Apple vs Windows/Android: The great debate
Are you a devoted Mac man or a lady who just feels comfortable with Android? Some questions I get asked a lot are ‘should I get a Mac or a Windows computer?’, or ‘do I go for iPhone or Android?’. I have two questions that generally reveal the right operating system and tools for each person – what do you currently use and what do you plan on using it for?
FACT: Learning how to navigate new software is hard enough (think of the update from Windows 7 to 8 – groans!) Can you picture yourself dealing with a whole new system where everything looks and acts differently?
Let’s be honest, migrating from one system to another is a pain in the backside. Often you’ll need to repurchase software you already own to get the Windows/Mac edition. You need to make sure the positives outweigh the negatives.
I always advise people that if you’re not up for a challenge, or the benefit isn’t clear enough, stick with what you know.
Now let’s talk about usage. Do you only check emails and go for a wander on the web occasionally? Either system is fine. But if you are an avid gamer, do lots of video editing or run a specific business program, then your choice might already be made for you. Look at what programs you need to run, and see if they’ll work if you switch systems.
Most of the time, answering these two questions will help make it clearer which system will work for you. But maybe you’re still undecided?
Let’s break it down even further.
Apple make Mac or iPhone, Microsoft make Windows, which runs either on Microsoft or other brand devices (Toshiba, Lenovo, ASUS, etc.), and Android is “open source” but backed by Google, and also runs on many brands of device (Samsung, HTC, etc.).
What’s the difference? Hardware wise, not much. Comparing Apple to the rest is pretty straightforward. But after your initial purchase, when you need ongoing support and want to install new programs, that’s where the differences will emerge. To put it simply, the easier a purchase (?) is to make and use, the more it will cost you long term if you need changes.
Apple has super tight control over program and software development. So as long as you don’t muck around too much, it’s pretty secure and trustworthy. Microsoft (and Android) have a much more relaxed take. This means more people can have a fiddle around in there, which might make it more complicated and a little scary from a security perspective, but also means there are a lot more things YOU can do, and for cheaper.
For example, let’s say you want to upgrade your storage. Apple costs more than Microsoft. Want to buy an app? Software for Apple typically costs more and there are generally multiple free alternatives for Windows/Android.
If security is a concern for you and your business and you want tighter controls over your business network and employee computers, there are not a great deal of options for Apple, but Microsoft offer server software and cloud computing.
Don’t get me wrong. Apple has its place and many long-time users swear they’ll never go back. If you’re willing to pay more, and have a specific need, Apple is a fantastic choice. It’s very simple, secure and reliable. If you’re on a tight budget and are happy to deal with a more complex system, a Windows or Android system is the way to go.