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Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac

As Web developers, we never stop hearing about the Mac. A lot of people love to talk about their Macs, but despite the “elite” status of the Apple computer, is there any need for a Web developer to splash money on one? A few weeks ago, Mark Nutter wrote here on Smashing Magazine in favor of swapping your PC for a Mac1, and while some of his reasons are good, there are plenty of reasons to stick with (or switch back to!) Windows.

This article explores the best aspects of the Windows PC and, more importantly, the different apps that Web developers can use to become more efficient in their work. Every piece of software mentioned here is free to use.

Developer Tools Link

Notepad++ (code editor) Link

After looking at many text editors, Notepad++2 is by far the best I’ve found. On top of the standard features you would expect from a great text editor, you can extend its functionality by installing any of the free plug-ins3 that suit you.


Some of the things that really make Notepad++ shine:

  • FTP Synchronize
    Allows you to connect to a server by FTP and edit files in Notepad++. Then when you save the file, it is automatically uploaded back to the server. No more saving files in an editor and then firing up a separate FTP client! Bonus: the FTP sync has “Keep Alive,” which pings the server at regular intervals to stop the connection from being closed.
  • Document Compare
    Open two versions of the same document and the differences between them are automatically highlighted. Great for finding out where a coding change has gone wrong!
  • Code auto-completion
    Auto-completion is a fairly standard feature, but with Notepad++ the code libraries can be downloaded from the website and updated manually. Keeping up to date with changes in the languages is easy then, and you can even write your own library file.
  • Panel Views
    Allows you to see two files at once, side by side. Hugely useful if you have a large monitor and want to make better use of all the space.
  • Ctrl + D to duplicate a line
    It may sound simple but is surprisingly useful. As an example, it took two seconds to write out all the <li></li> tags for this list!

Texter (text expander) Link

Texter5 is a free app from Lifehacker. It allows you to type a few characters, then hit Tab and have those characters replaced with a string of text. This is great for a lot of computer tasks (answering email most of all!), but the real advantage for developers is that Texter lets you specify key presses. For example, {HOME} is interpreted as pressing the Home button.

Take the following hot string:


When coding, I type the text of my paragraph, then add a space, press “p” and hit tab. Texter automatically puts the <p> at the start of the line and </p> at the end.

That’s just one example. I have about 35 different strings saved for use in coding, so the number of possible uses is huge.

WampServer (Apache, PHP and MySQL) Link

Installing a Web server on your local PC is great for development because you can test everything easily and instantly. No waiting on Web servers and dodgy Internet connections. WampServer7 packs an Apache, PHP and MySQl install all into one simple executable file, so your server will be up and running in five minutes tops.


Clipboard Manager Link

Clipboard Manager9 is a sidebar widget for Vista. It displays a snippet of the most recent items that you’ve copied. If you click one of the snippets, it is brought to the top of the clipboard, so when you hit Ctrl + V, you’ll paste that instead of what you copied last.


This is extremely useful when you are working on a document or script for re-arranging chunks of the page or copying properties from one object to another. Clipboard Manager cuts down drastically on the amount of time spent re-copying the same snippet again and again.

AutoHotkey (write your own shortcuts) Link

AutoHotkey11 allows you to create your own hot keys or remap existing ones. The scripts can be either extremely simple or quite complex. The Quickstart Guide12 walks you through everything you need to know.

One of the hot keys I use most is simple: pressing Caps Lock + W to close the current window. Anyone who is used to using Ctrl + W to close a tab in FireFox will find this very handy!

; Close Active Window
Capslock & w::
WinClose, A

Syncback (automatic back-ups) Link

Everyone’s hard drive fails eventually. Online tools like Mozy13 and Dropbox14 are ideal for backing up critical files that you’re currently working on, but backing up everything on your hard drive to one of these tools just isn’t feasible for most people.

Syncback15 is a free tool from 2BrightSparks that automatically backs up all your files to an external drive. (A paid version is available as well, but the freeware is more than enough.)


You select which folders to back up, set when you want back-ups to take place and let Syncback do the work. Back-ups can be done manually or automatically, and only files that have changed will be copied, so it is very efficient after the first run. It will even email you a report if any errors occur during the backup, such as certain files not being able to be copied.

Windows Live Writer (blog posting) Link

Not every developer needs this, but many of us have our own blogs now. Windows Live Writer is a free tool to help you write blog posts.

The main advantage of this is that it accesses your website and re-creates your design in the program. You can then write your post directly onto the website background, so you can see everything about your post’s presentation and fix it easily.


Image source17

Is that image too big? Or that paragraph too long? Seeing it for yourself is the best way to catch these flaws.

The Best Parts Of The Mac Link

OS X does some things very nicely. Thankfully, the best bits can all be re-created in Windows free of charge.

The Dock → RocketDock Link

The Dock is probably the most distinctive Mac feature. The large icons and easy access to them appeal to a lot of people

RocketDock18 brings the Dock to Windows beautifully. Drag and drop to re-arrange, position on any side of the monitor, minimize windows to the dock and more. The demo video from its website below shows RocketDock in action:

Quicksilver → Launchy Link

Launching applications from your keyboard is an extremely fast way to work. Mac users use Quicksilver for this, but Windows users can use Launchy19. Launchy can be set to index only programs or include files as well. You also choose which directories it indexes. One of the best uses for it is to set up a directory of utility scripts that you can execute from a few quick keystrokes in Launchy.


For example, iTuny is a set of free scripts to control iTunes from Launchy. Now, if I want to skip to the next song, I hit Alt + Space to bring up Launchy and type “inext” to launch the iTunes Next script from iTuny. You can set up scripts for whatever you like, including shutting down and locking your machine.

Leopard Stacks → Stand-Alone Stack Link

Stacks are a great way to easily access your most commonly used files and programs.


Standalone Stack22 allows you to create your own stacks in Windows, either in the taskbar or on your desktop. And you can display the files in either a list or a grid, just like in Leopard. For anyone using Rocketdock, you can install the Stacks Docklet23 from Matonga to get stacks into your dock.

More Control Of Your Machine Link

Custom Visual Styles Link

VistaGlazz allows you to control the appearance of your Vista installation. You can create your own custom styles or download them for free. One of the best sources of styles is DeviantArt24 (which has some OS X styles25, though they’re not as polished as the Vista versions!).

Another popular application for theming is WindowBlinds26 from Stardock, but you need to pay for it. You’ll find plenty of themes for it on DeviantArt27 as well.

More Hardware Options Link

Macs come with very few variations in hardware. You have a small selection and just have to choose whichever one is closest to what you need. Because anyone can develop hardware for Windows, the selection is much greater. And because of this competition between manufacturers, companies are forced to offer good value for your money.

That doesn’t just mean better specs for about half the price. Check out this new multi-touch HP laptop28, which comes in under the cost of any MacBook. Search around and you will find the perfect machine for your needs.


Huge Range of Devices Link

On top of the core hardware, you have thousands of peripherals to choose from. For graphics designers, that means a massive selection of tablets29. But there are a lot of other devices as well, right down to your mouse. I have a five-button mouse and just hit the extra buttons on either side for small tasks like going backward and forward in a Web browser and Windows Explorer. For developers who have to give regular presentations to clients, this nifty wireless mouse/remote control30 is ideal.


Conclusion Link

There are a lot of good things about the Mac, and it’s hard not to get a little excited about them each time you watch one of Apple’s big developer conferences.

What you have to remember is that at the end of the day, the operating system is a means to an end, not the end itself. Whichever system you choose should make your daily work (and play!) easier and more efficient. Windows combined with the great free software and tips I’ve found online allows me to work exactly the way I want. I wouldn’t dream of going back to a default Vista installation with no extras: the customized installation is worth so much more to me than either Windows or OS X on its own.

We would love to hear what aspects of your operating system made you choose it (but not the flaws in the other one that made you not choose it!) and how you use it to work at your best.


Footnotes Link

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Michael Martin writes about Web design, WordPress and coding at Pro Blog Design. You can subscribe there for advice on making the most of your blog's design, or follow him on Twitter.

  1. 1

    Macs never have been the preferred choice for web development.

  2. 2

    I use a mac, im mostly a dev, but i do some designing from time to time. And i think the mac is way.. smoother to code on. Every tool you’ll ever need can be found for free, online.

    And OSX have some wonderfull editors, like Coda and TextMate. I wouldn’t mind working on the PC, but i love my mac way to much, so i wouldn’t change my home machine for that.. I think i made my point..


  3. 3

    Excellent post. I used a Mac at work for design and quickly found myself wondering, “All the hype, for THIS?!” I was thoroughly unimpressed and I would never trade my PC for a Mac. The advertising blitz by Apple is really impressive, but the truth is that both platforms have their advantages. To each his own, but I’ll stick with my portly, self-deprecating PC.

  4. 4

    Web developers dont use Macs because they have to – they use them because they want to and because, well, they are just better…

  5. 5

    It seems like majority of this article is trying to rationalize key Mac functions that can be “migrated” or done with another piece of software on a PC.

    Why not just buy a computer that does all of these things already without having to hack a PC. Apple does most of these things right out of the box and have been doing it the right way for years.

    Instead of saying instead of “item 1” on a Mac, use “Item 2” on a PC, the better argument would have been all of the things that a Mac cannot accomplish (even with extra software) that a PC can. The reason it wasn’t done that way, is because it’s all relative.

  6. 6

    I would never dream of developing on a mac again. I switched to a PC a year ago, and I love how the PC is so configurable, software and hardware. Mac users are so stuck in using what they are given, to me its all about customizations to make the environment suit you as perfectly as possible.

  7. 7

    i think you heart is in the right place here. I am a very avid mac user and developer but this is going to be a debate that lasts a long time. Honestly in my dev career I’ve used Mac, PC, and Linux to create great sites and apps and to me there is no difference in how it’s made, this is why we have web standards. I use a Mac because I have found niche apps that increase my workflow and productivity when compared to using PC or Linux. At the end of the day, each OS has amazing tools to use and the debate should be what the best or open source, it should be what is the easiest for you to create.

  8. 8

    Excuse me, but the article is nonsense. Are you telling us that you don’t need Mac because you can almost turn your PC into a Mac using a bunch of crappy utilities? If you want Mac, why don’t you buy it instead of trying this nonsense? Seriously, you are not getting anywhere close to the Mac by installing the apps you suggest. Anyone who worked on Mac for more than 1 hour will confirm…

  9. 9

    That’s a sad article. Keep trying there little guy.

  10. 10

    I used a mac at the office for a few weeks (after my pc had a major failure), and I tried just about every app I could get (without paying much) but I just could not create a nice, comfortable development environment. I really wanted it to work because my pc is so old, and I really do like the mac, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m back on the pc, and although it’s a little slow, it feels right.

  11. 11

    Short version of what I’m about to say: If you think that Macs are “better” then a “pc” – they are not, it’s just you who’s too inefficent lazy and right out _stupid_. to configure a PC.

    Really, how thick are you morons keep spamming about Macs here?

    Jesus holy christ. The article is written to show you don’t NEED a Mac.

    If you can’t setup your PC so it doesn’t crash and it does what you want, then you probably have an IQ below 100 and prolly should get a Mac where you get all the stuff setup from the start in a neat packade and a safe environment.

    Though, If you are capable of setting up a system, tweaking, overclocking, installing your applications of choice, learning, exploring and understanding your system, then you WILL go by PC or Unix because it’s way way way more configurable and useful. An environment created by your self for your self will ALWAYS be more efficient if you are smart enough to create it your self.

    It’s like this – the mac is a easy to use 3-wheel kid bike that makes you go around the playground safe and efficient.

    The PC is a beastly motorcycle that you need muscle to control and use efficiently, but when you can ride it you will blow away from the stupid little pretty bike by 300 mph.

    GOD I’m tired of all the useless untalented below average noobs plaguing the communities that once where so clean and full of elitism, filled with brains instead of average joe who bought a Mac and suddenly thinks he’s cool.

    “Look at meeee, I downloaded CS4 and bought a mac and now I’m a developer/designer, and I’m like updated with all the new cool articles at 20+ devel/desgn bloooooogs… I’m so minimalistic and got good taste because I bought this Maaaaac…”

    and the favorite…

    My workflow is so much better on the Mac then it was on the PC where i had to fight and couldnt do what i wanted as easy on the Mac…

    It’s because you are STUPID it’s not because the Mac is better.

    So Pathetic!

  12. 12

    My preferred platform for web development is Linux (KDE). If you don’t like to use Vim (Vim), there is Kate which I believe beats Notepad++ and UltraEdit by far. And KDE has an awesome built-in clipboard manager.

    Unfortunately, I sometimes need the Adobe suite. At home I use VMware for that and IE testing, but at work I currently run Windows…

  13. 13

    Lukasz Bachur

    June 10, 2009 3:03 pm

    Exactly – “should make your daily work (and play!) easier and more efficient”, not “more trendy”. Good one!

  14. 14

    Great article. It’s nice to see some balance to the mac-worship that’s been flooding Smashing over the last few weeks.

  15. 15

    really? The Best Parts Of The Mac??? Those aren’t the best of mac trust me! Have you ever tried all those on windows with 2Gb ram?
    PC is very nice for dev but mac also :)

  16. 16

    Bjørn Friese

    June 10, 2009 3:26 pm

    Macs come with very few variations in hardware.

    Time to wake up :)

    Hackingtoshes has been around for quite a long time now. I’m typing from one right now, and my AMD processor is doing it’s job beneath the desk.

  17. 17

    Nice post. I love notepad++. I like how you can set the background to black, with colored text. Really saves the eyballs.

    Its amazing how rarely a truly unbiased article like this (no opinions, just options) comes through. Apple’s computers may be good, but their advertising is better.

  18. 18

    I am a web developer and I use a mac, the text editors on windows are alright, but I prefer coda and textmate over all of them, plus the font rendering on windows hurts my eyes, it’s that bad.

  19. 19

    Samantha Armacost

    June 10, 2009 3:30 pm

    Notepad++ is the only reason I ever think longingly about getting a PC. That and being able to test IE instantly.

  20. 20

    It seems like majority of this article is trying to rationalize key Mac functions that can be “migrated” or done with another piece of software on a PC.

    Um… there’s only mention of three mac features that can be replicated on a PC. I would call that more of briefly touching on the subject, rather than a majority of the article.

  21. 21

    Harry Cameron

    June 10, 2009 3:30 pm

    Any chance of a third article in this ‘series’ on using the operating system at the heart of the internet: Linux?

  22. 22

    Great post! I completely agree and as a mac hater I couldn’t be happier about this…. we need an article talking about linux now! ;)

  23. 23

    Developers don’t NEED a Mac & they don’t NEED a PC either. Everyone has their own preference & that’s all this really comes down to. I used a PC for the majority of my life. In the past I preferred Windows simply because I was comfortable with it. When my school gave me a Mac laptop a year ago I started using it for all of my design & development. As of right now I prefer using a Mac for all my design & development.

  24. 24

    Aaron Smith

    June 10, 2009 3:35 pm

    Yeah, I suppose you could build sites and web apps with a Windows PC…and you could also use spray-mount to do your layouts. Hey! Here’s an idea you might be interested in. I’ll generate a bunch of content related to a specific geographic region and compile it all in the evening, then we can print them all out and hand deliver each copy to our users. I’ve even got a catchy name for the service…I call it “NewsPaper”.

    Care to invest?

  25. 25

    Having used Quicksilver and Launchy, Launchy gets nowhere close to the power of Quicksilver. Launchy is close, but still lacks a lot of functionality that Quicksilver provides.

  26. 26

    I dont find many people that “love” their PC but a lot of people “love” their mac.

    Basically this means people think it is cool/pretty/trendy/whatever and as someone who wants to do work and not pose I really couldnt gaf.

    Mac or PC does not matter anymore, if it ever really did.

  27. 27

    By installing Windows on my Mac (using Parallels in my case), I can test in all the major browsers on the two most common platforms. Can I do that (easily) on a PC?

    Beyond that, I just don’t want to fight with my computer. I just want to get my work done. I find that I fight much, much less with a Mac than I do with Windows. YMMV

  28. 28

    This post should have been labeled “How to hack your PC for features Mac’s have enjoyed for years”

    If you’re serious about design and development, you shouldn’t be worried about $500 for a quality machine. Keep on hackin’ it Windows!

  29. 29

    I’ ve been working with PCs and Windows since 1996. In 2007 I switched to Apple and will never go back again. I am know “everything” about Windows, because I had to fix it way to often. OSX is a very strong reason for me using a Mac. Windows Vista was the killer for the PC. I have been using XP when needing a PC.

  30. 30

    Well, as a web developer, I used to use Photoshop a lot on my PC. Now that I “converted” my PC to a Hackintosh, I find that Photoshop works *way* faster and smoother on OSX than on XP (with the exact same hardware configuration). The whole Finder / QuickLook / Photoshop bindings are imho nicer than on Windows. The file explorer of Windows is truly crappy when you compare it to file explorer in other systems (I regularly use Gnome and KDE also). BTW, you should have mentioned QuickLook in your article… it really is a killer system when it comes to quickly previewing a PSD.

    Also the Mac, as a Unix system, has native connectivity with Linux servers: especially, ssh works out-of-the-box here to remotely administrate a server. MacFusion is also very handy (especially compared to sftpdrive, which is expensive besides being quite unstable).

    As to the text editors, I personnaly prefer vim with some custom macros (like the one you gave as an example for Texter)… Macvim is truly outstanding (well, gvim works on Windows too). IMHO, “mouse editors” are far less productive than a keyboard-only editor like vim, once you took the time to master it. No need to take my hands off the keyboard when I need to quickly jump to a line, a keyword, find something…

  31. 31

    Great post, I didn’t know about some of this apps and they are really helpfull, like Launchy and Syncback.

    For #3, about Coda and TextMate, I’m a Windows user (I’m a gamer too) and I use e-text editor and I think it’s a great alternative for TextMate in Windows.

  32. 32

    Great article, and even it is aimed at developers, it can be easily extended to designers. I often find myself struggling with designers who think they design better just because they own a mac, but no, they don’t design better and they will never do, because the only important tool is within our head. You can have a PC, a Mac or a Linux but if you don’t have “it” you won’t design any better.

  33. 33

    Jerome Chadel

    June 10, 2009 3:43 pm

    I am a web designer / developer, at work with a pc, at home with a mac. I use Notepad++ at work and this is a horrible experience, not friendly at all, such a waste of time… but… unfortunately this is, as you say, by far the best!

    I have just downloaded Eclipse.. not tried yet. Any feedback about it?

    I use TextMate at home. What can I say? This is soooo easy to read and write!!!

    It’s good to know the Free stuff but sometime it’s not enough. Does anyone knows about e-Text Editor? What do you think would be the best development software for pc (free or not)?

    Taking about design, Adobe softwares are mostly the same in both platform, and even when there is a difference, it doesn’t hurt. However I am still wondering why my G5 from 2004 works better than my dual-core pc from 2009…

  34. 34

    any MAC haters who’ve posted comments and own an iPhone please come back for try-outs next season.

  35. 35

    I use both for web developping, PC and Mac, since I work in different companies. For my own private and freelance stuff I use Mac. The job is well done on both systems but on Mac the workflow is smoother and just more fun. Everything seems better organized to me and I work faster on the Mac. If I never tried a Mac, I probably would miss nothing but since I did (6 years ago) I will never ever switch back again. Just in the last two years so many great products came up for Mac, you need a second to understand how they work and you start producing. On Windows it often means trouble befor you are ready to go – I don’t miss nothing using OS X.

  36. 36

    LOL I love the title of this post (and the post itself of course)! I have used a PC for many years for graphic and web design and I love it. I used a Mac for about two years at a previous employer and honestly, I dont see why having a Mac is best for my line of work. In fact, the many Macs I used throughout my life just froze and crashed on me all the time (dont get me wrong, I still love Macs, but I dont see them any better than PC besides security).

  37. 37

    Genuine question, if Macs are so great why are there, what, 100* times more Windows based PC’s in use all over the world?

    *Yes, I’ve just made this statistic up but you get the picture. Also I have no affiliation with anyone, I don’t give a crap if people use PC’s, Mac’s or an abacus.

    I think Josh has hit the nail on the head…

  38. 38

    Fair enough piece.

    I’m a very happy Mac user but had been becoming a tad uncomfortable with all the Mac love here lately.

    One advantage of PCs not mentioned is you don’t need to run an extra virtual PC to check out how your site looks in Internet Explorer. I lose 1/2 gigabyte having to have Parallels running Windows. And that’s just for IE7. With Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, FireFox, Safari and Windows all running, my 3GB of memory starts to run a bit thin.

    BTW If IE7 checks out ok, then I can just use to check IE6 and IE8. And if they highlight any serious probs, I can then fire up a virtual PC for each (which I’d have to do on Mac or PC).

    And yes, you owe it to the Linux crowd to run a piece on webdev on Linux.

  39. 39

    More than anything else, I find that keeping organized on my Windows XP machine to be far easier w/ the start menu than with Mac. I’m not much for installing shit-tons of programs and extras, I stick w/ Notepad++, FileZilla, Photoshop, and XAMPP… I literally have no other dev tools installed.

  40. 40

    Ben Carlson

    June 10, 2009 3:53 pm

    One thing I like about the Mac more than the PC (and there aren’t many reasons, I miss the PC), is the command button instead of the CTRL button. Has anyone using a PC gotten a sore pinky finger because the CTRL button is not placed ergonomically? Other than that, I miss developing in Dreamweaver (code-view only, of course), Coda hasn’t impressed me at all.

    Heck, I even had to alter an option to allow me to tab through web forms on the Mac! And the Windows Explorer window is a lot more functional to me than a Mac Finder window. You can’t paste an local directory address into the Finder window.

  41. 41

    I have a laugh when some envious windows users say, “O I had a Mac and I switched back to PC” … Dont LIE, (most of)you never had one ! You’ll probably throw your windows junk out of the “windows” if you had the money to buy a Mac instead.

  42. 42

    Great post thank you, I am always get “rugged” on by my Elite Mac users peers. I love my pc with all its misgivings. The apple gang advertisers sure make good commercials that’s for sure.

  43. 43

    Guido Jansen

    June 10, 2009 3:56 pm

    +1 on the next post about Linux!

  44. 44

    So you should switch to a PC so you can use Notepad… I don’t think so.

    Notepad, I know TextMate. TextMate is a friend of mine. You, sir, are no TextMate.

  45. 45

    not sure what nail he hit the head of.

    you should also take a look at municipalities in europe who are switching over to non-windows based PCs. the reason they are so prolific is because microsoft has strong-armed hardware manufactures to bundle windows with their computers.

    question, if windows is so great, why are companies (dell, asus, etc…) pushing linux options? why have apple’s sales been increasing and microsoft’s been going down?

  46. 46

    Smashing Editorial

    June 10, 2009 3:58 pm

    If you are willing to write a piece about Linux, please contact us in the comments!

  47. 47

    PC+MacOSX = Best you can get at the best price.

  48. 48

    I am a web dev on windows and i found this article lacking. With the exception of CS3/4 every tool you need is available for free on both sides. Visual Studio Express and SQL Server Express are two big ones you missed on windows. I have to agree with some of the other posts, it sounds like you are trying to justify using windows by substituting X on windows for Y on MAC. Does it really matter what iron you use to develop your code as long as you code to the web standards? And isn’t that the whole point.

  49. 49

    ben: to get a local address you press shift+cmd+g… and can start typing and tab-to-complete to get to the folder you want. however, finder is being updated because they’ve had so many complaints about it.

  50. 50

    I think this is a fair article. While a PC user myself, I feel that this article does a great job of showcasing a PC’s capabilities as a web-development tool. It is nice to read an article by an author who isn’t in love with Macs.

    It is frustrating to read the comments and see all the PC-bashing, but I think the article makes some pretty valid points. And to those posts to the effect of:

    ” This post should have been labeled “How to hack your PC for features Mac’s have enjoyed for years” ”

    I suggest you re-read the article to actually understand the points that the author is making.

  51. 51


    June 10, 2009 4:02 pm

    I am a developer and a designer. I use both Macs and PCs. You can shoehorn this type of work onto ANY platform including one of the myriad Linux distros or OpenSolaris. Notepad++ is hardly a killer app. It has one of the worst UIs I have ever seen. It is clunky and ugly. I’m glad it’s free because I would never pay for it. On Linux, try Geany. On Mac, try TextMate or BBEdit. All of these knocks the pants off of Notepad++ without breaking a sweat. If you want to cite the reasons to stay on Windows, all you need to say is this: it’s cheaper, you’ll always be compatible with everyone else, and no one will tell you that you’re just an Apple fanboy who likes Macs because they’re pretty.

    I always suggest that people use whatever fits their budget and preference. Yet, out out of all the machines I have used in the past 20 years, nothing compares to today’s Macs. They are truly incredible machines. It’s almost impossible to understand what makes the experience so different until you have used one for a few months. It isn’t just the applications or the dock. It’s a thousand tiny things. Things that you probably wouldn’t notice at first, but slowly come to the foreground in your daily workflow. The attention to detail, usability, and aesthetics is phenomenal. Everything is integrated. It all works together seamlessly with amazingly few hiccups.

    Plus there is one thing a Mac has that no Windows PC has: POSIX compliance. I am a UNIX geek, and I think Cygwin is an abomination. Windows and UNIX don’t work well together, and in a world where most web servers are designed for Linux and UNIX, it just makes sense to design on (or near to) the platform you’ll be deploying to. But one certainly doesn’t HAVE to use a Mac. Use whatever works for you.

  52. 52

    Well when it comes to webcoding let’s just admit that GNU/Linux beats both Windows and Mac. No question about this. (I hope)

  53. 53

    Justin Harter

    June 10, 2009 4:09 pm

    I use a Mac because it’s more inspirational to my creative flow than Windows’ “programmeriness” and lack of, uh, care. Oh, and attention to detail.

  54. 54


    Lol, lol, lol.

    Textmate does it all.
    Apache/PHP is shipped with OS X.5. Just need to install MySQL.

    So what ?
    FTP synchronize ? Please, tell me you don’t use FTP to deploy your websites…

    You are totally wrong about Mac’s best parts. Those are sugars, not primary strengths.

  55. 55

    You forgot to mention that most people don’t use Macs and if your building a site, it’s best to use the target audiences machine to do the testing. Of course you could have both machines… but that’s expensive and can add time to a project.

  56. 56

    come on guys you got to admit that pc will never compare to mac. ever since I switched development to mac my production speed has dramatically increased! pc sucks!

  57. 57

    My very first computer was the IBM 5500 way back in 1988. Then had to use PCs and Macs for all my various employees down the line. My conclusion: sorry, but I love my Mac. As a graphic designer, it’s a godsend. Plus after being tired of reinstalling my friends’ PC computer systems every couple of months, most of my friends got Macs – while the others have developed close relationships with their local Geek Squad – and now, no more frantic phone calls about crashed systems, mysterious viruses and spyware. But you know, I have no “hate” for PC lovers. Because that’s the beauty of living in a variegated world: to each his own, right?

  58. 58

    I’ve been the only person on a PC in the office for a year now. Sure, it’s okay, but it’s not a perfect setup by any means. Notepad++, Filezilla, Photoshop, and WAMP get the job done but that doesn’t mean the workflow is the greatest.

    For instance, last I checked Notepad++’s FTP plugin doesn’t support SFTP. Well, since the server on which we host some of clients’ sites requires an SFTP login, I can’t use the plugin.

    What about a text editor like Textmate and Coda that can seamlessly handle SVN/Git and FTP via an external program that can handle SFTP? What about a global menu? What about Expose and Spaces? What about using a hot corner to smoothly show your desktop icons without the need for mashing a keyboard combination? There’s more crap you have to hack into your Windows install. Not to mention most of the apps that do these things are janky and perform poorly.

    I mean, Windows can’t even get saving folder view settings right. Every program has its own look and feel and ways of getting things done. There’s no unification, no true workflow. It works, sure, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better. Windows is exactly as it was built — 20 years of bits and pieces tacked on over time.

    Macs just work and they do it with a little civility. PCs work but it’s a disjointed “held together with duct tape” kind of work. I’d say the only thing PCs have going for them is the IE testing. Run IETester ( and you’re golden. But, really, this is a nonissue to a Mac user if you have a PC sitting around at home or at the office.

  59. 59

    I think Mac’s are way too expensive. I use a brand new laptop with Vista, and my work enviroment runs really smooth. E-text for editing, Adobe CS for graphics, animations, etc., Filezilla for FTP, and I’m sure there’s a lot of apps that are Windows-only.

    For quick searches, I strongly recommend you Google Desktop, the index velocity is awesome, and works great.

    If you keep your work organized, it doesn’t matter if you navigate trough your files with Explorer or Finder.

    I use Xampp, and there’s a lot of tools for database developing (not phpmyadmin) that are windows-only. (correct me if I’m wrong).

    Anyway, nice post.

    #40. There’s no way anyone develop in Linux without the Adobe Suit. I know there’s GIMP, Inkscape, and so, but I’ll still miss Flash developing.

  60. 60

    Ken Vuncannon

    June 10, 2009 4:22 pm

    I’m not sure what to think about this article. I’m leaning towards a sell-out + link frenzy + comment flame frenzy = lots of traffic.

    Bottom line, use the tools (including the OS) that you want to build something that works, that is beautiful, and that beats the expectation.

    Quarreling (or falling for the quarreling) about such things is ridiculous. True developers know their options and are quite in touch with their own preferences. They don’t waste time with such baiting.

    And I expect more from Smashing, if this is in fact the motive. I have to say that this is the first article that I’ve found totally useless within this publication.

  61. 61

    I just don’t get why people still fight over Macs and PCs here. The author just wrote an article, he did not commit a crime. Those people who “love” macs, go head and love it just don’t brag about it because if i “love” my PC, no matter what you say I just don’t buy it. No matter what you say. I been a PC user all my life, I learned how to use computers on PC and used mac few times but mac will NEVER replace PC, Ever. So just keep your opinion to yourself.

    Thank You!

  62. 62

    for me the most important thing of stick to windows is the whole bunch of software and utilities available, for instance today i had a problem with an Epson printer, i called Epson and they couldn’t help me, so i search for my problem and i found a freeware that could do a reset of the printer, thing that you can’t do manually. And i could fix it because i was in windows….

  63. 63

    Sure, WAMP is a good tool, but so is MAMP on the Mac – also free and does the same thing, so why is WAMP a migration point. My experience on both platforms (as a developer and commercial web host) is that PHP/MySQL just runs better and faster on Unix/Mac system

  64. 64

    I own 2 macs and work on pcs at work and all i can say is boooo pc. of course i’m more of a designer, so…

  65. 65

    Nobody needs a Mac. Nobody needs Windows. Get a decent O/S.. maybe a *free* unix variant..

  66. 66

    This is the strangest article I’ve ever read here at SM. Name me TWO: working, efficient and successful web designers (not bloggers) that use ONLY freeware. oh, and Windows freeware to boot.

    And Smashing Mag, if some people are upset about seeing Mac centered articles lately, why not just post more Windows centered articles – WITHOUT any slamming or personal opinion of authors? You are just asking for a flame war here.


  67. 67

    I prefer using a mac for just about everything (and have used one for 16 years), but really not all us mac users are arrogant jerks about it. Use what you want – just make good design with it. Creativity isn’t controlled by your OS.

  68. 68

    This post should be titled “How to pretend you’re developing in OSX when you’re really using Windows”. That said, seems close. Can’t say I’m much of a fan when it comes to Ruby on Windows though. Great links.

  69. 69

    Henrique Barroso

    June 10, 2009 4:32 pm

    I’m a web developer running windows as well and I don’t want to start another editor war but I’ve got to be honest, I really don’t see the hype about notepad++. Yes, it’s freaking fast, but don’t believe in the “add-ons magic”, must of them are outdated, don’t even work on the current notepad++ version, Not n++ fault but it’s just wrong assuming it as the best windows editor. You should check e-text editor or even Komodo Edit,

    But about the rest of the article, I think that OSX is a really eye-candy beautiful operating system, wich inspires coder to make beautiful apps for it like textmate, coda and so on.
    And even tough i’m running windows my next computer will defenitelly be a Mac, not because it’s cute, but because i’m (also) trying to hard to turn my windows into osx lol.

  70. 70

    Tracey Holnka

    June 10, 2009 4:33 pm

    A computer is just a tool and the Mac is a better tool. Far less downtime with a Mac than a Windows box. For those who rather work than troubleshoot their computer problems–Macs are the way to go.

  71. 71

    I find the title of your article ironic since there was a decade where that I got laughed at for using a Mac. All the smug PC users got the lion’s share of software titles, they got software sooner and they got it cheaper.

    Now the tables have turned, and for good reason. Macs offer a better system, better hardware, better usability, better security, better reliability. And if you look at the lifetime cost of owning one, they are cheaper. And now that I have a terminal, Textmate, Photoshop, Parallels and Flash, I have all I need.

  72. 72

    This is why I run XP in VMWare on my MacBook Pro—so I can test pages in multiple versions of IE and run my favourite Windows apps. Win+win! Or, to be precise, OSX+Win!

    Most of the time people talk rubbish about either platform because they don’t own it. And, like many of us know, once you get a Mac all your concerns and worries fly out the window. Personally, I think overpriced as it is, Mac is worth every penny.

    With all that being said, I still do work on XP, and there is always a spot in my heart for it.

  73. 73

    Brian Temecula

    June 10, 2009 4:41 pm

    I have a Mac, numerous PCs, and multiple Linux machines. I only really need the PC, but the Mac is the best for parental controls. I actually don’t like the text editors that are available for Mac, and have tried a bunch. I’m a die-hard Notepad++ user!!!

  74. 74

    well, actually maybe the macs was not the best option to web design, but i use pc and mac and i switch to mac because im graphic designer and photographer and the mac do my life more easir itself, it’s thuth, the expose, the doc, the most quickly startup that i ever had all the good and bad things that the mac os x had, i love them.

  75. 75

    This is strange… so you want to “switch” back to Windows and try all you can to make it as Mac-like as possible?

  76. 76

    Chris McCorkle

    June 10, 2009 4:49 pm

    Mac with vmware = win

  77. 77

    I moved to a mac book pro a couple of years ago when i was looking at getting a laptop. the main reason that i got one at the time was that the mac just worked and the cost was relative to that of a PC based laptop. The build quality was allot nicer and when you are out and about chatting to clients (other techies) they are always ahh you have a mac book pro no idea why people have this ora around the mac. Maybe it is just that they work.

    i also like the comment on there are so many more hardware options for PC.

    I got it for the build quality and the fact that in the few years i have had it i have not had to rebuild it. My new one should turn up shortly with a nice new fast processor. Then the wife will be happy with here 2ghz nac book pro :)

  78. 78


    June 10, 2009 4:52 pm

    i think it is depend on who you are…
    look at the list you provide, all of them available on Mac,
    i think windows is way too poor to work

  79. 79

    If you are developing for the iPhone you need a Mac.

  80. 80

    PC FTW. That said, I actually really, really like OS X. It’s certainly nice to use. But, Macs are overpriced and not particularly useful for my needs as a developer.

    1. The platform is much, much cheaper. I can get a ridiculously high specced machine for less than the cheapest Mac; I know this because we have the cheapest Mac we could get our hands on (buying new) here at work for web testing and iphone development, it’s a dog. Sure you can go down the Hackintosh path, but then you have to be careful to stick to certain hardware. I upgrade frequently to take advantage of cheap PC hardware as the nature of the work I do means that I’m often running all my cores at 100%.

    2. There is much, much more software available for Windows. You can go on as much as you want about how much great software there is for OS X, but the vast majority of those programs run on Windows too. Oh, and then there are something like 10-100 times the amount of software that will only run on Windows. Sure you can run Windows on your Mac if you want to, but I can run OS X on my PC if I want to, albeit in violation of Apple’s licensing agreement.

    3. There is a much bigger user community, so it’s easier to Google problems, solutions etc. as there are simply more people using Windows and Windows based tools, and therefore more people talking about it on the Internet.

    4. The development tools and frameworks are more modern and more mature on Windows. Visual Studio and .NET vs Xcode and Objective-C? Ha. Our inhouse iPhone developer calls it Objectionable-C.

    5. This is probably just because I’m used to Windows but I don’t like the windowing on OS X. Only being able to resize from the bottom right corner vs. anywhere on the border, not being able to maximize windows easily, the “zoom” button is a plus sign, which always weirds me out because sometimes clicking it makes the window shrink – I mean, I understand that it’s a toggle but it still seems counterintuitive.

  81. 81

    There would be no logic in developing in .NET on Mac.

  82. 82

    Daniel Canona

    June 10, 2009 5:06 pm

    Macs still PWN.

  83. 83

    I’m a Mac user at home, but somehow, when I need to create a site or design graphics or code, I feel so much more at home with my PC. Maybe it’s because I’ve been using it for years, and I’ve only switched to Mac last year. Not saying that Mac doesn’t have great apps for design & code, but right now, I still move easily with Windows (and I’m still on XP hehe)

  84. 84

    Kate Vickers

    June 10, 2009 5:18 pm

    I am a retired web developer (still dabbling) now a web PM. I have a PC (or two or three) and I sometimes use a Mac at work. I have to say that not being able to right click absolutely drives me up the wall. I also really love my keyboard shortcuts galore. So, I don’t get the Mac hype much either. Plus, the rumour that Macs never have problems is simply untrue. They just have different issues than PCs do. You’re just trading one set of problems for another set.

    I do have to add that PC have WAMP, but Mac has MAMP, which is pretty much the same thing. ;-)

  85. 85

    First smashing magazine I’m disapointed about… when usually the authors show different points of views, this one was just totaly biased.

    I’m a developer and I don’t use mac because the layout looks cool, I use it because it has a lot of efficient and practical softwares and because it’s UNIX based, unlike windows. This just changes everything. I can’t believe that the author didn’t even addressed that since this is a really important point.

    @Kate Vickers
    You can right click on a mac

  86. 86


    Are you still living in Panther era and one mouse button? Now Mac has more then right click.
    Excuse not using mac for not having right click is ridicilous.

  87. 87

    Curtis Steckel

    June 10, 2009 5:27 pm

    & VistaGlazz
    are all third party programs that add to Windows to make them function or appear to function more like OSX.

    Just an observation.

  88. 88

    I used a PC for web development for about 9 years. About a year ago I switched to a Mac and every time I turn on my PC I cringe. Coda is amazing and having a UNIX like terminal is great too. I don’t see myself going back to working on a PC. The only time I use it is to play certain games.

  89. 89

    Hahahahahaha. April Fools came late this year?

    With a standard (right from the online store) configuration of a PC, try getting a localhost development Apache/MySQL server with all the bells and whistles operating (XAMPP), add a good code editor (TextMate), and an image editor (GIMP), downloaded, up and running in a half hour. Then upgrade the OS with the latest patches and security updates and restart all those applications.

  90. 90

    Seriously? Is this post for real? I love Smashing Mag’s articles but … wow. What “aspect” of my OS made me choose it (OS X)? How about stability! I was a life long PC user who got fed up of Microsoft’s lousy excuse for an OS. I switched to Mac 3 years ago and have rediscovered what it’s like to actually enjoy using and developing on my computer. Instead of constantly fighting with it. And can we get off of the Mac is more expensive than PC argument already. Mac prices continue to drop and there is little question anymore that the hardware is superior and the OS rock solid. So no … you don’t “need” a Mac, but trust me, with a web server, Rails, Python and more pre-installed and ready to go out of the box … it’s really a no brainer.

  91. 91

    I love this article so awesome.

  92. 92

    Except in the 80s, when we used Macs everywhere at SGI, I’ve never touched them, but this is one of the most insane articles I’ve ever read on smashing. Utter nonsense trying to state any of the above mentioned tools are better at all, much less better on Windows. In fact, I’ll state that there are better tools than those on ANY other operating system–Macs or any of Unix and its variations.

  93. 93

    its simply a pointless, because by changing the environment how can get t he experience of the MAC?

    any way windows vista or Win 7 will never produce the performance of a MAC OSX

  94. 94

    I had some experience with Mac in the past. About Mac, I can say: if you’re doing desktop publishing, then Yes, if you are a web developer, then No. Do not restrict yourself. I am working with both Windows and Linux. Doing tasks that are not critical to reliability on Windows, and other tasks on Linux.

  95. 95

    Hahaha, this was revenge!

  96. 96

    Ok, I’ve failed. Failed to really read any of the comments above – however, here’s my take.
    I use Vista at my part-time place of work. I use a Mac at home. I’m a recent switcher (just over a year) prior to that I was Windows everywhere. I work for myself at home.
    I prefer Mac (I’m a web designer by the way, not really a dev).
    The reason I prefer Mac is because they are beautiful to look at (in my opinion) & that (to me) is important. No PC comes close.
    I have every tool on the Mac platform I need, a lot I use on both.
    I also prefer the OS on Mac, again from a purely aesthetic perspective, but – it seems smoother, faster, simpler & less prone to any form of crashing.
    I’m not going to pretend that the ‘cool’ factor of a Mac doesn’t come in to it for me – because it does.
    I’m a bit of a fanboy, I have an iMac, an iPhone & a MacBook.
    If I had loads of cash, I’d probably have more Apple products, but I don’t – so I haven’t.
    I build open source websites on my Mac, and predominately Microsoft based websites at work. Obviously each platform has benefits depending on which environment you work with.
    So, horses for courses really.
    I don’t foresee myself ever going back to a PC/Windows platform in my personal life.
    Snow Leopard looks like cementing that position.
    I have little faith left in Microsoft.

  97. 97

    The e text editor and a VAMP install have made my cheap Dell Inspiron my development machine of choice. I code on the Dell and play on my Mac. As a freelancer, the PC is a cost effective solution. I love my Macs but I also bought them before the economy tanked.

  98. 98

    What kind of horse shit is this? Guys, writing a “How to develop on PC” or whatnot article is fine, but why attempt to talk people out of Macs? I’ve been developing on all three for years now, and I have to say Macs are the best of all worlds.

    Please don’t promote Microsoft, they don’t need the help and the little guys are fighting an upwards battle. Sheesh.

  99. 99

    Well damn, are those the three things that got me into using the mac??

    Hot damn it, I’m gonna go right back now that vista can do that too..

    or maybe not

  100. 100

    I was once a hardcore PC user and very resistant to Macs. And then I started cheating on PC and left it for Mac. But after reading this article, I think there’s room for the both of them in my workspace.

  101. 101

    Raymond Selda

    June 10, 2009 6:01 pm

    I use Executor instead of Launchy. Thanks

  102. 102

    It’s great to see a list of tools you can find on any platform, used to draw some sort of delineation between two platforms. LOL Personally, I use Mac OS X and a few “flavors” of GNU/Linux. It has been said previously that a Unix-based OS is a plus, and that is a selling point for me. It’s simply what I’m comfortable with, it is reliable, and I can make the very most of Unix-based platforms.

    It’s seems like all that tool-talk was just filler/a vehicle for the hardware argument, which today is becoming a bit faded. I will say as a Linux user that hardware support is a crucial area once you have to struggle with it to get some work done.

    And the items about tweaking Windows to have Mac-like features… in this context, isn’t that a bit like claiming ordinary milk is better than chocolate milk because you can add chocolate syrup and it’s the same thing? But Mac users are always excited to talk about Expose and Spaces, and Spotlight/Quicksilver, and the dock, yet I have used equivalents on all platforms. Granted, they are wonderfully executed on Mac OS X and they function out of the box, but they aren’t terribly unique today and I’m not too shy to run a little “sudo apt-get compiz” and so forth to accomplish the same thing.

    Anyway, it’s nice to see an attempt at striking a balance, and moving away from fanboy journalism. But… spend a bit more time sharpening the axe first. :)

  103. 103

    Adrian Eden

    June 10, 2009 6:08 pm

    at the end of the day who gives a shit about this type of debate, make humans lives better and focus on your goals, use a mac or use a pc, or use a mobile, or pay a company to develop for you….

  104. 104

    Got both a desktop running Windows 7 and a Macbook Pro. I have to say I much prefer the stability of my Macbook compared to my Windows machine, however some things are just inherently easier to do on a PC. I guess it really comes down to what you are doing and who you are doing it with. If you’re freelancing for a firm that primarily uses Windows you may run into software issues, and likewise for Mac.

    That being said, my Macbook Pro is far sexier than any other laptop out there :p

  105. 105

    I’d be willing to write about web development on Linux. For development it’s actually my preferred environment… gedit, nautilus, gimp… there’s not much more you could need. Or KATE, Dolphin, and GIMP (sorry, the KDE image editor just isn’t that good yet).

    As far as the whole development on PC thing goes… the one thing I miss is being able to edit files directly through F T P. I can do that for images and text on Linux, I’d like to see something (not WYSIWYG) that does it. I guess I could just learn and install vi.

  106. 106

    Its not what you use but how you use it.

  107. 107

    Ruben Rojas

    June 10, 2009 6:15 pm

    The problem not is if developer use mac or pc, the problem is windows, is a operating system unestable and sucks, is my opinion, i was for few years windows user, but work easy and unestressed on my mac system.

  108. 108

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. What kind of web development is this article’s author doing? Some simple HTML? Let’s you try to SVN, SSH, or something as simple as patching a file, on a Windows Machine. Oh, I’m sorry, you’d have to install cygwin to get these utilities. They’re not built into the operating system. I won’t even mention the superiority of apps for OS X for web development, or the inherent insecurity of Windows. The biggest advantage OS X has over Windows for me as a web developer is that it’s built on *nix. Until Windows is built on *nix, it will never be able to match.

  109. 109

    Mac users are so stuck in using what they are given

    Ah, yes and that’s why things like Launchbar and Quicksilver were first developed on OS X (actually LB came from NeXTSTEP). Because we are soo stuck.

    You have no idea how much awesome software (open source and shareware) there is, that enables people to customise their Macs and expand the functionality beyond the default.

    This is to great parts due to Cocoa being an awesome developement environment empowering even individual developers to write so incredibly polished software, that an astounding number of free software and shareware on OS X is beyond most commercial stuff you can even dream of getting for Windows.

  110. 110

    An Observer

    June 10, 2009 6:32 pm

    Comments like this make me laugh:

    Please don’t promote Microsoft, they don’t need the help and the little guys are fighting an upwards battle

    Apple is a multi-billion dollar company, and isn’t an “underdog” in any shape or form.

    I’ve never understood the crusader-like animosity that people have towards each other regarding choice of operating system. The fact is, it doesn’t matter whether you code on a Windows, Mac, or Linux (like I do) as long as the code you write works well and you are productive. Stop leaving irate comments because someone chooses a different OS to you.

  111. 111

    gareth Brown

    June 10, 2009 6:34 pm

    looks to me like you need to install an awful lot of apps to do what a mac already does.

  112. 112

    Andrew Kelly

    June 10, 2009 6:37 pm

    Personally I am a mac user, and it’s not due to me being a fan boy. I grew up on PC’s and for over ten years I worked on a variety of desktops and laptops. My move to Mac, initially was forced and I hated every minute of it.

    When I was finally in a position to get another PC I jumped for joy. I got my new PC and noticed tiny issues. The programs I used took longer to boot up, my computer required restarts every day or two, and handy hot key features (God Bless Expose) were no longer at my disposal.

    With that said I did use a program I ABSOLUTELY LOVED and that was E-Text Editor. The best editor I ever used on windows. (Naturally it’s based off of Mac’s Textmate)

    Less then a year after getting my new laptop I felt the need to trade it in for another mac and I’ve been using Mac’s in my personal work ever since. What really cemented my mac use was my last job though. I was running Mac at home and PC at work. My computer system crashed (on average) twice a day, and required one additional restart a day to speed things up. No matter what the IT team did, it didn’t seem to improve the functionality.

    I was then laid off a few months ago, and recently decided to purchase a new Mac to go with my new freelance career choice. I’ve had it three weeks now and I’ve only restarted once and that was to do updates to several programs.

    At the end of the day both PC’s and Mac’s are suitable for development but unless a job forces me back to PC I’ll be sticking with my Mac if not else but complete reliability and trust that I won’t lose anything I’m working on.

  113. 113

    I use a PC, the things falling to pieces, but it doesn’t prevent me from doing decent work, and more to the point – making money… Most of the noise I hear about MAC’s say that it increase’s your productivity. Quite possibly true, but I guess those minutes you save are re-invested by the incessant need to tell the world that you own a mac, whether it be picture of a lonely mac sat on your desktop, tweet ‘hey I’m using my MAC’ or comment about how great my’mac is. Theres a big world outside, enjoy it.

  114. 114

    Why would you use either Mac OS X or Windows with the wide selection of Linux distros available?

    BTW, “PC” != “Windows”

  115. 115


    June 10, 2009 6:44 pm

    Windows always’s trying to have a mac heart, but the reality is that the macintosh isn’t for everybody- Cheaper people buy – Cheaper computers, Cheaper cars and have Cheapers lifes. think about it. Think big not small.

    I have 2 macs and the only reason i bought a notebook “acer one” was IE6 {windows cáncer}
    You want to make good web design get rid of ie6. upgrade

    It’s like i’d had 2 mercedes-benz and i’d had to buy a geo metro because my little daughter’s friend scratches the seats. surreal.

  116. 116

    More flame bait for the oldest, most cliché rivalry around. Stop fanning the flames and just make the honest point here instead of trying to drum up yet another Mac vs. PC gripe-fest on the Internet.

    Windows, Linux, OS X. These are all tools at the disposal of a designer, developer, etc. Tools don’t make you good at what you do. Talent and skill does. Take a look at the things true digital artists can do with MS Paint vs. the thousands of Photoshop monkeys out there.

  117. 117

    Saeed Kudaimati

    June 10, 2009 6:46 pm

    I can’t deny that Microsoft Visual Studio is the best development environment, but if you want to compare between OS X and Windows, OS X is much better, also Mac hardware is really powerful.

  118. 118

    I could not decide what platform should I use… Now I work on Vista, Mac OS X and Slackware. Problem solved ;)

  119. 119

    There is obviously a difference between Web Designers and Web Developers. Use what you think works best for you. I will stick with my Mac. If Windows was so great, there would not have been a need to write this article.

  120. 120

    Having been a PC user for a really long time (from the DOS/Windows 3.1 days), I can’t imagine ever going back from my Mac. I’d go to Linux long before I would ever go back to PC. All of my development is in Rails and PHP, and I still can’t get over how many issues I had on the PC that just went away on the Mac because of it’s UNIX underpinnings. Line endings, permissions, server features that just don’t work on Windows (many issues with Mongrel come to mind), the list goes on. And I don’t have to mess around with stuff like Cygwin to get the utilities that I need.

    Yes, you can develop on Windows. I did it for a long time. But I’m much more productive on a Mac.

  121. 121

    “the macintosh isn’t for everybody- Cheaper people buy – Cheaper computers, Cheaper cars and have Cheapers lifes. think about it. Think big not small.” Sounds like a lifestyle choice.

  122. 122

    Same old tired thing.

    What they should really call these articles is ” Why Web Developers Don’t Need Windows”.
    Let’s be honest here. It’s about OSX verse Windows. Not PC verse Mac.

    I use a Mac and throw up my fist to all you haters!! Any one who mentions that owning a Mac is “trendy” is just to broke to buy one…..and shouldn’t make comments until they have actually used one for some time. Not just for 5-minutes in a Mac store.

  123. 123

    While I really enjoy using Coda and CSSEdit, it’s all about code, which, to be honest, I could write on my smartphone.

    The author links to the article “Five Reasons Why Developers Are Switching to Macs” and dismisses it as yet another article that’s written in favor of Macs, it is in fact just what it says: a list of the reasons why many web developers are in fact now switching to Macs. (There used to be a time when it didn’t actually make so much sense.)

    Anyway, I find these kinds of articles to be just flame baits. In web development, more than anywhere else, personal preference counts.

    In graphic design there’s some valid reasons to choose Macs: ironically, compatibility with the rest of the world, reliability (in color management, for instance: did they fix that gamma table loading bug even in SP2?) and, as in web development, personal preference – it seems that the creative minds often go for Macs, because they find them less intrusive. But web development doesn’t involve color critical graphic design and thus doesn’t require Macs.

  124. 124

    Don’t talk about linux, it’s total crap for web development..

    The thing I really wish Windows had that Mac OS has is the ability to create virtual desktops. Once you get into using them it’s really hard to go back to dealing without them.

  125. 125

    @118 James

    Virtual Desktops for Windows are so easy to get.

    Stop complaining about something that can be googled and installed in 5 minutes

  126. 126

    I use both a Mac and a PC at work. Being an avid gamer (before I started working) tuned me off Apple for about 6 years until I finally started appreciating it – I love the OS (Tiger and Leapord), the design in some places and the aura (lol – the apple aura) but thats about it. I can safely say that I love Linux (as I am a web developer) and love Windows 7. Anything that helps inprove my productivity helps and thus I am not biased at all. As long as I have what I need I’m happy. All the cool boys and girls use macs (designers).
    I do love my overclocked gaming PC – 3.4Ghz Quad Core (OC’ed), geforce gtx280, 4GB ram with a 1TB HDD and a 24inch full HD display running windows 7 :) (Sorry could resist mentioning this).

  127. 127

    No one ever said you need a mac to be a web developer. But if you want a reliable operating system and a flawless user experience that makes it easier to do your work then get a Mac. Yes they are more expensive but you get what you pay for. It’s not about fashion, or being more elite, it’s about your tools enabling you to do your job rather than getting in the way of you doing your job.

  128. 128

    I am a web developer and since I use Ubuntu I have nothing to envy to mac users and -also- I DON’T EVER want to switch back to windows again…

    Linux is free, powerful, has excelent apps like eclipse to develop, has no virus at all, etc…

    +1 too for the linux article

  129. 129

    Ok, this was horrible.

    First, half of the article is just silly little hacks to make your windows do stuff macs can do too.

    Second, BBEdit, Textmate, or Coda will all destroy Notepad++. I know they’re not free, but why would you not spend a small amount of money to do your job much better?

    Third, mac has built-in python, php, ruby, apache, svn, etc. No need for MAMP, although it’s a nice option.

    Fourth, terminal. Terminal != Command prompt. Try launching the command prompt and using ssh without installing or configuring anything. Not going to happen.

    I realize most of this can be done on Linux as well, and that’s the whole point. OS X is pretty similar to Linux, and that’s what your sites are likely to be hosted on. And if you still think web devs don’t need a mac, remember that macs run windows faster than most computers shipped with windows.

  130. 130

    This article = flamebait

  131. 131

    Andrew, gtfo. Just another idiot who can’t even setup a computer even though it’s 2009.

  132. 132

    Jeff Geerling

    June 10, 2009 8:02 pm

    Wow, can you say linkbait?

    The title of this posting has little to do with the content. A more fitting title would read: “The Best Tools for Web Developers using Windows.”

    The only reason the current title was chosen is to incite flame wars in the comments thread of this post. I should probably post an article on my site titled, “7 Reasons Mac Users are Better than PC Users.” Regardless of the content, I’d get many comments, hundreds of links, and probably a digg.

    Sorry, but too formulaic. Also, almost all the programs featured in this post were also highlighted in various articles over the past week.

    Truth is, a good developer works with the tools he has. Some developers are more efficient with certain tools, and others with alternate tools. This post title is garbage.

  133. 133

    @Max, gtfo. It’s 2009, my computer should come built-in with standard tools and UNIX compliance. When you bought your car, did anyone call you an idiot because you didn’t build it all yourself?

  134. 134

    my PC is better than a mac could ever be. why? because i know how to customize it and how computers work inside out. OSX is for people who like something that looks trendy ‘out of the box’ and dont know how to make a computer better than it already is. aka. ‘computer illiterate’.

    on top of all that it only cost $6000 insted of $14,000 (yes, i checked the apple website, thats what it costs for the same thing). Also note that the monitors (dual 30″), GPU, CPU and HDD would be worse than the PC and cost A LOT more.

    thx bye.


    @andrew your an idiot.
    “First, half of the article is just silly little hacks to make your windows do stuff macs can do too.”
    yeah, except they are free, they dont cost $4000 to buy yourself a shitty desktop.
    I’m a designer for web and print, i have both mac and pc. I can safely say that PC is faster, cheaper and even looks better in the end (the OS, not the box).

  135. 135

    Bradley grein

    June 10, 2009 8:12 pm

    I have nothing against PC hardware. I have a problem with the OS. I don’t have time for inefficient software that causes more downtime that anything else. Plus the amount of poorly written software for the PC platform is obnoxious.

    I also know computers inside and out and trendy has nothing to do with the choice any of us make when choosing to develop on a mac. lol I am better off paying a little bit more initially because I am going to get twice the life out of that hardware than you are. It’s just a choice.

  136. 136

    Why Web Developers Don’t Need A Mac?
    I would have expect a flame with this title..
    But, I think is kind of wrong approach. In my humble opinion, a more title would be.. Why Web Developers Don’t Need OS X. and then the machines would not be on debate.
    What u can do on a win platform should be enough for a web developer.
    I am a Mac head and i enjoy my tools.
    No need to argue about tools…

  137. 137

    June 10, 2009 8:14 pm

    Honestly I like to dress in nice clothes and I want my work environment to reflect the same.

    The old days of the nerd in his basement hacking his pc to do “Cool” stuff is so over and cliche.

    Simply Mac devs can be as much of a “nerd” and still look cool doing it.

  138. 138

    @Kowalski: There are 100 times more pc than mac’s for the same reason that vhs although less superior in both quality of film and construction to the betamax won the war…PRICE! If you build it they will come, if you build it cheap they will buy. I think it’s pretty funny that this article starts out strong in showing alternatives for the PC; and then swerves sharply into here’s how to re-create a mac. Why not just buy the mac?

    I grew up on PC, and for many years I loved the platform (windows), mainly because I love video games. But like everything I grew up, made some money and realized that investing in a mac SAVED me money, as unlike windows; apple doesn’t force you to upgrade graphics cards, sound cards. In fact until leopard came out I was running the same ibook for 5 years, and by the time mac switched too intel I was ready for a better machine anyways.

    @max: you miss the point entirely my bolded, angry little peon. Your first statement pretty much sums up why people love mac’s…get ready…here it comes… you don’t need to configure them! You get your mac, turn it on, it plays a fun little vid and its yours, not yours in two days after you’ve “set it up” your fully functional and working. Oh and I turned my mac on 2 years ago, and no viruses. I bet you anti-virus was getting hit minutes after you logged on.

    @ev4n: did your mom make you grilled cheeses’ while you wasted your college tuition, building a rig that was obsolete the minute you turned it on? And you must be a print designer because the user experience for windows is painful, and they ripped of the look of OSX, obviously to make pc nuts feel a little better about themselves.

  139. 139

    I think the article and many of the comments miss the main reason Web Developers tend to develop on a Windows PC. It is because the majority of our web users, the people who we are creating sites for, also use Windows based computers. It is common sense to develop and test on the system which 90% of your users are going to be viewing your product. For the other 8% users on Macs, we can emulate the wacky things the Mac OS does with font-smoothing and form fields by testing in Safari for Windows. On the flipside, a developer on a Mac can run Parallels to test for Windows. Problem solved, all of us are shiny happy people holding hands. :)

  140. 140

    once you go mac you will never go back ;)
    @Craig: Thank you for saying what I was thinking.

  141. 141

    @ev4n, what did I do to piss you off? OS X is for people who are “computer illiterate”, you say. Last I checked, people who like having perl, python, and apache built-in are probably not computer illiterate.

    All I’m saying is that I’d like to have my tools built-in so I can spend the day using them, rather than installing and configuring them. If you enjoy spending your time setting things up, good for you. No need to get all internet tough guy about it.

  142. 142

    @ThomasMoffett: because it’s not possible to buy nice cases for PCs right? A wide range and variety, even, to the degree where you can get one that fits in perfectly with your work environment? No, you’re right, they’re all just beige boxes.

    Wow. Was just on the Apple Store, 24-inch 3.06GHz iMac, add 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM RAM is US$1,000.

  143. 143

    You guys just prove over and over how little you understand what it means to configure a real setup, and how rewarding it is.

    But sure, keep going with that mass produced rounded corner easy interface if it works for you.

    But don’t fking say it’s BETTER and MORE EFFICENT. As i said 3 times, it’s just up to how able you are to configure your own environment.

    The Apple guys does not know how you work- They just know what the big masse likes. There is a better way to do things then OS X – build your own setup.

    And atm, you can do that much better and more efficent on a PC.

    = if you know wtf you are doing, PC is the better choice.


  144. 144


    June 10, 2009 8:52 pm

    Having worked on both, I can say that neither one lends itself to a faster workflow than the other. They both take quite a bit of getting used to.

    But there is one advantage to a mass-produced product: if you change machines (i.e. hardware failure, upgrade machine), moving to a replacement is a piece of cake.

  145. 145

    You have to be completely retarded if you can’t get a PC to work efficiently. That argument is the stupidest argument someone who uses a mac can make. Aren’t we supposed to all be developers here? I can understand an average person who doesn’t know much about a computer making that argument, but not a developer.
    And where do you draw the line for power? Because I’m really concerned with paying for a top of the line mac to write code and design in photoshop? Yeah.. That really takes a motherload of power to do…
    I run windows 7 on a 800 dollar pc without a problem, why? Because I’m not an idiot.

  146. 146

    I love PC (Windows) because PC more detail than MAC, maybe PC have more bug and MAC have no bug, but it’s not problem for me, and I like Bill’s contribution for IT

  147. 147

    Whatever you say guys, Macs are for people with vision and inspiration. It’s the same as driving…you most certainly can get from point A to point B with your rigid Corolla, but you would rather hover with a Mercedes. How am I supposed to be creative when I sit on one of those third world, plasticky, clanky PC’s which supposably does all the job as the Mac, and yet it does better in displaying the perfect blue screen of death? Installing all those apps that reflect the Macs are only to satisfy people’s consciousness and get them closer to the perfection of Apple products. If you are one of those who would ramble after this post, have fun driving your Corolla with a Mercedes sticker on the bumper.

  148. 148

    Bruno Correia

    June 10, 2009 9:09 pm

    Work on Apple and test on both. — Windows is bad. IE is embarrassing.

  149. 149

    @Shtrack: “Macs are for people with vision and inspiration”. Wow, nice generalization, guess us Windows users are incapable of vision or inspiration then.

    “How am I supposed to be creative when I sit on one of those third world, plasticky, clanky PC’s” – yeah because all PCs are ugly and you don’t have a massive range of hardware/cases etc. to choose from, do you? Sure, Macs have good build quality, but then, so do a hell of a lot of PCs.

    “the perfect blue screen of death”? Can’t remember the last time I saw one of those. Trotting out the same tired old arguments huh?

    The perfection of Apple products? Hahaha. Sure. They do make great products, I’ll happily admit that, but they’re hardly perfect. Nice to see that the iphone is finally getting copy and paste though! :)

    Seriously, there are plenty of good arguments to make for Macs and OS X, but it seems that many of these fervent fanboys are sadly incapable of making those arguments.

  150. 150

    Darwin Santos

    June 10, 2009 9:14 pm

    Poorly written article. In my case I switched to Mac not because it was “trendy” or even “cool”, it was because after several years of fighting and fixing the PC I had, I was fed up.
    On the IE token, Microsoft should stop making IE or follow the W3C standards one of the two.
    Imagine paying for a service that you never really get, that’s IE, a virus magnet that is not W3C compliant, and in my case I used windows for more than ten years, windows itself made me move to Mac. It is not right for a web developer to have to spend extra time with workarounds and hacks, when there established standards on how web browsers should interpret the code.
    +1 for linux.
    If at some point in my web dev career I can’t afford a Mac, I will use Ubuntu or any other Linux version.
    I ran a 6 month test on windows xp sevice pack 2 and ubuntu 5, withing the 6 months I had to reinstall windows 8 times, due to viruses and ubuntu froze once ( yes, only one single tiny time ) and it was because I made it freeze( on purpose ) by opening a file as root user and chmoding it while it was open on another session in the same computer.

    SM guys I am so disappointed.

  151. 151

    Move over to Ubuntu and you have a real system for developers, yeah and everything is free :)

  152. 152

    @Darwin Santos:
    “On the IE token, Microsoft should stop making IE or follow the W3C standards one of the two.”
    I don’t much like IE, don’t use it myself apart from for testing, but everything I do (complex graphically rich standards compliant websites) works great in IE 8 without using any additional hacks whatsoever. Sure, I don’t get some of the nice CSS3 bells and whistles that I get with Firefox, Safari, Opera etc. but at least they’ve released an IE that works at long last. So, your point is moot.

    “It is not right for a web developer to have to spend extra time with workarounds and hacks, when there established standards on how web browsers should interpret the code.” Yep. Totally agree with you there. Here’s the thing though, that’s irrelevant to the argument, those workarounds and hacks that you have to do, you’re going to have to do them until the number of IE 6 (and to a lesser degree IE 7) users drops to an insignificant number, and that’s regardless of what platform you’re developing on.

    “I ran a 6 month test on windows xp sevice pack 2 and ubuntu 5, withing the 6 months I had to reinstall windows 8 times, due to viruses” That doesn’t reflect well on you, I’ve never had a virus on a Windows machine. Never. Seriously. Just by running decent (ie not Norton or McAffee) virus protection and not being an idiot. I’ve also never had to reinstall my OS, though every time I’ve moved to a new version of Windows I’ve done a fresh install rather than an in place upgrade just to shed all the software that I don’t use anymore and am too lazy to remove through add/remove programs.

  153. 153

    This article is poorly written, poorly researched, and is nothing more than flame-bait to make Windoze users feel better about their crap platforms.

    As others have noted, there are myriad reasons why Macs are better for web development, and all you need to do is attend a web development seminar and note how many Macs you see vs. Windoze laptops.

    The argument that Mac users are simply brainwashed lemmings holds zero water when you look at the caliber of web developers who use them. The notion that Jeremy Keith uses a Mac simply to “look cool” is laughably absurd.

    Out of the box, the Mac has a BSD subsystem, MySQL, PHP, and apache, all ready to go. Far and away this is a much closer environment to the vast majority of production environments.

    But hey, at least on Windoze you get IE and Outlook ’07!

  154. 154

    Be careful with downloading things from Deviantart, if your system is not prepared for trojan impact. Even visiting member’s profiles is dangerous when js is allowed on your browser. The danger is coming from the implemented ad-adservers.

  155. 155

    I don’t get the hype about macs.
    PC’s are ok, but I don’t have time for the casual reinstall after a virus attack.
    So I switched to Linux and never looked back.

  156. 156

    Carlos Varela

    June 10, 2009 9:58 pm

    WAMP isn’t so cool because you can have some problems running IIS and Apache at the same time, a better alternative ready to use (without edit your httpconf) is AppServ

    BTW i use windows and osx daily but i prefer osx, is better if you won’t reinstall after X period time and all that shit around trojans,worms,virus, etc.

    About Linux good OS but software and drivers aren’t so good like for OSX

  157. 157

    Huge selection of tablets? Choice of mice?
    Are people really still using the mac mouse argument? I dunno, I replaced that thing a long time ago with a 7 button + 2 scrollwheel mouse a long time ago…

    And last I checked, all wacom tablets work on macs as well…

    Most of the other tools you point out are also available on mac, here are just a few:

    Notepad++ = TextMate
    Clipboard Manager = There are a lot out there, but when managing snippets I re-use a lot, I just open TextEdit and keep it there…same basic functionality.
    SyncBack = Time Machine

    RE: Visual Styles…they’re nice and all, but I found that when I was using XP, I spent lots of time customizing and not getting anything done. In a sense, not having the ability to customize the look has made me more productive, as I’m not nitpicking away at the visual styles. It doesn’t hurt that the OS X look and feel is very subtle by design, putting the visual focus on what you’re working on/looking at, not the chrome. Some of the best visual styles for windows do just that, and in that sense it’s actually an extra step.

    Windows has its uses, and it’s a fine development environment, just as OS X and Linux are. Personally, I enjoy developing in OS X most since the system itself just handles my tasks better. Towards the end of my PC’s life in the office, the hangs, random crashes and lockups got to the point where I was interrupted at least 3 times a day. It wasn’t viruses or malware- all checks came up clean. It wasn’t hardware going bad, as a format later, it’s now running just fine as my media center. It was all the crap that gets left behind after an uninstall or added to startup. It’s not a Windows problem per se, but for some reason, Windows app developers love making services that run at startup for just about everything, which is a problem I haven’t had on OS X or Linux.

    @Charles: “You have to be completely retarded if you can’t get a PC to work efficiently. That argument is the stupidest argument someone who uses a mac can make. Aren’t we supposed to all be developers here? I can understand an average person who doesn’t know much about a computer making that argument, but not a developer.”

    That’s not the point. The point is I’m a developer, and prefer to spend my time developing, not fixing or working around other developers’ mistakes. I shouldn’t have to work around a faulty operating system just to be able to operate the computer. If I have to do that then the OS, by definition, has failed.

    Yeah you pay a premium for a mac. But it is my experience (as an ex-mac hater, albeit not a windows lover- just user) that the mac pays for itself (in actual dollars in a business environment) due to the lack of headaches.

  158. 158

    I would rather say thats why webdevelopers need a mac, but when that’s said: No text editor compares to Kate :)

    Have a great day, web developers!
    Be inspired!

  159. 159

    All you do is, making your PC a Mac. So buy a Mac and thats it. You get all this, without wasting Your time in installing and hacking.

  160. 160

    sucks, i believe the article didnt answer its question title

  161. 161

    Who is really talented and really know what he want to do, He can do it even on IBM, like tha painter , he could draw a piece of art even in MsPaint :).

  162. 162

    Why you need to do all that if you can buy a mac with all this stuff included ^__^

  163. 163

    And viruses? Where were they left?
    I prefer using a Mac, and paying more, for not having to worry and so on. Doing all those installations and configurations in Windows definitely takes time.

    One of the primary things that made me switch were exactly those precious minutes lost every hour doing OS’s job.

  164. 164

    Buy a Mac and focus on your work, not fixing issues. Besides, you can run Windows on your Mac. Personally, I find Macs are cheaper because they allow me to focus on my work and I’ve never had to waste my time with applications that don’t work for no good reason.

    Sure web developers don’t need a Mac, but it sure makes life a hell of a lot easier. Life is complicated enough without adding technology to the mix, so why not use technology that just works.

  165. 165

    Ouch… mention Mac vs. PC and you get 4000 comments, it’s like religion.
    Either way, I firmly believe Mac haters didn’t spend enough time on Mac OS X. It’s a more stable, faster, consistent and easy to use OS – all of that without sacrificing customizability, unlike many claim. I should know; I was a PC user for at least 10 years. I installed all kinds of apps (which basically try to emulate stuff the Mac does) except that only made my Windows more unstable and sluggish. Windows slowly decays and you have to reinstall it every few months. And every version of the OS only gets more bloated (see Vista).

    As a UNIX-based system, OS X is a treat when you’re dealing with terminal-based operations, such as SSH or the apache server (which comes pre-installed, by the way).
    Yeah, there are pricks out there who own Macs to show off, but there are idiots everywhere. Don’t let that kind of thing stop you from trying a superior OS.

    PS: Linux folks, sorry; GIMP is not and will never be Photoshop CS4. There is no Flash. Linux is fine if you can’t afford a Mac, and if you like tinkering.

  166. 166

    The big secret that apple don’t tell you until after you drop several thousand dollars on one, is that the visual design of Macs is average best, and the interface is one of the most awkward things you’ll ever use. They don’t even have the basic ability to resize a window frame from any side or corner, a feature that has been present in Windows since it was based on MS DOS! But you’ll pretend to love it, and convince yourself that it’s great, because you don’t want to seem like the fool that just spent so much money on a big white paperweight.

    The reason Macs will never look as good as a well-designed PC is because you’re stuck with the same bland case and clunky interface as every other mac user, and there’s absolutely no way to tailor your computer to your desk environment short of a can of spraypaint and a hacksaw. It’s plenty easy for them to look better than the sloppy PC’s that alot of lazy windows users have, but that’s not really very hard. Looking better and being more usable than a smart PC user, however, is near impossible for a mac, which is why most mac users that want to have a bit of control over their computers end up installing windows on their macbooks anyway.

  167. 167


    June 10, 2009 10:41 pm

    Very well done.. This is why.. “I’m a PC” :)

  168. 168

    If this article would have to show all the advantages of Windows it would be 700 times longer. On windows, you have a choice, you have a freedom and you can do things your way, many people know what to do with that, other people are dumb and need to be told what to do. If you are dumb as a shovel, well, Mac is right for you then, but stop spreading lies about PC. After all, Mac IS PC, just with different OS that is several years behind Windows in development and capabilities.

    Response to few stupid comments:
    “viruses” – if you get viruses, you are, plain and simple, stupid. If you get email from unknown source with program attachment and “I love you” message with it, you open it? Yeah? Than you ARE stupid. If you use legal software and apply regular updates (that are free unlike mac) and if you don’t open every crap coming your way, you are safe. Most complaints about windows and viruses are coming from people who use illegal windows without updates.

    “unstability” – Windows itself isn’t unstable, right now I have uptime of over 250 days. It’s the improper use of it that make it unstable.

  169. 169

    Matthijn Dijkstra

    June 10, 2009 10:45 pm

    If you think the most ‘distinctive’ Mac feature, you just havent used a Mac well enough, i could not live without expose and spaces anymore. It works so wel vs alt-tab or ‘windows 3D flip’.

    Allso the main feature of the Mac is ‘it just works’, you are like tuning a day to get it ‘somewhat’ like the mac (by doing that, you actualy implie that the Mac has really good features, because your trying so hard to get them on the windows machine).

    On a ‘mac’ al those features and more are just build in, allso the consistency between applicaties is much better, on windows it looks like every app has its own UI, on mac there mostly the same.

    It is true that you don’t need a Mac for developping, you could even use a random linux system. But that there area some difference between them wich make life somewhat easier, that just can’t be denied.

    @zx, please tell me of the features windows has the Mac is ‘years’ behind on, or missing, allso please tell me, what choice of freedom I have on a windows machine which I don’t have on a Mac?

    On a Mac you can maybe even configure more than on a Windows machine (its a full Unix system).

    Allso ‘windows’ updates are as free as ‘mac updates’ are. — Updates are free, on both systems, though going to a newer version Xp -> Vista -> 7 is even more expensive than the ‘new OS upgrades’ on a mac.

    Like Leopard users can buy Snow Leopard for just 29$, a windows Update lays around 70$


    Before you think, he has no experience on Windows, i Have used mayor Windows versions from version 2, which include the server and desktop versions. So i know what differences there really are, and which are made up.

  170. 170

    I have no freakin idea what you are talking about.

    Mac or Mac OS, because Mac itself is useless piece of hardware.

  171. 171

    Benjamin Dobson

    June 10, 2009 10:54 pm

    I prefer a Mac. As someone above me said, it’s not any big things that really make the change, it’s thousands of little things. Sure, it can be hard to get used to the different workflow, but it really was worth it for me.

    But you mustn’t be stubborn. Once you’ve invested in software, yes, switching will be expensive. But for all you know, in twenty years all computers could be completely different. And if that happens it may not be Apple, Microsoft or another generic PC manufacturer that wins out. It could be a small start up from Liverpool instead. Anything could happen in the future, so don’t pretend it won’t.

  172. 172

    “I’m a designer and I love Windows PC”

  173. 173

    Not necessary, but oh-so-nice. Beautiful.

  174. 174

    What a great way to draw more audience to Smashing! ; )

  175. 175

    Once you have had Mac you don’t go back!!! I use Windows and OSX on my sexy sexy 17″ Macbook Pro (which cost me £2,000 and worth every penny), OSX always gives me a problem free experience that doesn’t slow down and allows me to really just got on with being productive. If i had nothing better to do that tinker around hacking my OS then I’m sure Windows would be the one for me. But as it happens i have plenty to do ;)

    Plus all the free software you get out of the box, iLife is awesome, Enterprise class email client and calendar, Apache is already installed and easy to activate, a full Ruby on Rails stack is ready for you to get cracking with, what more could you ask for?

  176. 176

    Jason Barone

    June 10, 2009 11:01 pm

    I just ordered a system from newegg: coolermaster centurion tower, thermaltake 600w modular power supply, asus p5q pro turbo, quad core 2.8, fan, 4gb ddr2 1066 RAM, 3 Western digital 500gb 32mb 7200rpm drives, 24x dvdrw, sapphire radeon 512mb vid, dual 24″ monitors, keyboard. Price = under $1500.

    In a year, a few hundred dollars will buy an intel i7, ddr3 RAM and solid state. How can you beat that? For a comparable Mac we’d pay probably double and would have to “hackintosh” it if we want to upgrade.

    Notepad++ – Great for simple code edits but the addon stuff is outdated and confusing as hell.
    Syncback – Simply awesome freeware for backing up to multiple hard drives, I use it everyday.
    Rocketdock – Neat program but I ended up removing it because I don’t want extra programs running all the time. Win 7’s new taskbar is much more productive.
    Stand alone Stacks – Why? Stuff floating everywhere would slow me down. I use XP and simply “Pin” program shortcuts to the Start menu. 90% of my programs I access with 2 single clicks.
    Launchy – Useful for a many things if setup to combine certain tasks. I found that commands for Firefox were rather useless in Launchy because Firefox runs on my computer almost the entire day and it’s more productive for me to just flip to Firefox and use shortcuts and addons. Again, Why?
    AutoHotKey and Texter are EXTREME time savers!

    Also, for development I use Aptana Studio, it’s a nice free IDE, but very slow and bloated feeling.
    I envy Coda and Textmate users, because they sound awesome.

    I’m a PC guy, but I did find it funny that a lot of people hate Mac but use software to do what a Mac does from the factory.

  177. 177

    As a developper, all I need is my mac together with Eclipse, Dreamweaver, Flash, some MySQL tools, XAMPP and of course, all the superb build-in features of one of my Macs… :-)
    Windows-users: it’s about time to face the truth ;-)

  178. 178

    @Thomas: What truth, that PC’s do everything a mac can do, only better, faster, and easier? All the software you listed there is cross platform, so the only ‘advantage’ you’ve pointed out is that mac users are smug.


  179. 179

    Ejaz Siddiqui

    June 10, 2009 11:11 pm

    PC or Mac (or Linux or something else)
    The bottom line is “How you feel comfortable”.
    I do like both PC and Mac (also Linux). Every OS has it cons and pros, we can list hundreds of cons and pros of every OS.
    Having said that I think Mac is very good for designing but when it comes to choice and doing other work it lacks.

    How many softwares are available?
    How many hardwares are available?
    How many games are available? e.t.c

    In these scenarios there is no comparison between Mac and PC. PC is way far ahead than any other OS.

  180. 180

    Again: it doesn’t really matter which OS you use, you’ll find tools that are alike anyway

    Also launchy is the best program evahr ^^

  181. 181

    Again? boring….Zzzz

    Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated the effort of the writer. But the topic is ….

    I am a developer and I also need to handle some graphics design tasks. To me, platform is never be the dominant factor. I use both PC and Mac. Both have their strength and weakness.

    I would recommend the following topics…. any writer?

    1. Why developers need to learn vim / emacs or tools that allows us to work on extreme and portable environment.
    (with different plugins that helps us work faster)

    2. How to build website without paying much on software packages
    (we all know WAMP, LAMP, Firefox/firebug. How about free code/graphics editors? tools for organizing things? tools for timesaving? tracking? building information architecture? website prototyping? manage clients for a small web design studio?….etc tools that are available on both PC, Mac and Linux)

  182. 182

    It’s nice to see someone else getting beaten up for a change ;-). It’s good to see both sides of the coin, though – great article Mike!

  183. 183

    If this article was intended as linkbait, i think you owe it to your core readership to publish a retraction and apology.

    If its intention was to somehow demonstrate the true viability of Windows for web development in 2009 then congrats, you just lost the respect of your core audience.

    Cmon Smashing, you are better than this…

  184. 184

    Oh btw, does anyway know how to reproduce his paragraph thing?

    “When coding, I type the text of my paragraph, then add a space, press “p” and hit tab. Texter automatically puts the at the start of the line and at the end.”

  185. 185

    I always prefer using a Windows OS computer. They have tons of free software and they are of course cheaper. But Mac OS just works nice… but the software that is good costs money and that could be a downer because for Windows they are free.

    Not to forget that games suffer in Mac OS.

  186. 186

    Charlie Nielsen

    June 10, 2009 11:37 pm

    Why, I’m asking when reading this post – at most of all when reading the comments! Is this about having the biggest piece of iron on your pants or about the functionality an Operating System and the written tools can bring you?

    I’m a Mac user and I’m proud. The reason for this is not concerning the MAC hype, but comes down to these simple things:

    1) When buying a (more expensive) Mac, you know that quality hardware is used and I don’t have to spend hours learning about this and that to get performance on my workstation.

    2) The OS X system made me waaaay more productive – as it simply works as intended and the customisation is swift and fast.

    3) No more hassle with spyware, malware, virus’es, etc. I know it’s coming, but for now I’m happy with having no concern of these annoyances.

    4) When I switched from PC to Mac on 2002 – I found all apps to suit my development and design needs. They just didn’t crash that often. But the apps are there for both platforms and I could work on a PC, but still prefer MAC due to productivity

    5) Why haven’t Windows given us a keyboard shortcut to ‘New Folder’? Pretty basic function that needs a 3rd party app.? Hmmm.

    Generally I’m tired of discussions. Some are happy with A, others with B. That’s the way it’ll always be.

    But consider that everytime Apple brings some news from their Keynote – it dassles. When M$ launches a new Windows – the whole market get’s split. Vista is the worst ever and way to bureaucratic in the ways of working. You have to approve EVERYTHING so that no harm is done to your system. I get annoyed. Furthermore the RC of Windows 7 – still have the same annoyances – but a blue version of an Ubuntu interface.

    Shouldn’t we helt each other instead. It must be about the product of our creations and not the means…

    // Charlie Nielsen
    // Divendo

  187. 187

    Love the article!!!! Thank you!

  188. 188

    Here we go again…Mac Vs PC war
    Feels more like a frustrated article to me.
    Just feel free to use whatever OS you like, Mac, Windows or Linux. Who cares ? There’s plenty of great dev tools on every OS.
    The worst and most childish article ever on SM.

  189. 189

    This articles made by noob for noobs.
    Strange software which not stick me on windows.
    And strange stuff to make windows looks like macosx.

  190. 190

    @ David:
    If that’s you’re truth, fine!! I’m glad you’re having a pc that works :-) I’m not saying a mac’s good and a pc isn’t. I just said that all I need is my mac with some good software. I had some pc’s (and I still have one) but a mac works better for me.
    “it’s not any big things that really make the change, it’s thousands of little things” ;-)

    btw: my five year old 12″ iBook still starts up in about 30 seconds, how cool is that?!

  191. 191

    The developer of Notepad++ is pretty much an a**hole. I reported some bugs, and the answer was that i should fix them myself.
    I prefer PsPad

  192. 192

    Mike Simmonds

    June 10, 2009 11:44 pm


    Why bother writing an article about a topic that has no ‘right or wrong’. Surely ‘Pro developer tips for Windows user’s’ would have been a better, helpful article, even to Mac users.

    OS choice is down to the individual’s needs, and how comfortable they feel with the system and what they are actually developing. For example to develop in ASP/ on a Mac is a bad choice. The same way developing Ruby on Rails on Windows is silly as Mac comes with Rails reinstalled and good editors.

    It’s true that Macs are a more stable platform. Vista is, well, rubbish, even Microsoft have admitted the fact. Hopefully with the release or Windows 7, windows user can not only develop in a stable, bug free(ish) environment but re-establish trust in a brand that has let them down for many years.

    Stop wasting time promoting hate between operating systems and spend more time on something more productive.

  193. 193

    Think the most important part of this post (IMHO) is : the operating system is a means to an end, I use a mac at work and a pc at home and once you get past the obvious visual appeal of a mac and down to work, it’s just a case of what you know works best for you to get things done.

  194. 194

    Mac and Linux users are all over the internet and yet they’re just this tiny %.

    If you are a web dev (and not just a designer) I don’t think you need more one than the other because all you need is apache-n-stuff / text editor / ftp clent / photoshop (or Fireworks or nothing). So you can dev with any old machine.

    On Windows though, IETester is a life saver ;) Well you can install Windows on new macs.

    I’d like to test OSX mac are overpriced and not that upgradeable. But I will try it on my next PC and compared it to Win7.

    So the conclusion is … fanboys are annoying ;)

  195. 195

    Once again Mac gets owned.

  196. 196

    This article is really ridiculous, there is so many bullshit in it I don’t know where to start from.
    1) Eclipse / Aptana are free to use, do a great job, and are cross-platform. You can develop in windows, mac, linux, whatever the operating system is the most trendy at the moment, or you feel comfortable with. Who cares about the rest.
    2) Who the hell cares of having docks, bells, whistles and all this shit you do to make you windows look good. Windows is ugly. You know what? You shouldn’t care. Also, the main difference between windows and Mac is NOT the user interface. Is that clear enough?
    3) Windows developing is good for a web designer. Still, it’s ugly compared to Linux web developing, or Mac web developing. Apache and MySql work just fine in Windows. Still, they work easier and better in a Unix environment. Guess why? The mos part of Apache deployments are on *nix servers. Bam! (someone may argue you don’t have Macromedia Flash in linux. Well, it’s true. You have it on a Mac, however. Personally, or this tasks, I, and many others, do virtualization. Who cares if you have a modern processor with virtualization capabilities. You use your virtual machine to test sites with IE, you use it to work with your macromedia flash.. and basically, that’s all)
    4) Customizing you UI that way is in the long run a waste of time. If you don’t feel confident switchin operating system (and I very understand you, because it basically means learning a new environment from scratch), at least be a man and stick with microsoft ugliness :)

  197. 197

    Cristian Ciofu

    June 11, 2009 12:10 am

    I never worked on a Mac, but I would really love to try one and see the difference.

    Until then I will use Windows with a lot of software that replicate the Mac behavior :)

  198. 198

    ITT: Butthurt Macfags.

    I have used Macs for years and they have always been very prone to crash and hang for me, just like a PC would do, but at least the PC was cheaper and upgrades were cheaper so in the end I stuck with a PC and have never looked back. The money I could have spent on upgrading a Mac I spend on fixing and improving my apartment. :3

  199. 199

    I think the author doesn’t own a mac^^ All those programs you can find on a mac… and it’s easyer on the eyes ;)

  200. 200

    I used windows machines for 20 years. Last year I switched to a mac book pro. Believe me OSX is so much better than Windows. Windows is a piece of crap!

  201. 201

    all these articles about the differences suck. every word about mac better for design and development worth nothing. you see the exact same dock every time, and the exact same taskbar on the top every time. You wont be more creative because You change your wallpaper or icons (and you can do that on a PC or even on any Linux btw.) And for developers You wont know that your code sucks because you take a look at the shiny dock or because all the apps have the same feeling. and you wont be a better guy if you use Win or Linux either. its just about personal preferences. if i have to do any task, i just sit down at my computer (be it a PC or a Mac or Linux) and do my job. the look and feel of my OS don’t make any sence, and if someone wants they can turn their machine to look like the other one.

    a lot of people said that they got better because of switching to a mac. maybe you’re so brainless that you dont realize that over time you got better because you actually learned a thing or two about development, or design. its not your mac who poured all that knowledge in that emptiness above your neck…..

  202. 202

    James Dunmore

    June 11, 2009 12:34 am

    Any web developer (with the exception of .net) who chooses to develop windows needs their head testing (I’ll be fair, and some companies corporate guidelines don’t allow anything else).

    Sorry, but most of the web is on the LAMP stack, develop on the free Ubuntu desktop, with free tools, most are miles better than any of that windows crap.

  203. 203

    The main point that seems to have been missed here is that it is not just about the software. OSX is simply a far nicer environment in which to work.

  204. 204

    I use a Mac simply because I dont need to worry as with a Windows system, my computer is from 2004 and with a little increase of ram still can run with 3 CS4 aps and big archives at the same time, so I dont need to worry about buying a new one every 3 years.

    I can work with Mac, Windows or Linux, no problem what, but if I can decide I’ll Mac.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaa, you must think that if you compare, you must select the same product, a Pc with the guarantee of a known firm, and with the same components, and you’ll discover that is not too cheap, and the price is the same or more than the Mac’s.

  205. 205

    Mac is gay.

  206. 206

    I like how the apples look. Nice materials an so on. But is is still a computer. I would always prefer to buy more power for the same money. What is more important as a web developer I use two monitors. On apple this is either very inconvenient or very expensive.
    I work generally from home and I am very happy my windows. I would only buy an Apple if I had a front office for my clients. At this situation the Mac would more like an expensive piece of furniture.

  207. 207

    Do not feed the trolls… boring.

  208. 208

    Wow, this article is so below SM’s standards… Its only goal is to start a flame. Moreover, I wonder if the author ever used a Mac (The best parts of the Mac… Quicksilver???)

  209. 209

    I do not see how anyone could use a Mac over a PC, at all!

    The standard mouse is crap, the driver support for others is NIL, the hardware is over-priced and under powered compared.

    I’ve tried photoshop on my mac, and have to reply so much on the shitty Mac keyboard I found it a totally unpleasent experience.

  210. 210

    Fully agree. The fact remains that Windows accounts for well over 80% of the global desktop market, and you can be sure that there’s much more software, hardware and support available for it than for Mac.

    But that fact aside, PCs are also WAY more flexible. Every single component can be swapped out, upgraded or patched, and it’ll continue to run. As opposed to a Mac, where you’re pretty much stuck with what you bought.

    Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great machine, but that’s sort of where it ends. There’s only so much you can do on a Mac before you’re forced to buy a whole new one to get additional processing power.

  211. 211

    I have my own agency in Poland and we work on Macs…I read what You wirte and I see that Pc have now so many options:) that’s great!! But I see one problem. To work on Pc like I work on Mac I need to spend so many time to configuration PC(learn how to do this and find good programs). When I buy Mac I don’t need to do anything only press button power :), Time is money. And hier Mac wins.

  212. 212

    What about the fact a Mac can run Windows and Mac OS X? Surely that’s a huge benefit over a PC whose operating system you suggest should be hacked to look and act like a Mac?

    As for needing to swap out components making a PC better than a Mac where you can’t, you’ve missed the point. You don’t NEED to swap anything on a Mac and you certainly won’t lose functionality by adding a peripheral like Windows machines. I’m assuming I don’t need to mention Trojans and viruses here…

  213. 213


    Imagine how valuable all this feedback is :)

    You could sell this for loads of money!!!

  214. 214

    You guys are on crack for writing a garbage of a post like this.

  215. 215

    For me it’s all about the command line, i went back to windows for a few days last week, i wanted to tear my eyeballs out using windows command prompt.

  216. 216

    Don’t forget BumpTop which is a really good argument to have a PC around ;-) Its not yet developed for MAc, but will be, they said…

  217. 217

    I know I’m double posting, but there’s something that’s apparently being missed here:

    PCs also run out-of-the-box, just in case no-one noticed.

    Macs aren’t psychic. You will spend time setting it up after purchase, just like you’ll spend time on a PC, installing the various bits of software you’ll need. Just because you can customise it to hell and back doesn’t mean that you will: All I ever did in the way of customization was setting a new desktop background and changing the Aero tint to pure white.

    Yes, I’m using Vista, I’m probably gay and dumb too, right?

    Also, for the record: PCs can run OSX, just as Macs can run Windows. The only difference, then, is hardware performance, since the software playing field can be leveled.

  218. 218

    This should be titled. Why Web Developers Don’t Need A OS X. Mac is a hardware platform and one that can run Windows and Linux as well as OS X. I know Apple like the confusion between Mac and OS X, but we sould not encorage it. I’m a web dev and I like my MacBook Pro, but with Ubuntu on it not with OS X. Hardware is not so important these days, OS is a more important choice, and the best OS at the mo for Web Dev is probably Linux, followed by OS X then Windows last…

  219. 219

    Probably one of the laziest articles I’ve even seen on the subject.
    No clear lines of argument and misses the point entirely.

    The best best parts of the mac, the dock and stacks. C’mon – what has this got to do with web dev ?

  220. 220

    Moritz Gießmann

    June 11, 2009 1:06 am

    PC !== Windows

  221. 221

    More for windows users
    -> Evernote
    -> E-Text Editor [TextMate for windows]
    -> Digsby [mail + social + im]
    -> Orbit Down loader[download + organize + grab any em video]
    -> FileZilla [Better FTP]
    -> GoodSync [Sync anything anywhere {tons of protocol support }]

  222. 222

    Hilarious. Used a PC in everything I did, until I dealt with the final crash and burn last June. Bought an iMac and wow is all I can say. There is a great list above of free software that you can get for Windows…almost all of which come standard on a Mac. All of “The Best Parts of a Mac” function much better than the apps listed. And there isn’t one app mentioned that isn’t standard on a Mac that you mentioned for Windows above that you can’t find for a Mac (and yes…most of which are free!)

    The one thing that always makes me laugh is when price is a subject in comparing. I bought my current Mac for $2300 and have added a wireless mighty mouse & 2Gb DDR RAM to it totaling just under $2400. To have this same config (which was as close as a PC could get in my last computer) with nearly (but not quite) the same graphics, RAM, (not nearly as the same) processor, and base software, I paid nearly $2700. Then let’s also factor in the cost of running my PC vs my Mac over time (electricity usage, repairs due to virus issues, etc, almost having to replace several components because of a near mistake upgrading to Vista).

    I could (as well as several others here) list another 3 dozen reasons to switch and/or never go back, but I’m sure I will be called an Apple zealot or AppleFanBoy! In the end…to each his/her own. Me…I’m choosing Mac!

    By the way…ever try talking to Windows TS about ANYTHING! I’ll take a Mac Genius any day!

    …in a world without walls and fences…who needs Windows and Gates!

  223. 223

    @Marc Jones You don’t need to patch anything in windows to look like Mac. Try Hackintosh and You will get about the same experience as using a Mac. Just with more options on compatible components. (like AMD CPUs)

  224. 224

    Mikah Sargent

    June 11, 2009 1:09 am

    Hmm, I suspect fowl play. Monetary compensation from Microsoft much?

    Kidding. This is very nice to know, and I might look into that Touchscreen laptop. It amazes me that a touchscreen device of that caliber is cheaper than the cheapest Mac.

  225. 225

    I totally disagree : web developers need mac computers just because it’s more STABLE, more SAFE, more EFFICIENT …

  226. 226

    Cool article, except you’re wasting your money on Windows :)

    I’m using Ubuntu Linux for years now, and it’s just perfect for webdev. The LAMP server is installed and running in a minute, and all the applications you mention exist in Ubuntu…

    You can use ie4linux to run Internet Explorer for compatibility testing, or you can use Adobe BrowserLab which does the same in your Browser.

    So now I’m waiting for a similar article Linux-oriented :)

  227. 227

    Well, I’m a little bit surprised by that article, like I was for the Mac one… But one thing you have to understand guys, is that in the Web Dev world, there is a big majority of PCs out there, and giving the Mac some credits in this world is not that bad :)

    But I have to say, that the only argument out there is money ! Macs are much better for a lot of things and PCs are not that bad, I’m ready to pay for the difference for a lot of reasons and above all, the ROI is very, very high! I use Macs for about 10 years now, and I changed my work station (Powermac G4 -> iMac 20′) ONCE! I’ve got a 6years old Powerbook that still run under OS X Leopard… so, that’s a big difference for me!

    respect :)

  228. 228

    Good post. Actually, you didn’t only show what can be replaced or copied on a windows pc, but a good amount of how to implement the stuff into a windows machine that I personally find annoying on a mac ;)

  229. 229

    I don’t worship mac. I can seduce it using iatkos. With the right hardware, even the pc and macworld would collide.

    2 cents

  230. 230

    I would never switch back to Windows – never ever! Aptana-Studio works like a charm on OSX. Also Coda is one of the best editors I’ve seen so far. You can have anything on a Mac as well (MAMP, TextExpander, …) and I have total control over the system (yeah, UNIX roxx) the terminal. Finally, I have an extremely attractive development environment. When I feel good, I can code better applications :)

  231. 231

    Mac still rocks my world !

  232. 232

    Aaah, the old PC vs. Mac debate.

    I’m not a Mac hater. I have owned an iPod touch for over a year and will soon have an iPhone. Also, if someone were to give me a Mac or sell me one in good condition for cheap then I would probably have one. They are beautiful machines, made to the highest benchmarks in quality. Also, OSX is a wonderful (for the most part) operating system in terms of stability and asthetics.

    Here are my reasons for staying with Windows (for now)

    1. Price – Macs are ferociously expensive to buy and upgrade (if you want to keep your warrenty). I noticed a 4GB RAM upgrade for an iMac was £800!! Same RAM for a PC from crucial – £40

    2. Mac users always talk about how Windows, in particular Vista, messes them around and is way unstable and how OSX “Just works”. I’m sorry, but you get out what you put in. If you use your PC properly and treat it right it will work just as well as a Mac. I’ve used Vista for over a year and not had a single problem. Besides, I’ve seen an awful lot of people moaning on twitter about how badly their recent OSX upgrade has gone. Diddums.

    3. With a Mac, I feel like I’m being infantilised by how little I am involved with doing things. It’s all done behind the scenes with big pretty buttons that say, to me “Don’t worry your pretty little head. Mummy will do that for you.” Of course that’s not Apple’s problem, it’s my issue, but it’s still a reason I won’t have one yet.

    4. If a part of my PC breaks, CPU, memory, motherboard… I buy a new part, open up the PC and swap it out. Jobe done. I would hate the ball ache of having to send my computer away for a “Genius” (LOL) to look at and fix. I’d also hate to pay those prices. I recently saw on Twitter that someone’s macbook broke and the *repair* cost £500. Yeah okay, I’ll get right on that. =/

  233. 233

    @Simon: You compare a pre-release Windows 7 with Mac OS X? How crazy is that… What a lame statement.

  234. 234

    Windows XP are stable as well .. i have been using it for ages . :)

    I am using Launchy n Rocket Dock but for the editors simply using VIM :)
    developing in windows are far easier .. you don’t need to worry about file permission as well haha ..

    I think smashingmag forgot about tortoisesvn which is embed into shell explorer.

  235. 235

    Richard Kean

    June 11, 2009 1:21 am

    I feel that the pc is ok for web developers – but a true designer needs a mac, its more efficient in every way – Im a big mac lover – I just hate the price!!!

  236. 236

    You are writing about apps – not features…

  237. 237

    Have you never heard of MAMP?

  238. 238

    Iain Collins

    June 11, 2009 1:23 am

    The article’s points are highly superficial, and have nothing to do with development of any kind (web or application development). Fluff like Quicksilver is entirely overhyped and not specifically a development tool.

    The comments here are – predictably – from people who have absolutely zero experience in any sort of development and are flat out wrong (such as proclamations of lack of driver support for mice/keyboards – Utter tosh).

    You can’t possibly touch meaningfully on development – even specifically web development – without mentioning the Unix environment and contrasting it with the likes of Cygwin for Windows, contrasting virtualization and tools for publishing and managing content (such as SFTP/SSH/WebDav support, and version control software) and decent editors (TextMate, E, etc) and comparing IDE’s on each platform (including the numerous cross platform ones).

    While there are still good articles posted here and there Smashing Magazine’s signal to noise ratio seems to be really taking a dive recently.

  239. 239

    Sebastian Beres

    June 11, 2009 1:24 am

    Mac vs. PC war? Even Microsoft points in their commercials “PCs are at least cheaper!”

  240. 240

    I agree that making your machine work the way you want it to is all about the apps you put on it – and not the OS itself – yet the feel of the OS has a lot to do with the way you feel when you are using the apps.
    Both Mac and Windows have apps that do the same things, and I think it is getting increasingly difficult to find a functionality-based reason to favor one OS over the other.
    So it does in fact comes down to something as fuzzy as how using the OS feels.

    I’ve been working professionally on computers since 1996. My first workplace was an all-windows set-up, later I switched jobs and worked in an all Mac set-up.
    Back then Mac OS 7 – 8 and 9 were so bad that I on a daily basis was looking forward to coming home to my XP machine. All that stopped with OS X.
    I switched job again and worked almost 2 years in an all-windows setup and I was constantly getting frustrated and missing OSX … not any particular apps or functions, but just the feel of working in a smooth running OS.

    So to sum it up. I have worked (and played) on both Apple and Windows and I even though I like Apple hardware, I would go for a Dell running OSX over a Mac running Windows any day.
    The difference to me is like the difference between driving a Subaru and a Mercedes. Both are good decent cars that will get you where you want to go, but it just feels better getting there in a Mercedes.

    On a sidenote, it seems like Windows 7 could be a serious competitor to OSX

  241. 241


  242. 242

    Right…. so how much did M$ pay you for this?

    If windows is so much better why is the second half of the post about how to make your windows machine look and behave like mac? Admission that mac is better maybe?

    Windows will never beat a mac for dev work, nevermind a linux box. What worries me about your post is the shocking lack of proper version control system; you seriously think Syncback is better than say GiT, SVN et al?

    Any sensible dev out there will tell you ubuntu (or any flavour of linux) is the os of choice if only designers didnt use photoshop… but they all do so OS X is as good as it gets.

    With anything like this the best way to develop is to resemble the live environment as closely as possible to ensure a working end product.

    M$ developers are in the minority these days, the world is going open source!

  243. 243

    Right. I’m sure Microsoft paid a fortune for this. I’ll jot that down in my conspiracy book with Area 51 and the 9/11 conspiracy. COME ON!!!!

  244. 244

    Your next article: Why Web Developers Don’t Need A PlayStation 3

  245. 245

    I use Ubuntu + Netbeans and i don’t feel the need to use windows or mac… i switch to windows only for Photoshop.

  246. 246

    Am I the only person in the world getting sick of this Mac/Windows argument. I work as a contract Microsoft consultant and do a bit of web development and photography on the side. I use Macs for the web dev and photography for no other reason than the fact that I find it a more creative environment.

    Both platforms are perfectly capable of doing the job and offer all the software and tools needed.

    So how long will this argument go on before we all realise that neither are better, they’re just different.

    It’s all down to personal preference.

    And to tell you the truth, I think this is a badly written article in that it points out on one hand why web developers don’t need Mac, and then starts pointing out tools that emulate built in Mac features.

    Either you have the title wrong or the content wrong.

    Just write articles about the great ways Web Developers can get things done with Windows, or Mac, or heck put them both into one article.

    Lets face it if you’re a serious Web Developer then you should be testing on both platforms anyway.

  247. 247

    Linux is obviously what they need.

  248. 248

    The best part of the Mac is the Mac. Period.

  249. 249


    Who cares what Windows has to offer, when every Windows is five restarts from the complete mess the registry does. If you want reliable windows, do nott install more than five apps (includin drivers). Regardless of what you do or instlall on your PC – eventually, as time goes by, it will get slower and slower, and soon after – here comes the reinstall :/

  250. 250

    Hi I was a PC user for 10 years and more my experience with operating systems was windows 3.11 then 95 then milenium then 2000 then xp (I used to be a mac hater to) and then enlightenment hit me in the form of a used mac mini G4 1.25. and then my macbook pro. I am a mac user for 2 years now and I can’t think going back to PC’s even if they payed me to do it.
    I don’t want to analyse all the benefits of the osx I will stick to the web developer toolbox.
    every app you mentioned is way better on the mac, it looks better it works more smooth like the osx and most importantly you are missing some great apps like CSSEDIT, ESPRESSO, CODA, XSCOPE, LITTLESNAPPER.
    About the hacks you have to do in order to make your pc look like a mac don’t bother it won’t work like it.
    And about mac hater Dan.
    1. get your ram from crucial – £40 and install it on imac or macbook pro etc etc. it’s easier than upgrading you PC.
    2.mac just works vista doesn’t work alone you need all the norton and kaspesky etc etc
    3. ????? I can’t figure what you mean
    4. macs doesn’t break so easily like PC’s I still have my mac mini G4 working and my macbook pro.

  251. 251

    Mac Pros:

    Workflow: OS offers more functionality and stability out of the box. Yes, you can spend time configuring your PC to work properly and safely, but time is money. Convert the time spent setting up and fixing things to an hourly rate and the additional cost of a Mac may pay for itself…

    Security: Practically no need to worry about viruses and solid file encription / firewall built in to the OS.

    Ready made web development platform: Apache, PHP, Unix Terminal, SSH, etc all ready to go without needing to install anything.

    Mac Cons:

    Setting up testing for IE and Chrome is a pain, costs money (need to buy a copy of Windows) and uses a lot of disk space and memory, causing your machine to run slowly.

    The only decent text editors aren’t free

    Windows Pros:

    Can test all the major browsers natively without the need to install virtual machines and a second operating system.

    Textpad++ is free

    Hardware is cheaper, better spec, more range.

    Windows Cons:

    Usability, functionality and security of OS is inferior out of the box, and much time is wasted getting things set up correctly.

    Viruses and malware.

    A text editor that has comparable features and workflow to Textmate and/or Coda does not exist.


    Testing all browsers natively is the main advantage for working on the PC platform, but this is a big one. Security on a PC is a concern, but until you can test IE6,7,8 and Chrome on a Mac without having to virtualise and run Windows alongside OS X, the argument for the Mac being a complete web development platform falls down.

  252. 252

    Massimo Bastianon

    June 11, 2009 1:53 am

    Web developer need a pc, doesn’t matter if win, mac or linux.
    I use Win at work, linux at home and never mac.. my next computer will be a mac but just becouse I want to try one at least once

  253. 253

    PC is a good word for an affordable machine with a cutting edge Linux system.

  254. 254

    Remember kids – just say no to Mac vs PC debates. Everyone’s a loser there. Just enjoy yours and let them enjoy theirs.

  255. 255

    @ Scott – Exactly!

    Both options do the same job. They just do it differently.

  256. 256

    Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

  257. 257

    At the creative college in Oslo the graphic design course is named “macdesign”. The description “teaches you how to use all the important design programmes like photoshop, inDesign and illustrator”. geez… I can use those on my PC, nothing to do with a mac. But I guess that’s what people think, you can’t be a web designer without a mac.

    I like my PC. Most of the time.

  258. 258

    I disagree with this article.

    Firstly, none of existing Windows text editors satisfy my needs. I’ve tried plenty of them, starting from notepad++ and ending with eTextEditor, which is supposed to be an alternative to TextMate. There’s always something with those editors: one is too simple, other is too complicated, another with full of useless features that can’t be turned off/disabled. For instance, eTextEditor seems to be very promising, but I was unable to disable auto-completion (for example, you type word “table” and press tab: it automatically writes down the basic html table structure for you. Actually, I don’t think “auto-completion” is the word for this feature, but I can’t find a better term right now.). Another feature is automatic code arrangement. Consider this:

    public function do_something()
    echo ‘Hello world!’;

    this is the way I write my code, but eTextEditor “fixes” my code on it’s own:

    public function so_something() {
    echo ‘Hello world!’;

    Of course, this disadvantage looks silly to you, but it’s just the way I code and I don’t want
    my editor to rearrange the code. It all would be nice if I was able to easily disable it. If I need to spend an hour just find where the hell is that feature in the preferences, I don’t want to use such editor.

    In Dreamweaver CS4 there’s a problem with code highlighter. Sometimes the application decides to highlight half of my code as a comment. To overcome this weirdness, I need to close that file and open it again. And not to mention my constant problems with file encoding…

    You say Linux? Well, I say: “No way!”. I tried to convert myself to a linux user, I really tried.
    But no matter what distribution I used, there were always at least a bunch of problems. Screen resolution, network phenomena etc. And no Photoshop on Linux! Don’t try to offer me alternatives, such as Gimp, or to use emulation software to run Windows applications.

    And believe me, I’m not a Mac fanboy or something. In fact, I don’t event own a Mac! The main reason for this is the price, which is too high for me right now. However, I had a chance to work a little bit on OSX and it was more comfortable than working on Windows (from my point of view!). I must say that Windows, OSX and Linux have both pros and cons and I really don’t want to get into flame wars. You just can’t boldly state that Mac is not suitable or not the best solution for web development.

  259. 259

    Very impressive. But now I want a Linux showcase of useful applications. There are beside Windows and Mac other systems. Especially most webservers run Linux or a BSD distribution.

  260. 260

    Indeed!! Macs don’t support multiple mouse buttons!!! Oh…wait, that was a decade ago. Damn. How about finishing your articles inside of a decade when you start writing it. Of course I could also search for documents that have been done ten years ago and just replace the date on them. Who needs progrress or up to date info!

    Also last time i checked…you can do webstuff on linux too, horror! Oh, oh !! I got a free remote with my mac!! I mean that’s so über for presentations!!! Oh wait, i can also just click once with a mouse…if you need to switch between slides (backward) then your presentation is a fail anyways…

  261. 261

    Did this guy just cite a mouse with a remote control under it as a superior point for windows? Wait a sec, I’m being told IT WAS A MICROSOFT MOUSE! Dude mac users like simplicity, and citing microsoft made hardware as a strong point isn’t going to get your argument anywhere. ALL of the other major peripheral makers release mac drivers as well as windows drivers, some even work BETTER on the mac (logitech wireless keyboards and mice come to mind).

    I recommend macs to all of my clients. At home I use all three. Linux (several flavors), mac, and windows.

    In conclusion, saying windows is better for dev stuff because it has more programs is like saying linux is better for gaming because it has open APIs.

    (@dan: Did you just read the first line of the dude above you’s comment and pounce or something? How much did they pay YOU?)

  262. 262

    Jeremy Buff

    June 11, 2009 2:22 am


    You left one very critical flaw of PCs out: they don’t work. I mean, Macs just work. I’ve never had one crash on me, never had video problems, Internet has never need tweaking, you never need to defrag, you never need use a program like CCleaner, you never have to restore, and you sure as heck never have to go out and find new programs to replace aging or incompatible ones when you upgrade, unlike Windows.

    So, sure, Macs don’t do a lot. They don’t DO what I wrote above. I think that’s a good thing. Plus, you make the point that you have to find “whatever is closest to what you need”. That is an unfortunate statement, as the product range is just fine. Perhaps you should say “you never get less than you need” with a Mac.

    Oh, and one last thing. You made it seem as though there aren’t enough Mac programs out there. There are a ton! They’re all very high quality too. Mac users demand quality. Windows applications are NOT of high quality. You may get “value”, but that’s only because they can’t price high due to the competition- and that has nothing to do with quality.

    You could have at least picked functional programs- the above suck. Look at that copy & paste sidebar widget! How pathetic and gay looking. Macs are much better, they look better, and they freakin’ work: total opposite of Windoez computers.

    End of story.

  263. 263

    Macs are overpriced and overhyped. In my first job I had to web-develop on a Mac – and it was a nightmare. I swear that I got my first strands of grey hairs because of those Macs.

    In the end it all boils down to which environment you feel more comfortable – and if you are a poser or a person who just wants to get her work done.


  264. 264

    Nice try, but there’s no substitute for the power of UNIX, and for any development, no substitute for the ease of use of a Mac. I coded using UNIX (Silicon Graphics) computers until 1994, and then switched to Windows. I used Windows exclusively for 12 years, and switched to a Mac when OS X had finally become mature with 10.4. There really is no comparison. I use Windows 7 Beta right now, and while I’ll admit it’s much better than Vista or XP, it’s still garbage compared to the design of OS X.

  265. 265

    A PC trying to be a Mac, why? Just get a Mac they´re better

  266. 266

    Macs don’t blue screen. :P

  267. 267

    You can find many more free apps (more specificly “open source”) for windows at , not sure when the last time the list was updated but each app has it’s own home page to check and see if it is up to date.

    I think for the most part, choosing between Mac and a Pc is much like choosing between a GM or Ford Pick Up..

    Although the point cannot be argued that there are way more software and hardware developers for Windows than there are for Mac. Gates was asked at one time what he felt he accomplished. Part of his answer was that he produced a mainstream OS that allowed the industry to grow to what it is today.

    It is really up to the software developers to make an OS a win win or a lose lose.

  268. 268

    Ha. It’s funny how this age old debate makes people want to get their point across. Most replies to a story for a long while.

    Personally, I’m a Mac man, always have been.

    First Mac was an LC475 which I bought when I was at Design Uni for £1500!!! OUCH!

  269. 269

    Worst. Troll. Ever. On. SM.

  270. 270

    Do yourselves a favour and try all three OS’s (OSX, Windows, *NIX), then pick the one that works best for you.

    Just make sure you give them all a fair crack of the whip! i.e. at least one, maybe two projects all the way through.

    I’ve done this for Windows and Mac, just trying to make it work for *NIX now ;)


  271. 271

    You forgot one thing…PCs don’t have bash or your standard gnu tools. Sure, you can hackishly install them, but why would you? They suck on Windows.

    A client of mine recently gave some work out to a contractor, who was clearly very new at his job. My client contacted me about a problem where, no matter what, this cgi script of theirs would not run on our server. I log in, take a look, and the guy’s edited the thing in Notepad, saved it, and uploaded it to our [Debian] server. The line endings are all whacked out and perl can’t make sense of it. Apparently, he’s never heard of ASCII mode.

    This is the kind of thing Windows inflicts upon users all the time. Sure, in both of the examples above, I can find a way to work around it, but why should I have to? At home and in the office we use OS X and Debian. That’s it. If you run Windows, that’s your own problem. Have fun with that. There are just too many other options out there for that to be viable anymore.

  272. 272

    Its no abourt the beautifull hardware of a mac, its about the OSX, never crashes or makes you losse work without any warning, simply works thats why I chose the Mac.. if the OSX were on a PC Im pretty sure I will buy the last one… its not that expensive and definitly have more options and flexibility. Imagine a Dell with OSX! that will be a perfect development companion, afordable and working correclty… but lets wait until windows 7 release. may be there is still hope for PC.

  273. 273

    Gareth McCumskey

    June 11, 2009 2:58 am

    I wouldn’t mind writing an article on web development for Linux. I have been a web developer for nearly a decade now and recently moved over to Linux, first experimentally and now permanently, as my web development platform of choice.

  274. 274

    I personally wouldn’t go near a mac because they just don’t play nice with business, if everyone used a mac I would probably switch but the fact is the people I develop for use Windows so I use windows, Ideally eveyone would use an identical LInux distro and then we could all play happily. Also if your pc struggles with downtime your doing it wrong.

  275. 275

    Yeah… I do all this on my Linux box and it comes pretty much preinstalled.

  276. 276

    In new zealand we have a similar debate regarding fords and holdens. fords are big powerful cars. and holdens are big powerful cars. they both go fast. Some people will argue, almost to the death that holdens are better than fords. some people will argue, almost to the death that fords are better than holdens. there are two absolute truths surrounding this debate. 1 – both fords and holdens are big cars that go fast. and 2 – that anyone with a shred of common sense gets sick and tired of hearing the ramblings and reasons of the idiots squawking off about which car is better and which isn’t.
    The truth in this case remains, that the only problem with macs lies not in their hardware, nor in their software, and certainly not in their design – but in the shameless, self righteousnous of the ‘enlightened’ mac evangelist.

  277. 277

    Martin Chaov

    June 11, 2009 3:11 am

    I prefer Windows because I can tweak it to work the way I want it to work. OSX is to claustrophobic for me. I want to be able to open the registry and customise the OS’s settings from below the surface. Sometimes I’m asked a simple question – Why not Linux? The answer even more simpler – I’m a designer you id10t!

  278. 278

    Do tell; How shall we mend our ways and do it right? (Other than the obvious scrap it and load linux, or don’t click on spam links and such. :p )

    Open a finder window. Click on applications. Click on utilities. Click on Terminal. Hack away! The real power here is that unix doesn’t want nor need a registry. All settings are stored in text files, and can be edited easily with the editor of your choice.

  279. 279

    what a stupid article.
    whats next? “why users don’t need firefox”?
    smashing – you can do better!

  280. 280

    Yorick Peterse

    June 11, 2009 3:14 am

    So if I’m right we should switch back to Windows because of Notepad++ ? What a joke. Many people don’t use mac because of the software, but because it just works.

  281. 281

    Interesting that the author had to resort to including open source tools (which are also available on the Mac) and then discuss hardware which has nothing to do with web development. It doesn’t support the argument well.

    My recommendation is: ignore the religious troll-baiting. Go with whatever you’re comfortable with (i.e., try them both and decide for yourself). The computer, its OS, and whatever software you use for development are just tools. The difference in the quality of your designs usually ends up depending on the one tool you can’t swap out (hint: behind your eyes, between your ears).

  282. 282

    Dude, just having a full blown Unix terminal does it for me on the mac. Windows is a toy next to a mac. I’ve absolute control of the operating system and everything works, no viruses. You’re a lot more productive on the mac only by having the terminal and all those scripting languages available from the get go.

    It’s like having linux, without having to deal with compiling or configuring everything, it’s the perfect os.

  283. 283

    At least the web developers on Macs can try out their code on multiple OSes (Win/Linux/Mac) and **ALL** browsers before pushing it out there. Douchey developers just use one platform and hope for the best. This is not an IE-centric world any more.

  284. 284

    Søren Erland Vestø

    June 11, 2009 3:19 am

    *Looks over at his wireless Logitech 7-button mouse connected to his Mac with custom mappings of all but two buttons*

    “This mouse apparently only works in fantasy…”

    *Goes back to work*

  285. 285

    I think this article is not very objective.
    What do you compare?
    NotePad++ and the OSX Dock?
    Texter and Quicksilver?
    That really dose make no sense to me.

    Why not compare WAMP and MAMP (which is just easier to maintain than the out of the box apache and stuff) or SyncBack and TimeMachine?
    That, in my eyes, dose make sense.

    Why don´t talk about the underlying Operating System like DOS and UNIX.

    What are the alternatives on a PC for MacPorts on a Mac?
    LINUX at least dosen´t even need MacPorts. It´s all there out of the box.

    I don´t see the sense in comparing DevTools on a PC with OS Features on a Mac.

  286. 286

    I’m a web developer that uses Windows at the office and Linux and Mac at home.

    One program worth mentioning is e for Windows and Linux
    e > coda > textmates > notepad++ > bbedit > dreamweaver
    and will never be on OSX
    Also it’s open source

  287. 287

    This is one of these windows vs. mac discussions. The world is large enougth.
    I’m using Mac since OSX Panther and i never missed windows.

  288. 288

    I switched to mac a while ago and it has a way smoother developer workflow than windows.
    And, for the mac-haters that are already waiting to flame me with the most pathetic argument ever, no it’s not for the blingbling, i’d trade my macbook for one without an apple logo and a faster cpu if it would still be as small and if i’d still have the amazing os x

  289. 289

    I have been using pc for years, even since i started using a computer…i never had macs before, i used to hate them
    Some time ago i got a fujitsu siemens laptop. This model had a hardware problem, fujitsu never did anything about it, and never updated the drivers of the video card. As it is a mobility radeon card, i can’t go to ATI download the lattest drivers and make them work on that computer. I went to fujitsu’s website their newest driver for this model was 2006…then it had problems it would stop working because of video problems. Not to mention i had 1 hour and half of battery life…

    So i thought of getting a replacement. As i am always on the go, going everywhere and working in all places i need something i can carry like a laptop…so i tried to find a new laptop with good battery life, good video card and at least 4 gb ram that i can later expand… and lighter han 5 kilos (it was killing my back)

    So i got the new macbook pro 17 inch and i don’t regret it. As a web developper i thought, would i find everything i need to work? and i did…there is open source software for mac, most programs i used before were already on a mac…and all adobe programs worked faster.

    I have little problems with crashes…it nearly don’t crash i think i made it crash once in about 3 months, i used to make windows crash often…there is little virus, i got an antivirus for precaution but it never found anything suspicious…

    if i need something from windows i can use paralels desktops…but its rare since most things i use are for mac..

    So finally yes web developpers can do the same in pc (i used to before) and well they can get mac too…sure it can be a little more expensive but you see there is a difference between having a system that updates the drivers directly to your machine and you always get the good drivers than an other system that is made by one company…assembled by another and parts are made by other companies but they don’t agree and deliver you the drivers… having the drivers updated with your system its a very good thing…OSX is pretty much like linux but with more programs available and less hassle…its pretty easy to use

    all the ilife pack is free for the mac i know these are not for the professional but well they come for free and i can tell they are quite nice too…the thing i use the most is the calendar wich it is pretty handy and it dont take time to load its good when you are on the phone and you need to make an appoiment or something…growl is cool too…it keeps you updated with lots of things that are going on while you work…

    also i have seen the price of the OS is cheaper than vista, this means if you have 5 computers at home and you want to have them with vista you need to pay each instead of paying a family OS pack…updates are cheap too… and there is bundle sales of mac software from time to time that let you get good stuff for cheap…and legal…

    So for me it was a good thing to have a mac i don’t think i’ll go back to a windows pc (maybe linux but not windows)…i finally have 3 kilos in my back instead of 5 kilos…plus 8 hours of battery life instead of 1 hour and half….and a machine with little risk of virus and little crashing…

    When it comes to work, data loss is a loss of money, virus, crashes and all of those things can be a pain in the … so think about that too

  290. 290

    Christian Dalsvaag

    June 11, 2009 3:47 am

    I was about to write this HUGE entry telling you why you are wrong. I won’t do that.

    I’ll rather just tell you that most of you are stupid, and ignorant. Not to mention cheap. If you really want to sit there, claiming Windows is “ok” – be my guest. But really, you must be really stupid to be able to say that.

  291. 291

    Have used mac and pc for years now and never understood what all the fuss is about. It’s not what you use but how you use them…. Looking forward to Linux becoming the standard so we can move away from proprietry systems. Nice article

  292. 292

    Matěj Grabovský

    June 11, 2009 3:55 am

    Dear Smashing Magazine, you should never again touch this topic – Mac vs. Windows, or even worse Mac vs. PC (mainly because you’re still comparing Mac with Windows instead of Mac with OSes that can PC run, yes I mean Linux).

  293. 293

    I’ve used a whole bunch of machines/OS’s in my past from Amiga’s, Sun’s, Linux distro’s, PC’s and also Mac’s to name a few.

    And in my opinion, it’s simple : mac’s rule. They’re the best machines out there right now with the best software for developer’s.

  294. 294

    All this talk about ‘as good as a Mac’ made me go out and get a Mac. It is great!

  295. 295

    Mac’s dont break!

  296. 296

    Justin Floyd

    June 11, 2009 4:09 am

    Great post and entertaining comments. Way to go to war on a Thursday! Huuzah PC!

  297. 297

    I do all my web dev and app dev on a mac. I like the mac specifically for it’s balance of command line power and ui. If I had to choose an OS on PC hardware, I’d pick some flavor of Linux. For me, it’s about being about to move around the file systems and script things very quickly. On my mac with vmware, I have all 3 OSs available to me for testing.

  298. 298



  299. 299

    Sorry dude, I practiacally stopped reading this article seriously as soon as you mentioned “FTP Synchronize”. 10 years ago that might have been OK, but these days any serious developer uses a proper deploy mechanism.

  300. 300

    Markus Thömmes

    June 11, 2009 4:39 am

    First of all: Very nice Post!
    But i have to add something:
    – For the Keyboard Launcher, i prefer Humanized Enso! It’s for free and it only appears when you hold a hotkey.
    – For Editor i think that notepad++ is a bit overload. The e-texteditor which is designed to be an alternative for textmate is so nice and simple. And it has all you want!

  301. 301

    really ftp synchronize? svn, cvs, ….

    my mac as vim built in, the most powerful text editor ever (sure there are other cl editors too that are great) and you can’t beat it when using a graphical point and click editor. Sure windows can run it, but you can’t beat the productivity level of the command line. A unix power user will crush a windows power user any day.

  302. 302

    Darrin Searancke

    June 11, 2009 4:44 am

    298 replies confirming that people are passionate about their OS’s even if they can pretty much do the same things, with different software.

  303. 303

    I use a Dell at work running XP and I’ve begged and begged for them to let me use my Mac. Windows is just garbage compared to OS X. And this Dell laptop is junk compared to my MacBook Pro. The only good thing I can say is I’ve got a 24″ Dell monitor and run lots of open source software on this machine. I’d even settle for Linux over this steaming turd known as Windows.

  304. 304

    Darrin Searancke

    June 11, 2009 4:45 am

    oops – make that 300!

  305. 305

    I use both platforms. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. If I can’t find an easy way to do something on one, I switch to the other. The biggest problem with the Mac is lack of support from hardware manufacturers (like Garmin, although they’re trying). The biggest problem with Windows is that there are a zillion options, and most programs are independent and don’t talk with each other… no common toolbox. For the most part though, anything can be accomplished on any platform. It boils down to personal preference. I think that people trying to convince the world that one platform is better than the other are just pi$$ing into the wind. No good can come from that.

  306. 306

    great, now you have all the mac haters coming out. You should’ve just titled this article web development.

  307. 307

    wow… I was actually wondering if this article was meant to be taken serious…

    notepad++ source is downloadable from the website, so it’s not rly windows only, and it’s not even that good of an editor for webdev

    I totally don’t get how WAMP is an argument, since windows is prolly the hardest OS to get an AMP stack running on

    and seriously, windows live writer? web developpers need a futile application to write plain text now?

    I’m no mac fanboy, but I certainly wouldn’t say that windows is better for webdev
    getting cvs or svn crap working properly in windows is a serious pita and that’s not even talking about command line integration

    and is it just me or did u completely overlook the 2 big downsides about macs?
    1. Cost: same hardware costs pretty much double if it’s in a apple wrapper
    2. Vendor lock-in: I don’t like the idea that the vendor of the hardware is gonna tell me what OS and applications I should use

  308. 308

    @elbowRoom77 (post #193) couldn’t agree more. I’m both a Mac & PC user, and each of them have their own shares of pros & cons for me. I try to make them work as best as they could and have pretty much found a balance that fits me.

    What strikes me funny (or ironic?) is that this article tells us about what’s so good with Windows for web dev, yet a big chunk of it shows apps that emulate Mac features.

  309. 309

    10 years freelance. Total time spent using a Mac: about 1 1/2 days… if you like tham and have the extra 50% to spend on one, go for it but there is clearly nothing special about them you need for web development.

  310. 310

    Tom Nchinda

    June 11, 2009 4:56 am

    I’ve been a Windows boy since 3.11, and fortunately I have had the chance to use Macs on many occasions for design/development work. Both vendors make great products.

    However, although all things Apple are simple and smooth and pretty and all, I generally believe you get more bang for the buck in the non Apple world (Microsoft/Linux/Google). Pound for pound, and Dollar for Dollar, I get a lot more out of Microsoft products, ‘cuz i’d rather do kick-ass sh@! than look pretty doing it. I consider myself cool enough not to need a gadget to define coolness for me; a gadget won’t help you score with the opposite sex or have a social life….

    No, I don’t have an IPhone (I have a Touch HD. Have you seen the screen on those things?! I watch a lot of movies on the go, + I wanted a device that would play nice with my MS Office/Exchange/SharePoint environment)

    And as far a free is concerned; Google and Linux man, Google and Linux….

    Right now on my Laptop I have Windows 7 RC1, which shares a lot in common with Snow Leopard (Windows 7 has the edge though, if you as me), and could mark the big comeback of Microsoft in the OS world. The changes are reasonably subtle but they make the whole difference; The GUI is much more intuitive, not frustrating to work with, driver/compatibility issues are very well auto-solved by the OS, it’s all nice and ooh-aah, not memory greedy and performance/stability has drastically improved. It IS the version that should have replaced XP.

    Also, by now, my Laptop is a Tomdows (not Windows) machine, configured just so, precisely to my liking. And this is the most important thing for me. Either way, time to stop rambling.

    In the words of the Road Runner, BEEP BEEP!

  311. 311

    Most people who are arguing against Mac more than likely never spent time working on one. Having spent YEARS doing web development on a PC I know I don’t NEED a Mac. However, I don’t use my Mac because it’s trendy, I use my Mac because it works EVERY time without bugs, glitches, or me wanting to throw the machine out of the window.

    Not one crash, not one hiccup, nothing. I suggest you PC Fanboys borrow a Mac from a friend and give it a shot. Once you realize how efficient working on a Mac can make you, you’ll want to buy one immediately.

    Its worth the money, and now that the prices are coming down it’s a better buy.

  312. 312

    Tadd Mencer

    June 11, 2009 5:01 am

    When all is said and done I don’t think it should matter what platform anyone uses. I honestly don’t think a Mac is better than a PC. I think it’s all just great marketing. Sure, Mac has some nice features. Would I ever NOT have one? No, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to run to the nearest Apple Store and by the latest greatest just because the commercials make fun of PCs and their users.

    I admit: Macs look cool, have a nice OS and such. But really, I do perfectly fine thank you on my systems I use. Yes, I’ve used Macs – and sure, they’re cool and all.

    But again .. end of the day it’s personal opinion on what you enjoy using and nothing else.

  313. 313

    The only thing Windows is missing is “Spaces”, that would be nice to have.

  314. 314

    The thing you’re missing is that Mac’s are so much cooler than PC’s. Period.
    And that’s important because as we know web developers and graphic designers are all luvvies; they need their cool fix. God knows, I do.

  315. 315

    Tim Sainburg

    June 11, 2009 5:13 am

    If you use a pc you’re pretty much the dumbest person ever. It’s like God said, “I’m gunna make the dumbest person ever”. And then he made you.

  316. 316

    I think this concept of Macs never crashing or freezing is kind of overblown. I’ve worked on several Macs and it happens often enough that it’s a problem. No more or less than it ever happens to me on XP or Vista.

    Mac users like to tout this, but if you take care of your PC these issues rarely occur. All I hear about is how awful Vista is, yet I can’t recall the last problem I’ve had with it since the last updates. Sure, it never should have been a mess in the place, but that’s another argument.

  317. 317

    The first thing I install on my mac is virtual machine and Windows in it, because I have to test everything in IE. Beside that I can finish my job on mac.
    I really like my mac and leopard, but I must to admit that working in Windows was much easier for me.

  318. 318


    You can’t do that on a Mac.

    = PC is the better choice for the person with more then 100 iq.

    oh and btw, those you think OS X looks good?
    check lassekongo83 on deviantart, just please fucking do it. NOW. And then stfu.

  319. 319

    If you’ve done non-trivial development you’ll find things like WampServer to be a toy for doing “hello world” demos. What do you do when you need to add a PHP module? Why not just run all those tools as ‘first class citizens’ on a Unix box rather than hacks on Windows? Why celebrate ‘ftp upload’ tools when you can have things like scp and rsync?

    I use a PC for work and a Mac for everything else. Every day I have to use my PC is a day that could have been a bit better if I didn’t have to. Microsoft is the next GM.

  320. 320

    About the breaking news :)
    I totally agree!!!

    I design and code on an iMac (latest); I use iMac at home too. And this is for years, after I have been on a PC. And believe me, it’s not about “why” and “because”. It’s the choice!
    Personally I will never return to a PC. My Macs are like “beast and beauty” at the same time. I think Mac is way too much better than a PC.

  321. 321

    Michael Prescott

    June 11, 2009 5:29 am

    I’m a software engineer and dabble in graphic design in my free time. I have developed applications for and used Windows for more than 14 years. I’ve also used several Linux distros, intensively, for the past 6 years. I’ve always snubbed Macs because early exposure (15+ years ago) to the system, and brief 5 minute sit-down reviews of the system, left me with the impression that it was just too simple, too much hand-holding, made for people that didn’t want to use their machines to full potential.

    Anyhow, about a year ago I bought an iPod Touch and loved it. I saw a chance to take my skills to a new platform and bought a MacBook Pro to get started. I’ve used the system extensively for 4 months now and love it. Mac OSX isn’t restrictive as I’d assumed. Ever so often, I wonder how to accomplish something, but the system is so well built, so intuitive, that a resolution is only seconds away. I really spend no time thinking about platform issues anymore. With Windows, there is always something irritating me. I got so used to the irritants that I thought it was normal. Oh, I also purchased VMWare Fusion and created XP and Vista virtual machines, thinking that I’d need those. Even though it is convenient to have virtual machines for testing the applications I develop, I think most people can switch without any difficulties and no need to hold onto a copy of Windows.

  322. 322

    I switched to a Mac about half a year ago and it looks really great on my desk. I can’t seem to be developing at the same speed as on Windows. So… when I start my Mac, I open up VirtualBox with Windows and happily code away. OSX just runs the vm ware and iTunes.

  323. 323

    I am working since 15 years in the media. With success. I made musicvideos for famous artists, onlinecomics, webdesigns, illustrations, worked for really big companies etc. and until now I never used a Mac.
    And until now I never had an Apple product.
    There are enough No Apple Products what are good enough to use to create great artwork.

  324. 324

    I really wish Mac users could expand their vocabulary. How many of their arguments start and/or end with ‘just’. They use the word ‘just’ like the smurfs used ‘smurf’. For them, its basically a placeholder for a logical argument.

    Instead of, I did the following task and it took ‘x’ amount of time on my Mac vs the PC ‘y’ time. You get the word ‘just’. Hmm… I am going to buy into that argument.

    Biggest thing for me is price. Mac just costs too much. Priced out last night was 50% more for roughly the same machine.

  325. 325


    June 11, 2009 5:47 am

    I now use an AMD based X86 running XP Pro SP2. I am also a semi-retired Mac support tech from the publishing industry. The real reason I prefer Macs is total interoperativity. You can cut/copy and paste from EVERY app and utility to EVERY other. That is just one, though a big one, of the advantages of the Macintosh for any purpose. Another is drag and drop between ALL apps and utilities to ALL apps and utilities. And of course, I can install Windows on the Mac and either boot from it or run it in parallell with OSX for testing or using apps required by clients but unavailable on the Mac. For a Pro, the best way to go is with Macintosh, and no matter how many articles are written on how to make your PC more Maclike, or how to do “just as good” as a Mac, are going to change that.

  326. 326

    Fabian Tollenaar

    June 11, 2009 5:50 am

    I’m amazed that you need to throw in a few OS X rip-offs for Vista to make your point that windows is the better choice. Besides, every app you selected had a OS X alternative that’s better, looks nicer and is often free of charge to. But all that is a question of taste as well.

    There is though one important fact you completely forget to talk about: Windows has something unique, something that OS X just doesn’t have (or at least, not enough to worry about). They are called ‘virusses’ and they tent to destroy your system!
    And even with a good anti-virus program, windows is slow and fails a lot, compared to OS X which, at least in my experience, never fails and defenitely never displays a ‘blue screen of death’!

  327. 327

    I was hoping to see more info regarding actual dev work. This article starts out with coding examples but quickly dissolves into another silly “mac vs pc” article listing completely inane things. Lame.

  328. 328

    I use Mac and I love Coda. I’m very sad when I’m at home with Windows and use notepad++. So screw Windows!

  329. 329

    Paul Gendek

    June 11, 2009 5:53 am

    This is all bullshit because if you work on the web and your operating system doesn’t have font smoothing, you aren’t ensuring the best quality product to your visitors, and you will never train your eyes to know what looks good and what doesn’t, everything will look the same.

  330. 330

    This article needs to be re-titled “If your boss won’t let you have a Mac, or you just can’t afford one right now here’s how to make windows a cheap imitation of a Mac”. I use a Mac because I want to, not because I have to to do webdesign and development. I find I’m more productive (and yes I’ve spent plenty of time using windows). I doubt that the die hard windows user is going to want it to look like a mac anyway. Most of the apps you’ve mentioned here have an analog in Linux also. A much more interesting article would have been “You actually do web dev/design with only the cost of the hardware, or maybe even better, “You actually can do web design with online apps only”.

  331. 331

    Great post, but I have one beef: RocketDock blows. I prefer ObjectDock, as it is functionally and visually more appealing.

  332. 332

    Brendon Kozlowski

    June 11, 2009 5:59 am

    I have to be honest… I’m a proponent of using a Windows machine, and I do also understand the flip-side of the coin. However, this article’s points are preposterous. I’m sure it was aimed to simply get people thinking, but the points made for software were probably some of the worst I have seen. Everything mentioned already either comes with a Mac, or there are well-known free counterparts. Your best option would have been mentioning something like SQLyog and the power it has from the community version, where comparable Mac products (CocoaSQL) simply do not offer the same feature sets.

    I can’t even bring myself to read the comments. I actually hope the overwhelmingly are negative, because otherwise the positive viewpoints would most likely be Windows fans that really don’t know much about a Mac product at all. As for my Mac Mini, I want to throw it out the window on a daily basis…but I still understand its strengths to a Windows’ machine.

  333. 333

    These “development” articles have nothing to do with development. It’s pretty awesome articles to drive traffic though!

  334. 334

    Real developers use linux.

  335. 335

    Mark Petereit

    June 11, 2009 6:01 am

    After years of battling with constant pesky maintenance tasks, machine downtime and consequent frustration, my church started swapping out all of their PCs for Macs (12 down, only 2 to go!)

    Here’s a “just” phrase for you jspin77: The Macs just work.

  336. 336

    This was the dumbest article I’ve reader read.

    All this article talked about was a few pieces of software as to why not to use a mac. It mentioned nothing about why a PC is actually more useful, especially from a usability standpoint.

    Usability is by far the MOST important difference between MACs and PCs, and this article didn’t even touch the topic. (fail?)

    It listed off a few PC programs that are beneficial, and a few system hog “addons”.

    Now, keep in mind, Macs have all of these things, and better at that. So explain to me now why developers don’t need a mac? I use a PC and a mac everyday. I own my own companies and my mac is 1,000,000 times better for multi-tasking, designing, developing. However, this is based on my personal reference, but when I use a PC I feel like I go back to the stone age compared to using my mac. Why drive a beater when you can drive a BMW?

    If you’ve never used a mac and a pc, you should never comment on this article. I develop in several languages, and the only benefit a PC has is if you develop in Microsoft languages.

    Who is the amateur editor that approved this article to be on Smashing Magazine?

  337. 337

    Brad Montgomery

    June 11, 2009 6:03 am

    I’m a Web Developer. I could do my job on any platform, but in order of preference, it’s OS X, Linux, then Windows. I want to use the classic Unix tools. Vim is my editor of choice, so if I’m on windows I’m probably going to have cygwin. Having said that…. i just like the feel of the tools on the Mac. I enjoy working with them… I don’t enjoy working on Windows. Ultimately, it’s just a personal preference, so to each their own.

  338. 338

    I use PCs for my day job and I use Macs for my private business.
    The only thing that I probably say that I live about Microsoft is SharePoint and Visual Studio. The number of security holes and patches that I have to keep Windows afloat is literally driving IT personnels like me insane. The registry is I guess Windows worst pitfall. My company’s been thru all sorts of PC hardware (Dell, HP, Compaq) but Windows magnificently crashes on all hardware mentioned above. Talk about crash and burn. OS X is rock solid, I use VM ware and Parallels to virtualize Win2K Server and CentOS and I’ve seen them crash. Just goes to show how stable and efficient OS X when it comes to hardware and memory management.
    As a designer/developer I want to make sure that my canvas is rock solid when creative juices are like raging rivers. I found this stability in Mac OS X. Maybe Windows 7 might change my mind, maybe not.

  339. 339

    Sasha Sklar

    June 11, 2009 6:06 am

    You can run Windows in a VM on a Mac, but you can’t run OS X in a VM on a PC. If you want to test your site on every platform you have to use a Mac.

  340. 340

    Christopher Bishop

    June 11, 2009 6:06 am

    If those are the reasons to use a PC over a Mac, I will stick with my Mac. Truly, the only reason I use a PC for web development is bloody IE. If it wasn’t for that, I would be using my Mac for it all. Heck, I wouldn’t even have a PC.

    To counter this article, for text editors, Macs have lots of text editors that have more features than those listed (both free and paid). You can install MAMP (server) on a mac, and have it work perfectly. For the clipboard manager, there is a widget like that for the Mac. For the Windows Live Writer… Seriously? A developer would already have much better tools for updating their blog… say a CMS. That tool is for people who don’t know anything about dev. For the best things on a Mac…. That dock is buggy at best. More hardware types? Yeah, well considering 90% is cheap junk, I’ll take my Mac hardware that won’t break in 3 years.

    Really the only thing PC’s have is Internet Explorer and ASP.Net (which can’t even install on a linux server so why bother) and SilverLight (again can’t install on Linux servers). If it wasnt for IE, I wouldn’t even develop on a PC. I would much rather use my Mac.

  341. 341

    It’s all just a matter of preference, really. You can do web development anywhere.

    Personally, I prefer Mac (though I’m not a zealot about it), so I have a Mac with Zend Studio (which is cross-platform), MAMP (on Windows there is WAMP), FireFox and Safari (both cross-platform).

    For IE testing I run Windows inside a virtual machine (Parallels).

    Anything else (dock, stacks, quicklaunchers, etc.) shouldn’t really matter with web development – for the most part I just switch between an editor and a browser, which is fast on either platform with Command-Tab on Mac or Alt-Tab on Windows.

    Just use the OS you like! The same as the choice of what car you drive, they may have differences, but they should all get you to your destination and back. No point in feuding about it.

  342. 342

    Prior to the Intel switch, I think your case stands up decently well. But if you’re serious about cross platform testing (which as a web developer you should be) a mac is the way to go. A few years ago it was necessary to have both a mac and pc on hand, to check your work. That of course meant 2 of everything (boxes, peripherals, etc.) unless your where lucky enough to have a kvm switch. Bleh.

    Having a mac with Parallels, I can do everything from one machine. Somehow I think that works out to be cheaper in the long run. :)

    Nice post though – NotePad ++ is still my favorite editor of all time.

  343. 343

    Here we go again with the PC-MAC discussion, I didn’t read the complete post, it’s a waste of time!!!

  344. 344

    dendy b sulistyo

    June 11, 2009 6:13 am

    your articles always give me “too much information”… but this one is not important i guess.. both pc and mac have their fans.. i like balance. so my office use both..

    anyway.. i love smashing magazine :)

  345. 345

    PLEASE! This is the first bad article I’ve seen published on Smashing. Not one of your reason to use a PC matter. 1/2 of them are about trying to make your PC into a Mac. WAMP? Again, PLEASE! Mac are UNIX boxes, there’s also MAMP to run localhost web server. Text editors are text editors, BBEDIT rocks though. Hardware… if you can get it to work on a PC might be the only advantage.

    I’ve been using a Mac for development for 15 years. I pull my hair out every time I have to use a PC. I never have to fight my Mac to get a task done.

  346. 346

    There isn’t a single reason in the above article that would lure me to a PC for web development. Many are just eye candy or things to make the PC more mac like.

    We are talking web development. There are only two reasons where a PC rules in that area:

    1. Testing your stuff in IE
    2. If your a .NET or ASP / Microsoft Shop.

    Beyond that Linux or Mac’s are better tools. Why? Mac’s come installed with Python and Ruby oh and Perl. Since its running Unix under the hood, adding apache, mysql, php, CPAN and PEAR are easy as pie. You can run an entire development platform thats similar to your hosting platform with little difficulty.

  347. 347

    I use Windows as my PC at work, and a Linux Ubuntu PC at home for work. Granted that have a virtual machine with windows to run my Adobe programs, I find Linux more stable and reliable than Windows.

    I find that Windows is far too insecure, and if there is ONE thing that Microsoft could do, its to beef up the security a bit. Viruses, and Malware are far too popular with windows in comparison to Linux or Mac.

    I would def. consider using a Mac if I had the ridiculous amount of money to throw away, but until Mac gets a little more affordable, Im sticking with PC, Linux or not.

  348. 348

    Well this is discussion that will go on for ever. So many people that are Mac people started off on a PC then moved to a Mac and never looked back. There are advantages to both a PC and a Mac. I understand the price and all the people out there that want to fight for what they have.

  349. 349

    I dont like working environments that force me to use them THEIR way, not the other way round.

    Thus, Mac was never MY prefered kind of working environment – even Windows is quite customizable, if you know where to look (although I dont like it that much). Last sentence in brackets tells it all: In Spring 2005 I’ve switched to Linux completely.

    My current productive system is powered by Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS, using XFCE as prefered window manager, and some parts and bits out of Gnome and KDE for spicing it up. I prefer to set the hotkeys of my system the way I WANT IT TO, not the either way round ;)
    … works like a charm …

    cu, w0lf.

  350. 350

    Shaun Chongo

    June 11, 2009 6:27 am

    One problem though is workflow… try telling all the designers in the office to switch to a PC. Its just easier handling files in the same format and sending them back and forth when you are synced with their OS. In my case, thats MAC. I’m all for PC’s though, however if I have to look at one more of my sites in IE6 I will puke

  351. 351

    You can bitch away about Macs all you like but ask yourself how many passionate PC users do you know who love their OS. Might be a few around but nothing like the Mac. There is a reason the people who have Macs like them so much. PC’s are cheaper then Mac’s, Fords are cheaper then BMW’s.

  352. 352

    More click and flame-bait. Works every time! (Just like my Mac! :P~~~~)

  353. 353

    I personally feel a PC is better for web design than a Mac, but OS X is a better operating system than Windows. As a side-note, being able to SSH from OS X natively to a web server (usually Linux) is a great boon. One is also able to rsync files back and forth betweem the local and remote filesystems. Conversely Windows does not include ssh or rsync and quite frankly Windows filesystems suck donkey balls.

  354. 354

    I went from Windows to Mac and from Mac to Linux. Now I am running Ubuntu Linux with Virtualbox. I am doing all my development inside Virtual Machine, nowdays on Windows 2008 server (which btw. is awesome as a workstation as well) directly.

  355. 355

    I see a lot of PC users complaining about the Macs price tag. But if you think about how many security holes, updates, patches, crashes that Windows goes thru, I would rather pay the extra $$ to have a stable OS / hardware to design / develop on. The only reason why I virtualize Windows on my Mac is to test my web apps on IE. But then again IE is slowly but surely being overtaken by standards based browsers (Safari, Chrome and Firefox).

    I’ve always felt that Microsoft is a multi billion copy cat.

    Flash > Silverlight
    iPod > Zune
    App Store > Windows Market Place
    Mobile Me > Sky Drive

    Microsoft doesn’t even have a decent backup program. Time Machine rocks, not to mention that it so easy to migrate from your old Mac to a new one using the Migration Assistant in OS X. The new Mac hardware are much eco friendly being aluminum (by the way aluminum recycles better than plastic!!) Think green!

  356. 356

    Good article, but I wish you would have added something in there about Linux. I am a web developer and I use Fedora 9 at work and at home. Yes, I use a few hacks to see things in IE when I need to, but I love the way that Linux is stable and just works. Any thing I need software wise is free and I can do most anything I need in it. I don’t have a glitsy shiny editor like notepad++, I use vim. I have learned some of the shortcuts for it and it is very powerful.

    I guess what I am trying to say is, put a vote in for Linux.

  357. 357

    Christopher Bishop

    June 11, 2009 6:38 am

    Shaun Chongo (June 11th, 2009, 6:27 am)
    One problem though is workflow… try telling all the designers in the office to switch to a PC. Its just easier handling files in the same format and sending them back and forth when you are synced with their OS. In my case, thats MAC. I’m all for PC’s though, however if I have to look at one more of my sites in IE6 I will puke

    Classic PC user. This USED to be true, but hasn’t been ever since OSX came out years ago. Most users have no problem transferring files back and forth. The only problems you’ll really run into is MS Office docs, and even then its minor at best.

  358. 358

    Nothing as entertaining as these endless Mac vs Windows-“debates”:) But although I am not a developer, I thought I might chime in with my take on why I think some people get so upset about Macs and Apple. I read the posts of the ones here who claim that people who know what they are doing, should be able to set up their system so it will beat the Mac, hardware-wise along with the software.
    I have no doubt about that. Clever people and one should admire their skills. But why do they get so upset about Macs, then, if they manage to make their systems superior, using their skills? Why do they have to call Mac-users idiots and whatnot? Why the rage?

    Might it have something to do with the fact that here you are, having developed your skills building your own rigs from scratch and you have learnt to hack deep into the DOS-roots of Windows until you have seen the ghost of the original QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) which Allen bought from a small developer across the street, to have something to show the guys from IBM? You know how to tinker and tweak and hack and you know how to build a rock solid machine from scratch and people around you admire you for your skills and lots of them rely on you for the same skills which they lack. You´re the shining star in your community.

    And then comes some retard and says that he or she does not need all that! That they just pack up their Macs and are ready to go and have fun!? What? What is that?
    And you look closer at it and discover that to learn to tweak and tinker and hack, you need to learn all new tricks, being a UNIX-based system – and perhaps you do not even discover that, since your only experience with a Mac was back in school when you had to use Mac OS 8.1 which froze ever so often while you had set up your XP-machine at home to run oh, so smoothly.

    Yes, I am convinced that the majority of Mac-users do not know jack shit about their machines. Neither do the majority of PC-users. But the annoying thing is that with a Mac, you do not need to know it, either. You do not need to tweak and tinker and hack to make it work smoothly.

    I had a friend who could just taste and smell the oil and dirt and grease from the engine block to tell what the problem might be with it. It was quite amazing to look at! But I do not know what he can do with today´s cars, though. Anyway, no matter how much I admired his skills, I rather prefer a car which just works.

    Same with a computer.

    That is one of the main reasons why I prefer a Mac. I am one of those people who really do not care so much about the computer itself, nor the OS it is running. I don´t want to be bothered with it. I am interested in the things it can do for me.

    To sum it up. Yes, I am sure that Max and others can make their PCs to do exactly what they want, just as smoothly as any Macs. The problem for the rest of us is just that we do not have neither the time nor the interest for all what it takes.

    But of course, I can understand how annoying it must be to read all of the smug comments from people who do not know even half of what you do about computers. I can understand the irritation and the rage.

    But don´t let that stop you from trying out what a Mac is today. Not way back in your school days or when you began working some time in the 90s.

    Especially when 10.6 comes in September – Snow Leopard.

  359. 359

    Chris Ovenden

    June 11, 2009 6:41 am

    I have tried both OS X and Ubuntu this year and neither cut it as dev environments – lots of factors for going back to Windows but the main one was, as @adwin mentions above, TortoiseSVN, which is simply the best SVN gui tool ever made.

  360. 360

    Actually, web developers should be using Macs with OS/X on it. More testing can be done easily on an OS/X than Windows. Get a mac, install Parallels and Boot Camp, then you can run windows side by side with OS/X (much more integrated than vmware).

    This allows you to test:
    Windows IE
    Windows FF
    Windows Safari
    Windows Opera
    OS/X FF
    OS/X Safari
    OS/X Opera.

    And the best part is you can drag and drop files directly from one OS desktop to another and open files coming in on one OS to the other seamlessly.

    So, a web developer ‘SHOULD’ be using a Mac for work, instead of spending a lot of time trying to get Windows to have Mac features. ;)

  361. 361

    Christopher Bishop

    June 11, 2009 6:46 am

    Hard to develop with your infested with VIRUSES!! MUHWAHAHAHA!!!

    and spyware…

    and malware….

    damn…. Not a good age to be a PC fan.

  362. 362

    I develop, design and do a some of video editing on a $500.00 office laptop (vista) which is what MAC die hard like to compare themselves too… hell why would someone want to spend 1500+ on PC hardware, Unix based OS with pretty marketing that make me believes I am soooooooo cool… beats me!!!!!

    All like these prove is that MAC PC wars are not over!!!!!!


  363. 363

    Tom Dempsey

    June 11, 2009 6:49 am

    Having been brain-washed in the 90s with the Mac propaganda – I switched back to PCs when I became a web developer because the Mac was so slow. I appreciate the sleek design and interface of a Mac but would not waste my money. When people say they have to use a Mac in graphic design work – I am quick to note how untrue that is – unless you do 3-D modeling which most people don’t.

  364. 364

    connecticut websites

    June 11, 2009 6:50 am

    good article, but some of the rants & raves in this thread lead me to believe that some people just read the title, not the article itself, then posted here, resulting in quite a few ignorant comments.

  365. 365

    Wow there are a lot of comments on this article. *adding one more*

    I use a mac 8 hours a day and go home and use a pc for another 5……they both get the job done. They both have their good side and bad side. Chill out with the hate.

  366. 366

    Neither OP nor any commenter has ever been paid to do web development, that much is clear.

    OS X is clearly superior if you’re developing web apps in any environment other than .net. If you’re not writing executable code, how do you call yourself a web developer? Knowing HTML markup and how to press the auto levels button in Photoshop != web development these days.

    If you’re a .net developer… God help you.

    Real web developers need to make sure their sites work with multiple operating environments anyway. One must test on multiple browsers on both Windows and OS X. If you can do that with just your $500 XP box, I salute you…

    Most of the web runs on “Unix based OS”. Unless you have a particular need to give your money and your life to become a Microsoft developer, why would you make obstacles for yourself by developing sites on Windows? It makes no sense.

    If you must subscribe to some kind of hater’s “reverse coolness” by avoiding OS X, Linux provides plenty of reasonable choices for those doing real work, i.e. Perl, Ruby, Python, PHP, etc.

    Unless this is some kind of magazine for small children who play with computers. In that case, play on.

  367. 367

    hhmm…. i’m not a mac fan, but for Developers (whatever, web or application development) there is one IDE that runs on Windows/Linux/Mac -> Eclipse…

    I’m using a ubuntu system and only needs eclipse (and for sure pdt) with integrated subversion (Version-Control). And thats all for Free (and really ALL for free) and feature-rich.

  368. 368

    Daniel Florien

    June 11, 2009 7:07 am

    Or, you could just, you know, buy a Mac. Then you can spend your time doing something productive instead of trying to make your windows computer work lie a Mac.

    If you like the Windows environment, great, use it. But if you want to make it work like a Mac, just buy one instead. Who would buy a Mac and then try to make it work like Windows?

  369. 369

    I don’t see, what all the fuzz is about. Where’s the one big difference? I can do all of my work on a Mac as well as on a PC. Creative Suite, Flex, Eclipse, WAMP/MAMP, all those nice little widgets, plugins or tools… almost everything is available for the two of these systems. I love how much I can mess around with Win or my PC hardware as much as I love how tidy MacOS is and how much neat software it already contains — and of course its UNIX heritage.

  370. 370

    patrick h. lauke

    June 11, 2009 7:21 am

    all this hype, surely just to generate lots of traffic? at the end of the day, developers should use whatever they feel more comfortable with, can afford, etc. heck, i’d create webpages on a commodore 64 if i found it more practical. it’s just a tool…this is like arguing over whether you should use a B or HB pencil for better drawing…

  371. 371

    I can’t understand why the common Mac user tend always to cry… i’ve found this article very good and inspiring. As i said before i love Ubuntu and at home i work with it, at work we use linux or macs, yes macs are nice, there are some pretty cool features, but i can’t understand all the fanboys hype… i still think that a good pc with linux it’s on the same level. Even a windows pc + linux virtual machines it’s on the same level.
    If you prefer Mac good for you, if you like to spent a lot of money without a really good reason good for you, but don’t brag and say bullshits about peoples that use different systems.

  372. 372

    Nick Yeoman

    June 11, 2009 7:25 am

    I highly disagree with this article, but I’m a developer not a designer. We all know Linux has Mac and Windows beat.

  373. 373

    Joel Drapper

    June 11, 2009 7:33 am

    Linux is best for web development, Mac is best for design.

  374. 374

    Virtual Machines … Is there comparable software like Parallels & VMWare for PC?? That is THE heart of why I use a Mac to develop. A QA lab with every combination of OS & Browser exists on my laptop. Ironically, the only way to run multiple flavors of Internet Explorer is to use an alternate OS.

  375. 375

    Eric Schulman

    June 11, 2009 7:41 am

    That mouse == jokes too. Simplicity is key. Why would a ‘developer’ need that crap? double fail. Slackware linux for life.

  376. 376

    Oh you kids and your silly religious wars!

    Everybody knows that real devs likely need to support multiple platforms and probably have Linux, Windows and Apple OS’s existing in your office. Anybody whose been in the industry for a while knows that you deal with just about the same crap with every OS, it just smells a little different.

  377. 377


    June 11, 2009 7:46 am

    good Lord, how many applications you need to INSTALL in order to have what a MAC come with by default……..

  378. 378

    Joshua Drake

    June 11, 2009 7:47 am

    Or you could just use Linux and get the best of both worlds.

  379. 379

    Did someone put you up to this? Like force you to play devil’s advocate? If not, is this amateur hour? The only reasons to choose a PC over a Mac for development (not testing) is to program in .NET or save money on a computer.

    An IDE is a poor reason to choose one platform over another. There are so many editors out there for mac, including Smultron, CodeWrangler/BBEdit, and Espresso. There are plenty that work on both, like Jedit or vim.

    WAMP is not a good reason either. OS X is bundled with Apache and MySQL if I remember correctly.

    And the other programs… are just programs. There is so much more to a computer than a few high level programs.

  380. 380

    Ahhh, and the Mac/PC debate rages continues to rage on. Honestly, nobody really cares what you use to develop/design with except for yourself. I use a PC at work and a Mac at home. I do the same caliber of work on both machines, however I prefer using my Mac. I’m sure if I needed to use a Linux system, I’d do fine work on that too.

  381. 381

    This is retarded. Yes, Windows is a perfectly good platform for most things. So is Linux. Everything mentioned above can easily and freely be done on all three platforms. None of that has anything to do with web development. Seriously, rocketpad? launchy? customizing your desktop? Nothing to do with development of any kind and there are corresponding tools on all three platforms for everything mentioned above. And WAMP is just Apache, MySQL and PHP, what if I want Rails and Lighttpd? Or Python? Perl? With Postgres? Those all work out of the box or after a single command on most OS X/Linux distributions.

    Mac OS and Linux are both much better platforms for most kinds of development other than .NET and other windows-centric languages/tools, particularly web development. It more closely mirrors the systems of most web hosts (since most are Linux-based) and provides an entire universe of system tools that Windows can’t even imagine. It’s much easier to securely open system services, sync data, schedule jobs, manage system resources… the list is endless. Not to mention the thousands (millions?) of tools that can be installed with a single command, most of which have a command-line interface and so can be used by your webdev language of choice to gain additional functionality in your site.

    If your setting up your personal blog or webpage by all means use Windows. If your developing a web application that’s even slightly important or complicated then your just shooting yourself in the foot. A much more sane question would be do you choose Linux or OS X.

  382. 382

    Jason Palmer

    June 11, 2009 7:56 am

    I could also walk to work instead of drive, but I choose to drive because it’s faster, safer, and allows me to get more work done with less effort. Hmm..

  383. 383

    Jeremy Gordinier

    June 11, 2009 7:56 am

    Firefox for web development works great on Mac, PC and Linux.
    Web Dev Toolbar, Firebug, Greasemonkey, FireFTP, Abduction, OpenIT, Yubnub, Colorzilla, MeasureIT, Browsrcamp.
    Bespin for firefox purists. Emacs, VIM or Eclipse for people who actually want to get something done. Problem Solved.

  384. 384

    Jash Sayani

    June 11, 2009 8:01 am

    Well, I believe that everyone needs a Mac !!

  385. 385

    Nobody NEEDS a Mac. Nobody on this planet. But as a dev I spend a solid 10+ hours a day on my machine, so I would like the most pleasant, efficient experience possible. That occurs on a Mac.

    Also, WAMP? There’s MAMP. Notepad++? Coda. Syncback? Time Machine.

    Any task takes longer on Windows.

  386. 386

    I was a die hard PC guy for many many years. I just got tired of 10 minute boot times, and 10 crashes a day, and having to keep upgrading hardware ever other day to get any performance from my system. I went to an iMac – never been happier in my life with technology. I dont care if Captain Krunch makes my Computer as long as its a reliable and efficient tool. So far – MAC is a light year ahead of PC in anything that matters.

  387. 387

    “Hello I’m a Mac ! Hello I’m a PC, how are you today Mac ?”

    Just for the Mac advertises, I love Macs ! Even if Mac is a little bit more expansive than a PC, a Mac get a very long life time ! And it is just harder, better, faster, (sorry I’m a fan ^^) euh easier, better and faster to a PC… Because, there are approximately a thousand configurations (and more !!) which are able to do running Windows whereas there are only 6 configurations which should do executing Macs (without hackintoshs).

    I get a Macbook since 3 years, and when I see the work that they do to Cupertino, I’m just amazed !! And don’t forget the future is in UNIX System…

    Anyway, let’s wait to see the futur OS Windos 7… I think it will be better but so inspired of Macs concepts !!

  388. 388

    This is a seriously crap post.

    That’s all I have to say. Good day to you.

  389. 389

    TIno Urbiks

    June 11, 2009 8:11 am

    totally useless discussion.

    Greetings from the Kindergarden.

  390. 390

    I’m a front-end web developer and I use Linux. Apparently I’m the crazy one.

  391. 391

    This article failed.

  392. 392


    June 11, 2009 8:21 am

    #57 Ken Vuncannon has it right, IMO. I’d be surprised, nay shocked, if SM didn’t have a way of tracking stats. When they see the number of replies and time spent on this article, it will show the topic is still hot and may compel someone (here or elsewhere) to write another in this vain (more views, more time on the site, more ad revenue, etc.). If you don’t like this kind of article and wish the general topic to dry up and wither away…DON’T FEED THE TROLLS! Just ignore it and move on. I know by posting this I’ve ignored my own advice, but someone had to post this.

    And while I’m here, I have to say I love SM…very inspiring, great resource for all things creative. However, this article is just a fluff piece, IMO. You can (and should) do better.

  393. 393

    The reason I don’t like windows for my development work: I it is not a *nix and does not come with bash, vim, gcc, ssh, git, svn, packet management and so on and so forth.

    But of course, for some stuff, Windows might be the right choice. Whatever works for you guys, just stop hateing each other for it. There is no right or wrong.

  394. 394


    I work with Linux (JSF) and use Linux at home (slacking and hacking – python and ruby). I also have some experience with webservers maintenances. So I’d like to contribute, in case you guys are interested in, with a Web Development on Linux article.


  395. 395

    Wow, lots of trolls.

    I laughed at #132… “your an idiot”. Classic.

    I ‘ve owned and sworn by a PC for years and recently (last two years) bought a Mac for the home office. I’ve always known that as a graphic designer (not necessarily web) that Macs are superior, and have used them at work. Actually, there’s nothing BUT Macs at work, it couldn’t happen any other way at a news station. The speed and size of projects and the ease with which programs/files work with each otheris unmatched by a PC.

    So… I have both. I love the PC for games, but the Mac blows it away on all fronts. My PC is loaded too.

    I’ve read every argument and here’s all I have to say.

    1) Industry standard. Regardless of every spec you could possibly pull out of either computer, clients and other professionals will look at you like you have polio if you say that you design on a PC. Right or wrong.

    2) If you are in fact a professional (I mean a degree and a industry job for more than 3 years with a running demo reel/portfolio) then you need reliability and performance. Macs are safe from viruses compared to a PC, and are just MADE for speed and fluid design work. Sorry PC peeps, I will smoke you on a Mac in a work environment.

    That’s all I got, it’s pretty much been said already. I’m far from a “Mac snob”, but hey… I paid my dues and my skill affords me Macs, so money isn’t really an issue when discussing this age old debate.

    I should reiterate the fact that the majority of my work is motion graphics and still images, with a little Cinema 4D, Final Cut Pro and some light web support, so I am fairly ignorant as to the depths of web design. Our web guys at the station have a mac primarily with a PC next to it. My station actually has VMware in it to use a program called ENPS (news), so I can call up the PC from within the Mac. I hate it… but it works.

  396. 396

    Wow, I love reading designers talking about ‘development’ and especially mac vs. pc issues. So lets clear it up for teh peoples:

    pc = mac, much how honda = car

    It doesn’t matter… both are fine, just an issue of how much you wanna pay for the plastic case.

  397. 397

    The car metaphor is horrible… again, you’re obviously not a designer. Saying that it’s just a plastic case tells me you surf the net and that’s it.

  398. 398

    This article doesn’t make any sense and has no point. People that still think that Mac are just “Trendy” should buy one and they will understand. The workflow is just amazing, smooth, agreeable and the OS way more reliable than the crappy, wannabe, buggy windows. Beside that, the quality and relevance of this website articles has dramatically dropped recently.

  399. 399

    Ok… its weird, but i develop remotely using vim, to help my speed with yakuake… so… F12, the terminal vanish, the firefox is before that, f5, refresh, new page in less then 3 seconds…
    “You are a crazy fucking freetard”
    maybe… but i really enjoy do it..
    i make the code, make my macros in vim… i really like to have control of my things…
    mac is good… but i dont know… i like the old school xD
    Sorry for the bad english… just a brazilian kid expressing their feelings here…
    somebody post some for linux webdevelopers… its a 1% but we really like it =]

  400. 400

    I’m so tired of the mac vs. pc thing period. I’m a web programmer and have been for 10 years. I use PC because I like it. People ask me all the time “what should I buy,” expecting an answer from the tech guy, and I always say “what do you work on now?” “what do you like?” then get it.

    Everyone, there is no functional difference. None whatsoever. there’s no advantage that one has over another anymore. Software and hardware has come along way from 1997 when this PC vs Mac thing might have been a relevant discussion. But it’s not anymore. All the technology gurus of the world should replace their “X is better” arguments with “I like it,” and the rest of the world will follow too.

  401. 401

    Wayne Hastings

    June 11, 2009 9:08 am

    Ok, so how do I vote down this article? The examples stated are silly and shallow.

  402. 402

    This article was obviously was written by someone who doesn’t use the mac. Textwrangler is just as good as notepad++, launchy doesn’t even come close to the functionality of quicksilver, there are 3rd party applications for customizing the mac GUI too… magnifique. Rocket dock lags and the presenter mouse you used as an example works great with my macbook… i have one and use it all the time.

    I think this post could have used some actual research. Don’t post an unfounded rant like it’s fact…

  403. 403

    Well said, Aaron.

  404. 404

    For use the widgets in Windows: kludgets!

  405. 405

    @Ken Vuncannon

    Spot on! This is just another “lets-generate-lots-of-traffic” article.

  406. 406

    Wow, all that envy, and then calling the mac “just trendy”, tsts ;)

  407. 407

    I do all my web development on post-it notes and the backs of napkins and give them to my secretary to type. She prints out web pages for me to circle links I want her to print so I can read stories like this one. I don’t know what kind of computer she uses.

    (P.S. I use a Mac!)

  408. 408

    These Mac vs. Windows posts always get the most activity.

    Talk about this topic on your blog and you’ll get some attention. :)

  409. 409

    What a pathetic little whiney “I know you are but what am I?” response to the previous post about why Macs are great for development. Poor Michael Martin had his feelings hurt.

    And not for nothing….peripherals is better on a PC?? You mean I cant use those same exact tablets and mouse or external HD’s on my Mac?? What a lame post altogether.

    We dont need to make Smashing Magazine a back and forth Mac vs PC wars.

  410. 410

    I fell for the mac hype last year. Two thousand dollars later I had a machine I never used because it did everything my cheaper PC did but slower. Then there were all the small little problems I would have in day to day life interacting with other platforms, finding applications and fighting the mystery meat UI which is swear to God is meant to make designers minds implode (mac has the best UI, but this is confusing and redundant… owe! my freakin head!) I ended up switching back to my PC and to this day all I use that apple for is to watch movies on my xbox which ironical it does way better then my PC… *sigh*

    Either way, any dev that knows what they are doing can work on either platform, it just might make them crazy to have to use one they don’t like, lets drop the pretentious “I’m better because I spent more money on my apple” or “I’m better because I didn’t spend more money on my mutt PC” it just makes us all like A-holes.

  411. 411

    Matthew Carriere

    June 11, 2009 10:04 am

    Seriously, this article says you don’t NEED a mac, but spends the entire time rigging your PC to look and feel like a Mac. Imitation is the best form of flattery I suppose… if you really can’t leave the herd and just buy the machine with the tools you want to use then this will do.

    What is being completely overlooked here is the fact that the applications on the Mac are superior to the ‘clones’ presented here. Just because I put a Mercedes symbol on my Pinto doesn’t mean I have the same thing.

  412. 412

    Macs never have been the preferred choice for web development.

    I’m not really sure that is true.

    We are in an era now where design is separated from development. The artwork is more routinely handled by graphic designers, and the coding is handled by someone else. The days of *one* person providing quality graphics and coding appear to be gone, but the Mac is still a great tool to deliver to entire package.

    One thing is for sure…whenever I visit a website that looks horrible it is almost always made by a Windows user. No anti-aliasing, blocky graphics, poor font selections, no photo optimization. Bleh.

  413. 413

    Andres Jaimes

    June 11, 2009 10:21 am

    Well, I’m a web developer who loves his mac… :-)

  414. 414

    Worst article I have ever read on Smashing Magazine.

  415. 415

    Omg he’s bashing Macs.

    Let’s all pretend it’s a bad article!!

    Fcking idiots, the only thing he said is that you don’t NEED to switch to a mac.

    And you DON’T.

    Get fucking over it, you payed shitloads of money for something that is less powerful and efficient

  416. 416

    Mac ~ Linux: closer to LAMP = dev using MacOs
    Mac ~ Beautiful: closer to ‘design’ = graph using MacOs
    PC ~ Bugs: closer to … bugs? = tester using Windows … in a VirtualBox … on a Mac

    Sorry been there for almost 15 years now, since 2006 changed to Mac, maybe sometime will switch back but not today


  417. 417

    Taylor Satula

    June 11, 2009 10:46 am

    Umm… Really Because I always thought that Espresso did almost all of that stuff and the others come built in.

    I dont care if you want a PC, thats cool but i am still keeping my mac and staying

  418. 418

    Man, those screenshots remind me just how ugly Windows apps are.

    I really don’t care what’s “trendy” — the dev tools on Mac, especially for open-source stuff (like Rails, Django, etc) are just plain better.

    You definitely don’t *need* a Mac, but they sure are a joy to work with. I’ve yet to meet someone who’s been unhappy with a Mac after switching from Windows.

  419. 419

    I grew up on PC’s, and when I was in college tried out a mac (os 5.1), and have been hooked ever since. Initially I think the mac was specifically geared towards designers, and rightly so. It handled design programs more efficiently (at the time). I think PC’s have come a long ways since then, so both platforms are fairly comparable for both print and web development now. Its more of a personal choice. I prefer a mac because I am comfortable with all the shortcuts and commands that make moving around the system much easier. Plus the hardware seems built to last forever – I still have a mac I bought 12 years ago and it still runs perfectly. But I also use a PC to do some work due to my clients preferences. Although I may not be able to work as fast on a PC, its pretty close, and the outcome is relatively the same. It does go back to the premise that you should choose something that fits your needs and what will make you more efficient.

  420. 420


    June 11, 2009 10:58 am

    Mac users remind me of Lakers fans–as soon as someone suggest Lebron/Windows might be as good as/better than their object of worship, they respond en masse and out of all proportion to the perceived provocation. And I say this as a lifetime Mac user.

  421. 421


    June 11, 2009 11:00 am

    Mac users remind me of Lakers fans–as soon as someone suggest Lebron/Windows might be as good as/better than their object of worship, they respond en masse and out of all proportion to the perceived provocation. And I say this as a lifetime Mac user.

  422. 422

    I have used both. The mac feels as if it were designed with design in mind.

    The pc feels like it was designed for mass appeal.

    Every designer out there knows they can buy a pc for less and still do the same work. It is not about being cooler or more hip. It is a matter of design. How else can you explain so many designers using the mac over the pc? You think designers think they are cooler for using the mac? Not hardly. Designers appreciate good design. Apple knows this. Everything they do starts with design.

    This article focused on cost difference. That is the mistake the pc manufacturers continue to make. Do you think all these people buying macs do not know the price difference? The question should be why is the pc not more design oriented?Why does windows feel so archaic?
    I am not cooler because I use a mac. I can’t help the way you feel about being a pc user.

  423. 423

    LInux here. Reason: Open Source operating system. I can code all in my customized gedit. i can do vector graphics in Inkscape, retouch and manipulate images in Gimp, have my servers locally, Do some 3d Modelling in Blender, and not to mention my ssh support, powerfull command line, and if i need it, integrated support for python, perl and many other languages. I can just do anything i want.

  424. 424

    By using windows we’re giving Microsoft political capital to let them screw with the W3C with future version of Explorer. This is bad for all designers… PC, Mac and Linux.

  425. 425

    sudo apt-get remove windows

  426. 426

    <3 Notepad++

  427. 427

    Im a web desig-neloper and i use to work with mac, the reasons: TextMate & Coda and the friendly-user environment of the OS X. When need to work in another place i use to work in a laptop with Win Vista and i’m agree, Notepad ++ works so good for me. Great post.

  428. 428

    Jonathan Wagener

    June 11, 2009 11:24 am

    Mac is pretty, all the apps look the same there is no ugly custom looks to apps, i like this. yeah i use windows and would like to get a mac, but there is no real “reason” to change.

  429. 429

    Nobody should be telling anybody what they do and don’t need – and stating it as a fact.

    It’s a preference. I was on PCs for years, and as designer I hated it. Switched to Mac and within a week, wondered why it took me so long. My productivity increased dramatically.

    It should be about the tool that fits how you operate, not some sort of diatribe about what is universally better.

  430. 430

    Tony Dunsworth

    June 11, 2009 11:30 am

    Alternate programs I use which could receive mention or merit, for the WAMP server, I use Uniform Server 4.2 It’s really nice and mounts a virtual drive with a *nix like file structure and I prefer ObjectDock’s free offering. Stable, nice, and works wonders.

  431. 431

    What a stupid article, this is exactly why you should not be using ONLY a PC. If you need an article like this to help discover how to develop efficiently, you need to quit your day job. Way to keep the Mac vs PC battle hot, idiots.

  432. 432

    Ugh! A Mac IS a PC.,2817,2327233,00.asp

    This flame bait is getting annoying.

  433. 433

    i know there are a lot of comments but the last one about the mouse is totally false
    i have a 11 button mouse .. seriously. and it goes back and forward on a web page new tab has insane scrolling does expose and clears my desktop it is the logitech mx revolution if anyone cared

  434. 434

    UGH. Another Mac vs PC thread —

    I use both, and I’ve found the Mac is best suited for video, music, print and motion graphics. But for the web, Windows is tops, PERIOD. Oh, and there’s that ONE little **annoying** thing Mac users have to do without: MSIE. Can’t say your site is ‘ready’ until you test it in that horrible browser.

  435. 435

    I make websights in microsofft paint so and microsoft frontpage so PC is only chois 4 mee! I MAKE NISE WEBSIGHT!

  436. 436

    i agree with netoxico; anyone of you guys ever seen a penguin do the work for you ?

  437. 437

    Syncback is probably the most used by me on this list. I like to team it up with JungleDisk’s network drive feature to back it all up to Amazon’s S3 service. Snycback doesn’t know the difference and dealing with ‘physical’ locations is a lot more convenient than F T P.

  438. 438

    OS X is just a superior product and we use it because it is easier to use and has Unix under the hood so you an still use many of those great Open source products that aren’t available on Windows. I you really need a Windows based app you can just use Parallels or Boot Camp. Plus, with boot camp most of my games work as good or better on the Mac hardware.

  439. 439

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the font trouble you run into between macs and PC’s. Most designers I work with use macs for design and when I was using a PC i’d have to go find the PC version of the fonts they used, and there was usually some difference in the cut compared to the mac one, etc. Now I get the PSD’s and any fonts I need from the designer and I can edit away on the PSD.

    textmate, transmit, coda +++

  440. 440

    Easily the worst article I’ve ever seen on this site. I’ve been developing sites for 10 years and made the move to mac after Vista came out and started locking up my CSS files. (And then magically deleting them.) Well played for the traffic you’ll generate but honestly, at the cost of a reputation. Stupid.

  441. 441

    Is that an April fool?
    Come on.. this can’t be serious.

    Just to be able to run Mac OSx AND any other OS (via VMware) on the same box, Mac is definitely better than a pc (especially a pc running Vista).

  442. 442

    WINDOWS IS HORRIBLE, you will get viruses and it will crash on you in 2 years at the most.

  443. 443

    Jeremy Gordinier

    June 11, 2009 12:57 pm

    If your using mac just for the terminal you should try out Windows Powershell

  444. 444

    I am much more productive in dreamweaver and photoshop on PC.
    Mac doesnt allow mouse scrolling of layer styles in pc and doesnt allow dragging files from finder into dreamweaver files window.

    I love my mac for leisure but love my pc for work.

    Good luck to all.

  445. 445

    This article and half of the comments sound like an astroturf-roots effort to radiate some windows love. “Mac users are so stuck in using what they are given”? C’mon, pull the other one. You can customise your Mac as much as you want, no worries there.

    In the end it’s a preference thing. Using Windows? Fine, whatever floats your boat. Using a Mac? Sure thing if that tickles your fancy. Using Solaris, one of the BSDs or any flavour of Linux? Good on you!

    You’ll all find ways of doing what you want on any of those platforms. As you’re working on your computer and adapt it to your needs, you automatically adapt your workflow to whatever you’re using. No wonder you feel most productive on the platform you’re used to.

    I’d like to close my comment with saying that I’ve hardly ever used Windows – not interested and no need for it. I grew up with an Apple ][ and I’ve used Macs and various flavours of Unix (Solaris, *BSD, a handful of Linux distros) for most of my life. As long as I can keep on using that without religious wars breaking out around me, I’m happy.

  446. 446

    I use Windows, OSX, and Ubuntu. I’ve never had major problems with the software aspects of any of the 3 major systems. As far as I’m concerned, I can pretty much do equivalent things in all 3 OSes.

    A lot of the OSX features have been available in KDE (the desktop environment I choose to use for Ubuntu) for ages. e.g. Spaces were “desktops” in KDE for years before Leopard came out. Katapult was the launchy/spotlight/quicksilver equivalent. I’m a fan of the minimalistic look, so I never bothered much with docks in any OS, but if you want a dock, by golly you can make one in linux. Linux is versatile.

    As for web dev, well, maybe you won’t find Photoshop for Linux, but setting up apache, mysql, php, python, java, perl, etc, etc is incredibly easy, especially if you like the command line. For editors, you’ve got Kate, VIM, Emacs, and a ton of other free, open source editors. Using something like Ubuntu is incredibly easy now for everyone. I plugged in a wireless ergonomic mouse/keyboard set without installing drivers and voila, it worked, first try.

    As for browser testing, Chrome, Safari, and Konqueror (KDE browser) are based on the same webkit code, so what works in one usually works in another. Firefox works. For IE, you’ll have to use a VM. For OSX… maybe one day, if they allow virtualized versions of their OS on non-proprietary hardware (or if you trust your sources, install someone else’s mods)

    For all the people harping on the “You’re just trying to mimic a OSX environment:” if you really want to go back and point the finger at who copied who, well, where would the GUI as you know it be if Xerox PARC hadn’t allowed Apple to take a look and emulate the Alto?

  447. 447

    I will buy a apple if they do one or two things.

    Build a 500 dollar system that a 500 dollar windows system has..that would be a home built system…for 500 bucks i can have a monster system.

    I am sorry but the mac tax is complete bullshit. Why am i going to buy parts at a marked up price just to keep a companies look…I am sorry i am not into fashion…i want a computer that works and a computer i can upgrade and customize.

    And I understand why apple does this…they are lazy..they do not want to program drivers for other manufacturers, they do not want to bother with drivers at all so they make something like a xbox and a PS3 a locked system….that way their OS will be stable…the second reason they do this is they dont have to worry about the lincence issues that windows has.

    And the only other way i would buy a mac is if they become a os company like windows…but till steve jobs leaves the company i doubt that will ever happen.

    I and for all those people that hack OS X to work with thier computers i commend you…but here is the thing…I feel i dont need to hack a os even to INSTALL on my computer.

    So till apple opens up to us modders to the customizers….I will treat apple like they have treated me…like they dont exist…

    and as for the virus free mac….I will smile the day you guys realize the only reason macs dont have viruses is because 90% of users use a windows machine. Ever look at the hacker test macs have always been the first ones to be hacked…

    I dont like the company apple becuase they think they can control the way we think, the way use our computers. They are becoming more and more like the IBM company of old.

    and one more thing…and this really bugs me….


    when you compare a mac please compare it with windows, dont dare say PC it makes no sense … a PC is the hardware behind the software… that can run Linux, Windows, or Mac if you hack it, or any other operating system

    i am done off my soap box.

  448. 448

    Adam Holt (June 11th, 2009, 1:01 am)
    For me it’s all about the command line, i went back to windows for a few days last week, i wanted to tear my eyeballs out using windows command prompt.

    PowerShell 2 eats other shells for breakfast. You can pipe objects around ferchrissakes.

    Fred (June 11th, 2009, 3:18 am)
    At least the web developers on Macs can try out their code on multiple OSes (Win/Linux/Mac) and **ALL** browsers before pushing it out there. Douchey developers just use one platform
    and hope for the best. This is not an IE-centric world any more.

    How arrogant of you. What makes you think that just because I develop in Windows I don’t test on Mac? Why do fanboys love generalizing so much?

    David (June 11th, 2009, 4:59 am)

    Most people who are arguing against Mac more than likely never spent time working on one.


    I suggest you PC Fanboys borrow a Mac from a friend and give it a shot. Once you realize how efficient working on a Mac can make you, you’ll want to buy one immediately.


    Got a 24″ iMac at home, as well as my old iMac G3 and a (heheh) Mac Classic II that still works. We use the iMac mainly as a media centre and for Photoshop/Illustrator. And I do all of my development at work on a Windows machine. Next argument please :)

    Celticowboy (June 11th, 2009, 5:47 am)
    The real reason I prefer Macs is total interoperativity. You can cut/copy and paste from EVERY app and utility to EVERY other.

    Huh? The only platform I’ve ever used where you can’t copy and paste between apps is the iPhone, and they’ve fixed that now.

    Christopher Bishop (June 11th, 2009, 6:06 am)
    Really the only thing PC’s have is Internet Explorer and ASP.Net (which can’t even install on a linux server so why bother) and SilverLight (again can’t install on Linux servers).

    Nice ignorance you have there. There are any number of ways to run ASP.Net apps on Linux (Mono, Grasshopper etc). Silverlight is client side. You don’t run it on the server.

    Dave (June 11th, 2009, 6:29 am)
    You can bitch away about Macs all you like but ask yourself how many passionate PC users do you know who love their OS.

    Why would I love my OS? I want it to stay the hell out of my way so I can use my apps!

    Ben (June 11th, 2009, 7:04 am)

    Neither OP nor any commenter has ever been paid to do web development, that much is clear.
    If you’re a .net developer… God help you.

    Nice logical fallacy you have there! I make very good money from doing web development, enough that I can pay several other people to do it as well. My clients are always very happy with our work, and being very active in the web development community, I know that my peers think I do good work too. BUT WAIT I DEVELOP ON WINDOWS. Using ASP.NET MVC. God help me!

    Real web developers need to make sure their sites work with multiple operating environments anyway. One must test on multiple browsers on both Windows and OS X. If you can do that with just your $500 XP box, I salute you…

    You know, I do test on multiple browsers/platforms, but I have to say, being a competent web developer, testing is almost superfluous… the sites and web apps that we develop look and work (not pixel perfect, if you think you should be doing pixel perfect design then you don’t understand the web) great across every single browser and platform except IE. If it works well in Firefox 3 on my Windows machine I’ll put money down that 99.99% of the time it will work well in any standards compliant browser on any platform – that is, everything except for IE 6, and do a lesser degree IE 7, and even those we find ourselves able to fix pretty damn fast these days.

    Unless you have a particular need to give your money and your life to become a Microsoft developer, why would you make obstacles for yourself by developing sites on Windows? It makes no sense.

    The C# language on top of the .NET framework, and the ASP.NET MVC framework for web apps, are seriously miles ahead of anything else right now for productivity and power. You don’t have to take my word for it, you don’t know me, but I’m a software development enthusiast, I’ve developed in multiple languages on multiple platforms for years. In my spare time I learn new languages for fun, been playing with Erlang lately :) I like C# the most so far because the syntax is reasonable and familiar and it’s a multiparadigm language. .NET is just a great framework, really, it’s what Java should have been; indeed, a lot of the new Java features in the last few years seem to be implementing .NET functionality. ASP.NET MVC is really nice as well, very modular and extensible. If you’ve used Ruby on Rails you’ll understand what I’m talking about, Microsoft definitely ripped off a lot of ideas from that, which is a good thing if you ask me.

    I like Mac. I also like Windows. I prefer Windows for development. That doesn’t make me ignorant, or stupid, or misguided. Just like there is nothing at all wrong with choosing to use a Mac instead.

    Why are you fanboys so insecure?

  449. 449

    I forgot to add that you can still do graphics. Gimp, Gimpshop, Krita, etc. is one of many good resources for open source alternatives to commercial software for all operating systems. (I’m a grad students, so I can’t really afford rent, bills, and paying for unnecessary software.)

  450. 450

    Elitism is what you call it. I love my Mac. I support a windows environment and have done so for close to 12 years. Each OS has its pluses and minuses. The first thing I notice is an approach to deliver its product. MS throws a OS out there and then you have what we call MS Patch Tuesday we have to patch all of our PC’s. Macs we don’t have that issue. Secondly, I added software to a PC and have to reboot any time you patch it. Also, when add certain hardware. Hardware vendors have to write their own drivers for windows and there are no thoughts to size or code cleanliness. On a mac plug it in and it works. Want more advanced features install vendors drivers. It works better. I never have had a blue screen of death on a mac. I can go on and write a huge pro con verbiage of their differences. However, I will put it simply: Ignorance is bliss. Please sincerely continue to buy MS products, without you I would not have a job. As for me and my Mac user group of people that do see the light we collaborate and learn how to make our lives simpler. No monthly patches no replacing our hardware every three years. I will talk to you when you get your next error message.

  451. 451

    I have used multiple OS’s in my career as a web developer. I currently will not use anything but a MAC. I have fallen in love with CODA.

    CODA has built in ftp/sftp, terminal, ide interface, live file editing (anyone who has access to your file can edit it on your mac live while on their mac).

    Zend cant even do that. I dont have to worry about crashes or viruses. I know there are some viruses out there, but mac is unix based, so Im not too worried.

    All in all this article isnt about why the PC is better than MAC for development. It is how to turn your PC into a MAC-like development environment.

    So your next article please focus on the tools used in development and not HOW TO MAKE YOUR PC LOOK LIKE THIS….

  452. 452


    When you’re comparing the cost of pure hardware, Windows will beat Mac every time. But it’s not just about hardware, now is it ;)

    IMO, Mac offers an incredibly richer user experience than Windows. I can work a lot more efficiently, and I find working in OSX much less frustrating than Windows.

    The fact that I can work better and faster on a Mac makes it worth the extra money. It’s a simple cost-benefit case for me.

  453. 453

    I am on a PC at my new job. 2 things I miss most are Expose and Photobooth!

  454. 454

    Geat post. I’ve worked on a Mac for over 2 years and I too don’t see what all the fuss is about. However, I understand the people that like mac and prefer them, its a personal preference.

    One thing that was never mentioned and I can not live without on my PC is “Switcher”. It’s a free program that adds Expose type functionality to Vista.

  455. 455


    A user experiance that is cost prohibited I am sorry but the average user can not spend 1000+ dollars into a substandard PC…and that’s what it is really…the entry mac is a substandard pc…now when you get into the 1,300 you get a decent PC.

    But for a windows system the decent pc range is 600 dollars … while the substandard pc range is 300-400 dollars

    So I can make windows more user friendly…and a dell runs out of the box smoothly…easy…as well as a HP, Compaq…or other system builder.

    but the only reason you can work faster is because a Mac OS is streamlined and designed to work with a specific set of hardware locking you into to that…you cant change it…you can hardly upgrade it…you have to get MAC parts with the mac price attached

    a mac os is elegant pretty and simple…like a fancy Lexus (thats just a toyota under the hood), but it has the features and elegance.

    give me my toyota that runs and gets the job done at half the price

  456. 456

    This article should be titled, ‘Why you don’t need a spoon to spread butter”.

    It insinuates this absurd notion that there is a common understanding that web development must happen on a mac. This idea or notion is just, wow, I’m having a time trying to wrap my head around it.

    Sure a spoon can spread butter. I’m sure some people choose to use a spoon to spread butter. I didn’t think enough people used a spoon though to warrant an article why a knife (or some other spreading utensil) could be used instead.

    Now I know that apple has made its impact on society when I read articles like this. This is a completely new way of thinking that I will have to get used to.

    Looking forward to the “Japanese cars use the same gas as German cars” article ;)

  457. 457

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    June 11, 2009 1:55 pm

    Nice article; keep fooling yourself. <3 Mac, no frustrations, no data loss if just 1 program crashes, no bull with dialogs, and proper affordable nice designed software to keep those frustrations away and workflow smooth and interface usable. The fonts being easy on the eye really helps.

    I am glad I switched in 2005 to 100% Mac OSX

  458. 458

    When I saw this on the homepage I thought it was a late April fools joke, or maybe the website got hacked. I clicked on the article expecting to see the joke, but it looks like a real article. I don’t get it.

    It would be interesting to see your normal page stats of Mac vs Linux vs Windows.

  459. 459

    Mac, PC….. does it really matter? Do you really need an article to sell one over the other? Shame on you fan boys on both sides of the fence, its the mac fanboys that make mac users look bad, and pc fanboys that make pc users look like fools. (replace bad/fools as you wish).

    Stop feeding the Mac/PC Douche/Bloater stereotypes, your making us all look bad!

  460. 460

    Just one word: CODA

  461. 461

    Coda > Windows.*

  462. 462

    nice trolling!

  463. 463

    You can not be serious… The best parts of a mac to web developers is stacks?!? How about built in ruby, perl, python, a free development environment, an easy to use http server, a full unix subsystem, and all this for free… You seriously need to hit the books man, I mean yes, you can develop on windows, no doubt about that, but jesus, learn some shit.

  464. 464

    I’m a Mac guy all the way. I grew up on a PC, developing sites and I find a Mac much more intuitive and easier to use. CODA is the best editor in the world, I have used almost every editor available to PC and nothing any where near that software. Plus, ALL mac’s have a built in Apache server that just needs to be turned on. Place MySQL on there and you have a work local dev… You can also use the popular MAMP server (Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP) why bother adding all these software to your system when their included in your system from time of purchase?

    I still constantly use a PC for development at my work and dev from home on my Mac, and so far, Mac is way better to use when it comes to staring at lines of code all day…

  465. 465

    Just the title alone is laughable…as are most the reasons. I decide to post my thoughts so this wouldn’t have been a complete waste of my time….

  466. 466

    Mark Sanborn

    June 11, 2009 2:38 pm

    It is like you guys are arguing over which is faster a Nissan Altima or a Toyota Corola, when the pros drive Ferarri (Linux). :P

  467. 467

    I’m a iPhone web developer, and so i really enjoy to have a mac so far ;)
    Don’t treat me as a computer newbie !!!
    And you can easilly replace all the sorftwre listed below by :
    -Smultron or textedit or Xcode ( textmate still the best, but it’s not free)

    Anyway, the article was nice !!!

  468. 468

    Cmon – who really cares – a good PC or mac is the same price once you’ve stuffed all the bog standard software on it you need just to exist in a pro environment. Adobe Cs4 is £1000+ pales in comparison when you consider the price of a machine.

  469. 469

    Two Socks - Graphic design and print

    June 11, 2009 3:08 pm

    I liked the article thanks!

  470. 470

    Here’s a few more words in a sea of voices! Being a Windows user who switched to Mac about six months ago I’ve only just come to realise why switching was a good idea. Yesterday we had a 5 o’clock deadline and deliverables due every hour. Our computers were working overtime juggling Photoshop, Illustrator, Transmit, Firefox, Mail and IE6 (running through X11). On Windows I know we’d have to reboot two or three times to recover the speed we’d lose from memory leaks. Where as on the Mac we were able to power through and get the job out by the deadline. So for us, it comes down to stability and reliability. If you can’t afford to be messing around with the day to day problems of general computing, you should look at a Mac.

    Also, I noticed that you didn’t discuss an FTP client in that list. I haven’t been able to find anything on Windows as good as Transmit. I have tried Filezilla, CoreFTP, ACE FTP, Smart FTP and Cute FTP but none of these were anywhere near as powerful.

  471. 471

    Great post!

    Is there any way to do the mac folder styling, like changing the colour of the folder and folder text with a quick right click. I find that really useful on the macs, be great to have that functionallity on my pc.

  472. 472

    sigh … shouldn’t the title be “why you need a pc?” meh!

  473. 473

    I’ve developed on PC for 5 years, 3 months ago switch to mac never want to go back to PC.
    I still use PC For browser testing only.

  474. 474

    Brian Reich

    June 11, 2009 3:45 pm

    Why don’t Developers Need a Mac? Because NetBeans is written in Java :)

  475. 475

    Nuno Amaral

    June 11, 2009 3:56 pm

    Very cool RocketDock

  476. 476

    Please send me the address of the person who wrote this article so I can mail him a gun so he can shoot himself, retard.

  477. 477

    I love the people saying that people developing on Windows only test in IE. I use Firefox all day, every day on my Windows box, and Apple Update has been yelling at me for months now to let it install Safari for me. That said, at work we use RHEL5 with Eclipse, Apache Tomcat, etc. to do our development, and it is amazing. We have Windows machines to rdesktop into to test in IE, and I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything that works right in Firefox but not in Safari, other than the usual javascript differences. Eclipse is a great IDE, and it is available for any OS with Java, so availability of a good editor is a bit of a non-issue. Look at the options before you blindly follow one side or the other.

    As a side note, my Windows machine at home has been powered on continuously since I bought it over a year ago, other than shut downs to move it and the occasional restart to install software of course. I haven’t seen a single blue screen since my old laptop’s hard drive basically cracked in half right through the boot sector. Well, other than the ones brought on by my roommate’s laptop’s faulty RAM last year.

  478. 478

    You need only 3 things develop websites. Dev apps (a text editor, a web browser and an image editing program), a web server and a testing environment (cross platform/browser). Not that hard. Thing is, a mac can do all of these at once. Photoshop, apache and VM’s running for windows and linux so you can test on all 3 platforms. On a windows box you would need a second computer to test for mac. On linux you’d have to jump through some hoops to get Adobe on there and you’d still need a separate machine to test for mac. You can develop for the web on any computer… it’s just cheaper to do it on a mac because you only need one machine.

  479. 479

    damn… is this the longest comment page on smashmag?
    what a controversial issue, yet another PC vs Mac battle.

  480. 480

    well, is there any need for a Web developer to splash money on windows or mac??

    there is a better solution, it’s potentially best in all ways, productivity, eficience, speed, etc. also it offers five times more customization posibilities and software gamma. yes, his name is


  481. 481

    I’ve been on both sides of this debate ever since it started way back when. The bottom line is that serious web developers who need the UNIX/Linux underpinnings for things like Ruby/Rails typically prefer Macs (or Linux, usually Ubuntu). Windows command line utilities just aren’t quite there like a UNIX-based machine.

    I have always been a Mac user at heart and I currently use a Mac, but before my current Mac I had a pretty powerful Dell PC. It was always a painful experience for me for more reasons than I can ever give. Given the choice between Windows or Mac for web development I would always go with a Mac. It costs more for a reason. Just my 2px…

  482. 482

    no PC user can ever love Vista, c’mon! they’re just saying that to spite Mac users.

    case in point:
    1: if PC users love windows so much, why are they always trying to dress them up as Macs?

    2: How can anyone love a thing as Vista? it’s a poor clone of OS X that came too late in the party. Windows 3d flip? Linux users has been playing with compiz/beryl/fusion a full year before 3d flip came along. and it’s still nothing near 3d effects of compiz fusion.

  483. 483

    Steve Jobs is not God, and his products are not grown on trees and picked by loving workers who let them ripen on cotton sheets by the window sill. If you need further evidence that Macs are not vastly different from Windows-based PCs, remember that all Macs now use Intel CPUs─the same CPUs you find in Windows PCs. With Boot Camp, Macs can even run Windows. I wonder if the folks who do this refer to their Macs as PCs.


    Flaming the fire…

  484. 484

    Mike Kaplinskiy

    June 11, 2009 6:15 pm

    Sorry, I’m not willing to write a piece about linux, but I’d just like to share my experience/setup:

    – Kubuntu (I’m on the latest alpha, but Jaunty will work fine)
    – System wide keyboard shortcuts (you don’t need AHK, just go to
    – Native protocol support (and I mean pretty much anything: sftp, ftp, scp, whatever). Note this is only in KDE apps (which Kate is one of). For other things there is sshfs.
    system settings, input actions and tell it what to do)
    – Text Editor (Kate)
    – Code auto completion (rather eh, just searches for things you’ve typed but it works)
    – Can add ctrl+d duplicate (google)
    – Tab autocomplete – needless to say this comes from linux and your terminal supports it
    – Terminals: if you google around you can do things you have never dreamed of on windows.
    – Launchy: By default Alt+F2, but you can change it (built in)
    – Clipboard: Klipper
    – Sync: KitchenSync. Never tried, but I know it’s possible.

    Check it out if you’re tired of sftp madness like I was.

  485. 485

    Liane Blanco

    June 11, 2009 6:25 pm

    Maybe I don’t need it, but I love using my iMac. It is beautiful – ’nuff said.

  486. 486

    Wow you Mac’iacs see the rad mist and can’t see beyond it. We had the very first mac when it was released, this was replaced by a LC and then a powermac etc. I was a member of my local mac user group, my graphic design training was all done on a mac and during the 1990’s of web design .. mac dropped the ball in a very big way. Ever since then windows has been my primary platform and I can’t see any economic sense in swapping back to mac, the similarities are too close. If they’re so similar why not use a mac and get less viruses? Because mac users make up about 4% of the internet population, i’d rather work and test in the same platform the majority of the audience will be using. There’s plenty of apps to make windows look like a mac or a mac to look like windows. There’s comparable software on both. Build a bridge.

  487. 487

    One word:


    Nuff said

  488. 488

    On PC you have more apps to use than on a Mac. If you are a gamer, PC is a better choice. Mac is relatively simple and smooth to use so I can focus on design instead of the daily maintaince of the machine. I like things easy and simple, PC has way too much things I dont need. For me, most of the time, it is not about getting the features I need, it is to get rid of the programs I don’t use and the alers, windows i DON’T want so my desktop is less clustered. My suggestion would be get a PC as a workstation and get a MacBook Pro as the laptop. Now you have both :)

  489. 489

    It’s no wonder that ease of use is foremost on Mac users’ minds; judging by this comment thread they have enough trouble with simple things like spelling and grammar.

  490. 490

    Steve Adams

    June 11, 2009 7:19 pm

    I use a mac because I prefer how it looks in my home – I’ve spent years on both platforms and they are incredibly equal in my opinion when it comes to web design. I do love Coda on Leopard, but you can do the same work on a pc. There’s no contest between the two.

  491. 491

    I switched a while back and I’m loving it. I use the following:
    Editor – Coda
    Local Server – MAMP
    IE Browser Test – Litmus / ie4osx / BrowserShot

    Here in Jamaica, WI a good amount of developers use Linux…

  492. 492

    F. Andy Seidl

    June 11, 2009 8:24 pm

    Silly premise. Any serious web developer should have both.

  493. 493

    Mac workflow seems to be faster. I was a PC user since birth. I switched a year ago…You can really tell the difference of which is faster. OS X is way faster compared to a Windows PC equipped with the same hardware. And now here’s Snow Leopard, coming soon on September, it’s gonna be blazing fast.
    I used Dreamweaver CS3 and Webuilder on a PC. On a Mac I use Dreamweaver CS4, Coda and recently…Espresso. the Mac apps standout. No additional software required.
    I love the Mac OS X shortcuts. Expose and Dashboard.

  494. 494

    You know, you’re right. You don’t need a Mac. Of course not. But web developers are busy, and we like to get things done. Windows isn’t really the operating system of people who don’t like bullshit.

    And if you’re a web developer, and you need all your software to be free, kill yourself, because you probably don’t know what you’re doing. If you know professional web development, you should be able to afford your software.

    And no, GIMP is NOT Photoshop. Get your head out of your ass.

  495. 495

    Frankly – who cares!

    Use what you prefer – I prefer a Mac.

  496. 496

    So you guys are actually saying that you prefer a PC because you can install 5 or 6 programs and you don’t like macs because you only require one program to do the same job ? Reaaaaaal nice :D

  497. 497

    All the people fighting over what’s better, Mac or PC, are ridiculous. Unless you personally have stock in either company, let it go. It’s incredibly pathetic that this whole argument still continues. Frankly I don’t care either way, I like both and I’m open minded enough to consider both Mac and PC when buying a new computer instead of yelling on and on about how cool Macs make you or whatever PC users yell. Macs aren’t perfect, neither are PCs. Buy whatever you want and let other people buy what they want and hold their own opinions. No need to be Nazis about something as stupid as an OS.

  498. 498

    This article sucks a lot ! Arguments are so bad.
    Big thumbs down !

  499. 499

    Finally, somebody has said it. I personally can’t stand Macs for my own use because of the stuff I do while on my computer– my process takes so much longer. When I came into school for Computer Science, I had numerous professors tell us to, indeed, not get Macs because their overall less compatible with software we’d have to work with/test, and more difficult to code in. For those who already had them, I saw their constant struggle through my classes. I realize too, though, that half of those problems don’t exist for coding for the web.

    In the end, neither is better than the other; It simply depends on preference. I really don’t understand all the hype with designers/developers needing Macs, it’s really just a ‘cool’ factor in my opinion. I’d rather not spend a few hundred extra dollars to get a computer that looks/acts cooler than my PC. Not macking macs, I just really don’t think their any better in comparison.

    This was a great overview…and rebuttal for the PC!

  500. 500

    What are these “macs” and “pc” things people are jibber jabbering about?

  501. 501

    Rocketdock stinks, object dock is so much better.

    WebDrive is a must have app for any developer. It turns your hosting account into a networked drive allowing you to edit live on the server as well as drag and drop files.

  502. 502

    Macs make me feel cool and important sometimes, sure. Coda is ok..Its def nothing to spend 160 bucks on a weak ass proprietary power supply on.

    Ok, let’s just face it, apple, applecare, apple tv, all of Jobs’ closed-hardware-platform bs…its f’n embarrassing to be a mac user. I have 2 powermacs, 4 centos servers (I develop on a redhat box…oh hmm a guy who develops on a real web server!), and 4 PC’s. I like both OS’s (OSX and WINDOWS) and because I support both I get to use them everyday.

    But to me, who cares which is prettier or which one the stars use, or which one has a better text editor (are you kidding me?). I like a success story, and a MAC is not that to me. They don’t make a good comeback story, even if they did make a come back… DRM and the itunes saga? ..price? I built a PC for 400 bucks last week that will smoke any powermac for under 3k…pretty lame. MACS are def NOT for the elite…maybe for are for the need-to-feel-elite? It takes more than an OS to be elite at anything. I also happen to think win7 will redeem vista and stomp mac sales…anyone else?

    Time has already told us, MACs no longer revolutionary (1980s), nothing THAT ahead of the curve has erupted from OSX that we can not live without…even Ubuntu looks OK beside one…and someday soon ppl will need the extra cash.

    I have a success story for that dude who asked us name two success stories that don’t dev on a MAC? How does India and China wrk for ya? No?

    To me the guy who wrote this is saying: “Hey, PC’s ain’t so bad guys. Comon…check it out you can do this and this and that, much like a MAC ..and maybe more!”

    I say, “A hell of alot more” and welcome to the majority. (the ppl u dev—I mean work—for).

  503. 503

    Although i like the informal value and the tools being mentioned in this article i absolutely dislike all that VS kind of crap. Taste is not exactly something i want to read about in “serious” mags. Not the most clever move imho.

    Just my 2 cent.

    • 504

      This is not a question of taste, he is not saying that macs are good or bad, he is stating a truth, having a mac will not be more useful than something cheaper if your main activity is web development.

      That being saied, macs are great, but it doesn’t make this article wrong.

  504. 505


    June 12, 2009 12:05 am

    Everyone needs a Mac!

  505. 506


    Mate you’re off your rocker if you think we’re going to swallow the story that you built a PC for $400 that outperforms, is more reliable and has the build quality of a sub $3000 Mac.

    Admittedly not many of the commenting users hear sound like uber geeks who develop in their own data centre at home, but I’m guessing we’re not stupid either.

    That price comparison argument just doesn’t work any more.

    I go back to my original argument from yesterday, both platforms offer great tools and a great environment to work in.

    Even now that I’ve gotten used to Vistas quirkiness, and made sure I have a state of the art Virus Scanner on there, and made sure I only have it connected to the internet when absolutely positively necessary, and been absolutely incredibly disciplined about only putting the absolute necessary software on there, and stripped it of all the unnecessary services running, and finally made sure it’s the edition I need, even I have to admit it’s not bad.

    Again back to my original point, a proper web developer needs both, for testing at the very least. In fact, with the growing user base for Linux, I’m probably a bit embarrassed I don’t test on that.

    Hmmm… must fix that. What’s the best Linux for a newbie to cut his teeth on people?

    Now get back to work.

    • 507

      This is completely late, BUT THANK YOU! Someone had to say it, geez.

    • 508

      Unbuntu, is were I would start. But I would like to point out although I do thin $400 falls short if you are willing to build it yourself and do have access to hardware (not best buy). You can definitly build a PC for way cheaper.

      my spec
      Intel i5
      6GB ram (kingston hyperx)
      geniune intel board
      radeon hd 4800 series
      4 500GB 7200 rpm drive in raid 10

      Comparible Mac pro $3400.00
      My PC just under $1750.00
      Comparable Dell just over $3200.00

      alluminum/steel case.
      DVD R/W

      So for some price can be a big thing, like those who are in hardware sales(as I am). I wish Apple would allow for people to install there OS on other boxes even if only for vurtualization (so they can regulate hardware). That would make things perfect so I can run both. But I always have to have a mac available to keep up on both OS’s and be able to support Mac users.

  506. 509

    Can has comment pagination?

  507. 510

    @Scott … who’s stupid? And I don’t care if this lasts 2 years or 20 as I—no WE ALL want to replace our hardware in one! The Applestore sure does…Here ya go:
    dual core wolfdale 2.8 OC’d to 3.4 – 80.00
    dvd burner – 25.00
    650 watt power supply – 50.00
    500gb deskstar hatachi 7200RPM – 50.00
    Radeon 4850 PwrColor (now sold out @ nweg) – 90.00
    Gskill 1000mhz 2gbx2……………………….45.00
    Win7 64x RC – free til march 2010
    gigaybyte GA-G31M Mobo……..60.00
    I have silverstones already…OK so toss in a case and there ya go… a wrkstation for under 400 bucks that will outbench most pwrmacs under 3k.

  508. 511

    whaa, whaa, whaa. My shiny, flashing future box is better than your shiny, flashing future box. Just think, 100 years ago no one had any of these things and did they complain?! NO! Get a grip.

  509. 512


    June 12, 2009 1:01 am

    You get a grip…maybe get a musket while your at it.

  510. 514

    As a student I had a Mac and loved it. At work I have programmed in Windows pretty much since its inception. Several years ago I reverted back to a Mac for web development. It was like a breath of fresh air and I could never go back.

    This is not to say Mac’s are a better web development tool for everyone, just that they are for me.

  511. 515

    OhReally says “who’s stupid?”
    I would say you are so stupid !

  512. 516

    and go back to work… if you have some.

  513. 517

    When I started reading this article I thought that this might be one of the weaker articles but due to the topic will receive a lot of comments. I then notices the length of the scroll bar on the right and read the article. I read comments 1-10 and then scrolled to the 500s. What happened with the discussion in between 10 and 500? I cannot be bothered reading it all but something sad must have happened to the communication ability of readers.

    We can wait for the 1000th comment and won’t have an answer. I use a Mac because I like it and it has its advantages but I have been working with PCs for 10years or so and did not have any problems with that, apart from the odd blue screen every now and then.

    Lets just close this topic before someone gets hurt. People get so frustrated failing to convince other people of their choices…

  514. 518

    Henry Hoffman

    June 12, 2009 2:18 am

    A linux article would be great. I have Ubuntu on my laptop and haven’t found the necessary apps needed for web development.

    I had a Mac for 2+ years. I moved back to a PC when I realised I done everything about 2x faster in Windows.

  515. 519

    Why Windows though? You can get everything you say here and more (and more easily) with Ubuntu!

  516. 520

    is it some kind of joke got nothing to post?

  517. 521

    This discussion is just going in circles, with the “OS Wars”. Most of the author’s apps have something “similar” on a Mac – except for AutoHotKey (but AppleScript could give the same capabilities).

    I switched recently, because I had the opportunity and ‘liked’ what felt, using a Mac for 3 days. When my laptop arrived and an hour of googling, I found alternatives or Mac equivalents of what I use in my Windows box, so my workflow is pretty much seamless:

    Notepad++ to Textwrangler and then bought Coda
    XAMPP web server (they have a Mac OS release)
    VirtualBox for VM’s and testing the various flavors of IE/FF/Opera/Webkit on Windows.
    Backups are handled by Time Machine
    Bootcamp – if something can’t be avoided.

    A good site that could help when looking for alternatives is AlternativeTo:

    So, my Windows box is mostly for backup and gaming these days, which the Mac badly needs.

  518. 522

    This discussion is just going in circles, with the “OS Wars”. Most of the author’s apps have something “similar” on a Mac – except for AutoHotKey (but AppleScript could give the same capabilities).

    I switched recently, because I had the opportunity and ‘liked’ what I felt with a Mac for 3 days. When my laptop arrived and an hour of googling, I found alternatives or Mac equivalents of what I use in my Windows box, so my workflow is pretty much seamless:

    Notepad++ to Textwrangler and then bought Coda
    XAMPP web server (they have a Mac OS release)
    VirtualBox for VM’s and testing the various flavors of IE/FF/Opera/Webkit on Windows.
    Backups are handled by Time Machine
    Bootcamp – if something can’t be avoided.

    A good site that could help when looking for alternatives is AlternativeTo: Link []

    So, my Windows box is mostly for backup and gaming these days, which the Mac badly needs.

    • 523

      Just beware of time machine. I’ll admit I haven’t used it since it was first release. But I wouldn’t call it backup at all. It was nothing more that a fancy UI on something like VSS (XP,Vista,Win7). Anyway, get multiple copies of your data that are encrypted, and make sure it is replicated of site.

  519. 524

    Tom Bradshaw

    June 12, 2009 4:40 am

    I have a PC at home – which has constant toubles and a Mac at work. I can’t think of a single way a PC is better than a Mac – not one! A Mac means a happier, stress free life.

  520. 525


    June 12, 2009 5:02 am

    Man this is awesome, great tools – Thank you !

    Yes, usually you have more trouble with an PC but if you got advanced knowledge then you have no probs and your PC is much much better as an MAC ! MAC is for beginners, really!

  521. 526

    Great article, will definitely pick up some of those apps. I personally use both PC (Desktop) and a Macbook pro depending on what tasks I want to complete. I think both have their strengths and weaknesses and I love my desktop for gaming as well as some Dev work.

  522. 527

    Mac users…look into Crossover rather than VM or Parallels. It installs and runs most windows programs without having to chew up valuable space and memory if you were to use VM or Parallels.

    FYI if you design/code properly you wont have issues being cross-browser compatible.

    To summarize this blog post, it’s best to agree to disagree. I did 7 years of design and development on a PC. All great work, got the job done and was happy working. However, as soon as I tried the Mac and became comfortable using it, I realized how much more efficient I was working on the Mac. PC is still great, but the Mac suited ME well and is superior for MY needs. To each their own, fellas.

  523. 528

    I just moved from a 5yr old 1.8 GHz single processor G5, 3.5 Gb RAM and 160 HDD to an HP Laptop Core 2 Duo 2 GHz, 4 GB Ram, 320 GB HDD. Big mistake, massive, huge, cyclopean! Running Adobe Creative Suite CS4 apps it is painfully slow, painfully. Crash after crash after crash after crash. I am now on my work machine – a Dell XPS with ‘All the fruit’ delivered newly built yesterday followed by me spending 3 hours twiddling my thumbs while my I.T. boys tried to get it working, this morning woke it up to a Blue Screen. Oh – by the way this was to replace my previous 10 wk old Dell which went bleeeeuur. Mac good – PC bad – please don’t comment unless you use them both! (P.S. Save money – buy a Mac).

  524. 529

    Martin Chaov

    June 12, 2009 5:40 am

    @kaye, before I’ve decided I want to work as a designer, I’ve worked on freeBSD as a coder, I am aware of the fact that OSX is build on the kernel of BSD4xx, which makes it almost a direct descendant of UNIX. It even looks to me like a freeBSD with gnome.

    Windows isn’t that bad at all.

    I cannot understand this “I hate MS Windows” thing. The PC from which I am typing at the moment has 43days 12h:40min uptime…. the last time I’ve rebooted was because of a OS update. I use remote desktop everyday, I work on adobe products, use Eclipse based software for coding, I even listen music with MS media player, and everything works just fine …. so I think it is not the operating system it is the users…. mine is installed, tweaked by me and I’m the only person that uses it.

    I can’t hide the fact that I have experience as windows support technician, but this only shows how complex in reality is Windows when it comes to customising it deeply… just as any UNIX (I use XP for the moment), it only lacks the best internet administration tools… but this is for another conversation.

  525. 530

    Did you know that cheese is a kind of fruit? All varieties of cheese grow on this one large tree, in a small pocket of million-year old air deep in a jewel-encrusted cave under the sea. It is picked, washed, eaten, retrieved from dung, washed again, sorted and then sent to the surface by small slave children, where it is repackaged into the product we find in our supermarkets.

  526. 531

    Way to let loose all the fanboys. honestly I use a windows computer at work and a mac at home for my freelancing work and personal use. I prefer the Mac hands down, but that is just me. I crank all my work on both operating systems. To say that you need one OS over the other is preposterous. Both OS’s have good and bad aspects. Real designers and developers don’t require the crutch of a specific OS. Besides, you use programs to do your work not the OS. So if you are hating on EITHER Mac or Windows, go beat your chest somewhere else while the big boys work.

  527. 532

    I appreciate the article, and all of the free software. Thanks!

  528. 533

    ” there are plenty of reasons to stick with (or switch back to!) Windows.”

    What I see here are reason to stick with a PC, but not any reason to switch back. Every app listed here as an equivalent on Mac; having 1000 mouse to choose from instead of 100 is not a big problem and most periferial even if they don’t have a specific driver will work on Mac with a generic driver (do you really think it’s that hard to make a tablet ou keyborad work on Mac ?); iand come-on, having the ability to chage the interface listed in an article about developpent machine ?? You can also do that on a Mac BTW.

    If you developp with .Net, it makes sense to use a PC; If not, use what is best for what you develop; I know that RoR was made on Macs and is a little harder to install on PC and make it work correctly. When using Unix tools, it’s best to stick with Unix systems, right now that’s mean Linux and Mac OS X.

  529. 534

    tut tut…a post like this one on smashing mag?

  530. 535

    Its all about the tools. What gets the job done. The OS is irrelevant.


  531. 536

    Plain and simple, macs are for chics that want a computer to match their purse.

  532. 537

    I like the article for the information it provides but I love it because it’s a killer example of how to write a post that provides useful information and also works as spectacular link bait. Over 500 comments is really impressive.

  533. 538

    Reality Deviant

    June 12, 2009 8:04 am

    Seriously?! Who gives a damn. It’s a stupid computer. Use what works best for you and stop crying about what other people prefer.

  534. 539


    June 12, 2009 8:09 am

    543 comments? seriously?

    I wish people could compare Mac to PC in an unbiased way. I cringe just as much when I hear a PC user say Mac users are all trendy elitists as I do when I hear a Mac user say “It just works” or “Macs never crash”. Where are the people who like and use both?

    I did however think it was funny that some of the “benefits” of using Windows are the ability to download third party programs to make it work like OSX already does. If you want your PC to work like a Mac, why not get a Mac?

    Seriously, just stop the flame wars. Both platforms have their benefits and downfalls, and you just have to pick which one you prefer. One is not outright better than the other.

  535. 540


    June 12, 2009 8:28 am

    Anyone remember BetaMax and VHS Video ? BetaMax was far superior but VHS won the battle, I compare BetaMax to Mac and VHS to PC. Thats all it is, if Mac won the battle in the early days we would all be laughing at PC saying how drab and clunky it is. Mac is purely for the beautiful people who understand quality not quantity :-) hehe

    Windows plug and play… lol never plays, download driver pls, my god I don’t miss all that rubbish !

  536. 541

    Mac Os X is UNIX based. Which says a lot. For years I was happy with Linux but PSD files made me switch back to a Photoshop friendly operating system: Windows Vista, a really chipper solution compared to a simple Mac. I just had to install Vista as a neighbor to my Linux partition; IN THE SAME MACHINE, which says a lot too.

  537. 542

    I don’t know if it’s already been stated but the reason I don’t use a Mac is because I need .NET, Visual Studio and the general Microsoft server environment. So for any asp devs it makes sense to use a PC.

  538. 543

    The arguments are not valid. Anyways, I wouldn’t use a PC just because I can’t afford the constant crashes, viruses and system failures. Plus, who the hell designs or creates on Windows anymore? Windows vista? are you kidding me? By far the WORST copycat of OS X so far.

  539. 544

    just grow up…
    pc is better, mac is better, you suck, no… you suck…

    everyone have their preference… mine is mac, and i don’t care how much other love pcs. you can take them all with you, i wouldn’t care..

    damn. you guys look like little kids discussing things impossible to discuss…

  540. 545