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Apple Businesses

Macs Are Cheaper than PCs 304

astrodawg writes "According the Gartner research firm, Macs are cheaper than PCs. 'It compared direct costs such as hardware and software for desktops and mobile computers, servers and peripherals, upgrades, service and support and depreciation. The study also examined the indirect costs of supporting end-users, training time and non-productive downtime.' MacCentral posted a story; evidently, the full report from Gartner is a bit expensive." I think the news about this should be that anyone questioned it to begin with.
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Macs Are Cheaper than PCs

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  • by CokeBear ( 16811 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:02PM (#3695896) Journal
    Windows is only cheaper if your time is worthless.
    • by MaxwellStreet ( 148915 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:08PM (#3695946)
      Speaking of which, wasn't that commercial that aired during the NBA finals last night great?

      The one where the Windows network administrator - a real guy - basically said that he works with windows when he has to, and goes home to get real work done on his Mac.

      This chap went waay out of his way to make note of the productivity difference between working on a Mac and a Windows machine.

      It's a good one - even my non-techie girlfriend found it compelling.

      (Though anytime someone identifies themselves as a Windows LAN administrator I have to choke down the urge to laugh at them. Poor chap.)
  • Hmmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gphat ( 5647 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:09PM (#3695956) Homepage
    First off, software costs? Are they referring to the costs of the CD-Rs I have to purchase to burn my Debian CDs? ;)

    Second, i still can't function on the Apple realm like I do in the PC realm. In a few months I'll grab a new mobo and a CPU and basically breathe life into my PC for $300. I might have a few upgrade issues, but I'll search google and lkml before choosing a chipset/brand.

    Macs are probably cheaper to people that hop down to the local electronics superstore and buy a PC, but it's probably not cheaper for alot of the crowd here.

    I would sell my soul for a Powerbook though.

    Cory 'G' Watson
    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I would sell my soul for a Powerbook though.

      So your soul costs roughly... $2500?
    • I would sell my soul for a Powerbook though.

      Really? Hmmm....

      No, I think I'll keep my Powerbook. Thanks for the offer, though. :)
    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:5, Informative)

      by valmont ( 3573 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @06:51PM (#3697622) Homepage Journal
      Actually, since '96 when the first PCI macs were released, namely the PPC 7500/100mhz and every significant desktop mac since then, has come with a removable CPU chip, lots of empty RAM slots and 3 to 6 PCI expansion bays, and extra room for mobo L2 cache RAM, additional video ram, empty drive bays and all that good stuff. Plus the 7500 pioneered the whole concept of upgrading your mac without touching a single screw.

      I've owned my 7500 since early '96.

      I have used it as my computer back in the dorms. It came with a built-in video capture card.

      I've used it to watch TV: back in the dorm, i had a vcr but no tv. i'd plug the antenna cable to vcr tuner input and plug video and audio output of the vcr to ppc 7500's video input and stereo audio inputs (y-cable). I'd watch basketball games and take screen grabs. fun shit.

      i've used it to actually capture video: I'm the one who digitized every single student movie clip from that site using this puppy. []. It was running MacOS 7.5

      Then i turned it into a full-time co-located server at an ISP in beverlyhills, where it would host a slew of web sites. it was running MacOS 7.6.1. It stayed there and worked very nicely for about 3 years after which i finally took it back home.

      Meanwhile I had upgraded its processor chip from an old PPC 603, to the very first 250Mhz G3 chip. I boosted its RAM up to ~200MB, while it could in theory hold up to a GIG of ram with its 8 slots. I added an Ultra2 LVD SCSI card on one of my free PCI slots and an extra internal 10gig 8.5ms access-time Ultra2 SCSI cheetah IBM drive. i picked both of those by comparing prices on

      I also added another Ultra SCSI-2 controller on another pci slot cuz i had planned to chain external scsi drives at some point but never followed-thru.

      And of course i did all those upgrades without touching a screw. things worked as advertised.

      Today, i could still stick a G4 processor in this thing. It's now running LinuxPPC Q4 2000. It sits at home where it's serving some hobby websites of mine off of my DSL connection [] behind my linksys router.

      One thing i'd like to mention is that ever since i've bought this computer, 6 full years ago, it has been on 24/7/365. I've crashed it many times while dicking around with the OS and some server software but never managed to corrupt any of my hard drives.

      As of today it is still happily cracking RC5 keys for

      I might whipe out the drives and install Mandrake Linux PPC once it has matured a bit.

      Can't upgrade a mac eh? right. and that's a '96 model. Today Apple has VGA displays, USB peripherals, ATA controllers. PCI expansion slots, and support for industry-standard video and graphics acceleration cards. Aside from things directly-tied to your motherboard, i'd say you've got a pretty wide choice of upgrade options.

      So now you complain you couldn't build it from scratch in the first place? Well lemme put it this way:

      At least, when you buy your mac, you KNOW, *everything*, and i do mean *everything* just WORKS out of the box. That gives you a baseline of a stable reference system. A powerful one. With all the features a geek could ever dream of. (and i'm pretty picky ) (and not a gamer, okay).

      Countless friends of mine have mail-ordered all of their PC parts from all over the states, spent NIGHTS putting it all together only to find out some driver is not compatible with their specific configuration.


      Aside from hardware considerations, in my mind, OS X *alone*, is a good-enough reason to buy a mac.

    • You'd sell your soul for ~$2,500?

    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

      by coolgeek ( 140561 )
      "In a few months I'll grab a new mobo and a CPU and basically breathe life into my PC for $300"

      It has been said before, peecees are for people that want to do things to their computers and macs for people who want to do things with theirs.

      In a few months, I'll sell my G4/933 for about 75% of the original cost and upgrade to a new tower for about $600 more than that. An hour-long Carbon Copy Cloner [] session, and I'm back up and running right where I was.

      I dunno how much your time is worth to you, for me, it's a no-brainer to spend $600 instead of $300, so I won't have to spend a couple of hours ripping systems apart, getting cut by the case, breathing in dust, and if running Windoze, the extra two days of hair loss getting the drivers set just right. If Linux, who knows how long. It can be a quick switchover, but then again, maybe there's some cool new drivers for the cool new features on that cool new motherboard and don'tcha know, I've just got to hunt 'em down and rebuild the kernel to use them.

      This is great, and even enjoyable when what I want to do is tinker with my system. I've been there done that so much I just want to get a faster system to write and test code on, and do it without slicing up my knuckles and without spending a bundle of cash. The first Mac was a big pile of money, (and so have some of the many "first" peecees, BTW), upgrading, IMO is on par.
  • No surprise here (Score:5, Informative)

    by laertes ( 4218 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:10PM (#3695967) Homepage

    At the company I currently work for, we use exclusively macs. There are about 100 people here, all with computers. How many support personnel do we need?

    One, non-overworked person.

    At my old job, we ran WindowsNT. There were about a dozen people using computers. How many support personnel did we need?

    Two, somewhat overworked people.

    This is just an anecdote, so don't interpret this post as an argument for/against the Gartner group's findings. This story is simply in line with my experiences, so I'm disinclined to reject their findings. I'm really not saying you need sixteen times more support personnel to employ Windows; I'm just saying we needed more.

    Remember, most computer users are not computer literate. These are people who struggle to use Internet Explorer.

    • Have you ever seen what kinda of traffic that the Mac network browser generates? I have a buddy who works in a similar envionment (an advertising company) with all Macs and seeing as most Mac users don't know jack about proper computing they screw things up CONSTANTLY, not to mention when they email out 40 meg Photoshop files and other none tech savvy things.
      • Have you ever seen what kinda of traffic that the Mac network browser generates?

        AppleTalk is known for that. Ironically, the chattiness of the protocol also makes it easier to use, because it's more likely to find other computers without any help.

        • by Drishmung ( 458368 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @07:28PM (#3697885)
          AppleTalk is known for that.

          Well first, its highly unlikely that the browser is using anything but good old TCP/IP, so mentioning AppleTalk is somewhat irrelevant.

          Secondly---since you have mentioned it :-)---like many other things that are well known, AppleTalks 'chattiness' relative to other protcols "ain't necessarily so".

          As an exercise, take a look via tcpdump at what is actually happening on your LAN (more difficult now everybody uses switches, but it will give an idea). Don't just assume, don't just theorize, measure!.

          See the flood of NetBIOS messages. Look at the Novell SAP torrent. Shudder as page after page of NetBEUI broadcasts flash by. (What you will see depends on what protocols are present on your LAN of course). Tell me again about chatty protocols?

          But wait---now look to see just what percentage of the available LAN is consumed by all these chatty exchanges. 1-2%? Ask yourself---does this chatter actually matter anyway?

          I'd never recommend AppleTalk over TCP/IP, since AppleTalk has a number of scalability problems and is just not appropriate for modern networks, but I'm so sick of the 'chatty' AppleTalk myth.

      • by switcha ( 551514 )
        Aside from the AppleTalk issue, everything you described is a problem with the user. I guess that's a side effect of average users not being scared shitless of their OS. All it would take it a size block on the email server and a few second of explaining to people what not to mess with.

        That said, the added traffic (as mentioned by LordNimon) makes it much easier to conenct/find/etc printers, machines, servers. In a small environment (most ad agencies), I think this added benefit of not having to constantly walk idiots through switching printers or connecting to a server is worth it.
      • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @08:37PM (#3698244) Journal
        Have you ever seen what kinda traffic that the Mac network browser generates?

        Yup. A lot. Much like the Windows network browser generating a bunch of SMB traffic.

        seeing as most Mac users don't know jack about proper computing they screw things up CONSTANTLY

        This differs from the Windows world how again?

        I tend to find that Macs are easier to fix than Windows boxes, though. Break your Mac? You've got some sweet troubleshooting tools from Apple. I haven't had a Mac for a few years, but the Extension Manager was a great little program. Windows doesn't give you anything nearly as powerful. Plus, you can boot into a fresh, clean copy of the MacOS right off a CD if you (and mind you, this is *very hard to do*) manage to get the thing into a state where it won't boot...the only thing MS gives you from booting off the CD is an install-only environment (and now, the rescue console, which is a pretty piss-poor environment for actually fixing things).

        not to mention when they email out 40 meg Photoshop files

        As long as this is over a nice peppy intranet and you aren't Scrooge when it comes to mail spool quota, I don't see the problem.
  • I preferred it when they were more expensive. I love owning the BMW of the computer world. If you are a cheap ass who only wants to spend $400 on a computer, then you get what you pay for! Trying to defend against these people is a waste of time. There will always be some moron who claims that the Mac is too expensive for him. Too fscking bad. If you can't afford it, you don't deserve to be using one. Its like a welfare bum crying because they can't afford a porsche. I don't have any time for these whiners. If you want a premium brand, expect to pay more for it. If, as this study says, the total cost of ownership turns out to be less, good for you. Thats why its a premium brand.
    • If you want a premium brand, expect to pay more for it. If, as this study says, the total cost of ownership turns out to be less, good for you. Thats why its a premium brand.

      Yeah, because we know those premium car brands are SO CHEAP to maintain!

      • well actually BMW takes care of the full maintenance of your new model at no cost to you for the first 4 years. u only pay for things like new tires or breaks and shit like that.

        plus you only need to change a BMW's oil *once* a year or every like 15,000 miles+

        plus every time you take your car in for any maintenance, provided you get a dealer who's not a dickhead, and you make an appointment ahead, they'll always give you the sexiest car they have available as a loaner.

        plus all of your car's information is stored in a central national database, so you can pull into ANY bmw dealership and they'll know exactly everything about your car.

        plus all new bmw models have advanced self-diagnosing and tell you ahead of time when it wants you to take her to the dealership for maintenance.

        plus bmw's never break, so you can cancel all those roadside assistance programs.

        but even if u do need roadside assistance, it comes bundled with ur car. convenient stickers with 800 number in ur trunk lid.

        plus u can go to any bmw dealership, if u own a bmw, they kiss ur ass. and good too. its really cool. nothing surpasses bmw service. i hear lexus and mercedes have good service too tho. that's good. i hear audi/vw suck ass. i do know vw sucks ass. they're assholes man. i got a lemon from them once. fuckin'a. anyway.

        im very happy with my 2002 325i. it totally owns.

        • Not to necessarily disagree with you, but there are good cars and bad cars in every brand.

          My little brother just bought a '78 BMW (a 320-something, IIRC) last week and it broke down three times in the first four days before he finally had it towed to the mechanic. Now, in defense of BMW, this one had been sitting in a friend's garage for over a year -- apparently it developed some kind of electrical problem where the battery occasionally grounds and the car refuses to start.

          Anyhow, I'd take my 1999 Honda Civic over my brother's BMW any day of the week. In the spirit of another post in this thread, though, I'd sell my soul for a BMW Z3.

          Just kidding. I'm kinda partial to my soul. And a Honda S2000 is pretty schweet too.

          • i hear ye :) the s2000 does indeed look cool :)

          • I drove a z3 for a while, and the only thing i miss over the 323i that I drive now is the incredible precision of the steering and the horsepower, it's a point and mash the gas experience that I wont soon forget. That said if you're gonna get a z you might as well go with the m roadster, it'll spank that s2000. I too considered an s2000 I still am, but it's an awful lot of work to drive with a tach that goes to 9k you cant expect a smooth torque curve in a "low emissions vehicle" I've driven the older vtec integra's (gsr? gst?) and you only start having fun above about 4000 rpm in that car. Anyhow, yeah, I own a 933 g4 too.
  • Got A Nice Example (Score:5, Interesting)

    by White Roses ( 211207 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:22PM (#3696070)
    I've got a $4000 Mac at home. It surfs the 'net on my home ethernet LAN, reads e-mail, word processing using MS Word, plays a few older games, does a lot of basic tasks well, but not a lot else.

    The thing about it is this: it's a Centris 650, built in 1993. $4000 is what it's cost, materials-wise, since it's birth. That comes to about $500 a year, or around $1.50 a day. That covers a full complement (128MB) of RAM, a monitor, a hard drive upgrade and software upgrades. That's all I've ever had to do with it, really. Actually, the best part is that I didn't have to pay the initial $2,700 purchase price: I purchased it used from a university for $25. So really my TCO, since I've owned for a year or two, is more like $300 (RAM and hard drive - the rest came with it).

    Sure, that doesn't take into account the cost of my time, but I really don't have much in the way of non-productive downtime either. My other Macs have similar stories. Probably my best one is my Mac Plus. Last time I calculated, that machine cost about $.23 a day since it's birth. And it does everything the Centris does, only in black and white.

    • Since most people aren't willing to use completely obsolete computers, I don't think that's a very relevant example.
      • by kootch ( 81702 )

        1) No longer in use: an obsolete word.
        2) Outmoded in design, style, or construction: an obsolete locomotive.

        Well, if he's using it, it's obviously still in use. And who really cares if it's outmoded in design, style, or construction if it is still able to perform the majority of tasks that people use a computer for with reasonable speed?
  • Translation (Score:5, Funny)

    by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:33PM (#3696166) Journal
    The study also examined the indirect costs of supporting end-users, training time and non-productive downtime.

    Translation: Macs don't ship with Solitaire!
  • by Hank Reardon ( 534417 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:52PM (#3696318) Homepage Journal
    Let's try to have a rational discussion about this, please. Nothing in recent memory has touched off Holy-war-like flames as the PC/Mac debate.

    There are three reasons I haven't used Mac's in the past:

    It's been too expensive for me.
    I got really heavy into computers in the late eighties; the Mac had already come out and the PC arena domination by IBM was breaking hard.

    I was making $8 an hour and had a social life. Saving the $3000 to buy a Mac wasn't possible or desirable for me. My main reason for using a computer was gaming; Mac didn't have the games I wanted at the time. I also could buy the PC a piece at a time, where that wasn't (and still isn't) a possiblity with the Mac. It's much easier for a 16 year old to spend $300 for something than it is to save $3000 for another.

    My work prevents it
    I develop software for a living. Without exception, my clients use PC's and Sun's. The tools I use in developing Oracle stuff just aren't available. If I don't have the software to do what I want, I won't use the system. Period.

    Claiming that people like me switching platforms would cause the software to appear doesn't work. I'm not an evangelist, I'm a consultant. If I sit around and wait for the software to magically appear on another platform, I don't eat.

    Which brings me to my third reason...

    Mac Evangelists
    With two exceptions, every Mac user I've encountered has preached at me with the furvor of a Deep-South Bible Thumper. I know that not all Mac users are this fanatical, but 95% of the encounters I've had have been.

    I've actually been told, while in a "discussion" with one of the above-mentioned users, that my points were "more offensive than being criticized by a racist". In my experiences, this is the norm, not the exception. I don't care what the topic is, if you accuse me of being worse than a racist when I debate your points, you look like an asshole.

    As long as I encounter this type of person a majority of the time when trying to discuss the merits and disadvantages of a platform, I have no interest in discussing it any more. Furthermore, all of the (possibly valid) arguments made on the Mac's behalf are now in the category of

    All that being said, OSX looks really nice. The compatibility isn't as much of an issue now that it's based on a BSD operating system and I can run real Unix apps on it. I haven't heard any complaints about the Linux ABI layer not working, so maybe my Oracle stuff will run under OSX, as well as a host of other applications that aren't available on the Mac.

    I'm contemplating buying an iBook as my next laptop because of these reasons. Had I been able to have a rational discussion with somebody about the pros and cons of the system, I'd might just be a Mac user today.

    • I think, given your three points, that it would have been highly frustrating for you to have owned a Mac *until* March of last year when OS X was released to the public at large.

      Really, it wouldn't have helped you to own a Mac, as a consultant, game player, or developer without OS X.

      Count me as a rational Mac evangelist; it's really nice and pretty cool, and unusually powerful at a high premium.

      Power != MHz in this discussion.
    • OK (Score:5, Informative)

      by epepke ( 462220 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @06:13PM (#3697394)

      I do have to say, though, that it doesn't much matter to me whether you buy a Mac or not. But, anyway:

      It's much easier for a 16 year old to spend $300 for something than it is to save $3000 for another.

      Sure, and when I was sixteen I worked for a summer with the YCC and bought a TRS-80 Model I, which I hooked up to a B&W tube television that I had found in the trash and rewired to accept video input. It wasn't technically my first computer, because I had built a Cosmac Elf a couple of years earlier, but it was my first computer with a keyboard.

      Then I got older.

      I develop software for a living.

      So do I. And I have two Mac laptops, an older Mac that I hardly use any more, and a PC. I do development for the Palm and Win32 on one of the Macs. The other Mac I use for Cocoa development and video.

      With two exceptions, every Mac user I've encountered has preached at me with the furvor of a Deep-South Bible Thumper

      OK, but on the other hand, most of the PC enthusiasts I have met have either been script kiddie wannabes or ignoramuses. Most people are idiots, period.

      Here's why I like the Mac. I'll limit it to statements about OS X, although many apply to Mac OS 1-9 as well. Mind you that I've used almost every imaginable machine and OS, from IBM/360 DOS to Dec Vax and Alpha VMS to the Connection Machine to NOS on the ETA-10 and, yes, even every variety of Windows and PC/DOS.

      • There's crafstmanship in it.
        From the very first beige toaster, one gets the impression that someone actually sat down and thought hard about every aspect of the hardware and software. In contrast, every other system I've seen seems more thrown-together, even Linux (which I like). Apple didn't always get things right, but getting it right was always important. The sliding washer on the power cord for my titanium iBook: somebody thought of that. There was a rough period in the mid-1990's when they slacked off, but they're back with a vengeance.
      • Cocoa is fun
        When I get dragged down by having to develop for patchwork systems, sometimes I just need to freshen my brain, so I sit down and write a little Cocoa application. The development system just works and doesn't get in my way. I get the feeling of cooperating with colleagues rather than struggling against enemies. It restores my hope and reminds me why I'm doing this for a living when there are a lot easier ways to make more money.
      • It is, after all, UN*X
        Everything I like in UNIX I can continue to do under Darwin. I can slip back and forth with no effort, and everything fits seamlessly together.
    • I develop software for a living. Without exception, my clients use PC's and Sun's. The tools I use in developing Oracle stuff just aren't available. If I don't have the software to do what I want, I won't use the system. Period.

      I work for a company that develops apps which run against Oracle. Our clients use Windows and a variety of non-Apple Unices on the big iron. I am not aware of a single client who uses Macs in any large scale.

      But, because I develop in Java, that's not a big deal. A Powerbook G4 is my primary machine at work, and I love it. It works wonderfully for me. (I do use the windows box for reading my Outlook mail. That's just about it.)

      I realize that probably doesn't address whatever it is that you do, but the point is that Macs interoperate reasonably well in many circumstances. For many developers today -- myself included -- "my clients don't use Macs" is not a real showstopper.

      [E]very Mac user I've encountered has preached at me with the furvor of a Deep-South Bible Thumper.

      Ah, too true.

      But it is hard holding the line against a world which is irrationally hostile to the plaform you happen to like. (Not everyone is as reasonable about this as you are.) Mac users, like Linux users, are always a little bit on the defensive because we just have to put up with so much crap. It's natural to get a bit zealous in this position!
    • by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Friday June 14, 2002 @12:04PM (#3701682)
      Frankly, be glad you've waited until now to look into getting a Mac.

      I grew up with Macs, and have many fond memories of those old days (when connectivity and interoperability weren't crucial situations) but frankly, OS 9 and back are just crap. Crap, crap, crap. No real multitasking. Random preference corruption. Extension conflicts arising out of the blue. Random crashes. Any application crashing kills the OS forcinga reboot. The damn Chooser just refusing to work. The fact that inserting a CD freezes the machine until it is finished mounting it.

      To do any serious work other than Desktop Publishing or graphics/video processing work (word processing isn't serious's menial idiot work that anything can do...I can do word processing on my Palm for goodness sake) the functionality had to be grafted onto the operating system, and it didn't work very well. Anything certainly COULD be done, but most of it is alot easier to do on another OS.

      OS X changes all that. I do mostly Mac support these days, and we have one client that runs OS X on everything, and we have hardly hear from them unless they want a new machine installed, or their network is having issues. No problems with the OS that couldn't be solved with a quick page through the Admin Guide, and a little computing common sense.

      I run OS X exclusively on my iBook, with OS 9 installed only so I can play all the old games I used to play when I was a kid. The only time I've had any problems was when I started deleting files instead of running an uninstall script for the Dev Tools. Aside from that, I've never once had a problem with it. I've had applications crash, but those were just beta browserware like Chimera. I've never had a kernel panic. Never a sad Mac. Nothing untoward at all, and I use this machine quite heavily (it's my laptop for consulting as well as personal stuff). I've compiled many programs for Linux that claimed no OS X support, but have run without a hitch. And for what doesn't compile out of the box, there's the fink project which ports a whole bunch of common open source software to OS X.

      So basically, be glad you waited, it's actually a functional, stable operating system now.
  • by LtScheisskopf ( 581048 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @03:56PM (#3696347)
    1. Save one of the Gartner PDFs.
    2. Open it.
    3. Look at properties.
    (File:Document Info:General)

    I'll save you the trouble.
    "Producer: Acrobat Distiller 4.0 for Windows"

  • my G4 400 AGP has lasted me 2years and cost me just 80$ in that time. i forsee it lasting another two, although i will buy it a little vidcard present for jaguar soon.
  • Ok, lets be honest here, the context of the study was an Art college, Melbourne University's Faculty of the Arts, or at least I am seeing "art" in the name. From personal experiance, I can tell you that artists generally aren't the most tech savvy, generally aren't accomadating and frankly bitch a lot. I am sure support costs were much greater for the art types using wintel's. Now if they did a similar study at a regular college, that might tell us something.
    • Melbourne University's Faculty of the Arts, which uses 4,676 Macs and 5,338 Wintel machines
      Having done a Masters there not so long ago, I can assure anybody interested that
      1. the faculty itself doesn't have anything like that number of computers, so they were clearly studying the world beyond the faculty, and
      2. it is anything but a place for graphic artists, being much more of a traditional history and philosophy oriented big old university arts faculty
      If you are more interested in what you are using the computer for than in the computer itself then the Mac has been the only choice for 18 years, says he sitting next to a Linux gateway/server and sharing with a dedicated PC/Linux user.
  • by lynx_user_abroad ( 323975 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @05:09PM (#3696960) Homepage Journal
    Gartner found that Macs cost US$1,114 to support per year, while Wintel systems cost $1,438. Macs also needed less technical support and hardware and software costs were lower, the report explains.

    Translation: Deploy Macs instead of PC's and you'll can kiss 22% of your budget, headcount, and corporate influence good bye.

    • Translation: Deploy Macs instead of PC's and you'll can kiss 22% of your budget, headcount, and corporate influence good bye.
      Unfortunately, you are exactly right. That's the reason IT departments don't like Macs. Techs have a hard time dealing with knowledgeable users; BOFHs can't run roughshod over users with various spyware and remote system controls. Eventually, IT's ego gets hurt.

      We sure wouldn't want that.

  • ...amd cheaper to support, the article says. There is a difference. Value means a lot more than how much money it costs, as the executives where I work still don't understand.
  • easy to bias (Score:2, Insightful)

    I don't have any real opinions of the TCO issues of Macs vs. PCs. We don't use Macs in my workplace, and I'll acknowledge the PCS we have are a pain in the ass. I'm guessing that neither has a lower TCO than the Solaris boxes we have, the way we run them. We've got >250 UNIX boxes, serving a 10000 user community, and the day-to-day maintenance is very minimal to non-existant. Mostly we spend our time working on new services.

    Mostly, I'd just like to point out how little studies like this tend to mean. The Gartner group in particular seems willing to bias a study in a particular direction. Over the years, I've seen them assert some of the most unsupportable claims.

    Statistical arguments are by nature easy to bias, either way, particularly when the topic is TCO. Case studies are often worse than useless. Perhaps the TCO of PCs is nice and high as run by this school, but not when run by another management paradigm. I could find, at my university alone, case study material for either viewpoint.

    Even if you believe in magical answers as to what costs more to support, this is a bad way to get such answers.

  • by Drishmung ( 458368 ) on Thursday June 13, 2002 @07:35PM (#3697926)
    evidently, the full report from Gartner is a bit expensive.

    So, are Macs still cheaper once you've taken into account paying for the report that proves they are cheaper?

  • I am a big fan of OSX. It runs quite slowly on my old 333MHz Powerbook, but it has that Unix terminal and I have had one crash in one and a half years, and that was with the first release of the OS. It's that good for me.

    What I can't stand, and someone else posted about this further down, is Mac Zealots who will tell you how the Mac is better than Windows95 or how unstable Win2000 or XP are. For all MS's faults, Win2000 has been a pretty good OS for me. Those people who like Macs , fine, but I really detest hearing over and over again how bad PC's are in comparison. It's a different kettle of fish. My experience with Mac hardware has been better than my experience with PC hardware, but it is *MY* experience and by no means covers PC's as a whole.
  • ... and post it on That way, if the data is any good, advocates and opponents could collectively argue about it, rather than the current "my anecdote is better than yours" stuff.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall