Network World: Need a new PC for Vista? Switching to Mac may cost less and give you more

Apple Store“I’m a Mac dabbler, not a Mac user. My teenage daughter accuses me of not being cool enough to ‘get’ the Macintosh gestalt, and she may be right. But I’m hearing from more and more small business people who switched, and I’ve identified three primary reasons for the surge in Mac deployments: lower costs, Intel chips, and Web applications,” James E. Gaskin writes for Network World.

Gaskin writes, “Macintosh prices haven’t dropped to PC levels, but they are closer than ever before. The Mac Mini for $599 costs more than an entry level PC desktop, but at least the Mac has an entry level, which wasn’t always the case. An Apple iMac at, including LCD monitor, is under a $1000. It still costs more than a comparable PC with comparable LCD monitor, but again it’s closer.”

MacDailyNews Take: Forget for a moment the important fact that only Apple Macs can run Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows natively and also concurrently via fast virtualization and ignore the value of Mac OS X, iLife, Front Row, etc. Please find us a PC that offers the following for less than $999 in anything remotely resembling iMac’s slim form factor (or even just a box and monitor):
• 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
• 512MB of PC2-5300 (667MHz) DDR2 memory
• 160GB Serial ATA 7200-rpm hard drive
• 24x Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
• 17-inch LCD (1440 by 900 pixels)
• 802.11n Wi-Fi
• Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
• 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet
• Mini-DVI output port with support for DVI, VGA, S-video, and composite video connections
• iSight camera
• Support for external display in extended desktop and mirroring modes
• Two FireWire 400 ports
• Total of five USB ports: three USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps) on computer, two USB 1.1 ports on keyboard
• Headphone/optical digital audio output
• Built-in microphone

Gaskin continues, “Many more people are willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars extra for the Mac Cool Factor than are willing to pay a cool thousand extra, which has been the case in the past.”

MacDailyNews Take: The difference between a “Mac dabbler” and a “Mac user’ is obviously the ability to recognize the value of Mac OS X and Apple’s Mac-only applications. James, your daughter is right.

Gaskin continues, “[Apple Macs run] Windows as well as OS X. You can dual-boot between OS X and Windows using Boot Camp, or you can get the popular Parallels Desktop for Mac and run both systems at one time… This solves the common Mac user problem of needing to run one or two proprietary Windows applications… You still need to buy Windows software for your Mac, and you pay a little more for your hardware than if you stayed with a PC, but you face a speed bump rather than a brick wall. Many readers have told me they have switched to a Mac and love it, and feel the extra dollars to keep a Windows app or two available are a small price for happiness.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, while Apple doesn’t play bait-and-switch by selling bare-bones, cut-rate, cheapo PCs, is a Mac really more expensive than a comparable PC?

“If you’re going to buy new hardware to support a new operating system, you may find that switching to a Macintosh costs less and gives you more than upgrading to Windows Vista. Besides, regardless of Vista’s new glass-like interface and Mac-inspired Gadgets, Apple still does Macintosh better than Microsoft copies Macintosh. And Apple is about to roll out its operating system upgrade to answer Vista, which should keep Macintosh that much farther ahead.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: (Added 1:24pm EDT) Obviously, Apple already “answered” Vista years ago. Mac OS X Leopard will simply extend Apple’s already significant lead over Microsoft’s Windows.

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  1. This whole idea of the low cost PC goes out the window when you go to Dell’s site and actually write up an order, your 500 pc turns out to be 1200 bucks. But you do get all those extra virus, spyware and trojan horses…

  2. Whenever I price out a cheap Dull pc because I feel as though I have to have so my kids can play educational games, the price is never as low as pc lovers claim you can get one at.

    It is almost like bait and switch.

  3. I think the point he’s trying to make is you can get a windows pc cheaper than a mac, most of the people buying them are only looking at price. The specs you listed above is gibberish to a lot of people.

    When it comes to macs, most of the people I talk to only know about the comercials.

    I have constantly recommended Macbooks to people but they go and buy Dells and Toshiba’s because they are cheaper. Poor fuukers.

  4. While I appreciate that this “dabbler” is willing to give the Macintosh a look, the statement that Macintoshes are still more expensive than PCs is downright wrong. There are PCs cheaper than Macs, but if you take the time to compare a Mac to a similarly configured PC, you will notice that PCs are more expensive than Macs. Let’s get the facts straight, people!

  5. <i>And Apple is about to roll out its operating system upgrade to answer Vista…<i>

    No take on that one MDN? That one is just begging to be corrected. I’ll take a crack at it:

    Take: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is not an answer from Apple to Microsoft’s pig lipstick hack job Windows Vista. Apple’s answer to Windows Vista was Mac OS X 10.2, which appeared years before Vista was even out of the vaporware stage. Apple doesn’t need to answer to a derivative company that only poorly copies their former releases.

    Hope that works.

  6. You get what you pay for… This I believe to be an absolute Truth.

    By a Cheap PC = spend more money fixing, upgrading and fighting attacks. By a top of the line Mac… and they all are… TCO will save you not only money but headaches.

  7. These articles do sound positive but I’m getting pretty tired of the “It Sucks Less” rationale from some of these FUDdy-duddys.

    I suppose it’s better than the outright lies coming from the Turtle Boy and Fester Freak Show.

  8. Yea, you get what you pay for when you buy a $500 PC. Believe me it doesn’t compare to an iMac or even a Mac Mini for that matter. Plus you can run OSX, Windows, or Linux natively. Your $500 PC wouldn’t even be able to run Windows at a decent speed without an upgrade.

  9. Leopard isn’t an answer to Vista, Tiger still easily does that. Leopard is another giant leap ahead of the 5 year old version of Windows Vista. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  10. We don’t even know completely what Leopard will be like. How can this writer even begin to compare Vista and Leopard?

    While it may be a nice, linear progression of OS X, it also could be somewhat revolutionary if they bother to FTFF.

    While we may have some ideas about Leopard and the parts that have been announced, there has been a strange silence on some of the secret features. It could be a very exciting release.

    Since few on the planet know what may exactly be in Leopard, comparing it with Vista is foolish speculation. Comparing Vista to Tiger is a more apt comparison. Unfortunately since he knows nearly nothing about OS X, a true comparison is beyond him.

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