We're all casualties in the OS war

My MacBook/Inspiron price comparison is without a doubt the high water mark for traffic on this site. Daily traffic continues to be much higher than it was before the incident, but the log analyzers tell me I'm getting between 600 and 1,500 unique visitors a day (which completely blows my mind). At the height of the insanity surrounding that post I was getting almost 4,000 visitors an hour. Hats off to the 1 GHz Power Mac G4 that hosts this server!

It all started with Intel Macs. Several of my posts were getting linked from various Mac sites and my traffic tripled in pretty short order. One of these visitors told me I should submit my story to digg. I did, and a avalanche soon followed. I guess it was the right story at the right time because about 12 hours later my post was on the digg homepage. Reading the comments on various sites and the emails sent to me from people, it became clear that the Mac OS vs. Windows "war" is just as hot as ever.

In the interest of full disclosure, I make my living running a large-ish Mac network. I've worked in the Apple sales/service channel. I've even manned the Apple booth at MacWorld Expo. At the same time, I'm also an MCSE. I own PCs I use mainly for gaming. I have an Xbox 360 as well.

I like Apple and I don't hate Microsoft.

The amazing thing is I found myself characterized as a Mac "fanboy" and a "Micro$oft drone." I authored a post that examined as best as I could the price difference between the closest hardware configuration of a Mac and a PC. I never claimed to be infallible, or even a journalist. I had no hidden agenda. I didn't care who "won." The extremists in terms of OS affiliation on both sides had an extreme emotional reaction to what I wrote.

An extreme emotional reaction to a price comparison. If I'd broken down the ingredients between two name brand hamburgers and then compared the cost I don't think many people would have had such a strong reaction. If 'd compared to brands of hammers, the discourse may have been pleasant.

Don't get me wrong. Level-headed people did email me and post comments, but their contribution was difficult to hear over the weeping and screaming of the fanatics.

So, let me share the following with the "hardcore" users out there:

  • Your favorite Operating System is not perfect. It may be best for your needs, but it will not suit everyone.
  • It's not wrong to use a Mac.
  • It's not wrong to use Windows.
  • It's not wrong to use Linux, or Solaris, or any other OS out there.
  • Every OS out there is best at something.
  • Every OS out there is worst at something.
  • If you like to be frugal in your platform choices you are not cheap.
  • If you are willing to spend money for what you perceive to be a better product, you are not an idiot.
  • No one is right all the time.
  • Blind platform zealots hurt their chosen platform.
  • Informed, reasonable users benefit all platforms.
Don't get me wrong. My feelings aren't hurt over any of these diatribes. I feel no need to defend anything that I wrote, but if one angry kid out there reads this and questions his need to strike out at anyone with a different opinion, the bandwidth bills will be well spent.

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