How to Choose: Mac vs. PC

Both Mac and PC offer a variety of computer hardware and software for business. How to choose between the Mac and PC is a matter of making an objective comparison between both platforms and applying the results to the needs and resources of your business.

First things first: the cost differential

Generally speaking, PCs cost less than Macs. PCs are likewise more configurable, ranging from high-end rockets to budget build-’em-yourself hybrids. If your business is starting out or you’re planning an upgrade in your IT, cash flow might trump capital investment. The PC clone market can be a quick fix without busting the IT budget.

However, cheaper doesn’t always have to mean lesser capability. When shopping for PCs, check under the hood for power, memory and storage. If you do a lot of work in the cloud, you’ll be more dependent on the vendor’s muscle machines and less on your own.

Mac, on the other hand, offers a more limited choice of business computers along with higher up-front costs. For example, a new MacPro with a monitor (sold separately) could cost a tad under $4,000. You can upgrade a Mac with more memory and a larger hard drive, but Macs come out of the box with all the capacity and power you need.

The Mac OSX operating platform vs. Windows 10

Mac’s operating system is more stable and less vulnerable to cyber attacks than its PC counterpart. Since the introduction of Mac OSX in 2001, Mac has built on a solid Linux-based platform. Its current version 10.10 is streamlined, user friendly and elegant.

Windows 10 is a less-chaotic version of its predecessor, Windows 8. The Start button is back, and Windows 10 is the engine which runs Microsoft’s popular Surface tablet. Microsoft claims that Windows 10 is the “final version” of Windows and, like Mac OSX, will continue to be its flagship platform.

Mac does Windows

If you need to run Windows legacy programs–Microsoft Access and dot-net programs, for example–you can run Windows and its programs on a Mac. Your two options:

1. The dual-boot Boot Camp program, which is ready to run on OSX. You need a legal copy of Windows 10. When you install the software, you can boot your Mac into the Windows operating system, but you must run Windows separately from Mac’s OSX.

2. Virtual machine software, such as Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or Virtual Box. Each of those programs must be purchased or downloaded (Virtual Box is free) and loaded separately along with a legal copy of Windows. Although virtual machine software runs seamlessly with OSX, it runs a tad slower and doesn’t have all the capability of Boot Camp’s dual-boot mode.

Business software offerings

The PC offers a wider variety of business accounting and data processing applications. Mac is generally considered the platform of choice for creativity–image editing, multi-media, etc.

Popular Microsoft Office applications–except he Access database–are cross-platform compatible. Also, cloud applications–Office 365, etc.–run equally well on both the PC and Mac. Mac, as previously stated, has OSX platform-specific imaging and multi-media software that are powerful and feature-rich.

Support after the sale

Mac rules the roost in customer satisfaction. According to this piece on HowStuffWorks.com, in surveys conducted by both PCWorld and PCMag, “readers chose Apple computers over every single brand of PC available.”

However, PCMag in an online article rated services like Geek Squad as “staffed by people who knew their way around a computer.” However, when compared to people at the Apple Genius counter, their services “exhibited shortcomings, and occasionally failed…”

The bottom line is this: Choosing between a Mac and a PC depends on what software and hardware you need to run your business. Considering that the Mac has yet to take a significant bite out of the PC market, and most businesses run accounting and data-rich applications, PCs will likely remain dominant for sometime to come.

Whichever platform you prefer, contact us for service. We’ll leave out the tech-talk and give you quality IT services.

  • 05/01/2016
  • IT