Vista vs. Apple

I was startled when I looked at the news stands this morning: this month’s PC Pro magazine features a cover story entitled Vista vs. Apple:

There’s never been a better time to switch to an Apple Mac, yet Microsoft’s Vista promises an exciting Windows-based future. PC Pro dissects the two operating systems to reveal which will be the next dominant OS.

Setting aside the fact that we know which of the two systems will be dominant in the marketplace, I was still somewhat stunned to see this kind of “journalism” in an IT periodical. Windows Vista is still a beta release. OS X Tiger was released nearly a year ago. Is this not just crazy? What is more, PC Pro seem to come out on the side of Vista in terms of it being the better operating system, so they’re obviously smoking crack :-D.

I can’t see how such a piece does anyone any favours, not least Microsoft: how can you seriously compare a beta product with something that’s been in production and refined with a number of major releases over the course of more than six years?

All this from a magazine that has the tag line “Computing in the real world”.


  1. What you say is true, but it's great to see Apple OS X being seen as "mainstream" competitor to Windows - rather than some quirky OS used by a few students and some graphic design nuts. And me :-)Brendon Upson#
  2. It's a bizarre month all round for PC Pro (witness Ed's recent posting about E12). Normally it's a good magazine offering some useful tips and tricks and their reviews are generally pretty accurate.

    I suppose it's in their interest to be pro MS, they aren't Apple Pro after all. But they do have a blind spot with all Apple commentary, the iPod doesn't make their "A List" of products and the MacBook Pro didn't get a good write up either. So I tend to just ignore any articles which put MS in competition with someone else (be it Apple or IBM) and just take the tips and tricks and other reviews into account.

    MattMatt White#
  3. I stopped subscribing to PC Pro about 10 years ago now, they were on crack then and I got burned buying one of their recommended PC's (anyone remember Northwood?). Not surprised to see things haven't changed…Andy Dempster#
  4. I used to work for a computer magazine here (Czech republic) and the situation should be same everywhere. Just try to count fullpage ads for MS stuff in PC Pro and compare that to number of fullpage ads for Apple products (if any). MS is literally feeding them - and they obviously do not want to bite the hand…Josef#
  5. Sorry, Josef, it doesn't work that simply. I've been a professional journalist for 15 years, as staffer and freelancer at publications ranging from InformationWeek to PC Magazine to (today:) DevSource">">DevSource and IT">">IT Business Network. The presence or absence of full-page (or any other size) ads truly doesn't change the editorial slant or even what topics the publication chooses to cover. I know it can visually seem that way since the ad is right across from the article, but isn't the case. In all the years I worked in print publications, I had no idea who was advertising… and I worked hard not to know, because I didn't want to be influenced by even that little knowledge.

    Can journalists be inflluenced by something other than their own technical judgement? Sure, the same way you can. I can enumerate a few special ways to attract us or turn us off (starting with Really Stupid or Really Awesome media relations). But advertising? That's not it.esther schindler#

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