Why do people switch to Mac?

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Robert Daeley

Robert Daeley
Nov. 13, 2005 10:57 AM

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URL: http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/8231...

Last month, Tom Adelstein over on sister site LinuxDevCenter asked the question Why do people switch to Linux? The results of a survey of readers on lxer.com were presented responding to that question, and the results were rather surprising, particularly how little anti-Microsoft feelings had to do with the decision, relative to other factors.

The Mac platform from its inception has been the alternative computing experience -- its very first commercial, quite famous nowadays, set it against the then-omnipotent IBM. Since then, its struggles with Microsoft have been legendary. And despite it being a corporation itself, some of its users are rather notorious for being, shall we say, passionate about their computers, a fact that leaves others at the least nonplussed, if not fully turned off.

Things have a way of changing, naturally, and nowadays we have reports of over a million new Macintosh users, hooked in by the so-called iPod Halo Effect. Even before that, however, with the advent of Mac OS X, many technical users who had been pining for a friendly face on Unix found one, finally getting the best of both worlds.

I think setting up Mac versus Linux is missing the point, despite the competitive hooting and chest-pounding that both sets of fanboys like to do at each other. They have a common enemy, as it were, and while competition is a good thing, it shouldn't obscure the greater picture. In fact, I'd venture to say that it is the belief in competition that prevents one from buying into more, shall we say, monopolistic entities.

Speaking only for myself, I choose a Mac, Linux, or BSD for their stability, security, and power, as well as their ultimate suitability for the kind of work that I do...but also because of how I answer the inverted question: how could I not?

What about you?

Robert Daeley is a writer and programmer in Southern California. By day he is a mild-mannered server administrator and website developer; by night, in addition to his super-hero duties, he cooks, bikes, hikes, cheers on the Dodgers, and writes fiction.