Network World: Macs are cheaper than PCs by half

Network World: Macs are cheaper than PCs by half

Summary: I know that it's probably old news by now but an article in Network World claims that the Total Cost of Owning (TCO) a Mac is about half of what it costs to own a PC.

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TOPICS: Apple
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I know that it's probably old news by now but an article in Network World claims that the Total Cost of Owning (TCO) a Mac is about half of what it costs to own a PC. From Business 2.0:

World columnist Winn Schwartau runs the numbers on what it truly costs to run a PC and a Mac in a business, and finds that a PC is nearly twice as expensive as a Mac when one takes support costs into account. Antivirus protection, firewalls, and IT labor to keep a PC secure and operational add up to a bill of $1,300 to $4,000 a year, according to Schwartau. Of course, there's one hitch in Schwartau's calculations: As the Mac gets more popular, it's becoming more of a hacker target, and protecting against those new threats could drive security and support costs up over time.

For the full article with all the methodology and details check out Network World's "Going above and beyond" by Winn Schwartau. It's far from perfect but it's a good read.

Topic: Apple

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6 comments
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  • many factors in a pc purchase

    This sheds light on the shortsighted analysis of writers such as George Ou, although he is certainly not the only offender. A PC purchase is a many-faceted decision, and its costs add up to much more than just the hardware.

    It's not that hardware price doesn't matter; it does. But so does ease of use, ease of maintainability, reliability of the machine, overall real-world security, etc. In the end, the study is right; these latter factors probably mean as much or more as the hardware price itself in terms of consumer value.
    buzzl
  • Misleading

    Disclaimer, I'm not a Windows fan. I don't run windows or OSX.

    This article is saying some pretty amazing things while leaving out very important details. Sure, there's a link to find out more, but if you're going to quote $4000/year for PC owners to buy virus protection, a firewall, and IT support you should at least make it clear what sort of pc owner you're talking about: businesses.

    The average home PC user doesn't fork out more than a hundred bucks a year for "security" over the life of their machine.

    [tounge-in-cheek]
    ...they bug their geeky friends to fix the virus-ridden, spyware-clogged, zombie spam servers for them. Free.
    [/tounge-in-cheek]
    joe_coder
    • DId you even read the article?!

      How is it not clear what PC owners they're talking about?!

      The entire article is about the cost of computers in business.

      "My concerns are not that different from that of the typical small
      to midsize business or global enterprise."
      "Corporations tend to ignore anything but WinTel machines"
      "Macs also get ignored partly because they're so different, partly
      because they weren't quite ready for prime-time enterprise play
      and partly because they are more expensive then WinTel
      machines."
      "I chose to test this last thesis because price is a leading
      consideration in all aspects of IT operations and a fairly simple
      exercise"
      "As it begins to stake ground beyond small enterprises, it will
      want a piece of the global enterprise. "
      "I don't expect that any major enterprise is going to go out and
      convert 100,000 seats to MacTel. "
      "How much will it cost the average enterprise?"

      It should be clear to anyone who can read that this article is
      about businesses, not home users.
      V-Train
    • Not misleading

      Errr... both the synopsis here and the full article state that they're talking about business. Nothing misleading there.
      mp3entertainment
  • Macs are cheaper?

    I work in tech support for a company that uses both PCs and Macs. I find this hard to believe for several reasons.

    A Mac costs more without Office that the typical business PC with Office does.

    Both platforms should have AV installed to catch any virii that might come through. And AV for a mac is harder to find and costs more than for a PC.

    XP comes with a firewall as does OS X, so how can a desktop firewall be an expense?

    As for IT labor costs. I work for a book publisher and we work with fonts a lot. In a nutshell fonts are a pain in the (private part) on a mac. One of Mark Gibbs' columns in Network World
    http://www.networkworld.com/columnists/2005/060605backspin.html
    from last spring talks about this issue. And it is a major issue.

    I have been with this company for 5 years now and we have never had to bring in outside help for our windows enviroment. But we do on a regular basis for the macs. And it is always fonts related. (Fonts and Quark).

    Chad Dickerson in Inforworld (Mar 28,2005 CTO column) also writes about this.

    In a nutshell, my experience is that Macs are not cheaper. For simple tasks maybe, but do some heavy lifting and they are not.

    To me it seems that no matter what your computing platform of choice is, there are expenses involved and one is NOT hundreds or thousands of dollars cheaper than the other.
    sordito
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