Mac or PC?

From 2006 until 2009, many of us enjoyed the Get a Mac television advertisements from Apple Computers. Well, at least those of us who use Macs enjoyed them!

The ads featured cool, casual (relaxed) Justin Long as a Mac and stodgy (dull; uninteresting), stuffy (not open to new ideas) John Hodgman as a PC (a computer that uses Microsoft Windows). Let me give you a couple of samples from the early years, using in part  the descriptions provided by AdWeek:

In one of the first ads, PC is seen rocking out (obviously enjoying himself) to an iPod and praising (saying good things about) iTunes. Mac replies that the rest of the iLife suite (a group of computer applications) works just as well and comes on every Mac. PC gets defensive (acting in a way that shows you think someone is criticizing you) and begins to list the cool apps (applications) that he comes with. Unfortunately he can only think of Calculator and Clock.

In another ad, Mac and PC hold hands to demonstrate (show) their ability to network (connect) with each other. They are joined by a Japanese woman who represents a new digital camera. Mac and the camera speak to each other fluently, but PC, who doesn’t have the proper driver (small app needed to do something), gets confused and can’t communicate.

If you want, you can view all 66 ads at the Adweek website. We Mac users think they’re very funny!

Not too long ago, carried out (did) an unscientific survey (research study) to see if Mac users really were like Long and PC users like Hodgman. You can see the results here in an interesting infographic (information shown as a graphic design).

The survey reinforced (supported) many of the ideas about the people who use Macs and PCs, but it also shed light on (showed, revealed) some interesting differences. Nearly 400,000 responded to (answered) the survey. About 50% identified themselves as PC people and 25% called themselves Mac people.

In general, Mac saw themselves as hip (fashionable), liberal (open to new ideas), verbally-oriented (good with words), more adventurous, and more creative. PC people see themselves as very mainstream (part of the majority in society), conservative (not liking change or new ideas), math-oriented, and less comfortable, in general, with computers and technology.

One of the interesting things is how PC users view (think about) Mac users and vice versa (the opposite: how Mac users view PC users). PC users think Mac users seem trendy (always follow new fashions), shallow (not interested in serious ideas), or pretentious (think they’re more important than they are). On the other hand, Mac users see PC users as being rigid (unwilling to change), conformist (doing the same as everyone else) and boring.

What kind of person are you – Mac or PC? Remember, this is about the kind of person you are, not the kind of computer you use. Take a look a the infographic and see which one you are. Remember, it’s possible for a PC person to use a Mac or a Mac person to use a PC! And, I suppose (think or believe), it’s possible to be a little bit of both.

~Warren Ediger – creator of Successful English, where you can find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English and something to read during May.

Photograph “I’m Mac user” by Abdulrahman used under Creative Commons license.


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21 Responses to Mac or PC?

  1. emiliano says:

    Nice and interesting subject Warren as there is a lot of things about the matter.

    For long I have a PC and I have learn a little about how to move through the Web and doing the essential things with a PC., but after
    my daughters got a Mac and they told me there is not way having again a PC. I decided three years ago to get a Mac.
    I was a little afraid of going through a new way and learning everything from 0 but I am very curious about new technology and devices
    It was as a challenge.
    Since three years I am a Mac people but not absolutely as I have also a PC that was used by Cuca my wife.
    I use the PC myself too as she don´t want to know anything about PC technology, programs or how it runs.
    So now my task is with two computers, the Mac. (mine) and the PC (hers).
    Like my daughters I am a new Mac people and I have supported all kind of jokes and even some of my close friends call me I was
    a snob a capricious or even a fetishist as I like the iPod the iPad and so forth.
    Have in mind that here in Spain nineteen of twenty have a PC and nearly all the programs that the friends have are PC programs…
    Mac programs? well, I only know my daughters that are really Justin Long fans.

    Yes, I am a Mac person despite I use PC by the circumstances or to do some kind of works.
    The best?
    Just having the two computers…….Mac does not admit NTFS files or have to do some kind of informatics things I don´t know to be
    able of seeing and open them – NTFS Files – inside its hard disk …..and it´s a pity.
    Fat 32 only admits files with less than 4 gigas what is some times a nuisance….Windows instead admits the two files Fat 32 and Ntfs
    so it is more versatile just about this item.

    iPad and iPhone are the most incredible machines I ever have seen, so YES I am Mac people that are now writing in my iMac…yes, that´s

    Thank you Warren a nice funny article and also very amusing all the ads.


  2. emiliano says:

    Two years ago when I wanted to give to my two younger daughters Laura and Fatima my windows laptop because it was a little heavy for
    me, my daughters said to me:
    No, thank you dad but we don´t want it….we don´t want a Windows PC any more….it´s not funny to have a PC. so many virus and
    troubles, thank you but no, give it to a friend or another person who may enjoy it.

    Eva, the older is like me, she likes to have a PC and a Mac.
    I gave my laptop to a friend and got a iMac laptop that afterward I gave to my Fatima daughter as she has not enough money to buy it….
    She was really happy with the gift and the story continuous as now Laura wants another new laptop……? but a Mac of course that´s
    not admits any doubt, Mac for ever.

    That´s the proof that once a person transform to a Mac fan coming from a PC. don´t want any more a PC even being a gift….

    The best of a Mac…………no virus, no problems, all is easy, funny, beautiful and it is all in the screen, just incredible and useful.


  3. Betty says:

    Thank you very much, Warren, for this interesting topic.

    I am afraid I must be a PC person, very old fashion.

    I do not have a Mac, and I do not want to learn to use new computer or mobile phone.

    I think even using a PC is something very advance already, no need to have a Mac.

    However, might be one day I will change into a Mac person, you never know.

  4. Peter says:

    Hey you,
    Out there in the cold,getting lonely,getting old
    can you feel me?
    Warren,of all the profs in this center finally, you get the courage to get out of the rut ,and cranck it up a notch.
    Color me rude ,but nobody was brave enough to do so.
    Hope ,you have set the precedence
    Keep it up,and don’t go back down

  5. Michael.spb says:

    I’m from Russia and here most of people use PC’s (as me too). Only last years Apple opened many stores here (but anyway only in a big cities).
    I never used Macs, and can’t say many things about them, but that what I see now, the price of Macs is expensive. I can buy great PC laptop more powerful than Macbook for half price of mac! I can’t see now features which costs so much.. I think macs are overrated (as like as ipods and iphones). Yes, I’m agree that macs have a great and better design as a rule, but it’s not make you more “hip” and “liberal”. It’s just a cover. More important what is inside.
    Btw, recommend to see first episode of new season “South Park”, it’s about the subject.

  6. Roberto says:

    A fantastic topic, Warren!

    As Emiliano, I have both PC and Mac but my prefer computer to work is Mac. Why? I like to work with my Imac because it is more simple to me, there is no virus, there aren’t wires, the screen is amazing and I have never reboot my computer. But I must recognize that the first days with a Mac computer are very strange because there are a lot of things I knew to do with Pc but not with Mac, but patience and perseverance are good things to practise.
    It is funny to look at the infographic and try to find out what person you are or what your preferences are.
    By the way Michael, I agree with you, Macs are expensive. I will try to see this episode of South Park.

  7. Roberto says:

    I have forgotten it. There is one thing better than Imac and Pc… my ipad.
    I write in this podcast from my ipad, I can listen to ESL podcasts and read the learning guides in whatever place: at home, at work, at my mother’s house, at the restaurant…
    I have to recognize that Ipad doesn’t make different things than other computers but how it works! It is very intuitive and I have seen many older people, who hate computers, enjoy with it.
    Of course Michael, ipad is expensive as well. Many friends of mine, with a lot of knowledege about computers, say than ipad is a sh.., a monopoly product of Apple, so much limited and so forth, but I am in love with it (my wife says I am all day with the Ipad, maybe she can be a little jealous…)

  8. Betty says:

    I read Emiliano and Roberto’s comment about Mac and I am sold.

    No virus? How nice. I think I should consider using a Mac, even though it is painful having to learn new technologies.

    My children understand all these things beginning with ‘i’, and they have been using ipod for music since long.

    I am like a dinosaur who do not use something so tiny but yet so powerful and expensive.

    We don’t have a Mac computer in our house yet, too expensive, I guess.

    I will pay more attention to Mac from now on and I hope to buy a Mac computer in the near future.

    Thank you once again, Warren, Emiliano and Roberto, you all are amazing.


    Thank you Emiliano for giving me the information about Lucy’s birthday.

    Lucy did not want us to spend money on buying her flowers and chocolate, so she kept quiet about it.

    I never tell people my birthday neither. My parents tradition is, children do not tell people their date of birth and the family never celebrate children’s birthday. People only celebrate their birthday the first time on their 60th birthday, it should be organized by the birthday person’s children, not by themselves. And then you get another birthday celebration on your 70th birthday. Perhaps one birthday celebration every ten years? I am not sure.

    I think different parts of China have different traditions, my parents’ home village are very superstitious and there were so many things that we could not do as a child.

    I don’t keep quiet about my children’s birthday, I guess they belong to a new era and thus we should treat them differently. We try to keep a low profile and I do as told, eg, if my daughter asks me to buy a birthday cake for her to bring to school for her teachers and classmates to eat, I will buy it. I don’t force anything on my children. I don’t like buying birthday presents because I think it is most likely money wasted on something that may not be useful. So I put some money in their bank account every year on their birthday. I tell them to save the money but it is entirely their choice to do what they want with the money.

    BTW, don’t ask me whether I have my first birthday celebration yet. Age is a woman’s secret and therefore I will not tell you. In fact we don’t follow our parents’ traditions and we don’t tell anyone even if we reach the ‘senior citizen’ age.

    People in England have a big birthday party when they reach 40. They say life begins at 40!!

  9. Benito says:

    I am reading this podcast to improve my poor english as I usually do: with my laptop in the garden. But a few minutes ago, I was editing video with the other machine we’ve got in the living-room, mainly used by my kids. After this, I have in mind to make a video-chat with a friend. I like to listen to my mp3 files as I read newspapers or update my blog (I don’t like facebook or twitter much more). I can edit images, text or make calc sheets or presentations for my classes. I think I can make the same all things that you all can do, using my second hand 6-year-old Toshiba, bought last year for…140€! I don’t need to use an antivirus, my machines switch on and off quickly and never get hung up despite I’m not an IT expert. I don’t have to pay for the software do all those things because it’s free and safe. I’m not a Mac or a PC person but I like both of them. Of course, I use Ubuntu because there are more than two worlds.

  10. Sanaz says:

    Thanks! This post is so interesing. I didn’t know about it before.

    I’m definitely Mac, but I don’t have choice but using PC, because of all limitations we have here!

    No offence to PC people. But frankly, Mac people are more more coolllllllllll!

  11. Sanaz says:

    Sorry, I should say Cooler!

  12. Derdei says:

    Hi Emilianno, Betty and others!,

    Many thanks to Warren for this exciting topic and all commentator .

    First, I want to bring some clarification about the second paragraph and second sentence: “…as a PC (a computer that uses Microsoft Windows)….”. I think a PC (a machine) don’t use absolutely Microsoft Windows (which is an Operating System). There are plenty of operation systems (MacOS, Windows, Linux,…) that you can install on you machine. For example you can install both Linux and Window in the same matchine. And you can intall on Mac(as machine), plus original Operating System (Mac OS X of course), Window, as well. However, I think it’s illegal.

    For me, I begun with a PC(Window) and used it for a long time. When I was in University (undergraduate student more precisely), I was tired for the fear of virus and the inefficiency of anti-virus. And I heard before the existence of a bit difficult operating system with many advantages where there’re no virus and all softwares are free. So I jumped in without hesitations. At first, it was very difficult, but after everything went allright. However Linux has also “its” problems, because the Linux users are increasing, but still very few, and then all of popular softwares are not compatible with Linux.

    And then, I saw my advisor’s MacBookPro, and it was very beautifull, at least in my eyes. After that I asked him about the advantages of Mac, he told me “it’s just practical”. Quite frankly, the color and the logo (Apple) were what I really liked. And then I did some economy (for year :-)!!!!!!!!) to buy it. And now I have no regret at all.

    I still have my PC with Linux on it, but I use it like a fix one because the battery dead.

    For the question “PC or Mac?” I think, it completely depends on your profiles.
    —->If you use the machine to watch movies, listen musics, or play cards, the cheapest PC could really hit the spot.
    —->If you use the machine as work’s tool or your future depends on your machine, then a Mac or the great PC who are the prices like Mac are interresting.

    The problem with Apple is, as said Michael.spb, their products are very expensive and rich-people oriented. But we must recognize, that they have the spirit of innovation, especially with the Ipad.

    I’m still a Mac User but I had a crush on Tablet PC. It’s very impressive.


  13. Suzanne says:

    I like this subject and I like to read all comments!

    My first computer was Commodore 64…I don’t know if somebody remembers it… immediatly after I have had an Apple product, it was a long time ago may be in the beginning of 80.

    Since this time I always have had Mac computer and I love it. But I know PC technology because I used it when I worked, at my office (school) only PC technology was used.

    Now I have labtop Mac Pro since 2006 and if I change I will buy the same thing, I would like to have Ipad also, but I saw it and I find it too expensive, it will be my next purchase.

    I like using design program, my favorite programs are The print shop and Photo shop.


  14. Eduardo says:

    I’ve got a Macbook some years ago, and I watched some “How To” on Apple website for a month to learn how to use it. Macs are really practical and easy. About the price, here in Brazil is almost the same as a good computer.

  15. Tania says:

    “Hello, I’m a PC” but I would like to be a Mac.
    I have had no idea about these “Get a Mac” television advertisements from 2006 until 2009 – Get a Mac, “Mac vs. PC” – a comparison between operating systems.
    I have just listened to the Mac Advertisement, the song “Having Trouble Sneezing” better known as “Get a Mac Melody”. Very nice and interesting. Thank you.

    Best wishes,


  16. Tania says:

    Hi! I like most one of all 66 ads.
    “Viruses – PC has caught a new virus and warns Mac to stay away from him, citing the 114,000 known viruses for PCs.
    Mac states that viruses thst affect PCs don’t affect him, and PC announces that he’s going to crash before collapsing onto the floor in a faint.”

  17. sara says:

    Dear Warren ,
    Thanks for it,as always it was great.
    In fact I am a PC user but I enjoy using my iPad too.I think my personality is the same:a little bit of both but more “PC user” kind!

  18. emiliano says:

    Thank you very much Derdei,
    I really appreciate your post clarifying some items about informatics subjects.

    I think you are right about the use a person wants to do with a Mac or a PC also the money you are in disposition
    of expending in base of your work or your hobbies at home.

    Years ago in Spain a Mac was too expensive while you may have a Clone PC for the third part of money, so the majority of us bought a
    Clone PC fixed in an Informatics Shop, we called this kind of PC “Nisu” (ni su madre los conoce / neither its mother knew them) so every body
    could have a computer at home.
    Now people who knows what they really wants buy a PC made piece by piece and fixed following the wishes of the person who buy it but in a Mac
    or in a PC with mark this is absolutely impossible, that is the reason there is a lot of controversy about Mac and PC followers here in my country.
    One of my best friends, Juanito, does not like Mac or Apple just for this reason, he wants to control everything and ask for a PC made by hand
    following his wishes and instructions.
    We have been arguing by long about this matter, but he has an incredible brain and knows a lot about Informatics subjects, not like me.

    Thank you again Derdei you are really welcome and best regards.


  19. Ziba says:

    Hi Warren!
    The text is very interesting. I didn’t know anything about Mac and PC.
    I think I’m a combination of both. I try to follow rules and with some fashion features. So I’m wouldn’t be boring.
    Best regards,

  20. Betty says:

    It is interesting to read an article by Preston Gralla which appeared yesterday – 16 May 2011 from the “”.

    The title said “As the Mac gets targeted by malware, the PC gets safer”.

    The reason why I found this article was, I was wondering whether I should buy a Mac for my next computer. I mainly use my computer for work instead of for leisure, and I was not sure whether a Mac computer worked with all the programmes like Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Database, etc etc, so I decided to look up more about Mac computer.

    Before I found an answer to my question, I found one more question added to my puzzle list.

    The article says: “………the days of Macs being far more secure than PCs may be coming to an end. Today a Mac is still safer than a Windows 7 computer. Whether Macs will be safer than PCs a few years from now isn’t so clear, though”.

    So, I thought a Mac computer was virus free and so it was better, it is not true anymore?

    I think new technologies is driving people mad, don’t you think so?

  21. Betty says:

    Sorry, I thought today’s was 17 May 2011. So Preston Gralla’s article appeared two days ago.

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