A mixed bag: Choice is good, but it's not always better


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People love choice, right? Give the option between not having choice and having choice, one would always choose choice, right? Because it’s always better to be able to choose between 70 crappy things than get one good one.

Hey, wait a minute...

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and monkey grooming service, Brooke Crothers asks ”Windows 10 or OS X: Can Hardware Make the Difference?” (tip o’ the antlers to Rajesh)

Yes! Oh, wait, he means the other way around. Then, no. NO!

Would you switch from Mac to Windows to get access to “better” hardware?

Would you set up a false dichotomy in order to gin up web traffic?

It’s nice that Crothers put “better” in quotes since what he really means is “hardware with some downright jokey feature sets that I seemingly picked out of a hat.”

At least the Macalope hopes it was a hat he pulled them out of.

I resolved that dilemma long ago by becoming, more or less, operating system agnostic.


There is one stubborn, undeniable fact in favor of being agnostic: One side offers more choice.

It’s true! It’s absolutely true. So very many bad choices! Not all of them, but a lot.

And the virus or malware argument against Windows isn’t that convincing anymore after both my MacBook and a friend’s recently got slammed with nasty malware.

You can’t argue with anecdata like that, my friends. You simply can’t. Like Batman, the “dudes I know” sample size wins every time.

Let’s look briefly at laptops...

But don’t look at them for long! Laptops are like wolves and will feel threatened if you make extended eye contact.

...on Windows it’s almost limitless, if you throw in third-tier suppliers and the white box crowd.

And go ahead and literally throw them in. They’re such complete pieces of crap let’s pile them together and light up this bonfire of the banalities.

What I’m getting at are unique products from top-tier suppliers that, because of the design, pull you off the Mac and over to Windows.

Disclaimer: He does not mean “design,” he means “features.”

Market researcher Canalys estimated that Microsoft shipped north of 2 million Surface products in the fourth quarter...

Ah, Canalys, the vendor’s best friend. “Hey, they said they jammed the channel with 2 million so that’s what we’re putting in our estimate of how many they sold.” Still, the Surface is selling much better than it used to. You know, back when Microsoft had to write off $900 million because nobody wanted one. Better than that.

Next on the lists after the Surface, the MSI GT80 Titan SLI. The Macalope hears your brain slip a gear. “Macalope,” you stammer, wondering how it is your brain has a trasmission, “Is that the... the one with the...”

Yes! It’s the 17-inch laptop with a mechanical keyboard. Your head explodes into a rainbow of unicorns and Pixy Stix.

So, what if you want a 13-inch MacBook Air-like design with a touch-screen and a Retina-class display?

A touch screen? Uh, seek professional help?

No! Crothers recommends the Dell XPS 13 which, in an unbelievable coincidence, is a silver wedge shape with black keys. Must be Dell’s inimitable design chops that made that magic happen.

In another unbelievable coincidence, the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 that Crothers touts is also a silver wedge shape with black keys. What are the odds of that?! Weird, huh? It’s almost like some alien race seeded the natural evolution of laptop design into humanity’s genetic makeup so all these would look just like the MacBook Air. That’s probably the simplest explanation.

Oh, and kudos to the HP marketing team for coming up with the idea to name a laptop after a tax form. Pure genius.

There are scores of other examples (ranging from $199 HP laptops to the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi) that make the Windows platform still irresistible to millions of users and offer enticing alternatives to even the Apple faithful.

Right, because if there’s one thing “the Apple faithful” love, it’s underpowered, shoddily made $200 laptops.

The Windows laptop market offers more choice to the consumer, there’s no denying that. But someone already did choose whether or not to make MacBooks with mechanical keys, touch screens, and lousy build quality. It was Apple, and they chose not to.

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