Saturday, January 28, 2006

Power User View

I am a VBA programmer for Excel and Access on Windows, and my technical background includes stints as desktop/server support, project management, and departmental IT management, but all with Windows. Several years ago, before the switch ads, I purchased an iMac with OS X, partially for aesthetics and partially for novelty; I upgraded it to 1Gb RAM a few months ago. Counter to the hype, I would often hang my iMac, and although the software availability is greater for PC's, I've found Mac software much more appealing. Obviously I am not a gamer. My technical background means I have the knowledge required to secure a wireless network, setup firewalls, and avoid viruses/phishing, so my biggest issue with my iMac is speed in everyday use.

Generally, the Mac versus Windows debates hovers around several issues, e.g., ease of use, speed/power, installed base, total cost of ownership. There are others, but the reason that Intel in Mac matters is primarily power. The move to Intel reduces one of the largest single complaints about Mac's, that they are slow. Recent tests tend to show Windows outperforming Apple's PC's, even for vaunted design applications, and now with Intel processors inside, that criticism is muted. I think kudos should also be given for the ease at which they've ported/recompiled OS X on Intel. Since the base OS is UNIX, it might translate into easier upgrade paths for Mac OS X users, besides the increased power Mac users will enjoy. It has simply made a great product better.
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