My neighbor on the left used to have a PC. I convinced her to get a Mac and helped her set it up. She and the whole family are happy. Like me.
My neighbor on the right does not have a personal computer. She asked me, “I want a computer. Why should I buy a Mac? What will it do that a Windows PC cannot do?”
If your neighbor or co-worker asked you those same questions, how would you respond? Will a Mac let them do anything different than a PC?
For those of us who are long time Mac users and former Windows sufferers, on the surface, the response should be easy. Macs are better, easier to use, more dependable, more secure, price competitive.
That’s a plausible response until the aforementioned neighbor heads to the local CompUSA and listens to a sales pitch about Windows Vista vs. a Mac.
What they’ll hear is something like this: “Vista is the best, most secure, most dependable, easiest to use Windows yet. Oh, and PCs cost less than Macs.”
Without digging into the “why” of buying a personal computer, that’s a compelling response to someone with little computer experience but a desire to experience more.
How would you respond to a neighbor who’s truly interested in getting a personal computer and asks this question: “What do you do on your computer (a Mac)? Can I do the same things on a Windows PC?” I live in a tough neighborhood.
Those are tough questions, no? How would you answer?
That exchange with my neighbor did get me to thinking. Is there anything I do on my Mac that couldn’t be done as well or nearly as well on a PC? It also got me to sit down for a moment to take stock of all I do on my Mac.
It’s a healthy, healthy, and growing list. See how my list compares to what you do on your Mac.
Email, web browsing, calendar, address book, store and play music, store and play TV shows and movies, sync media and contact info with iPod and cell phone, edit movies, store digital photos, run Skype VoIP and iChat, RSS news reader, upload and download files, manage recipes and menus (MacGourmet).
Wait. There’s more. I use my Mac to burn DVDs, burn CDs with music, create instructions on video, create spreadsheets and word processing documents, create PowerPoint and Keynote presentations (I use both), print high resolution glossy photos, build web sites, build photo albums and galleries, and watch TV (via Elgato’s EyeTV). Oh, yes. I have a few games, too.
Is that enough? No. Our Macs are truly digital hubs, and increasingly we use it as much or more than TV for personal usage, much more as a total of the day.
Increasingly, thanks to a love affair with Photoshop Elements, my Mac gets used to modify digital photos , print business cards and cards and certificates and labels, and so on. See? It’s not just email and web browsing.
Notice that I didn’t mention much about Mac maintenance, scanning for viruses, backing up files, and all those little things needed to help keep your Mac running well. Windows users have it much worse than Mac users.
But that nagging neighborly question remains: “Is there anything you do on your Mac that can’t be done as well or nearly as well on a PC?” How would you answer?