Is Windows as good as a Mac?
Well lets face it, that is what most of my website is meant to prove is not the case.
I use both, I program both, and I own both. I am a professional computer person, that has been working with computers for almost 20 years. I am opinionated, and biased -- but that bias is based on experience. Scientists are also biased, because their years of experience and study has led them to believe certain hypothesis (which they can support). That is what this site if for, to explain the hypothesis and support it. The trick to managing bias, is to have an open mind and keep an open mind, and to achieve your bias through objective learning and the search for truth (as I believe I have done).
The Mac is far superior for most users needs.
Reality is that the Mac is not better in EVERY way -- there is no such thing.
The Mac is just better in most ways that should count to most users. There are certainly things that Windows does better than the Mac -- but when someone says "Windows is as good as a Mac", they probably don't have the first clue about Macs. There are things the PC is good for -- but it is just not better for most home users, nor for most business users. In fact, the Mac is superior for most users. So the real question every purchaser should ask themselves, "Is the Mac better ENOUGH to justify buying it (and all that entails)?" There are still many times that the answer will be "No". But the Mac is still probably better -- just not better enough, or not better enough in their niche.
The Press (and Fallacy)
The truth is often more complex than a sound byte -- and the press loves black and white -- and not balance. Balance, and explaining complex issues just slows the flow of the writing, and requires an understanding of the topic (which requires experience and training that most reporters don't have). It is easier for reporters to conform (and follow) than to think for themselves (and lead). It is also easier for publications to parrot instead of verify or be creative, and so the fallacy persists that Windows "is as good as a Mac".
It takes a lot of time and effort to break through people's bias and misconceptions and actually stand up for what is right. It is much easier to feed peoples misconceptions (and exploit them) and sell papers, get attention, or just make a computer sale. It is also easier for IS-depts. to force PC's on people so that the company is more dependent on IS (information services). And people just want to believe they made the best purchase decision, and so they minimize their pain, and try to convince their friends to make the same mistake they did (and buy a PC). These are all reasons why the fallacy persists.
That does not mean that ALL PC purchases are bad -- just most. There is no doubt that Windows is not nearly as revolting to use as it once was. There is no doubt that the Mac is losing some of its advantage in ease of use (Systems are getting more complex). But there is also no doubt that the PC has yet to catch up with the Mac overall. In fact, Every time Windows moves forward, so does the Mac -- sometimes the Mac moves further than the PC, sometimes not. It is easier for Windows to progress, because it certainly has a lot more areas where it can improve.
Instead of discussing which is best, you have to fight with people about their fallacies -- about the myths of Macs. This whole section is for debunking those myths. This will let people explore and learn on their own -- and slowly enlighten themselves, if they want to. I am only offering the opportunity to learn -- and I can not force it on anyone.
I get occasional heat (flames) from people who resent the truth, and send me "nastygrams" calling me names and the like. Then I talk with them about the technical issues. 95% drop out immediately because they don't know what they are talking about, they just can't believe that they are that wrong (misinformed). Of the remaining 5%, most are looking at computers from a very narrow point of views -- one that myopically looks at one technology, and ignores the rest in the system. I have yet to find someone that can truly defend the point that Windows is "better" than the Mac for most users -- especially in the home, but I keep waiting.
Computers are used for many things, and an individuals uses can greatly change how they perceive different features. I certainly do not profess that the Mac is better for Everything - just for 98% of those uses and users. The Mac is -
Now there are other areas where the Mac really excels far beyond where the PC can go.
While that is most of what computers are used for, that is certainly not the only things computers are used for. IF you have an IS dept. to support you, or IF you are willing to pay consultants to keep your machines running (and pay them more than you would a Mac), or IF you are very technically savvy and will enjoy the occasional (or not so occasional) challenges that will crop up -- THEN I think the PC's are better in the following areas -
But even these areas (where I would recommend a PC) are becoming grayer - IBM and Motorola are creating many embedded controller variant of the PowerPC's which make it cheaper to use Macs (or PowerPC's). For simple data entry, it is easier to write these Apps on the Mac, and the superior networking and iMac cost/features make both very enticing. So the advantages in these areas are shrinking for PC's (just like the Macs advantages in some areas have shrunk as well).
Pragmatism and Tradeoffs
Engineering is about tradeoffs -- if you do X, it will cost you on Y. Seldom can you do everything, so you do tradeoff and pick your battles. The same for computers. Macs (or PC's) are not perfect for everything, and there are lots of tradeoffs. Each task must be evaluated. Then even in most areas there are more tradeoffs.
In some areas, I know that the Macs certainly can be used, but that doesn't always make them better choice. On the other hand just because the PC's are used more often does not mean it was the better choice. Some of the following might include -
So markets and computers should be looked at objectively and openly. Markets should be looked at individually. We should not try to crush competition, competition makes the market better. But we should be free to choose the right computer, and in many (most) cases, that will be the Macintosh.
Stop the insanity
We must stop the myths about Macs, and instead make educated choices based on the facts. If more people did, then far more people would buy Macs. I don't think the Mac should have 100% marketshare, but if it was 60-70% Mac marketshare (instead of the other way around), I think that the collective output of humanity would go up by a large degree.
If people want to buy PC's, that is fine, it is just a computer purchase -- but I want them to make that decision from a position of knowledge, and not from a position of ignorance (or misinformed bigotry). Learn the truth about Macs, then make choices based on that knowledge. Many will not accept the Macs tradeoffs, but at least they will know what they are -- instead of basing your purchase decisions on ignorance like Apple is going out of business, Macs cost more, Macs are just a toy, or that the Mac just stole its User Interface from Xerox.
If you can read all the information in this site (objectively and with an open mind), then at least you can make an informed purchase.