I’m not expert on computers, I’m not even all that smart, but I have used both now and I have some thoughts. Enjoy
OK, the advantage that Windows Live Writer, and the Publish button on MS Word for Windows are a serious advantage for the blogger over the Mac. Ironic because you’d think that Apple would be all over this as blogging sort off feels like a big Apple thing. You know, all that free expression and all. I’m also going to call Windows LIve Writer, which is free BTW, the best piece of software a blogger could own. It’s that good.
Fact is, now that I’m using both, Windows at work and some at home, like when I need to actually do work, and a Mac for personal stuff, writing, photo management etc. I feel like I can offer an opinion. Remember, I’m just a dumb user.
For the total package; mail, calendar, etc, Mac wins hands down. All the creature comfort sort of stuff seems to just work. On the windows machine Outlook is a graet program, and you can get a version, Entorage, works for the Mac.. but it does have a nasty habit of corrupting your mail files over time. At least it’s done it us twice.
For an office suite- if you like to write letters to Grandma, make slick brochures and share pics of the kids, Mac wins. iWork is a decent enough application. Word for Mac is excellent too and a natural for Office users. If you want to create spreadsheets, look at data, report results, make a presentation to a group, Windows. Excel, Visio and yes, even Access are killer aps that have no equal on the Mac. Even Excel for the Mac, is more about making pretty pictures than actually crunching data. To make it worse for Mac..
I’m hearing rumors about a re-launch of the Office Suite this year that’s going to be a game changer. Something about Excel being able to handle massive tables, and pivot table functionality that will make Access unnecessary, all heard under breath. Now this all rumor from trade rags and whispers.
Still for today, Windows Office suite still wins and Visio and Access, not being available for the Mac limit the business productivity for the platform.
Making media.. between Movie Maker and Garage Band the Mac platform dominates this space. This is, after all the Apple Sweet Spot. I’ve messed with Windows Live Movie Maker and not found it very easy to use. Matter of fact, it’s sort of temperamental about file format and this alone makes it clugey.
Windows Live Photo- excellent. Apples iPhoto from the iLife pack is pretty slick, and can directly update Facebook and Flickr, nice feature, but lacks the ability to do wholesale album updates. Unless, of course you want to pay $100.00 a year for MobileMe. MobileMe is another posting probably, bottom line, don’t. Even the Apple biased bloggers pan it for it’s cost and lack of function. At least lack of good function that can get elsewhere.
Lastly, networking and peripherals. Here I have to hand to Apple. Now I hand it to them as long as you play in the sand box that Steve Jobs has created. If you do, the rewards my children and considerable. Turn on the machine and it prints from the printer attached to the other Mac. Hook up the iPod, instant success. On the Windows iTunes has had issues and syncing.. works most of the time, but every once in while I’d get what I would term a “bad sync” and we’d be rebuild libraries for the next three days. This may come on the Mac too, but I don’t think so. The “handshake” between the devices is much slicker than it’s been in the past.
So what would I recommend if you were to ask me? Frankly, it’s a harder question today than I think it’s ever been. The lines between Mac and PC aren’t nearly as hard as they were at one time. PC’s are much better at doing the creative stuff these days, picture editing.. heck there’s even better free programs to do it. Picassa for example.
And while the work thing is still a Windows win.. it feels like, with the Office for Mac that the gap here is closing. So what’s a dude to do? For a PC to use at home, and if you have family members sharing the computer and enjoy movies and music, editing etc.. Mac. No question. easy to use and stable.
If you blog, look at data, do number crunching or write a lot.. PC. No question. Windows 7 is everything that they promised us Vista would be.. and more. Slick interface, stable as can be, works. One thing to keep in mind, the you can get a PC that does a ton of stuff much cheaper, but when you look at the specs of the machine, you can’t compare a $500.00 laptop and a $1,000 MacBook, the MacBook is a better machine, better processor, and better hardware. That being said, the day when you only spent more for the Mac of ease of use, not so much. Now it’s much more of a personal preference decision.