Posted by Robert Half on 19 October 2013
The war between the computer titans has raged over years: PC versus Mac. While aficionados of each camp passionately extol the virtues of their preferred vendor, the question still remains – which one is actually better for business?
PC’s dominant rule
For years, PCs have dominated the market with their Windows operating system, which is compatible with a wide range of business software solutions. According to real-time data by NetMarketshare, the Windows operating system can be found on 80 to 90 per cent of all computers worldwide.
Nevertheless, it seems that the tides have been turning in Mac's favour over the years, with research from Asymco showing that the ratio of PCs to Macs sold has been steadily decreasing for the past decade, along with iPads putting a healthy dent into PC sales.
Add to that the popularity of iPhones and iPads within the business world coupled with the lukewarm reception of Windows 8 – is this a sign that your company should make the switch to Mac?
PC versus Mac: Networking
With the exception of design firms that rely heavily on graphics (where Mac has a reputation par excellence), most businesses can operate more efficiently on PCs. Take networking, for example. Unless you run your business completely from the cloud, you're going to need a main server along with a host of interconnected devices including workstations, laptops, printers, routers and hubs. Because Windows networking solutions are well-established and widely used, most businesses will find it easier and cheaper to implement.
PC versus Mac: Software
When it comes to business software, PC is the clear winner, offering a much wider range of options for software development, finance and accounting, data processing, project management and office administration. On the other hand, Mac offers a wide variety of apps and niche software that may not be available on the Windows platform.
PC versus Mac: Cost and flexibility
In general, PCs are cheaper, come in a variety of brands and as such offer a lot more customisation and support options than Mac. Additionally, Windows-based machines are modular, meaning you can swap out parts and upgrade with relative ease – a big plus if you find your business expanding. Conversely, some people believe that the tight-knit control Apple exercises over their supply chain and support options makes it the more reliable choice.
Macs infiltrating the workplace
In spite of the arguments for PCs in the office, statistics from Forrester show that nearly half of businesses in America and the UK are issuing Macs and 27 per cent provide support for the iPad. This trend appears to be evolving from the top down, as more business executives bring in their iPads from home. As a trend that appears to be gaining momentum, it may just be a matter of time before IT support for both platforms becomes a necessity.
So when deciding on which is better for business, you must look carefully at the needs of your own organisation, budget and, even more importantly, which platform will increase the productivity and happiness of your end users. It might be PC, it might be Mac – or even a combination of both.