Operating System Truths

This morning, a friend sent me a link to Analysts on Leopard’s Hype. I didn’t take issue with the entire collection of positions and statements, but some of them seemed to be… grossly inaccurate and misleading.

“Would you recommend a Mac to a friend or family member who’s looking to purchase a notebook?”

Sam Bhavnani: Yes. As a guy who tracks the PC industry, people ask me all the time if they should get an Apple. The overall experience is a very pleasant one. If they’re willing to spend some time with the Apple OS, they will most likely enjoy the experience.

Bingo. BINGO. You nailed it, Sam – that was the right answer. And yes, there’s only one right answer to this question. If you’re not recommending a Mac (with Leopard) to a friend or family member, you’re doing them an extreme disservice. Consumers need to understand that yesterday’s arguments don’t apply.

If they’re asking you, they’re curious – and if they’re curious, they’re obviously NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT THEY’RE USING NOW!!!

Al Gillen: It depends on what that person is planning on doing with his or her system. If it’s needed for e-mail or business applications, I would recommend Windows, as it has Microsoft Office. If it’s needed for entertainment, I would recommend the Mac.

With all due respect, Al… ARE YOU ON CRACK?! How could anybody respect the opinion of someone who didn’t realize that (a) there’s a Microsoft Office for OS X, (b) there are open source Microsoft Office alternatives available for OS X, and (c) email can be retrieved and stored on any damn operating system. I take umbrage with your business applications assertions, because it depends on how you choose to define “business applications” – and if you mean that the vendors of these “business applications” refuse to support other platforms, well… there’s Boot Camp or VMware Fusion, you fool. “Entertainment” is equally as relative.

Ross Rubin: It would depend on that person’s requirements. The Mac has excellent creativity apps and is a compelling platform. Windows, however, offers lots of options in terms of compatibility and the size of its user base. You have to match an operating system with a user’s needs.

While the decision does “depend,” it certainly isn’t for a lack of creativity apps on one platform or the other. Compatibility certainly is important, but at some point it becomes a boondoggle! Moreover, since when was the size of a user base directly proportional with the value of its designated platform?

Enough of the FUD. Here are ten solid reasons you’d want to buy a machine with Microsoft Windows and/or stick with it altogether:

  1. You’re afraid of learning something new; you don’t want to change the way you do anything, ever; your world falls apart when someone deletes an icon from your desktop or Start Menu. Legitimate reasons, I assure you.
  2. You like shopping for bargain basement hardware and need an operating system that supports every possible component you might throw into it, no matter how old or how obscure that equipment might be. You also like getting what you pay for.
  3. You want to build your own PC (the journey is equally as important as the destination).
  4. Your favorite software (realistically) doesn’t have an equivalent available on any other platform. Bonus points are awarded if you’ve taken the time to look before jumping to this conclusion.
  5. You’re a hardcore gamer – in which case, you better not suggest that Macs are more expensive. Games, games, games, games, and more games – the top reasons why anybody would opt into Microsoft Windows. If you’re a “PC” gamer, then there’s virtually no choice for you right now.
  6. Your company gave you the computer(s), and they can’t support anything else.
  7. You feel comfortable, confident, and generally good in knowing that there are more people using Windows than there are using OS X at home or at work.
  8. You hate the way OS X affixes the application’s menu at the top of a screen rather than in the application window itself – even after realizing that Microsoft has been actively attempting to wean users off of menus altogether.
  9. You don’t have major issues with Microsoft Windows, you don’t mind how it looks, you don’t mind how it works, and you don’t care how you get things done so long as you CAN get things done. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with complacency.
  10. You’re afraid you’ll like something else more than Microsoft Windows. Believe it or not, I’ve actually had people tell me this.

Replacing one OS with another is potentially very costly – in money and in time. At least you should be making an informed decision based on truths and practical experiences, not merely on talking points from pseudo pundits.