More Than Marketing

So, I admit, these Apple Ads are pretty clever. They’re cute. They’re easy to understand because they make computers simple and people like that. They also happen to be complete untrue unless you’ve been living in a bubble and haven’t looked at computers for say… the last five years. Let’s take these on one at a time and let’s also remember that a Mac is a ‘PC’ as well, so I’ll be referring to these things in their proper terms of Mac/Apple or Windows/Microsoft.
Viruses Yeah, it’s true. Windows-based machines were prone to viruses for years. There were some nasty ones out there. There were also a couple for Macs as well that were really nasty, but by and large, the target was always the Windows machines. The Mac strategy has been and will be for some time that because they are a small market share, people don’t write Mac viruses. Mac users will have a hard time losing their walk on water stupidity when it comes to viruses. Also, more viruses are emerging for Macs thus leading to a rather nasty show down at some point in the future where the general ignorance of the basic Mac user is going to destroy life on this planet. Yeah, I’m blowing it out of proportion, but so is this ad.
Restarting Huh. Can’t remember the last time I had to restart my Windows machine. My mom can with her’s and it was when she was running Windows 98 in 1999. So… is this ad based on a system from eight years ago? I hope not because that means the people making these ads haven’t used Windows XP or 2000 and have been out of the loop for some time. Are they going to tell me about the “new economy” next? I do remember the last time I had to restart a Mac though. It was last week when I tried to use Photoshop, Firefox, and Word on my G4 PowerMac to have it not crash, (because Macs don’t crash, right?) but give me the infinite spinning beach ball of nothingness. Yeah, my problem was with 3rd party applications, but that’s what you use when running a computer.
Better This is such a nebulous and crap ad without any real foundation in fact or definition, I see no reason to go in to it.
iLife Yes, true. Windows ships with next to nothing on it. Of course, if you’re upgrading your Mac, it doesn’t really come with anything either. The iLife apps aren’t too shabby. You can do some basic things with them and while they lack any large degree of power, but this is pretty good for the basic user. I would definitely give Mac the edge here and out of all these ads, this is the only one that should really be running.
Network Ha. Ha. Ha! Wait a minute… Ha. Ha. Ha! Okay, now that that is out of my system, I just gotta say that Mac networking is complete and utter crap. I’ve had to work with it and it is flat-out broken. I really hope they fix it someday because it is hell on we IT guys out there, since the problems are just bizarre. These are problems that did not exist with OS 9 and are OS X specific. I refer you to my actual field experience starting here. Since they also mention device compatibility, I’d also like to mention that I find this to be fine with both systems. Personally, I tend to like the way things come up in Windows when you pop them in, but the Mac is doable as well. Oh yeah, has Mac done away with that problem where you just can’t yank something out without ejecting it? If not, then I tip in favor of Windows for this one. Really though, on devices they are equal, on network, the Mac is squalid.
WSJ Of course this is the case. The press gets some masturbatory spiritual experience out of talking up Apple. Good for them. Their readership is going down anyways, but good for them. Opinions on computers in general are just that. When you’ve had to take 2/3 of your new and expensive $2000 PowerMac G5’s back to the Apple Store because they died within six months of purchase, then you have some real-world experience to back this smack up.
So, sorry to go on and on about this. I just hate rhetoric like this and that Mac Marketing is always dredging up things from the last century to discredit Windows. It really is a religion where you have to bring about baseless arguments and put your hands over your ears to be in to it. I work on both and I work on Linux as well. I find both systems to do what I want to do in general. Each has its strengths and each has its weaknesses. In a business environment, the Mac is too expensive and requires too many repairs with costly parts to make it feasible. At home, they’re probably just fine, as is Windows, or hell even Linux to some extent (check out Ubuntu Linux to see where it’s at.) We’ll see what happens when Windows Vista hits the shelves next year.