Microsoft Might Not Be So Evil After All

I’ve been thinking about the Macintosh computer since Apple decided to switch to the Intel processor. I’ve worked with several people who are Mac users, and even though I have seen Macs crash and seen software errors and the like, I do believe that Mac owners are happier with their machines than PC owners. I’ve always explained the so-called Mac superiority as the difference between open and closed systems. Apple controls the hardware and the OS. That makes it easier to prevent problems because you know just exactly what you’re dealing with. This probably explains why it’s a license violation to run the Mac OS on a non-Mac machine.

I finally bought a MacBook last weekend. I was a bit peeved that I couldn’t get the black one without paying a color premium, but I grew up in the world of the putty colored computer, so  I saved my money and took the one that looks like a kitchen appliance. I’ve been impressed with a lot of the Mac’s capabilities. The most exciting, by far, is the machines ability to go into sleep mode, or more precisely, to come out of sleep mode. I’ve carried a lot of laptops and tablets running Windows and they never did this worth a darn. This little guy might be the closest thing to the portable device for which I yearn.

On the other hand, I found that using my Mac in the business world is harder than using a Windows machine. This is why I’ve concluded that Microsoft may not be so evil after all. Before the freaks and zealots on both sides of the Mac/PC debate jump into attack mode, let me say that Port-to-Port Consulting, my business, exists primarily because of Microsoft and what they’ve done to make business computing possible for the masses. Let me also say that I’m a reluctant fan of Microsoft and a want-to-be fan of Apple. Now, with disclaimers and full disclosure covered, I’ll say this. The Apple Mac works so much better because it is truly designed to be a personal computer. What I mean is, the people who have Macs and love them don’t have to do much in the way of sharing with others. Sure, they send emails and log into chat rooms, but they work in their own world. They don’t have to share calendars, or contacts, or any of the things that businesses do routinely.

We noted in our office that maybe that’s the reason (and not the control) that the Mac seems to perform better. Perhaps the problem gets significantly harder when you introduce the concept of sharing. I know Apple makes servers, and Macs can connect to Windows and Linux networks, but in the end, Apple doesn’t push networking because they know that their users tend to work solo. I think that’s a big part of the performance difference. Look at how much harder it is to coordinate a group of people to get something done as compared to doing it yourself.


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