Macintosh vs. IBM The IBM and Macintosh computers have been in competition with each other for years, and each of them have their strong points. They both had their own ideas about where they should go in the personal computer market. They also had many developments, which propelled themselves over the other. It all started when Thomas John Watson became president of Computing Tabulating Recording in 1914, and in 1924 he renamed it to International Business Machines Corporation.
He eventually widened the company lines to include electronic computers, which was extremely new in those days. In 1975 IBM introduced their first personal computer (PC) which was called the Model 5100. It carried a price tag of about $9, 000 which caused it to be out of the main stream of personal computers, even though their first computer did not get off to as big as a start they had hoped it did not stop them from continuing on. Later on IBM teamed up with Microsoft to create an operating system to run their new computers, because their software division was not able to meet a deadline. They also teamed up with Intel to supply its chips for the first IBM personal computer. When the personal computer hit the market it was a major hit and IBM became a strong power in electronic computers.
Phoenix Technologies went through published documentation to figure out the internal operating system (BIOS) in the IBM. In turn, they designed a BIOS of their own which could be used with IBM computers. It stood up in courts and now with a non IBM BIOS, the clone was created. Many manufacturers jumped in and started making their own IBM Compatible computers, and IBM eventually lost a big share in the desktop computers.
While IBM was just getting started in the personal computer market, Apple was also just getting on its feet. It was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976. They were both college drop outs, Steve Jobs out of Reed College in Oregon and Steve Wozniak from the University of Colorado. They ended up in Silicon Valley, which is located in northern California near San Francisco.
Wozniak was the person with the brains and Jobs was the one who put it all together. For about $700 someone could buy a computer that they put together, which was called the Apple I. They hired a multimillionaire, Armas CliffordMarkkula, a 33 year old as the chief executive in 1977. In the mean time Wozniak was working at Hewlett Packard until Markku la encouraged him to quit his job with them, and to focus his attention on Apple. Apple went public in 1977, for about $25 a share. In 1977 the Apple II was introduced which set the standard for many of the microcomputers to follow, including the IBM PC.
The Macintosh and IBM computer have been in competition ever since they put out their first personal computers. In 1980, the personal computer world was dominated by two types of computer systems. One was the Apple II, which had a huge group of loyal users, and they also had a large group of people developing software for the Apple II. The other system was the IBM-Compatible, which for the most part all used the same software and plug in hardware. In 1983 Apples old over $1 billion in computers and hardware.
Now Apple was trying to appeal more to the business world so they designed the Lisa computer that was a prototype for the Macintosh and it cost around $10, 000. It featured a never before seen graphical interface and the mouse, which are as common as any other component on the computer today. IBM introduced a spreadsheet program called Lotus 1-2-3, which caused anticipated sales of the Lisa computer to drop to nearly half. In order for Apple to compete with the IBM-Compatible they had to change somethings around.
Jobs headed the development of the Macintosh, with the goal in mind of a "computer for the rest of us." He wanted it to be easily set up out of the box and up in running in 15 minutes. The developers of the Macintosh made it so that you could not upgrade it for they did not think that you needed to open your computer. In 1984, they launched the Macintosh for $2, 495. The advertisements for it cost around $500, 000 and more than $1. 5 million to play it on Super Bowl Sunday in 1984.
They decided later that if they wanted to keep up with IBM they would have to make the Macintosh cheaper and easier to upgrade in order to appeal to the business market. In 1991 Apple's desktop computing business was going down hill, and Motorola, who was their chip manufacturer, was being known as the company that was always one step behind Intel. So Apple lost developers for their personal computer. This is the label on many of the current chips that are being shipped today.
Onething that is different between the IBM and Macintosh is the type of CPU architecture they are using. The IBM computers have been using the same chip design as it did when it first created the personal computer. They created their systems around a CPU design Intel created, which used an architecture called CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing). This also allowed the IBM computer to be compatible through out the years with the older systems.
For instance if you had some sort of typing programming that was on an IBM-Compatible computer that had a 286-12 CPU, you could run that same exact software on one of your newest Pentiums today. So even after 10 years the same software could be used. This also has it down sides, because that means we have been using an internal CPU architecture that is at least 20 years old. Onething that IBM users can look forward to is the advancements that Intel is making with it's CPUs.
One of the latest things that has hit the market is MMX, which allows programs that are more graphically inclined to run faster, as well as programs that use sound. They already have chips in the making going by the code name Klamath. These will be a cross form of the current Pentium Pro chips and the Pentium MMX chips. They should be coming out in 1998, and will have mhz rating up to 400. Right now the MMX chips are shipping at 200 MHz and will soon have one at 233 MHz. Intel is moving very swiftly in bringing us the top of the line technology.
Apple decided to go with a different CPU architecture. IBM created a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) CPU that could run faster than the CISC model of the same MHz rating, so a RISC chip with a MHz rating of 100 could run just as fast as a CISC chip with MHz rating of 133. Now with the definitions of CISC and RISC you would think that the RISC chip has fewer instructions, and actually in fact it is just the opposite, but since it started out with fewer instructions then the CISC chip it kept that name. Now IBM did not want to put it into their own personal computers because of the compatibility issues. The computer would not be able to use the current hardware or software, that was being made for the IBM-Compatible computers. So IBM sought out a company that would be willing to buy their RISC chip, and Apple was the company they found.
Motorola had previously been designing the chips for Apple, but they were not as fast as IBM so the Macintosh development slowed down in comparison to IBM. IBM could design RISC chips for Apple with no problem. With this Apple needed to get developers to make applications made to run specifically for the RISC chip. IBM decided to team up with Motorola because they were not equipped to put out chips in high volume like Apple needed. Apple had already been creating a mother board based on the Motorola chip design, so with IBM and Motorola teaming up they did not have to redesign their mother boards. So now an Apple computer could run faster than an IBM, in a certain sense.
A Macintosh Quadra 40 MHz using Motorola 68040 chip would be faster than most 486 DX-66 MHz CPUs. The reason being is that the Macintoshcomputer was totally design to run with each other. So the Operating System in the Macintosh would take advantage of the hardware's capabilities as well as the hardware taking advantage of the Operating System. So with this interconnected system it would be faster than a system not made to take advantage of every little thing in a piece of hardware. Apple Macintosh Mouse With the both companies in heated competition, the pressure was on for them to come out with things that the other did not have. Apple came through very strongly in this area.
They created many devices that are used in many computers today. In 1984 Apple created the first GUI (Graphical User Interface) this also brought about folders or directories, long file names, drag and drop, and the trash can. All these devices are used in the more popular operating system for the IBM-Compatible computer called Windows 95. Apple also created the mouse, which is as common as the keyboard. One thing that helps the IBM-Compatible in the had dare area, is all the third party developers. With the Apple computer, only Apple had the rights to develop hardware for their computers.
With IBM-Compatibles anyone can develop hardware for it, thus we have many innovative accessories and hardware for the IBM-compatibles. One of the more interesting devices for the IBM-compatible computers, that was featured at the 1997 Comdex show in Vegas was a speaker system. It looks like a giant plastic dome that is placed above your head pointing down towards you, and allows stereo sound to be heard only by the person directly underneath it. One company that was showing it in action was Creative Labs, which is a maker of Sound Cards and usually sets the standard for them. They had many computers networked together and were running a popular game of 1996 called Quake, which is a first person action game. They had put the dome shaped speakers above each computer station and it allowed each player to hear what was going on around them, but it would not make any outside noise or interfere with the person playing right next to them.
Installing a card can be very easy One of the latest things with computers these days is Plug 'n' Play. It was meant to alleviate the fear of people upgrading their computer themselves, even though some people will always pay someone big time money to do it. If you are afraid of opening your computer it is strongly suggested that you have a professional do it, for they have been doing that sort of thing for years, and they know exactly what they are doing as well as what to do if they encounter any problems that are uncommon to the regular consumer. The deal with Plug 'n'Play is that it would allow you to install a new sound card or some other plugin card and then just turn on your computer with out you having to change any jumpers or configure it in any way.
The Macintosh computer and the Windows 95 operating system both have this feature built into it as well as some of the newer IBM-Compatible BIOS. There have been draw backs to it, for some of the people that prefer to configure it themselves for the software used to configure the card might not be able to use a configuration you wish to use. Apple computers have many things that already come with it, that the IBM-Compatibles do not always have. For instance they come with a 16-bit sound card, that has voice recognition built into it.
With the voice recognition the operating system was designed to use it in every way you could think of, you could do anything without typing or clicking on a thing. For instance you could tell it to "Shut Down" and it will go through and turn off the computer, or you could write a letter to a long lost relative just by speaking. The Macintoshcomputer was designed so that everything you did was made as easy as possible, so that is why all the software has to be redone when they add new hardware. If you wanted to eject a disk you stuck into it, you went up into the pull down menus and told it to "eject disk.' You could also shut off the computer from the pull down menus. This is basically the total opposite of the IBM-Compatible computers. To eject the disk you just plainly press the little button on the disk drive, and if you wanted to turn off the computer you just press the power button.
The Macintosh computer could run into problems, say if you had a disk in there and somehow the computer locked up or the power was off, you would not be able to get that disk out of there. Some of the other things that the latest Macintosh computers have been coming with are networking cards built into it already. If you wanted to play a game or transfer files with a friend, you just grabbed a cord and plugged the two computers together and then you are off. You could also do video conferencing and send email over the network, as well. With the way the Macintosh computer was designed you cannot upgrade the sound card for everything is built into the system, but with an IBM-Compatible computer you could easily take out one card and put in another.
Anything that you add on to the Macintosh has to be put on the outside, like CD-ROMs and Modems. Also because the Operating System of the Macintosh relies on the computer's hardware and was designed for that particular hardware, if you ever upgrade it you have to upgrade the operating system as well as many hardware components and software that were made for that particular model. That is one reason many of the big time business users would not want to buy a Macintosh for they would want their investment to last awhile and if they needed to they would want to upgrade their systems as cheaply as possible and the IBM-Compatible made it cheap for them to do so. The Macintosh computer itself usually costs about two times as much as a comparable IBM computer. They also tend to confuse their customers by bringing out many new models out all the time. For instance in 1993 alone, Apple introduced 17 different models of their Macintosh computer.
Software for the Apple computers is harder to come by then for the IBM-compatible computer. Apple controls all the software for their computers and will not license it to any other developer. So you do not have the variety you do with the IBM computers. A big thing that has become very popular in the last few years is something called the Internet. Almost everyone has experienced the internet in some form or the other.
You can almost do anything you wanted over the internet. From writing a message to some distant relative and have it arrive to that person in minutes, or playing a chess game with someone from Russia. You can also get any program you are looking for over the internet, and many of these programs are usually only for the IBM-compatible computer for there is more people with an IBM computer and thus more people making applications and games for the IBM computer. So basically there is just a ton of software out there for people who own an IBM-compatible computer. With the IBM-compatible computer you can continue to upgrade it, even someone who bought a computer five years ago could have upgraded it so that it is just as fast as any computer of today, but with the Macintosh you basically would have to buy a new system. Also since IBM had used a third-party for its operating system other companies could license the operating system to make their own compatible operating systems, as well as any other software for it.
Compatible hardware could easily be assembled. As well as peripherals and components that will improve the IBM compatible computer. From some of the common components, like CD-ROMs, Modems, Sound Cards, and Printers. You even have a choice from about 20 different styles of mice that you could use on your system, from three basic groups: Roller, Track balls, and Touch Pads. They have some other ones, like one that clips onto your monitor and shoots infrared beams across the screen to detect movements by your finger, and so it basically turns your monitor into a touch screen. As well as hand held ones that move the cursor based on the position of your hand.
The Apple computer has usually always appealed to the school systems. With the IBM-compatible computers going more towards businesses and personal use. The main reasons behind this are that the Apple had many types of software directed towards children and helping them learn. They were also easier to use so that appealed to the school system, for they would be able to have children that a refive years old be able to use a computer with no problem.
The IBM computer went more with businesses, because of its ability to be upgraded and they would be able to get longer use out of it. They could more easily adapt an IBM-compatible computer to their way of doing things, just because of the many different software out there as well as its ease of adding or upgrading it capabilities. The IBM-compatible computers have been becoming increasingly more popular with the school systems, because of Apple going down hill and having less and less software available for it. The IBM and Macintosh computers have been in competition with each other for years, and each of them have their strong points.
Apple dominated in the personal computer market when it first started, but when the IBM clone was created that started its downfall. Some of Apple's earlier decisions caused it to lose in the battle with IBM as well. Motorola as its chip manufacturer, caused them to be one step behind the Intel based IBM-compatibles. Not licensing out its software so that third parties could create software for it, was also a down fall for it. Now, that the IBM-compatible computer has a strong support it is very unlikely that Apple will be able to bring back a large user group for its personal computer, even though their computers are faster.