The world is no longer possible without computers and the Internet. Actually, it is computer skills and access to computer use and the Internet that predetermine everyone’s personal and professional success. The world of computer technologies is divided into two major camps – those, who use Apple Macintosh and those, who strongly believe in the power of a Windows PC.
This Macintosh-Windows fight resembles the eternal conflict between two different religions. It is difficult to imagine that this fight between the two companies, two systems, and two philosophies will cease anytime soon. However, it is clear that Apple Macintosh has a strong advantage over a Windows PC. The value, which Apple brings into the lives of its users, is difficult to underestimate.
Unlike a Windows PC, any Apple computer is an excellent, almost ideal product, which exemplifies a deep connection to design, consistency and absolute security against all possible software threats, and an object of a perfect marketing strategy, which makes it positively distinct from its major competitor.
The history of computer science can be traced back to the middle of the 1940s. That was the time when the first electronic computers were created (Denning 15). 60 years later, at the beginning of the new millennium, computers would have come to become a centerpiece of the scientific, social, cultural, economic, and human development.
Today, computation structure and computation design have become the major principles of successful computing (Denning 15). In other words, only those, who can successfully align the principles of design with the principles of structure, have a good chance to conquer the hearts and minds of their users.
Modern computer geniuses pursue the principles of design to ensure that their technologies are based on functional structures and serve the needs of users. These design principles are used to achieve the following computing objectives. First, it is simplicity that makes computer applications and software technologies popular and profitable (Denning 17).
Second, quality design is impossible without advanced performance, which also includes output prediction and capacity planning (Denning 17). Third, reliability and integrity are fundamental to the success of any computing technology (Denning 17). Fourth, the best computer technologies should be evolvable and adaptable to the changes in the technological environment (Denning 17).
In other words, computer users should not be worried about the future scalability and upgrade problems in their applications. Fifth, computer technologies must be secure (Denning 17). Today, when the diversity of computer technologies continues to increase, the importance of design becomes even more crucial.
Denning is right in that, in the field of computer technologies, design sits above mechanics (18). All these principles have found their reflection in Apple technologies. Apple Macintosh overplays Windows in all possible aspects, including technological features, interface and design, and marketing priorities.
The Ode to Mac: Why Macintosh is Better than Windows
Marketing Apple. The fact that Apple Macintosh exceeds the effectiveness and user benefits of a Windows PC cannot be denied. Apple excels in its marketing strategies. The ubiquity of Apple computers, especially Macintosh products, best proves this point. Since the beginning of its history, Apple has exercised unusual and outstanding approaches to Macintosh advertising.
In 1984, one of the first Macintosh ads was developed to popularize a new computer, which could be used by non-experts (Stein 169). The advertisement was designed in futuristic terms to mark the beginning of a new computer era (Stein 172). Apple wanted to turn its Macintosh computer into a revolution in the field of computing, and the company successfully coped with that mission.
The advertisement was designed to reflect the spirit of freedom, development, and growth in 1984 America. That was the beginning of Apple’s lifelong marketing success.
Today, Apple Macintosh enjoys a stronger market position over that of a any Windows PC. At the heart of Mac’s market success is a store-centered model that spreads the message of Mac’s advantages over Windows PCs. In other words, Apple opens specialized stores, which create an atmosphere of creativity and interactivity.
In these stores, every potential customer can taste the benefits of being a Mac user. One-seventh of Apple’s revenues for Macintosh come from its stores (Snell 9). “Apple’s stores are a great long-term strategy for attracting users” (Snell 9). Customers are looking for a “personal touch”, when they are choosing new technologies, and Apple provides them with such an opportunity.
The small and large Apple stores throughout the American and international malls persuade the potential customer that Apple Macintosh is the best operating system. Once inside the Apple store, the customer is exposed to a diversity of Mac products (Snell 9).
Those, who come to see Apple Macintosh products for the first time, suddenly realize that being a Mac user is not that scary, even in a Windows-centric world (Snell 9). Apple store employee will be happy to configure the newly bought computer and its peripherals for free (Snell 9).
Even if Mac products bear certain similarities with Windows PCs, Apple stores are different from Microsoft in the unparalleled quality and continuity of its service. Apple stores are always crowded (Snell 9). As a result, anyone going inside the store immediately feels a member of the growing Macintosh community.
Getting a Mac computer becomes an essential prerequisite for being a member of the Macintosh community in the long run (Snell 9). All these marketing models justify and reinforce the technical and design benefits offered by Apple MAC.
Hardware and design. From a technical standpoint, Apple computers have a deep connection to design. As mentioned earlier, in the modern world of computing, design sits above mechanics (Denning 17). Macintosh designers have been extremely thorough in their industrial and aesthetic design decisions.
Everything in Apple Macintosh has been thoroughly considered, from button placement to connections and peripherals. This is why Apple Macintosh is always one step ahead of a Windows PC. Gartenberg writes that Mac is an amazing machine, with remarkable attention paid to detail (24).
Taking the MacBook as an example, it is almost perfect in everything, “from the MagSafe connector, which makes it virtually impossible for anyone to trip over your power cord, to the integrated iSight camera, which makes videoconferencing simple” (Gartenberg 24). Apple Macintosh is well-known for its universal design, which is equally useful in business and personal affairs.
It is interesting and stylish (Allen 46). Certainly, customers are not looking for style; they want quality and reliability. However, it is in Apple Macintosh that quality, reliability, and stylish design come together to shape a new computing reality.
Unlike a Windows PC, Apple’s Mac is a unique example of the unity of design and structure. This unity comes mainly through Apple’s decision to build its own hardware (Allen 46). Apple does not work with third parties and does not license its OS to other manufacturers (Allen 46).
This is also what makes Apple positively different from Microsoft. Because Apple develops and builds its MAC devices on its own, these devices function in essentially the same way (Allen 47). Customers look for simplicity, and they do not want to face any difficulties, when the system is upgraded.
Apple helps its users avoid these problems, which works greatly in its favor. In addition, Apple’s hardware is well-known for its lower rates of failure and higher resale value than that of a Windows PC (Allen 46). As a result, even if customers must pay more for Apple hardware at the beginning, the overall operating costs will be much lower than with a Windows PC (Allen 46).
Software considerations. In terms of software, Mac really excels in its desktop environment. The interface is easy in use. Cost considerations justify the choice of Apple Macintosh over a Windows PC. All Apple Macs come with its own operating system, which is installed on all computer devices.
Those, who have experience working with Apple OS X, confirm that it is less likely than Windows to fail and much easier to reset and have it back running, even if it fails (Allen 46). Moreover, Apple presents its software only in one version at a time, which also makes it easier for customers to avoid inconsistency and misunderstanding.
The latest OS X version costs $19.99 against $119.99-219.99 for Windows 7 (Allen 47). Moreover, the operating system can be successfully installed and used on all computers and laptops that are tied to one account, unlike Microsoft that requires buying one software package for each computer unit.
OS X displays a number of strong points, which make it a preferable option over Windows. It is much easier to install and run (Allen 47). The number of built-in applications coming with OS X is truly amazing. All OS X systems have a wonderful backup structure, the so-called “Time Machine”, which enables users to retrieve information and restore computers after major failures (Allen 47).
This system is the simplest and most comprehensive of all currently existing backup structures, and Apple does not charge anything for having it built into OS X. Moreover, OS X makes Apple Macs extremely network-friendly, due to the network functionality elements that are included in all systems (Allen 48).
Apple Macintosh software displays a better level of security compared with a Windows PC. These security differences between Macintosh and Windows have been widely documented. Alcohido and Swartz calculated that Apple Macs connected to the Internet were hijacked more than Windows PCs but, unlike Windows, Macintosh’s security barriers were never compromised.
Lloyd et al. also write that, historically, Apple Macintosh users have had fewer problems with viruses and security breaches, unlike Windows PC users, who are extremely vulnerable to various types of attacks (75). While Windows users are bound to install new patches to close the existing security holes, Macintosh users spend their time enjoying the benefits of their system (Mossberg).
No one says that Macintosh is impenetrable to viruses but, since the creation of OS X, it has not met a single virus, and this fact speaks for itself (Mossberg).
Windows: Still Better, Still Worse?
Apple Macintosh is not perfect, and the supporters of Windows PCs devise numerous arguments to prove that Windows is still better than Macintosh. The first argument is convenience: in a Windows-centric world, thousands of people have got used to work with Windows and do not want to switch to a different operating system (Allen 50).
The second argument is that Windows, especially its 8th version, is much more comprehensible, functional, and versatile than its Macintosh rival, especially in terms of the snap screen, file system semblance, and application’s unique settings (Phillips 9).
Third, proponents of the Windows philosophy argue that the best Apple Macintosh has is a cult, which has nothing to do with its operational benefits and features (Belk & Tumbat 205). Simply stated, Macintosh has turned its users into addicts, and its philosophy is very close to quasi-religious beliefs (Belk & Tumbat 205).
These arguments are too weak to beat the advantageous position of Apple Macintosh. Apart from the fact that Apple Macintosh is much more convenient than Windows, it does not cause any problems to users. Users can easily switch from Windows to Macintosh, and they will finally realize the benefits of being a computer user.
The second argument in favor of Windows 8 and its versatility raises many questions, both in terms of its actual usability and its future. Phillips confesses that “navigating Windows 8 touch interface involves a steep learning curve. The new touch gestures are not intuitive.” (9)
These problems readily offset all potential and real benefits of Windows 8 against the latest version of Apple Macintosh. Coupled with the high cost of Windows software and its numerous security problems, it is difficult to imagine that users would want to spend their precious time learning how to work with it.
In light of the crucial security, design, and cost benefits of Apple Macintosh, the argument that its popularity is no more than a well-promoted religious cult sounds very weak. The religious adherence to Apple MACs grows from its outstanding ability to withstand viruses, its excellent usability, lower rates of failure compared to Windows, and a responsive customer service (Allen 50).
Eventually, those who choose Windows over Mac will end up sitting tight, using all possible patches, and hoping that the new virus will not interfere with the system (Mossberg). The life of a Windows user is full of fears and anxieties, but it can become much easier and fulfilling with Apple Macintosh.
The Ode to Apple Macintosh is based on facts. Unlike Windows, Apple Macintosh is an almost ideal product, which is known for its deep connection to design, consistency and absolute security against all possible software threats. Besides, Apple’s marketing strategy is much more effective than that of Microsoft, at least because it brings the existing and potential customers closer to its products.
Apple Macs are well-known as products that bring together unprecedented security, smooth operation, and reasonable cost. Apple’s products represent a remarkable unity of structure and design, which make users’ experiences much more pleasant. Unlike Windows users, owners of Apple Macs do not have to waste their time looking for new patches and closing Windows’ security gaps. Those, who choose Apple Macs, will never know the fear of security and hardware failures, which is facing Windows PC users.
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Allen, Jeffrey. “To Switch or Not to Switch? That Is the Question!” American Journal of Family Law, in press (2013): 45-51. Academic Source Premier. Web. 15 April 2013.
Belk, Russell W. & Gulnur Tumbat. “The Cult of Macintosh.” Consumption, Markets and Culture, 8.3 (2005): 205-17. Academic Source Premier. Web. 15 April 2013.
Denning, Peter J. “Great Principles of Computing.” Communications of the ACM, 46.11 (2003): 15-20. Academic Source Premier. Web. 15 April 2013.
Gartenberg, Michael. “Lessons from a Mac OS Switcher.” Computerworld, July (2007): 24. Academic Source Premier. Web. 15 April 2013.
Lloyd, Mark, Jon Simmons, Helen McEvoy, Peter Butler & Simon Whitney. “How to Vaccinate Your PC against Cyber Bugs.” BMJ Careers, August (2004): 73-75. Academic Source Premier. Web. 15 April 2013.
Mossberg, Walter S. “If You’re Getting Tired of Fighting Viruses, Consider a New Mac.” The Wall Street Journal, 23 Oct 2003. Web. 15 April 2013.
Phillips, Jon. “5 Ways Windows 8 Beats iOS.” PC World, December (2012): 9. Print.
Snell, Jason. “Geniuses behind Bars.” Macworld, 21.5 (2004): 9. Academic Source Premier. Web. 15 April 2013.
Stein, Sara H. “The ‘1984’ Macintosh Ad: Cinematic Icons and Constitutive Rhetoric in the Launch of a New Machine.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88.2 (2002): 169-192. Academic Source Premier. Web. 15 April 2013.