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  • Is a PC or Mac Better for Small Business?

    December 20, 2022

    Neither Apple computers nor a Windows PC is superior. They each have their advantages and disadvantage. It depends on how the devices will be used. The debate has been ongoing since Apple changed its business model to include consumer and corporate users. So, what is the debate about?

    PC or Mac

    How Did the Debate Begin?

    When personal computing devices were first released in the 1970s, they each had a different operating system. It wasn’t until Microsoft released its MS-DOS system that hardware manufacturers began to include it with their personal computers. Apple, however, continued to use its operating system as it released its Apple I and Apple II computers in the late 1970s.

    Consumers may have used Apple products at home, but personal computers running Microsoft operating systems were used in business. Some professionals, especially in the creative arts, used Apple devices at work and home.

    However, most corporations had already developed computer strategies based on personal computers that could run a single operating system. The PC market allowed businesses to choose different hardware manufacturers without changing software applications.

    The internet, cloud computing, and mobile devices changed the landscape of personal computing. The flexibility that came with these technologies made it easier to manage devices with different operating systems. Apple’s dominance in the smartphone and tablet market made inroads into the workplace.

    Microsoft was slow to adjust to the changing landscape, which caused businesses to reconsider their PC management strategies. These factors helped propel Apple’s Mac computers into the workplace. Today, businesses are looking at both Apple and Windows computers as viable options for their computing needs.

    Apple's Mac

    Apple’s Mac

    Apple proponents point to user experience and the quality of Apple devices. Many perceive that Apple computers are more secure than Windows PCs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of Mac computers in the workplace.

    Cost

    Macs typically have a higher purchase price than their Windows counterparts. However, the total cost of ownership seems to favour Apple machines. A recent analysis found that, on average, a Mac lasts longer with fewer upgrades than a PC.

    Quality

    Unlike Windows-based devices, Apple controls the hardware and software of every computer. This model creates a system that produces reliable, durable, and integrated systems.

    Security

    Although Macs may seem to be more secure, cyber criminals do not target them as they do Windows devices. Since PCs dominate the business world, hackers focus their efforts on areas where they will receive the most return on their time. However, the macOS is based on Unix, which may be more difficult to exploit.

    User Experience

    Mac users love the streamlined interfaces, high-quality displays, and long-lasting batteries. They enjoy its minimal set-up requirements and free applications. Overall, users view the Mac as requiring less technical skills to operate.

    Compatibility

    Managing Macs in a PC-centered world presents compatibility issues that can increase complexity and costs. Some Windows software does not work on a macOS. Using the software requires virtualisation which can add to costs.

    Added Licensing

    Windows applications that run on a Mac may require added licensing. For example, Visual Studio may require two licenses — one for Mac and one for Windows.

    Fewer Features and Options

    Windows applications running on macOS may lack some features. Apple preconfigures its computers. This practice limits the hardware configurations available for their devices allowing for minimal customization.

    Professional Repairs

    Most repairs and upgrades must be performed by a qualified Apple technician.

    Windows 11

    Windows-Based PCs

    Microsoft’s operating systems have dominated the business world for decades. Desktops, laptops, and servers all operate a Windows operating system. There are several factors that keep these devices in the workplace.

    Flexibility

    Personal computers are highly customizable. Users can select memory, graphic cards, monitors, CPUs, and storage. They can select from multiple vendors and at different price points. For organizations, flexibility means they can configure a computer to meet their exact needs.

    Applications

    Not every PC software application runs on a Mac. If the application supports a Mac version, it may not include the same features and may not receive the same priority when it comes to new releases. The number of PC applications includes productivity tools, development environments, and proprietary solutions. Many PCs come with built-in support for Microsoft products.

    Management

    Enterprise-level management of desktops, servers, and laptops originated with Windows. The applications provide visibility with complete management capabilities. They have minimal support for Macs which complicates device management. Solutions that support Mac management often come with added licensing requirements.

    Hardware Repairs

    IT departments repair and upgrade PCs without incident. They may no longer build their own desktops, but they routinely replace hard drives and upgrade memory. The flexibility to perform in-house repairs can reduce costs and ensure that equipment is operational. Mac repairs and upgrades require Apple support.

    Added Features

    Microsoft continues to incorporate new functionality into Windows. It has delivered feature-rich solutions such as voice activation and touchscreen support. The OS even allows Android apps to run on a PC.

    Licensing Fees

    Microsoft continues to charge licensing fees, while the macOS is free. Separate licensing fees can even apply to Mac versions of Windows software.

    Compatibility and Quality

    Because PC hardware components are produced by multiple manufacturers, compatibility and quality issues can occur. Windows laptops, for example, may have different adapters that make network or wireless connectivity more complex. The plug-and-play capabilities may be lacking, requiring additional time and resources. Connected devices may not operate as expected based on the hardware manufacturers.

    Security

    Hackers target Windows systems because they are widely used in public and private organizations. Bad actors that compromise government facilities and private infrastructures receive higher monetary rewards. With fewer companies using macOS devices, cybercriminals receive less money for the same effort.

    Which is Better? PC or Mac?

    The question is not which is better, but which is better for your business needs. Windows has decades of application development from third parties, which provides a broader selection of business solutions. Apple maintains control over its hardware and software, making for a more dependable device.

    Tech Seek can help small business identify their computing needs. They can discuss the complexities of managing a mixed network and outline solutions for IT support. Contact Tech Seek today if you’re buying new computers for your small business.