“In most workplaces, any computer work required of you will be done using a Windows PC. Using that platform on a day to day basis, you will likely become proficient using it. So why bother with learning a different platform? If Windows is good enough for work, it's good enough for home too...
PC at work, PC at home
At work (or school), choices are usually made for you. One thing you probably have no control over, is what computer equipment is provided for you to do your work. And while you do have control over what you buy for your own usage at home, it is understandable how having the same platform for both environments would make sense.
This is particularly understandable if you're not so proficient with computers. You may not want to have to learn two different computer platforms for home and work. And what if you bring work home? You need compatibility. The convenience of having an identical set-up at home is unarguable.
But just for the hell of it, let's analyse...
Chances are, unless you work in some creative or media industry, you won't be using a Mac at work. In most businesses, you will be using a Windows based PC. And there are very good reasons for this.
Corporate IT departments look at Apple with distrust. Always have. And the thing is, Apple appears to do little to ease their concerns.
Apple has a somewhat unconventional way of doing business...
- They exhibit a somewhat apathetic demeanour. You either learn to like what they give you, or it's your loss. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!
- They are secretive about their future developments. This helps to build hype and reinforced the enigmatic aura around their brand.
- They sell end-to-end computer systems. The Macintosh platform is an integration of their hardware running their OS. The two are inextricably linked.
That is all well and good, and appears to be a business plan that works rather well for them. But corporate IT departments have very different priorities...
- They expect a focus and commitment to support their ventures.
- They expect to be kept informed about long term plans for the platform.
- They expect to have the freedom to choose their hardware from multiple vendors.
And that is all where Microsoft and their OEM partners (PC manufacturers) are prepared to bend over backwards. They make the right cooing noises and give them exactly what they want, whereas Apple remain apathetic, secretive, and provide only what they think they should want.
That's not to say Apple don't want the corporate market to embrace their platform. A sale is a sale after all. And indeed some businesses have adopted Mac based solutions, lured in by the potential for a long term lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and many of which have benefiting from such. But for the most part, an Apple solution is seen as far too risky, and their way of doing business seen as incompatible with the business of business.
Seefor more of a look at what solutions they offer for businesses.
So right now, and probably for the foreseeable future, the chances are that the computing platform you will have at your workplace, will be a Windows based PC.
And if that's good enough for the workplace, it's good enough for home... right?
What corporations needs from their computers in office cubicles or on factory shop floors is one thing. What ordinary folk needs from their computers in their home is quiet another thing. What impresses IT departments, is not necessarily going to be of any advantage for you or I in our internet browsing, e-mail, or digital photos etc.
The PC's origins are very much in the business world, and this is where Microsoft continue to focus their best efforts. This in stark contrast to Apple's focus which is very much weighted towards consumers. This shows through most prominently in their bundled software, in their marketing, and in their support infrastructure.
So would a consumer-centric Mac fit your home usage more comfortably than a business machine? Best tool for the job?
Doing business at home
As suggested above, that's not to say you can't use a Mac for business, no more than you can't use a PC in the home. So if you want to bring your work home, do you necessarily need the same computer platform as work, or will similar software suffice?
Many mainstream business software packages are available for both Mac and Windows platforms, such as Microsoft Office. And if what you need isn't available for Macs, you do have the flexibility of installing Windows alongside Mac OS to offer best of both worlds; the Mac environment for normal home usage, and the Windows environment for business usage.
Seefor more details on this option.
So in summary...
...on one hand, there is indeed a certain convenience in having the same platform at home as your business computer at work. But then on the other hand, Apple makes very good home computers that can be used for business too. So I guess like anything, it basically comes down to subjective priorities and preferences.
Page content last updated 15 August 2009