Sydney Morning Herald article
comparing Macs and PCs, Macs won by a small margin: 48 points out of a possible 60 compared to 45 out of 60 for the PC.
“The Mac won primarily because of its design and if it had kept its lead in usability, the margin would have been greater,” the Herald writes. “Also, its performance suffered slightly but this is likely to be remedied by the new G5 processors. However, we do believe PCs are better suited for games and running specific software titles.”
The article compared the two platforms in several areas. One was “ease-of-use,” in which it was deemed a tie. The Herald says that though Macs have always been known for their ease of use “they’ve certainly lost their lead.” One area in which Windows was deemed to have gained a lead is in the area of readable text, at least on flat panel displays, thanks to its ClearType technology.
“However, ClearType has to be activated manually (it’s buried deep within Control Panel/Appearance and Themes/Display/Appearance/Effects) and most PC users aren’t aware it even exists — and without it we found the Mac easier to read,” the Herald says. “Also … many Mac applications such as iPhoto are easier to use than their PC equivalents. As such, we have to call it a draw.”
When it comes to software, the article says that PCs have pretty much caught up to Macs in graphics and video editing applications, while titles for games and “niche areas” are “limited on the Mac.” The Herald gives the PC 9 out of 10 points in this category, and Apple 7 out of 10.
Regarding performance, the article gives PCs a slight edge (9 out of 10 to Apple’s 8 of 10). However, the Herald admits that “for average home users,” arguments on speed are largely academic because “most don’t make the most of the processor speed they already have.”
Macs won in the areas of stability (6 out of 10 compared to the PC score of 9 out of 10) and style/design (9 out of 10 compared to the PC’s 4 out of 10). When it comes to cost, PCs only edged Apple by one point.
“Macs have a reputation for being expensive but this isn’t necessarily so,” the Herald says. “For operating systems alone they’re actually cheaper — OS X 10.2 costs [Australian] $229 while Windows XP Home is $463. Comparing the cost of full desktop systems is harder, but if you’re buying a brand-name PC you probably won’t pay less.”