What is so Special About Apple?

It seems like everyday you are bombarded by advertisement about why a certain product is better than another. When it's not advertisements, it's friends, colleagues and any one else evangelizing a particular product. If you have been paying attention to technology companies, you may have heard of this one, Apple.

It seems like you can't turn a corner without hearing about, or seeing an Apple product. Until recently, I had been an outsider to all these Apple products. I would continuously hear about how much better Apple is compared to other products. I have to agree that Apple is better in certain areas, but not everywhere like everyone would like you to believe.

I must admit that the attention to detail is incredible. Apple tries very hard to have a consistent experience for it's users, and they also try to do things differently than other companies. The problem is that there is nothing revolutionary behind any of it. Sure it looks pretty, but there is not much I can do on a Mac that I can't do on a Linux system or a Windows system.

There are even some cases where, when trying to be different, they may confuse users (or at least me). On most operating systems, quick shortcuts to close, minimize and maximize windows are found on the top right corner of that windows. On a Mac, it's on the top left. After years of being used to having those buttons on the right, I often forget and go looking for them on the right. Was it really necessary to move them to the left?

I could go on about how I don't agree with some of the design decisions Apple has made, but that is not the point. The point is that at it's core, all operating systems, for any device class, are essentially the same. They help you interface with hardware in order to run applications to accomplish a given task. Implementation and hardware is the only difference between Apple products and the rest of computer technology. Apple products are functionally the same as everything else. So what is so special about them?