I intend this to be the first of a series of me thinking through a significant buying decision out loud, in the hope that it might be of interest to others also.
I’m aware that for some this is a religious question akin to whether I become a Jew or a Muslim. I am not interested in that level of fanboi devotion from either side.
I approach the question as someone with a limited budget who has almost exclusively used Macs for most of the last five years. Supposedly people like me never think of “going back”, yet here I am doing just that.
I use an aging iMac as my desktop, and until recently I used a MacBook Pro to complement it on the go. I’m further tied into the Apple ecosystem with an iPhone and iPad 2. That makes it hard to think of moving away from Appleland, where the walled garden is a way of life.
However, my iMac is really in need of replacement before too long, and last month my MacBook Pro died – 10 months out of warranty. The Apple store think it may cost as much as £780 to repair. Faced with a need to replace desktop and laptop fairly close together (to say nothing of phone), I also have to contemplate the restraints of a limited budget. Hence I think I have a real question to ponder about the system and direction of my future computing.
I know first hand that Macs crash, and that their expensive hardware dies. I also know that Windows is more likely to crash by virtue of the complexity of manufacturing support and sometimes inadequately developed drivers. On the other hand I know that a well-set up Windows machine (such as the laptop I currently have use of) doesn’t crash significantly more than either of my Macs. I know security is, or at least has been, a bigger issue on PCs than Macs although perhaps no longer. I don’t think I’m starry eyed about either OS.
There is, for me, one consideration that weighs in the Windows side of the scale which may not be relevant for others, which I want to acknowledge upfront. I have regularly been asked to support others and train them in the use of their apps and systems, as well as supporting my own churches. Many, perhaps most, parishes will never run a budget that stretches to Macs, but are lucky to get a hand-me-down PC for their office set up. I have to say that it was much easier to support others when I was running the same software myself. I could (I think)deliver better training for others if I like them were regularly using a Windows platform.
That’s not an over-riding consideration. If it were, I wouldn’t have switched to Macs in the first place. However, it is worth bearing in mind that my situation may differ from yours, and what is a good reason for me may not count for you.