Microsoft Vs. Apple: Why I Prefer a PC

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No matter where you go on the internet, and even in the real world, there is a debate over which system is better: Mac or PC. It doesn’t even need to be on a computer-related message board- I’ve heard the same argument break out on a music message board, a religion message board, and even argued the various points on a second date.

There’s no doubt, people are passionate about their computing systems. And it’s actually a very old argument. Ignoring all of the ad hominem attacks about how Mac users are snooty and PC users are geeks, there are solid arguments behind each of the positions. Mac users tend to favor buying a machine that is almost certainly more powerful than they need, but will run without a single problem for years, while PC users tend to favor buying a machine that meets their needs and can be upgraded later. And both are valid points. That being said, here are my reasons for favoring a PC.

I grew up in a family that always had a computer from the time I was very little. I remember when my parents spent $5000 to upgrade to a 486 PC that could actually reproduce color on the screen, at a time when most people didn’t even have a computer and the ones they did have were typically only a black screen with chunky green characters. I remember being on the first wave of the public internet, but more importantly, I remember BBS systems before that, which were the forerunners of the modern internet. I remember the first Windows, back when there were actually different windows you opened. My parents were both computer programmers, and I was using BASIC to program my own games at age 8. And at that time, Apple was not a worthwhile system. I’ve always said that my dad could probably forgive me for anything, including murder- just so long as I didn’t buy an Apple product.

Times have changed a lot, I realize. Apple is no longer an inferior product in most ways. But there is still a software problem in certain cases. Microsoft, to be absolutely technical about it, is not as much a computer type as a software type. It can run on many different machines, whereas Apple is proprietary. But this was much more pronounced in the past. You simply could not find software for Apple computers, mainly because nobody was buying an Apple computer. And as a young girl who was witnessing the birth of side-scrolling video games with revolutionary graphics that only existed in PC format, having a PC was essential.

Aside from the ingrained response against Apple, there’s a big reason I still am not keen on their computers. When people say that Apple is “snooty”, that doesn’t say much. I’ve heard people claim that Apple users prefer style over substance, and I’ve had friends that bought a Mac simply because it came in pink. But to be honest, you’ll find those people in PC too. They have modded towers that light up, or tricked out fan coolers. But the difference is that more often than not, the PC user is the one who tricked it out themselves.

If you liken it to cars, it’s the difference between buying a BMW or buying a car to restore. Both will get you where you need to go. And if you never restore the older car, you may be left with one that’s barely chugging along, with torn seats and rust. But it still functions. Where it becomes truly amazing is when you make it your own. And with the additional software that’s available to PC users, it’s a little easier to trick it out. Furthermore, you don’t need to have any sort of special tools or know-how. Most PC users are capable of switching out a hard drive, whereas most Apple users probably couldn’t.

When I’ve presented this argument in the past, I’ve gotten the response that a Mac doesn’t need upgraded. They work well for a long time, whereas a PC becomes slower and more sluggish. This is true to a certain degree. While Macs really won’t get a virus and don’t really need upgraded, once they reach the end of their lifespan, there isn’t much you can do to bring them back. A dead Mac is dead, whereas a dead PC is just one that isn’t worth upgrading or fixing. I have not encountered a PC yet that cannot be fixed, because the individual parts are interchangeable. I’ve had friends that work for various computer companies that run their machines on Microsoft software, and several have told me about PCs which are made to run entire stock exchanges. These machines have video proof that they can be completely submerged, shot with a shotgun at close range, and dropped dozens of feet, and still preserve the data. There’s a reason why the most powerful computers in the world are run on PC format, and it’s because when one part goes bad, they can jettison that part, rather than scrap the entire machine.

In the end, it’s certainly a personal choice, and there’s good reasons for both sides of the argument. But I would rather be able to switch one single element that doesn’t work than pay for a bunch of things I don’t need.