PC vs Mac The Battle

Tiffani Randolph

     After Luke vs. Darth Vader in the 70’s and before Britney vs. Christina in the 90’s, another iconic rivalry was spawned.  In the late 80’s, the rivalry between Mac and PC began. Since the day Apple released Macintosh (Mac) computers in 1984 the battle between Macs and PCs has dominated the computer world. In a time where computers were new to the world many interested users approached with caution. Almost as soon as these interested users made the choice to buy a computer they were bombarded with the question that still haunts computer users today; Mac or PC?

     When Apple first began releasing computers, Windows retaliated against Mac releasing Microsoft Windows 3.0 in 1990 as a usable, less expensive alternative to the Mac platform. From that point on, each side waged war. Apple responded by releasing a collection of relatively inexpensive Macs and the battle lines were drawn as they realized only one could be the ultimate computer.

     Apple has sleek computers that take a stylish and smooth technological approach armed with their new commercials showing little faith that Windows 7 will be any better than Windows Vista or Windows XP (which all users can say has its fair share of problems). PC stepped up to the plate with their economically sound, not too terrible looking, computers and new ideas flying like crazy (even if those ideas might be Apple’s).

     The fight has recently moved into advertising. The world has witnessed commercials with the popular actor Justin Long promoting Macs against PC’s. In these commercials, Mac takes advantage of PC’s known problems by comparing them to the virtually virus free Mac. Microsoft promotes their cost effective computers in their commercials specifically comparing them to Macs.

     At the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in New Orleans, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner addressed Windows new commercials promoting the ‘more bang for your buck’ approach.

     “Two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, ‘Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.’ They took like $100 off or something. It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I’ve ever taken in business.” Turner said.

     But Windows is trying something new; something that is gaining them a lot of respect but also causing them a few problems. This year, Windows released Windows 7 and, for the first time in the company’s history, are opening stores. The first two stores opened up in Scottsdale, AZ and Mission Viejo, CA to excellent reviews.

     However, many customers were confused when they entered these stores at the grand opening. Numerous reports of a store identity crisis soon rose as many people felt like they were walking right into an Apple store instead of a Windows store. Window’s store opening festivities bore a striking resemblance to the popular and unique way Apple opens their stores: the Windows employees ran around pumping up the crowd in the same style Apple employees always have. Inside the store the same décor is present; Gurus in lieu of Geniuses and matching colored shirts for all the employees. Mac has gone as far as hiring Apple executives and store staffs with the promise of more pay. Windows is not only stealing many of Apples strategies, they are also stealing many of Apple’s locations, opening up stores right next door.

     Apple’s trademark is the iPhone. If someone doesn’t already have it, they want it. In fact many cell phone users switch to the AT&T network just for the iPhone. However, Windows is now releasing a phone which is sure to “knock the iPhone out of the water”. The new Windows phone advertises the ability to take all Windows software with the user; items such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Facebook and MSN messaging. Windows is also introducing MyPhone, a network between the user’s phone and PC that will share email, calendar, photos, videos, and the like. MyPhone is extremely comparable to Apple’s MobileMe, but offers a few more features such as tasks, internet bookmarks and social network integration

     So, why does Windows seem to be so blatantly copying Apple? With the opening of their new identical stores and now with the new Windows phone and MyPhone, it’s hard not to see Windows’s obvious jealously of Apple’s recent success.

      “I didn’t think our partners would be excited to see this first foray,” Allison Watson, Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group at Windows said, “They’re excited to see us competing and going after how Apple has done a really good job of pulling their marketplace together. Our model is better.”

     PC may be charged with borrowing many of Apple’s ideas however, it’s whoever puts them to better use that counts. Nevertheless, the healthy competition between the two companies will surely help out the common man and will result in better products for the world to enjoy which is without doubt a good thing.