Dec 05, 2011

Is there still a justification for the added expense of Mac over PCs, and do Macs really have superior exclusive business software?

We currently have an all Windows PC environment, and I have essentially no experience with Macs in a business setting. Suddenly, we have a claimed need for multiple Macs in one department because apparently the standard in video editing software is Mac only, and they are telling me they can't do the work on PCs. Here are two different things I have little knowledge about: Macs and video editing suites. Honestly, I thought that the difference in Macs and PCs had essentially disappeared over the past few years, and that Macs essentially just looked cooler and cost more...a lot more. Are there really still differences that justify spending thousands of extra dollars for a handful of Macs, or are our marketing guys just looking for cool new hardware because they have been receptive to Apple's own marketing?


I happen to have a few acquaintances that are in film/advertising, and they do in face use Macs in their work.  I know there is video editing software called Final Cut Pro that they use, but I'm not sure whether it is the only practical choice, since there is an Adobe product that does a lot of the same things.  Final Cut Pro is Mac only though, so if that is what is the de facto standard in the business, you are pretty much forced to go enjoy the zen-like setting of your nearby Apple store.  Or go online, I suppose, and miss the experience.  I do think part of the appeal for my artistically focused friends is the artistic focus of Apple designs, which are admittedly elegant of line.  And let's face it, there is a kind of status symbol element to Apple products.  From a practical matter, there are some advantages, such as the ability to walk into any Apple store and get help if something goes wrong with your Mac, but let's face it, if you in a companies IT department, you are probably going to take care of that in house, so the advantage is more important to an individual consumer.  All that said, it sounds to me like your Mac wanting co-workers may have a completely valid point, assuming Final Cut Pro is still an industry standard.  

Hi lbloom,

Well the nice thing about Macs is that you can run all of their software, plus all Windows software via VirtualBox, VMWare, Parallels or Boot Camp. So they do offer a certain extra amount of flexibility.

There's also a refurbished section on Apple's store site where you can buy Macs for much less than the regular price. So that might be a good option for you too.

Are they worth it? That's really tough to generalize about since every person or company has different needs. I think they are fine computers though and they can add real value. I suggest taking a look at refurbished models and seeing how they match up with your Windows PCs in terms of cost and capabilities. Then you'll have a good comparison and can proceed with a purchasing decision.
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