Apple compare

iMac vs. a comparable Windows box: The TCO lowdown

Erik Eckel explores the true cost differential between a Mac desktop and an equivalent Windows business-class all-in-one computer.

iMac

People, especially IT professionals, enjoy arguing. Look no further than the comments posted to the article I wrote comparing the real-world cost of a MacBook Pro vs. a comparable Dell Latitude. You can present facts all day long, but you’ll still find reasonably educated people seeking to debate what, to many, already appears cut and dried.

Real-world desktop comparison

Let’s dig deeper by exploring the true cost differential between a Mac desktop and an equivalent Windows business-class all-in-one computer.

Apple’s entry-level desktop is the 21.5-inch iMac. The $1,299 (USD) computer includes a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GB RAM, a 1 TB hard disk, and Intel Iris Pro-powered graphics supporting 1920x1080 resolution. An HD camera is included within the all-in-one’s frame. Peripheral connectivity is supported via four USB 3 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, and a gigabit Ethernet port.

Finding an apples-to-apples comparison can prove to be difficult. Few Windows all-in-one business-grade computers measure up to the Apple in terms of display size or specifications. Dell, however, offers the OptiPlex 3011 all-in-one for $1,212.86 (USD), with promotional pricing lowering the cost to $849 (USD).

The Dell system offers potential. It includes Windows 7 Professional and an Intel Core i5 CPU. However, only 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive are included for that price. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, Dell’s configuration tools didn’t offer the ability to upgrade the machine to match the Apple iMac’s build. Sourcing a 1 TB drive and an additional 4 GB of RAM could add $99 for the drive (at Newegg) and $44 for RAM (at Crucial). The Dell’s equivalent hardware cost, then, becomes $992 (USD).

However, that hardware total doesn’t factor necessary expenses, either in the form of a business’ in-house IT staff or an outside consultant’s time, to install the additional RAM and hard drive and reinstall Windows on the new disk, all of which likely voids the manufacturer’s limited hardware warranty. Those are real-world time, opportunity, and service costs businesses truly pay, but I won’t even try to estimate them here.

The price differential between the Dell and the Apple is $307, but unfortunately, there are still significant differences between the two systems. The Apple boasts a larger 21.5-inch display, integrated Bluetooth, and exponentially faster Thunderbolt connectivity.

Furthermore, few business desktops are used without office productivity apps. Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote are natural choices for Apple businesses. Windows organizations naturally gravitate toward Microsoft Office. The Home and Business 2013 edition adds $219.99 (USD) for Windows companies, whereas Apple businesses pay only $59.97 (USD) for the Apple equivalent. The inclusion of office apps brings the totals to $1,358.97 (USD) for the iMac and $1,211.99 (USD) for the all-in-one Windows system.

Obviously, the cost to upgrade the Windows system to match the Apple iMac will result in the Windows system’s price exceeding that of the iMac. On top of that, Windows users are left with a machine that is likely out of warranty, possesses a smaller screen, has slower peripheral connectivity (due to the lack of integrated Thunderbolt ports), and runs an OS that’s growing less popular by the day. Don’t act surprised. In June, Gartner predicted that iOS/OS X will soon surpass Windows as the most popular computer platform.

Remember, too, that the day I priced the OptiPlex 3011, Dell was offering essentially a 30% discount as part of a promotional pricing campaign. Here’s hoping that, should you still not be convinced Apple computers’ total cost of ownership is much more competitive than Windows systems, the all-in-one Windows computer you buy is still on sale. Otherwise, you may find your firm paying hundreds of dollars more per unit for an inferior computer.


About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

223 comments
DT2
DT2

Can't find a Windows equivalent, huh?  You didn't look very hard.

HP ENVY 23-c210xt All-in-One Desktop PC

  • Operating system - Windows 8 64
  • Processor - 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3330S processor [2.7GHz, 6MB Shared Cache]
  • Memory - 8GB DDR3-1600MHz SODIMM Memory [1 DIMM]
  • Hard drive - 2TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
  • Graphics card - Intel HD Graphics
  • Optical drive - Slim slot SuperMulti DVD burner
  • Display - 23" diagonal full HD widescreen (1920 x 1080)
  • Price: $929
  • Oh - And you can add a Bluetooth dongle for about $10.

    And, Thunderbolt ports?  Who cares. Not even worth mentioning.  What are you going to connect to them?

    CFWhitman
    CFWhitman

    As soon as you start adding options to an iMac, the costs skyrocket much faster than adding options to an equivalent PC.  So if you are satisfied with the base model, then you will get not too bad of a deal with an iMac, but if you want more be prepared to pay.  Also, according to what I've seen, the iMac is a lower cost machine in the Apple world, while with PC compatibles all-in-ones are not the lowest cost machines.  If you just talk about technical specs (leaving aesthetics out of the picture), it's pretty easy to get a better deal than an equivalent Mac pretty much every time.

    Laptops are the best Mac deals, partly because of their uniqueness.  Even with laptops, though, customizing your build quickly drives prices into the stratosphere.  As long as you are satisfied with the base model, you can get a reasonable deal.  Otherwise you will pay more.

    ManoaHI
    ManoaHI

    TCO is the one spec that is all important. We had four people that build new PCs manually. They have one network connection (they never decided to install a switch) and I got a bit sick of having users hound me for new PC for new staff and replace severly old machines. I asked for a new PC with everything loaded in, we have 4 main bespoke apps and I had them all loaded in. I imaged the disk and sent it to Dell. For a price, they'll preload my supplied image (heard HP will do the same) and we open the box, hookup our network, power, connect the keyboard, monitor and mouse, turn it on and have the user log in. Their profile activates the apps they need and the other unneeded apps are still there, but never turn on. So, now we don't need but two of those people, so didn't fire them or downsized them, some just left on their own volition. We didn't replace them. As soon as we get the PCs, in they go, with a few spares. Lower space requirements, no long build required. Two staff and a bit more paid to Dell and significantly lowered our TCO with better repsonse times to our users.

    As far as I know, Apple won't do that for you. Sure you could push them out, but the same applies to Windows, but Apple won't accept an image from you. 

    That said, I am an Apple fan and I use my Mac and iPad at work. I agree spec for spec, Wintel PCs will probably come out only a bit cheaper of even more expensive, but in the long run TCO works in favor of Wintel. Would I prefer that we used Macs instead of Wintel? You bet. Will I recommend it? No! We have only the marketing and publishing departments are allowed to request Macs. We use AD to control them via LDAP. No one of our Help Desk can support those Macs, so I have to do that. But I won't be able to justify an additional staff or training for OS X, because I don't get many calls for OS X, about 4 per year. Not that they're more stable or anyting (our Wintel is rock solid) it's just that they need e-mail, and publishing apps. They have MS Office 2011 for Mac and that handles the occaisional spreadsheet or document. They don't use any of our 4 main apps, so their setup is simple.   

    jaymiethomas
    jaymiethomas

    Don't forget too that OS X Mavericks will come with Pages, Numbers and Keynote for just the cost of the operating system.

    Kieron Seymour-Howell
    Kieron Seymour-Howell

    Well this article is selectively correct.  Most of the comments are biased or incorrect also.  The topic is foolish.  Anyone who is effective, can perform basic office needs on almost any computer less than fifteen years old.  Any IT support tech who has half a brain can support Linux, Apple and Windows computers with equal capability.

    The TCO is directly related to the needs of the person, or company, using the system.  But usuallly, most purchasing decisions are based upon hype and a lack of what is actually NEEDED.  A solution, or a workaround for almost any problem you need to face can be realized if you are willing to consult the right people.  Any computer is a highly flexible and effective tool for keeping information organized and people connected.  Unless your work requires you to edit multiple angles of film footage in HD with surround sound, play the latest high-polygon games, participate in virtual meetings with 20 people on a live satellite feeds, run scientific modelling simulations, or one of a number of advanced capabilities, then you are just an average one-in-a-million business user; any computer will work for you.

    I find most tech support useless.  The only tech support that I need are highly specific technical details about program features before I make a purchase decision, or undocumented obscure settings or registry keys afterwards because the developer forgot something.  Sure I get annoyed and rant sometimes, but if I need to get something done, there is usually a way with a little research and common sense.

    Almost any ready-made desktop computer will work for 95% of business users.  These are personal computers.  However if you try running five or six apps across four screens, and managing multiple external systems with one of these limited "user" systems, you will not be effective.  If you buy a real workstation ($2500 to $10,000 usually), they will last for at least ten years. How many people will be doing the same work in ten years?

    What is it that you actually NEED to do anyhow?  Actually working and being productive is not clearly understood at the time of purchase in most cases.  I suggest you lease a few systems and when you "know" what you "need" then make your purchases, or hire a consultant, who can advise what is necessary to streamline the process.  "Query, Research, Apply, then Evaluate."

    Get some paper, and list your actual business requirements:  editing certain files, syncing contacts and appointments, reading email, typing letters, updating a database, creating a spreadsheet in a common format, editing images, drawing vector based graphics.  Almost ANY computer can do all that without problems.

    The market is flooded with ads and propaganda, like this article obviously written by a desk jockey, not anyone who works in IT.  Ignorance seems to be the most common denominator.  People who actually know what they are doing find all this fighting and arguing quite amusing and entertaining.  It is okay to admit you need help.  It is okay to admit you do not have the time to find the answers.  There are many people out there who already know them and are willing to help.  Find them.  Find them so that you can get back to work, making money.  Stop wasting time chasing your tail.

    luisfrocha
    luisfrocha

    As stated in the article, the point of it was to compare an iMac to a comparable wintel machine, not to opine whether Windows or Mac OS is better or if Dell has better service. The argument is the VALUE of the purchase. I'd like to see the price of a custom-built Intel box, throw in the man-time it took to bring it together, add the software (real price, not pirated), and compare it with an iMac. That's always been the argument: I can build or buy a Wintel for much less than your Mac. However it's never the same specs that they argue with.

    kgross
    kgross

    And yet a majority of businesses still use Windows based PC systems. 

    enderby!
    enderby!

    Naive thinking. You assume an enterprise size network only needs Commercial-Out-of-the-Box applications. It may not be real economical to rewrite some existing applications, for many that would cost much more than the cost of mere desktop hardware. I know some who argue about sticking with OS/Z systems, and they usually have a winning TCO argument. Does that means mainframes are best?

      Eventually all enterprise client based apps may be replaced with pure server based apps, but we're talking about TCO here.  Eric, I seriously doubt you have done any real enterprise setup other than to connect a few home type setups for office use.  I hate Windows now, and have replaced it at home because of W8. This even though I've used all PC Wins and enterprise server Wins (NT 3.1 through 2012) ever made, and still have an MSDN dev license.     For home use, definitely Apple or Linux, but for business it is not an easy call because of legacy and true TCO issues.
    rufriedman
    rufriedman

    What a silly article. One benefit of Windows is that the buyer has real choices - different manufacturers, form factors, and price points. Mac offers only high end configurations and only one vendor. I love that I can get a working windows computer for only a few hundred dollars if I want, or a loaded one. Mac is unnecessarily expensive, especially when outfitting an office.

    patrickarchibald
    patrickarchibald

    Erik, why didn't you call up your Dell account manager and get a price for the All-in-one with the specification you need, which is what any business buyer would do? The website is for consumers. Except that for business, you buy separate PCs and monitors. Monitors that can be swapped out if they fail or used long after the PC spec. is obsolete.

    mbatra
    mbatra

    add me to the "this article is bogus" gang.  An Optiplex 3011 isn't even the same class system as the AIO MBP.  A more even comparison would be with the 9020.  But at the end of the day, you're always comparing apples and hamburgers.  Erik doesn't even mention Applecare.  Without that, you're not going to get reasonably-priced repairs on your MBP.  Oh, that and the fact that you can't even speak to a genius without an appointment.  Just a "quick question" can take you a week if you don't have an appointment.  A bit silly.

    chaletart
    chaletart

    wow... though the article was not great with everything the Mac bashing is insane.

    i have deployed around 200 macs or more and they run fantastic in a networked environment. granted... that is not enterprise for most of you...

    to say they are not flexible? wow.... they run Linux and you got all the control you want.... i really just think that most of you are so old school you cannot deviate from point and click from windows... try yourselves to be flexible.

    if i think of retiring a machine i find another function for them instead scrapping them... you know? i can run linux or windows on them! wow! fantastic! flexible!. though they don't support AD as well as windows they do support it. none of my machines mac, ubuntu or any windows flavor have a problem with each other. they work fine with everything we have.... oh, and no, you don't have to by mac centric accessories to function with a mac... sheesh.... that is 90's. catch up a little.

    oh, and by the way, not a mac fanboy as i am quite irritated with them and their business policies... i have preferred windows 7 over the last couple of apple os's that have been released. it's just that i cannot stand the erroneous information in the comments section... it's almost as bad as the article.

    tech_ed
    tech_ed

    Um...for a business machine, you also have to take into account the IT teams ability to support the thing. 9 times out of 10, Macs in a business environment are not supported and are only used by the most savvy of Mac users because they usually have to support their own machines. Sure, things like software and such are supplied by IT, but the user will most likely have to install and maintain their own Mac. Plus, there's the lack of supporting hardware that Macs just don't do. Dumping their external connectivity in favor of pure USB and their proprietary connections, limits the environment where you can use the Mac. 

    Then you have the secrecy of Apple. It is impossible for a business to develop a desktop refresh plan using Apple devices. Nobody knows when the next Apple desktop device will come out! Most businesses have a 5 year refresh plan...With Apple, nobody knows what Apple will do in that 5 years! In fact, Apple seems to be putting all it's technology eggs into the iPhone development and basically ignoring the computers...I wouldn't put it past Apple to just one day drop computers all together! Kinda like they dropped the "computers" from their name!

    wrchis
    wrchis

    So far all of the companies I have worked for their idea of an all-in-one is a laptop with possibly a docking station at their desk.  Desktops are not only used because they are less expensive than the equivalent laptop but also because they can support things like software unlocking dongles and cruft like that which the iMac does not seem to be very good in supporting.  

    Another problem is that a lot of companies prefer computers that can be replaced in pieces in case something breaks, and since they tend to have long memories the fact that the main boxes usually outlasted the CRTs back in the old days businesses are quite often wary of systems built into a monitor like the iMac is.


    Beyond the hardware and the software (especially legacy software) availability issues a consideration for companies that have been around for a while is that they probably already have license tracking procedures and the cost and disruption of setting up new ones to deal with Apple products needs to be taken into account in the TCO calculations.  On the surface it seems like a minor thing but in reality it isn't, especially when rolling it out the first time.  On the other hand new startups do not have to worry about that so much so if Apple products meet the needs of a particular company better than Wintel or Linux based ones they should go with those if they are not worried about possible vendor lock-in.


    musicianm2002
    musicianm2002

    Oh, as far as an all-in-one system. Who cares what type of system - an All-in-one serves ONE purpose only.

    Space accommodation, that is all.

    musicianm2002
    musicianm2002

    All these network admins on here are all those 90's guys who grew up with windows 3.0 and didn't cross over to learn Mac systems, therefore this is why they struggle with setting up Mac systems on any network. The truth of it is, Mac systems generally require less administration.


    mcmurphy510
    mcmurphy510

    Wow...

    what a big sack of BS.  I've always known that TR has little to no journalistic standards, but this is truly a new low.  I've read through the entire first page of comments and only one even remotely agrees with Mr Eckles.  Even the admitted Mac-users don't agree with his analysis and conclusions.

    He even pre-dismisses the blowback he knows he's going to get by saying "You can present facts all day long, but you’ll still find reasonably educated people seeking to debate what, to many, already appears cut and dried."  Well sir, as I pointed out above, your 'many' appears to be only one, and just barely at that.  Rather than blowing off those who disagree with you with such a cowardly statement, why don't you show some courage and respond to some of the (very valid) counter points that the vast majority of commenters brought up?

    Honestly, I think this article ought to be redacted and replaced with a public apology from TechRepublic (not from Mr. Eckles, 'cause I really don't want to hear from him again.)  If they continue to provide Mr. Eckles and other anti-journalists like him with a platform for propaganda pieces, rather than valid articles that may help my staff to make educated IT decisions, I really see no need to keep TR or any other CBS Interactive blog white listed on my corporations firewall.

    rwwff
    rwwff

    A business class machine either needs MS Office specifically, or it doesn't.  If it does, then both the Windows and Mac machines must purchase the software.   If any office productivity suite will do, Libre/Open Office will do fine for both.   In both cases, the cost is more or less the same.    And yes, plenty of businesses have no need for exact MS Office vendor-lockin compatibility.    Last MS Office I bought was a 2000 version to maintain access to some ancient access databases.  For current work mysql & open office work like a champ for us, and have for years.

    Alces
    Alces

    This author should take some business classes. I am not going into the Win/Mac fight, other people contribute very valid factors here.

    But if the article has "TCO" in the title, I expect TCO numbers, not just "purchase price". He made the mistake in his MCP article, didn't learn from the comments, and messes up his credibility here again. A simple Wikipedia lookup would have helped:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_cost_of_ownership

    BTW, I am typing this on a Mac, since our office is all Mac. No need to brand me as a MS disciple, but just today a very serious limitation in the search of a new ERP system came up. If you don't want to go with terminal services and the like, please also factor in the ridiculous waste of time and money (we're estimating thousands per year) because your current ERP (on Mac) doesn't allow for standard functions that you would expect from a grown-up ERP system, where most if not all require a Win platform.

    Poli Tecs
    Poli Tecs

    BS!

    In my 20 years I have seen this BS, I can tell you FIRST HAND, just as in politics - a poll is ONLY as good as the question(s).

    I built Power PC's, all cost just slightly more than 1/2 the cost of a MAC and ALL blew away the performance but what was key was ALL were far more useful in the real world. Networking, software compatibility / availability and the actual power available to the entrepreneur! 

    MadBunny
    MadBunny

    FYI for folks who've 'never seen an all-in-one deployed': they're the primary deployment in the Hospitality industry.  Sometimes, you're going to be looking at AIOs for hospitals, too - but medicine usually deploys thin. You'll encounter  a lot of AIOs or/vs Thins in major manufacturing, too.

    If you don't work in environments where AIOs are used, you're pretty much blind to them until you see a kiosk.....lol

    AndyMills6464
    AndyMills6464

    An Apple puff piece written by an iJournalist who would seem to have had zero experience of managing anything more than one desktop unit at a time.. 

    Do some real TCO analysis; IMac's cost more, take more time to support, have inferior support contracts and the OS drops out of support ridiculously early. And don’t get me started of the extreme cost of any cables or peripherals for an Apple product. Why do they charge so much for these? Because they can.

     Sure, buy the right tool for the job, but to pretend that in any way shape of form the TCO of an Apple product. is anywhere near the same sort of level as for a comparable PC based unit is utterly laughable

     

    SCADAman10
    SCADAman10

    This is a silly comparison, especially for a "business-class" machine.

    In a business environment one would value supportability and manageability over pretty aluminum design. To that end, being all-in-one is a definite disadvantage for the Mac - perhaps that is also why there are relatively few Windows all-in-ones.  A typical windows machine can be supported with the in-house resources. For the Mac you need AppleCare. Factor that into the TCO calculation.

    In a business environment users are typically not encouraged to clutter up their hard drives with pictures and videos - the types of content which will use up a TB of hard disk space. So for a business machine 500 GB is more than sufficient, and so is 4GB of RAM. If they need to expand, they may want a 2-3 TB hard drive, or 16 GB of memory.  What does it cost to put in a 2TB HD or 16 GB into an iMac?

    So while the numbers in Apple ad, I mean, Eric's article, may not be factually incorrect, in reality for the majority of business use the TCOs of the two platforms do not come close. Indeed, the iMac users do get a very pretty, nicely designed, aluminum-clad device, but at this point I would not pay twice the money for it, and surely wouldn't expect my boss to do it.

    mjc5
    mjc5

    Amazing that people are whining about this being biased toward the Mac Machine.

    I've used and supported both types of machines for many years. The truth is that it is difficult to find aples to apples (heheh) matches. But in practice, the Macs tend to last longer before you have to upgrade. Many of the Machines running Windows need upgrades fairly often.

    But in reality, you can and should buy whatever you like. Even a 500 dollar difference one way or the other is not all that significant in the long run. If it really is, then you are working under the wrong business model, and are at the brink of going under.

    I still use PC's - though mostly as Linux machines now, I do have one Windows machine left, and I like my Macs and using UNIX a lot. 

    If you like your Windows PC, that's great. It's about time to give up that sense of superiority though.

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    He didn't even mention the superiority of MacOS to Windows in terms of stability, speed, security, true multitasking, ease of setup, etc. the TRUE COST of a Mac is directly related to the amount of time I.T. Staff are needed. When you factor that in, the Mac is the clear winner.

    Cayble
    Cayble

    @chaletart Has nothing to do with it.  Point and click Windows???

    Ha.  Your old school. 

    Its always the same with too many Apple fans, if a Windows person says point and click is the way to go, a Mac head will say "Old school".  If a Windows person says, lets do Windows 8 touch screen, the Mac Head will say "No, nobody wants that,". In the mind of a Mac enthusiast nobody wants anything that Windows has.  Nothing.  If Microsoft made the next version of Windows an identical clone of OSX (and didn't get sued out of existence in ten minutes flat) Apple heads would all just say "its just an OSX ripoff that fails without all the Apple logos on the hardware..."

    Macs are what they are.  People who use them seem to like them just fine.  Good for them.  That's fine for them.  But they should just give up trying hopelessly to convince happy Windows users that we have made the wrong choice. 

    R3C0N1X
    R3C0N1X

    @chaletart Mac running fine in a networked environment lol is that sarcasm ? flexible ? can run linux ? you can stick linux on a damm microwave the hardware is not the problem here, it's the bastardized version of BSD we all biatch about. 
    Some thing it does have that people like is it's GUI, then again you could just stick a variant of that on most other OS's that yes, will perform better.

    I don't hate macs but I do hate the fact that they're over priced for what you get, I'd say at this moment in time the only thing I thought was cool was the time machine thing, the affect when you click on that and swirl through is kinda cool.

    No one.. not anywhere has given me one valid point to use a mac in anyway. I really don't understand how people fall for it.. Then again we get people who fall for bandits with all there flashy lights, how do we better educate ? or even better educate the creators.. We can't because they're stuck in there way and narrow minded. 

    Cayble
    Cayble

    @musicianm2002 Agreed.  If Apple wants to build "all in ones" to exclusivity in their product line, fine for them.  It does bring some economy of scale to a product line that has a focused design parameter like that compared to a company like Dell that dosnt only build all in ones. 

    I personally think that the whole "all in one" scheme is just a little silly.  For those who find the futuristic look of all in one systems particularly appealing, well, what can you say, people like what they like, Im not about to begrudge them their preference of optical appeal.  On the other hand, there are serious questions of practicality that an all in one system just can not and will likely never be able to compete with.  Broad interchangeability of parts and upgrades is always a potential issue with tightly confined proprietary systems, and all in ones are typically the very worst of the worst.  I had never thought of it before when I first laid eyes on an all in one iMac, but when the new iMacs hadn't been out that long a gamer I know just shook his head over the all in one iMacs and said "you will never get an SLI card setup into anything like that".  Just one small example in a world of many that prove all in one is for people who go for show more than go. 

    R3C0N1X
    R3C0N1X

    @musicianm2002 This just proves that you've never set nothing more than a basic network up. What systems need administration if setup and used correctly ?

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    I think you ought to subscribe to a different resource.

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    Not to mention that most companies use about one percent of the intranet functions of Office, if that.

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    Macs certainly do not take more time to support. Unless of course you've barely supported them in the past, which is highly likely given your comment.

    warboat
    warboat

    @AndyMills6464 

    And he thinks pages/numbers/keynote is an apples-to-apples comparison with MS office?

    How about put MS office on the Mac to make it even.

    So much koolaid it hurts!

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    Why do you need Applecare? The only reason I can think of is software support, which would be necessary on any platform.

    Cayble
    Cayble

    @mjc5 Now that's absolute crap.  People just don't give up their Macs, and I think that's largely because they cost a bloody fortune to replace and purchase a new model.

    We already know that the reason PC sales have slowed over the last couple years is that Windows desktop machines are starting to last forever.

    In recent years I don't see Windows laptops that are anything close to the price of Macs where the Mac simply lasts longer.  Compared to a $350 to a $650 Windows laptop...maybe.  But once you get into Windows laptops that go above that, with any reasonable care they will last as long on the average as any MacBook.

    I remember being in university years ago and several people had some older Macs.  And I hadn't had much experience with Macs at the time and took an interest.  Most of these older Macs, about 3-6 years old, looked and ran like any too old laptop.  And reselling Macs,...that's a joke, of kinds.  The first time I heard a guy tell me how much he figured he could get for his old Mac laptop I was a little surprised.  It turned out, again to my surprise that it looked like he was mostly right, but the sad thing I came to realize was that he paid so much for it new that the dollars he was loosing on the resale was way more than the dollars lost on a typical Windows laptop at the time, I still think its true.  Its been as clear as it could be ever since, that I could purchase and replace Windows laptops, usually be running a newer laptop than people I knew with Macs, and still not be as much money out of pocket over all.  

    warboat
    warboat

    @mjc5 

    This "Macs last longer" myth is bull.

    5/6 year old Macs can't even run the current Mountain Lion anymore or get any updates - artificial limitation by Apple in the name of forced obsolescence!

    5yo windows 7 PC will hum along with the latest updates for years to come.

    factor that to your TCO!

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    In 40 years in the business, I have never met a "Happy Windows (or MS-SOS) User". But I have met scores of "Happy Mac Users". And iOS users, for that matter.

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    If scrolling thru the floating windows in Time Machine is the only thing you thought was "cool" then I'm going to have to question your sanity as well as your understanding of ROI.

    ykrsdn
    ykrsdn

    @R3C0N1X I use macs mainly because:

    -They provide a solid durable and stable system that can only be found in the more expensive Windows laptops.
    -They have a high quality software arsenal. The software is more user friendly and overall cheaper than on the windows side. I have business grade web development, project management and SQL management software installed at a total cost of 150$/user (don't know about the volume discounts). You can go and look for the same on Windows but you will either find unstable chaotic OSS tools or expensive (and still overly complicated) Microsoft tools.
    -It has all the advantages of a UNIX system but without the hassle and user unfriendliness that comes with other UNIX systems.
    -Every possible device I have ever used works out of the box plug&play thanks to driverkit.
    -I'm used to the fast workflow Mac OS X brings by default with its hot corners and expose. 
    -They are the most straightforward platform to develop mobile applications for all major mobile platforms.
    -They didn't screw up their interface to reduce productivity. *cough*Windows 8*cough*

    At the moment the only reason I see to use Windows machines is to play games, to develop for Windows or to use some ancient piece of software from a company that's afraid of change. I can buy a 300-400$ windows machine but I have seen to many of those fail after just a year of service not to mention their horrible battery life so they don't give me a particularly warm feeling.

    @chaletart

    musicianm2002
    musicianm2002

    @R3C0N1X @musicianm2002 You tell me oh great wizard you.

    Give all of us examples that require an administrator for support on a network end with a mac vs a pc. Please. What is it you can't figure out?

    warboat
    warboat

    @bobjones2007

    That article says nothing much and hints at the facts that small scale ERP work with Macs but large scale ERP software will require windows.

    I know it's hard to accept for Apple fans, but there are some things windows can do better than Mac OS.

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    He never said that. Read the article again.

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    "We already know that the reason PC sales have slowed over the last couple years is that Windows desktop machines are starting to last forever."

    ROFLMAO

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    But you don't have to run Mountain Lion.

    russ
    russ

    Actually 5 y/o Windows PCs won't hum along with the current rev of Windows, but they will with Linux!

    warboat
    warboat

    @bobjones2007

    I've met plenty of Mac users frustrated at fullscreen mode on multiple monitors.

    Haven't met many Windows users on multiple monitors with that kind of frustration. It's the opposite, they love it, especially if they've come from multiple monitor Mac setups.

    warboat
    warboat

    @bobjones2007

    He said that you only need pages/numbers/etc on a Mac but you need Office on a windows machine?

    Can you smell the double standard?

    If you are agreeing with the OP on this point, you are just as stupid.

    CFWhitman
    CFWhitman

    @russ Most 5 year old machines will run Windows 8 pretty well (generally better than what was on them to begin with (probably Vista), as long as you can put up with the Windows 8 GUI).  It's the eight year old machines that you have to break out Linux for.  Disclaimer:  I run Linux on (pretty much) everything.

    bobjones2007
    bobjones2007

    Cayble, he is talking about computers without the BIOS capability to run Win8. What are YOU talking about? Reply FAIL.

    Cayble
    Cayble

    @russ What are you talking about...FAIL.

    handyman1972
    handyman1972

    @russ

    Actually, they will run the latest.  I have an office full of PCs (roughly 40 of them) I hand assembled with older AMD Athlon dual core 7750 CPUs and Biostar motherboards of the same age.  Each and every day, for 8-9 hours each day, those machines run Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, MS Office 2010, and Quickbooks Enterprise 2012 in an Server 2008 R2 AD domain network.  No issues at all.  I also have one that I use as a benchmark/testbench machine for troubleshooting, and I have it dual-booted with Windows 8 Pro.  Runs it just fine.  Hell, I have an dual-core Atom-based netbook with a 10 inch screen and 2GB of RAM that is dual-booted to run W7 Pro and W8 pro.  It's not a speed demon, but it works great for an off-site support/troubleshooting device.  On a normal day, my main work PC is an i5 3750K with a z777 Asrock board, a Samsung Pro 256GB SSD for the OS, a 1TB file HDD, and 16GB of 1600MHz RAM.  Now that puppy definitely "hums along".  And I built it for about $600.