“If you want a computer just for yourself, then it doesn't really matter which one you get. But If you already have a computer or a network of computers, and you want to add another one, for all practical purposes, you're going to need to get the same type. Any aspirations of connecting a Mac into an existing network of non-Macs, is simply far too complicated to bother...
The biggest limitation comes with larger networking. But not necessarily with any inherent limitation of the hardware or software, but the multiple platform knowledge of the system administrator.
Other potential issues could arise in the corporate business world where Microsoft proprietary solutions may have been adopted, and databases may only be compatible with software available on Windows only. There may be be multi-platform compatible alternatives, but porting an entire exisiting solution could be prohibitively disruptive and expensive.
This can all get rather complicated far too much to go into here so I'll leave it here. I'll just urge you, don't assume a Mac won't talk to a network of PCs, because it probably isn't true.
So in summary...
...for the kind of networking that everyday folk would ever need to deploy e.g. a home network or sharing an internet connection there's unlikely to be any significant issue. A little bit of computer literacy, and it should all be pretty self explanatory. However, when it comes to large corporate networks, the hurdles and costs may get bigger, but even here, is rarely insurmountable.
Page content last updated 12 September 2010