Writing for the Los Angeles Times , contributor Jim Heid compares the new iMac to a Gateway 500SE system in a new review entitled
A Study in Contrasts. It’s the second part of a two-week comparison in the two systems; last week, Heid looked at the hardware. This time, Heid’s focus is the software.
Bundled with the iMac is AppleWorks and Apple’s collection of “iApplications” like iTunes, iMovie, iDVD and iPhoto. Heid noted that the Gateway system came with Microsoft Works and Word, along with several other programs, including one app called “Picture It Photo,” which he said sported more features than Apple’s iPhoto software — the newest addition to Apple’s suite of included applications. Heid was unimpressed with the Gateway’s included MP3, media player and movie editing software — he said that they “lack the features and elegance” of Apple’s own software. Heid summarized that the Gateway system wins overall in terms of productivity software, while the iMac takes the prize for music, movie editing and DVD creation.
Turning his attention to the core operating systems, Heid compares Windows XP’s insistence on shilling for Microsoft add-on services and features to network television. “The show isn’t bad, but the commercials are annoying,” he posited. By comparison, “Mac OS X feels like HBO.”
Admitting that more Windows applications are available than Mac OS software — especially when it comes to games and vertical applications — Heid defended the Mac by pointing out that mainstream apps like Microsoft Office are available for both platforms, and Virtual PC is an option for some Mac users who absolutely have to run Windows-only software, too.
The Mac is still Heid’s choice. “I use both Macs and Windows XP computers daily, and the Mac is less frustrating, less commercially intrusive and more elegant. Quite simply, it’s a better computer,” he concluded.