Paying the Mac “Tax”

Paying the Mac Tax, or “should I buy our developers Macs or cheaper PCs?”.

Often the idea of buying staff an Apple Mac’s for work seems like a poor business decision. It’s expensive and surely nothing more than “pretty thing”. Doesn’t everything work on Windows anyway right? You can hear it in your mind saying, “how much! Just use a PC, all you want to do is look fancy for an extra £grand”

And that’s fair enough because on the surface the “Mac tax” doesn’t seem worth it for a shiny computer that no one really knows how to use right?


However twist your mind round to this for a second, for your accountants, they work best in a full Microsoft Office Excel package or Sage Accounting right? When they joined you gave them a spreadsheet you once made four years ago, a keyboard with Arabic numbers in a different order and an abacus on the side, would you expect them to work at their full capacity? Would you expect quality output? Would you expect them to enjoy their work? Nope. Nope, you wouldn’t, and it doesn’t make business sense.

..put them on a Windows PC you’re already giving them compatibility issues (and devs have enough trouble with that already :P)

I’m afraid, this situation is the same as not buying a Mac for your staff. A lot of the work they’re probably going to be doing for LAMP stack will be Linux based, but to put them on a Windows PC you’re already giving them compatibility issues. But if you put them in the same operating system ecosphere you start to reap actual benefits of coding in the same environment. Mac apps have access to a multitude of our “menu reduced” development solutions. A lot of the apps are exceptionally cheap (like iOS App Store prices), a lot of the apps are more often than not, free to use and open source… built on Linux (not Windows).

Also, be honest with yourself, how often do to start restart your Windows device? Honestly your Mac doesn’t need that, once a month if that.

You are effectively paying to slow your staff down #falseEconomy

I know you may feel more comfortable and productive with Windows, but be brave. You wouldn’t give your new accountant an abacus, don’t give your developers a Windows PC.

It’s slightly ironic, because Apple are massive Tax Dodgers. But this is more to do with should we get our dev a Mac or Windows?

By Dan Course

Senior Instructional Designer. Partnerships, people, products, delivery, agile tech and online edu. Naturally curious, innovative and willing to challenge the status quo.

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