To Switch or Not to Switch

“General Walnut” poses excellent (if not rhetorical) questions on the matter of Windows vs. OS X:

I am nowhere near as much as an expert at this kind of stuff that you are and I’m not going to pretend that I am, but you were talking about how because of Vista that Apple might get more of the market. If they did catch up or even pass Microsoft, don’t you think that they will end up facing many of the same problems that Microsoft faces now? I mean, third party companies will want to start making machines that run their OS, and if Apple agrees then they would have to deal with the same hardware adjustments that Microsoft has to deal with. I don’t know, it just seems like, if the positions switch then it will just be the same thing with a different company, and if Apple computers aren’t running in that controlled environment that they have created then they will run into just as many, if not more, problems than Microsoft.

Apple will be forced to open up sooner or later. It’s inevitable, no matter how much larger they may get. The more interesting question might be to ask: what will be opened up, and how far?

Also you mentioned how people that don’t know a lot about computers don’t care if you can switch hardware out and stuff like that (you used not wanting to replace a cars steering wheel as an example I believe). But when somebody that doesn’t know a whole lot about computers walks into a store like Best Buy what do they see? They see hp, sony, compaq, gateway, some other companies, and Mac. They don’t see pc or mac, so wouldn’t these people who know nothing about computers be more likely to buy one of the brands of PC that buy a Mac?

What they see is a price tag. Consumers notice that there’s a $300 computer with a rebate sitting over there and assume it’s just the same as a $1300 computer. Both can get on the Internet, after all. They’re justified to make decisions based on personal finance, but seldom take into account TCO.

Remember, most people don’t know about the free or open source alternatives.

You also asked to answer if the headache that is Vista has had people wanting or considering switching to a Mac, and I say no. I haven’t ever considered switching to an Apple computer, not even for a little bit. I probably don’t do nearly as much on a PC as you do, but for what I do, I haven’t noticed even a fraction of the bugs that people are talking about. At this point I probably wouldn’t even go back to XP. I’m not going to say because I haven’t had problems that means nobody else must have, but for what I have done so far, I actually enjoy Vista. Yea It’s slower that XP, but I didn’t even notice the parts of it that are slower until recently, when people started talking about it to me. I have talked to people that say that the Network and Sharing section of the Control Panel takes about 30 minutes to load, but the most time it has taken for it to load for me is about 5 seconds. If what I have experienced in Vista was half as buggy as what people are telling me it should be, or half as slow for that matter, there wouldn’t be any debating over whether or not I should switch back to XP, I just would.

By admitting that Vista is slower than XP, you’re only furthering my earlier assertions. Quite a few people are reporting that (in some ways) Leopard is faster than Tiger – myself included. When a new OS doesn’t run faster or better on the same hardware, you have to question why it’s worth trading performance for a questionable set of new features.

It boils down to a matter of personal preference, but if you’re fine with what Windows delivers and haven’t tried anything else – how can you know what you prefer?