Mac or PC? – Part 1

The PC vs. Mac commercials look and sound funny on occasion, but to what degree are they true, and to what degree do they represent nothing more than slick marketing?

The PC vs. Mac war has been raging for what seems nearly as long as the age-old battle of Ford vs. Chevy. People who use PCs are fairly confident in their chosen systems. Mac users also have a strong sense of loyalty to their computers. From time to time, the arguments can get messy.

For many PC users, only snobbish graphics arts types who put style over substance believe in Macs. For Mac fans, PC users are just mindless lemmings caught under Microsoft’s spell. Ouch!

But hold on a minute. Do Macs and PCs really differ THAT much? With Apple
using processors from Intel, and working with a lot of the same parts that PC companies such as Dell

and HP
use, does the difference boil down to just the operating systems (OS)?

It’s time for a brief history lesson

Computers has been around since the mid-70s. It gets the credit for popularizing the idea of a personal computer for the home.

The notion of a ‘PC’ is really a standardized layout developed by IBM. Many other computer makers then decided to use that layout, and IBM let them.

For quite a while, Apple marched to its own drum, choosing not to follow IBMs lead by not allowing other computer manufacturers to build Apple-style systems. That act really set the the difference between IBMs PC, and Apples Macintosh.

In the early 90s, it seemed as the though the growing popularity of the PC was going to eventually destroy Apple. But in the late 1990’s, Apple
released the iMac, a cute all-in-one computer. Its “user-friendly” approach made Apple famous in the first place. Since then, users have begun to appreciate Apple’s great style as well as its stable computers. With OS X, Apple’s latest operating system, ease of use and style have become part of the user experience.

OS X is the tenth incarnation of the Mac OS, with X being the Roman numeral for ten.

PC users typically use Microsoft’s Windows OS. Vista is now the most current version.

While there are other operating systems such as Linux that users can install on either system, OS X and Windows share by far the largest piece of the pie.

The differences between the two operating systems are easily the biggest hurdle for people when they move from PCs to Macs, or vice versa. Both OS use somewhat different perspectives how to approach the computer and its parts.

We’ll touch on those differences a bit later.

Needless to say, Microsoft and Apple
both want you to use their software, especially now that Macs can run Windows. Both are also working hard to make the computer an easy and safe place for you to conduct your computing.

Before the previously mentioned switch to Intel, Macs used Power PC processors manufactured by Motorola. These chips differed quite a bit from the x86 style of chips that Intel and AMD made. Both types of processors had their strengths and weaknesses. Proponents of either side of the argument have been using those as their main talking points.

Motorola had been making many other products beyond processors, and found it difficult to focus on the development of their processors. Intel and AMD, on the other hand, have had no such problems, and advanced at a rate far faster than Motorola could maintain. That was why that Apple eventually switched to Intel processors in 2006.

This required a massive change in the code to Apple’s OS X operating system so that it could run on the Intel hardware. But the end result was a stylish, stable computer that could now run just as fast as a PC. Besides, it can also effortlessly run Windows XP.

Apple was back in the game.