Sitting on a fence between Apple & Microsoft

I know that we’re generally all fans of Windows based PC’s here and Mac is a dirty word - that makes sense, our primary source of members is from a gaming background where PC is god.

But from a professional point of view, Mac is - or at least was - the front runner - especially in the realms of design and open-source development. I got my Macbook Pro over a year ago now, and love it. For the cost, it was extremely reasonable - a 2560x1600 screen, capable of running multiple 5K displays with an i5 chip in a the silent shell of a tiny laptop. Amazing. The OS, whilst taking a while to get used to, had a lot of features that mocked Windows operating systems of old.

Equally, MacOS has the core of a linux system - the file structure and permissions. For doing web development, I found that loading dependencies was easy and as you learn stuff built on a LAMP architecture, the transition from a Mac was a breeze.

It seems however, that the MBP I purchased was and will be the last ‘good’ Mac.

Things seem to be changing. Where Apple have dropped the ball, Microsoft are running with it. fast. In an article in Bloomsberg that discussed the fall of Apple, a paragraph really stood out:

This is the problem. Apple are making most of their money from the iPhone-touting-hipster-majority and not from the smaller band of developers and designers. This never used to be the case. They catered for both side.

So I’m disenfranchised with Apple as a company (but not with the product I currently own). But is there an alternative?

Microsoft have recently (well, from 2016) started to release more ‘developer’ inspired structures that break away from the Windows standards. For example:

  • You can now install BASH on your Windows PC and have it act just like Linux. This isn’t a VM, it’s a proper linux substructure.
  • Microsoft have implemented .net Core 2.0 platform that crosses the boundaries of Windows, Mac and Linux. Nice.
  • With the advent of hardware like the Surface Book & Pro - You finally have powerful Windows based devices with screen resolutions to match (exceed) a Macbook Pro - at less cost.

So I think with those 3 elements, the winds have shifted. Apple either need to produce something amazing in the next year or two that focuses on cutting edge hardware and power - and not just focus on how thin and portless they can make their products.

I’m going to start playing with more of the new features in Windows… and if they do what I want, I can see a possible PC upgrade coming in the distant future. Its a bit annoying, because I do love my MBP. But tech moves fast and you have to be on the cutting edge of it.


While I’m 100% a Windows person I do want a Mac for my djing as they are pretty much industry standard for it

Want to buy a MBP? :wink:

Yes 5er ok? Cos i r broke

I could never get onboard the Mac train. Too expensive and I’m definitelly not a hipster. The great stuff for Mac was the video and picture editing, but that era of dominance in that field is long gone.
Also I do not like the Apple ecosystem where everything is iTunes this iToilet that.
Don’t get me started on the interface stuff…
Just do your development on a Linux system.

Woah woah woah…are we having serious discussions now?

My thoughts, in no particular order and with only minor proofing and editing:

Windows, OSX, and *nix all have their uses and places so any choice between them would be subjective, but that’ll always be the case, and heavily guided by what the software you want to run is designed to run on.

The unix subsystem for windows stuff feels like it’s to support all the folks that need to work with unix environments, which they needed to catch up on because *nix environments and osx haven’t had that issue for a long time and they’ve given up pushing people to use their server software offerings (IIS is dead, long live everything else). Similarly the .net core feels like an attempt to attract more people to using .net for stuff, but given mono’s been quite established for a while it again feels like MS being late to adapt and wanting to jump on (and support to some extent) the bandwagon. I guess it feels like this is more them supporting how people already work than starting or accelerating a trend in that respect; anyone who wanted bash, a unix FS or subsystem, or to run a .net app on *nix wasn’t letting Windows lack of support stop them.

In terms of hardware, i wouldn’t trust anything microsoft manufactured. ever. their track record with hardware failure is abysmal. I don’t care if there are rumours they’ve bought/built their own factory in China just for surface, between consoles, controllers, mice and even keyboards their stuff has been less reliable than the alternatives and they can’t be trusted. By comparison, I trust apple hardware for the most part because the bits i’ve had have been manufactured by manufacturers i trust to some extent, and after ten and a half years since i bought my first macbook pro (battery died after five years and i didn’t replace it), every other bit of hardware from them still works: laptops (2), phones(5), tablets (3) and desktops (2). any issue I’ve had, with software, hardware, or services, has been dealt with without much fuss.

Most contractors I’ve met at/through work use a macbook of some kind; sure some of them run windows, or linux, or both/all three of them as required, but it’s the end-user device format they evidently prefer, and unless they need to do something intensive locally on that specific machine (which I’ve never witness), they just connect to whatever they need to when they need to.

“Apple are making most of their money from the iPhone-touting-hipster-majority and not from the smaller band of developers and designers. This never used to be the case. They catered for both side.”

I don’t think this is the case (that this never used to be the case or they catered for both side; obviously it’s where they make their money). They’ve always made most of their money through computing devices where they design both the software and hardware. Between the newton, powerbooks, ibooks, macbooks, ipods, iphones and ipads they’ve always tried to push into smaller/portable devices. The world has caught up and turned that into an actual profitable enterprise so they’ve dived right in. That’s not a change though, that’s how they’ve been since at least the early 90s, and that’s the agenda Steve Jobs pushed before, leading to, and after his return.

“professional needs, like maximum computing power.”

maximum computing power isn’t a professional need in an end-user device. Your end-user device is the screen and input/output peripherals that your user needs/prefers. Anything else can be something you connect to if required because there are services and infrastructure that allow us to do that. The future will be EaaS because that’s been determined to be most profitable by people who want money, and that’s what determines everything that happens. If it wasn’t for global bandwidth/latency issues i suspect image and video editing (the last demanding things that are better done locally) would be done by connected rather than local resources.

Also maximum power isn’t available portably. Maximum power is what you use in render farms, or to host large virtual environments. Max power is multiple CPUs, dozens of cores, hundreds of threads and GBs of ram, or huge numbers of compute units in parallel. That can’t be done portably (for power, heat, noise reasons primarily). But it can be dumped in a datacenter out of the way and connected to and utilised by as many people as you want to share it between.

tl;dr: Everyone has different requirements and anyone who isn’t happy with something is unfortunately in a minority that no one sees as being financially viable to serve. If there are enough people, with enough money, then what they want would exist. If what you want doesn’t exist it’s because you (and people who feel the same about the same thing, collectively) don’t have/aren’t willing to spend enough for it to be worth someone making it, so they haven’t. Or it’s not technically possible. Yet?


Now Apple does not really do all their hardware anymore, then again neither does MS.
I would not nessessary say that the MS hardware is bad. I have had a couple of Windows phones. OK the first one died, but that was no big surprice after all the abuse(actually Nokia build one). Second one is still up and running.
In our work there are a good few Analyst with the surface products, all of them like it and have not had many issues.
My main issue with Apple is price compared to other similar products, the markup is massive.

btw you can get a server in a laptop formfactor

I would say the market it on par with itself with regarding pricing. Microsoft aren’t looking to compete with Apple on price - They are trying to compete on a professional and functional level. Surface Books range from £1199 to £2000+ for similar specifications to what Apply offer.

@adrock - I agree with a lot of what you say. As I put in my post, I love my MBP - and in reality, I wouldn’t get rid. I just for-see that Apple is losing its way…

My point was not really comparing Apple and MS hardware really. Should be compared to the other stuff on the market.

I don’t think Apple is losing it’s way, i think they’ve made their path pretty clear the entire time. They want to design and sell the devices people want. Not developers, not programmers, and not enterprises, just people. It used to be most of those people wanted a generic computer, and they did enough to get market share from professionals/designers and favoured particular markets to maintain that, but they’ve always wanted to get things more widespread, more ubiquitous (G3 imac, ibook, ipod, iphone, macbook etc).

Rather than they’re losing their way, i think they’re just not going the way some people (including both of us) would prefer, but all things considered i struggle to find fault with that.

I think the new iPhone X says a lot about the current state of Apple, sadly.

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Ahh this is where it falls down for me: Generally, I hate people.


I thought OS X was a “re-hashed” or similar MS product.

MS shit annoys me due to the “bloat” that restricts speed in teh background. Apple shit annoys me due to it’s restrictions, privacy shit and mainly extreme cost for teh hardware specs.

My parents have 2 ipads and a desktop thing and love them as “they just work” for their use, connectivity etc, no faffing.

O and I also rebel against the whole “Apple is god” acolytes. If it works for some, use it. If it doesn’t work for others, don’t use it. Simples.

What I WOULD like, especially in the Mobile phone market, are some (well, one would do for a start) real, proper alternative OSs.

MacOS (that was OSX) is built around Darwin, a unix based OS apple made based on nextstep, bsd and other bits. Darwin is also the underlying core of iOS, albeit with a completely different gui on top.

“My parents have 2 ipads and a desktop thing and love them as “they just work””

That’s apple’s aim, to get their stuff into the hands of regular people who don’t want anything specialised or complicated. That’s a much bigger market than SME development design/graphic work, so they’ve alienated their former market to some extent, in order to capture a much bigger market. They don’t actually have a choice in that; as a listed company their real product is share price and they have a responsibility to their shareholders to maximise that by maximising revenue and that means targeting the largest/most profitable markets they can. That goes back to what Jes has said about them alienating certain parts of the professional market, but it’s such a small (albeit somewhat vocal, online) market that they just aren’t going to care that much. Anyone who tried to push them back towards focusing on that market would find themselves replaced pretty sharpish.

I use apple stuff where it meets my requirements (phone, tablets, laptop), I use linux and cobbled together shit where i want to do stuff myself (media players, clock/radio thing, ADS-B receiver, time delay camera), and then when i want to play games and I’m forced to use windows, I have that too. I’m not a fanboy, apple make tons of mistakes, but they get a lot of shit from people who just want to hate; fuck those people, they are small, closed-minded, miserly sycophants who’ll just repeat whatever negative thing they last read on the internet in lieu of putting in the time and effort to form a justifiable opinion. Maybe they don’t like blanket statements like that, but that’s what they’re dishing out, so fuck 'em.

Don’t get me started on phones…oh wait…Jes brought it up.

The iPhone X says less about apple and more about the state of the mobile phone market; bigger but thinner (I’m not a fan), stupid security/unlock features (your face and finger are less secure than your brain), higher resolution cameras (I’d buy a camera if i needed one), 3d acceleration for ‘gaming’ (I’d buy a handheld, a switch, or even tablet before this was something i’d look for in a phone). I’d even argue screen resolution, depth, and colour reproduction are overkill at this point. It’s not like they don’t have a wide range of cheaper models with almost identical form factor and functionality.

I’m a big fan of things that state their aim and then do what they intended to well. Phones have swung massively towards a ‘jack of all trades master of none’ mentality, where your phone is better if it can play (some shitty) games, can access (some subset of) all your music, offer you a (subpar) VR experience, be unlocked by your (less secure than a mentally stored pin number) face, finger, or arsecheek, have the tallest widest, highest DPI screen with the most colours and the most patents you can implement then use some stupid term with unnecessary capitalisation like TrueSense, MagicTone, or RealFace, for their marketing.

Lately there’s some kind of push for phones that can offer you a ‘true’ desktop experience when connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. The only thing i could ever use such a desktop for would be connecting to an actual desktop. Beyond that you’re just using a desk, keyboard, mouse and monitor to operate your phone.

You (rhetorical, no one in particular, NO ONE GET DEFENSIVE) might be satisfied with your phone as a gaming device, VR display, desktop computer, camera etc, but you’d struggle to convince me it’s a better gaming device than a console/pc/dedicated gaming device, a better media player than a stereo or TV, a better VR headset than a rift or vive, or a better desktop computer than an actual desktop computer. Maybe having all those features together in one device with portability is super important to you, and you feel all tablets and laptops are just too big and heavy, but you’re getting into really niche markets there.

In response to Vred’s post re people, see my response to the Lithium Mining in Cornwall post, i think it’s covered there :confused:

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Just saw this about Apple upping some prices and it seemed relevant to the thread:

iPads didn’t make an appearance in the new Steve Jobs Theater yesterday during Apple’s event, but some models did experience a change. Apple raised prices for select iPad Pro 10.5- and 12.9-inch models by $50 yesterday, and a report by 9to5mac suggests it’s due to the increased prices of NAND flash storage.

Maybe something to do with why their new stuff is so much more expensive? Maybe a price bump for a new line plus increased overheads?

Edit: Apparently ‘AppleCare’ has gone up by $20 as well.

How do you milk a sheep?

call it an iPhone and charge $999 for it

In all seriousness though I do have an iPhone 6s plus, and iOs works pretty well for a phone OS that is mainly for browsing reddit, youtube and checking emails.

I couldnt use it for anything more than that though. And I didnt know that the OsX team were iOs first - suppose it makes sense with the way their products have been going lately, especially with the iPad pro - if that OSX on it rather than iOs that could’ve been a great, lightweight, touchscreen compromise between a tablet and a macbook air.

Alot of what makes an OS good is what the user is going to use it for. I jump between Windows, Arch and Kali for different things, but no one OS covers all grounds, for me at least.

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