Mac vs. PC: Does It Really Even Matter Anymore?

The personal computer revolution of the 70s and 80s, noted distinctly by the rise of now tech giants Apple and Microsoft, fueled an era of Mac vs. PC arguments. Macs are better! PCs are customizable! Macs were cool but expensive, while PCs were clunky but cheap. Back then, all these arguments were persuasive because there were very real differences between the two platforms, and they each had their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

However, in today’s world where all computers are so powerful, and the software that runs them is so good, does the Mac vs. PC argument matter anymore?

Macs are not as expensive as they used to be. I know this because I was able to enter the world of Mac hardware in 2008 when the iMacs dropped to a price point that was within the boundaries of what I could afford. They were still more expensive than PCs, but then there was more functionality, particularly in terms of creative software applications. It was also possible to run Windows on it so in effect, I could run two computers on it. With today’s Macs, you can very easily run Windows side by side with OS X via virtualization, and it’s seamless and quick, without any lag time. You can have the best of both worlds at the same time.

PCs have also improved. Manufacturers still put “crapware” on their machines to offset costs, but it is possible to wipe all that out and have a pure Windows experience that is vastly superior to the “blue screen of death” days we all loved from the 90s to the mid-2000s. With the arrival of Windows 7, the operating system war and the whole Mac vs. PC debate didn’t seem relevant anymore because that OS was very good all round.

Using Windows these days doesn’t seem like a chore. I used to remember having to fiddle with drivers and settings on a constant basis back in the Windows 98 and XP days. Not so anymore. I barely think about how Windows is running, which is as it should be. Like the Mac OS X experience, Windows has matured in to a capable, powerful and mostly bug free operating system.

The Mac vs. PC debate, which had its last push during the Vista era, is no longer relevant. Sure, the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads were hilarious, but they took unfair advantage of perceived Windows faults of yesteryear, which probably weren’t entirely fair. Regardless of what system you choose these days, you’ll be on a winner.

Mac vs. PC – It Doesn’t Really Matter Anymore

mac vs pc jobs gates

Image Credits: [Metropolismag] [Mindinscription]


  • comment-avatar
    David H. 9 years

    Yes, it does – because I don’t want to support a greedy monopolist that locks me into a closed system. And no, I’m not talking about Microsoft.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam 9 years

    Ben, I think you need to look at the argument in a more objective way; rather than the Mac becoming cheap enough for you to buy, is it possible that your income/finances had reached the point where you had more money to spend on the Mac? You talk about the greater functionality of the Mac’s software, but I think if you were to take an honest look at the applications available to any OS, be it Win, Mac, *nix, Android or iOS – you’ll find plenty of adequate alternatives.

    The phrase ‘Industry Standard’ was created by software companies to use as extra consumer leverage.

  • comment-avatar
    Fred 9 years

    Windows 8 is a hot mess. Proof that MicroSoft is a bunch of engineers and accountants that wouldn’t know a good user experience if Apple handed it to them on an iPad.

  • comment-avatar
    Michael Spurlock 9 years

    Yes, it still matters. While Windows has admittedly improved in some ways over the past years it just took a major step backwards with Windows 8. Also, one of the most frustrating things about Windows has not changed at all: workflow interruptions. Using Windows and being able to maintain an uninterrupted workflow for any length of time is nearly impossible. The user experience is disjointed and slows down productivity. To make matters worse, Windows has more software written for it that follows no sense of UI design rules. This also affects one’s ability to have a smooth workflow because one is constantly having to think “now how do I do this function in this app as opposed to this other app.” It makes for an incredibly frustrating user experience. I am a systems engineer with 18 years in the business and started programming 30 years ago so my opinion is not based upon not understanding how systems work. On the contrary, I use my systems very heavily so these kinds of things stick out like sore thumbs because of the disruption they cause.

    Let’s also not forget the lost productivity caused by crappy drivers (I am looking at you HP) and the fact that 32-bit and 64-bit problems still exist for Windows in 2013. Unacceptable.