Apple vs PC...
By Alan Wight
Sorry Apple. We have just switched our computers back to PC. This is why.
When we started out 22 years ago, we had Macs, then we switched some machines to PC (Windows 95 & 98), then we switched them all to PC (Windows XP), then we partly moved back to Mac (OSX), now we have fully migrated back to PC (Windows 7 & 8.1). Why?
The real answer is in the software. Whilst we use a variety of software packages, the bulk of our time is spent in the Microsoft Office suite and in the Adobe Creative Suite. Both of these are available on Mac & PC. Adobe is similar on both but Office is far superior on the PC. Working across a network, sharing network printers, using email collaboratively, serious software like Sage & CAD - all work better on a PC.
Our edit suites running AVID software could be set up on either platform but we choose PC because Mac's cannot be repaired anywhere other than via the Apple store which can take weeks. The PC can be opened up and repaired or parts replaced with on our site.
Physically, the Mac is a beautiful thing, the Macbook Pro is beautifully engineered, the trackpad is far superior to anything else we have come across in the market, the cooling is ingenious so the Mac runs much more quietly than an equivalently powered PC and the retina display is gorgeous.
But the computer world has moved on. When buying a PC today you find new innovations - touch screens, rotating and flipping screens (great for presentations in meetings), fingerprint recognition and you can have one built to your exact spec.
It's always been the case that if you do things the way Apple intended then the Apple functions best - manage your music, films and books in iTunes, manage your photos in iPhoto, stream using AirPlay to Apple TV and so on. In reality, there are better solutions and no need to work around the limitations imposed by Apple any longer.
Our frustration is not limited to computers. The iPad was a game changer. It is a fantastic piece of technology and amazingly useful for so many things. If we could have the same build quality, screen resolution, responsiveness and range of apps while at the same time having access to the file structure and a USB port, we could quickly load and play files - it would be perfect. The insistence that we have to play files from within Apps and sync them is just too slow and irritating for business use.
One area that Apple have absolutely nailed is automatically backing up using the Time Machine and removing the pain of changing to a new machine by restoring a Time Machine backup.
The final straw for us was a very small thing.
We have moaned and tolerated Apple changing the iPhone and iPad connector, moaned about needing to buy an adaptor to add an ethernet port to a Macbook Pro, needing to buy an adaptor to add a VGA socket to laptop and another for DVI, even the power socket on the latest MacBook Pros is different than earlier ones and requires an adaptor to use old displays or power sources.
The final straw? Apple removed the small hole from their laptops where you attach a laptop lock. When we are on events, we routinely use a cable lock to attach the laptop to the desk to stop the casual thief. Apple have decided we don't need that feature and it's not something that you can buy an adaptor for. Sorry Apple, that was one change too many.
We're back to PC and welcoming the news that Microsoft are opening their doors to developers to provide wider integration. We are looking forward to the future, who knows when we will be back.