So six months ago they were doing their annual Mac attack, now the schizophrenic PC Pro has swung back the other way again. On the cover of issue 157, one of the headlines is â€œApple’s New iMac – Run OS X and Windows on this stunning Â£799 systemâ€?!
Flip to the review and you’d think you were reading a Mac magazine at times:
This tightly integrated all-in-one offers plenty of performance and fabulous looks, yet it costs less than Â£1,000. And we can’t name a system by a PC vendor that does all of that.
The review finishes off with this paragraph and a ‘Recommended’ award:
The iMac offers some significant improvements over the old model and good value for money. We’d love to recommend a system from a Windows OEM, but until the rest of the industry takes a slice from Apple’s pie, the iMac remains the most impressive all-in-one on the market.
Later on the magazine reviews VMWare Fusion, the latest piece of virtualisation software for Intel Mac’s. This gets a recommended award, and the review even details what utility you need to download from the VMWare website to package up your old PC as a virtual image to use on your Mac.
That’s not the end of it, the very last page of the magazine has an opinion piece by Jon Honeyball declaring 7th August 2007 as the day the music finally died for Microsoft. The by-line makes Honeyball’s point clear – â€œWith the launch of its spreadsheet, Apple has defined the home appliance of computing.â€?
In case you still haven’t got the significance of 7th August 2007, it was both the day that Apple revealed iWork ’08 which for the first time included a spreadsheet application, Numbers. It’s also the day that Microsoft announced that the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X would be delayed for six months. This is going to prove a point that Honeyball first made last year, that Microsoft are not oriented towards the needs of the home user.
Honeyball contends that the average home user wants to just walk into a store and get a computer in the same way as they get any other commodity like a TV or a dishwasher, and they want to take it home plug it in and it just works. Whilst Numbers is no Excel killer, it does everything the average home user does with a spreadsheet, more than that the iWork suite can open all the latest Microsoft Office better than Microsoft can under Mac OS X for at least the next six months. So the average user can walk into an Apple store, and walk out with a machine that a PC magazine describes as the most impressive all-in-one on the market, more than that it will include iLife which will allow them to work with their digital pictures, home movies and upload them to the web, and for an extra Â£60 they can get iWork which integrates seamlessly in with the other applications to provide Microsoft compatible word processing, presentations and spreadsheets.
With the launch of its spreadsheet, Apple has completed the circle. It’s now defined the home appliance of computing. There’s no reasonable task it can’t do out of the box or with a few extra purchases while in the shop. And it all works together in the way an appliance should.
Whilst obviously I’d agree with Honeyball, it does come as a major surprise to find PC Pro – them of the â€œ32 reasons why PC’s are Better Than Macsâ€? – essentially saying that the majority of home users would be better off with a Mac!