Quiz Answers: Mac vs. Windows — Was Your Intuition Right?

Last week we quizzed our readers on traits that differed between 23andMe customers who use Macs versus those who use Windows. Congratulations to Brenda, the winner of the quiz! She got all three answers correct and will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. So what were the correct answers? Read on… Which of these personality traits is most strongly linked with being a Mac user? Openness. If you had a tough time choosing which of these traits was most associated with being a Mac user, that’s totally understandable. All of them were. Yep, that’s right. Mac users were significantly more extraverted, assertive, full of ideas, and aesthetically-oriented, but where they most differed was on openness. Openness is a one of the so-called “Big Five” personality traits (five aspects of personality thought to be found across all human cultures), and it’s linked with being curious, adventurous, unconventional, intellectual, and artistic. Does this confirm the stereotype, or just underscore the value of targeted marketing campaigns? We’ll let you decide. Which is NOT true of Mac versus Windows users? About 40% of men are Mac users, but only 29% of women. Actually, 39% of men are Mac users, and 38% percent of women. Definitely not a big difference! Of course, this means that all the other answers are true: Mac users were more likely to report being atheist or agnostic, more likely to drink alcohol, less likely to say they were exclusively attracted to the opposite sex, and more likely to have had braces. We thought the braces finding might be related to income, but Mac users were still significantly more likely to have had braces when we controlled for household income and childhood socioeconomic status. Which of these is true? All of the above are true. Mac users had significantly higher incomes, were more likely to have had mono (the so-called kissing disease), more likely to have taken medication to prevent malaria (perhaps a sign of adventurousness), and less likely to be politically conservative. Do these differences jive with the stereotypes of Mac and Windows users? Leave a comment below and let us know!
  • Interesting that the Macintosh, epitome of a closed system, is selected by the Openess cohort, despite free and global availability of actual, you know, *open* systems.

  • Dave G.

    @Matthew: FWIW, Mac OS X was developed from an open system — BSD Unix.

    Anyone can develop and sell software on Mac OS X. Unless you’re complaining about not being able to sell hardware that runs Mac OS X, it’s hard to consider it a closed platform. On the other hand, Apple’s mobile platform is a bit more closed as it restricts software purchases to the App Store.

    Microsoft, Apple, and Google are all closed to some extent. Some more than others. Each was shaped differently, has unique business models, and as such, has unique DNA. 😉

    BTW, it’d be interesting although perhaps a bit duplicative to see a survey between mobile platforms: Google vs. Apple vs. Microsoft.

  • Ant UK

    “Interesting that the Macintosh, epitome of a closed system,”

    It’s hardly a closed system. It gives full unrestricted access to UNIX under the hood and I can install any app I like. If you’re referring to the hardware, it is indeed more restricted, but frankly after putting my own PC systems together I don’t miss those days one bit. If you prefer to just get a well designed capable system and get things done then a Mac is by far the most powerful system out of the box, especially for automating tasks you do regularly. In any case, with laptops now outselling desktops, Macs are no more closed than PC hardware.

    When switching from PC to Mac the first thing which struck me was how streamlined the process was – no ugly stickers tarnishing the design with long Windows keys, crapware, trial virus checkers which you had to carefully prise off using a long page of uninstall instructions I found on the web. I don’t miss the Windows experience one bit and the Mac feels much more open to do what I want to do, rather than be pestered by trial apps. I enjoyed my UNIX days prior to Windows but lets be honest here, UNIX/Linux can’t offer anywhere remotely close to the level of apps on Mac (and Windows).

  • Jaine E.

    One reason a lot of people didn’t have braces is there is older generations where braces weren’t accessible. I can only think of a few people in my small town high school that had braces. We had dentists, but had to go to the bigger cities for orthodontic treatment.
    And if your teeth were relatively straight, it was too much trouble and expensive to travel. I took my kids only 10 miles to an orthodontist in a small town.

    You have to take into account the older generations learning how to use the internet on a PC. As for me, I’m perfectly happy to continue to use a PC. I don’t want the hassle of trying to learn a new OS.

    I’ll be 66 in a few days and I think you need to take into account the atheism, alcohol, socio-economic status and more. Most people over 65 are living on retirement income, drink less than when we were younger, wouldn’t think of admitting we were attracted to the same sex and they say the older you are the more conservative you become.

    I know you said you controlled for household income and socio-economic status, but did you control for small towns in the 1950s and 1960. I think you should have controlled for a lot more things.

    And I was a little more artistic 40 years ago!

    • Hi Jaine,

      Yes, it’s true that some of the factors you mention contribute to who uses Windows and who uses a Mac. In our analyses, we did control for age, and the differences between Mac and Windows users were still statistically significant. Of course, this doesn’t rule out other factors that might confound the results (such as geographic location), but it does account for the most likely ones. Thanks for reading!

    • Roberta


      Please look at your response again. There’s more in there that gives clues as to why you don’t own a Mac. You said:
      You “don’t want the hassle of trying to learn a new OS.”
      – could this be because you’re not as open to learning new things? (a trait of Mac owners)
      – you also presumed a “new OS” (like Mac OS) can’t be easier to learn (this shows rigid/unartistic traits)

      You’re making a classic mistake that people make who don’t have statistical experience. It’s between confusing which is the “cause” and which is the “effect”.

      For example, it’s simple and obvious to say that people of lower socio-economic background have less money, thus they cannot afford expensive things (such as orthodontia, computers, luxury items, etc.). However, this is not correct to say. There may be a common trait that drives one to both “effects”.

      Perhaps PC-owners ended-up in the lower socio-economic bracket because they are lacking the other traits (openness, artistic/fluid minds, risk-taking, etc.).

      Perhaps a person with an open personality (welcoming, inquisitive), artistic/fluid mind (capable of exploring, find interest in many strange/exotic things, creating new unusual/unknown things), taking risks (that lead to anti-malarial meds)…..
      ….. is more likely to like the features/abilities provided by a Macintosh/Mac,
      …. is more likely to have higher socio-economic status.

      It’s not that socio-economic status leads to Mac-ownership. It’s that these personality traits lead to both Mac-ownership AND socio-economic success. Or living away from remote towns (with few orthodontists). Or having exposure to new ideas because they are around diverse people & cultures…..

  • johnny j.

    I’ve also heard that Mac users tend to have a higher opinion of themselves.

    The whole topic seems a bit dated. I would be more interested in learning the differences between iphone users and those who go with Android phones.

  • sphilipson

    what does this tell us about LINUX users?

  • Douglas Griffeth

    I am fiscally conservative and usually vote that way. On most other issues I am libertarian (i.e., live and let live). I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home as long as you aren’t hurting anyone or their property, and government ought to keep out, too! On top of that, I am a retired Capricorn and love classical music and genetic genealogy.

    I have used Mac and PC over the years, starting with an Apple 2 with that ugly green screen that gave you a headache after 10 minutes. I am typing this on a beautiful iMac screen and love it. My friend just got a home-made PC with a total of 5 terra bites of memory. He picked it up a week ago and is still configuring it. Give me a Mac anytime!

  • Richard

    It tells us the Lunix users need to get a life.

  • Richard

    Linux users need to get a life… Darn auto check …

  • Pat Tagert

    I use both Mac & Windows & Google Chrome OS on a regular basis, & I experiment with Linux from time to time.

    Johnny j., I second your comment –
    “I’ve also heard that Mac users tend to have a higher opinion of themselves.”
    Most Apple fans wouldn’t be caught dead with a cheap Acer laptop at Starbucks – I have several. My desktop, which I use regularly, is a Mac Mini, & it’s a wonderful little computer & I’m very fond of it. I use Windows at work, & I use Windows at home for a lot things that are a little more difficult on a Mac. I’ll be 60 soon, & didn’t buy my first computer until late 1999. I still have it – a Windows 98 piece of #@*! that sent me to the ER after my first big crash (night after night of trying to recover it led to the ER visit).
    I have 5 current computers, & they all run like tops.

    So where does that leave me? Hopefully out of stereotype range. Incidentally, I don’t fit either of the Mac versus Windows stereotypes. Very, very conservative on social issues, extremely left on fiscal policy (Regulate the corporate creeps that have been looting the global economy for the past five decades). It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s really time to reign in the cultural bipolarism that is engulfing the USA.

  • William D. Hill

    Why would anyone care what operating system they were running?
    It is the applications that matter. If I can run the application that does the work I want done the operating system is irrelevant.

  • margaret diamond

    I graduated to a Mac from an Atari but my first computer work was in the late 40’s with Hollerith in the UK. The main reason I’ve stayed with Mac’s is that they’re generally free of viruses. At 85 years of age I find it quite daunting when I have to use a PC …. I can do it but it’s much more time consuming. I don’t consider myself a snob but I know quite a few Mac snobs 😉

  • Vicki Weisfeld

    Some of the difference in curiosity, artistic, and other traits noted in Q 1 may be due to Apple’s far superior graphics capabilities from the early days, which made it the computer-of-choice for people in the graphic arts, who have become loyal users. People without heavy graphics needs were not as predisposed to that machine.

  • rgmichel

    Well, Mac users win! I could not possibly disagree with these results!

  • Kimberly Madison

    I would agree with the assessment of Mac users in terms of creativity and personality but politically, I’m as conservative as it gets. I’m not a computer snob but I’ll never own anything but a Mac.

  • Nicholas Hall

    I’m a bit annoyed that there wasn’t a category for linux users, but I suppose we are a group of outliers. ( Here outlier can be pronounced as ‘nerd’ 😛 )

  • Lisa

    Here’s my theory…
    The results are heavily tilted towards MAC users because a higher number of them need public validation and seem to think that online surveys are accurate in their results – while most PC users are self-validated and think surveys are a waste of time.

    Sorry Linux users, but you are the Independent party of the computer world…
    MAC – Republican
    PC – Democrat

    • Gill

      Beautifully put.

  • rjpiccolini

    Ever hear of GIGO? You’ve tapped a rich stream of it.

  • carlos

    Well, I think this isn’t so difficult. An older sister of mone vidowed recently. She lost her husband two months ago. He died after forty years of marriage. He was a talented commercial designer, and I believe a true artist, as he did some ink gravures very sad, but very good. I think he felt he had treasoned his artistic career for money purposes, as he was lately a very susceptible personality.
    Well, after 40 years of marriage I traveled to see my sister and she had an Apple as it’s said it’s better than the PC for image purposes. But she knew only only the management of a prevous one witouth internet connection and now she was yet connected to the net.
    In a few hours I was capable to teach my sister to manage the most important as we hadn’t much time: the E-mail and the main browsers. It’s not so different as I never had managed an Apple before. It was necessary as she lives very far from our family. I didn’t enter in the affair of drawing, as I’m very bad in these. The Apple computer is I think more aestethic and hasn’t the CPU turret of the PC’s (I hate portables, i need big machines and hard keyboards as I write very much) Portables are too soft for me and little fiable.
    Well, the situation wasn’t happy after so long, good marriage, needing psychological professional support. A rare union of one woman for only a man with no sons. Our lives had a hard childhood and that produces strong unique unions, but the rest of people last out. We got to the GP.
    Finally after leaving to the aiport she gave me an old camera, a Yashica Lynx 1000 from the 1960 decade when she and his husband were promised. It think it weights several kilos of pure Japanese iron and I’m not very good in photographying.

  • Daniel

    The OS wars are largely over, except for a few dead-enders on all sides. (Linux users will always be a minority that is smug yet envious.)

    By now most people can (and should) be fluent in at least one, and well accustomed to using the other – regardless of political or social positions. I call this being “bilingual in computers”, and at my company most people are completely comfortable with it.

    (Now if we can just get Americans to be as fluent and comfortable with the metric system as with that archaic SAE system.)

  • Mary

    I think you meant “gibe with” rather than “jive with” folks at 23andme.

    Used nothing but Apples since I got my first Apple IIe in the early eighties. I’m liberal, slightly to the left, never took malaria drugs but travel frequently and widely, no mono ever. I’m also a professional writer (talk about openness). Don’t much like technology and like the Mac because it is simple to use and the interfaces are semi-human. It’s a good tool, simple and elegant. Every Windows computer I’ve ever tried seems complicated and alienating.

  • Tirrill Leslie Mehana

    I’ve used both and have no preference. UCLA uses both according to department and even within. My husband prefers MAC, so MAC it is. 🙂

  • Hello you talented people

    Very interesting Blog. My partner and I started using Mac’s in 1984 and have continued since then. We even have one of the signed by Jobs and his cohorts of that time.

    We still use Mac’s today though I sometimes think the young ones need to know that we slow down with age and need to take special consideration and not overload the aged with new and complicated software. Keep some of the good old software for us. I’m 83.

    I’m sending you some new information soon. Have been overwhelmed by my genetically affected (alcoholism) family . Interesting new information on that.

    Thank you for your efforts to improve lives.


  • Do you have to sign into the blog every week to take these surveys? Can you send me an email notification when you put one up?

    I’m a confirmed PC user but I wear braces (3rd time for me), have a high income, have taken the medication to prevent malaria and I’m not politically conservative. I use a PC laptop because it functions better in the work i do. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy Nexus because I like the larger screen. I do have an IPad. I love the mapping function, but I dislike that it doesn’t support flash. I’ll keep it as long as I can, but I doubt if I will be buying anymore apple products. Why? I HATE i tunes. I don’t like not being able to use my music files on all my devices without a huge hassle and fear of losing everything. I have several iPods that I use for storage–one is a back up for all my music. My problem is that most of my music I acquired legally but did not buy from itunes. Either I downloaded it from my cd collection or mostly acquired it from donating to pledge drives to my favorite station, KKJZ fm (all jazz, all the time). If I try to sync my iPod to my laptop, if I’m not careful iTunes will wipe out my entire music collection. Grrrrr. There are work arounds of course, but they are quite inconvenient. I also don’t like all the patent infringement suits that apple is filing. As far as I’m concerned patents hold back progress in tech and in medicine. Their main purpose is to protect the profits of corporations and stifle progress, but hey, I already said I’m not a conservative.

  • I am a retired Apple/PC computer trainer who started in 1980 on the Apple II. From there, I moved to the PC and The Mac. I also did programming with Applesoft BASIC.
    The following illustrates my perceptions of these platforms:
    *Apple systems are proprietary, i.e. Apple controls the operating system and the hardware. PCs running MSDOS or Windows can be made by anybody. This is why there are so many computer brands that run Windows. It also explains why Apple is more expensive (no competition.)
    *I agree with Mr. Hill (see above): It is the software applications that really determine quality and ease of use. Keep in mind that the more features contained in software, the steeper the learning curve.
    *Viruses have plaqued PCs more than Macs because there are many more PCs in use, especially in business and industry. As Macs become more popular, they will suffer the same fate.
    *PCs are better buys due to multiple brands causing increased competition. Apples prices are fixed, whereas you are more likely to bargain when buying a PC.

  • Bill Karns

    Openness? This in people who value a closed system with captive marketing? Funny!

  • Phil

    True “openness” is perhaps more likely expressed by viewing your computer as a tool to obtain knowledge and information, as opposed to viewing it as a technical challenge to be mastered / played with.

    As an ageing retired computer professional (programmer) who’s computer life began with binary switches on a home built wooden box I have always valued Apple’s ability to free me from more of the chores of computer ownership.

    Being technically inclined (since before DOS) both in the hardware and software fields, of course I have played with and still play with various OS’s because it was fun and the sense of achievement great – until fixing and defending Windows against it’s many OS threats became too much of a repetitive chore.

    I think therefore that the human characteristic of openness has nothing to do with Window’s so called open system and more to do with Apple’s ability to empower me to better use their hardware … and that goes for iPhone and iPad too 😉

  • Madeline

    My first computer experiences were with Basic in college and SPSS punch cards in grad school. After that, it was DOS. In fact, I had a laptop computer that only had DOS, so each time it was turned on, I had to load either word processing or spreadsheet software. That seems so stone age now. I use PCs at work (including troubleshooting and training) and Macs at home. We have numerous iPods and I really wanted an iPhone but settled for a droid. I love Linux and Open Office and once had an Asus Linux tiny laptop. Since I live in Seattle, I have rubbed elbows with Microsoft millionaires and perma-temps, but have not had the opportunity to meet Apple folks in person. Never had braces, did have mono, most recently traveled to Australia, Japan and France, and higher than average income (although not in the 1%). I believe that corporations are not people.

  • Joe Murdock

    This was interesting — however, I would like to suggest that you do a similar survey regarding shoppers at “Walmart” and shoppers at “Whole Foods”.

    As Windows, Macintosh, and Linux user, the results were not surprising.

  • lahope, you mentioned being a jazz lover (24/7 Jazz… I would love that!) and I have found anecdotally that people who are linear thinkers do not like jazz at all, and that seems to fit some of their other personality traits also (again, anecdotally); I have never seen a survey on this… this might be the place to have that discussion.

    I’m a PC user/Linux dabbler/iPad lover, my first computer was a C=64… right now I’ve got six PCs running, two for graphics, one for movies/music, one for the fiancee, one for music creation and one for storage, not counting the thecus 8TB backup machine…

    Also very liberal politically (in the bleeding-heart range) and an atheist… made my living doing radiography for 45 years, now I’m a serious hobbiest photographer.

    Spend too much time on the internet, heh.

  • I prove all of the statistics above wrong. That’s why there are exceptions I guess. I use only PCs and they are all cutom built because I need a lot of processing power. I’m in the creative industry, very open and with higher than average income. I have three degrees Film, Masters in Theatre and French. I speak 5 languages and I’m working on my 6th language.

  • Ann

    I had a summer job using a computer in 1979; I’m assuming it was a PC, and the code needed to come up with a total for invoice input was several lines long; mid-way through the summer, it was changed to a simple line of a few letters and numbers.-progress! In the 1980’s the schools here all had Macs. They were easy to use and we teachers were offered lots of educational bundles to purchase with our Macs-a $3000 investment which included a laser printer. We had very primitive (compared to today) classroom games, very limited memory on the few computers we had for the students, and the computer lab had Macs, of course. Years later my two sons advised me to update my personal computer. One was 100% in favor of Mac (he uses it professionally to this day in the music industry) and the other, 100% in favor of the PC, which he uses professionally as computer consultant. (Our daughters use only Macs) The schools here were converting to PC.’s and that’s been my choice for more than a decade.

  • Tom

    If there is a genetic marker for being an idiot, most of these commentors must have it.

  • lolhypo

    @Tom: commenter*

  • John

    I’ve always worked with both, PC and Mac. And when I could afford them bought one of each. Every other major OS release I upgrade the hardware by buying a new one.

    They are identical to me in features and operations. For every “feature” found in one OS an identical feature is found in the other OS. There is no difference.

    The marketing materials and the user guides emphasized different aspects, or didn’t mention all of their respective features, but they were the same.

    The hardware did differ, but the features missing in hardware were duplicated in software.

    People who use each kind are radically different in their self confidence in their ability to accomplish things with a computer. PC users are over confident. Mac users are under confident.

    Mac users tend to walk around with a chip on their shoulder or quoting from the marketing materials. PC users tend to pick a fight or tease the Mac user with some small feature Mac users aren’t aware they also have. But they are equally enabled and equally capable.

    On the whole Mac and PC users are both outgoing and extroverted.

    Linux users tend to be more introverted and self satisfying, not needing external reassurances.

    Politically both parties seem to favor Mac or PC depending on the general age of the staff running the campaigns. No party seems to favor Linux.

    PCs are backed by a company trying to be more like Apple

    Macs are backed by a company trying to be more like Microsoft

    Linux seems more engaged with old school companies like Oracle and Intel than with strictly popular software companies.

    Google seems more engaged with Amazon, than Yahoo or Facebook, competing for start up software to drive their business models with outsourced or contracted hardware devices dedicated to their business models. Yahoo and Facebook should probably merge since they have the closest business models, social networking, at their core.

  • Betocheh

    All quite amusing! No, I don’t have an idiot gene for commenting here, but pretty much fall into the same category as Phil. Was trainer for the first interactive bibliographic information system back in the early ’70s and taught Wordstar and VisiCalc and BASIC on AppleIIs in the early eighties. Have used a variety of mainframes & minis before the whole notion of Personal Computers (yup, that was also the desktop PC to begin with, later co-opted by Windows users! As though PC identifies a whole other state of being tech savvy) came to be. I’ve owned anything small enough for me to move, including the Olivetti magnetic tape typewriter, IBMs, Wangwriter, and a string of Apples since 1987. Would never think of owning anything other than an Apple but had no problem buying an Acer for my spouse who seemed to enjoy that more – and yes, geographic location in Africa had a lot to do with that choice. I want what is functional for me and gets things done without interfering with my thought process. I’ve taught enough students on all sorts of computers to recognize the “nurture” portion of this equation. I’m not conservative. I show up as “open” and right brained if I’m with engineers and creative people see me as not that talented…. It’s not worth getting hot and bothered about the genetics of it. In fact, though there MAY be a technology gene that will eventually cut through the feminine/masculine mystique and show us ALL in a new light, Mac vs. PCs debate is hardly worth any shedding of venom except for identifying our inherent sense of humor! Are we up to figuring out the “humor” gene? Maybe Mac users will win that round!!!?

  • zark

    @Matthew: I use a Mac at work and definitely agree. Apple is a far more “closed” platform than Linux, Unix and even Windows. Likewise Apple’s phones are also more “closed” when compared to Android.

    I don’t care for the argument that they used open source code. It aint open source once Apple touches it. They took code that was “open” and turned it into something that is “closed”, and this is hardly redeeming.

    Anyways, I do like Apple’s OSX and iOS. Stable, secure and fast. Perhaps being closed helps here?

    Oh, and I also have owned both an iPhone AND an Android phone and don’t mind bagging them both for their respective deficiencies – iPhones GPS Nav software truly sucks compared to Android. Meanwhile I am seeing Android phones get progressively slower after about a year of use.. a case of “Android Arthritis” perhaps ?!?

  • John

    Android versus iOS – ahh the mouse platforms, beneath the micro pc platforms, before the touch sensor got an A/D converter and motion was interpreted by a dedicated chip.. These could have been mouse drivers selecting one button at a time. Dragging the browser onto the screen and adding pinch and zoom made it much more like a windowing platform. Most apps however still subscribe to the elements or DOM model that goes all the way back to Xerox PARC. In fact that’s was webkit and WebOS actually were.. apps modeled on webpage MVC. Something old something borrowed?

    Really other than bright primary and secondary colors I don’t get the iPhone. It seems terribly dysfunctional. Terrible call quality. The app store was literally forced upon it and pretty much developed the functionality they it did not and continues to not deliver. They break easily and cost a fortune. The AppleTV – I do get and while it suffers from micro-management and fails to succeed only because of the company that makes it. It remains uncluttered and functional. Simplicity is its saving grace.

    Android is Linux plain and simple. The virtual machine is a development framework and obscures that the phone has become a virtual PBX with video features. Its also terribly dysfunctional but wide open to development and someone somewhere will hit upon the key thing that will lift it above all others. XMBC for Android is the most fascinating thing to come about.. and Microsoft is missing out big time by not releasing a 99 dollar Xbox for video content perhaps partnered with Amazon and Audible.

  • Buster

    If you could please post your DNA snippets when commenting, so we can tell if you are “intelligent” or not. The posts are remarkably silent defending use of MS products, except in a veiled way. I think what is relevant here, is to post comments related to DNA or comments germane to the topic at hand. This is not a forum otherwise to discuss your OS preference or opinions. I will say, however, in reply to the varied comments about Mac users “tending to have a higher opinion of themselves” is this: it’s not that they have a feeling of superiority, it’s more of a commentary in the opposite of, “how could anyone other than the brain dead honestly opt for a PC over a Mac, unless they were required to do so” whether it be economic issues, compatibility with work software, or influence. That is the true question. The study already proved that the less intelligent use PCs, as that has already been statistically proved.

  • Ryan

    “Actually, 39% of men are Mac users, and 38% percent of women” – 39% of ALL men and 38% of ALL women? Of computer users? Of mac users (which would be odd because it would make 23% of mac users if indeterminate gender…).

    Can this be clarified?

  • KMcL

    My daughter has, uses a Mac. She is introverted, quiet, almost anti-social, highly intelligent, artistic, intellectual. She never wore braces, is only attracted to the opposite sex, she is Christian, has never had mono, has not taken med for malaria, and is politically conservative. Yikes, I had better buy her a Windows computer.

    • Dan

      I hope your duaghter gets better. Please also have her evaluated for Autism. It’s a terrible thing to watch one’s child go down this downward spiral, especially when the parents are not aware of the symptoms. Please have her evaluated soon. The quicker she can begin meds, the better her prognosis will be long term.

      GoD BleSS!!!

  • Jim

    This study is flawed. When you say “Mac user” does that count someone who purchased a Mac and bootcamped it with Windows? Or are you actually comparing OSX vs Windows users?

    If so, OSX is great for a handful of things whereas Windows is great for a boatload. I’d rather have a toolbox capable of handling many problems, rather than a single tool that can only handle a few. OSX has too many restrictions concerning compatibility. There’s always a Windows version of the software!

    • Dan


      It’s obvious you’ve never OWNED a Mac.

      Sorry to say, you really don’t understand the increased flexibility provided by OS X. Yes, there are thousands of more programs available on a PC than on a Mac. However, that’s because there’s so much junk available for a PC, but much less on Macs. This comes first and foremost because it was more difficult to develop for Macs (because of Apple’s higher standards and training required to write for a truly object-oriented OS). Mostly good programmers did any work on a Mac, so the resulting software was (and mostly, still is) better than what’s on a PC.

      Apple had strict user-interface and human-factors guidelines (this didn’t lock anyone, it was fully open so you *could* if you so chose, develop using non-Apple guidelines). However, most people who knew the guidelines realized it was actually easier to write to their guidelines and made their software more user-friendly and appealing. That’s why the usability of Mac software is so much better than what’s found on a PC. Imagine having to remember what the [CTRL-LeftShift-F3] key does….. that’s the history and legacy of where the PC came from. It’s still in its DNA (remember this every time you press [CTRL-ALT-DEL].

      Most people would agree that of the really good/great software, both platforms have an equal number in each camp. However, if you’re looking for bug-ridden or trialware software, please do enjoy the pleasure of a PC. It will provide much more options to choose from.

      As a matter of fact, you’re probably not aware that there are more scientific (post-doc level or higher) software for Macs and Unix machines than there are for PCs (btw, Macs are Unix at their root, and every user can very easily use it as a Unix box if they so choose).

      Similarly for commercially artistic (video editing, rendering, etc.) software for Macs than for PCs.

      • rb

        Almost entirely false.

        “Highest standards required for a truly object oriented OS.”
        This makes no sense. Please don’t spread nonsense. There is no such thing as “required training” for OS X. Object oriented programming paradigm is very popular today and most software is written using an object oriented language, regardless of platform.

        Windows is basically standard for engineering/sciences. Linux is used quite a bit as well.

        Almost all commercial artistic software is dual platform, with windows variants being more stable and faster on the same hardware (because the larger user base on windows means more development time is invested there).

        Differences in the user-base pretty much stem purely from the marketing strategy used by Apple vs Microsoft.

  • Villars

    Windows vs. Mac?

    I am a Windows user solely by virtue of fear of incompatibility – incompatibility with machines at work and with users in general. I can’t remember a computer “friend” who used Mac, tho that might be a self-fulfilling observation.

    I came up thru the Microsoft/Windows ranks, from DOS to W7 – never quite understanding what I was doing nor getting even marginalized use out of my computers. As cyber stuff got more complicated I became (irrationally?) more fearful of Macs. MS/XP wasn’t too bad, but when I ordered a highly customized and very powerful computer with W7 and Office 2010 18 months ago the fan got covered with brown. I was/still am lost, and the support materials are terrible. Have you noticed yet that the Dummies for Office 2010 doesn’t cover files – you are told to go buy PCs for Dummies, but you better be careful and get the right edition? Shame, shame all around.

    I chatted with my vendor recently and joked that if I had waited a month or so to buy that new computer he would have installed Windows 8, which appears to be a real terror. “No, we wouldn’t,” he said. “We won’t sell it.”

    It has occurred to me I might take the mega machine back, have the Microsoft stuff stripped out of it, and have them reload Mac programs. Don’t know what is involved in that, but I do know I have paid a small fortune to have special programs (ie, including old games) specially installed in W7 (I just don’t get it!) and I can’t afford to take that trip again too soon. Blast Microsoft.

    Currently W7 is supposed to be set to automatically update itself, which it appears to have successfully done in the past. But now every few minutes/hours a window opens telling me to reboot to get updates. Can’t figure out if this is legitimate or a malware intrusion, and I can’t turn off the intrusive pop-up “Windows” window.

    I Googled “Windows Updates” looking for advice, and found numerous warnings about problems with Updates. Beyond my understanding, but pretty scary.

    {Hmmm. Just realized the label on the update window isn’t system specific (ie, W/XP, W/7, or W/8?) Doesn’t seem to be a way to make it go away, tho. I’m going to have to reboot sooner or later.}

    I am eagerly waiting for my “new” high powered Windows machine to get outdated so I can get a new Mac, and hopefully never more have to deal with Microsoft.

  • Melissa Miko

    Eh, I get where your’e going with this…”square” vs young/cool…but there should be another category…what about all the people who are more into open source, creation, coding, and not paying to pay…not paying the high prices of iproducts only to pay more for their limited services. Where do the hackers, pirates, and anarchists fit in? Or those who are innovative, economical, and practical but not old school or obsolete?