Tricky Technology Terms: Mac or PC?

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 in Small Business

Tricky Technology Terms: Mac or PC?

The second article in our series is going to try to tackle a question that started way back in the early 90’s and has even made a series of humorous commercials.

There are two things right off the top that will go a long way in clearing this up. First, Mac (or Apple if you prefer) is a brand of computer, like Chevy and Ford are brands of trucks. Second, PC is a type of computer, like the truck is a type of vehicle.

PC stands for Personal Computer which means it can be any computer that is used for personal reasons. Who makes the computer or what Operating System (OS) it is running does not matter. If you have a computer in your home that you are the only one who uses it, you have a PC. If you have a computer in your home that everyone in the family uses, you have what I call a Family Computer. If you have a computer that is only used to play games, you have a Gaming Computer.

OK, now for the Mac side of this question. As I said earlier, the Mac is a brand of computer. The question should really be ‘Is it a Mac or Dell?’ Obviously this could be Dell, HP, Gateway or any of the other computer manufacturers out there. All of which might be running Windows, Linux, Unix or some other OS.

The idea that a PC is automatically a computer running Windows was actually started by Microsoft themselves. They have made their product synonymous with the idea of a type of computer. It was a brilliant move that has really paid off for them, but it also has led to a misconception of the term PC.

I am sure that the ideas I have shared in this article will upset fan boys on both sides. But being a computer professional for over a decade has led me to these ideas.

If you agree, disagree, or just have general questions or comments, please leave them below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Michael Morgan, MCP

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