It’s been 20 years since I first started using a Macintosh computer as my daily machine, and some of the same myths are still circulating today, along with some brand new ones. So let’s delve into the sea of (mis)information, shall we?
Apple is Dead (I hear they’re about to go under) – This is a favorite mostly because, even in the light of tons of contradictory evidence, there are still those who love ringing the death knell for Apple. So in case you missed it, Apple is now the #1 brand in the WORLD. Apple has $98 Billion in cash in the bank. In the 3rd quarter of 2011 alone, they sold 37 million iPhones, along with 15.4 million iPads, and 4.9 million Macs. And speaking of the iPad, no manufacturer has made a tablet device that is even a fraction as good and the ones that are out there are the same price as the iPad! Finally, lest you think it’s all about iOS devices at Apple, 2011 saw the Macintosh increase in sales 20 percent over 2010.
Macs Cost Too Much – No, they don’t. Yes, they do. Okay, both answers are correct. Macs cost more than some Windows PCs initially. But some Windows PCs cost more than Macs. It all depends on how you load them up with features. The problem is that most $400 Windows PCs are woefully underpowered and underfeatured, meaning that they don’t have all the ports and capabilities to do everything you want to do with them.
All Macs come with everything you could want—Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, Thunderbolt, a webcam and the awesome iLife suite of apps (iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD and GarageBand). Apple doesn’t make bargain basement level Macs. For example, go to Dell.com and look at their desktop computers. There are easily a dozen different models to choose from, ranging from $299 all the way up to $3999. But Apple doesn’t do that; they start their base models at the $799 (Mac mini) price point and go up from there. Why? Because computers priced much lower than that are junk (unless you build it yourself). They’re made with inferior components, a lackluster set of features, and they won’t last long before a component fails. In other words, you get what you pay for.
Many Windows users won’t make it that far, though, because they replace their computers every four years or so. The reason? Viruses, spyware and malware infestation. The Windows platform is an attractive target for most writers of malware and I promise you that most Windows computers on the planet have at least one piece of malware on them right now. Enough of those on a PC will slow it down or make it so frustrating to use that most people just throw up their hands at the three-four year mark and go buy a new PC. Meanwhile, the average Mac user is still using their Mac for work and play, free from the plague of viruses. Mac users replace their computers on average every six-seven years. So over the course of a lifetime, who spends more on computers and maintenance?
You Can’t Play Games on a Mac – True, you cannot play as many games on a Mac as you can on a Windows PC. But you can play many of the most popular titles, such as Portal, Bioshock, Left 4 Dead 2, Starcraft 2, etc. And for what it’s worth, most people use gaming consoles such as Xbox, Wii, and PS3 to play games, so I don’t see Mac’s game cred, or lack thereof, being a deal breaker for most people anymore.
Macs Can’t Do (fill in the blank) – Yes, they can. A Macintosh computer can do anything a Windows computer can do, except run one of the over 200,000 viruses out there, that is. The only limitation of what a Mac, or any computer for that matter, can do, is the software. If someone writes the software to do whatever, then the computer it runs on can do whatever.
Macs Are Good for Graphics – Ah, that old chestnut. What does that even mean, “Good for Graphics”? Shouldn’t ALL computers be good for graphics? Macs are preferred by creative types, but I think that’s because creative types prefer to be creative rather than fighting with their computer or running virus scans daily (yes, I’m looking at you Windows).
Macs Won’t Run Word or Excel – False. As a matter of fact, when Microsoft released the very first versions of Word and Excel, they were for the Macintosh computer. Windows didn’t even exist then! Microsoft has continued to make a Mac version of Office, even though I prefer Apple’s iWork suite of office apps. Pages (page layout/word processing), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Keynote (presentations) are $19.99 each and available from the Mac App Store. Office for Mac 2011 is $199 ($149 w/ student discount).
That’s all the Mac Myths I can think of, so I’ll wrap it up for this month. iPad 3 should be announced in March, so commence drooling!