To read Part 3 or this series, click here
Part 4 of this takes this often-made comparison to a new and unique level. It was at this point in my search – trying to understand why people make the switch to Mac and why they were so passionate about it – that I realized the difficulty in finding the kind of information that I was looking for. Admittedly, this is a pretty big topic and there are lots of reasons people switch.
There are the obvious reasons like being less susceptible to viruses. They have lots of useful software right out of the box. And they don’t having all the garbage (bloat) software that can actually cost you money to get rid of. But there is one major reason that, while seeming pretty obvious to me, is rarely talked about in reviews. Probably because it’s more difficult to quantify and compare. Let me explain.
I’m going to use an analogy here that some might not agree with and might even find offensive. I got in a bit of trouble when I first shared this analogy with some friends. One in particular, who is a very linear and logical thinker, had a pretty difficult time separating any morals of this explanation from the actual point. So as I share, please realize that no moral implications are intended.
The analogy I use is that of modern day church. There is a tendency these days to make churches very plain and utilitarian. The epitome of this is the cinder-block church with a metal roof, a plain gymnasium type sanctuary, and chilly folding metal chairs. This gets the job done, but it is not a place you come to because you want to.
The building does not draw you in. You come because you need to. The building is something you endure in order to achieve a higher purpose. The chilly folding metal chairs and the poor acoustics are examples of things that actually detract from the purpose and tend to draw focus to themselves.
The other extreme in churches is the beautiful cathedrals of old (and some new ones too). These buildings are gorgeous and beckon us to enter. Once inside, we don’t want to leave. Even people that know nothing about God, and want to know nothing, still love being inside a building like this. For those who do go for worship, the building actually encourages the higher purpose instead of detracting from it.
In the end, the building melds with the purpose and the two become difficult to separate. One could also say that the building gives it’s glory to serving the higher purpose and stays out of the way so one can concentrate completely on the higher purpose.
In this analogy, generally the PC’s of the world are like the modern day, plain churches. They serve a purpose, and we use them to get a job done, but they don’t make us long for the experience. In fact, much of the time, we dislike the PC experience intensely. If we could do it some other way, we definitely would.
I have had so many PCs, especially laptops, that have been absolutely miserable to use. As a writer, they sometimes made it nearly impossible to get into the writing mood because of all the stuff (like chilly or broken metal chairs) that you had to put up with. I will get into more of the details on this later. For now, let’s just absorb the analogy.
On the other hand, Apple products are more like the cathedral. They are extremely well designed with the user and the purpose in mind. Their designs are sleek and beautiful (some would even say sexy) and you almost can’t resist picking them up and playing with them. When you begin to use an Apple product, rather than being frustrated and having to overlook the problems to get the job done, you don’t want to put it down.
It beckons you to enter further and further and to stay longer and longer. Just like the cathedral, the purpose and the device tend to meld into one. You suddenly notice that while the device is gorgeous, it also stays out of the way so you can completely concentrate on the purpose. I almost can’t wait to tell you about the difference between the Sony Vaio and this MacBook Pro that I’m writing on now. But that will have to wait for a future post. For now let’s just say that I’ve never had a computer that made it so easy to get into the writing mood and stay there.
I believe this is one reason the Apple store is so popular. It’s easy to spend hours there just playing with all the stuff on display. The products are so fun to use that you find yourself making up reasons to buy them. The iPad is a perfect example of this. It is so cool that it makes you want one just for the fun of it. Of course, once you get one and find out all the things it can do, you wonder how you ever survived without it.
Remind me sometime to tell you about my iPad purchasing experience. For now though, I better let you go and we’ll continue this story tomorrow.
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