Let's just say it: For the vast majority of computer shoppers, buying a Windows PC doesn't quite qualify as a decision. Around nine out of 10 computers run one version of Windows or another, making it the world's default option in operating systems. It's opting for something else, like a Mac, that always represents a conscious choice.
Which is not to say that there aren't plenty of real reasons to select a computer that runs Windows, even after you've investigated all your options. As a confirmed platform agnostic whose home is overrun with both Windows machines and Macs, I find myself recommending Windows machines to about half my friends and acquaintances who seek computer-shopping advice, and Macs to the other half. So I was happy when PC World asked me to write this article and a companion piece about the virtues of Macs -- and I had plenty to say in both instances.
Here's my list of the eight most compelling reasons to buy a computer whose operating system hails from Redmond. I've ranked them in order of importance as I see it. But as always with anything relating to technology, your priorities are almost certainly at least somewhat different than mine.
[ If, after reading this list you're still not convinced, check out the eight reasons your next computer should be a Mac. ]
1. Variety is the spice of computing.
You can buy a portable Windows computer that weighs a pound and slips in your pocket. Or one with a spectacular 18.4-inch display that stretches the definition of "portable." Some Windows computers are lean and mean; others are loaded with features. There are ones for hardcore gamers, for fa shionistas, and for people who hate to type. In short, you can almost certainly find a Windows PC aimed at you -- and usually a bunch of them competing for your dollars. By contrast, Apple has a grand total of nine different Mac models, none of which cater to specialized audiences.