12/24/08
11:30 am

MacMost Now 176: Why Macs Are Better Than PCs

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at some of the reasons why Macs are better than PCS. Some of the reasons are no crapware or viruses, better software that comes with the Mac, and a great developer community.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary. Today on MacMost Now, 'Why Macs Are Better Than PCs.'
So today I thought I'd take a stab at the question I get asked most of all, 'Why are Macs better than PCs?' and there are lots of different reasons. There are lots of little reasons and big reasons and of course there's also plenty of reasons why PCs may have an advantage over Macs, but in this episode let's focus on the many reasons that today, at the end of 2008, I think Macs are a better value than a PC.
So first I'm going to start out with two reasons why PCs aren't that great. First is most PCs come loaded with what I call crapware. This is software that's preloaded on the machine that basically you have to pay for if you want to use it. It's just a whole bunch of stuff that covering the desktop. Some of it's already installed and running.
If you want to get a clean system you've got to find out how to uninstall these, but sometimes it's pretty close to impossible. They have to reinstall Windows completely or just live with the fact that there's a bunch of software on your computer that you'll never use.
The second reason is that PCs are still very susceptible to viruses. There's no doubt that PCs get more viruses than Macs. As a matter of fact, as things stand now, PCs get viruses Macs don't. So this is a big problem and you're going to have to install anti-virus software and constantly monitor your machine. Now if you're a casual user and you get infected it means calling on someone for help.
Now those two reasons aside, if you do need to run Windows, there's still no reason not to get a Mac because Macs can run both. You can have a Mac with OS X installed and also install Windows through Bootcamp or spend a little extra money and install Parallels or VMware and then be able to run Windows applications while you're running OS X. So if you want to run both OSs, you need to get a Mac. You can't do that on a PC.
Now my next four reasons all come grouped together in one category, iLife. You get iLife when you buy a new Mac and there's some great apps in there.
For instance, iPhoto is a great way to get your digital photos from your camera and do all sorts of things with them; edit them, get them printed. This is a fantastic program and a lot of people I know who have Macs never used the iPhoto, but had a digital camera. When I showed them how easy it was to get their photos onto the Mac and view them and do different things with them, they were amazed.
Also in iLife of course is GarageBand. Now GarageBand is a fantastic music creation program that I dreamed of having when I was a kid using my Apple 2. Now, you just get it free with every Mac. It's a fantastic thing and there's nothing comparable really on the Windows side (at least nothing that you get with the machine).
Also with iLife is a great video editing program call iMovie. It's fantastic for editing things and now that all digital cameras come with a movie mode, you can get a cheap, $100 little video cameras. It's a great tool to have and it seems kind of a waste to have a computer and not be able to edit your digital videos on it.
And, also, of course, iDVD is another great program to be able to go ahead and make DVDs. When you record something say on a family vacation or something else you're doing and be able to go and make a DVD with menus and everything like that. Give to somebody as a gift, put it in your library. It's a fantastic thing and I can't imagine having a computer and not having a program like iDVD now to be able to print these.
Now a Mac also comes with a whole bunch of great options right out of the box.
For instance, just having the very simple apps like iCal and Address Book are fantastic. People get a new machine, there able to go and put there contacts in there. They're able to go and set up calendars, reminders for themselves. It's a fantastic tool and it's really better than anything out there on the PC.
And addition to that there's some other great stuff. Just look at Time Machine. Time Machine comes with every Mac. Just buy an external hard drive and you're backing up. You try to do that on a PC, you're going to have to buy something extra and quite frankly you're probably going to have to be a little more sophisticated than a casual user.
There's a great set of apps. TextEdit is one of my favorite and it just comes with it. If you need basic word processing, you've got something inside of your Mac that already works. You don't have to go and spend a bunch of money getting an expensive word processing program.
Now the Finder itself is a great thing that Mac OS X. There are some amazing desktop organizational tools that many of us take for granted and maybe some people don't even know about.
For instance, the Doc itself is a great launcher and combined with Stacks you can actually organize your files and find things you normally use. So is Spotlight as a launcher. With a couple of keystrokes I can any application or a file and I've grown accustomed to using it to launch things that I don't usually keep in the Docs.
Plus there's really cool things like Spaces and Expose that a lot of people use that are just fantastic tools. It just shows how much attention has been paid in Mac OS X to giving people options in finding files and applications.
Now fans of PCs like to point out how there's tons more PC software out there than Mac software, but the truth is a lot of that stuff is junk. It's all software that's no longer supported or it's very simple software that's very hard for casual users to learn how to use.
On the Mac there's a fantastic developer community and there's tons of great apps that do all sorts of things. The great thing is that all these apps are really good, quality apps
that work really well, integrate really well with the operating system, and provide things that are exactly what you need. So I think the Mac actually wins when it comes to third party tools.
Finally I think the great thing that Apple has going is the whole Apple Store idea. Now not so much from the viewpoint of buying a Mac. I mean you can go places and buy a Mac, you can go places and buy a PC, but the support they offer now at the store.
You can go in and you can ask just about anybody anything. If you've got a problem, you can make an appointment. And the Genius Bar; you can even make an appointment online and then show up at that time so you know there's somebody waiting right there to help you with something. You can bring your computer in and they'll show you how to do things. They'll show you how to do things on your iPhone and your iPod as well. It's just a great thing to be able to get this level of support directly from the company you bought the computer from.
I think it's a huge plus for anybody buying a Mac and it's one of the reasons I suggest people switch over to Macs; because hey, you got a problem? Just go to your Apple Store and ask and they'll find out for you.
So there are some reasons why I think Macs are better than PCs right now.
Now I'll be posting some new reasons throughout the day as I get some suggestions and think of some new ones. You can follow me at twitter and see some of those ideas. If you've got some of your own, leave them as a comment to this post at MacMost.com. Also remember to subscribe to our email newsletter which I'm going to be sending out tomorrow; which will contain quick tips for Mac users and recommendations for iPhone apps -- all sorts of different things. Of course, also remember to subscribe to this podcast and tell your friends over the holidays to subscribe to this podcast by going to MacMost.com/itunes.html.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 15 Responses to “MacMost Now 176: Why Macs Are Better Than PCs”

    drumthrasher109
    12/24/08 @ 5:05 pm

    Actually, you can install a 100% working copy of Mac OS X on any PC without any virtualization software.

    Just partiion, install a custom bootloader that let’s you boot a retail copy of Leopard, and go from there.

    Although my next computer will probably be a Mac, my ONLY reason for not buying one now is the price. Look at the $2000 Macbook Pro. It doesn’t really have anything (hardware wise) in it that I would want. I bought a $600 a few months ago and it has twice as much RAM and a bigger hard drive. I am one of the few people who actually loves Vista over XP and there was no crapware on it. I installed Leopard on it and everything worked flawlessly.

    By the way, nice podcast! One thing I would do is to try and make the show more entertaining.

    Ian
    12/24/08 @ 6:15 pm

    Ahhh… the age old debate. Obviously Gary, as host of Macmost, you’ll be in favour of Macs and I certainly am too. I think the price is really the biggest barrier for people now, but most people don’t equate price to quality, so they go for the cheapest, and then wonder why they have problems.

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a great time over the holidays!

    Shireen S
    12/25/08 @ 11:19 am

    How about ease of use? We’ve had PC’s for years and 2 Macs in the last 15 years, I still think learning Vista or any Windows OS is much harder to navigate than any Mac OS. To me most of it makes common sense, yes, there are some things which I know nothing about in Mac OS but Windows is way complicated, your average user has quite a long learning curve. I simply don’t have the patience for it. We have 2 PC’s in our house and a MacBook, well our PC’s are always having something up with them, freezing, or spyware, etc causing problems dont seem to have that with the MacBook. I do have some compatibility issues with some programs but I’d rather have the peace of mind.
    Happy holidays to you and your family.

    Gail D
    12/25/08 @ 11:49 am

    You didn’t even mention no crashing, no freezing, no impenetrable error messages. You didn’t mention that because the software and hardware are both from Apple, tech support people usually address the problem instead of automatically tossing you off to the other guy.

    (Dell: You need to go to Microsoft. MS: “That’s a Dell issue”. Dell: “That’s something to take up with your ISP.” Comcast: “Try Linksys support.” Linksys: “Maybe AOL can help you.”)

    The couple of hundred dollars more I MAY have dropped on a MacBook is insignificant next to the agony involved in making Windows work. I don’t know or care about the innerworkings of an OS. I don’t want to build my own computer. I want to get my work done. I want safety and reliability. I want simplicity. (And a little fun.) There is no argument that will get me back to a PC since I have actually used a Mac. Anyone else is free to use whatever they like. I understand gamers and people who like to fool with “the registry,” command lines or whatever…

    They will have to pry my Mac from my cold, dead hands.

    12/25/08 @ 4:53 pm

    1. You forgot XCode and it is free. Where do you think those third part apps come from?

    2: Ditto what Gail D said but in addition I think OS X handles multi tasking much better than Windoze. I have had too many times were the appeared to be plenty of CPU time on Windoze and yet the programs would not respond.

    3. I like the way I am asked to type in my password when installing new software but after that the security doesn’t get in the way of normal operations. Vista’s security is a pain.

    4. Spotlight is miles a head of what Windoze has but they are about the same when just launching applications. I use Launchy on WinXP to give me something that approaches spot light.

    5. People complain about price. At some price levels Mac are over priced. However, a Mac Pro and a equivalent Dell cost about the same. A Mac Pro is very well built and has processing power that is still untapped.

    However, I have said on a previous post that Apple’s raid is a rip off.

    6. Configuration is much easier on a Mac than a PC. I have found only one exception and that is configuring monitors. OS X doesn’t make clear you need to reboot the computer for new monitor configurations ( rotations ) to take affect.

    7: I like having names for drives instead of letters. Whenever I plug a USB stick into a PC I must find a drive letter that isn’t used. The PC doesn’t forget but sometimes I have conflicts.

    8. I am writing this on a 1st gen Mac Mini which is almost 4 years old. It is running leopard. I think I have got my moneys worth out of it. It works much better than PCs that are that old have have been ‘upgraded’ to Vista.

    9. My Mac Mini has been the most trouble free computer I have owned. The fan rarely operates or if it does it is so quiet I can’t hear it. I hear i only on days where the temperature is in the 90s. It uses little power so I leave it on almost all the time. I have had no problems with the disk drive but most of the time it is not running. There is a delay from time to time while the OS X is waiting for the hard disk to wind up.

    10. My Mac Mini started with panther. I bought a Epson printer and installed the driver. The same driver has worked with Tiger and Leopard upgrades. Vista required new drivers for many products.

    At work I use a MacPro but a lot of my work required Windoze. I use Fusion to run both Mac and WIndoze apps at the same time. Windoze actually works well on the virtual machine. I let the WinXP use to of the Xeon CPUs. If Windoze hangs up it doesn’t affect the OS X. It keeps on ticking. Rarely do I push my Mac Pros CPU meter unless I am doing a continuous screen capture to make a screen cast.

    11. Gary mentioned time machine. I have used time machine many times to revert or undo code changes that didn’t work. It let my time machine back up often. I bought a 1 TB hard disk for the time machine. It uses about 500 MB of that. It is so easy.

    I have the only Mac at the office. The IT manager doesn’t support it but he doesn’t need to.

    Richard Fuhr
    12/25/08 @ 8:50 pm

    Another reason why Macs have the edge over PCs is that “under the hood” of Mac OS X is good old Unix!

    If you like to occasionally work at the command line level, you can fire up the Terminal app and issue Unix commands to your heart’s content.

    But even if you never directly use Unix, it is good to know that it’s there.

    Oliver
    12/26/08 @ 3:26 pm

    Your right macs are so much better than pcs

    Clem
    12/29/08 @ 12:50 pm

    There’s a dimension that’s poorly captured in the blogs. To really compare macs to pcs, IMHO, one really needs to run them, side-by-side, for several weeks, doing the same real tasks on both. That means email/RSS clients, browsing, office suite stuff, and whatever creative apps (photo mgmt/editing, etc).

    With that kind of load, on roughly equivalent Intel Dual-Core chips, clock speeds and 2 GBs of DDR2 RAM, Macs versus PC experience can be strikingly different. The Mac maintains it’s ‘snappiness’ with both light and heavy loads. On my corporate domain-based XP system, … not so much.

    I think this perspective is important, and completely lost on those kind souls who experience Mac zealots as just that.

    jj
    5/12/09 @ 11:08 am

    You can also use VirtualBox which is free, as opposed to Parallels and VMware.

    LS
    11/6/09 @ 9:43 pm

    the reason that macs don’t get viruses is that more people have pcs, and there are more viruses for them. there are still viruses designed for macs, but there’s less of them, since for a hacker, you want to hack into as many computers as you can, and the majority of computers in the world are pcs. that still doesn’t mean that someone couldn’t hack into your computer, whether it’s a mac/pc.

      11/6/09 @ 10:50 pm

      Fact check: “there are still viruses designed for macs” — really? Who is designing them? What are they called? Where are these viruses?
      Hacking into your computer and viruses are two different things, although a virus can be used as a tool to hack into a computer. But not on Macs at the present time.

        JonSmith
        4/21/11 @ 8:43 pm

        Ugh. Another smug noob.

        OSX/Leap-A, worm, proof of concept, 2006
        OSX.RSPlug.A, trojan, 2007

        You’d better brush up on Pwn2Own results. Macs fall first ea. year for the last 5 years (since it’s inception in 2007). Techniques illustrated in such a conference can be packaged for payload delivery.

        Try using critical thinking instead of blind zealotry.

          JonSmith
          4/21/11 @ 8:48 pm

          OSX/MusMinim-A, trojan, 2011

            4/21/11 @ 10:15 pm

            You yourself point out that these are trojans, not viruses, and a “proof of concept.” They are not viruses.

    Mike
    12/12/09 @ 7:03 pm

    Just because you don’t know how to take out pre-installed programs doesn’t mean you cant get rid of them. Ever hear of going into the registry? Plus anyone that buys a prebuilt computer most likely doesn’t know a thing about computers anyway . Build your own p.c. do your homework and get the best machine for your buck. With out getting ripped off with Macs outlandish prices. Price a fully loaded Mac pro on there site .. About 10,000$ plus! What r u kidding me ? What is there gold and diamonds inside of it ? Mac users like the laziness factor of not having to do thing .

Comments Closed.