PCs v. Macs - the old debate

Being the geeky sorts, computer-related questions are often pointed at us by distant family members, friends of friends and tenuous business acquaintances. Being the computer literate family member or acquaintance leads to us being called upon, a lot, to solve any number of computing woes.

One of the most common questions posed to us is "I'm going to buy a computer, what should I get?"

Our best advice is always to "buy a Mac".

Now, we're the first to admit that we've been Apple fan boys for many, many years, even during the time when Apple was wildly unfashionable and no-one bought their kit. So, it might be obvious that we're going to recommend Apple computers over the rest. But, with years' of experience in the IT industry, pretty much all of us have arrived at the conclusion that Macs represent the better choice.

PCs have much going for them: they're cheaper, have more software, especially business applications, as well as games written for them. They're more ubiquitous and you're buying into what the majority of people use, so you're never stuck in a minority niche. You can do a lot on a PC for much less money, and if they go wrong there's a whole pre-existing support network out there that will help you get going again.

But a Mac yields many benefits too. They are more expensive, but you're buying quality, branded components, not grey imports. Macs last longer as well: 5-7 years for a Mac, as opposed to 2-4 years for a PC.

There are almost no Mac viruses or pieces of malware, ironically because they're not as popular as PCs.

But the killer feature for us, as oft-questioned geeks on all matters IT, is that Macs simply are easier to use. The operating system, OSX, is a gem of clarity that others, Microsoft included, struggle to emulate. The user experience is one of easy use, even pleasurable use, where the computer's inner workings fade into the background, leaving you to get on with your work, or pleasure.

As a result of these advantages, Macs require less support than PCs. And so for every enquirer we persuade to buy a Mac, that's one fewer person who'll call up at all hours of the day or night, needing answers to computing questions.

Which means we igeeks can sleep easier in our beds…

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