column by Eddie Bates

For those of you who live under a rock, there are two tech giants here in America:  Apple and Microsoft.

Both of these companies started out as a project worked on in their respective CEO’s garage, but now they are everywhere. They both make phones, tablets, gaming systems, personal computers and just about anything else that uses a computer chip of some kind.

For those of us who are off to college, we are faced with a choice. Which one do we throw money at to get a laptop? That’s where it gets more complicated. Apple fans (and probably any self-respecting hipster) will say that Windows should not even be compared to Apple.

Anybody who has not used Windows 8 yet would say just the opposite. So of the two options, is Windows (colloquially referred to as  PC’s) or Apple (makers of all things Mac) the product you should buy?

All the following comparisons are made by comparing two products with similar specs (courtesy of bestbuy.com), and the only difference between them internally is the operating system.

The first and most noticeable difference between a Mac and a PC is the appearance. Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, always put appearance as a center point of his philosophy and thus made his Macs more sleek and modern than their competitors. The next noticeable difference is the price tag. Apple products are known to be way more expensive than PC’s. A standard desktop Mac would cost at least $1300 while a PC would be around $1000 with similar hardware.

“Oh yeah, thats WAY cheaper,”Apple fans say. Well it is. That was one of the more expensive PC’s there are plenty more under the specs of a Mac. Some go for as low as 400 dollars. There are plenty of cheaper options for any person who does not want to murder their wallet. For those people who really hate having excess money and/or love loans, the cheapest, brand new Mac is the $1300 one. Go crazy.

Now let’s say a person buys both a Mac and a PC with all the similar do daas. As these things gets old, their software becomes out of date. The company moves on to keep its products updated with new technology. For the Mac owner, this is a free update or at the most 20 to 30 dollars. For someone who wants to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8… It’s about $200.

Yeah. $200 bucks. For Windows 8. Not really worth it.

And then there are the viruses. Those pesky little bugs that are almost as annoying as the ads for the software that blocks them. PC is more susceptible to bugs than Apple products. Let me bust a myth here and say that Apple products can get viruses.

I repeat. Macs can get viruses. However, since the Macs operating system is less used compared with the PC’s (probably because of the price), most viruses are aimed at PC’s simply because there is a bigger group to target. So when you buy a PC you probably want to purchase a good anti-virus program with it.

For those who like to play games, PC is your best bet. This goes back to the whole “we need to reach more people to make more money” concept. When you go through the giant game library of Steam, which holds just about any game ever, you will find that Macs are incompatible with just about everything. They just aren’t used as much so most developers focus on the PC audience.

So who wins? Well, thats ultimately up to you. Despite what either side of the argument says, they are both pretty equal. Macs cost way more and have some better protection from viruses while PC’s cost way less, but you have some extra buying to do when you need to rid yourself of a viruses or update to Windows 10. I would say that if you are going to rack up some debt with some loans anyway, go ahead and invest in a Mac. But if you do not want to spend two whole house payments on a computer, consider a PC. Either way, you’re better than the other guy. Right?