Good article. As a graphic designer turned web designer turned UX designer, I’ve been observing a strange trend from quite a while now which is
Devs moving towards MacOS and
Designers moving towards Windows.
I guess there are several reasons for this.
In the case of designers:
- It all started in 2006 when Macs started using traditional PC’ technology (Intel processors and such, abandoning Apples’ Power PC and proprietary technology). They simply lost the race and for way less money you could buy a PC with great specs (which you can upgrade by the way), compared to more expensive Macs with medium-to-good specs. It was simple enough for video and 3d renderers to choose the best and cheaper PC machines.
- Still, most 2d and print designers and creative agencies were sticking to Macs… Apple was able to hold onto its “Designed-for-designers” status thanks to the fame built over the years, the church-cult-like marketing Steve Jobs would employ, the better resolution Cinema Display monitors and the virus and hassle-free MacOS. Besides those advantages, something else that really separated their PC put-together laptops from others (Dell, Alienware, Gateway or HP) was their product design. PCs had the raw power, size (and noise) of an American muscle car or bike, but Macs had the silent precision and refined looks of an European sportscar. *
- Some companies like HP and Alienware were investing in better product design already, but still not reaching the mark. Then the Microsoft Surface came along. Its game-changing feature, of course, being the ability to ditch that expensive Mac and pricey Cintiq… Add that to the better designed Windows 10, and Apple is really taking a hit. I can see the Surface Studio moving a lot of studios away from the iMacs as well, let’s see…
- Lastly, this might be a little bit of a stretch, but I believe that — thanks to digital design winning territory over print design — designers are becoming more tech-savvy. Therefore, they are less inclined to blindly worship the “Apple Cult” when they finally understand that you can get a cheaper machine that will run your Adobe programs faster… Tech-savvy designers also tend to be safe against virus and adware traps that afflict many tech-illiterate PC users. Lastly, being tech-savvy might make them power-users, steering away from the lack-of-control and simplicity the MacOS offers.
In the case of Devs I would assume it’s because:
- Mac OS is easier and simpler to work on. Time is of essence for coding and it provides a better User Experience, since it’s easier to set-up, time-machine options, etc.
- MacOS is Unix under the hood… Better shell, etc.
- You can use virtual machine or bootcamp to test stuff that requires Windows.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the Devs I know still use Windows at home because they enjoy being power users on their OS. More importantly, they enjoy playing a variety of PC games that Macs simply do not offer.
*Even though I’m a designer, I was always more inclined to appreciate the audacity of Camaros, Mustangs and Harleys than better-designed/engineered Porches or Audis… And even working with Macs, I never really ditched my ugly loud PCs with massive towers. I know they are not really designed to be precise or run smoothly. I know that a studio full of black plastic PCs is uglier than one with nice iMacs. But in terms of function and experience, PCs always gave me a better experience as a power-user, allowing me to stick my hands into their towers, upgrade anything I want and make the most of my hardware (and money).