The Mac vs PC battle is back! In this round we are putting the two OS’s head-to-head to battle out Customization. This is a category that often comes up in the heated insult wars between angry geeks and it will be our first head-to-head of many.
To start off, we will take a look at the example Matt mentions in the video above. This story explains the hardware customization side of the argument. Matt was looking for a small form factor computer for his workshop. He had some Mac only applications he was needing to run, so he looked at his only legitimate option; the Mac mini. The Mac mini was really not what he was looking for, as its $600 price tag and overkill of features did not suit his needs. He reached out to the Hackintosh community for help, but custom building a computer around Mac OS X compatible parts was tedious (For those who don’t know, a “Hackintosh” is PC hardware that has a modified or hacked version of Mac OS X installed on it). Without any other options, Matt purchased a Nettop and found software alternatives that worked with Windows.
These situations happen often and are a result of Apple’s minimal lineup of computers. You can find thousands of different flavors of Windows based hardware, but only a handful of Mac computers. Although the reasons for this are clear, it still gives Windows a very strong advantage over Macs. When it comes to finding the specific piece of hardware that will work for you, Windows PC’s are more customizable to different situations and circumstances. Mac’s can be upgraded and minimally customized, but it seems that a minimal price entry point of $600 is a little steep for situations like Matt’s.
The other side of this argument is software customization. This can range from simple tweaking of settings to Interface skins or overlays. Although tools like Geek Tool, CandyBar and others allow Mac’s to change their look, Windows has many, many more tools available. This may not be just because of how the OS’s are coded, but just the shear numbers advantage Windows has over Mac. More users mean more market for software developers. Some could argue though, that the true reason for this discrepancy is that Mac OS X is much more locked down by Apple and has less room for changes (Apple does have a tendency to use the “Its already perfect” argument, but I digress).
This argument could go on for a lot longer, going into things like system and code tweaks. This however seems unnecessary and we must declare the Ten-Run rule on Mac OS X. You can give this round hands down to Windows.
So, Windows jumps out to an early lead, but perhaps the ability to be tweak could come back to haunt Windows? You will have to wait and see for the next installment of OS Wars.