Replacing Windows XP with Ubuntu and Mac’s

We are starting to upgrade lots of machines now that support for Windows XP has ended. Naturally, we are installing Ubuntu on as many machines as possible… but sometimes there are software restrictions and we have to make a purchasing decision between Apple and Windows.

Apple hardware is cheaper longterm
What is really interesting it that we are finding it is cheaper to replace Windows machines with Apple Macs. Surely this isn’t possible!? Well actually it is. Here is how I see it. There are obviously two components that make up a computer:

Generic super crap Windows hardware is cheaper than Apple hardware. However, if you get something good quality, there isn’t much in it. For example:

  • Windows Machine – a Fujitsu Esprimo E410 E85+ SFF Desktop with Intel Core i5-3340 3GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD and a confusing mixture of Windows 7 + 8 Pro 64bit – £449.00 from Ebuyer.
  • Apple Machine – Apple Mac mini 2.5GHz Dual Core Intel Core i5 4GB 500GB – £479.00 from Dabs.

The processor is better on the Fujitsu but not by much and even though Fujistu make great gear there is no denying that the quality of the Mac Mini is the best. Note – you can’t upgrade either without voiding their warranties.

Short term, we don’t need to purchase anti-virus, firewalls and generally remove the bundled crap that always comes with a Windows machine. In fact, everything just works better on a Mac out the box.

Longterm, you always need to reinstall and upgrade an operating system in the future. The key here is that Apple makes it free to upgrade or reinstall. Windows charge around £100 for a license. Therefore, over the life of the machine it will cheaper to own an Apple product.

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