Mac vs PC in the Office

Quick history lesson:

Apple Mac was easier. Windows 3.1 was more successful.  Apple System 7 were easier/better then Windows 3.1.  Windows 95 was as good as Mac System 7-8.  Windows 98 was a little better, maybe.  Windows 2000 was multi-threaded and was MUCH better than Mac System 9.  Windows XP was a nice improvement and was MUCH better than System 9.  Then Steve Jobs came back to Apple.  MacOSX is much better than Windows XP.  And now, Vista is only slightly better than Windows XP and certainly alot worse than MacOSX.

OK, so here we are, Macs are clearly better than PCs, at least for now.  Vista is slower and buggier.  Developers are moving to Mac in droves. OSX is based on Unix and runs like a dream.  Usability is good.  You can run Windows in a virtual machine anyway for testing reasons. There is pressure in the office to switch wholesale to Macs.

So what’s the holdup?  A couple of key reasons that I think Apple should consider.

  1. We have existing hardware from Dell.  We don’t want to buy new equipment.  It’s hard to decide to switch and spend tens of thousands of dollars on new hardware.
  2. The server is Windows 2003.  Active Directory controls passwords.  Exchange 2003 has everyone’s email.  What is the migration path to new groupware?  How do we import all of our email?  Our passwords?  Our network drives.  Would we upgrade the desktop machines but not the server?  Does that make sense?  Entourage doesn’t work as well as Outllok 2003-2007.
  3. Cognitive dissonance.  Alot of the non-developers would have a cow switching.  Where do I click to do X-Y-Z???  I can already here to tech support nightmare.  MacOS is  not so easy that non-technical users would just know how to do everything without anyone helping.

I have to admit, I think Microsoft screwed the pooch on Vista.  It’s SLOWER.  It can’t be slower.  They have to work for the next year or two on speed.  Speed, speed, speed.  Developers need to run their env fast.  Office needs to launch instantly.  Boot needs to be TV like speeds.  This is the only way to catch up to Apple.  Speed, speed, speed.  I can not say it enough.

If they don’t do this and keep adding bloat, then I will seriously consider a Mac for my next home computer.  We just bought some about 18 months ago, I will be in the market probably in another 18 months.  I am putting Microsoft on official notice.  Improve speed or I will switch.

And if I switch, it is a bad sign for Microsoft.  I deal with #2 and #3 at work.  That’s 66% of the roadblocks eliminated.  There are tens of thousands of people just like me.  This is a critical moment.

By the way, if Apple were to release MacOS X for my Dell, I would switch MUCH sooner.  Maybe even today.  Side question:  Why doesn’t apple see the logic in this?  Are device drivers that hard to deal with?

4 replies on “Mac vs PC in the Office”

I realized that you mentioned Exchange, but using Exchange with Outlook for email and calendar is a huge reason that Windows will continue to dominate the workplace. Also, consider the cost of desktops and laptops. Corporations can purchase Dell or HP desktops and laptops in bulk at the fraction of the cost of Macs, no matter how much better the Mac OS maybe.

I was just pricing out laptops for a friend. Dell Outlet has laptops that are SO inexpensive. $500 for a really nice laptop. $1000 for something top of the line and huge. The macs are really nice, but they are typically twice as much. I just can’t deal with that.

Maybe I should try linux on a cheap dell.

Apple is a high-tech consumer products company, not a computer company. Don’t expect them to act like other computer companies.

That said, I work in an office that’s about 50/50 Mac and Windows. We all connect to Exchange, office shares, etc just fine. Personally, I use Thunderbird on my Mac and like it much better than Entourage.

I’ve got Kubuntu (Ubuntu distro with the KDE desktop) running on one of my older Dell laptops. Overall, it works great. Firefox browser and Open Office. That being said, getting wireless working was a pain. After trying forever to get my older Linksys 54g wireless card to work in Linux using NDISWrapper, I gave up and purchased a Linux friendly Belkin wireless card for $30. Works great now.

Overall, I really enjoy using Linux. Gnome, KDE and my new personal favorite Enlightenment (OpenGEU) desktops are all really good and have come a long way since the mid to late 90’s. There are still some hardware issue, especially with wireless cards. But overall it’s a great OS.

If you want to just dabble with a few distro’s, try Virtual Box and run them as virtual machines under Windows.

Whatya think?