Macs cheaper than PC's?

  Jdoki 15:27 07 Mar 06

Anyone else read this story on the PCA site? click here

To summarise it...

Macs cost less to maintain in the work place than PC's. They are more secure, crash less and are immune to virus and malware attack...

I must say as someone who has held the purse strings for a few IT budgets and been involved in hardware buying policy I find the view of Network World to be short sighted and a bit of an oversight in some areas.

Initial purchase of a Mac is far higher than an equivalent (and often better performing) PC, so that already offsets some of the yearly maintenance. The modularity of PC's is also a factor if components go wrong - just slap in a replacement from any number of preferred manufacturers - not something you can always do with a Mac.

Anyone who has used a modern Mac knows that OSX can often be as unreliable as Windows - and I'd suggest that any company that regularly suffers from unreliable Windows installs is doing something wrong, or has a poor backup strategy to alleviate frustration caused by a faulty machine. For the article to suggest that a Mac can 'run for months with out crashing' implies a PC can't... A quick straw poll of those people I work with reveals that none of their PC's have crashed (at work) for months.

The more prevalent Macs become the greater the risk of worms/spyware etc appearing en masse. OSX is inherently more secure than Windows, but we've already seen in the last month or so a couple of (proof of concept) viri appearing... It would only be a matter of time before third party software would be required to keep on top of the explosion of malware etc if Macs became as popular as PC's (If there's anything a hacker/coder likes it's a challenge!) - this negates the 'third party virus etc software required for PC's' argument.

What else does the Mac offer? If you want to roll out word processing or spreadsheet software for your business... what are you going to choose on your Mac? Chances are it'll be MS Office or at least something that is compatible with the Office file format.

I'm sure some Mac fans will put me straight, but as this is Speakers Corner, please free to shoot down my points.

(By the way, I like Macs and use one now and again, but they lack the apps I use regularly)

  jack 17:51 07 Mar 06

It could be I guess a question of habit and what he user is used to.
Mac's from the outset have been 'big' in the publishing industry, as RISC Archimedes have been/are big in the small print shop. Such organizations will stick with what they know and what their staffers know.
Is there for example[I don't know] a PC equivalent for Quark?
I often suspect many of articles such as you quote are written if not with tongue in cheek, then with a particular slant to gender debate.

  Mike D 11:09 08 Mar 06

We've had Quark on our PCs for some time now.


  ade.h 21:06 09 Mar 06

I agree with you, Jdoki.

Not about the potential for Macs to have problems - simply because I have never used one long enough to put that to the test having only ever played around briefly with them.

But certainly with the fact that a well-maintained XP PC can be pretty rock solid on the whole. One of the well-known weaker sides to Windows is the registry and its habit of getting cluttered and weighed down (at best) or corrupted (at worst). Same with the file structure. You can usually tell a month-old installation from one that has been used for a couple of years.

I wonder if anyone with experience of Mac maintenance could say whether they actually need any fettling over time, or are they fit and forget machines?

  Sir Radfordin 22:10 09 Mar 06

ade.h I can't answer your question about mac maintenance specifically but my experience of working in IT Support in a mixed environment (PC/Mac) is that Mac users nearly always know what they are doing and like to be left to get on with things on their own. My guess is that you have far fewer novice Mac users than you do PC users - though that could well be changing as they become more main stream.

I've a memory that the OS install on a Mac was more simple than on a PC and was something you could just "re-do" without having to re-install everything else. Having said that, it could just be the impression I was given by people trying to put forward the "mac is best" argument!

  Jdoki 22:29 09 Mar 06

I think you are right Sir Radfordin. Historically Macs had a fairly specific use in most companies (DTP etc), so the users generally knew their Macs, knew the app and in many cases could draw on the Mac community faster than they could get a (PC oriented) IT bod to come and help out!

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