Credit where Credit is due

Ok let's please stop the Microsoft versus Apple flaming for many reasons; it is really not doing anybody any good besides creating lots of anger and worthless arguments that lack substantive backing to them. People, in general, cannot argue the Microsoft vs Apple discussion properly because they let it get personal. One side of the argument is part of their identity, and nobody can argue about things in their identity objectively (PG: Keep your Identity Small).

These two companies have two completely different outlooks on business, customers, and goals. Let's begin with a metaphor. You have two choices when it comes to the country and government you live under. One is a police state. Here you are very limited, and live under rules like "must drive on the right side of the road", which are restrictive but guarantee you a number of standards and expectations. You are guaranteed to have roads where they matter. Guaranteed to have some form of social service and guaranteed to be on the road with mostly competent drivers. On the other hand in this state at the age of 14 You cannot hop into a truck and drive  it to earn some money or for any other reason. Nor can you at the age of 20 drink wine with the gourmet meal you spent 2 hours cooking. Some may argue that is it good that people cannot do those things, while others may argue that you should be able to choose. Obviously people do break these rules but these are all exceptions and they happen all the time.

The other side of this story is a free state. Here you can do whatever you want. Drive a car, fly a plane, ride a bike without anybody bothering you or asking you for credentials. However with all this freedom comes the problem of no guarantees. I no longer have the guarantee that everybody on the road is a safe and reliable driver. (Granted this guarantee did not hold before, but there was a high confidence level that the rules would be enforced).

This is really what the microsoft vs apple argument comes down to. A choice of freedoms versus guarantees. I can install Windows anywhere, ranging from the brand new computer i got from dell, to the computer i built myself from random parts, to the computer i had 10 years ago. I however have no guarantee that these will have the ability to run with windows properly. Microsoft lets you do whatever you want. If you have windows you are their customer and they will support you, effectively forever. People who bought a windows 10 years ago, are still considered customers, and there is still code to support their legacy hardware and software. Microsoft does not force them to upgrade for new things, does not force them to use limited hardware or do anything. Apple on the other hand said if you bought something from us 10 years ago, you are no longer a customer, they do not need to support your old hardware and software. They will not support you, so you need to upgrade your hardware, your software to follow us. Your old code will not work on the new platform. You cannot buy a random computer from dell and put OS X on it (well you can, but that is a different story, similar to people driving without a license),and  you can't put OS X on your 10 year old PC.

Apple is fully controlled and at the expense of freedom they guarantee you a number of functionalities and securities. The OS will always function the same way. It will be compatible with everything, all the UI's will look the same, and none of the programs will be harmful.

This applies to mobile solutions as well. Windows mobile is designed for a WIDE variety of hardware. Hardware that may support a camera, 3G, GPS, touch screen, Wi-Fi, accelerometer and a bunch of other features, or may not support any of them. iPhone OS is designed for the iPhone and iTouch. It is designed to work exactly with that hardware, the Wifi, the Touch Screen, accelerometer a specific screen size and resolution. They do not need to worry about platforms that do not support this, they do not write code to work outside of this platform, they do not care if it works outside this platform.

In the end you are trading guarantee of stability versus freedom and sacrificing bugs and bloatware for this freedom to handle any situation or platform you want.

I respect both companies equally. I love the design of apple, and some of the features or stability of their OS X. I also love the ability to use Windows XP on an ancient machine, move it to a new machine and never upgrade hardware or software. OS X has many wonderful features, (UNIX base, spotlight, etc.) that are great to use. The limitation is that i need to spend $1500 to get this on a decent machine bothers me. Windows also has a number of features (simplicity, task bar, massive amount of ready to install programs etc.) that make my life simpler. I also have the ability to use it on a 200$ computer, or a 3000$ computer.

You may have noticed that i left out a side of this argument, the linux side. I did this for a number of reasons, mostly personal issues that keep me from objectively judging linux due to my experience with it is personal, and i would be very biased (biased with, or biased against does not matter). Linux has its place, but it is not really developed by a company as a product.

In the end let's stop the war. You are on one side or another because of personal reasons, the choice is part of your identity, and in the end your arguments will be a large flame war. 

Acknowledge the fact that both of these companies accomplish something orders of magnitude more complicated and better than anything you could ever do, so stop criticizing without providing viable solutions.

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