I’ve been using Macs for about 5 years now, and before that I was a 100% Windows and PC guy. What happened exactly? Why did I switch? Without wishing to start a flame war, here are 8 reasons why I now buy into “the Apple way”.
This isn’t designed to convince die-hard fans of PCs, but if you’re wondering what the fuss is about, and why someone with a geek level of 9000+ would ever consider a Mac, then read on. The following are 8 reasons why I switched to Mac.
1. OS X happened
Before OS X came along, Macs were pretty bad. Incompatible with virtually anything in the consumer marketplace, they were proprietary machines that hadn’t quite reached that pinnacle of usability that defines Apple today. They were “hobbyist” machines, not for real work or the business place. Then along came OS X, built on a rock solid UNIX foundation and making astounding leaps in UI design. It was a radical change for Apple. I however, was not quite willing to buy into that yet, not until…
2. Apple moved to Intel Hardware
For someone like myself who had grown up with predominantly Intel hardware (after the Amstrad anyway), and who loved tinkering with processors and memory and hard drives – the move to Intel was a big step in the right direction. As far as I was concerned, on an Intel platform I would be far more able to switch out the hard drive, change the memory, and use existing files and data – not to mention thousands of USB peripherals that would work.
3. The Mac Mini Made It Easy To Try
Of course, I was apprehensive about switching 100% to a Mac given I’d never even touched one before – and it was then that Apple introduced the Mac Mini and I finally satisfied my growing curiosity in the platform.
The Mac Mini was revolutionary, and a fantastic marketing move on Apple’s part – in that I could take my existing monitor, mouse and keyboard and plug them into the Mini. It didn’t matter that the thing was underpowered compared to my PC gaming rig – I’d heard good things about the Mac, and I wanted to try it. All at a truly affordable price point. I ran it alongside my PC, and even shared the mouse and keyboard with a standard USB input and video switcher. At first, I only used it for emails. Outlook Express had been my app of choice for so long, and I found Mail.app to be far more reliable piece of software that just worked. It was a slow start, but I was convinced. Pretty soon, my internet browsing went through the Mac too, and slowly but surely I bought into the Apple way.
4. No Drivers
This is one point that seems rather contentious as to whether it’s a good or bad thing. Because Macs are built using a specific subset of hardware that is officially supported, the base systems don’t ever need drivers to function optimally. For someone used to reinstalling Windows on a half-yearly basis and the inevitable hours following spent hunting down all the correct drivers (again), this was quite revolutionary.
Of course, for some this is turn off – you can’t simply swap out your aging video card for the newest model – which is precisely the reason why the Apple platform has remained a loser for the gaming community. At this point though, my gaming was almost 100% done through an Xbox. We should not need to find drivers, and Apple understood that. For Windows users, finding the correct drivers was just an accepted part of owning a computer.
5. It Just Works
I am geek, and I do like fiddling with things and hacking them, but sometimes I appreciate software that just works. I must admit though, I was afraid that the user experience on OS X would be just so dumbed down I might be insulted, or officially lose geek points. It’s a natural reaction to Apple’s marketing – a computer designed for the everyday person to just use and be productive and have fun with! It’s easy to scoff at that – if people don’t know how to configure or protect their computer correctly and download the right drivers, then damn it all – give them an etch-a-sketch or something.
And then something magical happened. I used it, and I wasn’t insulted. In fact, I suddenly became so much more productive that I was able to do more of the geeky things I so loved, like programming and making webpages – and at this point, I was sold.
6. The Cost Myth
Most arguments in the PC vs Mac debate inevitably end with “well, they cost twice as much for the exact same hardware – I could get a Dell for half the price of a similar specced Macbook Pro! what do you say to that, huh?!”. It seems like a far enough argument, but it completely ignores the resale value. You see, most Mac’s are very good at retaining their value over the years. The first ever Intel MacBook Pro from 2006 is still selling at around £300 on eBay.
7. You Can Run Windows On It
Truthfully, I don’t really need a single Windows PC anymore. With virtual machines on my main Mac, I can run any Windows utility I want simply and easily. The same cannot be said for my PC running OS X apps. Perhaps this is Apple’s fault, or deliberate intention, but either way the truth stands. On a Mac, I can run both. On a PC, I can only run Windows stuff.
8. Steve Jobs and the Apple Magic
This might seem like a bit of an odd reason and is probably going to label me a fanboy, but I have yet to see anyone who with such an astounding stage presence and presentational skills as Steve Jobs. I can remember the last iLife announcement, where my wife and I sat watching the presentation and literally saying “oh, wow, that’s absolutely amazing” as our jaws dropped with each announcement. You simply don’t get that on a Windows product launch, because the world of Windows is just so stagnant. Apple breaks new ground, and the world follows. You only need to look at the iPad “competitors” to see how laughable they really are in comparison.
Have Your Say
Are you steaming at the ears now, ready to type an essay long rebuttal on why the PC rules? Meh, go ahead but don’t expect a reply other than “lol”. Are you considering getting a Mac and need that final bit of convincing? Let us know in the comments, and perhaps I can address some of your concerns. Are you an Apple fan too, and think I missed something key – let me know!