Macs are Personal Computers, too

Tips & Hints

You keep talking about Macs and PC’s. Is a Mac not a PC?

Posted 5 May 2002

Yes a Mac is a personal computer. In fact, Apples were the first personal computers to really enter the consumer and small business markets. The IBM personal computers came along some years later.

Today, most people understand the term PC indicates an Intel, or Intel equivalent, computer. We could call them Windows computers, but that would upset the people running Linux, Unix, BSD, BeOS and a host of other systems on their computers.

It is much simpler to call a Mac a Mac and anything using an Intel or AMD chip (yeah, yeah, Cyrix as well) as a PC.

The IBM compatible, or clone computers, were called that because they were copies of the original IBM XT and PC computers. Over time, IBM ceased to be the driver of the industry and companies like Compaq and Dell became the market leaders.

As IBM became increasingly irrelevant the terms "IBM-compatible" and "clones" became redundant and the term PC gradually crept in.

While we agree that Macs certainly are personal computers, we’re going to continue to call a Mac a Mac, and Windows machines, PC’s. The confusion is too great otherwise.

Note: If you’re interested in the personal computer’s development, Bob Cringely’s Revenge of the Nerds is probably the best resource.

PC Rescue Pty Ltd
Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 082 635 765
ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2011