“When you compare Macs with comparably equipped Windows PCs, sometimes Macs beat Windows PCs in the price/performance comparison. Sometimes Windows PCs beat Macs. Overall, there’s relative parity,” Scot Finnie writes for Computerworld.
“If you’re not that familiar with Macs, you have to open your mind, take a look at the different Mac models and closely compare the specs,” Finnie writes.
“It’s not [as] easy to draw reasonable comparisons about software on a level-playing field. I believe each person has to make his own assessment on the software front,” Finnie writes.
Here’s are some software aspects I think you should consider when analyzing Mac vs. PC costs:
1. There is plenty of software available for the Mac: Surprisingly, there are more products in some product categories than there are for Windows… I don’t think Windows users realize just how many Windows software product categories Microsoft has come to own, eliminating all or most of the viable competition. Though it’s true that in some categories there are only two or three Mac offerings, all in all there is a very solid, rich spread of software makers creating Mac applications.
2. The $80 Parallels Desktop for Mac virtualization application: Lets you run Windows and Linux seamlessly on your Intel Mac… This extremely powerful tool literally gives you access to all your Windows applications on your Mac. It adds a huge chunk of software value to any Mac purchase.
3. You don’t need security software: Mac users don’t need any of the security products that Windows users absolutely require — antivirus, anti-malware/spyware, identity-theft protection, antibot and so on… There’s definitely a cost savings because of this [but] to me, the far more important cost is the system overhead, user distraction, system instability and the need for user troubleshooting that Windows security software entails.
4. Software is cheap: Just two hours of my time spent working on a Windows PC problem is worth far more than the average cost of most software programs… OK, so you may have to back your Mac purchase with an investment in software [or just use Parallels or VMWare to run your Windows stuff, but] you can amortize the cost of the software against the time you’ll save not wrestling with stupid PC problems.
Finnie writes, “Mac users who have Windows in their past tend to agree on a simple point: The Macintosh operating system and its custom-tailored hardware make for a far more reliable, less trouble-prone environment than Windows… There’s a hidden value to having far fewer problems than average. And a big segment of the computer-using marketplace doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge that.”
“That’s why the single most frustrating thing about being a Mac user is the disdain with which some Windows users view Macs. Apparently, you’re not a real man unless you’re suffering with everyone else,” Finnie writes. (Bold emphasis added by MacDailyNews)
MacDailyNews Take: The vast majority of Mac users have Windows experience (via school, work, friends, and family). The vast majority of Windows users have no Mac experience. Think about it. Informed users overwhelmingly choose Macintosh over Windows PCs. Uninformed Windows PC users just keep obtusely buying Windows PCs while spouting myths and out-dated ignorance about Macs. It seems to be some sort of nasty defense mechanism against facing up to the fact that they made the wrong money- and time-wasting “choice.” Most IT guys have severe cases of it. We guarantee you’ll see it on full display in response to Finnie’s article, if not here, then over at Computerwolrd. Mac users usually just laugh when some Windows-only users spouts the typical nonsense because we know they’re touting and defending Ripple while we sip champagne. Sometimes we don’t just laugh, though, because the continuous (but lately-subsiding) absurdity grows tiresome, which tends to shorten our tempers.
Finnie continues, “The unexpected advantage I gained [with my switch from Windows to Mac] is that using my computer is more enjoyable. My concentration isn’t broken periodically by problems, updates, security pop-ups and the like. I’m not thinking that I’m using a Mac. I’m thinking about what I’m using the computer to do — what I’m reading, writing, figuring, buying, watching and so on… You’re not conscious of your TV while you’re watching it. That’s the way it is with a Mac. I found that much harder to achieve on Windows PCs, which are constantly drawing attention to themselves.”
Finnie concludes, “You’re not going to believe it until you try it yourself. I didn’t.”
We have brutally condensed this lengthy article and highly recommend reading the full article which contains much more here.