I-am_a_Mac Some days ago , I outlined why I believe that Mac OS X is no match for Windows 7 when it comes to the decision which OS is the best choice for the corporate network. Today, I want to tell you the main reason why I also wouldn't use a Mac privately. I just have to let this out publicly at least once. My aversion against Macs has nothing to do with OS features, overpriced hardware, or the ecosystem. You won't believe it, but it is this "I am a Mac" adverts that I find quite repulsive. Their main message is that if you want to look like a cool, stylish surfer and not like a dumpy business guy, you really need to be a Mac. That is, using a Mac is not enough, you have to show everyone that you are a Mac.

Now, every time I go to a Starbucks, I can't help myself and I look at all those Macbook users, wondering if they bought this overpriced notebook with this shining oversized white logo only because they want to look like a cool surfer. I am sure many of them had good reasons to buy a Mac (the malware threat for example). However, there is no doubt that quite a few Apple customers believe that they simply have a better taste than the rest of us and who want to show the world that they are different. It is okay to be different, but buying a product to look different is just plain silly, in my view. Apple is pushing this attitude with these ads and that makes this company quite off-putting for me. Obviously, they are trying to attract more wannabes this way and I don't wanna be one of them.

I should mention that with the latest version of these ads Apple targets two new types as potential customers (see video below): arrogant machos and clueless little girls. 😉

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Final note: Just in case you are a Mac user and somehow got lost on this blog, please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that all Apple users are wannabes. All I am saying is that Apple's ads are targeting people who believe being a Mac is essential for a good a lifestyle. Anyway, I will treat you for a beer if you ever cross my way. I have no style, but we can talk about the things that really matter in life. But do me a favor please - don't show off your iPhone on the counter. I really can't stand that. 😉

17 Comments
  1. Erica Saunders 12 years ago

    Nice post. I'm a PC user as well, but that beer your going to have with the MAC user is it going to be one of those beers that as soon as you crack it open you get a chill and some hot girl is staring directly at you like she cant resist you just because you started to drink that beer? I have to agree with your post though I would never buy a MAC simply because they are overpriced and I don't want to be that person that just bought a MAC because I thought I was cool. In my experience that is exactly the kind of people that have a MAC.

  2. Aszurom 12 years ago

    I'm an enterprise 2003/2008 domain sysadmin - and I do it from a mac. With remote desktop to my servers and a vmware fusion PC onboard that I rarely have to use, you'd be surprised how little impact it has on managing all our servers, vmware domain, and SAN arrays.

    I like having unix when I want it, and a nice candy coated aesthetically pleasing GUI when I don't. I also enjoy having different problems with my machine than I do with users. And, having all my admin stuff on a machine that's quite secure and apart from the domain is a nice layer of obscurity-security too.

  3. Erica, thanks. Actually, I am always waiting that this will happen to me. It appears I am drinking the wrong beer. The girls always go to the other guys. Usually they have an iPhone. 😉

    Aszurom, you mentioned one reason why I regret sometimes of not having a Mac. I guess solving Mac problems is somewhat different than with Windows. Good that you didn't take my anti-Mac rant personal.

  4. Dean 12 years ago

    I think that you are trying to put all users under a common denominator, Michael.

    There are users with more humble and simple needs and MAC is targeting this audience successfully.

    On the other hand, I am surprised by the changes in the corporate ecosystem – it is as if Microsoft is trying to push back clients. Here is a recent example – Exchange 2007 will not be supported on Windows Server 2008 R2. Or another one – the silent removal of tools like Netdiag or Replmon which are vital for Active Directory troubleshooting. I can go on with this list but that’s not my point. These are just symptoms that something is going wrong – especially with pillars of the corporate ecosystem like Messaging and AD.

    It is not clear whether Windows 7 will be adopted in the corporate environment (I don’t have doubts about the home users – they love it). And I am very curious about another possible scenario in the corporate environment. It sounds weird, but what about running the windows applications on top of MAC – you have choices there, like Paralels Desktop for MAC, VMWare fusion etc.

    Dean

  5. Dean, I mentioned in the article that this is not really about Mac users, but how Apple targets its clientele. Of course, a market share of 10% can't be explained away by just saying that all those Apple customers are wannabees. The majority of Mac users are certainly just normal people.

  6. Wm Franklin 12 years ago

    You have taken the words right out of my mouth. As a matter of principle, I refuse to give my money to any company whose advertising is based on the premise that, unless I buy from them, I am somehow unworthy.

  7. moiecoute 12 years ago

    The people who I see buying MAC are buying it because the hardware itself is aesthetically pleasing not because of the OS.

    In fact they find it so aesthetically pleasing that they are willing to pay almost double the price against a similar spec PC. I see it in students who sadly are up to their eyeballs in debt buying this stuff.

    In some way I can understand it. If you are looking to make a fashion statement then up till Vista and up till some of the more recent netbooks and laptops you would choose MAC.

    For me I'd rather buy a reasonable looking laptop with CPU power than a MAC. Each to their own.

    Michael I have a good chuckle at those ads. They are both equally absurd in my mind. MS with its Seinfeld and under $1000 ads and MAC with its 'I'm a MAC' ads. Even funnier are the send ups of the ads that people make.

  8. Ingmar 12 years ago

    You really don't like Apple, do you Michael? 🙂

    I am a long time PC user, and have to use PCs since that's our main development platform. Still, I have three Mac computers at home and I am quite happy with them - I also have an iPhone.

    When I bought the first iMac (the ones that looked like a lamp), I actually bought it because it looked good - after all I wanted to put it in the living room to watch DVDs, surf the web and so forth. There was no comparable PC available at the time that looked decent and consisted of just one piece (HP & DELL have since followed suit).

    I don't think you can just dismiss most Apple customers on the grounds that they are just buying Macs because they are aesthetically pleasing. Couldn't you say the same thing about a Sony Vaio or a Dell XPS laptop?

    Ballmer said it himself - Windows is all about choices - you have the largest selection of applications and you can tweak just about anything in Windows - but those choices also make it easier for things to go wrong. Apple and Jobs went the other route - few options for the user. The end result is a computer that does what most "non-corporate" users need. Stable OS, no driver issues due to proprietary hardware, great multimedia capabilities and ... Microsoft Office!

    Nobody has to buy a Mac, there are plenty of options out there - starting with the new Netbooks and going all the way to high end Apple laptops. Yes, they are overpriced. But people are willing to pay that money - and nobody is forcing them at gunpoint.

    And the ads? I find them entertaining. Most of the things in the ad are true. As a Mac user I don't have to worry about Malware and Viruses - at least not yet. As the platform becomes more popular, more malware writers will target it.

    There is no question that Windows rules in the corporate environment, but I actually recommend Macs to home users - for as long as they can afford it. A lot of people don't know what a driver is, or which Antivirus software to install. Or how to install the drivers for that new camera, and what are these 23 tray icons? Apple does make a lot of these things easier - at a price of course.

    It is for that reason that my mother-in-law ended up buying a DELL computer instead of an iMac. The DELL computer cost almost half of the price of the iMac, with better hardware. It's working out for her so far.

    But of course, having a BSD command prompt is nice too 😉

  9. Ilija Brajkovic 12 years ago

    You're playing with your life with this post, Michael :-). There are so many cool Mac users that want to show you how cool they are, and now they'll attach you with the comments. I also agree with you, few weeks ago I wrote post "Why I use Windows" ( http://www.brajkovic.info/blog/why-i-use-windows/ ), and was under huge "attack" on Twitter by Mac users who disagreed with me saying that Mac's are more expensive, actually too expensive for me and that's why I don't use them.
    I also don't want (read: have no money) to be cool, I just want my tasks to be done.

  10. Ingmar 12 years ago

    I'm in no means a Mac enthusiast. Like I said, I have been using windows since the MS-DOS 3.0 days, used to be a MCSE and I have developed on the Windows platform for years now.

    I'm also a practical person, and for the specific purposes that I needed, the iMac made sense. The iMac is in my home, so I'm not "showing it off" at Starbucks (which I don't really visit anyways).

    Windows is the market leader and has been around for a long time. But I think it's ignorant to say that Windows doesn't have problems. For some people, these problems are reason enough to pay more and get a different platform - especially when they don't need the flexibility they would get with Windows.

    Of course there are people that need to be cool, but I know a lot of people that simply enjoy using a Mac more than they do with Windows.

    The Macbook that I own was purchased used, for about $500. That's about the price of an expensive netbook, and would assume that even a student could afford that. Yes, it was used but it's in perfect condition.

    Sure, Windows is a great operating system, but just not for everyone.

  11. Wm Franklin, "unworthy", this was the word I was looking for when I wrote the article. 😉
    moiecoute, to me MacBooks look just like ordinary laptops. The only difference is the logo. I admit that the iPhone is aesthetically pleasing, although the design is now also available by other smartphone vendors.

    Ingmar, I can't say that I don't like Apple. I just don't like their PR. I also find their strategy to target only a small market questionable. The main reason why Microsoft more or less has a monopoly on the desktop is because Apple doesn't allow other PC makers to sell OS X.

    I absolutely agree that for some people a Mac is the best choice. You named a few arguments. It was not my intention to dismiss most Apple customers. It is hard to tell how many are falling into this I am a Mac trap. The majority of Apple customers probably has good reasons to buy a Mac. I also find these ads entertaining, entertaining like in a horror movie. You don't really want this to become real. 😉

    I disagree with regard to the corporate sector. Almost every organization has one special application that is not available for OS X. The situation is even better for Linux here. There are certainly some small organizations who can perfectly live with Macs. But it is always a risk because you never know that in the future you will need an application or a piece of hardware that is not supported by Apple.

    As an IT pro I also see the management aspect. Most of the great management tools out there are only available for Windows. EventSentry and AutoAdminstrator are just two examples. 😉

    Ilija, I am quite aware that I am playing with my life here. Actually, I think it was not very smart to post this article because people are easily offended if you attack their favorite operating system and this is the last thing I want to do. However, sometimes I just have to let it out. I am sure my therapist would agree If I had one. 😉

  12. moiecoute 12 years ago

    Ingmar. I will do it. I will dismiss all MAC users for buying the software or hardware for aesthetic reasons only. I am yet to hear one MAC person tell me they have bought a MAC for processing power, because it multitasks better (LOL), an application that only runs on it or because ease of use. Eye candy plain and simple.............. and good luck to Apple because that is what makes them their Billions each year.

    Ingmar just don't download any Office type programs for MAC through Torrent and you won't get any viruses 😉

  13. Dave 12 years ago

    Another Mac user here 🙂 (at home at anyway).

    My choice is to have a different experience from work. I spend at least 8 hours a day supporting Windows infrastructure. I want my home computing experience to be something different.

    As a bonus, suspend / hibernate works much better on my 3yr old Macbook than my top-spec work Win 7 Latitude E6400 🙂 OSX does have its downfalls, multi-monitor support is MUCH better in Windows though (Windows+P in Win7 is great).

  14. HSD 12 years ago

    You thoughts are most welcome, Michael; however, I think you chose not to buy an Apple computer for the wrong reasons. If you haven't used one or opened it up to see what kind of components are inside, then I don't think the argument is justified.
    I just became the owner of a new MacBook Pro after my boss let me borrow his spare MacBook while my company Dell Latitude was in the shop getting the motherboard replaced (again). My boss is an Apple nut. Prior to that I was using my personal Inspiron 9400 that I had upgraded from XP to Windows 7.

    My boss heard me complain about not being able to connect to our corporate wireless network running WPA2 and offered his MacBook to me. The MacBook connected to the wireless network and accepted the certificate with no fuss. All I had to do was enter my username and password. I called the help desk for help with getting my personal machine on the network, but they told me they don't support personal machines on the company network. What a big surprise.

    The second problem I had was even more strange. I tried to connect my Dell to the MacBook using a Firewire cable to transfer some large virtual machine files, only to find out Microsoft had removed those capabilities from Windows 7 (and Vista). Why? Aren't Windows computers supposed to do more than Apple computers?

    I was forced to copy the files onto my NTFS-formatted external disk and then copy them onto the MacBook. Of course, I couldn't copy anything back from the MacBook because the Mac doesn't have write capabilities to NTFS.
    That could be a pretty big drawback for some people. There is Paragon NTFS for the rest.

    After all of the problems were solved, I was surprised to find the MacBook was easy to use for everything. It was smooth, solid and predictable, despite being a small notebook. I didn't have any surprises. What I like is if you think you can drag something from one app to the next and have something happen in a certain way, it most likely will happen that way or fail gracefully. Setting up networks and backing up stuff (including applications) is a joy. I had no problems with anything, including my AT&T wireless card.
    In my opinion Windows 7 is a lot harder on both of those fronts. I nearly tore my hair out getting the wireless card client to work reliably on Windows 7. It works great on OS X.

    Managing a couple of Windows servers was as easy as using the Remote Desktop utility. Of course, I had to fire up a VMware Fusion XP instance to manage our VMware ESXi server. VMware Fusion is a lot cheaper than Workstation and does just what I need. It is also nice to have SSH and Subversion built in. The one thing that I miss is TortoiseSVN, but it's manageable.

    I now have a nice MacBook Pro that I purchased through my company. It was pricey, but all of that is justified in my opinion. The screen is a very high quality LCD. The keyboard is lighted (didn't know how much I needed that). When I opened it up to upgrade the hard disk to a bigger 7200 RPM version, I noticed that everything was bolted together very. All of the external port connectors had an extra metal covering to prevent the ports from tearing away from the motherboard. The headphone port had died on my Dell for just that reason.
    All of the capacitors and other parts are also of very high quality. Anybody who has ever built a high end computer knows to get a good motherboard with solid caps. They are more durable.

    I apologize for the long post, but there are a lot of little details that makes me feel good about the purchase. The machines have gotten a bad rap due to those stupid ads and from people who don't even use them.

    I could care less what people think. In fact, I ordered a colored sleeve to cover up the pretentious Apple logo. People often come up to me to ask what kind of computer it is. Perfect!
    I still have my Inspiron for personal use, but I now hate leaving my MacBook Pro at work.

  15. HSD, how are the insides of an Apple computer related to my argument? The point is that I would be embarrassed if I show off with a Mac in a coffee shop because everyone would think this is just another Mac wannabe. Opening my Mac and showing all other coffee shop visitors that even my motherboard has an outstanding design wouldn't really be helpful. However, the trick with the colored sleeve is great. Did you ever post this tip in an Apple forum? 😉

  16. HSD 12 years ago

    I apologize, Michael. The insides of an Apple computer don't relate at all to your argument. I usually don't post on blogs at all because I tend to read them really late when I am least alert. Your Mac article really caught me off guard. I didn't expect to see such an article here on this site. It came at a time when I was really getting to love my little MacBook Pro. Some of your other articles have been really helpful to someone like me, who has been thrust in a position to manage a couple of Windows servers without much training (system administrator just quit). Thank you for that. Now, getting back to the Macs...looks don't matter to me. All I care about is the engineering that went into producing a product. The thought that I might not want to buy a solid product because too many clueless people buy the same thing to use as a status symbol never occurred to me. We are all free to buy what we want for whatever reason. At least you helped me to see that. Cheers.

  17. HSD, good point. But I think you misunderstood my point. This article is not about using or buying a Mac. It is only about "being a Mac". It is good to know that you are not a Mac. I really liked your idea with the sleeve.

    But want to know what happened to me a few days ago? I was reading on my Kindle in a Starbucks when a guy suddenly dragged me out of my book asking me with glowing eyes if this is an iPad. I blushed and said "no, no, this is a Kindle". His face clouded over and he answered: "Oh, I see. Yes, I think I have heard of this Kindle". Then he went back to his MacBook. What I found disturbing is that I had my Kindle in a sleeve.

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