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Comparision Essay: PC Vs The Mac

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 836
  • Category: Apple

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Anyone who is in the market for a new computer should look at both PC and the Apple Macintosh systems before making a final decision. With technology booming as it is today, it is good to know the basic hardware, software and system requirements needed for everyday use. There are strong points of both systems, such as speed, user-friendliness, price, and capabilities, and both are great systems. But which is better for the type of user is the question.

The majority of desktop operating systems are using Microsoft Windows 95-XP. This strong market share gives incredible muscle to third party software developers. As a result, there are a seemingly infinite number of third party programs for this platform. Having such a major advantage over the Mac systems almost guarantees compatibility when trying to communicate with other desktop users. Strength of the PC is in the processing unit. The units typically run an Intel or AMD processor with great clock speeds and high end performance. Intel has made a name for having the best processing unit of all time. Intel’s power-house processors are great for the advanced Internet gamers and the multimedia powerhouse user.

The major downfall to having such a large market share is that there are people who wish to cause problems in the form of vandalism or violation of privacy. These people tend to write programs – referred to as viruses or “malware” – for Windows because it will cause the most harm and travel through the biggest group of users. Another major weakness of Windows is that the code is not very stable, when compared to other operating systems such as Linux or the Mac OSX system.

Overall, Windows’ GUI is very straight-forward and relatively easy to use. My grandfather, who had never used a computer in his life, was able to pick up Windows XP and do essential Email and web surfing over the course of only a few months. The structure of Windows was very well thought out and is very easy to use for the common user. The taskbar is the key to the GUI. And tools integrated into the system such as the “Windows Explorer” that allow users to browse seamlessly through the system are also a very powerful and straightforward tool.

The Macintosh operating system, known as the OSX, is based off of a combination of Unix, and the open-source based code provides a level of stability that Windows cannot approach. OSX has an industrial-strength base that allows a desktop interface that can be used by practically anyone.

The greatest weakness of the Apple computers is that they are tied to a specific set of hardware configurations and software programs, resulting in an effective closed system computer. However, this makes the computer a lot more stable but drastically raises the price compared to the average PC. Apple also will not license their operating system, OSX, to third party hardware manufacturers, which means no other computers other than Apples can run their operating system. Another weakness inherited from this closed chain system is that it has a very small market share of computer systems and many third party developers will not make or “port” their software over to OSX for this small user base.

One advantage the Mac operating system has over Windows XP is that its lot cleaner and more resourceful. When users are using a Mac, he/she does not have to use the “Add/Remove” functions in the “Control Panel” because he/she can simply just drag the folders to the trash and they are done, rather than having traces of the programs scattered all over the computer and the uninstaller having to clean it up. Also included with OSX are several bundled programs such as Apple Mail and Safari. The Apple Mail, for instance, integrates extremely well with other programs such as Outlook Express, in that the user can extract mail and contacts from them and integrate them into practically any other mail client. Also Apple’s Internet browser coined “Safari” is a lot more open based and supports new web interfaces and the W3 web standards opposed to Windows Internet Explorer 6. Most users simply just start an application from a shortcut on the desktop. While Windows has a quick launch bar, Mac has the “dock.” The “dock” contains shortcuts to applications and includes a section for minimized windows. However the dock DOES NOT include buttons to open windows, only for minimized windows.

In conclusion, both systems are astounding, and, with technology booming as it is today, either would be great to own. Where Apple focuses on a more professional level for the computer user, PCs would be great for the entry-level users. The average user has a computer to surf the Internet, play simple games, and send e-mail. The PC would be a better pick for the average user. But the professional user, graphic artist, multimedia designer, and serious computer geek would be better of with an Apple system.

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