Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why I Choose Mac Over Windows PCs

Dave Sobotta wrote a great article on Readwrite  day before yesterday about leaving the Mac behind once he left Apple, and the article got me thinking about my progression from Windows to Mac and my subsequent loyalty to the platform. 

I have been a Mac user for a little over ten years now after spending many years using a Windows PC. This was when Apple was returning from the brink though before their renaissance spurred by the iPhone (and then the iPad). At that time Apple seemed like the Rebel Alliance fighting the Evil Empire, and I had this image that they were the plucky little company that could. (I realize this is ridiculous, I promise.) Since then I have continued using a Mac for my personal machine and have added an iPhone and an iPad to my device portfolio.

Since I switched from Windows to Mac Microsoft has gone through their own renaissance releasing Windows Vista, Windows 7, and most recently Windows 8 while re-launching their phone operating system as Windows Phone and moving into tablets (again) with the Microsoft Surface. I have used Windows at my office, and I have no major complaints using Windows 7 (save for the lack of the multiple desktops that Apple provides via Spaces). Though while I may not have many complaints with Windows I plan on being a Mac user far into the future for several reasons:

  1. Software & Hardware: Windows machines are often much cheaper than Macs, and part of the reason is that many machines come with trialware/junkware installed, and are built by OEMS. The trialware/junkware has been combated recently by Microsofts Windows Signature program though I still appreciate the simplicity in Apple providing applications coded in-house on their hardware. (Apple also offers a free word processor, spreadsheet and presentation program.)
  2. Ecosystem: Apple generally prices its machines higher than most Windows machines though backed into that price is the app and store ecosystem that enables Mac users to bring their device into an Applestore for technical support, and/or sync their information across multiple devices.
  3. Unix: Mac OS X is based on Unix, which I appreciate and enjoy. I don't often dig into the terminal application though I like know that I can if wanted to dig into the machine's systems.
  4.  Inertia: I have spent over 10 years accumulating 3rd-party software for Max OS X, and corresponding iOS applications. Returning to Windows would mean I would need to repurchase of find alternatives in the Windows install-base.
  5. Aesthetics: My main Mac is a 13'inch Macbook Pro that is frankly gorgeous. Other companies create similar looking machines though Apple often pushes physical design.