mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I'm a mac AND a PC....

James Lileks was where I first found out about the new Apple ads - since I have a Replay, I don't see many ads. I think they are pretty funny - and unlike Lileks, I kind of like the fact that the PC is in a suit and the Mac guy is bearded and casual - I'm not a big fan of suits.

Of course, I keep a foot in both worlds - my job involves supporting both Macs and PC's. My desk at work holds both an IBM ThinkCenter P4 and an Apple G5, while my apartment holds both an Athlon desktop and a 12" Apple Powerbook G4 (along with a bunch of random old PC's, including an old eMachines eOne and a Toshiba Portege). I tend to like Macs, but find myself using PC's more, probably because I'm more used to them.

So I'm usually quick to defend Macs. I think they are stable, have lots of nifty features, and have an easier learning curve. I have an aunt who is paralyzed and never has used a computer, and I keep hoping she'll buy a Mac - for people who aren't tech-savy, there is a lot less opportunities for virus, spyware, or messing stuff up, and for people who are super techy, the shiny exterior has a creamy UNIX center.

But I did have one problem with one of the ads, iLife. It talks about all the software that comes with iLife and then PC talks about how the PC comes with... umm, calculator and clock.

I will admit that iLife is a cool suite of apps, and it is a plus that Macs come with them. But Microsoft does put some more stuff in Windows. More importantly, MS is kind of limited in what they can put in Windows by the fact that they have been sued for putting too much stuff in Windows. That's what the whole antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft was based on - the idea of bundling, of using their "monopoly power" in the operating system market as a way to push other stuff - like media players, web browsers, and their own virtual machine - onto customers by including it in the operating system, thus making it difficult for them to compete. I didn't really agree with the whole lawsuit - I think most customers WANT to be able to take a machine out of the box and use it for everything they need without having to download or buy additional software. I still run into users who are shocked that their PC that they just bought doesn't include Office or Word.

So the picking on MS seems a little unfair, when they would probably be sued by a ton of companies if they ever put anything like iLife in Windows.


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