AppleDespite what some have claimed, the upcoming release of Windows 7 won't change the world of computing overnight. Windows will still be Windows, Mac will still be Mac, and fans of the two sides will continue to snipe at one another.

Does it really matter how the pending release of Windows 7 affects Macintosh sales? Only a little. Does Microsoft have a lot of corporate ego tied up in 'beating' Apple? Only a little.

Windows 7 does not change the basic equation of Macs being easier to use and having a better fundamental architecture than Windows.

It certainly does not change the fact that for iPhone and iPod users, Mac remains the best OS choice. I think the same can be said for anyone interested in using media in the home.

However, Windows 7 is easier to use than previous Windows releases, and its architecture provides greater compatibility with the installed universe than Apple does.

That gives Windows an impossible-to-beat advantage in many offices and Mac OS a place in many homes and some businesses. Importantly, customers are learning to live with both.

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If you've looked at both Windows 7 and a Mac, choose what you can afford and what best suits you. I can make a valid case for either, or if you already own one and not the other, having both.

Consider the recent NPD survey that found Macs and PCs living together harmoniously:

  • 12 percent of US computer-owning households now own a Mac, up from 9 percent in 2008.
  • Nearly 85 percent of Mac households also own a Windows-based PC.
  • Two-thirds of Apple households own three or more computers.

I do much of my daily work using Microsoft Word on a MacBook Pro or iMac, but during the same day, I will also use one or more Windows computers for various tasks. Hand me a computer and I can use it. If I could have only one computer it would probably be Windows, based on apps compatibility.

The next computer I purchase is likely to be a Windows portable, my wife will get a new MacBook Pro, and then we will upgrade an iMac desktop. Or maybe we will do it in a different order. It really doesn't matter. Our home and my small business runs on both Windows and Mac and we don't really notice.

I think that's where most Mac users are today. Maybe Windows fanboys could find a place for a Mac, too. I think they would like it.

See also:

Study: 85 percent of Mac owners have Windows PC

Microsoft Windows 7 review

All Apple reviews

Windows 7 reviews, video guides and user forum

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