“A couple years ago, the notion of replacing a PC with one of Apple’s stylish Macintosh computers was fraught with risk, uncertainty, and incompatibility. Today, the computing landscape isn’t so black and white. Thanks to Apple’s conversion to the same Intel-based computing platform that mainstream Windows-based PCs use, as well as a host of software tools that make it easier than ever to interoperate between the Mac OS X and Windows worlds, buying a Mac is easier and smarter than ever. Sure, there are some hurdles to overcome. But for many people, choosing between a Mac and a PC doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition anymore,” Paul Thurrott writes for Connected Home.
Thurrott writes, “Apple and various third parties have also released software solutions that make it easy to run Windows on these new Intel-based Macs. (Although the reverse isn’t true: You can’t legally run Intel-based versions of Mac OS X on PCs made by other companies.) There are two basic types of solutions. First, you can use software such as Apple’s Boot Camp beta to dual-boot between Windows and Mac OS X on the same Mac hardware. Second, you can utilize a number of virtualization environments, such as Parallels Desktop, to run Windows ‘under’ Mac OS X on a software-based virtualized PC. Both methods involve some trade-offs, but either should satisfy any users’ particular needs.”
“Of course, before you can decide whether to use one of the interoperability solutions, you should determine if a Mac is the way to go. Historically, Macs have been more expensive than comparable PCs, but prices have come down in recent years and Apple’s machines are now much more competitive. Here’s the difference today: Because Apple offers only very specific Mac configurations with few customization options, you don’t get the wide range of price points in the Mac world as you do with PCs. So, you’ll generally be able to find much less expensive and—go figure—much more expensive PCs than Macs. But if a particular Mac model does meet your needs, you’ll generally find that it’s comparable in price to similar PCs,” Thurrott writes.
Thurrott writes, “All Macs share certain characteristics. They’re incredibly well made, beautiful to look at, and generally devoid of any extraneous ports and other doo-dads… for those who appreciate design, Macs are top-notch. All Macs come with Mac OS X and Apple’s highly valued iLife suite of digital media applications. In some ways, iLife is reason enough to own a Mac: There’s nothing like iLife on the PC side. Mac OS X isn’t as full-featured as Vista, but it’s also a lot less busy looking and serene in nature. Aimed more at technical users than consumers, Mac OS X isn’t so much friendly as it is austere and Spartan. But once you master its quirks, you’ll find you can be as productive as you are in Windows.”
MacDailyNews Note: Invest a bit of time and you’ll find that you’ll be more productive with a Mac than you would be with Windows. We also have no idea how Thurrott defines “full-featured,” but the statement “Mac OS X isn’t as full-featured as Vista” certainly doesn’t ring true with us. Perhaps he meant “derivative, bloated, unintuitive, and woefully insecure” instead? Mac OS X is clean and well-thought-out, more than it is “austere and Spartan,” and it can be as “friendly” as you want it to be, plus there’s always that Unix power underneath for those who wish to utilize it.
Thurrott continues, “With less than 3 percent of the market for computers worldwide, Mac OS X and the hardware it runs on might not seem a viable alternative to the Windows hegemony that most of us simply take for granted. Nothing could be further from the truth: Macs offer the best of both worlds, giving you the ability to run both Windows—with its huge software and games libraries—and Mac OS X—with its better security and iLife solutions—side by side on the same hardware. You might argue that a Mac is, in fact, the ultimate PC, simply because it can do so much more than other PCs. I believe this to be the case for many users.”
Oh, yes, there’s more in the full article, mostly all of it extremely positive about Apple’s Mac platform, here.
MacDailyNews Take: Wow! The fog has — at least temporarily — lifted for Thurrottt.
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