The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Why the Mac is so easy to use

The reason the Mac is so easy to use is because Apple tightly controls the hardware platform. This ensures that there are no driver compatibility problems. And that's why their business model is superior. When you have a wide open technological model (such as the IBM PC), you open yourself up to the same set of compatibility issues that plagues both Windows AND Linux.

Yes, Mac costs more for this very reason, as well. But isn’t it interesting that competition forces Apple to keep their prices within reason, compared to PCs? For example...

The MacBook costs about the same as the Dell XPS M1210 (~$1,650 Canadian). Both are thin and lightweight.

The Mac Pro costs about $3,460 and the Dell XPS 710 $3,170. Not a big price difference. Moreover, the Mac Pro has a pair of Dual-Core Xeon processors, which the XP 710 can't really match.

The 17” MacBook Pro goes for $3,100 Canadian. Dell has nothing comparable, but the Inspiron 9400 costs $2,380. The Dell has a slower processor, slower graphics, and at 1.6” thick and 7.9 pounds, it’s a frickin’ brick, as well!!! Plus, the MacBook Pro (1” thick, 6.8 pounds) has an aluminum shell. So, taken altogether, the MacBook Pro is worth the extra $700.

(Interestingly, Dell has nothing close or comparable to the 15” MacBook Pro.)

So it’s pretty clear that Apple’s products are quite competitive, if not by price alone then by value proposition.

In other words, and in short, Apple rocks!!!


I could’ve compared the 17” MacBook Pro to the Dell XPS M1710 ($3,180). But this seemed too unfair because, although the Dell has faster graphics (it’s a gaming laptop, after all), it’s even THICKER and HEAVIER than the Inspiron 9400...1.7” and 8.8 pounds. Cripes, why can’t Dell build thin and light notebooks???


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