While I am not in the habit of cutting and pasting
entire articles into my opinion page, this one so
encompassed what I have been saying for years that I
couldn't have said it better. Plus, I have been
subscribing to Esquire for like 5 years now, I think
they owe me one.
Why PCs Are Better Than Macs
With the iPhone, the iPod, and rising sales in the
U.S., Apple's legion of fans are convinced they're
getting the best machine for the money. Um, let's not
get carried away, OK?
By Scott Stein
off: Iím a Mac user. And an iPod and iPhone owner.
And I love them. Yes, I love Apple. Thatís not to say
I'm drinking the Kool-Aid. Because, for all the ads, all
the self-celebratory Apple press conferences, all the
sparkling-pretty Apple stores, there are still a lot of
reasons why Macs still suck.
PCs Are Better For Games.
Macs have, for some reason, have never been very good to
gamers -- games on the Mac have largely been an
afterthought while Microsoft is balls-deep in its Xbox
experiment. For PC owners, having a top-of-the-line
computer means being able to buy an assortment of titles
so large youíll never really have to pick up a videogame
system. Meanwhile, the Mac makes you feel like a Soviet
searching the bread shelves for crumbs of entertainment
that may be released on the whim of cruel developers.
Add to that the cost and difficulties Macs have in
swapping out graphics cards, which is necessary if,
perhaps, you actually wanted to keep playing modern
games. GameTap and Steam make the PC a
gaming-on-demand service with hundreds of retro and
current titles there for the taking. GameTap works on
Macs, but only Intel ones -- and not for all titles. And
so it goes, until you want to tear your hair out.
PCs Are Better Media
Machines. I can see the Mac owners already bleeding
out of their earholes over this one. F@#k you, Macs
can do everything with media in the entire universe!
No, they canít. Three letters for you: D.V.R. Windows
Media Center has been a DVR replacement for years now,
streaming all the video content your torrenting heart
desires to boot, because Bill Gates swings that way.
Steve Jobs prefers Front Row, Appleís happy little
interface that has no TiVo magic whatsoever. Apple TV, a
set-top box that should have been a DVR, instead
locks you to an iTunes account enslavement and a
media-purchasing DRM-rental-blindered idea of ďfun.Ē It
may be easier to use an iPod and a Mac to download TV
shows, but youíre also stuck with one media store, no
recording options, and no way out once youíre completely
sucked in. Yeah, I know there are third-party DVR
options for the Mac. For how much Macs cost, you'd think
they could bundle one in, right?
PCs Are More Cost-Effective.
Macs are still priced too high. Tell me you donít
agree. And if you donít, then youíve been hypnotized,
too. The Apple Stores and apple.com have created a
one-world pricing universe for all things Mac, while in
the PC world there are multiple manufacturers, tons of
retail stores, loads of sales and rebates, and plenty of
cheap refurbished parts on the market that people can
use to make their own dream machines. Appleís cheapest
laptop is still more than $1,000. You can get a PC
laptop for $500 at Best Buy. Yes, theyíre different in
quality -- but an eight-year-old who needs to plunk out
a book report doesn't need 0.13 inch-thin wafers of
aluminum. Families, non-nerds, and most of the adult
world need less-expensive options, and for $500, the
only thing Apple sells that has a screen and reads email
is an iPhone or an iTouch.
Apple Is Fascist. You
canít build a Mac easily, and you canít really customize
them, either -- not unless you want to invalidate your
warranty. Theyíre like fancy sports cars run on a single
computer chip, fixable only at your dealer for a set
price. Hacking a Mac feels like rape to fanboys, and it
can be done, but with a trip to Fryís Electronics and a
little lunch money in the PC world you can basically
soup up your own Windows roadster. Thatís not appealing
to most people -- but there are amazing things you can
do on PCs with homemade software that usually isnít OS
X-compatible whatsoever. Waiting for a Mac patch of a
file-sharing program, cell phone patcher, or whatever
your freedom-cherishing heart desires can feel like
exile. Sure, Macs have fewer viruses, worms, and
crapware -- but they also have expensive,
difficult-to-mod machines that become obsolete in a few
short years. The same thing happens to PCs, too. And
It's Still a PC World Out
There. Just in case you want to run your world
business with a healthy dose of cheap labor from
Pakistan (or, with the declining dollar, Alabama), just
remember that itíll be Windows youíll need to run it on.
But Macs run Windows! Yeah, I know. The Mac is a
fine, high-end Windows machine. And itís really cool
that Macs run Windows XP. But the real issue is, when
will OS X be good enough to not need to run Windows at
all? That ability to boot up XP is not so much a Mac
victory as it is Bill Gatesí triumph. He now has
compatibility with his competitor, which was the whole
idea in the first place. Apple should follow suit and
make iLife available to Windows users in its entirety.
Of course, they wonít. And every time I have to boot up
Windows to load some obscure piece of software I want to
run just because I can, it reminds me that OS X canít
run it. Appleís design is the slickest around, but what
I want to see is an even more wide-open computer, one
where everything it does is better than a PCÖnot
just most things. Until then Iím going to envy those PC
users just a little bit. All 96.5 percent of you.
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