I just found out that I’m a crook because I use an iPod and iTunes. At least according to Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates’ whipping boy.
I wonder if he might be biased in favor of his own company when it comes to who should be your music vendor of choice? He also thinks that Apple and the Mac are the wrong platform if you want to have a digital home of the future. I really think that Steve has been sipping a little too much of the Microsoft Kool-Aid.
I know, I am not the best person to speak in an Apple versus Microsoft debate. I make no secret of the fact that I think the Mac is a superior platform for most things that most people want to do with their computers. I am writing this here entry on a Macintosh right now.
In my more recent career as a tech guru I am often asked which computer to purchase by one or more eager folks with some money burning a hole in their pockets. Many of them are paying clients and some are just family members or friends looking for some free advice. Either way, my answer usually leans towards the Macintosh.
However, the real answer depends upon what the person or the company is doing and plans on doing with their computer or computers. For the individual, who is doing basic computing such as e-mail, browsing the web, digital pictures, music and that kind of thing, The Mac is a fine product and can do all of those things, and much more, extremely well.
If the person or company want to go farther and more importantly, want to have some sort of collaborative environment with group tasking, calendars, etc. then I would tend to steer them towards the Windows side of the street and go with something like Microsoft Exchange.
I’m sure many of you are gasping for meaning with this revelation and to that I can only say that my job as a tech consultant is to provide the best solution that best fits the needs of the client. As much as I might want it to, the Mac can’t do everything and has some severe shortcomings when it comes to the corporate environment.
Now, I realize that their are probably many ways to put together several applications that will do close to the same job as Exchange but kludging together a solution is not in the client’s best interests and therefore not what I am going to recommend to them.
What does all this mean to the average user? Not too much. For the normal user and small business that doesn’t require complex collaborative software and is looking for basic file, print and web functions, the Mac running OSX would be a fine choice and I have recommended it many times. The Mac is shown in the best light when it is used for creative endeavors such as photos, music, graphic design, video editing and the like.
When it comes to more specific needs, especially for the business customer, Windows can fit the bill and does so quite well. I would actually choose it over linux at this point as well until linux emerges more into the consumer space and out from the “geek” closet.
That said, I still prefer the Mac over Windows, especially at the consumer level, because of its ease of use and reliability as an OS. I have many computers (too many, really, just ask the wife) but I still use a Mac daily to get my work done. It just works.
Oh, I also want to plug the good folks at TiVo for one of the greatest invention of the last ten years. I just picked up a new TiVo series 2. It was very easy to set up and also joined my wireless network with ease. Now I can stream pictures from iPhoto and music from iTunes into the living room and play them over the television. All with the included Home Media Option. That’s cool.
If you don’t have a TiVo, go out and get one. It’s that great. You can trust me, I’m not really a crook.