Why I Compromise

From John Gruber:

…Microsoft and Apple are going in two very different directions, especially when you compare iOS to Windows 8. Apple has embraced compromise. The compromises in iOS are, for many people in many contexts, what makes the iPad better than a Mac. The compromises enforce simplicity and obviousness in design…

I’d go one step farther and say that compromises in OS X are why converts such as myself, end up preferring the Mac to a PC.

While Microsoft may believe in design without compromise1, the “compromised” design of a Mac is what makes it so usable and powerful2.

What is possible and what is needed from a computer are two very different things. When it comes to the average user, unlocking the true potential in a device comes from removing friction, not in adding unnecessary complexity. As Yuvi Zalkow points out on Practically Efficient:

As far as I can tell, with the promise of iCloud and other Mac OS trends, Apple is trying to do away with the average user even thinking about the idea of a file system. That’s the promise for tomorrow with Apple. In the meantime, Microsoft looks like they’re attempting to build a slightly better yesterday.

When faced with a challenge Microsoft continues to add functionality. Apple simply attempts to eliminate the problem. This alone is why you will constantly hear me standing on my soapbox extolling the virtues of switching to a Mac.

The future of technology is this: extreme usability coupled with extreme simplicity.

This quote from Shawn Blanc seems to embody a philosophy that is at the core of every Apple device. Yet this does not appear to be in the blood of those at Microsoft who continue to hold the PC back in favor of excessive complexity, erm I mean, compromise-free design3.

While it may be true that you can’t do everything on a Mac4, I am now able to do the one thing I always struggled with on a PC, getting anything done at all.


  1. This link also comes from Gruber’s article.  

  2. One also can’t help but wonder if Microsoft’s lack of compromise is really just a lack of clarity.  

  3. Knowing Microsoft, they will probably put that on the side of the box…  

  4. Although I’m 6 years in and this has yet to be a problem.  

2 Responses to Why I Compromise

    • Thanks Yuvi! Kind of worried that it will come off as fanboy drivel, but having played with Lion and seeing where Window’s 8 is heading, it just seems more true now than ever.

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