Talking tech since 2003

A few days ago Chris Pirillo compiled a list of 50 Reasons to Switch from PC to Mac. After discussing the topic with him, he informed me no one took up his challenge and he was looking for someone to do it. Well, I decided I’d give it a shot. I came up the following list, I did my best to make the reasons as “real” as possible. Let me know what you think – I’m interested! Leave a comment. Oh, by the way, I’m not a Windows fan boy, nor am I an Apple hater. I use both platforms on a daily basis. This list is just a compilation of reasons I have not made the full switch yet to Mac. Well, without further ado, I present the list:

Edit: I should note the list is not in order of importance, it is simply just a collaboration of ideas.

50 Reasons to Switch From Mac to PC

1. Windows is currently the dominant gaming platform; this of course, is a no-brainer. Most games developed today are developed with Windows users in mind. I am not saying there are no games for the Mac; However, I am saying the majority of gaming is done on the PC platform.

2. Ever heard of building your own Mac? Not really, this is because Apple strictly controls what hardware is used in their machines, it is not an ‘Apple’ if it wasn’t built by Apple. Homegrown PCs that run Mac OS are strictly against the License Agreement.

3. Purchasing RAM from the manufacturer is reasonably priced. Apple over charges for RAM, they have been doing it forever. You are better off buying RAM from 3rd party company such as, Whereas, on the PC side of things you do not have to buy RAM from a 3rd party company when you purchase your computer in order to save some money.

4. Free software is definitely more plentiful on the Windows side of the fence. While there are a number of free OSX applications, the ones that are decent usually require some kind of fee. However, I must admit there is a large development of applications for OSX starting to take off.

5. Upgradeability. PC’s are far more upgradeable than Mac’s. In order to have anywhere near the freedom in terms of upgrades on a Mac you essentially are required to buy a Mac Pro.

6. Windows is the Operating System for the masses, sure you can switch to Mac OSX, but why do you think Apple created Boot Camp? So you could use Windows. Obviously Apple knows that Windows isn’t going away, nor do they think they will be over taking the Windows Operating System (any time soon). If you are buying a Mac for School, remember that much of the software and technical support provided by colleges is geared towards Windows, so even if you buy a mac, you might end up having to pay for a copy of Windows to use via Boot Camp.

7. PC’s can perform a lot of the same tasks Mac’s take the credit for such as, video editing, photo editing, audio editing, etc. There are a number of excellent applications for Windows that do those same exact tasks. There is Sony Vegas for video editing, ACID and Sound Forge for audio editing, and there is Photoshop on the PC as well.

8. Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office is the premier office suite as of today, businesses use it, students use it, and just every day people use it. While there is a version of it for Mac OSX it does not stack up against the Windows version.

9. Most software is released first for Windows. Ever notice that when new software comes out or new services, the Windows versions are released and a few months after, the OSX versions are then released?

10. Mac OSX isn’t the only operating system with widgets. Vista has the sidebar which has a number of functional and useful gadgets.

11. Vista has an integrated CD/DVD burning system that works just as well as Disk Copy on OSX and it is integrated within folders, so a simple click can burn an entire folder to a disk.

12. Firefox loads and runs much faster on a PC it seems than on Mac OSX. However, this seems to apply for most applications that are cross-platform.

13. Audio and video codec support – it is definitely much easier to play certain video files on Windows than it is on Mac OSX.

14. Going back a bit to software selection, one of the best audio players (if not the best) for the computer is Windows only – foobar2000.

15. Now you can run Linux within Windows using a new Linux distribution called andLinux. By within Windows, I do not mean virtual machine, I’m talking within the actual Windows operating system.

16. There are far more Windows based communities on the web where you can give and receive tech help.

17. The XBOX 360 integrates seamlessly with Windows Vista. I don’t see that at all on the Mac.

18. Microsoft patches security holes fast. There are certain exceptions; however, for the most part Microsoft stays on top of the game when it comes to providing security patches.

19. On Windows you can easily reassign system folders to different drives such as, My Music, My Documents, My Videos, etc with a simple right-click and edit of the path. I have yet to find a way to do that with ease on OSX.

20. On Windows clicking the X actually means you’re closing the application (with a few exceptions). No need to worry about it still running after you click X, I still do not understand why this isn’t the case on OSX. Granted it’s not actually the OS itself, just the way the application works, it seems to be more common of an issue on OSX. Is it too much to expect that when I click X it terminates and closes the application?

21. Going back to getting support, it is much easier to find a computer technician who is Microsoft certified than is Apple certified. I would have to say this is a definite plus for new computer users.

22. The Microsoft Knowledge Base is an excellent source of information. It is very informative and resolves a number of Windows problems from common to not so common.

23. Active X controls aren’t always bad. While they are commonly associated with malware, they do have a lot of use in the corporate world.

24. Windows’ built-in FTP is much nicer than OSX’s in terms of ease-of-use and accessibility through Explorer. Granted there are definitely better 3rd party software applications out there, in terms of comparing this particular feature in both operating systems, Windows has it right.

25. Exchange servers for Email. In a business environment Exchange is the way to go – hands down. It is leaps and bounds ahead of Leopard’s SquirrelMail. Plus you have Outlook Web Access which is just phenomenal.

26. Window management. Windows in my opinion does a better job at managing the windows you have open on your desktop. They sit in your taskbar or system tray and are easily accessible when you need them.

27. Ctrl + Alt + Del – easy to find and press on a keyboard. In Mac OSX the Force Quit key combination is just strange. If I was not familiar with a Mac keyboard I would have no clue what to press.

28. Add/Remove Programs – simple, easy to use, point and click uninstall process. I’m aware that on a Mac most applications can be removed by just deleting them from the applications folder. However, some put files in the Library which are not removed if you delete them that why. Is it just me or is it weird you need to download a 3rd party application such as AppDelete or AppZapper to make sure you completely remove software from your Mac?

29. Hardware customizations – PC’s are definitely easier to customize in terms of what hardware you can use with them. On the Mac if Apple doesn’t support it, you’re essentially screwed driver/support wise.

30. The dock may look nice, but it is a poor alternative to the task bar. I always thought it looked excellent, until I had first hand experience with it and realized the way it handles applications in terms of on the desktop itself is rather obscure. It just seems all over the place and potentially distracting – it doesn’t sit on your desktop nearly as nicely as the task bar. Not to mention, ever move something off the Dock? What happens? It goes *poof* – not cool.

31. Microsoft Keyboards and Mice are excellent in my opinion so why not use them to their full potential? If you use Windows you can activate all of the features of the keyboard and mouse. On Mac OSX you cannot due to the software not working on the OSX platform.

32. PC selling companies such as Dell offer to come install your new computer for you, for a brand new computer user this is great. I haven’t seen that offered by Apple.

33. Uh… hello. Where’s my right-click? Why can’t Apple provide me with a mouse that has a right-click by default?

34. The Genius Bar… Well, it is really not so genius in my experience. They’re not that good. I realize this may vary depending on location and who you get, but I went twice and I wasn’t too impressed with their knowledge and support.

35. People say Windows is more susceptible to malware, viruses, and Trojans, well, it may be compared to OSX, but it sure doesn’t mean just because you run Windows you are going to get infected. This goes with any operating system though, each has vulnerabilities. So surf safe, don’t install random applications, and I guarantee you’ll be infection free without an Anti-virus or anti-malware application.

36. You have an iPod or an iPhone, guess what no problem. They work on Windows too!

37. Leopard’s Finder gives me fits when I try and search a network computer. It works sometimes, but mostly it doesn’t. Windows XP and Vista both have no issues picking up each other across the network.

38. Why do I have to customize the Finder toolbar to have it show the Path I’m currently at? And even then, it still doesn’t display it unless I click the button. Windows seems to have the Address bar by default and will always show you your current Path.

39. Call me crazy here, but in order to have access to Back to My Mac, you need to buy .Mac? Isn’t Remote Desktop free on Windows?

40. People always say – “well, OSX is based off UNIX, so you get the UNIX system under the hood” My response generally consists of “Well, great. Chances are most users will not even be using that portion of OSX.” So I like to cross that “benefit” off the list.

41. Windows Media Center – I haven’t seen anything like that on OSX (at least that is comparable). iTunes is nice, but it is not the same. Windows Media Center is just perfect for parties or just browsing your music and videos.

42. Apple is essentially an electronics company today. They are no longer Apple Computer. They are Apple, Inc. If that doesn’t tell you something about their motives for the future I don’t know what does. Microsoft has been sticking to the software side of things since they were started. Of course, they have spread out a bit in terms of XBOX and some computer peripherals, but their main focus is and always has been software. I see dedication when I look at that. Apple well, I’m not really sure what they will be doing in 10-15 years from now.

43. Steve Jobs will not be around forever. I don’t know who will replace him and when that time comes will they be able to keep up the good work?

44. Context menus – This is something I’ve only really seen in Windows. I can add context menus, edit them, etc. On OSX, I don’t see that ability so much.

45. Inconsistent updates on OSX, I don’t know about you guys, but I like my regularly scheduled updates. Makes things simple, gets you into a habit.

46. Backup. Sure OSX has Time Machine which is nice, but up until Time Capsule was released and I’m sure not sure of this as I haven’t used Time Capsule, I have not found a way to use Time Machine with a network drive. On Windows my network drive is found and connected no issues and I can backup my data easily with the Backup Files Wizard on Vista. Time Machine is nice, but in reality here, you really don’t need to back up EVERYTHING. Just your data files should suffice for most people. However, in Vista Ultimate the Backup Files Wizard will allow you to backup EVERYTHING if you so desire.

47. Windows Vista ReadyBoost, I haven’t seen anything like that on OSX. Granted the technology is not there yet, but the theory behind it intrigues me.

48. A small but handy feature in Windows Vista – check boxes for when you’re selecting files. How many times have you been in the process of selecting a number of files and you accidentally forgot to hold down Ctrl and everything was suddenly deselected? The check boxes feature allows you to tick files/folders so that doesn’t happen anymore. Where is this feature on OSX?

49. The Windows Event Viewer. Ever start troubleshooting a problem and end up checking the Event Viewer for answers? I have. On OSX, sure you have the Console which logs stuff, but I haven’t found anything comparable to the Windows Event Viewer which is a beyond useful troubleshooting tool.

50. Alright, here we are #50. Last one. So where’s my Print Screen key so I can capture this accomplishment? Oh yeah, I need to open Grab or something on OSX. I don’t really like that.

I would like to thank Chris Pirillo for presenting me with this challenge, Allan Jude for re-wording a few things, and Mandy for proof reading.

For those who do not read all of the comments:

If you are curious as to how I really feel, you should read this new post:

Apple vs OEM – Follow Up to Mac to PC Switch

As I state in the post, it was not easy, nor do I feel they are all excellent reasons. However, the point of the list was to attempt to compile something rather than nothing at all; while I agree it would have better as a shorter list with only the best reasons, Chris was looking for 50. I’d be curious to see if anyone could come up with additional/new reasons. If you can feel free to post them.

By the way, the post did exactly what I had intended it to do.

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