Thursday, September 08, 2005

Platforms

So, as many of you know (if many people read this at all), I am a fan of technology. I work as an IT administrator for 2 companies. I fix Window's machines all day but I am actually more of a mac person at heart. I would say that my skills on a PC are now as equally strong as my mac skills. When you boil it down and really stop and analyze the 2 operating systems, they are pretty close for the most part. Pretty much anything you can do on a PC, you can do on a mac. So why do so many people use Windows? Here's my theory:

Back in the late 80's early 90's both Apple and Windows were fairly even in the runnning for amount of users. The problem was that all PC's were just way too expensive for home use. Once clone PC's started to be sold, the prices began to drop drastically. Then in 1995 Bill Gates released Windows 95. This operating system was based on earlier versions of Windows, all of which were copied from the Mac OS design (BTW, Mac originally took the concept of their OS from Xerox). This caused a big hype and since then PC's have become faster, cheaper and more accessable to the public. Meanwhile, Apple was still developing great machines but, because Apple was selective as to what 3rd party companies were allowed to develop hardware and software for them (this was done to ensure quality control and reduce the amount of technical issues), Windows was still winning the race. Oddly enough though, even when Windows 95 was released, there were Mac computers which used standard IDE hard drives and SD-RAM, exactly the same as a PC. Mac eventually released a blue and white G3. The design concept was great and is still used in current machines. Getting in the machine required was so simple, all you needed to do was pull a handle and you were inside. This machine will still run their currect operating system. With the release of these machines and their iMacs, Apple started gaining popularity again but, nothing in comparison to Windows because most of society was still under the assumption that Macs would be too expensive, they would not have the programs they want, and they could not be bothered to learn a whole new operating system again. The real truth is, Macs have been steadily dropping in price for the past 10 years, most programs made for Windows has a Mac version (or something that performs the exact same functions) and, from experience I can say that I have always found Mac OS to be more user friendly and much more intuitive. There came a day when Mac finally realized that if they want to compete with Windows that they would need to wipe the slate clean and start over. OS X is written in Unix, a much tighter code than DOS (which Windows uses). OS X has allowed Apple to create an operating system that far surpasses Windows. Windows has essentailly been the same operating system since 95, with a kernal change when they released NT. Though the GUI has changed, it is essentailly the same operating system that has been repatched over and over. Microsoft claims that there will be big changes when they release Longhorn but, there is no set time as to when that will be released and all beta's apper to look almost identicle to Windows XP. Apple realized that most computer users out there are using windows machines so, to make switching over to a Mac easier, OS X can read Windows formatted drives, it can easily network with Windows machines and, since Apple has decided to start using Intel processors (which will allow Apple to drop the price of all their machines lower than many PC's (which has already done with the mac Mini and iBooks). This is starting to grab the attention of many (previously scheptical) Window's user, enough that some hackers out there have already created an illegal version of OS X for PC's nicknamed OS X86 that will boot natively on a PC. This will aparently run on many but not all PC's. Apple is trying to make sure that all information on this matter stays off the net (cuz they still want to be able to make money selling their machines) Individual Mac users/developers have also created a tool that allows WIN32 applications to run right in OS X called "wine helper".

If Apple created a version of OS X that would run on Standard PC's and ran WIN32 programs, would they win over Windows users? Hard to say. It would more than likely be a much cleaner, better looking (IMO), solid OS.

After saying all that, I do not believe that Windows machines are useless or anything. I use both all the time. In fact I found a use for windows that is actually better than OS X. I am somewhat of a musician. I use a lot of synthesizers and samplers. One of my samplers uses SCSI. One feature I like to use is SCSI dumping. This allows me to take audio files from my Mac or PC, dump them into my sampler and manipulate them more. SCSI has become somewhat of a dead technology to most people unless you are creating a RAID HD system for backup or something. Many of the programs I use to do SCSI dumps on the mac did not keep the SCSi functions when ported over to OS X. There are a few but, I find SCSi a bit too slow in OS X. After fighting to get everything set up on the PC, I find the PC does the same task easily. This is the first time I have found a pc doing a task better than a mac.

In conclusion, there are several reasons to use a PC or a mac but, my real beef is that most people who claim that Windows is better than OS X haven't even tried OS X. That seems kinda ignorant to me. Anyhow, it's really all a coke vs. pepsi argument. It all amounts to preference but, how can you really have a preference if you haven't tried the other flavours? Just because masses currently prefer something, doesn't mean it's the best.

1 Comments:

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