Fun_People Archive
18 Apr
The Ultimate Mac vs. Windows Challenge

Date: Thu, 18 Apr 96 19:35:40 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: The Ultimate Mac vs. Windows Challenge

Forwarded-by: D SS <>
From: Mark Nutini

The Ultimate Mac vs. Windows Challenge

On March 6th of this year, the Software Publishers Association (SPA) held
what they billed as "The Ultimate Mac vs. Windows Challenge." Here's how
the scenario played out. There was one Mac and one PC, both still in their
boxes.  Two teams of two people were given the assignment of opening their
respective boxes (this was actually quite easy for both teams to
accomplish), set up their computer (harder for one group, easier for the
other...guess which one) and then execute a series of real world tests and
tasks ('ll see) to discover which systems really "delivered" on

On the Mac side was Guy Kawasaki (from Apple) and his ten-year-old assistant
(who did the entire set up of the Mac-as well as the Real World tests-much
to the crowd's delight and amusement). On the PC side was Jim Louderback
(Windows Source magazine) and an adult assistant.

Here are the Real World tests each team was required to complete:
 1) Install and setup a brand new computer system
 2) Install an Iomega Zip Drive
 3) Install a modem
 4) Connect a printer
 5) Connect to the Internet or an online service
 6) Set up and successfully connect to a network
 7) Create a file, save it, & then make a shortcut to or alias of the file
 8) Uninstall an application

Here were the results (PC == PC with Windows, Mac == Macintosh system):

 Task 1: Install and setup a brand new computer system
PC:  2:30 (2 minutes, 30 seconds)
Mac: 3:30 (keep in mind that a 10 year old was doing this by himself)

 Task 2: Install an Iomega Zip Drive
PC:  3:50
Mac: 1:40 (nice recovery, wouldn't you say?)

 Task 3:Install a modem
PC:  2:45 (had to open the PC to install the modem)
Mac: 0:20 (plugged in the Global Village modem and voila)

 Task 4: Connect a printer
PC:  3:30 (proper drivers had to be installed to "see" the HP printer)
Mac: 3:45 (seems the young tester didn't realize that the Mac was not set
	   up for Ethernet from the factory...a simple control panel
	   selection was needed, then, ta da!)

 Task 5:Connect to the Internet or online service
PC:  6:50 (Jim Louderback was able to connect to the Internet using a local
	   Internet provider via Microsoft's Internet Browser. He had the
	   correct PPP, local access numbers, and passwords before
	   connecting to the Internet. Wonder how fast it would have been
	   without him having all those numbers already...)
Mac: 7:00 (Much of this time was simply waiting for America Online to
	   return with a local online access number. The actual setup of
	   the software took only a few minutes.)

 Task 6: Set up and successfully connect to a network
PC:  6:30 (again, the "proper driver" story. In this instance, it was almost
	   comical to watch)
Mac: 0:00 (Once your cable is connected to the printer, YOU'RE ALREADY

 Task 7: Create a file, save it, and then make a shortcut to or alias of
	the file
PC:  1:00
Mac: 0:15 (Not much to add about this...)

 Task 8: Uninstall an application
PC:  0:45
Mac: 0:45


On average the Macintosh came out way on top of the PC in these Real World
tests. The sheer number of drivers required on the PC side made for some
wonderful comic relief. The Mac is truly a Plug & Play system...The
PC...well... it's a little more like Plug & Pray.

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