Sooner or later entrepreneurs will likely ask themselves: Should I select a Mac or PC for business? Determining the best computers for business use was actually easier a generation ago. Traditionally, the Mac appealed to those in the creative realm, while PCs have dominated “left-brained” industries such as accounting and banking. But even today – when Mac users can easily install PC software and PC users can find tools comparable to Mac products – many of those older preferences remain intact.
When it comes to business use, the best answer to the “Mac or PC” debate is “it depends.” Both systems offer pros and cons, and there are a number of factors at play. Consider the following points when deciding whether to select a Mac or PC for business:
Go With What You Know
If you are a sole proprietor or manage most of the computer functions on your own, it might be best to go with the operating system you are most comfortable with. Determine the essential software applications you need and research which versions receive the highest marks from other small business users.
Consider Your Specific Business Needs
Despite the ever-closing gap between the Mac and PC platforms, each still offers some superiority in specific areas. For example, Macs offer better clarity and screen resolution for graphic design. They are also compatible with a higher number of industry-standard software programs and fonts than the PC platform. However, the PC still has more to offer to businesses in fields such as accounting, banking and engineering (like the popular Excel software for PCs). Consider visiting Mac and PC showrooms and asking for demos of each model before making a final decision.
Which Platform Do Your Associates and Customers Use?
While there may be much more overlap than ever before between the platforms across a range of industries, some businesses prefer one brand over another. Which platform do most of your partners and clients favor? Is your business dependent upon a lot of file sharing? If so, it may be best to select the platform that matches what your clients and customers use.
Again, Macs tend to be popular with creative businesses such as graphic design, advertising, photography and video editing, while PCs using Windows are favored by “numbers-oriented” businesses. Yes, file converters are available, but it may be best to select the system most compatible with those you serve.
Another aspect to consider is security for your network – an increasingly bigger concern for all businesses. Mac computers are generally regarded as more secure and less vulnerable to viruses than PC platforms. Although in recent years, many of the security gaps once associated with the Microsoft brand have been mitigated.
No system is immune from security threats. Also, you should be aware that Apple tends to phase out security patches for older systems more frequently than Microsoft does. This could mean that an older Mac may be more vulnerable than a PC purchased around the same time.
Do you anticipate customizing your system to meet needs specific to your business? If the answer is yes, you may wish to go with a PC-based system. That’s because, by design, Macs have more restrictions in place regarding how they can be reconfigured. The typical PC platform, on the other hand, allows for easier customization of both hardware and software, making it a better option for some businesses.
Another consideration is your business budget. There is a significant price difference between Macs and PCs, with Macs generally costing considerably more than a PC counterpart. A basic PC can be purchased for about $500; comparable business-grade Macs run well over $1,000 each. However, it should be noted that Macs tend to be more stable and last longer, which may help justify their higher cost for some business owners.
Lastly, consider if your business really has to be “either-or” when it comes to your choice of computer brand and platform. Many businesses sidestep the dilemma by simply using both. This allows a business to take advantage of the benefits each system has to offer. It also gives employees a chance to use the operating system they prefer.
The “Mac or PC” debate is not new, and it shows no signs of abating. Ultimately, choosing the best computers for business use depends upon a number of factors that are unique to each business. Review the aspects of Mac or PC for business discussed here before making your final decision. Still unsure? Feel free to consult Geeks on Site for further insights or advice about this important decision.