Life Without Walls
| Gabriel |
So Microsoft now has a page on why you should choose Windows over Mac. What’s interesting to me as an econ soc guy is that most of the things on the list, and certainly most of the things on the list that are actually compelling, rely in one way or another on network externalities, which implies that the advantages of Windows are mostly an issue of path dependence.
- More familiar interface if you’re already used to Windows — network externality
- Easier to share documents — network externality
- Availability of games — mostly a network externality issue, partly that some developers prefer DirectX over OpenGL
Of course they don’t mention that the main disadvantage of Windows is also in large part a network externality issue.
Although the “PC vs Mac” page mostly just finds different ways to say “because they’re popular,” it also lists a few issues that might be interesting even to Robinson Crusoe. Some of these other issues are good points (e.g., Apple’s insistence on bizarre video ports that require you to use dongles and which aren’t even standard within Apples own product line) and others are just stupid or misleading (e.g., that Mac’s don’t have touch).
To avoid giving the impression that I’ve fallen into the reality distortion field, let me provide my own list of advantages of non-network-externality reasons that I see as advantages of PCs over Macs:
- Two button mice
- A file manager that allows a traditional multi-pane interface
- The availability of tray-loading optical drives that actually work reliably, rather than exclusive use of slot-loading optical drives that often refuse to accept discs, or having accepted them, require you to turn the machine on its side to get it to eject.