How to Switch to a Mac - Part 3 - What kind of user are you?
What type of user are you, consumer, professional, or a hybrid?
Mac users generally fall into one of two classes, Professional or Consumer. Based on the user type, Apple has hardware and software to cater to that user. Apple currently offers six Mac models that can be customized to suit your needs. A benefit of purchasing a Mac is that the hardware and software are truly integrated, Apple builds both the hardware and the operating system.
A Professional user is one whose career or hobby is centered around power, speed, and productivity. Professional users are often Photographers, Graphic Artists, Film Makers, Video Editors, Musicians, Software Developers, IT Professionals, Engineers, Scientists, Universities, Fortune 500 comapanies, and Governments. As a result, these users require powerful and customizable systems and are willing to pay top dollar. Many enterprises and companies purchase from the "Power" line of Mac hardware, PowerMacs and Powerbooks to run their businesses.
Apple offers the following products under their Professional line:
- PowerMac G5
- XServe Raid
Professional Users require Professional level software. Apple’s professional software includes the following:
- Final Cut Studio – a suite of software and tools for video and audio production
- Final Cut Pro/Final Cut Pro HD – a digital nonlinear editing tool
- DVD Studio Pro - DVD authoring
- Motion - real-time motion graphics software
- Shake - Digital composition
- Logic - Digital audio editing
- Aperture - Digital photography management and editing
OS X's industrial-strength, UNIX-based operating system provides the computing power that professionals demand. The inherient Apple hardware and software integration gives professional users the performance and ease of use they need to be productive.
Many software vendors have professional software for the Macintosh platform such as Adobe, Macromedia, and Wolfram Research. Professional users will also use many of the applications and software listed in the Consumer user section below. A great resource to check out Apple's professional line of products and customers is at Apple's Pro site.
A Consumer User is one who computing experience is centered around functionality, ease of everyday use, and value. Consumer users are often those who use their systems to email, browse the web, have a digital lifestyle where they want to upload/share photographs, and stay connected with friends and family.
A Consumer user will most often answer yes to the following questions:
- Do you have a Digital Lifestyle?
- Do you listen to music?
- Do you make your own music?
- Do you take photos with a digital camera?
- Do you shoot home videos?
- Do you share your Digital Lifestyle with others?
Apple computers and OS X come bundled with a suite of applications that most computer user need. Apple’s iLife suite is a collection of software for music, photography, movies and DVD creation. iLife is made up of the following titles:
- iTunes - To purchase and transfer music to your iPod. Burn CD’s
- iPhoto - Digital photo organization and editing
- iMovie - Home movies and editing
- iDVD - For DVD creation, integrates with iPhoto and iMovie
- GarageBand - Music recording and editing
Mac OS X comes with several other applications and software that the Consumer user will find useful:
- Mail - for e-mail
- Safari - Advanced, secure, and safe web browsing
- iCal - Calendar management
- iSync - Sync’s your Mac with your mobile devices
- Address Book - Store contact information for friends and family
- iChat AV - Instant Messaging and Video Conferencing
- DVD Player - To play and watch DVD movies
- QuickTime - Video and Audio playback
Apple offers the following hardware for the Consumer user:
- Mac mini
A Hybrid User doesn’t quite fit into either the Professional or Consumer categories, they are usually a mix of the two types of users. The Hybrid user is one who demands more from their system but doesn’t really need to spend top dollar on a system that a Professional user requires. Most often, these are small business owners or hobbyists that need a bit more than the general user requires. In most cases, Hybrid users purchase PowerMacs and/or Powerbook systems.