Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mac or PC Part 4: Quality and Conclusion

Welcome to Part 4 of the Mac or PC mini-series. We have covered the price, operating system performance, and perks of the operating systems. Its been a bit exhausting up to this point but I hope that the information helps you make a choice. If not that, I hope that you at least know more now about Vista and Leopard, PC and Mac than you did before. Today's focus is to talk about quality a bit and finally conclude the mini-series. Here we go:

Is quality an issue? The question of quality is really related to consumer perception and actual performance. It boils down to a question of the manufacturing inputs involved for both companies. There is a huge difference between Apple and Microsoft on this front. Apple controls every aspect of their supply chain. They find hardware suppliers (sometimes do it themselves), they manage the logistics, they control the distribution channel. Microsoft, on the other hand, is involved solely in selling licenses. They sell the right to distribute their OS to an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Dell, HP, Sony, etc. They don't necessarily care about the supply chain to the extent that Apple does. They don't sell the computers that contain their OS. They sell the OS. How does this relate to quality? Apple can control the quality of their OS, the processor, the memory, the hard drive, the blah, the blah , the blah. Microsoft can control the quality of the OS, the vendor, the... that's it.

I think the most obvious implication of this fundamental difference is that Apple can control more aspects of the system their OS is delivered on than can Microsoft. You can ONLY buy Mac from Apple or licensed dealers and either way Apple produces it, no one else. You can buy a PC from any licensed distributor: in other words, Vista can be found on a wide spectrum of systems ranging from real crap to superb. So, when purchasing a PC, you MUST be aware of who you are buying the system from AND what system you are purchasing. Boiled down, a consumer of PC and Mac asks his or herself the following basic questions for each:

PC = what do I want? who am I getting it from? what system? what hardware? will it work?
Mac = what do I want? what system?

The purchasing decision for a Mac buyer is fundamentally easier than it is for a PC buyer. The question of quality, therefore, is more straightforward for Mac buyers than PC buyers (i.e. Mac buyers know what they are getting, PC buyers know what they are getting after more research and evaluation of each manufacturer and system).

Is one really better than the other? If we are just talking about the operating systems, both are very good. Both Vista and Leopard are wonderful accomplishments. To find out which one you prefer most, use them. Play with both of them and do the things you normally do on a computer. You will find out a lot more that way than you will reading my post. I hope that through this little exploration, you have learned new things about both systems and I hope that you will go out and use both. Honestly, I use both operating systems and I really like both of them.

So that's it for this mini-series. Its been fun! Lastly, remember that quality depends on the manufacturer. So if you do decide to buy a PC, investigate the manufacturer AND the specific model you are purchasing. Do a google search for problems with specific models and you will find out if they are having HDD problems, incompatability issues, or whatever.


Derek and Tara said...

That was a 'quality conclusion.' Ha. Great series though, very informative and thorough. I want a Mac!

Rutter Family said...

Well said.

For me and my family, we will use a MAC.

It has served us well now for 3 years. I guess it all boils down to waht you use it for and what sort of experience you are looking for when sitting at home on your computer.

In my mind...

Pc's are for boring workplace tasks.

Macs are for fun entertaining media and user oriented tasks.

rblaz said...

I can't say I sit on my computer at home, but ah...

I really am a believer that both Mac and PC are great platforms to do anything on. While I prefer Mac, I still use both XP and Vista and I really enjoy my experience on them. So while I prefer Mac, I still find a lot of cool things to do and use with the PC.

Thanks for commenting guys!

Ty & Masha said...

I want Mac!