Thursday, March 5, 2009

Macintosh: It is Still All About The Software

This isn't news but it seems a lot of people still don't get it. Computer World reports that that now, in 2009, Macintoshes are still more expensive than Windows PCs for similar hardware. Some of us hoped that with Apple's switch to Intel chips this would change but it hasn't and it won't.

The short answer for the reason why is that Apple is making money and thus has no incentive to change. The longer answer is that when people buy a Mac hardware specs are a secondary concern. We are buying Mac OS and the other Apple software that comes on a Mac. If that software is what you need, or simply what you prefer, you will pay extra for a Mac. This is the way it has always been and the way it will always be.

Apple has a good thing going with their software and the way they integrate it with their hardware. That Apple hardware now more closely resembles the commodity hardware found in Windows PCs doesn't change that. Hackintoshes are fun for nerds but ultimately they don't change anything either.

From time to time Apple or an Apple fan will point out that Macs come with features rarely found in a Windows PC or that one pays extra for. These could be FireWire 800 ports or some of the cool features in the MacPro case. The argument goes that when these things are considered Macs are cheaper. Sometimes support costs or virus and security issues are brought up to make the same argument.

In the end this is all vapor as well. With the exception of support costs (which is a debatable point) none of these things are how individuals or organizations decide what to buy.

It's the software. You want/need it, then you pay for it. You don't, then you buy a Dell. It's that simple.

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