View Poll Results: Have web browsers and the plethora of stuff you can do with them killed the Mac vs PC vs Other debat

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  • Yes

    2 14.29%
  • No

    10 71.43%
  • I have no idea/neutral

    2 14.29%
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Thread: Web Browsers. Have they really conquored the world?

  1. #1

    Post Web Browsers. Have they really conquored the world?

    (The last of the question got chopped off, but I believe you can guess what it is.)

    I'll start by giving you this to see:


    It's a comic from XKCD asserting the antiquation of the Mac vs (Windows) PC vs INSERT_OS_HERE debate. Browsers, according to the illustration and accompanying text, are what matter, what we use most, and what we can use to do most, if not all, of our work on.

    I happen to agree with this assertion to an extent: most tasks involving word processing and other "office" activities can be done on a browser. It's like the old saying "There's an app for that," only it's web apps we speak of. Unfortunately, the validity of this "old saying" is questionable: not many good raster graphics or vector graphics (or solid CAD) apps are available online. The best game I've ever seen on a browser is Bastion (or Pong), but web technologies don't offer enough performance to support many of the mainstream games we play today. As well as the aforementioned, you are currently unable to do this.. unable to do that... etc. etc.

    Nevertheless, I still live most of my life on the web (typing this up on notepad.cc), and no matter which OS you use, your web browser is probably also your most versatile tool and most valuable source of information (lest you turn to books for that; don't worry, I still prefer reading print books to LCD tablets).

    Furthermore, with the maturation of both of the main proprietary platforms and great big steps in the world of Linux, it's much harder to go wrong when you have to choose an operating system, assuming you are a casual user who wants features, apps, and few headaches. (You can install an easy Linux distro by inserting a disk or pendrive and clicking a few times here and there.) With the exception of certain special software applications (for doing very specialized stuff, duh) that are only available for one OS, mainstream software is usually cross-platform (Adobe CS, many, many games, Flash (player), GTK stuff, stuff written in Java, C++, etc., even MS Office). These pieces of software are also very likely to be the apps you use that aren't web apps.

    So what I am asking is: what is your opinion on the operating system debate today? Are hardware and price good arguments for or against using a certain OS? Does (in)experience or app ecosystem play a part in reluctance to switching?

    And ultimately: has the OS debate essentially been crippled because of the proliferation of powerful web technologies packaged in neat, zippy web browsers?

    Answer one, answer all of my questions. It doesn't matter how many. There are also some GOOD questions not presented here. Go and ask them to yourself and respond with those, too!

  2. #2
    PaddedPuppy

    Default

    I think your point is proven by the fact that Chromebook sales are now doing really well, and everyone has stopped complaining about them. The Chromebook is all online and everything happens inside a Chrome browser window.

    At the same time, the choice of OS is still quite important to me. It does affect your choice of browser you can run, influences how well the browser will run, and the fact that not everything can be done through the web browser. In my eyes, the average computer needs a Windows PC and then a modern browser to get the most compatibility for software, and to get the best online experience.

    Is hardware and price a good argument for the choice of OS? To answer that one, I don't think the price itself has anything to do with it for most. I think it needs to be affordable, and represent good value for money. Buying a computer with Windows on is going to cost a bit more than one with Linux for example, but the majority still opt to buy something running that.

  3. #3

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    Mac still falls behind in the standalone gaming applications. Windows still falls behind in looking good at twice the price. Linux is still for the truly geeky. (And is better than the big two at running Adobe apps)

    It's all about what you're looking for in a computer. Want good looks and good-enough speeds to run most applications? Mac has you covered. Don't care what it looks like, so long as it has insane power with room to become a frankencomp? PC is still the easier option. Want to be that weird guy who makes everyone else stop discussing techy stuff (Or randomly run computers like the Raspberry Pi)? Linux has what you seek.
    Last edited by Eulogy; 23-Jul-2013 at 09:13. Reason: Grammatical dysfunction.

  4. #4

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    I am an avid mac user -have been for a long time.

    And although I have voted for "YES" - and do a LOT of things through a web-browser (including most of my wordprocessing, office stuff, etc). I still prefer how the mac's OS-X handles stuff.

    it's simple things like the file handling (finder vs. explorer), working across networks, terminal stuff, hardware integration,...
    then it's more complex matters such as that in all the years I've used macs I never had to deal with a single bit of a virus, malware, spyware, etc... where on my windows machine (have to have one for a specific & expensive (10k$, so not easily replaced) program at work, unfortunately) I basically have to bother with all that once in a while, and make sure my virus scanner works overtime, etc.
    Same goes for speed after some month of use: the mac still runs as fluent and fast as on the day I installed the os on it for the first time... where windows needs a lot of maintance to do the same.

    So in most basic application needs (office stuff / communications) it doesn't really matter anymore, especially with cross platform browsers such as chrome, firefox, etc...
    But in terms of general handling, to me there's still a vast difference between macs and pcs.

    (addendum: yes I know that there's stuff like Virtual Computing, where I could run Windows on either a Mac or Linux System through a VM layer)... but that comes with some serious performance issues on 65 bit software that's mostly happy if it can use most of my 16GB of Ram and most of the 2GB OpenGL CAD graphics card)....

    On the other hand, wouldn't it be for some very specific applications on both PC and Mac - if I would not need any of them, then I'd have long since switched over to linux.... personally I believe it's one of the best operating systems out there... unfortunately the big software players are still focused mostly on windows and secondary on mac.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaddedPuppy View Post
    I think your point is proven by the fact that Chromebook sales are now doing really well, and everyone has stopped complaining about them. The Chromebook is all online and everything happens inside a Chrome browser window.
    One example I can give in favor of not letting go of a full OS (ANY full OS) is SVG-edit. It's an app programmed in JavaScript and can be used to create and edit vector graphics. Unfortunately, I still prefer Inkscape because SVG-edit lacks FEATURES and it's not a full release, yet. While that is also true about Google Drive+Google Docs vs MS Word or LibreOffice, I don't find much use in beautifying my documents unless it's for personal use. Professors/teachers can't care less about looks, but features are important to some (or many) people.

    Oh, and what are your thoughts on the ChromeBox?




    Quote Originally Posted by Eulogy View Post
    It's all about what you're looking for a computer.
    A few years ago I had to choose between a 15" MBP and a 17" G74SX. All I can say is that I was very satisfied with what I had, but my G74 did lack some things such as battery life and portability. However, I had more screen real estate and much better graphics performance. And 2 hard disk slots for an extra OS. (or two)

    It's true that the computer world is full of compromises, but these gaps are quickly closing. I do still agree that if you want to go gaming, it's Windows you want.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    I am an avid mac user -have been for a long time.

    And although I have voted for "YES" - and do a LOT of things through a web-browser (including most of my wordprocessing, office stuff, etc). I still prefer how the mac's OS-X handles stuff.

    it's simple things like the file handling (finder vs. explorer), working across networks, terminal stuff, hardware integration,...
    [...]
    where on my windows machine (have to have one for a specific & expensive (10k$, so not easily replaced) program at work, unfortunately) I basically have to bother with all that once in a while, and make sure my virus scanner works overtime, etc.
    [...]
    Same goes for speed after some month of use: the mac still runs as fluent and fast as on the day I installed the os on it for the first time... where windows needs a lot of maintance to do the same.
    I guess people vary widely in their experience with and use of computer systems. (No implications attempted.)

    Preference: that would be the best argument for ANY user loyal to their OS. There aren't many who are totally impartial, but there really needs to be more of those people. As for terminal stuff, I prefer (and know better) BASH commands as opposed to CMD commands, but when I do the Windows command line, I tend to open PowerShell instead.

    I honestly haven't had to deal with ANY viruses, adware, and other "noticeable" malware on any of my Windows systems that I caused by myself. XP, Vista, 7, 8: none of that stuff. I haven't had security software except for my Firewall and Windows Defender since Win7. Why? I take care to verify what I download. Viruses and software like that usually don't latch onto a system randomly through some random port in your computer. Sure, you may have heard of Stuxnet and stuff akin to that, but none of those have caused any noticeable problems (let's hope that these problems are nonexistent). Now my mom once installed (Chinese) adware on my laptop, and that was a nightmare to remove!

    The maintenance issue is something different: NTFS, the file system for MS Windows fragments itslef and does not defrag automatically. HFS for Mac OS, on the other hand, defrages it in the background, saving the user and the OS all of the work. Brilliant, if you ask me: make it easier for the user.
    ---

    Apple emphasizes user experience along with performance and design, and that's what Microsoft needs to be doing, rather than BUSINESS BUSINESS BUSINESS MS OFFICE IS BETTER I AM BALLMER AND IM SLEEPING ON THE JOB BLAH BLAH...

    Hopefully MS's reorganization will help them make more appealing products.


    ===
    ((I need to get a life. Off of this thread tonight. Back on a few days from now!))

  6. #6

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    I'm a gamer so I dont spend a whole lot of time in a browser. However consuming media like videos, music and photos I largely do in a browser (I haven't even installed a media player on my new gaming pc).

  7. #7
    PaddedPuppy

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by wasntme View Post
    One example I can give in favor of not letting go of a full OS (ANY full OS) is SVG-edit. It's an app programmed in JavaScript and can be used to create and edit vector graphics. Unfortunately, I still prefer Inkscape because SVG-edit lacks FEATURES and it's not a full release, yet. While that is also true about Google Drive+Google Docs vs MS Word or LibreOffice, I don't find much use in beautifying my documents unless it's for personal use. Professors/teachers can't care less about looks, but features are important to some (or many) people.

    Oh, and what are your thoughts on the ChromeBox?
    I wouldn't drop a full OS to restrict myself to web browser only. I need Microsoft Windows for some things I do. It would work for a small amount of people, but mainly works as a second computer, a nice small simple laptop that you can take out and just use for getting online with the benefits of that type of machine.

    As for the Chromebox, I see it as pointless. Its basically a chromebook turned into a desktop computer. Desktops are more than often used as primary machines, and this simply cannot be used as that by many people, especially when you can get an equivalent net-top which is a full PC for less than the Chromebox.

    If they made them sell for around the 100 mark, I could see affordability making them more popular. Right now, at this price and with these restrictions, I would struggle to justify it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eulogy View Post
    Mac still falls behind in the standalone gaming applications. Windows still falls behind in looking good at twice the price. Linux is still for the truly geeky. (And is better than the big two at running Adobe apps)

    It's all about what you're looking for in a computer. Want good looks and good-enough speeds to run most applications? Mac has you covered. Don't care what it looks like, so long as it has insane power with room to become a frankencomp? PC is still the easier option. Want to be that weird guy who makes everyone else stop discussing techy stuff (Or randomly run computers like the Raspberry Pi)? Linux has what you seek.
    You can basically also add: "Showing off how much money I can spend/have" ;).
    No, honestly, it's stereotypical, but it's true to a big degree, especially while studying business related stuff.

    In the first semester around 90% had a mac, which basically have been a lot of people like: Look at mah money, I'm driving a BMW or Audi that my parents paid for me and I'm using a 2k$ MBP.
    The look on their faces has been kinda funny in information science classes ^_-. Most are gone though, besides that I switched to engineer~ business, so mostly linux user's.

    In the end I agree, it depends on what you want, in every aspect and need to some degree.
    I'd say for a lot of people, browsers may make the OS kind of trivial, but ultimately it's a question of faith.

    p.s. doesn't matter anyway, someday we're all google's slaves. :p

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by daLira View Post
    You can basically also add: "Showing off how much money I can spend/have" .
    No, honestly, it's stereotypical, but it's true to a big degree, especially while studying business related stuff.

    In the first semester around 90% had a mac, which basically have been a lot of people like: Look at mah money, I'm driving a BMW or Audi that my parents paid for me and I'm using a 2k$ MBP.
    The look on their faces has been kinda funny in information science classes ^_-. Most are gone though, besides that I switched to engineer~ business, so mostly linux user's.

    In the end I agree, it depends on what you want, in every aspect and need to some degree.
    I'd say for a lot of people, browsers may make the OS kind of trivial, but ultimately it's a question of faith.

    p.s. doesn't matter anyway, someday we're all google's slaves. :p
    Aehm? please?
    why should I be more of a snob only because I use a mac than anyone with a more high end pc?

    sure it's not a 300$ piece of plastic... god forbid.

    My 11" macbook air has been my main computer ever since I bought it about 1 1/4 years ago. it's been a blessing, easy to carry, fantastic build quality, virtually silent (unless you use graphics a lot), rather powerful (8GB ram, i7)... Battery lasts long enough (could be better though).
    No issues at any rate... and it's so slim and nicely built.
    And prices are absolutely competitive IF compared to Windows based Ultrabooks with similar specs (256GB SSD, 8GB Ram, i7...)...


    and on being a google slave:
    it's your choice
    There are plenty of alternatives - at least in terms of email, social networking, etc... even search engines.
    I use googles search engine, and that's as much of a google product I use.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    Aehm? please?
    Yes please.... the old debate again. But only since you asked so nicely.

    If you're comparing a cheap 300$ notebook with your MBP it's no miracle that a price from 1100-2000$ seems to be somewhere competitive (even though that would be a question on itself :p)

    Let's take Lenovo as an example, pretty sturdy all in all, well made.

    Classic MBP 15" - i7, 8gb DDR3, 500gb HDD, 1680x1050 display, geforce gt650m - 2.348,99 €
    Lenovo W530 15" - i7, 8gb DDR3, 500gb HDD, 1900x1200 display, quadro k2000 - 1.789,99 €

    But let me guess... the OS is worth 550€? .... right, I rather like to be the admin of my system with linux.
    And that the Ram is soldered, so that you cannot upgrade, is surely a feature. Besides that you always need to pay more for an antiglare display. The new retina is nice, no question, but glossy always?
    And at last... since both are no gaming computers and far too overpowered for being an office system - a gt650m seriously? That's a mid field gaming card (mind you, for a system that doesn't handle games all too well.). Eitherway you stick to the HD4000 or if you need to use CAD or Maya you'll want a quadro, where's the option?

    You asked, you got your answer, be happy. As I said, it's a matter of faith, especially regarding macintoshs. But the choice for paying more and showing that (oh my gollygosh) you got a mac, is always there if you're going for this. No way to deny that. :P

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