Mac Myths &
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When we talk to people about why we
use and recommend Macs, there are a group of myths that we hear over
and over. Here are the most common, and the realities to counter
MYTH: "There's no software for Macs"
- There are over
for the Mac, and there are an estimated 30,000 titles for
Windows. So, yes, there is in fact about twice as much software
for Windows. However, we have yet to meet anyone who has
more than one or two hundred programs on their computer. Most
people have less than a dozen, and only a handful that they use on
a regular basis. Also, 5 of the Top 10 selling software titles for
Windows are utilities designed to help you fix common Windows
problems - is that REALLY an "advantage"?
- Even if the local office supply
store has little or no Mac software in stock, there are thousands
of titles that can be ordered over the Internet or mail-order.
Often they have Mac software in stock, but the salespeople don't
even know it (on "hybrid" CD-ROMs in the Games or Educational
- Less software means less BAD
software - bad software can survive in the Windows market
because of sheer numbers of potential customers, but only good
software survives in the Mac market.
- All major commercial
software from companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, Corel, The
Learning Company, and more, can be found in both a Mac version and
a Windows version.
- Many software packages ship on
what's called a "hybrid" CD-ROM, which contains the
Windows version and the Mac version in the same box, on the
same CD. Common examples of this are games and learning titles
such as the Reader Rabbit series.
- Mac users are much more likely
to download free (or free trial period) software or
"shareware" from the Internet that PC users. There is simply
more Mac shareware, and it is higher quality. I did a
search recently and found over 4,000 free or shareware titles
under the GAME category at www.versiontracker.com
MYTH: "Macs aren't compatible with the
rest of the world"
- Macs are the most compatible
computers you can get! They can easily open any data file from
any word processing, spreadsheet, database, or graphics program,
from any PC or Mac.
- Macs now have a few options that let Microsoft Windows run on your Mac, in case you need to use a specialized program that's not available for the Mac, or you don't want to buy a Mac version of PC software you already have.
- Most computers today use the
Internet to communicate. For e-mail and browsing the Internet, it simply does not matter whether you are using Safari for Mac or Internet Explorer for Mac or Internet Explorer for Windows or Firefox for Mac or Firefox for Windows.
- Macs come with software and
hardware for high-speed Ethernet networking built-in. This
allows you to easily connect a Mac to a business, school, or
dormitory network, to connect 2 Macs to each other for
transferring files in seconds, and is also used for high speed
Broadband Internet access.
MYTH: "Macs are slower than PCs"
MYTH: "Macs are more expensive than
- Macs now use the same Intel chips as the latest PCs (making direct price comparisons much easier than in the past), and often a Mac is CHEAPER than a PC with the same chip and features.
- A new iMac including 17" LCD digital monitor can be purchased for as little as $999. Most PCs at this price or lower are priced WITHOUT a monitor, and/or with a much lower-quality (analog) monitor, and/or without many of the iMac's built-in features like wireless networking or webcam.
- Most of the lowest PC prices
are advertised with a price including a rebate requiring
you to fill out lots of paperwork (and if you make even the
slightest mistake, kiss your rebate goodbye!). You will pay the
full price (the one in the fine print in the ad!) up front, and
will end up paying the "final" low price (the one in the large
print in the ad) only after receiving your rebate. In order to
qualify for this rebate, you usually have to commit to 3 years of
overpriced Internet service over a 56k modem connection. Chances
are very good that you will want to switch to a high-speed
Internet connection, or a cheaper (or even free) dial-up
connection, sometime in the next 3 years, but your choices will be
limited by the rebate agreement that you signed. 56k Internet
connections are available for FREE if you know where to find them,
so this is not a very good deal.
- Even if you pay more for a Mac at the time of purchase, your cost per day of owning the machine will most likely be lower, since the average Mac owner keeps their machine 30-50% longer than the average PC owner, and spends more time being productive (less time configuring and troubleshooting) with the computer.
MYTH: "Macs are much less upgradable than
- Most home or business computer
owners never upgrade their computers except for the RAM (memory),
and occasionally the hard drive. Macs use the same standard RAM
and standard hard drives that PCs do, making them just as
upgradable as a PC for over 90% of all upgrades.
- Macs include high
quality video cards, 10/100 Ethernet networking, CD-quality stereo
sound, USB, FireWire, and other features that are not standard
equipment (or come with lower-quality versions standard) on most
PCs. In other words, they are much less likely to everNEED an
upgrade (except for maybe RAM), compared to a typical
- Macs allow devices such as
CD-ROM burners and Zip drives to be added quickly and easily as
external devices via their built-in USB or FireWire
connections. Windows computers often require "a trip to the shop"
for such devices to be installed internally by a technician.
External devices are MUCH more useful than internal ones,
since you can use them with other computers and with the next
computer you purchase.
- If you are the type of computer
owner who plans on (and enjoys) adding new drives, new cards, etc.
etc. on a regular basis, you probably already own a PC and that's
what works best for you.
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