I’ve been using computers since from the age of 12. I’ve had a CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL and of course a Gopher and Telnet account. To date, I’ve built no less than 30 computers from the ground up. PocketPC, yeap I owned one. 10 pound laptop, for sure. First set of tablet computers launched in the early 2000s, guilty. Windows 3.11, 95, 98, ME (to this day I have no idea why), 2000, XP and Vista were all familiar friends.
I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to computers, there’s just no denying it. I’ve owned a Compaq, HP, Gateway, Alienware and a Micron. In addition to those brands, for work I’ve lugged around a Sony, Dell and a Toshiba. In roughly 20 years of using computers I’ve never felt an emotional connection to a single PC device. That’s not Microsoft’s fault, yet they get the brunt of the blame. I’m not a PC guy or a Mac guy. In fact, I’m actually pretty rationale about that debate. I’ve been satisfied with products from both companies. While I don’t worship at the Keynote Podium of Steve Jobs, I can look on with admiration at the innovation his company churns out. I can be just as objective with Microsoft; recognizing their innovation with the XBOX, knowing that the Zune could have been a killer device and scratching my head regarding the Kin.
In the Mac vs PC debate, the problem Microsoft has isn’t that OSX is a better operating system. This isn’t a battle of operating systems. No, the problem is that Apple’s hardware is simply sexier, lighter and better. I’ve yet to come across a laptop designed for Windows that’s even remotely in the same galaxy as what Apple brings to the table. I’m focusing on laptops because let’s be honest, the concept of the desktop is basically dead. This is a sad state of affairs and one that perplexes me. After all, it’s not like Sony is a lightweight in the design department, right?
I purchased my first Mac 3 years ago. It was a 15″ MacBook Pro. I installed Windows Vista on it and finally was in love with a “Windows Device.”. It was light weight, had great battery life, offered a killer screen, integrated a responsive track pad and things like a built in camera…all while running Vista. Believe me, I looked for a comparable offering from Sony, HP and the like. But, there wasn’t anything worth considering.
Today I was at the Mall of America at the Apple Store to check out the new MacBook Air. It’s a wonderful device and I cant wait to see the new lineup of 15″ MacBook Pros get slimmer, smaller and smarter just like the Air. Across the aisle from the Apple Store was signage touting the new Microsoft Store opening in November. I’m going to visit the store, no doubt, but my expectations are low. As much as I’m a fan of Windows 7, it’s still being crippled by inferior hardware that fails to establish an emotional connection. Well unless you think a shoulder shrug and indifference are emotional connections.
Maybe the so called Apple Tax is worth paying…not for the software, but for the hardware.