Buying a Mac is like being French, it’s all about the culture

For years I’ve been asked, “Which operating system is the best ?” and my response has been “Buying a Mac is like becoming French”. Here’s my perspective, every company creates products from their core belief system. IBM is server centric, Microsoft is workstation centric, and Apple is user centric.  That is to say on a IBM system the operating code, hardware and user interaction is designed to protect/favor the back end server environment. With Microsoft, the desktop is king; user security and protecting the workstation is where the administrative emphasis is placed. BUT the Mac… Apple has always been about the end  user. Ever say something bad about a Steve Jobs in front of a Mac user? It’s like burning the Bible (I’m exaggerating … a little).

Let’s take the smart phone for example. The difference between the iPhone and a Droid phone is not so technically vast that there is no comparison, that is, they both make calls and run apps. The major difference is the philosophy behind how the user interacts with the device. The iPhone is easy to navigate, all apps have similar layout and feel. You know that the app you just downloaded will work. You don’t have to relearn anything if you go from an iBook to iPad to iPhone; everything is fluid. On the other hand, the Droid platform is like the Wild West. The Motorola version of the Droid OS is slightly different than the HTC with how the interface is laid out. The apps may or may not work right depending on your build number and manufacturer. BUT, the Droid platform is more open source. If you want to make changes to your experience you’ve got more options. That has everything to do with the underlying philosophy of the company that created it (Google vs Steve Jobs).

Here’s the take a way. Sure, how you use your system has a lot to do with what you want to get out of the experience, but how the product was designed will influence what the system will do. Find out what your technology philosophy is and seek the tools that are in line with it.

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