I know that for many people, the first thing they want to know when they wake up is how they can best use their day to make Fauxscot richer and happier.
Today I am going to tell you. You can buy an Apple computer.
This will accomplish many things. First, it will drive up the value of my IRA, which is heavily invested in Apple. It’s my retirement program, and the sooner I retire, the sooner you get to quit reading all this crap I type. Win, win. Right, right?
Second, it will reduce the number of people who ask me to fix their Wintel box, which keeps me pretty busy, but not entertained. When you use an Apple, you leave my free support list because you no longer need me.
All seriousness aside, I am going to tell you a bunch of reasons why an Apple box beats a comparable Windows box all to hell. Armed with impeccable reason from an unimpeachable source, you will be on your way to computing Nirvana, trust me. Apple beats Microsoft like a rented mule.
Basically, there are really only two reasons to prefer Apple; hardware, software and the company. OK, three, but that’s the last point I’ll surrender.
Apple moved over to the Intel chipsets several years back. Leaving behind the OK-not-great PowerPC chips, they invalidated the last metric diehards had used to denigrate them… clock cycles. Forget MIPS, Wintellians could only see footsteps per second, not miles per hour. Whatever… it is now moot.
Apple limits the number of Mac hardware variations, meaning that the number of quality issues related to fly-by-night manufacturers staffed by partially trained engineers is zero, compared to a Microsoft ecosystem that is thoroughly polluted with them. Apple designers are all squirreled away in Cupertino, not Taiwan. Frankly, we’re better, and even though a goodly portion of those folks in Cupertino probably hail from Taiwan, things seemingly work better in California.
Apple is at the forefront of miniaturization and advanced packaging. In hardware innovation, they are now on their 5th or 6th revolutionary offering, including iPods, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air, Time Machine, yada, yada, yada.
By comparison, Windows stuff still has a slot for inserting quarters. Look at the hottest Windows machines…they are all copying Apple. Apple could incorporate moose poop in their shipping containers as a joke, and Dell would open a collection facility here in Vermont to compete. Dingbats. Microsoft Store? Get real. You see where that went.
Only Lenovo comes close to the quality and human factors features present in Macs, and their costs are roughly equivalent, even before accounting for the emotional cost of dealing with Microsoft. I truly love my nine Thinkpads, but second place is empty in this contest, and Lenovo comes in third.
Pay particularly close attention to tablets. Realize that Apple put out the Newton tablets in 1993, and thus got a lot of experience on what might work, what definitely did not, and what the market could look like. Now, everyone else is just starting their Newton experiment, and doing so by either reinventing it perfectly, or blindly copying the iPad shape, but not the functional aspects. Actually, to say the pack is behind Apple is to entertain the ridiculous concept that they are even running. No one is, besides Apple. Samsung is basically spray painting over the Apple logo and sticking a Samsung label over such a faithful copy that the courts won’t let them sell the damned things in Europe or Australia. Fail. HP can’t give theirs away.
Apple put Firewire in their machines when everyone else was selling USB. Now, they have Thunderbolt while everyone else has USB2. They ditched the floppy years before anyone else did, replaced CDs with DVD super-drives, and now, they are ditching the plastic disk thing entirely. They were among the first to ship product with Solid State Drives. Their single-piece aluminum notebook enclosures contrast with injection molded plastic crap of the Wintel world.
Apple stuff works. It works because the company who makes the hardware writes the operating system. Even that is an industry standard based on Unix. It’s a lot more open than the supposedly open-architecture Windows.
Mac OS X. Wow. Re-boot it once a year if you need to, but really, you don’t. Stable, feature rich, virus resistant, $29 for the full up version, none of it crippled. Plug in a peripheral and watch it work. Find a wireless node and watch it connect. It. Just. Works. Wanna try Unix? Open the console and surprise!
No disk defrag. No virus scans. No endless tweaking to remove ‘improvements’ Microsoft delivered with the last patch. No more “Patch Tuesdays”, the monthly ritual whose last activation (8/2011) for me was a score of patches, in an OS that is 10 years old. No more “Windows Genuine Advantage” guilt ware. For a guy like me, who paid for every Microsoft product he ever used, to be begged to install a program to tell ME I’m legal is an insult. It overlooks tens of thousands of dollars I have sent to Billy Gates and His Gang and casts me in the role of criminal. I once had my system refuse to boot because I had changed hardware too much, so I must be a criminal. That day, Microsoft lost me.
Macs run a Mac version of Microsoft Office. So much for that reason not to use them. For about $80, you can have the Apple version of similar software, that reads and writes Microsoft formats. That will save you another $500 or so. Maybe enough to punctuate how the total cost of Mac ownership is comparable to even the cheapest PC platform.
Apple owns virtually 100% of the market for PCs and laptops selling for over $1000. They account for ½ of the total profit of the telecom industry. They are unchallenged in tablets, though every week a new iPad killer gets introduced and two weeks later, sees its price cut. HP’s MaxiPad or whatever the hell they call it made it less than a month before a huge price cut. Fail.
Apple has the top customer satisfaction ratings in its industry. They are consistently rated as one of America’s top employers.
They are today jockeying for first place with Exxon in market capitalization, and are breaking new ground in growth for a company in the $100 billion range. None has ever seen 150% earnings growth and 80% revenue growth year over year in this size range. The old ‘law of large numbers’ seems ripe for an Apple update, where it apparently does not apply.
They’ve mastered the art of listening to their customers, timing their product introductions, exceeding shareholder expectations, and growing their business. They have collected more cash on hand than the US Treasury had a few weeks ago, and could buy most of their competitors outright. In a particularly funny turn about, they could actually buy Dell, close it down, and return all its money to the shareholders, as Michael Dell once suggested Apple do. Delicious schadenfreude goodness. Yum!
Reinvigorated by Steve Jobs, he has designed a company that runs without him, and which no longer demands his daily involvement. It has proven itself capable of reinventing entire industries and taking over their revenue. Witness the death of the brick and mortar music store. Witness the growth of the app store. Witness the most lucrative retail sales per square foot metric in the world, substantially greater than Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, and Best Buy.
They have resisted pressure to squander their increasing cash position to procure inappropriate businesses, and/or to pay out single-event shareholder bonuses, and they do not waste their money on billionaire executives, paying Mr. Jobs $1 per year in salary and other executives reasonable compensation.
They insist on selling stuff that works, works well, and makes money. According to Mr. Jobs, it’s in their DNA. No crap.
Even if you won’t buy their computers, consider buying their stock.
Why should you NOT buy a Windows 7 Machine?
First, Microsoft presumes you are a software thief and often that you are an idiot. Until recently, they used animated paper clips and cute little dogs to speak grade school explanations to their user base.
Installing an operating system takes HOURS. The Microsoft Knowledge Base article on upgrading from XP demands my 35 years of computer experience, and I can guaran-damn-tee you, Joe SixPack’s Granny would have a stroke doing it.
They have 4 different versions of Windows 7, from Starter to Ultimate, ranging from a minimum charge of $120 to a maximum of $300. Compare this to $29 for one version of OSX that does it all on an Apple.
They just got rid of one of the biggest product introduction abortions in American corporate history when they retired their late and great Vista, a word now synonymous with failure. They shipped something incomplete into a world they failed to prepare for it, and earned bonus points on corporate damnation. A train wreck. Google “Why I hate Vista” and see for yourself.
Buying a $300 Dell gets you $1000 worth of crap-ware you must uninstall one piece at a time. Antivirus, tool bars, backup and productivity suites….all intrusive samples, useless and big. The junk you get for free is worth every cent of what you pay. Probably less. It’s designed to appeal to folks who aren’t really sure why they’re buying a computer, but are desperate to be with it and groovy and all. Folks who want to use the intarwebs and teh Googlez. Down in the paneled den, next to the air hockey table and neon beer signs.
Is this the fashion statement you want to make? Is this your cohort? Don’t put that Dell window sticker on your Buick, I beg you, for your own good!
Microsoft has uncounted thousands of amateur developers making hardware and software drivers to help hackers get access to your checkbook. These people don’t work for Microsoft, but do occupy many garages and tenements all over the Third World, stealing each other’s bad designs from one another and selling them in the ‘open’ PC world.
An entire anti-virus industry thrives on the omissions of Microsoft. The downside of ‘open architecture” is that all your private stuff finds its way into the open.
If you get a super-duper-fast processor for your PC, in addition to the $300 for Windows 7 Ultimate Whoopteedoodle, expect to pay $100 for an anti-virus program and hand over 10% of your precious processor cycles to incessant checks on every new program invoked. Make sure to allocate time to download and install a useful web browser, too. Internet Exploder version 99 isn’t it.
On the other hand, if you have an Apple running OSX, you can run Windows in a virtual machine or separate boot partition. Some people thrive on abuse so Apple allows you to prolong your Windows addiction while you slowly come to your senses and abandon it for good. The opposite is not true.
If you are using legal Windows now, you can legally install it in parallel on a Mac, and throw away your Windows machine. Keep your old apps. Not a problem.
There is no valid financial, hardware or software reason for sticking with the Windows platforms. Financial reasons fall by the wayside if you value your time at more than minimum wage OR if you include the real cost of all the extras you have to have to safely operate Windows. Would you take a free airplane ticket to Europe if you found out that you had to pay only an aircraft boarding fee of a few thousand dollars? That’s what a cheap PC gets you: false economy.
Basically, this is it: If you want to play with a computer, buy a PC. If you want to use one, buy an Apple.
If you can afford to waste time on fixing stuff, you can afford to spend money on something that doesn’t require you to.