It’s Mac, Wintel and Chromebook vs PC. Trying to kill it for many years and close to succeeding.


I find it hard to believe that, outside of work computers, many people would be choosing Windows over Mac or Linux, especially is AI is their goal.

I’m sorry, why? Microsoft basically owns OpenAI and has begun integrating it into their products. Apple doesn’t have any AI capabilities beyond Siri.


They only announced replacing siri with an ai alternative about a month ago. The lack of copilot features is making osx the obvious winner now. Incompetence is making apple the good guy for a short period.


I have a 3 year old MacBook that runs my local LLM and Image Generator. I read this article from the perspective that the new PC chips would be for people who want to run their AI locally, but I suppose you’re right, Microsoft is going to push their Copilot as hard as possible.


I find it really frustrating to not have a touchscreen on a laptop (e.g. scrolling and zooming Google maps).

I don’t understand what I’m getting for the price difference compared to a similar windows laptop.

I don’t like how the Ctrl/Fn/Alt/Cmd keys are used, but that’s just because I’m used to Windows. (Remapping then doesn’t help because commands are divided differently been those modifiers).

I do like that it has a native bash shell instead of having WSL with its separate filesystem. But I doubt that that is a common reason people choose macs.

Semi_Hemi_Demigod, avatar

There is pinch to zoom and multitouch gestures on the trackpad, which I consider a lot more convenient than a touchscreen since my hand is already there.

I haven’t actually bought a Mac in a long time since I get them from my job, but the Windows laptops I’ve used and seen don’t have the build quality, and having a big network of retail stores is a nice insurance policy. And if I was going to buy a Mac I’d buy refurbished anyway.

I’ve been a Mac user since the late 80s so I have the opposite problem with keyboard commands on Windows and Linux that you do.

Most of the people I’ve seen who use Macs - mainly developers working with Linux servers - do use it because it has a shell. (Though Apple switched to zsh not too long ago.)


This story is exclusively for subscribers of Notepad, our newsletter uncovering Microsoft’s era-defining bets in AI, gaming, and computing.

It’s worse than a paid ad. It’s an ad. You have to pay to see.

Gsus4, avatar

By Betteridge’s law of headlines: no. Also: this is an ad.


I've never used a Mac but my experience with iPhones and iPads (not mine) has convinced me to never touch anything Apple makes. The requirement of iTunes to send files between an iPhone and a PC is, for example, just ridiculous.


Just got a Mac last week, and was able to set up file sharing with my PC in less than 5 minutes last night. In fact, it was way easier than getting the sharing working with my Surface, which refuses to acknowledge my desktop's existence.

I don't generally encourage buying a Mac, I'm not at all convinced it's worth the price premium. I'm only commenting insofar as I have context.

boolean avatar

that hasn’t been the case for years though you do need some apple software to make it work. Or you can use Files and connect to Windows over file sharing (smb).

They could probably make it easier, but then they’d have a harder time selling you up to a Mac.

ppb1701, avatar

You can also use Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, iCloud, etc to send files back and forth.

TimeSquirrel avatar

Apple IIgs was alright. That thing and Oregon Trail is embedded into the culture of every American 80s/90s kid. Jobs: era I was a lot different than Jobs: era II.


Linux is not quite normie stream ready but boy is it getting close.


Isn’t it? I think it’s quite there, unless you get unlucky with hardware.


There are some little things / low hanging fruit that I personally find very annoying, and don’t know why they haven’t addressed yet. Average users coming from Mac or Windows notice these things easily and will immediately write off Linux as being janky when they run into them. Most Linux users I see are fairly apologetic about the rough edges since 1. they know how to figure out how to fix them, and 2. believe in the principles of FOSS.

rikudou, (edited )

Well, I was comparing to my experience with both Windows and MacOS or whatever is the thing called.

Windows PC gets slow and laggy after around half a year, it goes slowly so you don’t notice at first, but around half a year later it’s shitty. No matter the hardware. Sure, your $2k laptop won’t be as slow as a random $300 laptop, but the ratio of new/half-a-year-later is more or less the same.

With Macs I have limited experience, but my partner’s Mac was shitting itself all the time, weird issues with login screen being stuck and needing hard reboot, the thing generally being laggy when you try to do more than two things (neither of which necessarily needs to be a demanding task), Finder is pretty much an abomination that no one really knows how to use well and so on.

Sure, Linux is fucked up all the time as well, but my point is it’s not worse than the other two systems, both are broken all the time as well. And the argument that you need terminal to work - have you actually fixed any problem on Windows? Unless a reboot of the system or of some service solves the problem, within 10 minutes you’re either running PowerShell or you’re deep in the registry.

Well, at least Windows seems to be a problem that’s solving itself (albeit very slowly) with how shitty it’s become.

BearOfaTime, (edited )

I’ve never had a Windows pc get slow after 6 months… Unless I’ve beat the snot out of it as I just don’t care. But I’m an Admin, user boxes don’t usually have such an issue. I have a 10 year old Windows 7 box that’s as fast as it was 10 years ago.

But… If you install/uninstall a lot of stuff, over time that can cause issues (because Uninstallers are notoriously lazily compiled - I say this as an app packager of 20+ years.)

I used to say Windows Reg cleaners are snake oil, but on some systems it can really help with the uninstall issue - lots of crap, especially stuff related to context menus, can really slow it down. The only one I’ve ever recommended is Crap Cleaner - I’ve seen it revive a test machine that had gotten slow from a billion installs/uninstalls, testing lots of iffy software, etc.

BearOfaTime, (edited )

Not even close.

Though it’s really impressive how much it’s improved over the years.

I keep having to say this, as much as I like Linux for certain things, as a desktop it’s still no competition to Windows, even with this awful shit going on.

As some background - I had my first UNIX class in about 1990. I wrote my first Fortran program on a Sperry Rand Univac (punched cards) in about 1985. Cobol was immediately after Fortran (wish I’d stuck with Cobol).

I run a Mint laptop. Power management is a joke. Configured as best as possible, walked in the other day and it was dead - as in battery at zero, won’t even boot. Windows would never do this, unless you went out of your way to config power management to kill the battery (even then, to really kill it you have to boot to BIOS and let it sit, Windows will not let a battery get to zero).

There no way even possible via the GUI to config power management for things like low/critical battery conditions /actions.

There are many reasons why Linux doesn’t compete with Windows on the desktop - this is just one glaring one.

Now let’s look at Office. Open an Excel spreadsheet with tables in any app other than excel. Tables are something that’s just a given in excel, takes 10 seconds to setup, and you get automatic sorting and filtering, with near-zero effort. No, I’m not setting up a DB in an open-source competitor to Access. That’s just too much effort for simple sorting and filtering tasks, and isn’t realistically shareable with other people.

Now there’s that print monitor that’s on by default, and can only be shut up by using a command line. Wtf? In the 21st century?

Networking… Yea, samba works, but how do you clear creds you used one time to connect to a share, even though you didn’t say “save creds”? Oh, yea, command line again or go download an app to clear them for for you. Smh.

Someone else said it better than me:

Every time I’ve installed Linux as my main OS (many, many times since I was younger), it gets to an eventual point where every single thing I want to do requires googling around to figure out problems. While it’s gotten much better, I always ended up reinstalling Windows or using my work Mac. Like one day I turn it on and the monitor doesn’t look right. So I installed twenty things, run some arbitrary collection of commands, and it works… only it doesn’t save my preferences.

So then I need to dig into .bashrc or .bash_profile (is bashrc even running? Hey let me investigate that first for 45 minutes) and get the command to run automatically… but that doesn’t work, so now I can’t boot… so I have to research (on my phone now, since the machine deathscreens me once the OS tries to load) how to fix that… then I am writing config lines for my specific monitor so it can access the native resolution… wait, does the config delimit by spaces, or by tabs?? anyway, it’s been four hours, it’s 3:00am and I’m like Bryan Cranston in that clip from Malcolm in the Middle where he has a car engine up in the air all because he tried to change a lightbulb.

And then I get a new monitor, and it happens all damn over again. Oh shit, I got a new mouse too, and the drivers aren’t supported - great! I finally made it to Friday night and now that I have 12 minutes away from my insane 16 month old, I can’t wait to search for some drivers so I can get the cursor acceleration disabled. Or enabled. Or configured? What was I even trying to do again? What led me to this?

I just can’t do it anymore. People who understand it more than I will downvote and call me an idiot, but you can all kiss my ass because I refuse to do the computing equivalent of building a radio out of coconuts on a deserted island of ancient Linux forum posts because I want to have Spotify open on startup EVERY time and not just one time. I have tried to get into Linux as a main dev environment since 1997 and I’ve loved/liked/loathed it, in that order, every single time.

I respect the shit out of the many people who are far, far smarter than me who a) built this stuff, and 2) spend their free time making Windows/Mac stuff work on a Linux environment, but the part of me who liked to experiment with Linux has been shot and killed and left to rot in a ditch along the interstate.

Now I love Linux for my services: Proxmox, UnRAID, TrueNAS, containers for Syncthing, PiHole, Owncloud/NextCloud, CasaOS/Yuno, etc, etc. I even run a few Windows VM’s on Linux (Proxmox) because that’s better than running Linux VM’s of a Windows server.

Linux is brilliant for this stuff. Just not brilliant for a desktop, let alone in a business environment.

Linux doesn’t even use a common shell (which is a good thing in it’s own way), and that’s a massive barrier for users.

If it were 40 years ago, maybe Linux would’ve had a chance to beat MS, even then it would’ve required settling on a single GUI (which is arguably half of why Windows became a standard, the other half being a common API), a common build (so the same tools/utilities are always available), and a commitment to put usability for the inexperienced user first.

These are what MS did in the 1980’s to make Windows attractive to the 3 groups who contend with desktops: developers, business management, end users.

All this without considering the systems management requirements of even an SMB with perhaps a dozen users (let alone an enterprise with tens of thousands).

atocci avatar

I still can't connect my 360hz monitor and 165hz monitor and get HDR at the same time in Linux. Only two of these things work at once. Hoping the eventual new Nvidia drivers fix that, but otherwise I'm out of ideas.

snownyte avatar

Ubuntu and it's spin-offs are really are as close as we're ever going to get to a full, user-friendly Linux OS. At least one that isn't going to scare off as many people.

It's just when you tell people the part where you have to keep track of some of the software that they use through the terminal, that's when you start seeing them trickle off back to Windows.

Because the average user doesn't have the patience, time or know-how to utilize commands in a terminal. If you plopped them down during the era where DOS was prominent, they'd be so lost and be begging for a UI to handle everything.


Ubuntu and it’s spin-offs are really are as close as we’re ever going to get to a full, user-friendly Linux OS

Why do you think it will not progress much from now on?

You don’t need to use the terminal for Linux at all now AFAIK. Ubuntu / GNOME already has a nice software store as a UI.

There are some rough edges I really don’t understand why they haven’t addressed yet that seem like very low hanging fruit, but overall IMO it’s very close to being there.

snownyte avatar

I've never mentioned the software store.

And not every single piece of software is on it.

And yes you'll still need to use the terminal for more than just updating and installing software. Kinda routes back to my problem in regards to transitioning from one OS to another.


What do you need the terminal for?

snownyte avatar

Is that a serious question? Piss off.

jordanlund, avatar

Windows beats Mac on price.
Windows beats Linux on compatability.

Really all there is to it.

If you want to spend 3x the money, get a Mac.

If you’re comfortable dealing with software incompatibility, install Linux.


unless you work with foss software then linux tends to work better

Artyom, (edited )

Unless your laptop isn’t brand new, at which point Linux absolutely beats Windows on compatibility.

jordanlund, avatar

Or, you know, want to visit a website:…/solved-some-websites-not-loading-in-l…


… Thats someone having a problem with being given an incorrect certificate for a website because their ISP was blocking the website they were trying to access. Even though its on a linux support forum its neither a linux nor firefox issue.

jordanlund, avatar

Worked under Windows, not an ISP problem.

These are the sorts of things you have to accept as a Linux user and figure out workarounds.

It happens all the time with job search sites and government sites. Happens to Safari users on Mac as well.

Womble, (edited )

If you read the thread they were using google dns to get around ISP blocks. They had set it up for ethernet but not for wifi (i presume they had already set it up fpr windows). Not using the service you want but havent set up is not an OS problem.

Zerlyna, avatar

My MacBook Air is 9 years old and still running strong. I’ve more than gotten my moneys worth out of it.


Unfortunately this is mostly true…

HubertManne avatar

I loved macs back when it was more maximalist design and its service was beyond reproach. anyone buying a pc might be installing linux on it. not that many vendors specific to linux.


What does maximalist design mean in the mac world ? Is this regarding UI and/or industrial design ? I was teaching design back when we were transitioning from OS9 to OSx early or mid 2000s I guess . We had to switch between them for a good couple years I think as various packages became available or affordable on osx. Never owned one in the early days but study and work from mid 90s onward was generally on them. I can’t relate to them ever being maximalist really but I guess they gradually did get more minimalist very gradually as far as UI. Throughout this time I was almost always using windows at home so my super basic summary of 90s, 2000s mac vs pc argument would be that the mac rarely interefered with workflow in the sense that win98,2000,xp etc were requiring a large percent of maintenance time. To me thats the minimalism mac were always about and for me still holds to a degree - though far more retail/consumer and far less industry/pro focussed despite FCP, Logic, and fast apple silicone etc.

Dont necessarily disagree though, just curious what it means. Now also using kubuntu or similar around 9 years (I’m jumping between 3 OSs these days) it often feels like the os9 days as far as community vibe and support - smooth and low stress though the ui approach is sometimes an afterthought rather than the end goal perhaps. Completely capable though. Mac feels more consumer and indeed less concerned with service feeling direct or individualised . So agree with you there. Maximalist service, or is it minimalist :)

HubertManne avatar

Im talking about the time when mac enthusiasts would brag about how many more ports a macbook had over a windows laptop. I use the term just because when they went minimalist design coincided when the apple store started acutally said they would not deal with something which was the cable losing their casing which did end up being a design issue so they handled it later but previous to that they would never not do something unless it was obvious you took a hammer to it or something. my last mac was the macbook pro erra with the dvd-i port.


For me, my cad software was always windows specific. I think they have Linux versions now though.

Gaming is the other reason.

Gormadt, avatar

At his point for me it’s only CAD and Lightroom that keeps a Windows install in my machine

All the games I like run fine on Linux nowadays

tal, (edited ) avatar

I haven’t used Lightroom or this, but there’s apparently an open-source software package named Darktable that’s similar.

baronvonj, avatar

F’ing Lightroom, man.


I think (although I’ve never tried to verify) Steam is making progress to make most games playable on Linux.

snownyte avatar

There is that nvidia open source thing that recently happened. Still think that's going to break down some doors that Linux gamers have long wanted to see. Like to be able to run their Linux OSes with drivers to their GPUs from Nvidia and play games that way.


Gaming is no longer a reason, really. 99% of the time it works out of the box.


Apple hardware is overpriced and they go out of their way to make it unrepairable.


This is the reason I will never buy an apple device and go out of my way to (try and) convince people in my circle not to buy apple devices.

humancrayon, avatar

The ONLY reason I have a Mac for work is the Adobe suite. As a designer, there is no substitute (GIMP and Inkscape are nice, but they don’t replace Photoshop and Illustrator plus whatever else you get with the sub).

All my home stuff has been swapped over to Linux years ago. If Adobe ever decided to make a native Linux cc suite, I’d dump apple too, but there we are.


pirated photoshop works well on linux


The Adobe ecosystem is finally starting to bother me enough to bounce. But I’ve worked with these programs for 30 years, so moving to Davinci and Krita is going to be a thing. And afaik, there’s no real replacement for After Effects.

humancrayon, avatar

I am debating the jump to affinity for my department. Weighing the pros and cons now. I use it at home for personal stuff, and it’s fantastic. It still doesn’t get me onto Linux, but at least it’s not Adobe.


Interesting! Never heard of Affinity, so that’s an alternative to InDesign/Illustrator it looks like? I ditched Windows for Linux (Mint at the moment) this year, but I honestly haven’t even sat at that computer in six months, so…

humancrayon, avatar

Yeah, an alternative made by the company Serif. No subscriptions, buy it and use it. Replacements for Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. I keep waiting for them to make an Acrobat alternative so I don’t need to source it from somewhere else (and the rest of the company can pickup the product and use it for commenting and proofing).

snownyte avatar

The only apple things I've ever owned was an IPod. And I never paid full price for that shit.

BorgDrone, (edited )

You are confusing ‘costs a lot of money’ with overpriced.

Yes, Apple hardware costs a lot of money, but you do get what you pay for.

My current MacBook Pro (M1 Max, 64GB RAM) is simply the best machine I’ve ever used. It’s a no-compromise laptop. It’s fast, chews through everything I throw at it (which is a lot, I use it as a development machine). It never slow down, it never gets hot, I haven’t heard the fan run ever (not sure if it is just that silent or it simply never needs to turn on). The screen is amazing. The trackpad is amazing. The sound is amazing. The build quality is rock solid. The battery life is insane. I plug in a single thunderbolt cable and it charges my machine, connects to gbit ethernet, my audio system and drives 2 high-res monitors (5k2k and 4k).

Every time PC people claim they can get a ‘better computer’ for less it’s always some compromise. “This one has a much faster GPU and is cheaper”, sure, it also weights 8 kilos and runs for 20 minute on a full charge, is made of cheap plastic, has a screen with terrible viewing angles a crappy trackpad and sounds like a fighter jet with full afterburners on every time you put a little load on the system.

DriftinGrifter, (edited )

i think they aren’t the price to performance ratio is laughable and their software is a bunch of garbage plastered on top of bsd an Os they didn’t even create


Name 1 laptop that has a better price/performance than a MacBook Pro. I’ll wait…

DriftinGrifter, (edited )

my thinkpad??? it runs all day does any workloads I chuck at it, has upgradable ram and storage and cost me 80€


Good joke.


Im not kidding though. It’s a t470p if you wanna buy one. Im sure youll be able to find one and still have some cash left if you sell your mac. =^}


And how do you consider that a comparable machine? Slow/hot Intel CPU, slow GPU, low-res screen, the ‘upgradable’ RAM can only be upgraded to 32GB (so pretty much useless), slow SSD, weighs more than a MacBook even with the smallest battery option, despite the fact it’s made of plastic. No thunderbolt. It can’t even drive my monitor at 60Hz.

DriftinGrifter, (edited )

idk what you are on about but ill ask you to point to an apple device which contains this level of functionality(which btw idk what you are on about this is more than a usable machine)on the apple store apple seems to delusionally think even a little wrist band is worth more tho so idk what you’ll find…/45mm-pride-edition-braided-solo-loop-…


A ‘more than usable’ machine that doesn’t even support more than 32GB RAM? That’s not a serious machine, that’s a toy.


ok now i know you are just trolling

TinklesMcPoo, (edited )

Every time I hear the argument you get what you pay for with apple, I’m curious if this fucking thing does your taxes and makes you coffee too.


Simple economies of scale. They are expensive to produce because they don’t make a lot of them. The intended audience for the monitor it goes with doesn’t need a stand, and that monitor is a niche product to begin with. Neither is meant for the consumer market to begin with and the monitor, even with stand, is cheaper than many of the alternatives.


this has got to be a troll post


Lmao apple is the same company that points their heat sink fans at the glue that holds the entire MacBook together. Do some deep dives on their hardware. You only get what you pay for if you pay for the logo, which is the case for most Apple users.

I’ve had Mac, I’ve had Windows, and I still prefer present day enshittified fucking Microsoft. Apple only “pays off” if you utilize their entire connectivity suite which, spoiler alert, is just as bad an idea as Google-ifying your entire life except it’s also more expensive. MacBook + iPhone + Apple Music + Apple Video + iCloud is the ecosystem they want you to live in, and they put in a ton of effort to make that the only viable option if you use their products. Everything is proprietary, and they control the prices. You think that laptop charger on their site is worth $100? It is to you, because you need it to charge your shit and theyre the only ones who sell them. Any other machine would have the same hardware for $20-$50. People who buy Apple products are a) power users whose idea of computer capabilities is about 15 years old and b) people who buy Apple because everyone else has them. Better products exist. If you think your manufacturer of choice is the objective best at everything it does, you need to stop drinking the Flavor-Aid. I don’t care what manufacturer, but Apple is the worst offender by far of this.

Cut the umbilical cord. Free yourself.




If you look at the price for a Mac versus a Windows computer, I think it’s pretty obvious why people might choose a Windows device. For Linux, you really have to know where to look to buy a laptop that is shipped or warrantied with Linux. People tend to buy Windows computers because that’s what’s advertised available, familiar and in their price bracket.

Disclaimer: my main laptop is Mac. I have a secondary one running Linux and although I have a work laptop running Windows, that wasn’t my choice and I don’t have Windows on any personal devices.

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