Autumn is just round the corner and schoolkids, university and college students everywhere are dreading having to detach themselves from the comfortable life of luxury that is the summer break. Quite a few of them are also carefully weaving arguments supporting the vital need for their parents to buy them a shiny new computer to prevent them from failing everything and entering rehab or jail before they’re twenty years old, bringing shame on their family because their stupid Mum and Dad wouldn’t fork out a few hundred for a bit of consumer electronics.

With this surge in demand on the horizon Microsoft have launched ’Deciding between a PC and a Mac?’, a microsite which outlines why you should choose a Windows-compatible machine. I used to be a staunch PC lover myself but for none of the reasons listed here. The truth is that the great thing about PCs is the flexibility to hack, crack, customise, bastardise and generally experiment with them, as well as the cheapness and availability of components. The reasons Microsoft list here are, well, bollocks. They are:

Having Fun

Apparently PCs are great for ’enjoy[ing] movies, games, and HDTV’. Sure, as long as you’ve customised it enough to comfortably handle HD video and decent 3D graphics without jerking like a nervous dog having a bad dream.

Simplicity

Intuitive, familiar, and easy to use, PCs do what you want: they just work.’ Actually, massive respect to whoever wrote that, that took balls to not only lift an old Mac marketing line but boldly boast about the PC’s biggest flaw.

Working Hard

Yeah. LOL.

Sharing

They don’t really define what this actually means, but what piece of digital marketing these days is complete without the ’S’-word?

Compatibility

OK, you got me, PCs are compatible with absolutely everything. But that’s because when you have such a monopoly on software, hardware manufacturers have no choice but to build compatibility with your platform. I’m fairly sure they’d prefer building for predictable and stable environments only. And anyway, everyone has the sense to build in Mac compatibility nowadays, it’s not the closed shop it once was.

Choice

‘Pick a color you love. Midnight blue, espresso, or pink?’. OMFG, Microsoft you came out and presented the six earth-shattering reasons why PCs rule, and one of those reasons is that you can have one in any colour. Seriously? Of all the 101 reasons you brainstormed in that meeting (you presumably had) the big six that you picked out, that you’re absolutely convinced will win people over… include the ability to choose the colour of the brittle plastic shell that surrounds the computer? Wow, make mine brown.

Really Microsoft, just be downright honest and say “yeah, they’re a bit shit, but hell they’re cheap to buy or fix, durable(ish), run any old piece of software (legal or otherwise), less likely to get stolen and great if your student offspring is geeky enough to start taking it apart and messing with it”. That’s why I loved PCs anyway.


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