Increasingly I think the Mac vs PC debate ought to be lumped with other debates that aren’t going to get anywhere – Which Religion Is Best, Creationism, Global Warming Is A Sham, The Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Who Was the Best Tennis/Golf/Tiddlywinks Player of All Time If You Do/Don’t Allow Them To Use Modern Equipment.
Mac vs. PC has to be one of the most pointless arguments of all. But what really, really never ceases to amaze me is the number of users – largely on the Apple side – who simply refuse to believe that anything about the opposite platform is any good at all.
Take, for example, yesterday’s post about the occasional usefulness of subscription music services: several of the comments made by Mac-focused readers simply parroted the "you don’t own your music" line, which completely ignored the point that both myself and David Card made – that subscription services are useful to get to know new music without wasting money.
In the comments, "Steve" made an excellent point about this:
When people say, "Forget iTunes pay per song service – I’m going to use Napster and have thousands of songs." what your typical Mac user hears is, "I’m going to support the service that you can’t use and will also put your store out of business!" Naturally, this is upsetting and evokes the typical Mac-user response . . . denial.
Perhaps the long years when Macs were an aside in computing terms, and Apple itself was largely irrelevent, have bred a kind of seige mentality amongst some of the more vocal Mac users: an "everything Apple does is perfect, everything everyone else does is rubbish" approach. You could see this, to a certain degree, in the aftermath of the recent announcement that the company would switch to Intel from PowerPC. Many Mac users had simply denied it was possible, denied it would ever happen no matter what the business case, and, when it did happen, denied that it could really be true that Apple would use ordinary, everyday Intel processors. There are still those around who believe Apple is going to use some unique-to-Apple variant of Itanium, rather than ordinary Pentiums and Pentium M’s.
The people who are talking subscription services into the ground are on the same kind of lines. There are strong rumours that Apple will, itself, launch a subscription option at some point. If this happens, will those same people suddenly change their minds about subscriptions, just as they’ve suddenly had to change their minds about Intel?