Christopher Cooper - A Mac is fine at home, but only a PC will do at work

PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 February 2013

Christopher Cooper, from Computer Services Centre

Christopher Cooper, from Computer Services Centre

Andrew Perkins

I’m a fan of French food, French wine and French Style.

I’m even a fan of the Académie Francaise and its preservation of the French language, uncorrupted by contact with the outside world.

But I can’t run my own business that way. We need to connect and interact.

With Apple surpassing Microsoft as the world’s richest technology company, businesses are increasingly adopting Apple as their preferred platform. As a result, we’re rediscovering software compatibility problems. Cloud-based services extend an olive branch between platforms, but at the cost of surrendering a certain level of ownership and control.

If you’re in the graphics world and just need email, web and design, the Mac’s for you. If you want to use business applications such as ERP, CRM and accounts, I fear the Mac won’t do.

We come across a lot of misconceptions over the differences between the two platforms.

One is that Macs are quicker. This stems from their ability to deliver your desktop faster, thanks to their Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) operating system. Gradually this operating system is appearing on PCs. I use Macs at home and PCs at work. Neither is faster nor more stable than the other.

Both systems are susceptible to crashing but only a PC will let you know why.

Another misconception is that Macs are not prone to viruses, malware and spyware. They are still computers with software and attendant vulnerability. As Mac numbers increase so, in all likelihood, will attacks. PCs have more current evils, but also more evolved preventative options.

Critics of the Windows platform should remember that Microsoft gave the world access to a Graphical User Interface at an affordable price.

Windows’ open compatibility enabled competing hardware vendors to drive down costs, creating a consistent foundation for the software products all of our businesses benefit from today. The deployment of Windows 7 was a turning point for the PC user, putting the system on par with the Mac for stability and speed. Windows 8 builds on this by allowing users to do the same task in a variety of ways. Some Mac users are delighted with the closed systems and limited options, but maybe they haven’t recently explored the world beyond Apple’s walls.

When buying a Mac you pay for brilliant design, and for ‘membership’ of a private club (with millions of members). A Mac is beautiful and aspirational. A PC, though, should not be seen as the budget option: choices are endless and prices just as variable.

I’d summarise by suggesting that if you’re a dedicated Francophile then buy a Mac.

If you like to be cosmopolitan, working across cultures and languages, buy a PC. For many businesses, compatibility is not an option; we have to embrace all cultures, all languages and not focus only on what we like.

A PC allows me to be truly cosmopolitan at work, while at home my Mac allows me to be stylishly in touch as I dream of retiring to the Languedoc.

Christopher Cooper is a director, and member of the Solutions Team, at Computer Service Centre.

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