Comparing Macs to PCs

Interesting thing I’ve noticed, anytime someone gets a new Mac they spend about three paragraphs gushing about the hardware; how sleek, how sexy, the packaging, the screen, etc. Often they’ll compare it to their old PC and list off all the short-comings it had, then in a wonderful bit of Apple mind control you’ll see something like, “Microsoft could learn a lesson or two from Apple”.

At this point I either start foaming at the mouth, give a despairing laugh or simply shake my head. For those that haven’t already picked up on the source of my ire it’s the simple fact that Microsoft doesn’t make computers yet that doesn’t stop people from comparing Apple hardware to Microsoft software. If their old HP was a clunky noisy hulking beast it’s somehow Microsoft’s fault yet because their new 17″ MacBook is light-weight and runs silent that somehow translates to OS X being the most well crafted piece of software of all time.

While I’d love to deride those people, call them idiots and fanboys and sheep, point out to them their every logical flaw and suggest they complete at least 3rd grade before trying to function in the real world the lesson here is that people don’t separate their hardware from their software. The whole hardware and software package is simply known as “the computer” and if they are staring at Microsoft Windows all day then everything about the computer is “Microsoft” regardless of the big Dell or HP logo slapped on the tucked away computer case.

Another, albeit smaller, thing about the usual Mac/PC+Windows comparison that starts me sputtering is everyone always spouts off about QuickSilver and how just that alone makes the upgrade from PC to Mac worth it. While QuickSilver may be the best thing since ones and zeros it’s a third-party utility that’s NOT WRITTEN BY APPLE yet people hold it up and wave it around as another reason Apple trumps Microsoft.

There is one not so obvious lesson that PC hardware manufactures need to take very seriously though, start making quality PC hardware and bundling it with applications that actually help users instead of the usual craplets, otherwise Microsoft is going to step into the PC game and you really don’t want that. Microsoft is already learning quite a bit about the mass production of good looking integrated PC-style hardware units, I believe it’s called the XBox 360. They’ve also shown that if they don’t think their partners are holding up their side of bargain they’ll go it alone, a la the Zune.