PCs

Poll: Would you be willing to use a Mac as your primary system?


A decade ago, nearly every IT professional I knew would wrinkle their nose, furrow their brow, and derisively shake their head if asked whether he or she would ever consider using an Apple Macintosh as their primary system. The Mac was not considered a system for serious techies and was viewed as being unfriendly on corporate networks.

However, I have noticed a distinct change in the wind in recent years. Today, I know multiple IT professionals who use a Mac as their primary machine at work, plus others who have bought a Mac as their personal system, and several more who would like to have a Mac -- especially a MacBook Pro (right), which has a reputation as one of the fastest and coolest laptops on the planet. We've even got a MacBook Pro at TechRepublic now so that we can test and write about Macs from an IT perspective.

There are several factors behind this shift in opinion about Macs among techies -- including Apple's resurgence as a brand -- but the following are the most important factors that are influencing IT pros:

  • The underpinnings of Mac OS X are now UNIX (based on BSD) and have been since 2001. It is quite stable and it can be effectively used to administer Linux/UNIX servers.
  • Macs now run on Intel chips, and you can use Boot Camp to dual boot a Mac to run Windows XP or Windows Vista. Alternatively, you can use the popular virtualization software Parallels Desktop to run instances of Windows and/or Linux on top of Mac OS X.
  • With the Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X, you can easily connect to Windows servers and client machines from a Mac.
  • Windows Vista hasn't gotten many techies fired up about Windows, and so some of them are flirting with Mac.

If you were previously opposed to Macs, has your opinion changed recently? Join the discussion and take the poll below.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

166 comments
Tig2
Tig2

Agnostic hardware and an easy to use OS powered by Unix. Who could ask for anything more? Partner (Windows guy) is developing Mac envy...

grantbav
grantbav

I deploy some smaller networks for my employer Whyalla Computer Centre here in Australia. I live in a little town of 22,000 people and small business is our largest market. I've been using Macs as network client machines and I've had great success. The machines themselves are well designed and leave considerable useable desk space for books and papers. They may not have any fewer technical vulnerabilities than Windows, but while "proof of concepts" exist I've not seen any binary's of Mac nuisance-ware. I'm not saying none exist. I deploy Parallels desktop and XP Service Pack 2 where Windows apps are needed. We use OS X for web browsing and email and to host Windows. In this way the Mac serves as a shield to Windows. There exists now a large quantity of good free, open source and inexpensive commercial software for OS X that does genuinely useful stuff. We've sold 30 Mac units in the last 5 months and have had 0 support issues. That leaves me feeling better about the risk we took in getting Apple. Since the Intel processor came to the Mac, or vice versa; it really doesn't seem to matter anymore. In our case the Mac has shown itself a little better than what we were using. For Example: We can manage our Windows installation in another system. Parallels contains our very meticulously pre-configured Windows installation in 1 file. As do all virtualizers. This makes testing and redeployment very simple. We can use Mac features to enhance our users Windows experience. Try using Conrol-Scroll Wheel Up to magnify the screen of a Mac. Now do it with Parallels open running Windows. Windows doesn't do that by itself..... Sight impaired users love it. Dashboard's post it notes are another very handy bit of kit as is the unit converter. How they come and go without messing the desktop workspace around is brilliant. There are numerous other "little things" that are really well done and make things more efficient in a normal working day. We Can move about in file systems that we suspect (or have confirmed) contain Windows nasties without fear of contaminating other client's gear. We can set machines up on the Internet without a virus scanner. (Some may baulk here, but nothing ever happens). So long as you use the Mac for email and web. There are others benefits. The way we see it, we supply and support machines that run 100% of desktop software. Point is we're happy, maybe other could be too.....?''Macs certainly are very compelling these days. Grant

J3
J3

For years I did not care for Macs. As a Network Admin that supports MS products it never really crossed my mind. That all changed when I went to a training to learn about OS X so my team and I could support the three Mac users we have in our organization. As it turned out learned some very valuable shortcuts and was impressed with the OS. Now with Vista out, I'm siding with the Mac folks, that yeah been there done that with OS X. My next laptop will be a Mac with Parallel software to run Vista on top of Mac OS X.

Jaytmoon
Jaytmoon

I've been using PC's since the early days of IBM Jr's and Tandy TRS 80's, I have not found anything that MAC's can offer that I can not accomplish on my pc. I have used Macs on occation but do not like the propietary design nor the (relative to pc) lack of application (run nativly). Yes Mac can run "virtual" windows apps, uses a unix based code, "allegedly less prone to virus's, etc, blah blah blah. Why would I want to go to the (huge) extra expense of moving to a new platform? Perhaps if Apple released thier OS to the public as Microsoft does to OEM's and DIY'rs, then maybe. Linux is free and does a fairly good representation of what OS x is all about (sans big Corp support of Apple). Until pigs fly and maybe, Apple buys out Microsoft ;-), I'll stick to what works for me!

treerod1
treerod1

Yes - I'm willing to "continue" to use Mac-OS as my primary system. Five years ago I made the switch and the benefit for me has been an entire office full of very happy staff, and management (the budget folks) were surprise at the cost of operating my system (~60% savings over 5 years when compared to the previous 5 years with Windows 98 and then NT). I'm still running on the original Apple equipment (X-Serve) with no problems. Of course there have been a number of software updates. As for the support from Apple, while I haven't needed them very much, when I did it was always very good. I'm currently waiting for the new Mac-OS (Leopard) to come out - I've already budgeted for a new system.

dean.owen
dean.owen

The last company I worked for were bringing MACs back into the enterprise and I spent three weeks with a MAC book pro - as my second computer. I still used my PC for core business such as email. When I went looking for a new portable computer, I seriously thought of the MAC book pro. Two reasons why I didn't buy one: cost - PC/Windows notebooks are really cheap now; familiarity - I didn't think it was worth it bouncing back and forth between two OS's - look and feel, to perform the same functions. If someone where to give me a MAC - I'd use it but I wouldn't go out of my way to acquire one. Dean

starkey
starkey

Although I use a Windows XP notebook as my primary system, I use an iMac for graphics production. The Mac GUI is frustratingly mouse-centric, and the filesystem is thus extremely difficult to navigate. I can do in three minutes with drag-and-drop what I could do in fifteen seconds from a DOS or BASH prompt. Until OSX applications support typed paths in standard, URL format in the File/Open and File/SaveAs dialogues, the Mac will remain an also-ran for me. As a fast touch typist who needs to get work done, I want to leave the mouse at home and work exclusively from the keyboard. So for now, it's MS Windows or KDE, at least until Mac and Gnome wise up and build a high-performance GUI.

George.Trujillo
George.Trujillo

I would absolutely highly recommend making a move to Mac. I recently have moved to Mac and have not looked back. Since then I have bought 3 mini macs for family and they are totally converted. My top 10 reasons for recommending a switch to Mac: 1) Not having to deal with all the virus software of Windows due to their poor security. 2) My Mac boots in fraction of the time it takes my windows machines to boot. 3) All of the software that comes with a Mac, that means I don't have to download or buy all this extra software like you do on Windows. Software like Garage band, iChat, iWeb are fantastic to work with out of the box. 4) Being able to click open a Unix shell window and having the power of Unix at my fingertips is great. 5) Mac software has more built in features for the technology professional than Windows. Everything in Windows requires more work. 6) I've loaded Parallels and have Solaris, Enterprise Linux with Oracle Databases, Application Servers and Web development environments up and running has been a breeze. 7) I like the easy integration of my iPod, iPhone, iTunes and Mac computers. This is much higher quality than the competing products out there. I like the best when I am on the go, and this stuff is the best. 8) My MacBook Pro is the highest quality laptop I own and I have 8 laptops in my house due to my work. I hate all the extra services and junk software that gets loaded on Windows PCs. 9) Apple has great peripherals. I like the toys and Apple has them. 10) I can't imagine I will ever buy a Windows machine again. Love the fact they have it setup so I can go in and get 1 hour of free consulting every week for $100/year. My family has leveraged this to make us self sufficient and not having to hire PC consultants to come into our house for support. George Trujillo

ipeters61
ipeters61

Being a civil engineer, yes.

jwinget
jwinget

Yes, Emphatically so. Already using it as a matter of fact and in a mixed emvironment. I can manage ALL my users from one system. There is access to PC & AD managment thru parallels and Mac managment with ARD. Put it all in a laptop and I can do it all from wherever needed. I've been using it for 4-5 months and had nothing I couldn't do for my managed units as needed. Even considering startup costs for this system it's still less that what I used to have in total.

keving
keving

Real multi user accounting software doesn't exist for the Mac. There is no way a business of any size can operate with all the accounting on one box. While you can use a Mac to access a UNIX server running multi user accounting you can do that with a dunb terminal.

jasondlnd
jasondlnd

I just recently bought a Macbook to replace my aging Windows laptop, and I could not be happier. One of the first things I did, however was install Boot Camp with XP, so I could run apps that I already had for my Windows machine, as well as easily resolving network issues at home and work. While I love OSX, I am still building my software library. I just recently purchased Photoshop CS2 and Microsoft Office for Mac. Unfortunately, I have more apps for Windows, including CD/DVD burning apps, DVD authoring apps, and Tech apps (like System Info, Error Nuker, Memtest, Regclean, etc.) I wouldn't even think of working on a Windows machine without a laptop running either XP or Vista to troubleshoot issues, which leads me to my next point, network troubleshooting and administration. While the network function in OSX is OK, the one built into the command prompt on XP/Vista is even more powerful, offering more information at a glance. Other than the issues noted above, I love OSX. I enjoy the stability and trouble free operation I've had while using my mac. I use it as my primary OS on my laptop, and only use Windows when I have to. Since owning my new Mac, I have found at least one site with open source software available at http://www.opensourcemac.org I encourage everyone to check it out.

gregzdnet
gregzdnet

NO I am the frequent victim of targeted attacks at our website we get attcked as many times a 200 times per hour. I used couple Macs for a little over two years with systems ranging from OS 8 TO 10.3.9. An OS X Mac doesn't last more than an hour on the net before its a flickering flashing mess at best and must have hard shut down be. Setting it up for USB evdo is nightmare it's actually easy at first if it detects the modem which is only half the time and you just enter your number with Spnint and minmal configuration with T-mobile as compared to KPPP in Linux for example. Then the problems beging slow unstble connection and OS "forgets" modem its still instlled as far as the software is concerned but OS X does not see it so a clean install is usually required as a repair install leaves the driver installed yet modem is not detected. After all the fighting to get MAc working I finally realized hey there is not software for it even if I do get it working somehow by going into the BSD shell and reconfiguring the IP stack and ppp configs. But here is the death blow to MAc for me I fight monopolies and corporate crime why would I want help create one by buying my hardware and software from the same manufacturer? Not only that but MAc uses unfair business practices to force you to buy new software one example firmware revisions to prevent CPU upgrade and designed in driver conflicts to obsolete pci video cards. Lastly you have the expense becuase MAc is a fraudulent company with monopolistic practices, which if they had fair practices and allowed third party manufacture of there hardware I would gladly pay for superior perfomance. No software,vunerable to targeted attacks, poor drivers or hardware software compatibility, planned obsolescence, high prices, deceptive and monopolistic business practices the answer is no. Why when Windows is nuke proof stable, dirt cheap, backwards compatible, has tens of thousands of programs many free, the hardware is dirt cheap,and Microsoft makes an almost superhuman effort to open the door to third party hardware and software. My life is devoted to catching corporate crooks and putting them in prison and fighting monopolies, Mac is trying to become a monopoly with a small market share just think what they would try with a larger one.

w.chris.delfs.iii
w.chris.delfs.iii

A year ago I was given a Mac and told to learn how to use it. Today, the only thing I haven't been able to do is run an AD console from it. Everything else I can do. Funny how my Mac can do everything but manage a Windows network...

Jack-M
Jack-M

Starting with Win 3.0 and 3.1 and the lbs. of books that went with them, and following up with every version of Windows that came after them I'd be hard pressed to begin another 'learning experience'. Mac with dual boot is my preference.

TechniquePhreak
TechniquePhreak

The owner of the company I work for now is a total Mac fanboy, and he has issued all of us MacBooks. Not the Pro, but passable. It makes sense for us, because we do outsourcing for a lot of publishers and design firms. Ironically, our ticketing system only runs under .Net, and everyone spends most of the day in Vista (under Parallels). I love Parallels, and I am considering getting a MacBook Pro for my next machine because I will be able to more effectively support Linux, Mac, and multiple PC distros... Yes, I know tehre is vmware for Windows, but it rarely handles OSX, so this is a more usable setup for supporting all the major OSs. I am not a fanboy. I prefer Windows, or Linux (Suse or Kubuntu for me). But for the specific verts that we support, this works. Using the MacBook has confirmed a few suspicions for me. a) Macs aren't any more untuitive than any other OS. b) They break just as often, possibly more often, and are more difficult to get parts for (unless you want to wait in line to speak with a genius). c) Mac users tend to be less technically savvy than others, leading to all sorts of "pudding eater" scenarios re: networking, security, etc. d) (watch out for users enabling network sharing on their systems, because it turns their little MacBook into a DHCP server and crashes the network.. arp -a will track it down). e) Good luck with GPOs. f) Security? On a Mac? One quick Google and you can override anyone's password.... I could bitch all day, but I am fine with my Mac. I prefer Vista, but since I have Parallels I can make due...

Manitobamike
Manitobamike

Unfortunately for me, we have a lot of customer required software in place and until those big corporations switch over we are stuck with windows. We have 4 Mac laptops that run flawless for our roving staff but they don't need to use the other software for what they do.

shraven
shraven

Not clear which you are asking since Macs are just PCs with a different OS now. The hardware differences are gone daddy gone. So would I be willing to try OS X on my PC? Sure. Am I willing to pay Apple's inflated hardware prices for OS X? Nope. Besides, I'm a roll your own kind of guy. Would I buy a Mac? It's quite irrelevant because sadly, I'm not cool enough or trendy enought to join that exclusive club. I don't buy designer clothes, sip the latest Starbucks creation or wear $300 sunglasses either. So I'm stuck using PCs with the rest of the dweebs. Oh and Steve Jobs? I'm not sure about him. With Bill Gates, I know what I'm getting into. Sometimes it's the devil you know. Besides, Bill Gates is going to prove to be the anti-christ, so when that all comes down I want to make sure I'm in tight with the new master.

paul.suchomel
paul.suchomel

I converted about 4 years ago, because I supported our Web Development team, who used Macs. Never have had the chance to work on a Mac, I figured, it could be that bad. Especially sense my MS Windows box would give me the Blue Screen of Death several times a day. I work a lot with UNIX, and even went to Linux desktop for a while. My biggest stumble was that sometimes I needed X11 for some of my work. As luck would have it, Apple just came out with X11 for OS X, and off I went. It took me about a month to deprogram my thinking of how to do things in Windows, to how to do them on a Mac. I would ask the local Mac guru how to do things, and he showed me, and I just had to say "No Way!, it can't be done that way." I was so use to have to do 3 or 4 steps in Windows, to do the same thing on a Mac. More importantly, on a Mac, it just worked! My biggest complaint about a Mac is that it works (for the most part), so well, that I don't have to become an expert on the OS just to do my day to day things.

JJPEngr
JJPEngr

I have had Macs at home since 1995, and I have been using OSX since 2004. I have had to deal with Windows at work (3.1, 95, 98, 2000 and now XP), and I definitely prefer Mac OSX. Multi button mouse is available for Mac. Now, being able to run applications that have been Windows only withour relying on virtualization is a plus. Windows sucks - even more so now with Vista. I'll take a Mac.

mikerjohnson
mikerjohnson

Until the laptops get 2 mouse buttons, I'm afraid I won't be getting one cool as they sound. Yes, I know you attach any USB mouse to it, but then its not exactly a laptop is it? I guess being able to surf the internet with your elbow is a feature though.

drdosus
drdosus

A MAC as a primary system?!! or even a system? Never. I own one of these POS's and would not have it for any reason except for the children as their school still uses this ridiculous and useless technology. MACs are for yuppies and teachers, NOT the real world. If I want a toy, I'll get an XBox

dspero
dspero

We have been using Macs for over 20 years. No one crashes, no pop-ups, we use aim all the time, no viruses. Sure use Macs if you want a secure no problem system

techrepublic
techrepublic

It isn't so much that my opinion of the Mac has changed but that my opinion of Windows has changed. Windows Vista is such a pain in the rear with all of it's so called security features and its hardware copyright stuff that it has become a total ass of a thing to use. I'm not the only one among my friends who thinks this. Microsoft dropping support for Windows XP at the end of 2007 will not push people to Vista but to OSX or Linux I believe. I will just grab all of the update files I can in case I need to reinstall and stick with XP as long as I can. Hopefully there will be an SP3 (with all the fixes and updates since SP2) before support ends.

william
william

As a cross-platform engineer its the only solution,I hate to say it but Windows is just too incompatible with other platforms my mac runs 'OS X' ,"XP", and "2000" Most thing can be done via the mac. I also object to those guys who say they can get a pc cheaper, yes you can but there is nothing to compare between them. Cheap means cheap.

Slvrknght
Slvrknght

So, I started out as a Mac guy, but since the company I work for is primarily Windows (and Dell-based at that) Server based, I've been met with resistance about the whole thing. I would gladly trade in my current rig for a MacBook Pro, or a refurbished Dual G4 tower.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Thanks for sharing your recent experience with Macs. This is very similar to the way a few other organizations are deploying desktops and it has worked well for them, too. The upfront cost is more (since you're running two operating systems and virtualization software) but maybe it's worth it if there are fewer support issues. Is that your take?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

A) You don't know how to run a Mac as a web server. Macs have proven themselves many times over as servers in professional environments, including the Pentagon, showing reliability and almost bulletproof security compared to the Windows boxes sitting next to them. B) Because of A), you attribute to them all the same complaints that stand against Microsoft and of which Microsoft was found Guilty in a Federal lawsuit. Apple has not. C) Based on your profile, you are anything BUT an IT professional and shouldn't be trying to do the things you claim in A). D) You are as much a NonZealot as NZ himself, looking for excuses to raise against Apple because you have no verifiable proof of anything you say.

mwesthoff
mwesthoff

From your post: "No software,vunerable to targeted attacks, poor drivers or hardware software compatibility, planned obsolescence, high prices, deceptive and monopolistic business practices the answer is no. Why when Windows is nuke proof stable, dirt cheap, backwards compatible, has tens of thousands of programs many free, the hardware is dirt cheap,and Microsoft makes an almost superhuman effort to open the door to third party hardware and software." ...uh, are you living in the same world I am? If so, your comments are, literally, almost the opposite of what I would say...fascinating!

cj_frye
cj_frye

A year ago I switched to a 17" MacBook Pro. I run Windows (2003 server, actually) as a virtual machine under Parallels. My Windows apps run besides the Mac ones all on the same desktop. Cut and paste from one to the other at will. Performance is good, too. Just give it all the memory you can, as with any VM setup. Applications that have Mac native equivalents I run on the host, the few Windows holdouts I can't do without I run on the VM. No switching, no rebooting, it just works.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

The hardware differences are there, just different from the past. The "inflated hardware prices" you claim are for features built in to the Mac hardware that you have to pay extra for in a Dell or HP machine... and often do. Fine, so you like to build your own; I do too. But I quit building my own because the only mainstream OS I could put on it was Windows. (Not meaning to badmouth Linux here, but when I was building PCs, Linux didn't have a decent GUI and still doesn't have enough useability for my purposes. It's good, but I do more than play around in my OS and run Open Source applications.) Until Windows XP I didn't want to touch it, but I had to. I did not like the frequent unexplainable crashes. I did not like having to fight all the malware and I certainly didn't like having to offload all my files to disk so I could wipe and reinstall my OS every six months just to get my speed and useability back for a while! XP changed that... but not enough. I ran a Mac next to my Windows machine for over 12 years. During that time I ran all my email and did most of my web browsing through the Mac while gaming and working my home business through the Windows machine. Even so, I spent the equivalent of a full day every month running malware scanners in Windows and usually had to spend another full day every six months or so with a wipe-and-reinstall. Over that same 12 year period I spent a lot more time enjoying my writing and browsing on the Mac, attaching an external display when my iMac's screen died after 4 years of everyday use and buying a first-gen Mac Mini after the iMac blew its power supply nearly 2 years later. By removing the hard drive and installing it into an external housing, I was able to rescue and continue to use all the software and files from the defunct iMac without wasting any time rebuilding a registry. Now I use an iMac exclusively with only a couple of Windows-only apps in VMware Fusion and have both my Mac Mini and a 4-year-old iBook serving other purposes in home and in charity work. During all this time I spent more money in cash and downtime (Almost $4000) in purchase, maintenance and OS upgrades on my home- built PC than I've spent in three still-functional Macs. To me, the balance weighs heavily in favor of the Mac.

zarathustra2010
zarathustra2010

Wha... I agree that: 1) Macs look good, visually (except, of course, for the Desktop. But what's a Desktop, after all? You only stare at it eight or more hours per day.) 2) Macs can easily use many third-party USB mice and keyboards -- Microsoft mice/keyboards work especially well with Apples, BTW (either in OS X or XP/Vista), as well as do Logitech mice/keyboards. 3) It's not even necessary to keep OS X on your HD at all, in fact. Why dual-boot into Windows at all? Just get rid of OS X, and install Windows as the exclusive OS on the machine. They make great Vista platforms, with little or no trouble at all, and WITHOUT breaking your Apple warranty (nothing in the Apple Warranty states that OS X MUST be installed. Such a warranty would be illegal, anyway.) Really, your opinion is not that "Macs are superior to Wintel PCs", it is more of a personal opinion about the Mac OS (since all Wintels, Macs included, use Intel architectures and hardware), which cannot (properly) be used as a judgment on the relative merits of "Macs" versus "PCs". Opinions are not "merits", they are opinions, and many others have different opinions. In fact, there are just as many "opinions" about the "superiority" of any product as there are human beings on the Earth. So much for your "opinion" that "Macs are superior". NOTE, sir: It is strictly an OPINION that an Apple Intel PC without OS X installed is no longer a "Mac". That is ridulous reasoning at best. According to Apple, their machines are "personal computers", or "PCs", with the brand name "Apple Macintosh" (or "Macs" -- a popularization of the brand "Macintosh"), and HAVE been "PCs" since the first popular use of the term "Personal Computer". Why Apple afficianados try to make Apple PCs somehow "superior" because of the Apple OS installed on most of them, I simply can't understand. Windows users do not identify their machines as "Wins" because Windows is installed on them, we refer to our machines by their brand names. I have an Apple-Branded PC on which Vista is installed. Does it make the obviously well-designed "Macintosh" I use somehow "inferior" because Windows is installed on it? I think not, nor do I believe Mr. Jobs thinks that. PLEASE, separate your machine (a "Macintosh Personal Computer") from your OS (one of several "Mac Operating Systems") in your thinking. You will get slong much better with the rest of the Computer world. "Macs" are no longer are tied to "mama's apron-strings". And your Operating System is no longer required to be the so-called "Mac OS". Get used to it. Donald McDaniel

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

...which uses the Power PC chips designed by Apple, IBM and Motorola. It is obvious that Doctor Dos is stuck in 1985. Computers on both sides of the fence have changed a lot. Just because it is different doesn't make it any less effective as a computer. To speak as the Doctor has just shows how much of a NonZealot he is.

support
support

Sure, right. I guess that the entire US Navy Submarine Fleet, the Genome Project, most daily newspapers, the Virginia Tech University Supercomputer project (10th fastest computer in the world. Made entirely form Mac servers), C.E.R.N. - The world's largest particle physics laboratory, Los Alamos Research labs, and hundred of thousands of other unreal world users.

sitaifun
sitaifun

However, Dells are currently standard issue at my office, so no choice there. The Windows influence extends at home since the office VPN is configured to allow only Windows clients, although a Mac driver is available from the VPN vendor. I know, it does sound laughable that somebody chose to expend a lot of resources to enable secure, external connectivity onto our corporate network, but then allowed only the most viral-ridden PC platform, and prevented one of the least malware-impacted platforms. I guess that's just a hold-over from the days of playing it safe and fear of the unknown. I have supported and used both platforms for 20 years; in most cases the Apple products require much less attention, provide greater capability and versatility, and thus higher productivity from those users. That much would be expected when the hardware and software are designed together. By way of analogy, would you prefer to buy a Ford frame with a Chevy body and control system bolted on? Or would you rather select a vehicle whose engineering came from one respected source?

mwesthoff
mwesthoff

I agree with you. Just when we thought Windows was improving as a system, which it has, finally, become a decent operating system...we are hampered by its unwieldiness.

askidmore
askidmore

I agree Windoze is not as compatible, but, that has nothing to do with the hardware of the box. Let's be real here people, if you know ANYTHING about hardware you can build a system yourself that will literally scream past anything you can buy from Apple for HALF the price. Now if you are talking about off the shelf junk boxes like Dell and HP, etc. then yeah, you're better off with a MAC.

DomBenson
DomBenson

I absolutely agree that it is not reasonable to compare the cost of Macs with cheap PCs, and I would go furher to say that I don't consider recent Macs to be overpriced. That said, like just about all OEMs, Apple charges a lot extra for options, be they memory, HDD, CPU,...; so for non-standard setups, it is certainly noticeably cheaper to build a PC around your requirements. I appreciate that this applies to PC manufacturers as well, but as you can't build the Mac yourself, it is a point to consider. The other consideration is that the PC is more amenable to subsequent modification, so it need not cost as much in the first place, even if the total cost over its lifetime is similar. I do think, though, that the Apple notebooks are excellent (esp. Macbook Pro), and I may very well purchase one myself - I just can't imagine ever having a Mac as my PRIMARY system.

pointzerotwo
pointzerotwo

I just switched to a MacBook Pro, and all our servers are (still) running Windows. I use a free terminal services client for the Mac called CoRD for connecting to the servers. It lets you create a list of shortcuts to servers, and switch between them with a tab-style interface (or separate windows if you prefer). I like it better than mstsc.exe.

grantbav
grantbav

Thanks for replying Jason. I suppose that is our take on it. Macs don't cause issues to the same extent Windows does. That's not to say we don't like Windows, we do and in fact every Mac we sell comes with Windows. We don't like Windows having the full run of the machine, let me explain. In our market a user wants a computer that can: Get web pages Get email Store, edit and print documents Store, edit and print media (images video etc.) All of which any platform worth its' salt will do. Frankly the war between Macs and PCs is over, the winner was the consumer and the decider was the Internet. Our global connectedness has set us all free. BUT then comes the typical Mac gotcha...... "I have "X" package for my business that runs in Windows and when I asked the software developer about a Mac version they told me to buy a real computer..... One client was even told "Macs are stupid computers made smart by installing Windows......" HOWEVER Macs CAN now install Windows, and use it in a fashion that is in the same league as a Dell or HP or any other PC based unit designed to do so. In short its' performance for all intents and purposes can be considered NATIVE..... This has never occurred quite this way before. What customers don't want: Viruses Spyware Useless software subscriptions that don't really offer much value **VISTA** Yes lots of customers ask NOT to have Vista. Herein lies the Mac's opening into the market. We've been lectured by angry IT support people who have just found out that a client of theirs has purchased a Mac from us for using in day to day business. We've been told that virtualisation is not something that only the Mac does and that the same thing could be achieved with Windows. This is perfectly true, but using Windows to run Windows in a virtualiser has its' own drawbacks, drawbacks that in our case make the Mac the number one contender. Users (I mean typical business users) don't mind running Windows in a virtualiser to run Quickbooks, or MYOB or some other thing that is a necessary evil for successful trading. They don't however want to NEED to use the virtualiser every time they want an email, or a web page, or a document or a photo. This is where the Mac in our experience wins. If we use Mac OS as the HOST OS. The user can get mail, web pages and do photos and video in the time it takes to boot 1 OS. Nothing else is required. . . . . If we use Windows to do the same we have a choice to make: 1. Use a virus scanner and other anti annoyance software on the HOST OS so the user can start 1 OS to get simple mail, web etc. Putting up with the overheads, loss of performance and costly software subscriptions. 2. Use many smaller virtual machines to segregate tasks up into "Sandboxes". This requires multiple sessions to boot for basic work and can be very confusing not to mention inflexible. 3. Use Windows and a virtual machine as one would with a Mac. To hell with the HOST OS when it gets sick, pick up the virtualiser's container file. Dump an image to the HOST and copy back the container. To be fair there are other permutations of these approaches, such as using the HOST Windows installation for critical applications only work and the virtual OS for mail etc. In any of these however the same basic limitations exist. Set a system up that is for work. Set another up for use on the Internet. Make the Internet OS protected or sacrificial. Potentially have to start two OSs for basic computing functions. End of story. All these approaches are doable. But I guess we consider the Mac one to be far and away the most issue free. There just isn't ANYTHING a commodity office PC can do that a Mac can't. And while Macs do it, they do so without the baggage of being the number 1 OS of interest to developers of nuisance-ware. That may change one day. but not today..... Add in the other benefits, the great software that is simple enough to get to know, the performance of the machines, particularly its' boot times. (No doubt not needing to start anti-virus services and the like helps here. The lack of a central system registry that goes rotten. (great for ADs lousy for moving applications and the like around.) The Mac has quite a few things sewn up. Any initial expense created by adopting a computer for doing business with our approach is soon recovered by NOT needing to buy services or software to undo the mess that is the destiny of a typical Windows installation. We charge $100 an hour to perform software reworks, clients don't think PCs are cheaper for long. Enough said..... Grant Baverstock Happy Camper :-)

apotheon
apotheon

A) Mac webservers are only marginally better than MS Windows webservers -- which means they're nowhere near the best choice. If you want a good webserver, you should probably look into Unix systems, or perhaps a mainframe (if that's the sort of webserver you need). It doesn't get much better than FreeBSD for webserver systems. Now . . . if you strip out the original OS and replace it with OpenDarwin, maybe a Mac would make a top-notch webserver. I don't know, because I haven't given OpenDarwin a shot yet. Even server versions of MacOS X aren't really up to the task, though, the way a real Unix system is (as differentiated from a system with some Unix-like parts under the hood, a heap of non-Unix proprietary cruft piled on top, and a UNIX trademark applied, like MacOS X). Still . . . it's better than Windows Server 2003 for that purpose. B) Apple is guilty of many of the same anti-competitive practices as Microsoft. Those transgressions by Microsoft that Apple hasn't matched are made up for by some transgressions by Apple that Microsoft hasn't matched. The reason Microsoft got convicted in anti-trust litigation while Apple didn't is that Microsoft had an effective market monopoly position. C) no comment on C D) no comment on D E) added comment: MacOS X is a much better OS for almost every purpose than MS Windows. If I had to choose between the two, I'd definitely go with MacOS X over MS Windows. I just don't like MacOS X much, either, and prefer other OSes. I'm also not a fan of the physical interface of Mac laptops -- so I don't even tend to want a Mac for use with a different OS.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

With zero virus infections, blue screen, or other issues with my WinXP Workstation and Win2k Server since I built the systems and installed the OS's last November, from my POV, Windows is that stable. Now, I use hardware/software firewalls and antivirus software, so perhaps I am not the norm. But, it shows that Windows CAN be very stable with a good driver behind the wheel.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm very ham-fingered. If I don't disable the tapping, I wind up "clicking" on things I didn't want. I never pack a laptop without first including a full-sized mouse.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]A two-finger tap on the touch pad is...[/i]" . . . no substitute for a proper three-button mouse. Also, y'know, touchpads suck.

rclark
rclark

Yes they are all very advanced systems and processes but not a single one would be a real world application. In the real world you have to show a profit or a benefit. We hope the money spent on these projects will pay off, but there is not even an expectation that they will. Take the Naval Submarine Fleet. It's use is not to be used. If it is ever used, it's failed.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

In a sense, by allowing the Mac to run Windows as well as OS X, Apple has done what Andy Granatelli did way back when. But then, maybe Apple is just giving the Ford drivers a chance to see what a Cadillac can do, hm?

apotheon
apotheon

I build my own systems (when I'm not picking up something for a file server or router, or something like that) when I need a tower. The only time I have any interest in buying a new system pre-built from some vendor is when I'm getting a laptop.

TechExec2
TechExec2

. I always pack a mouse too. I use this one (1). It's Microsoft, but it's good, dammit! :^0 Just thought I would pass this along to you. ** Wireless. ** Compatible with Windows and Mac OS X. ** Two buttons, auxiliary buttons, 4-way scroll wheel. ** USB adapter/receiver snaps into the bottom for transport. No cords. ** A little smaller than a full-size mouse (carries well). ** Extended battery life ----------------------------- (1) Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000 http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/productdetails.aspx?pid=048