Mac Versus PC

January 27, 2010

Mac Versus PC

You’ve seen the Mac versus PC commercials put out by Apple. These commercials, like many advertisements, aren’t entirely truthful and often perpetuate myths. Can’t we all just get along?

We work on Macs, but don’t get to do a lot of work on them simply because there aren’t that many Macs out there compared to Windows computers. Only 5% of computers are Macs while 93% are PC’s. Don’t misunderstand, Macs are good computers.

You’ve probably heard people with Macs say how much better Macs are than PC’s. Let’s look at some of these claims and see if they are true.

  1. Macs don’t need security software (anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc) because they are not susceptible to infections.

    This is mostly myth but partly true. Mac’s are just as susceptible to infections as Windows PC’s are. It’s just that Windows PC’s have been the primary target of infections simply because there are a lot more Windows PC’s out there than there are Mac’s. There are a few infections that are now targeting Mac’s, but not many. So the chances of a Mac becoming infected is fairly small right now. In 2008, Apple released a security bulletin recommending that all Mac owners use anti-virus software on their Macs. If you have a Mac, you should have good security protection.

  2. Macs are more reliable than PC’s.

    Again, this is partly a myth and partly true. When you talk about the reliability of a computer, there are two major components to consider. Hardware and software. In terms of hardware, a recent report by Square Trade reported on the number of warranty claims on 9 different laptop manufacturers. The one with the least number of warranty claims was not Apple. In fact, Apple was number 4. In terms of hardware, Macs are good, but are not any more reliable that PC hardware.
    Reliability in terms of software refers primarily to the operating system. In this case Mac OS versus Windows. If you exclude problems with Windows there were not caused by infections, then Mac OS is slightly more reliable than Windows. More than half of the problems we see on Windows computers are caused by infections. And as we mentioned before, Macs are not much of a target for infections because there aren’t as many of them out there.

    If Macs were targeted by infections as much as Windows, I think we would see just as many problems with Macs as we do with Windows. So in a nutshell, Mac hardware isn’t more reliable than Windows hardware, but Mac OS is a little more reliable than Windows because it’s not targeted by infections as much.

  3. Macs are better for media related activities (audio and video production for example).

    This is a myth. Anything you can do on a Mac, you can do on a PC. Software manufacturers rarely produce a version of their software only for the Mac. Why? The PC market is just too big to ignore. So once again it goes back to market share.

  4. The same software available for Windows is available for the Mac.

    This is mostly myth but there is a workaround for most programs. A program written for Windows won’t run on a Mac PC as is. For a program to run on a Mac, it must be written for the Mac unless you run a Windows emulator. Running a Windows program under a Windows emulator on a Mac works for a lot of programs, but not for all of them. It especially doesn’t work with games. And programs running under an emulator run slower. By the way, Mac OS emulators are available for Windows if you wanted to run a Mac program on a Windows PC.

  5. PC’s and Mac’s cost about the same.

    This is a myth. Mac’s generally cost more to purchase. Replacement parts for them cost more. It’s more expensive to repair them and it’s harder to find people who work on Macs. All of this adds up.

Don’t get us wrong. We have nothing against Macs. They are very good computers. We like them. We aren’t telling  you not to purchase a Mac. We just wanted to set the record straight.

If you currently have a PC and you are considering purchasing a Mac, please be aware of the following:

  1. There are a lot of differences in the way they work. There will be a learning curve going from Windows to Mac.

  2. Make sure you get good Virus/Spyware protection for your Mac.

  3. Data from your PC can be migrated over to your Mac. We can do that for you.

  4. Be careful purchasing printers and other devices. Make sure they are compatible with the Mac. Most are compatible, but not all of them are.

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