Nothing prompts a more visceral, passionate response from computer users than Macs, whether you’ve been using them from day one, recently switched from Windows, or never even touched one. Apple fans tout the elegance of the Mac OS X operating system, its ease of use, and stability, as well as the premium designs Apple offers. Windows loyalists, on the other hand, see Macs as overpriced and complain that Apple offers too little in the way of choices.
So who’s right? This heated rivalry has certainly created its fair share of misconceptions.
Sometimes these so-called Mac Myths define Apple products unfairly. Other times, they’re dead-on.
1. Macs Are More Expensive Than PCs
Users of $399 netbooks and sub-$600 notebooks are likely already laughing at the prospect that the boutique-chic Macs could possibly be as affordable as what they’re using. In some sense, they’re right—the famed “Apple Tax,” a profit margin that Apple enjoys on its hardware that trends significantly higher than its competition, is truer now than ever. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once rubbed it in by saying that Mac buyers are simply paying $500 for the Apple logo. Is he right?
“With Windows there are more alternatives,” explained Roger Kay, president and founder of Endpoint Technology Associates. “But it’s part of Apple’s branding—they’re branded as a premium product, and it’s part of their product positioning to be expensive.” However, Apple’s recent product releases have been seen as good values compared with other branded hardware solutions. According to Yair Reiner, senior analyst for applied technology at Oppenheimer, the 2009 all-in-one iMac revisions out-spec similar HP all-in-ones, at a slightly lower price to boot.
VERDICT: Yes, Windows machines tend to offer more bang for your buck in terms of specs, when it comes to netbooks and big-screen desktop replacement notebooks. But many are willing to pay a premium for Macs because of the emphasis Apple places on design, ease of use, and customer service.
2. OS X Is More Secure Than Windows
To be a Mac user is to know the joy of not having to worry about spyware slowly eroding the performance of your machine. Or so the public perception goes. While it’s true that Macs are generally freer of viruses, much of that is due to the simple facts that a) Mac market share worldwide is slightly under ten percent, and b) viruses and malware in this decade are often made by malicious international groups intent on causing the most harm with the fewest resources. “That’s the big protection Macs have, being the minority operating system,” said David Perry, global director of education for Trend Micro. “The world of malware is entirely pointed at the Windows community, with small enough incursions into Mac as to be infinitesimal … There are less than 100 active malware infectors in Macs in the entire world, versus the PC—close to twenty million infectors.” If Mac market share were to grow, though, it might very well be a different story.
VERDICT: Yes, Macs are indeed less plagued by viruses. For now.
3. Macs Are Easier To Use
With a more streamlined interface, OS X has been long celebrated as easier to learn than Windows. For first-time computer users, the popular opinion may be right. “For a home user, especially those without much computer knowledge, Macs will be easier to use,” said Justin Esgar, Apple-certified system administrator for Virtua Computers. “The OS X dock makes programs easy to access, and the installation is far more intuitive than on a PC.
Windows, however, is already the OS of choice in over 90 percent of worldwide machines. Switching isn’t just a matter of transferring files: it’s also about interface familiarity and availability of software. For longtime Windows users and those who want to upgrade and tweak their systems, Windows would in fact be easier to use because that is what they’re accustomed to.
VERDICT: Yes, for beginners, but Macs involve a small learning curve for Windows loyalists.
4. Macs Are Better For Artists And Students
They’re sleek, they’re sexy, and they have a creative suite of tools baked right in; is it surprising that Macs are favored by students and artists? Apple’s purported ease of use and the iconoclasm encouraged by the company’s perpetual outlier status in the computer world at large have built Mac’s image as a superior educational computer as well as a platform preferred by creative types worldwide. For creative projects, it’s a rep well-earned: iLife offers a suite of tools that Windows has yet to match.
Macs have been a standard for years for graphic designers (font management, color accuracy) and filmmakers (Final Cut, Apple’s own software, is an industry standard), but for 3D work such as rendering, Windows machines have been the platform of choice. Now that Macs and Windows machines share Intel and Nvidia processors, the differences are disappearing under the hood, but Macs still have a professional edge for sound and video.
For students, the value of Macs is more debatable. Research and basic educational software are available on Macs and Windows alike—and since the rise of netbooks, far cheaper options are available among PCs than Mac machines.
VERDICT: Macs are better for artists, but students could do just as well (and save money) with a PC.
5. OS X Is More Stable Than Windows
That all depends on which version of Windows you’re talking about. While XP has been a relatively stable OS, Vista’s botched launch became so infamous that Apple took the reins with a series of “Mac vs. PC” ads that emphasized how relatively crashproof OS X was compared with Vista.
Analyst Tim Bajarin thinks that Microsoft’s new OS will make a difference: “Windows 7 is a huge improvement over Vista because it simplifies the user interface: it’s cleaner, boots faster, and has a simpler taskbar on the bottom. Windows 7 will be a more worthy competitor to the Mac as it stands today.”
VERDICT: Although Windows 7 may close the gap with Apple in the stability department, Macs remain rock-solid machines.
6. Macs Are Bad For Gaming
Traditionally, Macs have been largely ignored in the realm of interactive entertainment. Due in part to the vast Windows market share and a developer-wide adoption of Microsoft’s DirectX graphics, it’s hard to find a range of titles as impressive as what’s available for Windows. Using OpenGL instead of DirectX for graphics usually means that Mac versions of popular games are left to dedicated companies to port over, like Aspyr Media. “On the technical front, Macs are easily on a par with PCs for games,” said Glenda Adams, director of technology and development at Aspyr Media. “There really isn’t any reason Macs can’t run the most recent top games.”
If a limiting factor to Mac games remains, it’s the smaller market share of the platform. Publishers are hesitant to spend development money on a smaller user base.
VERDICT: Macs could be great for games, but the market hasn’t caught up to supporting them yet.
Este copy/paste se pintaba más largo, pero espero que haya reunido lo esencial. Hubo un séptimo mito que dejaré no resuelto, por lo menos en este post porque no me gusta postear cosas que no entiendo, pero pueden leerlo si les interesa punchando el link al artículo. Tenía tiempo queriendo tratar este tema, más que nada porque me interesaba.
Mi conclusión es que si tienes el dinero para comprarte una Mac, no dudes que estarás obteniendo un producto de calidad y con muchas ventajas sobre una PC. Es más, si es el sistema operativo que te interesa mantener, puedes hacerlo en tu Mac. Así de paso pruebas el OS de Mac que hasta la fecha sigue siendo aún más estable que Windows.
Nosotros, los fieles a Windows y a las PCs, seguimos como tal por cuestión de preferencia.