Mac or PC? Get the One that has the Software you want!

It’s the age-old question. Do I buy a Mac? Or a Windows PC?

Along with the question comes a weird implication of personal culture. You either have to be a “Mac person” or a “Windows person”. Mac people are creative and eccentric, and Windows people like business and/or video games.

Or something.

All of that is nonsense designed to sell you a thing.

I’ve mainly been a Windows user for the last 28 or so years. Well, I started out on MS-DOS before that. But I’ve used Apple hardware a lot over the years too. From the Apple II to the PowerMac Performa to the original iMac…all the way to the modern MacBook 12-inch. I’ve experienced most of their lineup over the years, and also every major version of Windows.

The question is really easy to answer: What software do you want to use?

That’s it. If it seems simple and reductive, it is. But that’s the point.

Remember WindowsMe? I was one of five people that actually liked it. It was totally fine. But it’s protocol that Windows fans have to occasionally hate one version. ;) See also Windows Vista and Windows 8.

The day-t0-day usage experience of both operating systems is 95 percent similar these days. Yes, MacOS has some features and organizational concepts that make it easier to use…kind of. Installing and uninstalling programs is often simpler and more intuitive.

But good luck if you want any kind of flexibility. File system management is much more accessible in Windows. Need to edit a configuration file inside a program’s directory? In Windows, it’s a snap. In MacOS, it means diving into hidden library directories that they never intended for you to see.

Do you want access to Final Cut Pro, Pages, and other Mac-exclusive programs? Then go with MacOS. Are you okay with doing things the way Apple wants you to do them, and no other way? Then MacOS is your deal! Want to pay more money for way less powerful hardware, matched with sleek design that you could also get from another company?

Sigh. That last one is getting worse with each new revision from Apple.

Windows machines offer more power for the money, more flexibility in the way you use them, and more software in general. You’re not limited to the ports, options, and software that Apple wants you to use. If you’re a gamer, PC is the only proper choice.

And yet, I can’t deny the almost-religious appeal of certain Apple products. They are designed to be profoundly appealing, at the cost of nearly everything else. “Here’s a sleek little computer for you. If you want software…hey look over there at our phone!” When I first saw the 12-inch MacBook, I knew that I would buy one sometime because I really liked its design. But as functional and neat as it is…content is king.

Buy the computer that has the software you want to use, and get the most powerful thing you can for the budget you have to spend. More speed is always better, but don’t be driven by hardware lust alone. Make sure you’ll be able to use the programs you want to use. In this day of excitement/speculation over new phone launches, Nintendo launching a new console with only one marquee game, and Microsoft constantly talking about how powerful Scorpio is going to be without showing any games…I feel like we’ve all forgotten about Software.

Hardware is nothing without Software. Follow the software, and you’ll find your answer.

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