Following on from my article last month – Microsoft or Apple or Android? – a regular question I am also asked is “Should I get a Windows or Mac PC/laptop?”. Last month’s article goes in some part to answer this but there is also the issue of maintenance.  Again these are just my thoughts and I welcome your comments.

Apple make their own hardware which will only run their own operating system (the software that runs the PC). This means that the need for maintenance of your PC is greatly reduced (it would be a worry if it wasn’t!). There is only the Apple way to use their devices and you can only run software developed or approved by Apple. A huge benefit to learning how to use it and ensuring your PC is going to be working for you all the time. One of the disadvantages is that you generally can’t add additional storage or memory which means your PC/laptop becomes obsolete once a new version of their operating system is not supported on your laptop/PC. (I know this from my kids’ iPods, which they only had for a few years, that are now useless and need to be binned.) Apple obviously want you to buy the next version of laptop/tablet/phone etc, but from a positive point of view Apple want to be sure that their software is not being run on outdated hardware. (Just to reiterate I am not an Apple “expert” so if you have Apple devices and can add to this I would love to hear your comments.)

Windows, however, is designed to work on any number of different desktops/laptops/tablets and so on. It is reliant on the person/company loading Windows to have done this correctly. Windows is much more open so there are a variety of software applications that can run on Windows PCs, again it is reliant on the software developer to get this right. There is always the risk that you could load something that messes up your PC (hence why companies ban staff from loading anything that has not been approved by themselves). You can be sure that regardless of what has caused the problem with a PC that Windows will get the blame when it is probably not Windows’ fault at all. Another issue is that PC manufacturers will load their own bloatware onto their PCs/laptops. (Bloatware is the nickname for software developed by the manufacturers themselves or software they are sponsored to install, so if you buy a HP PC there will be HP software loaded, or a Dell will have their own software etc.) Bloatware is usually provided to help you work with your PC but in my experience it usually just slows it down, and it is the first thing I take off when I get a new desktop/laptop. From a maintenance point of view I think it is always important that you have a family member/friend/computer company that will regularly “service” your Windows PC. To check that updates have loaded correctly, check that software loaded isn’t causing problems, ensuring it is working at its fastest and so on. Another advantage to most Windows PCs is that you can add additional memory and storage capacity into the PC which elongates its life as it will help the PC to work faster and enable you to download the latest software. Again Windows will always get the blame when the latest operating system is loaded on a PC not designed to run this latest software.

In summary, Apple devices are much more expensive and will become obsolete at Apple’s behest, but hopefully you will save on maintenance and support, whereas Windows PCs are affordable and flexible, can last longer but you need to invest in advice and support.

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