Mac vs PC. iOS vs Android. Automatic Transmission vs. Manual Transmission.
Since the dawn of technology, the platform wars have raged. The decision to use one system over another has somehow become suggestive of the character of a person. If you’re a Mac user, you’re suddenly labelled an “Apple sheep”. If you’re a diehard Windows person, then you’re associated with someone who does “real computing”, is “uncreative”, and a “numbers person.”
These labels serve no purpose other than to perpetuate a divide within technological circles, oft exploited by marketing teams to propagate one platform over another. They’ve been used to attack not just the flaws of a platform, but the people using these tools. Most frustratingly, they obscure the fact that no matter the characteristics of a particular platform, technology today has become so advanced that it is sometimes indeed indistinguishable from magic.
Here’s the thing: technological progress has been so dramatic over the past few years that it really doesn’t matter what platform you use. Especially in creative fields like design, cinema and photography: most applications are cross-platform, and the platforms themselves proffer enticing options no matter whether you’re macOS or Windows.
I grew up on Windows, and have programmed some significant (well, significant for me) projects. My prefered platform for the past 8 years has been macOS. I have very personal reasons – as many people do regarding their tools of choice to get the job done or to unwind with. These range from certain intricacies with macOS: the way applications are managed, the overall user interface, window management, the robust industrial design of Mac hardware, a trackpad that has yet to let me down and means I don’t have to always rely on an external mouse to get most design-related tasks done (and that even augments my mouse when designing on macOS). There’s also the comfort factor: I’ve grown very used to the Mac way of doing things. The list goes on, but it is indeed very specific to my own use case. The beauty is that I’ve been able to install the “best of both worlds” on my MacBook: I can experience the things I love about macOS like the Finder and the Alfred search extension, whilst simultaneously using Visual Studio on a Windows installation through VMWare to develop Windows desktop apps critical to the operation of SKKSA.
Look, we’re all entitled to our own opinions. And technology is as opinionated a field as you can get. Our lives are intricately entwined with the devices and platforms we use daily to live, to exist. So it makes sense that one becomes vehemently passionate about their platform of choice. But when that passion extends to bashing others for their choice of platform, especially without having a reasonable experience of said platform to base opinions upon, then it becomes a serious problem. In fact, it may say more about that person than their attacks and scorn of their target’s platform and by extension, the character attack associated with the choice of platform. If anything, it represents a juvenile, immature mindset; a rather closed, small-minded viewpoint of the vastness that is modern technology.
We should be excited and grateful that we have choice. More than one platform means that the developers of these tools are constantly competing to make their product better. This only benefits us, the end users.
Platform wars are a waste of time because they detract us from the beauty that is our modern, advanced systems. They detract us from actually focussing on collaborating, on creating and on using our incredible tools to help make the world a little bit better.
2 thoughts on “Platform Wars are a Waste of Time”
I felt this way most acutely when I first left Windows to get on board Mac OS X, and now that Apple has begun to neglect the macOS environment I find myself back in that same situation.
Hopping between Windows and macOS – or iOS and Android – is a frustrating experience and one (as a reviewer) I’m put through way more than I’d like. The mess of online accounts I have and resources I need to maintain is a huge factor in how I perceive the web, and I agree with you that having to compartmentalize is a calamity in itself, especially for tech-savvy professionals.
While I recognize that it is a platform in itself, I particularly like the approach Microsoft has in diminishing the barriers between its own devices with Windows Everywhere; namely on the Xbox, Windows Holographic, Windows Phone and more.
I hope in future that other platforms expand their reach similarly so that by becoming more encompassing, the stress of switching is diminished.
Nice post buddy!
Thanks! Yes I agree. Apple is sorely lagging behind, and I think it’s partly to do with the way they’re structured (operating like a startup). But more than that, it’s the executive focus on products that can make easy money. I’m hoping that APFS, the new file system, will see the light in 2017’s macOS update, and will serve as a solid platform for building a better, next-gen OS that will breathe new life into the Mac.