This month’s topic addresses the classic feud between Mac and Windows. Macheads and Windows fanatics have butted heads for ages, ever since Apple decided one mouse button was enough and Windows decided two was better than one. And here you are, perhaps on the threshold of getting a new computer, and you’re wondering: which one should I get: Mac, or PC?
As with most decisions involving only two choices, there is a primary pro and con on each side, and the ultimate decision the two platforms shouldn’t be made by your IT Consultant, but rather by your priorities, which usually come down to the following, in no particular order:
- Software compatibility
- Having good backups
- Screen resolution / graphics
- Standardization of programs and settings
- Personal comfort level with using either Mac or Windows
So, let’s look at Windows. First and foremost, Windows runs more software than Macs. This is less true than it used to be, but it still holds true even so. There are numerous programs that are written for Windows that have never been ported to Mac, and even specialized programs that have been ported to Mac often have more bugs than their Windows counterparts. In more complex networks, Windows is also much more configurable and controllable centrally, allowing you to more easily set up new computers with standard software and settings.
Even with these advantages, Windows is more problematic in other ways. Since Windows is licensed software, taking a good backup of your computer that you can restore to a replacement hard drive or new computer is inherently flawed and tends to reject the license key for Windows. This can potentially lead to repurchasing Windows to get back up and running, which can be frustrating. Windows backups are more optimized towards file level backups, which is usually handled by third-party backup software anyways. If you want “easy to backup, easy to restore”, Windows may not be a good option.
Enter the Mac. With Time Machine built in to Mac OS X, and the operating system itself being free to download, backup and restore is exceedingly straightforward and simple to understand and implement. They are also beautifully aesthetic and Retina displays are nothing to sneer at. But the very things that Windows has going for it are difficult or absent from Mac. All the ease of backup in the world won’t help if the software you need is written only for Windows, or runs poorly on Mac. If you need to tightly control settings on employee computers, attempting to manually change settings one by one for each Mac can be a nightmare, whereas with the right services from Microsoft, you can centrally dictate how multiple Windows computers behave.
In the end, there is no such thing as a computer that has great aesthetics, runs any software, has excellent screen resolution, is easily configurable, and can be backed up and restored to a different computer without running into licensing issues. You’ll need to decide what your priorities are and plan accordingly.
Do you need to buy a new computer, but aren’t sure if you have enough information to properly decide between a Mac or PC? Email us to let us know! For the month of July, we are offering a free computer setup as a signing bonus when you sign up for our Preventative Maintenance subscription!