A Windows and Apple logo on a blue background - Mac and PC

Some people treat the Mac and PC platforms as an either-or proposition, as if drawing battle lines in a holy war. But why not enjoy both? Let’s put aside the platform battles and embrace what’s good about being platform agnostic.

Get the Best of Both Worlds

Windows PCs and Macs each have their own strengths and weaknesses. If you own a Mac and a PC, you’ll find that their strengths complement each other. For example, Windows PCs are arguably best at gaming if only due to the large number of titles available for the platform. And Macs can run a few great creative apps you can’t get on a PC, such as Logic Pro for audio production.

With Mac and PC, you get to mix and match your computing experience. Some people may prefer to do programming in an IDE on a Windows PC but may also prefer using Mac apps such as Mail to manage their email or Photos to manage their digital photos. And that’s perfectly fine—if you use both platforms, you’ll have those options available to you.

Until recently, it was easy to run both the x86 version of Windows and macOS on a brand new Mac using Boot Camp or Parallels. Today, if you own an Apple Silicon Mac (which can be an eye-opening experience in terms of speed), it won’t run Intel Windows in Parallels, so you might need to rely on a physical Windows PC to run some apps.

Sure, not everyone can afford both a top-of-the-line Mac and PC, but if you have the opportunity to use both, or even switch between them in different settings, don’t miss out on the chance to broaden your horizons.

Keep on Top of the Latest Developments

If you want to keep up your skills with using computers, it’s a great idea to get a wide sampling of the latest desktop computer operating systems. As of February 2022, that means running Windows 11, macOS Monterey, and probably some form of Linux and Chrome OS on the side. That way, you’ll be ready for anything a computer-related the world can throw at you.

There’s no shame in wanting to learn as much as you can about how different platforms handle different situations. It will give you a competitive advantage in education and employment.

Tribal Platform Wars Are Counter-Productive

Tech competition is great: It makes computer platforms better. But you don’t have to pick a side in the platform wars. It’s OK to love different approaches to technology and draw positive things from experiences with many different products.

Tribalism is human nature. We want to stick together with our own kind, and we often tend to outcast those who don’t fit in. Some scholars theorize that this behavior helped early humans survive in a harsh world that was out to literally eat them. And yet working against that instinct has allowed us to build large civilizations and create great works across cultural barriers while working together.

In some ways, the Mac vs PC debate is an extension of that tribalism, and while we may want to fall back to “belonging to a group” behavior, we can also move beyond tribal divisions to everyone’s benefit. Your choice of PC or Mac doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else, and we shouldn’t take someone’s computer preferences personally.

Unlike oil and water, which seem mutually exclusive, Mac and PC actually complement each other very well, like peanut butter and jelly. Only when you combine them do you get a more complete look at how the computer industry works.

The same could be said of most tech platform wars. Microsoft or Sony? Android or iPhone? Epic or Steam? If you can afford to experiment with both sides, you may emerge a more well-rounded person. But even if you can’t, don’t be afraid to switch and try new things. Have fun out there!

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Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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