apple’s Mac v. Microsoft’s Woindow:

    Macintosh refers to hardware and Microsoft does not make comparable hardware, so there is no comaprison.

    A better comparison would be:

    Apple Macintosh running OS X 10.4.6 v. Alienware running Microsoft XP (SP3)

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