You see it everywhere, from opinions and perspectives on politics and politicians, to Windows vs. Mac, to iPhone vs. Android. For years, the trend was for Windows PC users to switch to the Mac. Today, that trend may have reversed.
Before arguing for or against a particular topic, it might be wise to understand both methodology and incentive. Remember all the Fox News talking heads who said Obama’s actions here and there were illegal and unconstitutional? It turns out that wasn’t the case. Remember all the progressive talking heads who said Trump would never win? What happened?
Apple’s Mac has been on a growth spurt for about 10 years; reached something of a plateau a few years ago (still at record sales levels), and began a precipitous decline in the last quarter. It’s not as if Windows PC sales have been growing over that same time period. The only segment of PC growth has been in the notebook arena, particularly the Microsoft Surface-like touchscreen notebook tablet hybrids.
Yes, touchscreens are a thing. But so are slim and fast notebooks running a much improved version of Windows and clearly those are the most notable points of differentiation. Hardware and software. Windows PCs vs. Mac. Windows vs. Mac.
Recently, it’s felt as though many of the things that made Apple computers great—the attention to detail, the simple software, innovative products—aren’t shining through in its products as often anymore, especially in its laptops. So I’ve started, like many, to cast my eyes elsewhere.
I call that the non-specific drift. Mac owners have begun to see life on the other side of the fence as less expensive and with more hardware choices. Fair enough. But has that not always been the case with Windows PCs vs. the Mac? Did it ever change? I don’t think so. What happened?
Contrarian rubbish. It’s everywhere these days.
With design decisions that have alienated some of its most loyal users, others that have led to class-action lawsuits, and increasingly high prices, there’s less and less reason to stick with Apple computers these days.
Or, there’s more and more, but it depends upon which perspective you choose to take. It isn’t as if Apple’s customers are merely loyal sheep who never complain about anything. Instead, Mac users are known for speaking their collective minds about Apple’s design decisions and always have been.
Nothing in Murphy’s missive talks about the key differentiator between traditional Windows PCs and the Mac. macOS vs. Windows, resale value, service and support, TCO (total cost of ownership). Has anything changed in those areas? I don’t think so.
So, what’s the beef?
You might be able to spend next to nothing (relative to the cost of a Mac, anyway) on a Chromebook and find yourself completely satisfied.
Yes. That, too, has always been the case. There is nothing new here. The Mac experience is not the Windows PC experience which is not the Chromebook experience. They are different. Differentiation is key. Limited capability and lower price are the hallmark of Chromebooks. The Mac does not play on that field.
If you’re after something a little more powerful, chances are you’ll need a Windows computer. And unlike the hulking, plastic behemoths of yesteryear, today’s Windows PCs have actually caught up to Apple in terms of design, and in some cases, are aping its style better than Apple is itself.
This, too, has been an arguable point for the two decades plus that I’ve used a Mac at home and work, and a Windows PC at work (until corporations provided employees with more choices; IBM seems to love the cost savings from the Mac).
Again, it’s an argument without specifics. Windows PC notebooks are attractive pieces of hardware, but Windows 10 and macOS remain as different as ever, and since the Mac has never been just about hardware, then what’s going on?
Apple has not stepped up its game to match the improvements that came with the new era Microsoft Surface-like hardware that combines a touchscreen in a notebook tablet hybrid. For many PC customers and a growing number of former Mac users, that– combined with Apple’s seemingly laggard response to competitive hardware and innovation– created a distinct and visible differentiation between Macs and Windows.
Not in Apple’s favor. Mac sales are down for a reason. Apple has not paid attention to the industry changes and to customer needs. Why? Apple is the iPhone company, and is no longer synonymous with the Mac. The rest of Murphy’s argument regarding software, macOS vs. Windows is lame and misguided; power software users have what they need on the Mac, too.
Microsoft stepped up its hardware game because it had to. The same holds true for Windows (Windows 10, arguably, is the best version ever). Microsoft had to play catch up and sometimes being behind is exactly what helps a company move forward faster. Apple’s Mac has been ahead of the game for years but no longer.
That needs to change, Apple.