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Macs Are Cheaper than PCs

pudge posted more than 11 years ago | from the no-kidding dept.

Apple 304

astrodawg writes "According the Gartner research firm, Macs are cheaper than PCs. 'It compared direct costs such as hardware and software for desktops and mobile computers, servers and peripherals, upgrades, service and support and depreciation. The study also examined the indirect costs of supporting end-users, training time and non-productive downtime.' MacCentral posted a story; evidently, the full report from Gartner is a bit expensive." I think the news about this should be that anyone questioned it to begin with.

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304 comments

Cheaper? (0)

p4ul13 (560810) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695854)

It is possible that on a company or enterprise level, they could be cheaper, but I can't quite buy that the are cheaper for the home user.

(On a side note, I miss having a Mac)

Re:Cheaper? (2, Insightful)

Bizzarobot (442358) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695951)

hmmm... so are you saying that the home user's time in maintenance/upkeep doesn't have an attributable value? The enterprise-level user can at least call their IT dept and have problems dealt with quicker than they could do themselves.

time = money:

v=(w((100-t)/100))/c

v = value of an hour
w = person's hourly wage
t = tax rate
c = cost of living

Re:Cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3695988)

"The enterprise-level user can at least call their IT dept and have problems dealt with quicker than they could do themselves."

you aren't very familiar with enterprise-level IT departments, are you?

hmmm, clarification. (1)

Bizzarobot (442358) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696387)

Time spent fixing: A normal enterprise-level user's time actually spent solving a problem would be greater than their IT guy's time actually spent solving the problem. And if it isn't that way, they should either swap jobs or get a new IT guy.

Re:hmmm, clarification. (-1)

diaper_tales (575224) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696531)

why does slashdot use gifs instead of pngs? that is SO not in the spirit of opensource. they might as well just run their webservers on IIS for CHIRSTST SAKE!! FUCK!

Windows is only cheaper... (5, Funny)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695896)

Windows is only cheaper if your time is worthless.

Re:Windows is only cheaper... (4, Funny)

MaxwellStreet (148915) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695946)

Speaking of which, wasn't that commercial that aired during the NBA finals last night great?

The one where the Windows network administrator - a real guy - basically said that he works with windows when he has to, and goes home to get real work done on his Mac.

This chap went waay out of his way to make note of the productivity difference between working on a Mac and a Windows machine.

It's a good one - even my non-techie girlfriend found it compelling.

(Though anytime someone identifies themselves as a Windows LAN administrator I have to choke down the urge to laugh at them. Poor chap.)

oh yeah? (1, Insightful)

YaRness (237159) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695903)

please show me where you can build your own mac for 400 bucks or less.

Re:oh yeah? (3, Insightful)

self assembled struc (62483) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695961)

please show me where you can get the os for your homebuilt computer and a comparable number of applications (office suite, photo management software) with full firewire and USB support without having to reconfigure or recompile the kernel AND has a top-notch interface and my grandmother can use?

also, show me where you can build g4-speed comptuer with a dual head nvidia card and 128mb of ram for $400, and i'll buy one from you.

Linux (2, Interesting)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696537)


With Linux, you do not need to recompile your kernel to get new features. Linux has had kernel modules since Linux 2.0. You only need to apt-get the right module and its dependencies. Rarely will "Grandma" need to recompile her kernel!

Plus USB and Firewire support is greatly improved in the new Linux 2.5 kernels, so there is no need to wait any longer. And with GNOME 2.0 (with Nautilus) just around the corner, Linux will be even easier to use than Windows and Mac combined.. Because Linux is open source, it will always be improving faster than closed source.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696596)

Could you tell me which of the four or five major-brand comptuer manufacturer will offer pre-built boxes, with warranty, and phone support for Linux, so I can buy a system like this?

I don't really know a lot about building computers and all... I just want to sit down and write some letters and e-mail, web surf, maybe work with some digital photos (I have a Canon -- can I plug that right into a "Linux" computer and have the photos copied off automatically like in Windows and on the Mac?) You know, normal stuff.

Anyway, your description sounds great! So where do I buy one, again?

YHBT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696783)

(nuff said)

Re:YHBT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3697001)

Your Hardware Bites Toejam?

Re:oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696608)

Mac 833 G4=
Geforce 2MX = crap
5400 RPM drive = crap
keyboard/mouse = flimsy crap

total price = 1800

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696857)

GeForce 2 MX = more than adequate for business and graphics use that most Mac users focus on.
5400RPM hard drive = consumes less power and is worlds more reliable than a 7200rpm drive (this is more important than raw speed for anything other than your kiddie 1337 gaming b0x0rs)
Keyboard/mouse = i've never had a problem with them.

total price = 1800. A bargain, considering how much time I've saved diddling with drivers and OSes since getting my Mac.

Re:oh yeah? (1)

Alex Thorpe (575736) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696053)

I'm sure a $400 self-built computer would be semi-usable. So's a Yugo, if you want a cheap car, but I wouldn't want to own one.

Of course, I've said for over 5 years that if it doesn't run the MacOS, I wouldn't want to own it at any price, including free.

Re:oh yeah? (3, Insightful)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696055)

please show me where you can build your own mac for 400 bucks or less.

Yeah, I can go out and get a $400 car too - that doesn't make it a good idea. Also, does that include a top of the line (not generic compatible) sound and graphics cards? Firewire? 10/100 NIC? Software - oh yeah, you want me to spend days finding and installing Linux packages, that's great if you're already a Luser (Linux user) with tons of experience. Sorry, my time is worth more than that to me...

Re:oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696063)

can you upgrade a mac, or do you have to buy a new one?

Re:oh yeah? (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696168)

By the time my older Macs have become "obsolete" for my uses, there is no point in upgrading. Besides, I paid $1,100 for my B&W G3, used it for two years and sold it for $800 - try that with your $400 P.O.S. computers. And, what exactly CAN'T I upgrade on my system? I've got an AGP graphics slot and three PCI slots - and the processor is in a ZIF socket. What CAN'T I upgrade? The motherboard? The time I would spend screwing around putting in a new motherboard is worth the cost of a new case to me.

Hmmmm (3, Insightful)

gphat (5647) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695956)

First off, software costs? Are they referring to the costs of the CD-Rs I have to purchase to burn my Debian CDs? ;)

Second, i still can't function on the Apple realm like I do in the PC realm. In a few months I'll grab a new mobo and a CPU and basically breathe life into my PC for $300. I might have a few upgrade issues, but I'll search google and lkml before choosing a chipset/brand.

Macs are probably cheaper to people that hop down to the local electronics superstore and buy a PC, but it's probably not cheaper for alot of the crowd here.

I would sell my soul for a Powerbook though.

Cory 'G' Watson

Re:Hmmmm (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696217)

I would sell my soul for a Powerbook though.

So your soul costs roughly... $2500?

That PC costs a lot more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696272)

"In a few months I'll grab a new mobo and a CPU and basically breathe life into my PC for $300"

Doing this kind of thing is much more difficult with the Mac, as to discourage most people (but not discourage most PC users). If you upgrade your PC mobo at the tune of $300 twice a year, that's $600 you save just by getting a Mac you can't upgrade.

No surprise here (5, Informative)

laertes (4218) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695967)

At the company I currently work for, we use exclusively macs. There are about 100 people here, all with computers. How many support personnel do we need?

One, non-overworked person.

At my old job, we ran WindowsNT. There were about a dozen people using computers. How many support personnel did we need?

Two, somewhat overworked people.

This is just an anecdote, so don't interpret this post as an argument for/against the Gartner group's findings. This story is simply in line with my experiences, so I'm disinclined to reject their findings. I'm really not saying you need sixteen times more support personnel to employ Windows; I'm just saying we needed more.

Remember, most computer users are not computer literate. These are people who struggle to use Internet Explorer.

Struggling with Internet Explorer (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696236)

"Remember, most computer users are not computer literate. These are people who struggle to use Internet Explorer."

Ahem. There are a lot of computer literate people who struggle with Internet Explorer's bloated size, vast security holes, configuration difficulties and Java-crashes, and a lot more.

Hey, it's Internet Explorer. Not smooth sailing for any sort of user.

Re:Struggling with Internet Explorer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696296)

IE for Mac isn't all that bad compared to the Windows version.

Supporting an office of dumb terminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696254)

The "office of Macs" is one step down the line toward supporting an office full of dumb terminals. When you have machines which are much more limited and harder to do a variety of different things with, of course support is easier.

This is a load..... (2)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696613)

Have you ever seen what kinda of traffic that the Mac network browser generates? I have a buddy who works in a similar envionment (an advertising company) with all Macs and seeing as most Mac users don't know jack about proper computing they screw things up CONSTANTLY, not to mention when they email out 40 meg Photoshop files and other none tech savvy things.

Re:This is a load..... (2)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696670)

Have you ever seen what kinda of traffic that the Mac network browser generates?

AppleTalk is known for that. Ironically, the chattiness of the protocol also makes it easier to use, because it's more likely to find other computers without any help.

Re:This is a load..... (2, Interesting)

switcha (551514) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696914)

Aside from the AppleTalk issue, everything you described is a problem with the user. I guess that's a side effect of average users not being scared shitless of their OS. All it would take it a size block on the email server and a few second of explaining to people what not to mess with.

That said, the added traffic (as mentioned by LordNimon) makes it much easier to conenct/find/etc printers, machines, servers. In a small environment (most ad agencies), I think this added benefit of not having to constantly walk idiots through switching printers or connecting to a server is worth it.

I liked it better when... (2, Troll)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695970)

I preferred it when they were more expensive. I love owning the BMW of the computer world. If you are a cheap ass who only wants to spend $400 on a computer, then you get what you pay for! Trying to defend against these people is a waste of time. There will always be some moron who claims that the Mac is too expensive for him. Too fscking bad. If you can't afford it, you don't deserve to be using one. Its like a welfare bum crying because they can't afford a porsche. I don't have any time for these whiners. If you want a premium brand, expect to pay more for it. If, as this study says, the total cost of ownership turns out to be less, good for you. Thats why its a premium brand.

Apple = like Hyundai (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696123)

Apple is more like a $50,000 Hyundai. It looks better than the Chevy, but it costs a lot more.

Mac is too expensive since you pay much more for something with fewer features, fewer capabilities, often with less memory and a slower system.

Re:Apple = like Hyundai (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696251)

fewer features, fewer capabilities, often with less memory and a slower system.

This is what your mother always thought about you when she raised you. How does that make you feel?

Premium? More like overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696215)

" If you are a cheap ass who only wants to spend $400 on a computer, then you get what you pay for"

A typical $400 PC will meet or beat the lowest level Mac on everything except the flat screen. If you pay for a better computer at a great deal, what you get is a better computer for a great deal. Those Mac owners who pay a lot more to get less "get what they pay for".

(take) cooover! (1)

Miska (45422) | more than 11 years ago | (#3695979)

did the poster realise s/he just started a holy war?

(not to mention providing the /. with one of the biggest incentives to /. maccentral)
.

Re:(take) cooover! (1)

pi radians (170660) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696879)

Interesting that you brought up the term "holy war". I just read a great post [maccentral.com] over at MacCentral by an individual who goes by the name objectivist. Well worth the read I think.

Apple out to woo PC users (0, Redundant)

zhiwenchong (155773) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696007)

Has anyone seen the new ad campaign by Apple trying to convince PC users to switch to Macs?

Here. (with Quicktime commercials)
http://www.apple.com/switch [apple.com]

Personally I think PCs will always be cheaper than Macs (especially for the hobbyist). You can hack up a PC from scratch (that's what I did) and find pretty cheap components and cards from Taiwan or some such place... not every part of the PC has to be of premium quality.

"I can resist everything except temptation" - Oscar Wilde

PC's very much cheaper for Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696165)

Macs are only cheaper to own than PCs because you end up buying more for PCs... because there is more.

A store had a sale on a nice cheap 19" monitor. For PC only, not Mac. That's $200 blown just by having the PC, I guess. If I had a Mac instead, I'd be $200 richer, still looking at a tiny screen.

Re:PC's very much cheaper for Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696276)

Macs are only cheaper to own than PCs because you end up buying more for PCs... because there is more.

This is the lamest thing I have ever heard.
A store had a sale on a nice cheap 19" monitor. For PC only, not Mac.

How do you figure? Wasn't it VGA?

Lame? just true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696311)

"Macs are only cheaper to own than PCs because you end up buying more for PCs... because there is more. "

Not lame at all. Just true. Compared to the pc there is not much in the way of software and add-ons for the Mac. The Macintosh is just less useful. The PC will only draw more from your wallet as you give into temptation and buy more programs and add-ons: just because they exist.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696673)

last time I checked, macconnection.com, newegg.com, compusa.com, amazon.com, etc. had full selections of Mac peripherals and add-on goodies. and with the fact that Macs use the same USB, FireWire, IDE, SCSI, etc. peripherals that PC's do, I guess I don't understand what you mean.

Which PC-only add-ons and software? I will grant you that Mac games do come out a few months after their Windows counterparts since they're often produced by third-party porting houses -- e.g. Neverwinter Nights will follow the Windows version by two months, I think. But all the top games are out and available for both platforms.

Re:PC's very much cheaper for Macs (2, Insightful)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696316)

Uhm, the GeForce board that came with my brand new Mac is compatible with ALL PC monitors - just because the manufacturer is too stupid to check this out and put it on the box to sell more units doesn't mean I'm that stupid...

Sell more units! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696397)

like he is going to bother to advertise to the one Mac user in the county who lives 18 miles away just to sell one more monitor.

Re:Sell more units! (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696545)

Your statement was that the monitor was for PC's, not for Macs - your implication was that the monitor could NOT be used on a Mac. That is bullshit - I use Princeton Graphics "PC only" monitors on both of my Macs. Your further implication is that it was being marketed as PC only - which, whether you only have one Mac user 18 miles away or not, is bad business. Sorry, I'll call stupidity by it's name when I see it...

Re:PC's very much cheaper for Macs (1, Offtopic)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696345)

Did you have an accident, or have you always been that stupid?

Re:Apple out to woo PC users (3, Insightful)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696299)

Personally I think PCs will always be cheaper than Macs (especially for the hobbyist).

Yes, if tinkering with your computer is the point of the computer, then a PC is much better for you. But for the other 90% of people who use the computer as a tool for something else, and who don't want to build their computer from scratch, the Mac is a better option.

Think about things like oil changes and car tune-ups. It might be cheaper to do it yourself, but a good number of people will take their car in to the shop because it is faster, easier, and will be done right.

mark

Mac is not a better option for most. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696336)

" But for the other 90% of people who use the computer as a tool for something else, and who don't want to build their computer from scratch, the Mac is a better option."

For 90% of users, the PC is the better option because it is more versatile. The Apple Mac only is a better option for a minority of users who need excellence in the niche areas Mac excels in, like desktop publishing. The Mac might be a tool, but the PC is more like a toolbox. A hammer is great for smashing things and pounding nails, but is not best suited for cutting a board in two.

I don't get your comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696536)

So what am I supposedly not going to be able to do with my Mac? I:

* Write letters and things for work using MS Word (Office v.X for the Mac)
* Access the Citrix Metaframe farm at work (I can use either a third-party Java client or the official ICA client for MacOS 9).
* Edit photos and other graphics in Graphic Converter (haven't gotten around to upgrading to Photoshop 7 yet).
* Use the Canon software that came with my PowerShot G1 to copy photos onto my computer, or I can use my USB Compact Flash card reader, or I can use Apple's iPhoto program. Same results, either way.
* Print said photos on my Epson Stylus 740 (using drivers included in MacOS X, just like in Windows XP)
* Use iMovie and a firewire cable to copy DV off my Canon ZR40 miniDV camera (although, I just bought it so I haven't tinkered with it much)
* Write e-mail to family and friends in MS Entourage (similar to Outlook Express on the PC, with a built in contact manager)
* Play games when I need some relief (just picked up Return To Castle Wolfenstein, but spend most of my time lately in the Mac port of MAME.)
* Use the open source, spyware-free OpenAG client to troll AudioGalaxy for MP3s
* Organize and burn them to CD using iTunes (or any one of a number of MP3 players, but iTunes is pretty good)

Shocking! All without using a PC!

Your point, again?

Re:I don't get your comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696850)

I can do all that on my POS PC that cost me $400.00.

Re:I don't get your comment (1)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696941)

Do you know how much time it would take for a non-techie to get all this stuff to work on a POS $400 Linux machine? A very long time, and for most, it would *never* be accomplished. The extra $300 for a bottom of the line Mac that could do all of this, without breaking, and with higher quality hardware and software is WORTH IT.

Here's an analogy: If I needed to sue somebody, the cheapest route would be to act as my own lawyer. There's pretty much nothing important that the lawyer could do that I technically could not do. But I don't want to spend time trying to understand the whole legal system, and then reading through documents and presenting my case. I would rather hire a lawyer. Most importantly, 95% of the general public would do the same.

Do you follow me?

mark

Re:Mac is not a better option for most. (1)

4mn0t1337 (446316) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696665)

For 90% of users, the PC is the better option because it is more versatile.

Uh,... 90% of computer users know how to do 4-5 things:
1. Turn the computer on.
2. Open up a word processor, browser or email package.
3. Type a letter/document/email.
4. Browse.
5. Shut the machine off.

"versatile" doesn't matter one lick to these people.

If they have a machine that encourages them to use it by making the process easier, then they have in effect a more versatile machine.

Previous studies have been conducted that show that Mac users tend to use a much broader range of software than their Windows counterparts. This is, in part, due to an easier to use system encouraging more exploration.

Think different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696976)

"Previous studies have been conducted that show that Mac users tend to use a much broader range of software than their Windows counterparts. This is, in part, due to an easier to use system encouraging more exploration.

That can't be true, since there is a much wider variety of software available for PCs than there is for Macs. Odd applications that just aren't on the Mac at all. PC's are also much easier to use encouraging exploration. Until recently, the Mac OS has been a limiting straighjacket made all the harder to use by the lack of a command line which lets you do some things that are still harder on any modern GUI. This is part of Apple's ideal of "simplicity" at the expense of ease-of-use. If you "think different" chances are there is a PC app for it, but no Mac app.

Re:Apple out to woo PC users (2)

zulux (112259) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696754)

but a good number of people will take their car in to the shop because it is faster, easier, and will be done right.

I agree with what your saying however you chose a poor example:

I change my oil im my car with Mobil 1 - it costs $20 in materials, and takes me ten minits. My local shop would cost $45 and take half an hour of my time loitering in their lobby.

I don't care much about the cost diferance, but the time diferance keeps me doing it myself. YMMV.

Re:Apple out to woo PC users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696828)

I change my oil im my car with Mobil 1 - it costs $20 in materials, and takes me ten minits. My local shop would cost $45 and take half an hour of my time loitering in their lobby.

Okay, but you completely missed the point.

Where are the numbers ? (1)

jcasey (264935) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696026)

Funny, the two links in the article that supposedly support the claims do not support it. Has anybody seen any numbers or facts that support this claim ? I'm sorry, but in this day and age, mere opinion is not enough.

Re:Where are the numbers ? (1)

CtrlPhreak (226872) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696173)

Go ahead and pay the fee to gardner and you can get yourself some numbers. They aren't published because you actually have to pay for that info. duh.

Re:Where are the numbers ? (4, Insightful)

bellings (137948) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696293)

They aren't published because you actually have to pay for that info.

But, doesnt information want to be free?

As other people have already pointed out in this thread, PC's are a lot cheaper for hobbyists and other people who don't value their own time. This group of people probably heavily overlaps with the group of people who don't value the Gartner Group's time to compile the report.

This overlap probably doesn't affect the Gartner Group at all -- the only people they can reasonably expect to sell the report to are people who value time, and the conclusions are probably only applicable to people who value time, so it must all work out in the end.

Re:Where are the numbers ? (1)

jcasey (264935) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696478)

Saying "The Gartner group says so" does not add much credibility to the argument. If I said that the Gartnet group said that your IQ was less than your shoe size would you take their claim at face value ? Or would you assume that they must be correct because they charge for their reports? Perhaps being a person who values time, you might pay them to see proof of this as their conclusions are most likely applicable to someone like you ?

No malice intended... I just dont buy this argument and would be interested in seeing what they are basing their conclusions on.

Re:Where are the numbers ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696621)

If you want to see what the Gartner Group based their conclusion on, then give them money for the report.

You're not going to find out by bitching and moaning on Slashdot.

Re:Where are the numbers ? (2, Insightful)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696689)

If I said that the Gartner group said that your IQ was less than your shoe size would you take their claim at face value?

If I were a non-Mac user I suppose I'd have to seriously consider the possibility :P

And, for corporate entities, "the Gartner Group says so" DOES carry a huge amount of credibility whether you wish to recognize it or not. This isn't Joe Blow from down the street or some anonymous person on the net saying this, the Gartner Group has a VERY good reputation as a market research company.

You seem to misunderstand that the Gartner Group's reputation IS their selling point. They would not make a statement like this unless they had very solid research on the subject - their entire business is based on their reputation. They also are not talking about the individual user, this report is created based on supporting thousands of installed units - clearly a different issue...

The reputation of Arthur Anderson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696933)

"You seem to misunderstand that the Gartner Group's reputation IS their selling point"

The same could be said of Arthur Anderson accounting firm... until recently that is. This boneheaded and obviously biased "study" surely won't help Gartner's reputation. They will be ignored, and the study will be treated as part of Apple's ad campaign, and IT departments will continue to save money and get things done better by ignoring the Apple Macintosh platform.

Such studies have come out ever since the first Macintosh was introduced. The real world experience of companies who know what costs more or costs less puts the lie to the studies, and the Macintoshes are few and far between.

Re:The reputation of Arthur Anderson (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3697044)

The same could be said of Arthur Anderson accounting firm... until recently that is.

A thoroughly useless observation which has no bearing on this conversation and no relavance whatsoever.

This boneheaded and obviously biased "study" surely won't help Gartner's reputation.

Your evidence of this is...nothing? I thought so. What are you allegations here, I'd certainly like to hear them.

The real world experience of companies who know what costs more or costs less puts the lie to the studies, and the Macintoshes are few and far between.

Gartner never suggested that this was meant for EVERY company. It depends on what your business is and what your needs are. That you wish to overgeneralize and take their claims out of context has very little bearing on their credibility.

Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3697081)

"Gartner never suggested that this was meant for EVERY company. It depends on what your business is and what your needs are. That you wish to overgeneralize and take their claims out of context has very little bearing on their credibility."

The fact that Gartner's claims aren't true for the overwhelming majority of companies has a lot of bearing on their credibility. Companies that would have gone Mac years ago if the Gartner claims had any substance: just because they do not want to waste money.

Interesting that this comes to light in a "Macintosh evangelism" site, not from a place devoted to helping business run more efficiently.

Gartner isn't going to get much of anywhere with claims like the one where the Macintosh hardware costs less than the PC hardware (aside from all support, training, and everything else). Everyone, even Mac evangelists know that this is not true (the evangelists just argue that it is worth paying more to get something better).

Re:The reputation of Arthur Anderson (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 11 years ago | (#3697066)

This boneheaded and obviously biased "study" surely won't help Gartner's reputation.
"Obviously biased" because you don't like the results? Have you paid the fee to Gartner to see the details of the study?

Got A Nice Example (5, Interesting)

White Roses (211207) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696070)

I've got a $4000 Mac at home. It surfs the 'net on my home ethernet LAN, reads e-mail, word processing using MS Word, plays a few older games, does a lot of basic tasks well, but not a lot else.

The thing about it is this: it's a Centris 650, built in 1993. $4000 is what it's cost, materials-wise, since it's birth. That comes to about $500 a year, or around $1.50 a day. That covers a full complement (128MB) of RAM, a monitor, a hard drive upgrade and software upgrades. That's all I've ever had to do with it, really. Actually, the best part is that I didn't have to pay the initial $2,700 purchase price: I purchased it used from a university for $25. So really my TCO, since I've owned for a year or two, is more like $300 (RAM and hard drive - the rest came with it).

Sure, that doesn't take into account the cost of my time, but I really don't have much in the way of non-productive downtime either. My other Macs have similar stories. Probably my best one is my Mac Plus. Last time I calculated, that machine cost about $.23 a day since it's birth. And it does everything the Centris does, only in black and white.

I wonder how much it costs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696089)

...to buy a new PC when a company doesn't port their app to Apple.

Re:I wonder what kind of idiot... (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696705)

...would realize that many companies use software on Macs that has never been ported to PC's?

PCs only might cost more due to being useful (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696144)

You buy a Mac for several hundred dollars more than the ecquivalent PC. You end up spending less for it over the years ONLY because there are so fewer options and programs available for it. None of the going to the store and seeing a program you want to shell out $20 for here and there; hardly any Mac programs so less chance of this!

A lot of those nice digital cameras and MP3 players will not work on Macs. But they will work on PC's. That is hundreds of dollars saved just by the Mac being less useful.

Re:PCs only might cost more due to being useful (2, Informative)

rworne (538610) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696295)

A lot of those nice digital cameras and MP3 players will not work on Macs. But they will work on PC's. That is hundreds of dollars saved just by the Mac being less useful.
If you define "nice" MP3 player as transferring data over a parallel port, then yes. If you define "a lot" meaning the cheapo sub-$120 digital cameras, then maybe, I suggest you do a bit of research, and you'll find out most digital cameras [apple.com] work fine, and brand name MP3 players [apple.com] work fine as well, without crappy bundled software like RioPort.

How about a better info source? (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696356)

"...most digital cameras [apple.com] work fine, and brand name MP3 players [apple.com]...."

Of course Apple says everything works best with Apple. Does this surprise anyone? Can we see what an independent source says?

Re:How about a better info source? (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696463)

If a camera has a removable memory card, and who would want one that doesn't, one can always get a card reader and copy the pics over. OS X even brings up an automatic window when these items are inserted asking WHERE you want the info saved (is it pictures, mp3's, etc.) This occurs without installing drivers or software - it's called conforming to the USB (and digital camera) standards. Novel concept, isn't it?

Any camera that doesn't work with a Mac simply doesn't conform to the STANDARDS which have been established for such devices. I personally think that any company that doesn't follow STANDARDS should rot in hell anyway, so why would I want to give them my money to make my life more difficult?

We don't need no steenking standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696511)

"Any camera that doesn't work with a Mac simply doesn't conform to the STANDARDS which have been established for such devices."

This is Apple we are talking about. If they cared about standards, they'd be building PC's!

No, if some camera works on 90% of the computers out there but doesn't work on Mac due to Mac differences, the standard-following problem does not lie with the camera owner....

Re:We don't need no steenking standards (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696769)

No, if some camera works on 90% of the computers out there but doesn't work on Mac due to Mac differences, the standard-following problem does not lie with the camera owner...

Sorry, ANY piece of USB enabled equipment that I need a driver to use is NON-STANDARD. If it doesn't plug in and work, it is NOT COMPLIANT. End of issue! USB is *the* standard - if the camera needs extra software to work properly, the camera violates the standard. What part of this is unclear to you?

End of issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696833)

"Sorry, ANY piece of USB enabled equipment that I need a driver to use is NON-STANDARD"

If it works on the vast majority of machines out there, it is standard. The ones that need special drivers are the ones in the minority, non-standard. What part of this is unclear to you?

Sure it will plug in and work: on a standard computer, that is.

Re:End of issue (1)

RevGregory (585273) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696925)

The ones that need special drivers are the ones in the minority, non-standard. What part of this is unclear to you?

None of it. My Kodak DC-5000 works without any additions on my Mac, I had to install drivers on my friends PC because it didn't recognize it. Ditto for my Fuji FinePix 4900. When my other friend bought his Minolta, the results were the same. They worked out of the box on the Mac, they required driver installs on the PC. These are top of the line, name brand cameras, not crappy generic shit. That Windows doesn't support them natively is just tragic (let's not even get into the fact the Linux doesn't support them at all.)

So, who supports what here?

Re:How about a better info source? (1)

rworne (538610) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696544)

Of course Apple says everything works best with Apple. Does this surprise anyone? Can we see what an independent source says?
Since when is a hardware compatibility list not a proper info source? There were no vague claims of compatibility, it mentions specific brands and model numbers. Get a clue.

get a clue: it is ad copy! (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696748)

"Since when is a hardware compatibility list not a proper info source?"

Get the clue that what you will find on apple.com is basically ad copy. They avoid listing or talking about all the devices that won't work, even if the list is 5 times as long. Look for an objective source that has no stake in what is on or off the list.

Re:PCs only might cost more due to being useful (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696388)

So instead of the cheap stuff that (you say) won't work on Macs, they buy more expensive stuff that does work on Macs (like almost all digital cameras, or a nice iPod) - and still have a lower TCO.

iMac is for PC now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696415)

Read the Ephpod item from yesterday. From what I recall, also, the Ephpod is not crippled like the Apple software for iPod that tries to make it hard to have multiple copies of things moving around involving your iPod.

Meant to say iPod above (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696434)

iGoofed is what happened.

Translation (5, Funny)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696166)

The study also examined the indirect costs of supporting end-users, training time and non-productive downtime.

Translation: Macs don't ship with Solitaire!

Why I haven't used Mac's. (4, Insightful)

Hank Reardon (534417) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696318)

Let's try to have a rational discussion about this, please. Nothing in recent memory has touched off Holy-war-like flames as the PC/Mac debate.

There are three reasons I haven't used Mac's in the past:

It's been too expensive for me.
I got really heavy into computers in the late eighties; the Mac had already come out and the PC arena domination by IBM was breaking hard.

I was making $8 an hour and had a social life. Saving the $3000 to buy a Mac wasn't possible or desirable for me. My main reason for using a computer was gaming; Mac didn't have the games I wanted at the time. I also could buy the PC a piece at a time, where that wasn't (and still isn't) a possiblity with the Mac. It's much easier for a 16 year old to spend $300 for something than it is to save $3000 for another.

My work prevents it
I develop software for a living. Without exception, my clients use PC's and Sun's. The tools I use in developing Oracle stuff just aren't available. If I don't have the software to do what I want, I won't use the system. Period.

Claiming that people like me switching platforms would cause the software to appear doesn't work. I'm not an evangelist, I'm a consultant. If I sit around and wait for the software to magically appear on another platform, I don't eat.

Which brings me to my third reason...

Mac Evangelists
With two exceptions, every Mac user I've encountered has preached at me with the furvor of a Deep-South Bible Thumper. I know that not all Mac users are this fanatical, but 95% of the encounters I've had have been.

I've actually been told, while in a "discussion" with one of the above-mentioned users, that my points were "more offensive than being criticized by a racist". In my experiences, this is the norm, not the exception. I don't care what the topic is, if you accuse me of being worse than a racist when I debate your points, you look like an asshole.

As long as I encounter this type of person a majority of the time when trying to discuss the merits and disadvantages of a platform, I have no interest in discussing it any more. Furthermore, all of the (possibly valid) arguments made on the Mac's behalf are now in the category of

Finally...
All that being said, OSX looks really nice. The compatibility isn't as much of an issue now that it's based on a BSD operating system and I can run real Unix apps on it. I haven't heard any complaints about the Linux ABI layer not working, so maybe my Oracle stuff will run under OSX, as well as a host of other applications that aren't available on the Mac.

I'm contemplating buying an iBook as my next laptop because of these reasons. Had I been able to have a rational discussion with somebody about the pros and cons of the system, I'd might just be a Mac user today.

Re:Why I haven't used Mac's. (1)

MadMoonie (223264) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696632)

The proportion of highly fanatical Mac users doesn't say anything to you? I think so many Mac users become Mac evangelists because they've found the quality of their user experience is simply unmatched on other platforms.

Sure, the hard-core Mac evangelists can get overly emotional, but then again you just don't see PC people getting excited about what they can do with their computers the way Mac people do...

Re:Why I haven't used Mac's. (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696707)

I know that not all Mac users are this fanatical, but 95% of the encounters I've had have been.

That's odd, because I use Macs and I know dozens of other Mac users. I've never experienced anything like you mentioned, even when in the company of Mac and PC users.

I do have a solution for you, though. If you do become a Mac user, and least the rabid fanatics will stop annoying you.

Re:Why I haven't used Mac's. (3, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 11 years ago | (#3697071)

I think, given your three points, that it would have been highly frustrating for you to have owned a Mac *until* March of last year when OS X was released to the public at large.

Really, it wouldn't have helped you to own a Mac, as a consultant, game player, or developer without OS X.

Count me as a rational Mac evangelist; it's really nice and pretty cool, and unusually powerful at a high premium.

Power != MHz in this discussion.

Gartner uses Windows (3, Insightful)

LtScheisskopf (581048) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696347)

1. Save one of the Gartner PDFs.
2. Open it.
3. Look at properties.
(File:Document Info:General)

I'll save you the trouble.
"Producer: Acrobat Distiller 4.0 for Windows"

Where is the boot icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696498)

Laugh, it's funny. Not just the ridiculous assertion that the hardware is cheaper, but most of the replies.

my G4 (2)

paradesign (561561) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696574)

my G4 400 AGP has lasted me 2years and cost me just 80$ in that time. i forsee it lasting another two, although i will buy it a little vidcard present for jaguar soon.

Artists need hand holding..... (2)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696592)

Ok, lets be honest here, the context of the study was an Art college, Melbourne University's Faculty of the Arts, or at least I am seeing "art" in the name. From personal experiance, I can tell you that artists generally aren't the most tech savvy, generally aren't accomadating and frankly bitch a lot. I am sure support costs were much greater for the art types using wintel's. Now if they did a similar study at a regular college, that might tell us something.

Re:Artists need hand holding..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3697049)

As someone who worked support at a regular college, my experience is that regular students are no more tech savvy than art students on average. There will be other fields that will tend to have students more literate in computers and others that may tend to have less literate computers. Especially given the proliferation of computers in music (not just recording), video and graphics, art students have just as much a reason to be computer literate as most anyone else. Also, since they use specialized software oftentimes they receive special in-class training which is more than most English majors get, certainly.

What I'd like to see (1)

TwitchCHNO (469542) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696813)

TCO: Of windows vs UNIX (Sun Solaris, IBM etc)
TCO: Of windows vs Linux
TCO: Of windows VS Mac OS X

Using windows as a bench mark in a corporate environment against all of the other alternatives would be great.

I'm sure you would even save money going w/ one monster big iron server vs many windows servers.

To address the /. idiots who didn't read or understand the article.

Gartner did some research at a university that purchases multiple computers that are pre-assembled. The IT department doesn't have time to assemble all of the computers in an organization. The PCs in the report are prebuilt Dells, Compaqs, Gateways or ect.

The $avings were only $400 per year of roughly 5,000 machines per each type. These are probably labor savings & not much else. Software is standardized across all platforms (Office, Photoshop, IE etc). And decent hardware is also cross platform (Network printers, the ocassional didital camera / scanner for art students).

The report also states that there were fewer hardware costs (repairs). And fewer technical support costs(Memroy leaks - buggy M$ software). As well as fewer training costs (Crufty M$ gui).

Does this mean that thier aren't exceptions? No.

Can you build a $400 PC and install slackware and only run OSS software on it? Yes.

Is a university or buisness going to do that? No.

The report merely states that in a networked multi user environment (not in your bedroom) Macs have a lower TCO than Windows PC's. It's amazing that this is:
A. Surprizing
B. A debated issue

Very surprising and debatable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3696894)

" It's amazing that this is:
A. Surprizing
B. A debated issue"


Surprised? Debated? The vast majority of IT departments find that the Mac platform does indeed cost a lot more and is less versatile. There really is no debate. You should not be surprised, despite the cooked numbers and "overlooking the obvious" of this study.

Executive Summary for the CTO: (3, Funny)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 11 years ago | (#3696960)

Gartner found that Macs cost US$1,114 to support per year, while Wintel systems cost $1,438. Macs also needed less technical support and hardware and software costs were lower, the report explains.

Translation: Deploy Macs instead of PC's and you'll can kiss 22% of your budget, headcount, and corporate influence good bye.

What about the non-Intel PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3697033)

I've used AMD for years. Wonder if the numbers are altered by insisting on Wintel PCs instead of any PC even if it is not a "Wintel". Wonder how this impacts costs?

"Translation: Deploy Macs instead of PC's and you'll can kiss 22% of your budget, headcount, and corporate influence good bye."

In the real business world, you probably instead kiss 22% more money goodbye just by using Macs. I've seen many studies like this for many years. If there was one bit of truth to it, Macs would have taken over by now: companies are interested in the bottom line after all.

If there were any truth to it, the study would be all the rage in the IT journals, instead of being part of an Apple advertising campaign.

Gartner needs a fact checker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3697052)

"Macs .....hardware .....costs were lower

Guess no one at Gartner could have been bothered to check a catalog, online store, or walk into a retailer. Is it new math, where a system that costs $2200 has a "lower hardware cost" than one costing $1300?

More cost-effective... (2, Insightful)

Kerouassady (550624) | more than 11 years ago | (#3697057)

...amd cheaper to support, the article says. There is a difference. Value means a lot more than how much money it costs, as the executives where I work still don't understand.
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