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Mac Vs PC?
The choice of which camp you pick, a big deal some years ago, has stopped mattering now
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As a student at the turn of the century, mostly everyone in my circle had a Windows 98 PC, our family included. One chap I knew owned one of those fancy new multicolored iMacs that had marked Steve Jobs’ return to Apple, and boy, did we argue about which one was better!
We had fierce, time-consuming arguments about it, and as it turns out, so did way too many folks all around the world. The ‘Mac vs PC’ debate quickly joined the ranks of Coke/Pepsi, Canon/Nikon and Marvel/DC — you know, the bitter rivalries we’ve seen play out so many times in the past, each with their sworn armies of loyalists.
Apple did their bit and stoked the flames with their famous “Get a Mac” advertisements in the late 2000s in which PCs were portrayed as old and insipid, while Macs were young and hip…and the sparring has continued ever since. Even today, you can bait any gathering with the quintessential ‘Mac vs PC?’ question, and see sparks fly!
Me? I’m of the opinion it’s stopped mattering, quite honestly. I’m a Windows user all day at work, and own a MacBook Pro that I come home to in the evenings, and seamlessly switch between the two every single day.
Sure, my Mac’s battery blows the work Windows laptop out of the water and there’s a discernible lack of bloat on macOS, but I’m not blind to the fact that the Windows laptop costs a lot less and pretty much gets the job done (pun intended!). On any given day, I could pick up either and it wouldn’t matter. For instance, Office 365 on both machines means I don’t have to pick between Office and some other office suite and worry about whether the tables in PowerPoint would render correctly. Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe suite work on both platforms, as do all my usual apps — Dropbox, Evernote, 1Password, Pocket, Twitter, among others. Even the much reviled iTunes software is available on both platforms, so my Apple Music playlists are available everywhere. Except for the rare iMovie video editing, I barely ever have to use something that’s specific to one platform.
What makes matters even easier is that increasingly a lot of software is to be found in the browser, and between Chrome and Firefox on both laptops, I’m synched and sorted wherever I go. Need to share a document to collaborate with someone else? Google Docs works in the browser, as do Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote within the Office 365 suite. Slack’s in the browser as well, as is all the mundane stuff like Gmail and Facebook and all my streaming media services like Netflix and Hotstar. For most of the day, the browser is my home.
Of course, there will always be folks who will have very specific needs that may force a choice of platform. I used to game a lot in the past, and if I still did, I’d probably want a beefier Windows laptop over a Mac. If you use outdated business software that hasn’t made the leap to the web, I get why you may have to stick to Windows. But for the vast majority, both OSes are pretty flexible and work rather well with all the usual third-party software.
The common notions — “Macs don’t have any games”, “PCs are slow and prone to viruses” — don’t exactly hold true anymore, and even if it were to come down to aesthetics, there are a lot of slick looking laptops from Dell and HP these days that give Macs a solid run for their money. This “choice” of which camp you pick, a big deal some years ago, truly has stopped mattering now.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
The author is Technology Columnist and Program Manager in Bengaluru, IndiaMore From The Author >>