Is Apple better than Microsoft?

Let’s accept the fact Apple products have better user-interface and are more innovative. Let’s assume Microsoft is not superior in those areas. I love the fact Mac OSX is based on Unix and I find some of important tools as part of Mac OSX, on windows you need Cygwin or something similar.

Let’s think as an user/developer and try to answer some questions? I am going to put down some questions about Apple, I don’t need to raise questions about Microsoft because everyone seems be asking for it quite long.

Is Apple better than Microsoft? Why does everyone say so?

Apple has closed platforms too. I am not even sure, if Apple has any or many pre-release programs (alpha/beta etc) to get user/developer’s feedback ?

Apple releases developer tools, if they feel not because developers want?

Why is Apple TV not open yet to be extended i.e. no SDK/tool? Why am I so dependent on Apple software-update for new features? Why I can’t install tools/extensions done by amazing hackers/developers without hacking the Apple TV box?

Why do we have to hack/crack Apple stuff all the time? Why are other Apple platforms (iPod or others) so closed, oh yeah exception,iPhone SDK is coming up?

Why do I need to use Apple aiport-utility to manage Airport extreme (or other similar products)? Why can’t I use web-browser just like I do for other routers (netgear, linksys etc)?

Why does Apple threaten to sue bloggers and shut down a site?

Microsoft is, most of the time, talked in a bad way over the blogsphere/slashdot, probably more than hundred times everyday, however, they keep working on to make users/developers happy? AFAIK, they involve developers/users even before they start working on products?

Microsoft Windows has been more backward compatible, which Apple doesn’t even bother to think of?

Everyone cribs that Microsoft keeps coming with new version of Windows and forces us to upgrade, well isn’t that true about Apple products?

I feel bad that Apple has launched Time Capsule to complement Time Machine in Leopard? Why didn’t they add the feature (storage) in their original Airport Extreme last year, I am sure they could have done that?

It’s all business tactics/strategies and Apple is not doing it differently. Then why special love to Apple?. Why not Microsoft, even when they are more kind and flexible than Apple?

I guess, Microsoft has been victim of anti-proprietary propaganda. Apple has not been to that extent. In my opinion, Apple is not better than Microsoft.

I am trying to figure out why I fell for Apple’s expensive products, perhaps for user-interface, form-factor, rare-commodity, luxury-that-makes-you-feel-different etc? Whatever, I was expecting things to be much better.

BTW! These questions would be heard more because a lot more people are using Apple products now and I hope, I am not the only one who feels this way. With growth comes responsibility, Apple would have to change the way they do things now. Apple can not deny some of these needs of users and developers?

Like everyone, a good user-interface and innovative products/features matter to me, however, I am bothered by above things everyday, hence I am trying to figure out the answers.

Anyway, everyone seems to love Apple.

It seems, I get into ranting-mode during nights, it’s happening lately, redbull is not helping ;-)

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  • Joseph

    From my experience on both platforms- both have problems. Apple is not as sleek and bullet-proof as people make it out to be… and Microsoft is not as cold and unstable as many pretend it is. I’ve had more crashes and incompatibilities on Apple OS than Vista or XP over the past few years. I do believe a lot of someone’s perception of Apple vs. MS has to do with their experience as a user.
    MS products are not less stable just because Apple fanatics say so. Both platforms have their share of issues and annoyances.

  • http://injun.ru injun #576871

    Oh…
    A couple days ago Apple open russian office and at press conference when a journalist asked the Apple representative what he’s supposed to do if russian wants TO BUY new apps for iPod (1.1.3 firmware from iTunes Store), the answer was (AND I QUOTE!) “well, buy a new iPod touch with 1.1.3 firmware — it will have these applications already installed”.
    I remind you that this player sells in Russia for $700, so in order to get the apps you have to shell out another seven hundred dollars? What kind of attitude towards the consumer is that? I would expect something like this from Microsoft, but not from Apple.
    Read full letter of russian’ mac-community leader about Apple in Russia: http://alexmak.net/blog/2008/01/25/apples-pr-fiasco-in-russia/

  • Sudhanshu Arya

    For me, even if the two are comparable in terms of closedness and monopolistic practices, Apple gets an edge because Apple will always have Steve Jobs. That man creates a market with his words.

  • barry.b

    while I suffer Windows more than enjoy the experience, there are certain things that OS X is rubbish at
    - Finder is useless. It creates new folders in the wrong spot, you haven’t got a path/address bar to copy as text, and it doesn’t find anything. Windows Explorer is much better.
    - spotlight is just as bad. Windows Search works much better and is more user friendly – inc sorting the results sensibly. Spotlight is just dumb.
    - why oh why isn’t there a “network icon” on OS X that I can mouse over to see what speed my Ethernet connection is running at? it’s not hard – Windows does it.
    I tell ya, if Linux desktop did a decent plug-n-pray and supported the Flash development I do, I’d say a pox on both their houses and customise KDE to be just what I want.
    but for now, I’m getting ready to upgrade to a MacBook – under sufferance and lack of real choice.
    bah humbug.

  • Billy Ritz

    Oh come on. How seriously are we supposed to take a website that features “Anna Nicole Sex Scenes” on it’s pages? And as far as the guy who claims to have had more crashes on his Mac than under Windows, all I can say is I don’t want to be anywhere near you in a thunderstorm, because God hates liars.

  • Peter

    I’ll try to answer some of your questions…

    “I am not even sure, if Apple has any or many pre-release programs (alpha/beta etc) to get user/developer’s feedback ?”

    Apple does have these programs for paying developers. Sign up for Apple’s “Apple Developer Connection”. I’ve always been a paid member, so I’m not sure what the free people get.

    “Why is Apple TV not open [...]? Why do we have to hack/crack Apple stuff all the time? Why are other Apple platforms (iPod or others) so closed?”

    Different markets. Apple is also a consumer electronics company. To use the iPod as an example, it’s a music player. That’s what it’s optimized to do and it does it quite well, which is what consumers want from their iPod.

    By the way, you could ask a similar question about the Zune.

    “Why do I need to use Apple aiport-utility to manage Airport extreme (or other similar products)? Why can’t I use web-browser just like I do for other routers (netgear, linksys etc)?”

    Actually, I’ll agree with you in that you should be able to use both. That said, I believe the reason–arguable, I’ll admit–is that Apple can provide a better experience on the desktop than via a web browser. But I agree that Apple should include support for both.

    “Microsoft Windows has been more backward compatible, which Apple doesn’t even bother to think of?”

    Pretty well untrue. Apple’s “Classic” environment supports applications which date back to the 1980s. Hell, I remember demos of MacDraw (circa 1986) running in Classic.

    I guess, Microsoft has been victim of anti-proprietary propaganda. Apple has not been to that extent. In my opinion, Apple is not better than Microsoft.

    The big difference is that Microsoft tends to build platforms while Apple builds products.

    Take iTunes, as an example. iTunes conveniently allows me to access Apple’s iTunes Store to buy music and videos for my iPod. Microsoft’s “equivalent” allows me to access just about any store to buy music and video for my Window Media Player compatible players.

    The difference? Microsoft’s system, while more open, is a total pain in the ass to set up and use. Apple’s, while offering less choice in stores, is much more convenient. Ultimately, consumers will choose convenience and as long as they can get their music and video from the iTunes Store for a reasonable price, they won’t get too upset.

    That said, I agree that I should be able to use any store within iTunes.

    “I feel bad that Apple has launched Time Capsule to complement Time Machine in Leopard? Why didn’t they add the feature (storage) in their original Airport Extreme last year, I am sure they could have done that?”

    This is actually a “wait-and-see” thing, I think. Airport Extreme does support external drives and allows you to access them via SMB. However, there was a bug where your backups could get corrupted and there wasn’t time to fix it, so Apple pulled the feature. Whether this will return (via an Airport Extreme update) or not, we’ll have to see.

    I would agree that if Apple releases Time Capsule and doesn’t fix the problem with Airport Extreme, I think that’s pretty crappy.

  • Aaron R

    As IT manager of a development house that use both macs and pc’s – macs do indeed need to be restarted more often, and the endless spinning wheel is seen quite often. So go figure mr-obnoxious-mac-fanboy Billy Ritz.

  • http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog Scott Barnes

    Interesting post Abdul, and some great questions! I have answers to a few but given my @microsoft.com address it could trigger emotive responses ;)
    I own an iMac and Macbook Pro and use both operating systems daily (Vista + OSX). I personally prefer Windows given my development environment – .NET so it’s really about unique habits in the end.
    Stability. Windows Vista has had a really positive record in terms of stability. Our first 90 day report was extremely positive. The thing about Windows Vista is that it’s not tailored to specific hardware in that we adhere to many ISV’s in terms of drivers, configuration balances etc. Apple build for a specific set of hardware and you really can’t deviate from it.
    If we could follow suite with a prescribed hardware I think our approach would be most likely different to what you see today. It’s a hard balance as how do you release an operating system that let’s face it, majority of the world uses without breaking the internet or cause chaos in businesses around the world. We keep aiming for perfection but it’s an endless quest :)
    I loved your post as you raised some good points and I’ve not settled on any specific answers – which are a great way to convey a point! :)
    -
    Scott Barnes
    RIA Evangelist
    Microsoft.

  • Shabina

    Thank you so much for such a good post where one can actually get to know so much about Apple & windows.

  • Joseph

    @barry.b
    This is my experience. It seems a bit extreme to call someone a liar whom you have never met.

  • http://weblog.mrinalwadhwa.com Mrinal Wadhwa

    To me its all about creating passionate users …. both apple and microsoft are big corporations out to make money, but apple has been doing a better job at instilling passion into its users and that is what makes them better …. they are better because many people think and say they are … I started using a mac less than a year ago and I am more passionate about MacOS than Windows which I’ve been using for the past 12 years or so.

  • http://www.sachinshinde.com Sachin Shinde

    I don’t haven any answer to these questions but I would like to share my experience with Vista…
    My new Laptop running on Vista crashes every day at least couple of time. Every time I install any software which is heavily hardware dependent Vista is bound to crash.
    Initially there was problem with Driver for my NVIDIA 8600 graphics card which I tried to fix by downloading latest driver from NVidia for Vista, No luck.
    Installed Hamachi other day and now everytime I try to start Hamachi Vista goes down.
    Next time after crashing when vista boot up it shows solution for previous crash. Which varies from Flash to Media player to Photoshop, etc.
    I am so fed up with it now that I have installed Ubuntu and try to avoid using Vista as much as I can…
    (My Box: HP pavilion 9000, Core 2 duo 2Ghz, 2 GB, Nvidia 8600GS 256MB)

  • http://www.abdulqabiz.com/blog/ Abdul Qabiz
  • http://NA K

    Hello,
    Just my experience.
    I used to be a PC user, Vista would crash almost everyday, Hell, even a few times it would say: Screensaver not responding.
    I was running D.Core 2.3 HP Machine. XP didn’t crash as much, but did sometimes.
    Now, I’ve been a FULL ON Mac user for the past year now, not one crash. And I use Final Cut, Aperture, Adopt PS, DW, Flash ETC.
    Also, I run VM-Ware on my Mac (Leopard 2.0 D-Core Macbook) — works far faster than the PC ever did..
    And I’ll say it again. Never crashed once.. Ever… lol?
    Boots up in about 10seconds, 15 seconds and you’re up and running on the Internet perfectly fast, seems to be faster on the Net than the PC aswell?
    Also, had a few Viruses and Spy. W on the PC… Mac, no..
    Finally, the PC would often take a few mins to boot up to a usable state.
    I’m not saying they suck, but.. I don’t actually think you can beat a Mac!
    And Apple does busniess really good.. I think!
    Anyway, Thanks,
    K

  • http://www.arnoldsaudio.com Will

    You all know that preference comes down to personal usage. I am a programmer for a large software firm and I have 3 pc’s running Vista and XP (2 Vista, 1 XP) and they never crash! I have tried programming on a MAC and there is no contest there. Windows destroys MAC in the programming field. MAC is a great multimedia OS, but that’s about it. With the right software and tweeks, Windows can do anything MAC can do. I no longer own a MAC because of the afore mentioned reasons. I have been a devout Windows user since 98SE, and I have no plans of changing that anytime soon. Everyone is all about MAC this and MAC that anymore. My view is that Apple is a proprietary company. With Microsoft, 3rd party apps and hardware are readily avalible, even on Windows Mobile (which I also use DAILY!) Apple on the other hand has almost NO 3rd party apps and you can’t slap just any hardware inside. It has to be a MAC part. Microsoft might seem like it’s out to rule the world, but if you ask me, Apple is.

  • http://www.coocoofun.com YZ

    If you ask me, MAC OS X is the worst OS EVER! You can’t download things that Apple hasn’t made to be able to take. Microsoft Word won’t download on it, so you’re stuck with stinking Appleworks. And also, everytime you try to right click, you have to hold the Ctrl key down. Apple laptops need to charge after about two hours of use! True, IE does say it doesn’t respond quit a bit, but Safari is like trash, even Netscape Navigator beats THAT. Luckily, you can actually (thank GOD! Apple allows you to download browsers!) download a new browser like IE or Mozzila Firefox to compensate for that. To tell you the truth, even though Firefox works pretty well on OS X, IE sucks on it about as bad as Safari does on Windows. But then, who would want to download that rubbish on PCs when you can stick to IE?

  • Thusyanthan

    From my own opinion I would say Windows is the best one. Look at Apple, they just programme some new software’s to attract people and get them into the view, but when I went to some pcworld store, I tried to use Apple Mac and its all complicated to navigate the page and my brain shut down.
    When I was using Windows for first time it’s all easy and familiar to use. The reason lot of people turning into apple because Mac is really fast and it has lot of software’s to use. But look at the prices they are selling (for f**k sake), but Windows selling for all kind of prices (£150-£10,000).
    Overall I would say Windows are the best one!