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PC or Mac - what is the best way to go for a small consulting firm?

Roger Frederick's Profile


Topic Expert
Mark Von Der Linn
Title: Principal
(Principal, |

That's a little outside my core expertise, but some thoughts: Let the apps drive that decision. List all the software you need to run for your business in priority order. See which platform the top ones will run on. That could be the decider right there. If it's split, sit down with a good small-med IT firm to help you decide. Keep in mind, you can run both OSs on a Mac. I have a new PC and I really like Windows 7. But I also own a Mac and like it, too. I bet you could Google find a good article to compare pros and cons to help you decide - but remember to only count the ones that are relevant to how you will use it (eg, Mac is better for Video Editing, but if you don't do that it doesn't count).

Ivan Makarov
Title: VP of Finance
Company: SmugMug
(VP of Finance, SmugMug) |

Agree with Mark - first question should always be what you're trying to do on it.

For us, it made no difference in terms of software. What we found in our experience is that while Macs are more expensive to buy, we save a ton of cash by not having a big IT support on staff. Macs don't break as easily, and they last at least 1-2 years longer than PCs, so in the long run we are saving a lot of money by using Macs. Employees are more productive too, because Macs just work.

When I was working on a PC laptop, I can to call in my IT support at least once a month because something wasn't working, or compatible, or broken. WIth a Mac - once a year, if that?

Besides that, it's also a recruiting tool and a retention tool. Most engineers and non-engineers prefer Apple products.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Do you need PC's or can you use Tablets? In other words, (which is a twist on Mark's comments) don't decide you need a PC or a Mac, decide on both the apps and where you will need to access them.

Then decide the most cost effective, most beneficial way to access your apps/data. Based on this decision, decided what OS is necessary an then choose.

Tablets : IOS/Android/smaller players
Note/Air books: Win/OSX/Linux
PC/MACS: Win/OSX/Linux

Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

Since Microsoft Office runs seamlessly on a Mac, I can't think of one good reason to get a PC!

Topic Expert
J.D. Floyd
Title: Owner, CFO
Company: CFO Outsourcing Solutions, Inc.
(Owner, CFO, CFO Outsourcing Solutions, Inc.) |

Until January 2010 I thought all Apple products were simply toys. 2-days into owning an iMac I became a convert (and this was after 25-years of PC use). I 2nd Cindy's comment - Office runs seamlessly with Mac. Now the only issue is any legacy programs that do not have a Mac version - such as ProSeries. In that case, just get VMware to run XP or Windows 7. In my case, I run XP via VMware and it is much better than on a PC.

J.D. Floyd

Gloria Sargent
Title: Controller
Company: McLachlan, Rissman & Doll
(Controller, McLachlan, Rissman & Doll) |

Another consideration is how quickly you can get repairs. I too run XP on a Mac (for several years, no issues software wise) and came in early one morning to hear "beep beep beep." A quick call to the AppleCare 800 number got me the answer that my RAM had died. A quick trip to the store (OK, it's across the street) got my RAM replaced less than 5 minutes after the store opened. Using their online appointment system I had reserved time and advised them of the 800 call results so my "Genius" was ready to pop in the new RAM and I was back in the office. Even if you have onsite technology folks, they need the specific RAM for the machine. Apple offers Business Consultants who provide additional customer support.

James Finn
Title: Consultant: Finance, Internal Control, ..
Company: Finn Consulting
( Consultant: Finance, Internal Control, IT Systems, and Compliance, Finn Consulting ) |

I have been consulting in IT and Financial Systems for over 25 years, and prefer Mac's - period. ...

You can run just about any application on either system, but I have virtual Windows 7 and XP running within my Lion OSX for use where I find some of the features easier to use. The Mac system is more stabile, less problematic (almost invisible), and has an architecture that prevents most viruses from ever being noticed as well as application downloading sandboxing security and web stealth features that make it significantly less susceptable to malware. Just don't run anything you didn't ask for. The Windows OS is running inside the Mac OSX security envelope.

BOTTOM LINE - "Macs just work".

James J Finn
Project Management and Security Consulting

Topic Expert
Donald Koscheka
Title: Principal
Company: Bluecloud Communications
(Principal, Bluecloud Communications) |

We're also a start up that does software development. At first, I thought we needed PC's since we do Windows based development. I have since learned that developers actuall PREFER Macs for running windows - and they can do all their development on the Mac. I give my people a choice of what computer people want - the majority prefer the Mac so that seems to be the way we're heading. Per the other posters - almost anything else you need to do, you can do just as effectively on the Mac or PC.

One of my frustations with the PC is how long it takes to boot - and getting it to work with an external monitor/projector - this always seems to go wrong at the worst possible time - just when you're getting ready to make that big presentation. My PC can take up to 5 minutes to start up which means my computer has eaten into 5 minutes of what is usually a 60 minute presentation - very embarrassing.

Scott Cadora
Title: Vice President
Company: Pinnacle Business Solutions, Inc.
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President, Pinnacle Business Solutions, Inc.) |

We moved from PC's to Mac's several years ago and have never regretted it. Our IT problems dropped dramatically. We've had to upgrade memory a few times but it's quick and easy to pop in new RAM chips. We run MS Office seamlessly so there are no compatibility issues with clients. And Macs are much easier to use than PC's.

The only downside is that there are a small number of statistical analysis and forecasting programs that are not available on Macs. But we've found a workaround for most of these and the new apps coming online give us new tools to use instead.

Matt Schnelle
Title: Director of Business Development
Company: Wava Media
(Director of Business Development, Wava Media) |

This mainly depends on your technology budget. It is best to be able to adapt and have both. You can run Windows OS on your Mac simultaneously. If you have a low budget, go with a Windows operating machine. Otherwise stick with Mac. So far we have not had any issues having both OS in our office.

Jeff Langston
Title: CFO
Company: Baxter Franchise Group
(CFO, Baxter Franchise Group) |

Our consultants are on constant travel, so we have provided them with Macs because we cannot afford hiccups. A little expensive up front but worth the investment. We have saved money by not having a full-time internal IT dept. Also there are fewer issues (viruses, compatibility etc). And when we need support, the Apple store is 11 miles away for immediate service. Cannot beat that!

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