Mac users aren’t ‘real people with real jobs’


Computerworld recently posted an advance excerpt from the newsletter of Windows expert Scot Finnie, detailing how he was making a MacBook Pro his main work and personal computer for 1-3 months.

He’s testing how well it works with his necessary applications (Lotus Notes and Eudora) and is clearly giving it a chance, considering the laptop was spontaneously restarting due to a faulty 1GB RAM chip. And at the end, he lets his readers know:

I expect to wrap up with a final assessment of whether the Mac is a viable alternative for real people with real jobs.

Gee, thanks, Scot, for letting all of us current Mac users know that we apparently aren’t real people and we don’t have real jobs. We eagerly await your validation.

A Windows expert opts for a Mac life



“Of the top 100 companies, only 11 use microsoft products, and thats only as dumb workstations.”
Out of curiosity where does that stat come from? It seems completely erroneous to me.

“If I was a PC business user, I’d go to Ubuntu, and never look back.”
You wouldn’t rather pick a distro’ backed by a support contract?

“Our business doesn’t need a staff IT person…”
I would speculate that that is because the size of your business does not warrant it, not because OS X inherently doesn’t need supporting. A small businesss with a few employees could just as effectively use XP if they were sensible in it’s use.

Has anyone actually sought clarification from Scot Finnie regarding that comment?
“But I’m committed to giving the Mac a fair chance.”
From that and actually reading the entire article (something I would bet most of you haven’t) I get the impression that Scot is reporting a very positive Mac experience. Reading that article objectively and taking that comment in context he’s addressing that preconception that Macs aren’t used in ‘real business’ because they’re unsuitable.

Sorry guys, but I call yellow journalism on this.
The Mac could use more coverage like Finnie’s and less fanboy fanaticism.


So far I’ve seen the argument that Macs are prettier (OK, they are), and that Unix is a reliable OS (it is). But if you’re trying to get an IT job, *most* of the places you go are running on Windows. That’s because Windows has a combination of more developed business software than Mac and greater ease of use than Unix. Oh, plus it’s what your CEO probably uses at home on the Dell the IT staff at work ordered him.

The word you’re looking for is ‘entrenched’.


Apple users were known to be more productive, and annual desktop support charges for Apple were significnatly less. Apple was always a viable alternative, but piracy of Windows, and then corporate standardization around it, made MS the productivity champion.

Typically, I could be described as a programmer for Windows applications, but use OS X for personal activities. I never had any problems producing work for business school, or sharing my work with classmates, because I had an Apple.

Now, my work on Apple is even more productive, since I perform my daily Windows programming on my 24″ iMac with 2GB RAM, and I haven’t even installed Windows. The screen is large enough that I can run my Windows computer as a remote desktop session on one of multiple desktops (DesktopManager). Once I spend the $800 to purchase Windows and Office Professional, I wouldn’t even need the other machine.


Each tool has its own specialized area and there are tasks that all platforms can do. There is nothing to stop the average office standerising on either Windows, MAC or Linux is they just want do wordprocessing, browsing the web and email.


I see no reason why a MAC or Linux desktop can not replace a a windows desktop in the workplace.


@Anmol, one of the main reasons that Windows has such market share is because of aggressive marketing strategies early on in their inception–market strategies that still continue to this day. You can’t go into a retail store and buy a computer without an operating system, and Macs are sold only out of the Apple Retail store or over the Internet. Your mom goes to Best Buy or Circuit City or CompUSA to buy a computer. Hence, she has been forced to buy a copy of Windows.

A Windows expert is hardly an IT expert.

A windows expert is far divided from being an IT expert. There are masses of mission-critical applications that have never and will never run on windows or dos. Most of which actually run on the unix platform soley. You can run these on a mac due to it’s BSD heritage. Sure it’s not a lickable aqua gui, but that’s not the point, it’s often not even a gui application. Sure a lot of programs to organise information are on windows(this is the unimportant part), however their back ends which do the actual operations are usually on other platforms entirely such as QNX and other native POSIX compliant systems(Windows is only POSIX when you run the add-on software from MS, basically a kind of emulation.) This is where a blue screen style crash isn’t an accepted nor expected practice. Those billions of dollars flying between accounts, air traffic control, electrical grids and water systems… it’s not an MS 2000 server sunshine. Come to the real world of “important” computing and get out of your desktop experience.


Apple fanboys are TRUE fanboys.
other will use what ever will do the job better (either quicker more efficiently or at less price).
But apple fanboys are soo obsessed with Apple and MacOSX that they tend to believe that it is the best thing ever.
Their chauvinistic nature cannot explain why the majority of computer user still use PC/Windows ? what was the market share 5%.


HMMM… so if I get a mac, I get a fake job, more money and my creativity shoots up a notch or two… on the other had a PC means I have a real job, but I will get a smaller salary. What a pack of HOGWASH. Do you people realise how stupid all of this sounds come on get real, you people are seriously brainwashed…


Amusingly enough, Windows is the only OS I can think of under which I _can’t_ do my job (as a professional) with a default installation. No SSH means it’s actually no use to me at all. I’m a firm believer in ‘right tool for the right job’, and for me Windows isn’t it.


I use macs to fix PCs. Thats my REAL job. I spend my time getting Windows XP back up and running from virus attacks, registry errors, and natural windows deaths. I make a very nice living, thank-you Mr. Gates.

PCs have a niche too, the only thing they are any use for is a medium sized company workstation. Of the top 100 companies, only 11 use microsoft products, and thats only as dumb workstations.
Small companies don’t have the IT resources to keep XP up and running and sole users can’t afford microsoft extortionate licence costs.

In a nutshell, PCs are fine for single-player games and dumb MS Office boxes, however they are totally unsuitable for any internet use, multimedia, design, email or IM. XP/Vista simply doesn’t have the ability to operate RELIABLY in a business environment without an IT Team to constantly maintain it. And yes, that applies to Vista too.

On a PC with only Vista installed, no other software, no internet or network access, vista will fall over (of it’s own accord) after an average of 470 reboots. Thats a huge improvement over XP, but we’re talking about the longest period between OS installs being a maximum of 22 months for an average business user. Not good enough. MS needs to start again.

If I was a PC business user, I’d go to Ubuntu, and never look back.


In response to chuck (#16):

I agree, on a PC you don’t need the hardware upgrades so much for the useful applications. On a Mac however, things are a bit different: you really need a fast processor for them and that’s why Macs are so much better, because they get that processor power. I mean sure a new PC might be faster than a G5 but nobody needs that speed unless they play games. On the PC the apps are fast even on slower computers, unlike on slower Macs – that’s why the Mac is clearly superior.


Digging yourself into proprietary formats is just asking for a beating you will never forget. Expert or not, a hole like that is one you build for yourself.

Anyway, I’m a student in a computational biology lab. Many people in my group are switching to OSX/x86 from Linux after seeing my success with a MBP. :)


and come on… lotus notes and eudora? macs are really built for heavy video editing and image editing. photoshop is always slow and unresponsive on my pc, but when im at work on the g4 editor, i fly through editing chunks of video and large images with no slowdowns.
pcs really are good for a variety of low level business applications that dont take as much computer power. the only reason anybody really upgrades their pcs anymore is to play games. because really, none of the important regularly used applications require vast system upgrades regularly.
with a mac, its a powerhouse for a reason, and if youre using it for crap like freaking lotus notes, youre not going to have a good opinion to begin with because youre using it for the wrong reasons.
dont get me wrong, a mac can handle lotus notes, but if you want to get a lot out of it, youve got to use it for what its really made to handle.


Many administrators and techies that I know at IBM use Macs at work to do their jobs, and they are more productive than they are on their PC’s. BTW, Lotus Notes and Sametime is crap, whatever it’s installed on.


SAP does NOT run on windows desktops. It’s server based, and runs on many OS’es like Solaris,AIX,OS390/400,NT,W2K etc. Maybe you are thinking about the windows SAP client? Hmm let me see. SAPGUI – This is a JAVA app…


I wouldn’t say Mac owners aren’t “real people with real jobs”, as much as I would say Mac owners aren’t trying to be “real” …. real is boring.

David Teare

“Real” jobs are supposed to suck. People who use Macs have a zeal for their jobs and an appreciation for beauty.

I therefore agree: Mac’s aren’t made for the real jobs that our parents all told us to get.


some things never change do they? it’s like being in the playground all over again. Optimus Prime or Megatron? Spiderman or Batman?
who gives at rat’s arse who or what’s superior. it’s just a shame that this Finnie fellow seems to have an outlet for his rather ill thought out opinions. it’s also a shame that this could be considered valid “journalism”, unless it was designed purely to push peoples buttons – in which case mission accomplished.


some things never change do they? it’s like being in the playground all over again. Optimus Prime or Megatron? Spiderman or Batman?
who gives at rat’s arse who or what’s superior. it’s just a shame that this Finnie fellow seems to have an outlet for his rather ill thought out opinions. it’s also a shame that this could be considered valid “journalism”, unless it was designed purelt o push peoples buttons – in which case mission accomplished.

Justin Kistner

It’s sad people still fight about this. Macs and PCs have their pros and cons. Find out which system works for you and be happy that it does. I personally run a Mac and I work for a interactive design firm that is quite real.

Evangelist Mackie

It’s too bad it seems Scott has become so dependent on Notes as well as Eudora. I know how hard it is to make the switch from apps that become part of your workflow, but Notes and Eudora aren’t pretty, or up-to-date, on any OS, and I suspect will only show their age more and more as time goes on. Or, am I talking about Windows?
In any case there are more modern and productive apps I’d suggest.
But it seems he’s found a provocative subject, and I’m eager to hear about the areas that Mac applications can improve on.

Read: Great opportunity for aspiring developers…


The ‘Macs are good in the creative niche’ does need dispelling, as they’re pretty good in the scientific and web app development spaces too – with one caveat – IE6 being the main web app client you need to test for.

Personally, seeing as I spend most of my Windows life connected to Unix servers, I’d be happy to switch my day machine to a Mac. On the other hand, our MCSE techies would probably be happy to see the back of the Unix servers and get us onto Windows throughout. A lot of our customers have gone that way on similar reasons – it’s easier to get MCSE staff and they recommend MS systems.


I’m glad to not have a “real” job. My “fake” job gives me a great deal of satisfaction, it’s a lot of fun, and make a great “real” income.

Our business doesn’t need a staff IT person, we don’t spend a bunch of money or time fixing or troubleshooting problems. Everything works as it’s supposed to, and when something breaks, it can be fixed without having to go to Nick Burns, Computer Guy.

Windows people can keep their “real” jobs. Actually, I wish they would stay out of the entertainment/content creation world – their products are dumbing down the industry.

It’s been nice being the best-kept secret for creative production. Now that the Mac is making strides into the “real” business world, we are forced to listen to tools like this Mr. Finnie with his tone of how cute a Mac is.

oh well.


Oh quit your bitchin’. Windows machines are far better suited for business needs. Not because Windows is a superior OS, but because it has 15 years worth of third party business applications written for it. I’m talking about stuff like collaborative suites, CRM software like SAP, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards, etc. The kind of software that real deal publicly traded multi-million (billion) dollar companies use for large scale logistical operations. The funny thing is, Apple is fully aware of this and has no problem coming out and saying it themselves, just look at their current ad campaign.

Apple is aware of their identity and doesn’t try to be something they aren’t. Macs fit well in the creative niche, like music, movies, image manipulation and all that stuff, both on the consumer level and professional level. They also work great for web design and students.

This is coming from someone who uses Windows at work and a Mac at home. I love my mac but could never use it to do my day job.


what are you talking about? are you having prejudice on mac? you’re totally wrong. I work with my mac all day long. who do you think you are? you have no idea what you said. of course, particular jobs need only windows base. but it’s not broad. according to the poll, mac users earn much money than PC users. average $75,000. so they don’t work for real jobs? how do they make that money? explain. get a life.

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