Well, since I can’t currently log in to my freshly Leopard-ized Mac G5 here at the office and thus have to make due with the Adobe Creative Suite-less HP PC that also sits on my desk, I figured I would crank out a blog post. And naturally the topic is going to be those new Microsoft ads.
By now, you’ve seen them: The not-quite-adorably dorky “firstname.lastname@example.org”, an obvious stand-in for Apple’s “PC” character, announces he’s a PC and that he’s been stereotyped, which launches us into a series of people proclaiming they, too, are PCs. These people include a fashion designer, a genetic scientist, a shark researcher and someone with a beard whom I suspect writes comic books… but, more notably, the commercial also includes “I’m a PC” claims by such celebrities as Pharrell Williams, Deepak Chopra and Eva Longoria.
Being a bunch of Mac-centric elitists, bloggers have been all over this story and they’ve been working hard to “expose” the celebrities as Apple fans. Turns out Deepak once wrote a blog post in which he said something positive about iPods (scandalous, I know). But it gets worse: allegedly, Eva Longoria was once seen in an airport using a Mac laptop. If that doesn’t shake your confidence in the world of advertising, get this: Pharrell Williams not only uses an iPhone but he is on record saying he likes Macs. Is there no decency left in the world?
OK, here’s the real deal: Mac vs. PC is stupid. Look, I like Macs… I’m really happy that I get to use one at work and that I have one at home. I feel like the Mac user experience is better thought-out than the Windows one (though there are certaily some questionable UI decisions in Leopard) and there are countless small things that make the Mac more enjoyable to use (iPhoto is not one of them, by the way). But in the end, it’s just a computer and you pay a huge premium for those countless small things. What’s more, there’s a certain pride in being able to build your own PC from scratch even if it will never have quite the fit and finish of a Mac. To be perfectly honest with you, there are times when I miss that DIY feel (and Picasa — I miss that a lot). But everything has trade-offs and opportunity costs … one thing isn’t inherently better than something else. Except for Picasa, which is superior to iPhoto.