Paul Thurott: Buying a Mac is easier and smarter than ever

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By: switchtoamac at: 2:09 PM on April 25, 2007 | Comments (0)
Historically an Apple and Mac basher, Paul Thurott has been known to favor Microsoft Windows PC over Apple Macs.  As an author and news editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine it goes without saying.  In an April 18, 2007 article posted at Connected Home, Paul Thurott has finally seen the light, at least some of the light!  A few key quotes from his article:

"A couple years ago, the notion of replacing a PC with one of Apple's stylish Macintosh computers was fraught with risk, uncertainty, and incompatibility. Today, the computing landscape isn't so black and white. Thanks to Apple's conversion to the same Intel-based computing platform that mainstream Windows-based PCs use, as well as a host of software tools that make it easier than ever to interoperate between the Mac OS X and Windows worlds, buying a Mac is easier and smarter than ever. Sure, there are some hurdles to overcome. But for many people, choosing between a Mac and a PC doesn't have to be an either-or proposition anymore."

"Apple and various third parties have also released software solutions that make it easy to run Windows on these new Intel-based Macs. (Although the reverse isn't true: You can't legally run Intel-based versions of Mac OS X on PCs made by other companies.) There are two basic types of solutions. First, you can use software such as Apple's Boot Camp beta to dual-boot between Windows and Mac OS X on the same Mac hardware. Second, you can utilize a number of virtualization environments, such as Parallels Desktop, to run Windows "under" Mac OS X on a software-based virtualized PC. Both methods involve some trade-offs, but either should satisfy any users' particular needs."

Thurott goes on to discuss Apple's Boot Camp beta and the virtualization program Parallels Desktop from Parallels.  He then moves to a section titled, PC or Mac? Understanding the Benefits and Problems.  He states:

"Of course, before you can decide whether to use one of the interoperability solutions, you should determine if a Mac is the way to go. Historically, Macs have been more expensive than comparable PCs, but prices have come down in recent years and Apple's machines are now much more competitive. Here's the difference today: Because Apple offers only very specific Mac configurations with few customization options, you don't get the wide range of price points in the Mac world as you do with PCs. So, you'll generally be able to find much less expensive and—go figure—much more expensive PCs than Macs. But if a particular Mac model does meet your needs, you'll generally find that it's comparable in price to similar PCs."

"All Macs share certain characteristics. They're incredibly well made, beautiful to look at, and generally devoid of any extraneous ports and other doo-dads. This can be bad in some ways—for example, you'll never find a useful Flash RAM reader on a Mac—but for those who appreciate design, Macs are top-notch. All Macs come with Mac OS X and Apple's highly valued iLife suite of digital media applications. In some ways, iLife is reason enough to own a Mac: There's nothing like iLife on the PC side. Mac OS X isn't as full-featured as Vista, but it's also a lot less busy looking and serene in nature. Aimed more at technical users than consumers, Mac OS X isn't so much friendly as it is austere and Spartan. But once you master its quirks, you'll find you can be as productive as you are in Windows."

In closing Thurott calls Macs the "ultimate PC"
"With less than 3 percent of the market for computers worldwide, Mac OS X and the hardware it runs on might not seem a viable alternative to the Windows hegemony that most of us simply take for granted. Nothing could be further from the truth: Macs offer the best of both worlds, giving you the ability to run both Windows—with its huge software and games libraries—and Mac OS X—with its better security and iLife solutions—side by side on the same hardware. You might argue that a Mac is, in fact, the ultimate PC, simply because it can do so much more than other PCs. I believe this to be the case for many users."

You read the entire article at Connected Home.

Switch To A Mac Commentary
I'm not sure what Thurott implies with his statement,  "Mac OS X isn't as full-featured as Vista".  Perhaps he is referring to the full-featured security problems with Windows.  Overall, it was a positive article from a writer who has historically bashes Macs.

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