Parallel Desktops

Mac vs. Windows

So I’m doing my thing tonight, ripping through my RSS feeds when I come across a Digg reference to a blog post a guy wrote about visiting an Apple store. I thought the article was pretty funny – I really liked the guys writing style and shared many of his experiences when visiting an Apple store. What I found amusing was actually the number of comments placed on the blog itself! The guy was inundated with "Macs suck!!!" and "Oh yeah? PCs suck!!!".  Hundreds of detailed comments by people. 

It’s nice to see that the battle lines are still drawn!
I’ll be the first to admit that I was a staunch "Macs are crap, Windows is the way to go" kind of guy, but I had an agenda: I built Windows based applications that only ran on Windows machines. Macs were useless. Once I made the switch to developing web based solutions the issue of platform mattered less and less to me.
I still long for writing Windows applications – I love the flexibility of the system to work with other applications, the ability to leverage common and well defined user interface elements, the speed of the development tools for building those applications, etc. Unfortunately people don’t like the idea of downloading software for their PCs like they did in the past. They’re worried about viruses and spyware or if they’re in a company IT has locked down their machine and they can’t even install software on it. Web applications don’t have that stigma, so they have become the preferred way to introduce new software into the business world.
With that change the platform you use has become far less important. I can build a simple application that will run on every Windows machine in my house as well as my Mac and my Ubuntu machine by simply hosting it on my web site. I can even get access to it on my phone’s web browser if I create a small factor web page for it! That makes it pretty powerful.
Each of the machines I have has a place in my home: My Windows machines continue to be my primary development platform and gaming system. My Mac has quickly become my instant messaging client and personal communications device (e-mail, blogging, etc) – since it’s now my primary laptop I take it with me wherever I go. My Ubuntu machine is really more of a curiosity than anything else – if my other machines are busy I’ll grab it and surf to a web site. If I come across some interesting Linux based application I’ll give it a spin, but that’s really it.
Mac vs. Windows doesn’t really matter – you should choose the machine that does what you need it to do. There are strengths and weaknesses in every platform.
At the end of the day, I like all of my computers. OK, everything except the laptop I have running Vista. For some reason it acts up more than all of my other machines combined. Still, I don’t hate the thing.

By David Alison

I bought my first Mac almost 24 years ago when DOS ruled the world. I didn't keep it too long though. I was just kicking off my career as a software engineer and needed to go with PCs. I bought my 2nd Mac in February of 2008. I didn't expect that I would find myself using the machine as much as I have. It's not that I hate Windows (well, I pretty much hate Vista but XP is a fine OS), it's just that I find myself constantly playing with this machine.

I'll share with you here my experiences of making the move from Windows to Macintosh. I still have a foot in both worlds, hence the name of my section.

2 replies on “Mac vs. Windows”

Yeah. My windows laptop just sustained (or failed to sustain) a car wreck and now I’m looking at macbooks and thinking they’re pretty sweet.
I googled mac vs. windows and found this article that pretty much says exactly what I was thinking. I’m still torn though, it is a lot of money for something that I don’t understand yet.
Wish me luck.

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