PC vs. Mac: Burned at the Stake?

Religion and politics have not been the only subjects to generate intense discussions, if not outright arguments. The choice between a PC and Mac has generated the same feelings, but in actual experience, we’ve seen more détente – or ecumenicism. Many of us have PC computers and Apple mobile devices. Heck, many people even use Macs to run Windows programs. Are they about to be burned at the stake in a high-tech holy war?

The short answer is: Probably.

Way, way back at the dawn of the personal computing age, Apple and DOS (disk operating system) were the technologies that drove desktop computing. Within a few years, Apple established itself as both an operating system and a line of products. Microsoft used DOS to establish a line of software products (that evolved into Office and other business applications) that could be used with computers made by various manufacturers.

Both computing systems developed personae. Macs were graphically oriented and cool. PCs were no-nonsense and businesslike. Apple held tight control over its software and hardware. Microsoft and the rest of the PC world that developed were more open source, allowing in more hardware manufacturers and software developers and letting users customize systems to meet their needs and wants. Cool artists used Macs, and the wheels of commerce were driven by PCs.

Only problem was, businesspeople wanted to be cool. The industry gave them that ability. For many years, Macs had Intel processors that enabled their users to run Windows-based programs. It not only enabled people to have either a PC or Mac for doing work, it also enabled PC users to have cool iPhones and iPads that they could sync together.

This, of course, was a boon to developers. Apps like Parallel sprung up, and everyone could go merrily along the path of their choice.

But all this may be about to change. Apple is planning to drop the Intel chips and make its own for its products. We can speculate about all the business reasons Apple has to take this route. Besides being able to control its costs better (though that could be arguable), it would be more cost-effective to have the same chip for Macs, iPhones and iPads. It would make it much more efficient in so many ways to share apps and technology across all those devices and provide better security and customer service.

It could force its cool business customers to choose between being cool or getting down to business in a Windows environment. You may not be able to run those great PC programs with Parallel or a similar app. It may force business app developers to revise their code to fit the Apple system – and you can guess who’s going to pay for that. Once upon a time, Apple had its own word processor and spreadsheet programs, and it could decide to have them again.

We don’t know how things will shake out in this “holy war” between these two monolithic systems or if the shakeout (or shakedown) will happen. If you are one of those people who are attached to the Mac computer and Windows-based apps, you should talk to us. We can assess your needs and help you decide on a technology path that minimizes your risk of being burned on somebody’s technology stake. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for an appointment.