PC or Mac?
Ask any Windows user and they will tell you to get a PC. Ask any Mac user and they will tell you to get a Mac. Like most things, the answer to this question is very subjective.
I’ve been working with computers for close to 25 years and while most of my experience has been working with PCs. I write computer software and until recently have only used Microsoft development tools, having a computer that runs MS Windows is more or less a prerequisite for this type of development. During the last year I’ve ventured into writing software for Apple devices including iPhones and this type of development requires a Mac. For a very short period of time I had a laptop running Windows as well as a MacBook for my iOS development. After doing some research I found some amazing software that allows me to run Windows applications (including all my Windows development tools) on my MacBook Pro. So I’m once again down to one computer, a 15” MacBook Pro running a software package called Parallels which allows Windows programs to run on a Mac, best of both worlds.
Most Mac users will tell you that they use Macs because they are more stable than a Windows computer. While there may have been some truth in this a decade ago, each successive version of Windows is far more stable than the previous versions. In addition, the 64 bit version of Windows is even more stable that it’s 32 bit counterpart.
With that said, here’s my answer. In almost every situation a PC running the most current version of Windows will do pretty much anything you will want to do with your computer. There might be some scenarios where a Mac might perform better than a PC but there is very little software these days that are ONLY available on one platform. One such example is games. If you want to play games then you should definitely get a PC. I’ll list a few situations I’ve found myself having to deal with over the last few months since switching to a Mac.
Business and Finance: As a software developer I design and develop some custom software that integrates with the Intuit accounting package Quickbooks. After making the switch to a Mac I thought it would be a good idea to port some of my software so it could be used on the Mac version of Quickbooks only to find out that there is NO development kit for the Mac version of Quickbooks. This means that if you want to use any custom designed components or you want to design custom software that integrates with Quickbooks you HAVE to use the Windows version. Also, I just recently found out that there is a different version of Quickbooks for Canada, but there is no Mac version. Now let’s talk about personal finance. I’ve been a long time user of Microsoft Money but it was retired by Microsoft recently so after a very long hiatus I switched back to Quicken which is actually a pretty good product, very feature rich and easy to use. Well, the Windows version anyway. The Mac version is a joke, almost to the point of being non functional. There are other personal finance software packages available for the Mac but none as functional as what’s available for Windows. Score 2 for Windows.
Photography and Image management: For as long as I’ve had a digital camera I’ve been using a software package called ACDSee for picture management. It’s fast, doesn’t require you to add pictures to a database, you just point it to the folders where your pictures are and you’re good to go. It also has some nice built in image editing functionality which is great for doing quick touch up, rotating images or even resizing images before uploading then to Flickr or even Facebook. It’s also relatively inexpensive for the functionality you get. The Mac version is more expensive and lacks ANY editing capability. Again, there are many other image management tools available for the Mac but I’ve been unable to find one that had all the functionality of the Windows version of ACDSee. Score 1 for Windows.
Graphics: Working with images and doing any type of web development requires that you have some kind of image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop pretty much sets the bar for image editing and manipulation software and I’m please to say that so far the Mac version is just as functional as the Windows version. No points awarded.
Office and Productivity Software: As with Photoshop, Microsoft Office has set the bar for what is expected from an office productivity suite. Although there is a version of MS Office available for the Mac there are some features such as VB Script support missing but most users aren’t going to miss this. Apple does have it’s own productivity suite available called iWork that includes a Work, Excel and Powerpoint counterpart which seems pretty feature rich and simple to use. I’m calling this one a tie as well and not awarding any points.
Next is cost, based on the research I did when looking for my last computer I found that for lower end computers, Macs were much more expensive but once you started to get into high end configurations, Macs were pretty close in price to comparably equipped Windows machines. My research was only for laptops.
In summary, there is very little you can’t do with a Windows PC these days. So, if you ask me I'll tell you to buy a PC.