Modern technologies set new challenges and opportunities for customers. The choice of a computer becomes more difficult than ever as each of them presents a wide range of options and characteristics. In this regard, it is necessary to compare and contrast Macintosh (Mac) and Personal Computer (PC), focusing on their hardware, software, design, target audience, and customer service.
It seems appropriate to begin with exploring the core component of Mac and PC. In this connection, the first criterion of comparison refers to software within the mentioned devices. The majority of PCs utilize Microsoft’s Windows-based operating system developed by Bill Gates, and Macs use Apple’s Mac OS proprietary operating system designed by Steve Jobs. A particular version of Windows is utilized by more than 90 percent of the users (Schofield par. 5). Both ease of installation and simplicity of use make it rather popular worldwide. The vast majority of computers are sold with a preloaded Windows system. Comparing these operating systems, it is possible to note that conventional PCs have good backward compatibility, which is a key advantage for PC over Mac. In particular, the operating system of Windows 7 can run on older versions, however, Mac cannot boast of such a flexible attribute. Thus, for instance, the operating system of Snow Leopard will not run on the Power Mac G5 (Schofield par. 7). In addition to this, the users can also opt for a dual-boot configuration in which they can choose between Mac OS and Windows.
Apple not only pays attention to the internal workings of its consumer computers but also puts considerable design investment into the exterior of its devices so that many models even begin to resemble pieces of art, both inside and outside. At the same time, the exterior designs of PCs are dependent on numerous manufacturers and rarely able to compete with the design of Apple. The Mac is just one example of Apple’s excellent quality and simplicity. The above features allow the user to forget about the computer itself and the operating system running in the background and enjoy his or her work. As a rule, PC design is standard and consists of basic components.
Another option of hardware is the possibility of customization. Almost all software is compatible with Windows while the Mac accepts exclusively that design software that was designed by its developers. Schofield reckons that “when you buy a Windows PC, you are also buying the ability to use thousands of peripherals, hundreds of thousands of applications, plus all the Windows magazines, and books” (par. 13). The owners of gaming PCs can comfortably fit a new video card or expand the volume of memory to install a new game, while Apple does not provide such potential for their computers. However, the current trend is that both Mac and PC aspire to synchronization. According to Weinberger, “when the operating system doesn’t matter, users are free to choose whatever service suits them, at any time” (par. 22). For instance, it is possible to access files on PC and Mac by employing the Spotify service. A customer can discover plenty of unique and innovative applications that can only be run on a Mac, and it is certainly a significant advantage in favor of this platform (Haslam par. 10). A variety of software options for Windows prevails over those for the Mac, but the user interfaces incorporated in the Mac seem to be more convenient and more productive.
One more point of comparison is the nature and quality of the customer service. Apple customer service assists along with warranty service on their computers at any Apple Store. According to Haslam “the support services offered by Apple include telephone support, support using online tools, and support at Apple Retail Stores where you can book an appointment with a genius” (par. 22). On the contrary, if one has some problems with a PC, service may start from the store where the computer was purchased and migrate to the service center of the manufacturer. In this regard, Apple offers more attractive and relevant customer service. Nevertheless, an absolute benefit of the PC is the ability to strongly modify or replace any components of the device when it comes to desktop computers. Apple also enables a minimum update of the Mac, yet overall maintainability and ease of replacement of parts cannot be compared to the classic system blocks of PC. In the case of laptops, possibilities are approximately equal, and experts do not recommend beginners to interfere with their computers beyond battery replacement. Also, there is an opportunity to take free training courses on how to use all the options available for Macs.
Finally, several Apple Stores are transformed into Apple Studios where the customer can get help and advice from Apple’s creative group about his or her work with the device. The company understands that commitment to the consumers of their specific brand serves as protection from competitors to a certain extent. Therefore, the originality of the Mac offered by Apple remains a considerable obstacle to its competitors. More precisely, Apple’s customer philosophy stands on three pillars, including understanding the feelings and needs of buyers of products, maximum focus on the company’s affairs, and the primary role of product presentation. Apple sells Macs while its corporate slogan summarizes what the consumers purport to be purchasing: dreams.
Mac and PC are also distinguished by the target audience. A concept pursued by the manufacturer of the former is to maintain premium market share without compromising on quality, even if this concept leads to a decrease in market share. This means that everyone purchasing a Mac is assured of quality and performance, as well as technical support (Haslam par. 21). Apple users often employ their computers for complex work involving visual effects, graphics, sound, and video. In addition, according to a comparative study that was conducted among Mac and PC users, Mac users are primarily people who regularly work with highly developed and advanced software. At this point, PCs can be regarded as more suitable for average users. However, this does not imply that Mac is the winner in a contest between PCs and Mac computers. From the above observations, it becomes evident that both devices have different characteristics which act as benefits or pitfalls, depending on the context.
To conclude, a range of endless discussions about the selection between Mac and PC is based on the differences between the operating systems, design, audience, and other aspects. It should be emphasized that it is impossible to specify a preference for either Mac or PC. When choosing a computer, a person should start by considering the tasks to be solved, before taking into account any personal preference. A fascinated gamer is likely to need a powerful Windows-based PC with the possibility of regular replacement of components, while a professional designer would probably prefer a Mac.
Haslam, Karen. “Macs Are Better than PCs and You Know It.” Macworld. Macworld. Web.
Schofield, Jack. “Which Should I Buy: A PC or a Mac?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Web.
Weinberger, Matt. “The Whole ‘Mac vs. PC’ Thing Is so Over, and ‘Android vs IPhone’ Is Close behind.” Business Insider. Business Insider. Web.