StableyTimes blogger Greg Bussmann recently bought his daughter a PC laptop for high school high school based on price and features, but says, after the latest round of hours spent cleaning, pruning, and otherwise tuning up the machine, a regular chore necessary to simply keep the machine in working order, he was ready to throw it out the window.
The problem, he says, as with all other PCs, is crapware – the gateway drug to Malware – pieces of software you neither need nor want that are installed on your PC for you. (Six month trials, free downloads, alternative search engines, etc.) that the manufacturer loads onto your PC before you even buy it.
The problem is insidious, and it’s not going away because as PC manufacturers will tell you, consumer desire for affordable computers necessity this subsidy. And with markets worsening as the post-PC era advances, it’s likely to only get worse as margins continue to get squeezed.
Happily, Mac users don’t have to struggle with this because Apple simply doesn’t load any crapware on new Macs, nor do they permit software developers to bundle it with their programs when you download them. That’s one of several reasons why Macs cost more, but I agree with Bussman that if you take the price of a bargain PC, add in the hours you will spend keeping it in working order, plus compared with a Mac’s typically longer service life and actuarial lower likelihood of requiring repairs, you will actually come out way ahead in total ownership cost (TOC) by buying a Mac, with the bonus that the user experience will be superior in every way.
And that’s why so many of us are happily willing to pay the so-called “Apple Tax” price premium in order to use Macs. It’s not fanboi-ism or a Steve Jobs personality cult. It’s pure self-interest and we likely save money (time is money) in the bargain. Like the aphorism notes: “you can pay me now, or you’ll be paying me later.”
You can read Greg Bussman’s commentary here: