Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mac vs. PC: Myth-busting Guide for Consumers

It’s no surprise that the war between Mac and PC users has been going on for ages. Some Mac users can’t stand PC users and vice-versa. Windows users claim that Macs aren’t suitable computers because they’re not practical and Mac users claim that PCs are insufficient and slow. So can we credit these myths? Are Macs not worth their price? Are Windows PCs really that awful?

In this article, we will compare both companies in a very neutral manner! We will first understand which company started first, then the reason of the more successful entity. We also discuss which company is more relevant today and who are the majority users of both PC and Mac. We will also take a closer look to evaluate the important features and technical specifications in both; Macs and PCs.


After you’ve finished reading this article you should be able to determine which company suits you best. Because after all, we are not trying to convince you to change what you find suitable for you. All we want to do in this post is lay out all the facts for you, the consumer, so that you can decide all on your own!



GUI Computers, Who started it?
According to Wikipedia, the first successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface (GUI) was the Apple Macintosh, and it was introduced on the 24th of January 1984. About a year later, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Windows in November 1985 in response to the growing interest in the GUIs.

The Apple Macintosh continued to sell successfully through the second half of the 1980s until its sales began to decline in the 1990s when the market shifted towards the IBM PC that was running a Microsoft Windows operating system.

Microsoft quickly took over the world’s PC market leaving the Mac OS behind it. In 2009, Microsoft was reported to have approximately 91% of the operating systems market share.

The first Mac.
The first Windows.

Who was more Successful & Why?
It’s no secret; Microsoft dominates the world’s operating systems market. The reason for this domination is simply because; Microsoft designed its operating systems to be compatible with various hardware created by a wide range of computer companies such as Dell, IBM, hp, and Sony, etc.

In the other hand, Apple designed its software for close integration of computer hardware and software, which means it’s not compatible with other computer hardware.

To put it in easier terms; Microsoft sold it’s operating systems to various computer companies, allowing a broad distribution for its operating systems. As a result, Microsoft is more popular than other operating systems in the market. In the mean while, Apple has strictly designed their operating system to fit perfectly in their own hardware.

Which is more popular, Statistically.
Statistics show that Microsoft Windows has approximately 91% of the market share, while the Apple Mac OS has around 5% of the market share. The other 4% is owned by other operating systems such as Linux.






 
To be a little more specific, here’s a graph that illustrates which operating system versions are most popular in the market share.


The graph below gives you an idea about how the market was moving between the different operating systems, starting from September 2009 to July 2010.


Who Uses What?
For this post, I tried to search Google for Mac and PC users, when I searched for Mac users, I found a very detailed page on Apple.com showing all the different Mac users and their profiles.

Mac users consist of:

  •     Home Office users such as authors & lawyers
  •     Start ups such as Twitter & Monster Designs
  •     Accountants such as Nelson Accounting Professionals
  •     Architects such as KAA Design Group
  •     Creatives such as LinkedIn, T-Pain, Hallmark, and Francis Ford Coppola
  •     Health industries such as hospitals
  •     IT professionals such as MailWise
  •     Law firms
  •     Real Estate agents
  •     Retail stores such as Paul Frank
  •    Scientists such as The University of Manchester and The American Museum of Natural History

When I tried to do the same search for Windows users, my efforts were to no avail. So I went to the Microsoft website, hoping to find something about their users and where they work, but I couldn’t find that much either.


From the various articles I’ve read online, Windows users basically consist of the following:

  •     Home office users
  •     IT Professionals
  •     Developers
  •     Business owners
  •     Schools
  •     Hospitals
  •     Banks

Kelly Ford, the marketing and content head for Hunch, conducted an extremely helpful report that talks about “Mac people & PC people”. The report focused on their personalities from 3 perspectives: aesthetic preferences, media choices, and personality traits.

The key findings in the report were as follows:

  •     Mac People are more likely to see the existing world in a light of “sameness” and thus express a desire to be perceived as different and unique. This is consistently reflected in their aesthetic choices such as bold colors, “retro” designs, one-of-a-kind clothing and highly stylized art.
  •     PC People are more likely to see the world as “different enough already” and appreciate “being in tune with those around them.” This is reflected in their subtler, “mainstream modern” (neither retro nor extremely contemporary) design choices and their practical choices in clothing, footwear, and cars that favor getting the job done rather than making an overt design statement.
  •     Media choices and preferences vary greatly between the two groups, with Mac People trending toward more independent films, specialized comedians and design-centric magazines, and PC People trending toward more mainstream alternatives as well as sports.
  •     From a personality perspective, Mac People are more likely to describe themselves as “verbal”, “conceptual”, and “risk takers”, with PC People countering that they are “numbers oriented”, “factual” and “steady, hard workers”.
So which is Best for You?
Well, the sole purpose of this post is to show you all the facts about both companies, and let you decide. After all, the only person who knows you best is YOU!

I have given you a little overview on Apple and Microsoft’s histories, a glimpse on who was more successful and why, statistics on which is more popular and who is using what, and a detailed comparison on the features of similar products. Now, it is up to you to determine which company can cope with your needs and style.


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