I Beg to Differ – A Response for Apple

 

Alright, that’s all for the disclaimer. Below I have listed the fourteen taglines Mac gives for its computers. Below those are Creston’s responses to those taglines. Below that is my opinion from my experience using both a Mac and a PC. Below that are links to some sites that will provide facts to prove my opinions (if possible). Enjoy!

 

#1—It just works

Hmm … Just about every PC in the world works fine out of the box too. This may have been a point back 26 years ago when PCs were kits, but now, it’s standard. As it turns out, the Windows kernel is very reliable, all Windows crashes are caused by people installing bad software. The same thing will happen to a Mac, for the record.

Opinions

Well, that actually depends on what you plan on doing with your system. Personally, when I used Windows previous, as soon as I ever bought a brand new machine, straight out of the box I always did a fresh format. Especially if you ordered your PC from Dell or some such company. It’s just sick how much extra crap comes loaded on the machine. A few extra programs come with a Mac too, however, unlike a Windows PC, all of the programs that come pre-installed on any Mac OS are made by Apple. On top of that, the software that comes on a Mac is actually the full version of the program, not an annoying 30 day trial. You know that if you don’t do a fresh format of you’re PC as soon as you get it, you probably never will. That 30 day trial will run out and the program will just stay on your PC. Obviously, you can’t use it without pay the $150 to get a license, but taking the 5 minutes out of your day to uninstall it is just too much work! Thanks to Apple’s integrated apps, however, if you don’t want that program on there (GarageBand for instance), all you have to do is drag and drop it into the recycling bin. It’s gone in less than 5 seconds. If you think there’s still fragments of that program left somewhere on your hard drive, you can install AppZapper and confidently uninstall all yours apps… but you really don’t need to.

You’re way out in left field in stating that “all Windows crashes are caused by people installing bad software.” If there was one thing I learned in Economics class, it’s that if event A precedes even B and C, even A may or may not have caused events B and C. Not enough information is provided. You can’t drop a statement like that and blame every single crash on the Windows OS from this point forward on the user. Granted, I think a great deal of crashes and errors and lock-ups on a computer are user related, but I’m not taking all of the blame off of the OS. You have no idea how many times my Windows programs would crash in the middle of my work, for no apparent reason. All I was doing was typing! Or maybe you do have an idea… I’m sure it’s happened to you too! A friend said to me the other day after hearing I had switched to Mac, “Is it true that Safari is really unreliable and crashes all the time? I’ve heard that about Macs.” I said, “Safari has crashed on me once since I got my Mac. It was mostly my fault too. Mac apps crash on occasion, true enough, but I wouldn’t say that they crash ‘all the time,’ or that they crash anymore than Windows programs. How many times do you see ‘The program has closed unexpectedly. Would you like to send Microsoft and error report?’ in a day? Too many for me, that’s why I switched to Mac.” So, to state it properly, you should probably say “most Windows crashes are caused by people installing bad software.” But what would a world be like if that bad software didn’t exist in the first place for us to accidentally (or intentionally) download? Welcome to Mac OS! False advertising is against the law; Apple speaks the truth!

Facts

InfoWorld.com – It Just Works
MacNN.com – Consumer Reports for Mac

 

#2—You can make amazing stuff

This advertises iLife ’06, Apple’s suite of software. Most venders will include similar software, if not more powerful applications. Many new PCs include Nero, Pinnacle, photo editing apps, and various other applications that do much of the same tasks as iLife ’06. Windows Vista has all of the functionality of iLife ’06 included in the Premium versions.

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You can do amazing stuff! iLife ’06 is a beautiful package that comes standard with any current version of Mac OS. Most vendors will include similar software, if not more powerful. Unfortunately, they only include a 30 day trial. It’s also 3rd party software. iLife is made by Apple, so you know it’s good. It’s all a full version for FREE! I can’t speak for Windows Vista, I haven’t seen it yet because… oh, right, it’s not out yet. So it’s really not fair to compare an unreleased OSs features to the features of an OS from last year, is it?

Facts

I don’t need facts on this one. Go onto your Windows machine and open any of the software that came with your OS. It will say “you have 0 out of 30 days remaining on this trial period.” Point and fact.

 

#3—Design that turns heads

Apple computers have interesting designs. However, these designs have major shortcomings. Apple notebooks use soldered processors, preventing upgrades. Socket based CPUs have been the norm since the P4 came out in late 2000. Also, Apple hardware like the iMac have limited space for upgrades and integrated components are more likely to fail compared to independent subsystems. Apple’s design can be compared to some car designs—such as the DeLorean DMC-1 (the famous car from the Back to the Future Trilogy). This car had an amazing exterior design, but the car was an ultimate failure due to it’s lackluster performance and high performance to price ratio. Anyone without unlimited funds would chose something more utilitarian than a Mac.

Opinions

Are we even talking about the internals right now? I was aware this statement was talking about the beauty of the externals on the machines. Even someone who hates the Mac OS and hardware that comes inside the machine will admit that they look beautiful. Anyone who appreciates computers can appreciate the beauty of the sleek, rounded design of the apple laptops and desktops. The perfect white, black, or even silver now.

If you wish to talk about internals, OK, I can do that too. It’s true, Mac’s aren’t as customizable as PCs. Choose your arguments though. Some people claim they just want a computer that will do simple school-related tasks for them and get on the internet. Then they say they don’t want a Mac because it’s not possible to upgrade the hardware. Well, that’s simply not true in the first place. It is more difficult to upgrade a Mac, but it is hardly impossible–especially on the Mac Pro’s. I like to put it this way: “A PC is like a Yugo you can soup-up with lots of extra add-on parts. A Mac is like a Porsche that comes loaded from the factory.” Who doesn’t want a Porsche? If you want to know more about the design of any Apple machine, the bullet proof material they’re made of, the genius thought put into the exterior and interior design of them, click on the link to the Apple site below. I would like to point out that a downfall to all laptops, Apple or not, is that they are highly integrated. The Mac Pro is quite a different story. As luck would have it, PCs have limited space as well–5 PCI slots…

Integrated components aren’t actually more likely to fail, they’re just harder to replace if they do fail. So I guess that’s where Murphy’s Law’s could come in, right? “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” I haven’t had anything go wrong with my Mac yet though…

Facts

MacOSXHints.com – Quote
Apple.com – Design that Turns Heads
Murphys-Laws.com

 

#4—114,000 viruses? Not on a Mac

This argument is flawed. The reason there are few viruses on Macs has to do with issues of user share. Less than 2% of people use mac compared to over 90% for Windows. This is a matter of logistics rather than security. Systematic, a leading computer security provider, states that OS X is less secure than Windows XP. Apple gives its users a false sense of security. Apple users often neglect basic security practices, such as running a firewall, using caution when opening emails, and running antivirus software. Apple computers ship with the built-in firewall disabled, while Windows XP ships with it on by default. Windows also advises users to run security software. As the Apple user share grows, there will be more and more threats and Mac users will not be prepared.

Opinions

The statistic has actually risen to 5% of the world using the Mac OS, and predicted to rise more in the near future due to the release of the Mac Pro. In fact, according to Steve Jobs in his Keynote Address at WWDC in 2006, Apple laptop sales have had a 50% increase this year! I did a search but couldn’t find that statement by Systematic anywhere. To be perfectly honest, there are viruses for Mac just as there are for PC. They’re different viruses, but they still exist. I’ve never actually run into any, and most people using a Mac probably never will, but they’re out there! So to say “there aren’t viruses for a Mac” would be a lie. But the ad clearly states “Mac’s don’t get viruses.” So, obviously, while they are there, you just don’t get them unless you do something completely ridiculous… which I can’t think of anything right now. As the Apple user share grows, there will be more and more threats to Mac users. Thank goodness they do make Norton for Mac. I don’t use it, but maybe someday I’ll actually need to! Right now I’m free to run my OS without an antivirus programming hogging all my memory running in the background!

Facts

TheRegister.co.uk – 90% Windows, 5% Mac, 5% Other
MacNewsWorld.com – Allure of Mac Pro May Move Windows Fans to Convert
Apple.com – Apple WWDC 2006
TheAppleBlog.com – Hardly Any Viruses on a Mac

 

#5—Next year’s OS today

I cannot help but laugh at Apple’s argument here. First off, their widgets are stolen from an application known as Konfabulator, which is available for both Windows and Mac. An RSS reader? IE7 has this as does Mozilla Firefox. Apple did not invent RSS either. Tabbed browsing? IE7. Video conferencing? AIM or Windows Messenger. Parental Controls? I don’t support that kind of software but there are plenty of applications around and Windows Vista will have it included. Easy DIY scripting with Automator? Windows Scripting Host is much more powerful and has been included since Windows ’98. Mail with built-in spam blocking? Outlook Express has this as well. So all of Apple’s “innovations” are just rip-offs of other applications.

Opinions

Konfabulator (now called Yahoo! Widgets) was a program invented in 2000 by Arlo Rose. Ironically, it was originally invented for Macintosh (hmm… ). Later, a Windows version was created. First off, I don’t even know why you brought this up. Mac did not claim to be the original creator of this idea. As a fact, Mac simply popularized it. More importantly, Mac actually integrated it into the OS, that way it wouldn’t be a memory hog running in the background constantly. (It does run in the background constantly, but it’s not a memory hog. So I guess that’s a contradiction… ) If you want to play that game though, what are these Gadgets I hear about that are apparently coming with Windows Vista?

You’re correct in stating IE7 supports RSS, just like Apple’s Safari. But let’s go back to the original statement. “Next year’s OS today.” Right. Well, IE7 was released on… oh wait, it actually hasn’t been released yet. Just a Release Candidate. That was released on January 31st, 2006. Safari 2.0, the first version to include the RSS feature, was released on April 29th, 2005. Well, not quite a year, but close. The final release of IE7 is expected by the end of 2007. Mozilla Firefox? Well, Mozilla isn’t owned by Windows or Apple, so it’s really not fair to compare 3rd party software when we’re talking about the OS right now. Firefox is made for both Apple and Windows. Nice try though. So if Apple had it first… who’s ripping who off?

(Fun fact: People can argue about whether it was Mozilla or Opera who had the first tabbed browsing system, but it was neither. It was a no-name browser (Netscaptor) who first put the idea onto the web in 1997. Mozilla supported the capabilities in 2000, I believe, and Opera didn’t get around to it until 2001. Safari released their tabbed browser in early 2003, and IE7, finally released in late 2006, has tabbing capabilities. Interesting that, once again, Apple released theirs 3 years prior to Microsoft. So, yes, even though Apple and Microsoft have the same features NOW, Apple released it first (but they in no way claim to be the original creators). That’s another reason Reason #5 makes sense.)

Funny that you should bring up NetMeeting. That program is so frustrating! It’s hideous and lacking in features. Not only that, it’s a video client… that’s all! It isn’t meant to be a chat client, so don’t compare it to one. iChat includes the features of an audio/video/chat client. It’s very reliable and user friendly. You’re right, Windows Messenger also includes these features. I can run both Windows Messenger and Microsoft Messenger on my Mac though, so I’m at no disadvantage there. AIM is made for Mac too, but I despise AIM, and it’s even crappier on Mac than it is on PC.

If you do a little bit of research you’ll learn that Apple Mail evolved from a program called NeXTMail. This program ran on the NEXTSTEP OS. NeXT Computers, Inc. was owned by Steve Jobs at the time. Sound familiar? In 1992, Steve Jobs announced the release of NeXTMail. Microsoft release Outlook Express with the release of Windows 95. You do the math, that’s 3 years after NeXTMail. NeXTMail became Apple Mail in 1997 when Apple purchased NeXT Computers, Inc. and also won Steve Jobs as their CEO in the deal.

As you may have noticed, Windows is trying to imitate Apple’s slick design of Tiger OS with Windows Vista. They’re doing a pretty decent job too. It only took them 5 years to release it.

Facts

Yahoo.com – Yahoo! Widgets
Apple.com – Dashboard (Widgets)
Wikipedia.org – IE7
Wikipedia.org – Safari
WordPress.com – Steve Jobs Shows off NeXTMail
Wikipedia.org – NEXTSTEP
Wikipedia.org – Outlook Express

 

#6—The latest Intel chips

WHAT? Core Duo is hardly Apple only. Every major vender carries it. Nice try, Apple.

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True, but Apple didn’t claim to be the only company with Intel chips, did it? No, it claimed to be the company with the latest Intel chips. You must recall back to 2005 when Apple was the first company in history to release a Intel Core Duo processor. Apple had a deal with Intel. Windows machines didn’t come out with the Intel Core Duo chipset until after Apple had released theirs. Of course, now Core Duo’s come standard with almost any machine. The point is, Apple started the trend. That’s where that little word latest comes in. But I see where you were coming from.

Facts

Wikipedia.org – Intel Core
Wikipedia.org – Processor Architecture
Wikipedia.org – Apple Intel Transition
Intel.com – Intel Duo Core Processors

 

#7—Instant Video Chats

iChat AV isn’t the only application that allows video conferencing. It’s not the first either. Windows has had NetMeeting, a
video conferencing app since Windows 98SE (1999) and Windows Messenger has this functionality as well. Many notebooks have built in webcams. Apple forces people to buy a webcam though, even if one is not desired. Users should have the choice if they would like to have one.

Opinions

I already said this, but I’ll just say it again.

Funny that you should bring up NetMeeting. That program is so frustrating! It’s hideous and lacking in features. Not only that, it’s a video client… that’s all! It isn’t meant to be a chat client, so don’t compare it to one. iChat includes the features of an audio/video/chat client. It’s very reliable and user friendly. You’re right, Windows Messenger also includes these features. I can run both Windows Messenger and Microsoft Messenger on my Mac though, so I’m at no disadvantage there. AIM is made for Mac too, but I despise AIM, and it’s even crappier on Mac than it is on PC.

Many notebooks do have webcams… ALL Mac laptops have webcams built it! I do agree about the choice, however. It’d be nice to have that customizable. You might save $50 or something. But I wanted one, so I don’t mind.

Facts

None needed for this one.

 

#8—More fun with Photos

iPhoto is the application being advertised in this point. Again, many venders chose to include this type of software, so Apple is hardly alone in this. One can also download Adobe Photoshop Album for free. Also, a cross platform program is available called the GIMP, which is many times more powerful than iPhoto or Adobe Photoshop. Again, much of the functionality of iPhoto is included in Windows Vista.

Opinions

iPhoto is far superior to Adobe Photoshop Album, but it is far inferior to Picasa (unfortunately only made for Windows currently). I don’t use iPhoto, I just open up my Pictures folder when I want to browse my pictures, but it is a decent program. Considering it’s free and if you don’t want it you just drag it to the recycling bin, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s worth nothing that Adobe Photoshop Album retails at $89.99.

Again, many vendors include this type of free software as a 30 day trial version. After those 30 days all the software does is hog your disk space–not that big of a deal with today’s hard drives, but it clutters the start menu.

Facts

Adobe.com – Adobe Photoshop Album
Apple.com – iPhoto
Google.com – Picasa

 

#9—One Click Websites

Computers running Microsoft Office, which nearly every Windows user owns a copy of, include both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Frontpage. These powerful WYSIWYG applications are vastly superior to the included Apple apps. Popular blogging sites such as blog.com and livejournal.com have web-based tools to accomplish the same tasks. All webcams come with easy to use software that records the video to a standard file which can be uploaded. Sorry, Apple. If you need additional functionality over the online blogging tools, then you are an advanced user and likely do your own coding and wouldn’t desire an HTML generator.

Opinions

Actually, this is talking about iWeb, but you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t use a Mac, and I presume you don’t and haven’t. Microsoft Frontpage is evil and hardly powerful. Go with Macromedia Dreamweaver, a cross-platform WYSIWYG editor. iWeb is alright, but you have to have a .Mac account to use it and I didn’t want to pay for that. I did a drag and drop and uninstalled it from my machine… that was easy! iWeb’s source code is rather hideous, much like Microsoft Frontpage, so I don’t recommend it.

I’m not sure why you decided to compare a blog to a website, but there is a difference. This is a blog. A website is like Microsoft.com… content, not opinions and journals. If you’re using Microsoft Frontpage to create a blog you might want to ask for you money back :). It was also a bad choice to compare iWeb to Microsoft Frontpage, but that’s ok, you didn’t know. Check your facts before you report :).

Facts

Apple.com – iWeb
Microsoft.com – Microsoft Frontpage
BusinessLogs.com – iWeb Generated Source Code is Awful

 

#10—Amazing Podcasts

Apple is flaunting their GarageBand program, which is cool, but utterly pointless to the average user. This is a classic case of “Bloatware”—pre-installed software which only slows down your computer. Windows comes with a much smaller application, Sound Recorder, which allows for simple recording. A free alternative is Audacity, again available to many platforms.

Opinions

I don’t use GarageBand … I went into my apps and moved it to the Trash. It took me a grand total of 5 seconds to erase it from my hard drive. If you forget to erase it, it’s only 100mb, it’s not that big of a deal with today’s hard drives. All that crappy trial software that comes with Windows should be something to worry you if you’re worried about GarageBand. At least GarageBand is a full version of the software that comes with the OS. You want to talk about “bloatware”? Go turn on an eMachine or a Dell and open up the start menu. There’s your bloatware. How much of that pre-installed software are you actually going to use? How much of it do you uninstall as soon as you get the PC in the mail? Most of it.

Audacity is a beautiful program. It’s open source and cross-platform. I use it on my Mac. Sound Recorder is one of the crappiest programs of all time. It has no functionality what-so-ever! You should get on that, Microsoft. If we’re categorizing, GarageBand and Sound Recorder are not even close to being in the same category … No comparison, buddy. But here’s something Windows has one-upped Mac on: Mac doesn’t even come with a sound editor built in to the OS! As terrible as Sound Recorder is, Microsoft would have saved a little face if they didn’t include it at all.

Facts

Apple.com – GarageBand
SourceForget.net – Audacity

 

#11—Rock star tunemaking

Is tunemaking a word? Again, this is about the GarageBand program, which also allows mixing of various loops. A much more powerful (and easier) application is Cakewalk Kinetic, which retails for approx $20. Again, this application would not be used by most people, so including it serves very few.

Opinions

Apparently you couldn’t find much wrong with this one since you had to go after the grammatical aspect. Sometimes we as Americans do that. As you may have noticed, Toys R Us does not use the word “are,” but instead puts the letter R on the sign, backwards! It makes things a little bit more fun :).

Again, I don’t really use GarageBand too often, so I don’t relate to this reason for wanting a Mac. Once again though, GarageBand comes with the OS and is a full functional version. Cakewalk’s Kinetic 2 retails at $79.00. I can tell you which one I’d rather have.

Facts

Cakewalk.com – Cakewalk Kinetic

 

#12—Hollywood style movies

iMovie is the application being discussed in this area. A very similar application, Windows Movie Maker, has been included in Windows XP since 2001. Free upgrades have been released over the years, making WMM into a very useful application for the novice. With the Apple solution, as one moves up in skill and desires more features, they are forced to buy Final Cut Express, a powerful, but difficult to use application for the hefty sum of $299. Software venders developed many video editing applications for Windows ranging in price from $20 to upwards of $10^5! Many applications in the $50-$100 range are very powerful and much more intuitive than FCE.

Opinions

Actually, they’re probably referring to Final Cut Studio, which costs $1,299 for the fully functional, fully licensed version. iMovie is great for home movies, but it doesn’t even start to compare to Final Cut Studio. iMovie is far superior to Windows MovieMaker! As one moves in skill and desires more features, I promise you, Windows MovieMaker won’t provide! There are no programs that compare to Final Cut Studio for Windows. It is the supreme software for video editing. There are several programs for Windows that compare to iMovie, and they range from $30-$150. (Final Cut Express HD can be purchased for $299.)

Facts

Apple.com – Final Cut Studio
Apple.com – Final Cut Express

 

#13—No hunting for drivers

Both Windows and Mac come with a large driver database, but there are far more drivers available for Windows. Both platforms use PnP technology, allowing for automatic installation and configuration of the drivers. What Apple fails to state is that many devices simply do not work with Mac. A large number of printers, scanners, and modems will not be recognized by Mac, and Mac needs to have Apple firmware on a disc burner in order for it to function. Only the Airport Extreme card works with Macs, other PCI cards will not, so if one needs 802.11a, they would need to buy a (very) costly Ethernet adapter. The process of manually installing drivers can be rather tedious for the average user, but most manufactures will include an installer program to simplify the process. Yes, there is no hunting for drivers on a Mac, simply because there are no drivers for a Mac! Which is the bigger trade off?

Opinions

What you fail to state is that most devices do work with a Mac. What devices don’t? Most things these days are Plug ‘N’ Play! Most things that you plug into a Mac will be recognized, just as they are on a PC. The “No hunting for drivers” comes in as soon as you plug it in! When you plug anything into a PC, a little dialogue pops up and tells you a new device has been found, it tells you it’s looking for the device, looking for a driver, installing the driver, then finally the device is ready for use. This usually takes 30 to 60 seconds. When you plug anything into a Mac, you never even realize it searches. A new device appears on your desktop and is all ready for use! The process of manually installing drivers is rarely tedious because I have yet to confront it. I’ve never had to install a driver on my Mac. If a driver somehow cannot be found it will use a generic drive for the device so the device is still at least functional. These are the facts of life. It’s no more difficult on a Mac than on a PC. In fact, it’s easier.

Sadly, you are correct about the Airport Extreme card. However, 802.11a, b, and g cards are expensive for Windows AND Mac–they just come with (most) Windows machines. Furthermore, I’ve never needed an 802.11 card… I’m happy with my Airport Extreme.

Facts

None needed for this one.

 

#14—Awesome out of the box

Read the previous 13 points. Any newly purchased system works perfectly out of the box.

Opinions

I agree. Check out my previous 13 rebuttals and I’m pretty sure you’ll be sold on Mac! I am!! After using a PC for 17 years of my life, I haven’t regretted adding Mac to the OS list one bit!

Facts

None needed for this one.

 

In closing, I hope there are no hard feelings. This was all just fun and games anyways, right? I had a lot of fun compiling this list.

I did find it interesting to note that even Microsoft uses a few Mac’s. Check it out!

I’ll leave you with a few more sources of interesting information about Mac vs PC, or just general information on Apple.

An article from back in 2000 by Eric DeStefano comparing Mac machines to Windows based PCs. Written with a bias towards Mac, but from the viewpoint of a previous PC user, much like myself. (LowEndMac.com)
A very interesting site chuck-full of comparison charts and tables. No bias, just raw facts. (SystemShoutOuts.org)
An interview-type article that takes several key areas of computer use and compares Windows efficiency with Mac efficiency. The interview seems to switch back and forth between favoring Mac or PC. (TechBuilder.org)
A very useful article that disproves the myth that Macs are more expensive. Overall, yes, they are. But when you consider the efficiency of software and hardware products you’re getting with your money, you’ll very easily realize you’re getting a better deal. (TechNewsWorld.com)
An article written in 2006 to persuade that everyone should use a Mac. (KenRockwell.com)
A site filled with information on the Intel chipset in all Mac computers now. (MacOnIntel.com)

Finally, a quote I liked a lot from a forum on MacOSXHints.com.

“People usually work on PCs because they have to. People work on Macs because they want to.”

I’d tend to agree with that. In all honesty, anyone willing to limit themselves to one operating system is clearly just a fanboy and guilty of the same arrogant fanaticism they berate Mac users for. Prefer what you will, but be versatile and don’t be ignorant.