back to article 37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac

A MacBook Pro is the most reliable PC on which to run Windows, according to research from PC-monitoring-as-a-service outfit Soluto. Soluto users install an agent on their PCs. That piece of software keeps an eye on the PC and sends information to Soluto, which then alerts sysadmins about potential problems so they can act …

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  1. HMB

    More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

    "I suppose the fact that people who have sufficient IT skills to install Windows on a Mac wasn't taken into account when assessing how well owners could maintain a healthy computer.

    I suppose that because there's no control to try to reach even a baseline for that variable.

    Still.... I'm sure that it will get loads of mileage in developer office warfare regardless of it's intellectual merit."

    ...at least that's what I imagine Einstein Von Brainstorm would say.

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

      There is always someone who wants to knock the facts when Apple turns up trumps.

      It's not difficult to install Windows on a Mac with bootcamp and also run Parallels in parallel. The instructions are simple and advice is all over the Internet.

      Question why people do this, well you get the best of both worlds, with a Win7 install you don't have to lose all your existing software if you buy an Apple computer.

      The difference is also probably due to the fact that Windows computers are made by so many manufacturers, if you look at the reviews comparing them, some are good and some not so good, some are high end and some are low end, some have quality components some have generic parts.

      So it is not a surprise.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

        >There is always someone who wants to knock the facts when Apple turns up trumps.

        You're right Lars, there usually are such people. However, the survey wasn't perfect, as the people who conducted it pointed out themselves. Something else that may have skewed the results, amongst other things, is that the test measured crashes over a calender period of time, rather than crashes per hour of use.,. this is important because at least some MacBook Pro owners will be using OSX some of the time.

        That said, in the favour of the MacBook Pro is that the test took into account Windows start-up time, and this model of Macbook Pro (2012) didn't have an SSD fitted as standard.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

        > There is always someone who wants to knock the facts when Apple turns up trumps.

        ...and Acer comes in 2nd and Dell comes in 3rd.

        Both of these brands are whipping boys for Apple Fanboys that like to confuse being overpriced with product quality. Those brands are not liked very much among WinDOS users either.

        There's just way too much Dell on that chart for me to take it at face value. Never mind the Apple.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

      Now I have a Mac I toyed with the idea of giving my nearly three year old Dell XPS 1645 away to my nephew...

      But that would have been cruel and heartless.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re:But that would have been cruel and heartless.

        Dells don't have feelings. They're just machines. Well built ones, by the look of it, but not capable of emotion.

        1. James O'Shea
          Pint

          Re: Re:But that would have been cruel and heartless.

          'cruel and heartless' to the nephew, not the Dell, surely...

          Pic of what I need after being annoyed by a Dell.

    3. Chris 3

      Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

      As an Apple user, I think that's an entirely fair point. However the discrepancy between the results for the MacBook Pro and the Retina model, suggests that there is more going on here, than simple user selection bias.

      Also, I always thought that the Thinkpads tended to be the box of choice for the tech-savvy, so I'm surprised to see it down there.

      1. t.est

        Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

        Well Windows doesn't work well with Retina mac books. Which has been reported all over the internet.

        So no surprise there, what is surprising is that one Acer and one Dell where so close to the Mac book. Just above 1 in score for all of them. I would say the norm for a PC would be a sore above 2. Just where the macbook with retina issues while running windows is.

        This just confirms what I always experienced. Mac's are great computer, even when running Windows they outperform PC in reliability. I have had this experience even from the time of the old PPC macs. The Powermac 7100/7200 and 8100. The 7200 was not so reliable when it came to run MacOS, why I switched from that to a 8100.

        The 7100 and 8100 had NuBus while the 7200 had PCI, and the system of the day did not like to cope with PCI. Still running Windows on them in a virtual PC was way more reliable than the experience I got from Wintel machines then. It wasn't fast but reliable.

        1. Mark .

          Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

          But this is only true for single model of Apple PC, with Dell filling several of the other top spots. So your anecdote of a Power Mac 8100 is likely to be completely unrelated to these issues - the difference between that machine and modern Apple PCs is far greater than the difference between the Mac on the top spot, and the models lower down the list.

          I think we also have to ask, why could the machine make a difference? This is application crashes, not OS crashes, and most application crashes are problems in the code, but this would be the same on all PCs, including Apple ones!

          So for those kinds of crashes, either the difference is pure luck, or there is some user-selection bias (e.g., the gaping flaw in the study that it measures crashes per calendar time, not use time, and most people with Apple PCs would likely only being running Windows occasionally; or perhaps they run a far smaller selection of software, which tends to not include random unreliable crap).

          Another possibility is that things like incorrect memory access are more likely to result in a crash on some machines, but I would argue that's a *good* thing. Whilst annoying for the user, stopping the application can be better than running off with ill-defined behaviour, which is what the Macs may be doing.

          Sometimes crashes can happen due to drivers, which could differ, but that's all I can think of, and that wouldn't be most of application crashes in my experience.

        2. SleepGuy

          Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

          Running Windows in a virtual machine is the most reliable way....barely any drivers to load so the system just hums along. Even Vista in a virutal machine will run for years without needing a reboot...

        3. Jes.e

          Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

          Seconded!

          Before I became a Mac user I was running some database information for our store using Alpha 4 and printing out the occasional sign and flyer using Geoworks on an old 286 hand-me-down and a for matrix printer.

          I then noticed that really obsolete Apple Postscript LaserWriters could be had for $200 from a computer recycling place and a $100 more for a 100 MHz PPC Mac combined with a used copy of Virtual PC allowed me to run all my old software faster than on the old PC. (Of course going from 4.5 Intel to 100 MHz PPC may have had something to do with it.)

          Aside from the amazing improvement in all printed documents, the benefit of using a virtualized PC environment is having your entire hard disk (yes all three partitions, I was a power DOS user) sitting on your Mac as a single file.

          ..Just duplicate to make a snapshot at any time and the whole hard drive fitted onto a single ZIP disk to save off-site.

          Currently I'm running Win7 along with Ubuntu and a lot of other stuff in Parallels on a Power Mac and I wouldn't have it any other way. Snapshots are available in the virtual machine itself at the block level and if the system misbehaves, [such as in Microsoft's recent blunder three weeks ago which resulted in unbootable systems if you had Kaspery antivirus installed- didn't happen to me but I did have to fix a friends system.. Replaced the mess with Ubuntu; she was ecstatic..] ..just roll back to previous checkpoint.

          Much more stress free than running on real hardware.

          Only way to endure Microsoft's uum, product in my opinion.

          In fact when Vista came out a major PC magazine ran a speed benchmark between a Mac and a equivalently configured Dell.

          The Mac was actually faster despite the fact that the Apple had a slightly slower CPU.

          Things that make you go Hmmmmm..

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

        > However the discrepancy between the results for the MacBook Pro and the Retina model, suggests that there is more going on here, than simple user selection bias.

        Just a guess at the discrepancy - the 15" MacBook Retina has a discrete graphic card, which may have encouraged some users to try to play modern games on it, and these games may have crashed out (http://blog.laptopmag.com/windows-7-tested-on-retina-display-macbook-pro-how-good-is-it suggests this can happen).

        Owners of the of the 13" Macbook Pro with Intel HD4000 graphics may not have been as tempted to try playing games, and so its Solutu score won't show as many application crashes.

        Just a hypothesis.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More Suggestion than Paul McKenna

      Windows on a Mac is simple. I suspect it's because the hardware is less of a moving target so they can develop decent drivers and not have to worry about every possible variant of chipsets etc. My Macbook is the best Windows laptop I have ever had - fast, reliable and when I don't need Windows I can use OSX.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Balmer ballsup!

    The only machine that CAN run windows CANNOT.

    1. Steve Knox
      WTF?

      Re: Another Balmer ballsup!

      Umm.. they CAN and DO... otherwise they wouldn't be in the results...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Balmer ballsup!

      Yes they can, natively and virtualised - I run Windows 8 as a companion workstation VM on my MBP as well as various other linuxy and Windowsey VMs.

      That said, my work laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad W530 and I'd say that's probably more reliable than the mac, it's of a similar spec and runs a whole bunch of VMs as well. I'm not sure why the only thinkpad on the list is so far down.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Another Balmer ballsup!

        >I'm not sure why the only thinkpad on the list is so far down.

        Solutu said that they didn't include all machines in the test, only those that they had enough data for to include in the test... it is very possible that there is a more reliable ThinkPad model out there, but that it wasn't included because it didn't sell as much as the X1 Carbon.

        Certainly other surveys, based on other data such as numbers returned to base etc, suggest that Apple and Lenovo have been among the more reliable machines.

  3. silent_count
    FAIL

    In news just in

    Crap study, using crap methodology produces crap results.

    Who'd have thought that a group of people who are computer-competent enough to install windows on a mac would have less computer related problems than the general, windows using populace?

    Betcha if you limited the same study to apple machines, you'd find that those competent enough to install windows on a mac would have less problems than the general, mac using populace. OMG! *Proof* that Windows is more stable than IOS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In news just in

      It would be interesting to see number of crashes on Macs vs. PCs regardless of operating system.

      My HTPC runs Windows. I use very little software on it and only for a couple hours per day. Basically just IE, Media Center, and VLC. Yet I would say that something goes wrong with it at least once or twice per week. Usually Explorer barfs--displays all the windows at the wrong sizes and positions with the wrong theme when I wake up the machine, sits there for a while, reboots itself, and reports that it crashed. IE will also hang occasionally when I'm trying to watch video from e.g. Hulu. Interesting and disappointing because supposedly IE runs pages in their own processes now. (I don't use Chrome because unfortunately it seems to be unable to hide the task bar when in full-screen mode with high-DPI turned on in the OS.) Now that I think about it, I also saw a bluescreen with this machine a week ago, which I hadn't seen for a while.

      My Mac, which I use for work and personal use and use for 8+ hours a day running a wide variety of software, crashes very rarely. The last time anything went wrong with the hardware, OS, or any of the software that I can remember was a few weeks ago when it failed to wake from sleep correctly and just hung while I was typing in my password.

      1. Blain Hamon
        Pint

        Lies, damn lies, and linkbait

        Agreed. Or, if you want to consider that I hardly ever boot my MacBook into Windows (I have it mostly for games) but do a lot of heavy lifting on the MacOS side. Even if you divide crashes by time used, the Windows comes out on top because I tend to avoid stressing it as much on the windows side of things and rarely leave it running unattended enough to sleep (And thus have never had it crash), and I have had some failures to wake from sleep on the Mac side.

        There's so many other variables that well, in conclusion, it's time for a beer.

        1. Matthew 25
          Thumb Up

          Re: Lies, damn lies, and linkbait

          "well, in conclusion, it's time for a beer."

          Seconded!

      2. Craigness

        Re: In news just in

        Are Mac users unlucky or just incompetent? Many say they have problems running Windows and give it as the reason for multiplying their it spend by a factor of 3 or more. I have an ancient Dell laptop for work, running XP with all sorts of weird software installed on it. In 18 months' daily usage it's never crashed, but occasionally it takes a long time to shut down.

        My home laptop is a small and light Acer Aspire. 2nd on the list and I got it for 20% of the cost of a Macbook Air 6 months ago. It's never crashed (but I've mostly use Ubuntu for the last month).

        1. Efros
          Pint

          Re: In news just in

          "My home laptop is a small and light Acer Aspire. 2nd on the list and I got it for 20% of the cost of a Macbook Air 6 months ago. It's never crashed (but I've mostly use Ubuntu for the last month)."

          Similar story here with a 5 year old lenovo Ideapad Y550 with W8, it is always either on or sleeping, the only reboot it gets is following updates or to boot into the other OS (Ubuntu). I honestly can't remember the last time it crashed.

      3. Sharcman

        Re: In news just in

        Let me tell you a little something about Windows, if it crashes - chances are it's your fault. You might not know what you did, but you did something. The reason Macs "never" crash is because they have locked off all the cool features and settings that you might accidentally mess with and crash your comp. You're blissfully stuck in the matrix equivalent of operating systems and you don't even know it.

        By the way, my pc NEVER crashes unless it's in a game, and even that's rare.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: In news just in

          >Let me tell you a little something about Windows, if it crashes - chances are it's your fault.

          Well, Windows PCs shipped with less than perfect drivers aren't uncommon; Macs simply have fewer hardware combinations to test.

          Oh, in what way is OSX locked down?

        2. t.est

          Re: In news just in

          Lock off all the cool features and settings...

          Boy you have no clue do you. OSX is far from locked, you can do what ever you want to do. Fortunately enough the GUI will not allow novice users to mess up totally yes. But when it comes to customize your mac functionality it's all up to your own skills and knowledge of how the system works.

          If you have experience from FreeBSD you're pretty good to go an do what you want. And to add to the pleasure you got tools as AppleScript and Automator to add to it.

          1. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: In news just in

            > Boy you have no clue do you. OSX is far from locked,

            It's not exactly locked down but it is a much more "curated" mindset. Windows users expect to do things with their tools that Mac users would try to look down on you for.

            Just the gaming aspect of Windows is bound to lead to more crashes because there's a wider variety of them and they are prone to use the system harder.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In news just in

              I love how loud mouthed morons like jedidiah like to mouth off about thinks they know nothing of! Mac users have access to a fully certified version of UNIX with an excellent range development tools. There is a healthy amount of automation and customisation tools available for the platform - certainly better quality than available on the windows platform. Macs are massively popular amongst developers and designers, both being decidedly under-represented here because they have better thing to do with heir time than prattle on like the hopeless prigs you are.

              1. Craigness
                WTF?

                Re: In news just in

                @AC

                Developers use windows on a massive scale. I've only seen 2 use Mac users in my many years in the industry. One was a poser and the other was a contractor who had it on his desk whilst he used a client-provided pc, because he thought it worked better for IR35. He was also a poser. Startups that get media coverage seem to use Macs quite a bit; maybe it helps them get media coverage.

                And 1 guy used linux.

        3. Captain Queeg
          Meh

          Re: In news just in

          > The reason Macs "never" crash is because they have locked off all the cool features and settings that

          > you might accidentally mess with and crash your comp.

          Just to be clear, you're contending that such stellar features as RegEdit and indeed the idea of The Registry in general is cool?

          Can I borrow your kipper tie?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: In news just in

            Yes, the registry is a good idea - Putting all of your settings in a journaled ACLd database which is stored in multiple locations on your system disk is a good thing. You can allow users to be able to turn on and off individual settings, rather than with conf files where it's all or nothing. People who bitch about the registry, in my experience, don't understand it or how it works and just want a text file with a random name and extension in a not entirely fixed location.

        4. Jes.e

          Re: In news just in

          "Let me tell you a little something about Windows, if it crashes - chances are it's your fault. You might not know what you did, but you did something."

          ***

          Ah yes. Blame the user for the designers errors!

          You should probably know that even the pure OSX Macintoshes were far more customizable than a Windows machine ever could be. May I suggest you Google ResEdit?

          Customize the OS and applications from top to bottom, just by editing information within an executable by using a simple GUI environment.

          Yes. Mac users have always been helpless creatures stifled by their simplified graphical environment.

          Oh wait!! That argument was from the eighties.. Sorry.

          BTW. What about explaining why users are finding Windows 8 so hard to use?

          Is that the users fault too?

      4. Mark .

        Re: In news just in

        Anecdotes vary. I don't think I've *ever* had a crash since using Windows 7 (or 8), which even survives graphics card crashes without rebooting. Windows 7 once reported a problem when booting on one machine, but after a few minutes, it claimed it was repaired (and indeed, I never had trouble after that). Ubuntu has never crashed for me, though I have had a black screen fail-to-boot after upgrading. Meanwhile I've seen brand new recent OS X machines fail to resume when woken up from sleep (and you can't even take the battery out...)

    2. Sharcman
      Thumb Up

      Re: In news just in

      Totally agree, and to add to your point, a Windows system installed onto a Mac is only operational for a fraction of the time compared to a Windows only machine coz the owner of the mac will be using OS X too.

      A system that only runs for a fraction of the time will only get a fraction of the problems.

      1. arober11

        The Starbucks factor

        I've encountered the odd project manager who permanently boots to Windows on their work MacBook, and probably has no idea of how to boot back to OS X, if they new what it was. Their world / skill-set is limited to MS-Project, MS-Powerpoint, MS-Dynamics, MS-Outlook, Skype and possibly HP Quality Center, so OS X would be unworkable for them even if they did dual boot.

        The primary reason for them having talked their companies into forking out the extra for a MacBook, with a separate Windows licence, and several hours of technician time for a custom build, was to not look out of place in Starbucks. The number of these style junkies is probably insignificant, but best not to assume all MacBooks run OS X the majority of the time, or that all Boot-camped Mac Books are down to skill-set of the present keeper.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In news just in

      "*Proof* that Windows is more stable than IOS."

      You're comparing a desktop OS to a mobile device OS?

      1. Piro

        Re: In news just in

        I thought IOS was the OS installed on Cisco routers. I'd hope that was bloody reliable.

        iOS, however, is the OS for Apple toys.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In news just in

        This is the level of things. Someone dares say anything good about Apple and people (who clearly know little about Apple and their products) wades in an get's it wrong. Before you just 'hate' a product perhaps try it or learn a bit about it - you may like it or hate it more... don't be a bigot.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In news just in

      Jesus - comparing Windows to iOS - good job it's Friday. Perhaps you meant OSX.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In news just in

      Yeah it does not agree with your prejudiced view so it's a crap study. You sir are the 'fail' here in a discussion about desktop OS comparing Windows with IOS (although you probably means iOS) - look up OSX perhaps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In news just in

        My Samsung Chronos 7 is getting on for 7 months old now, all I've done is fitted a Samsung 830 SSD and it flies along. It gets used a lot and It hasn't blue-screened / crashed once. Cost about £800 all in with cash back.

        My old Samsung R610 has blue-screened once and that was due to my trying to do something fancy with some USB-Serial cable drivers. It crashed (hung) once, and that was caused by Samsung Kies, which I was using to update my father-in-laws Bada phone. Cost about £600.

        My wife's cheapo Acer, apart from coming out of the factory with not enough RAM (which I've upgraded), chugs along quite well, it doesn't blue-screen either. Cost about £350.

        Maybe I'm just lucky.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Let's see....

    Do I want the $1199 Mac, or the $429 Acer that was in a statistical tie with the Mac?

    Nah - screw it - I'll stick with my $250 Chromebook - which has never crashed once in 6 months of use.

    1. Gray Ham
      Windows

      Re: Let's see....

      And, as the article correctly points out, without knowing how many Macbooks were in the sample, the statistical comparisons will be dubious at best.

      I, too, will be staying with my current setup - I certainly haven't seen a BSOD, either on my work PC or personal laptop, in so long that I have almost forgotten what it looks like.

      1. Ian Yates
        Coat

        Re: Let's see....

        It's blue

    2. Lord Zedd
      FAIL

      Re: Let's see....

      Thats great, lets us know when you can install any useful programs or popular games.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's see....@Andy Prough

      Yes but where I live your chrome book would be just a useless lump of plastic and circuitry.............

      And you'd most likely bee hitting it with a hammer snarling, 'useless, useless..'

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Let's see....@Andy Prough

        The laptop I don't turn on never crashes, and is about as useful as a Chromebook.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's see....

      Chrome book? Try it without network availability. May as well crash.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Linux

        Re: Let's see....

        @Re: "Let's see.... Chrome book? Try it without network availability. May as well crash."

        You are so right - if you are still living in 2011.

        Chromebook has over 600 available off-line apps and counting: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/collection/offline_enabled?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's see....

      6 months of use as a doorstop.

    6. Dana W
      Happy

      Re: Let's see....

      Or My 2012 Mac, that's had no crashes at all.

      You can keep your portable dumb terminal, I'll keep my processes, and my privacy at my my end.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's see....

      That's because you are a pikey that likes useless cheap toys.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's see....

      All the people that matter the most, i.e. the ones with $$$$ in their accounts all want Macs. That's why the Apple App stores are raking in big profits and draw the most developer interest.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's see....

      All the people that matter the most, i.e. the ones with $$$$ in their accounts all want Macs or iOS devices. That's why the Apple App stores are raking in big profits and draw the most developer interest.

    10. davebarnes

      Obvious

      You want the $1200 Mac.

      Because Tim told you and me to buy it.

      And, yes, I am an Apple fanboy.

    11. The Jase
      Trollface

      Re: Let's see....

      "My Toyota won't start"

      "Buy a BMW instead"

      Is what you sound like...

  5. jake Silver badge

    Whatever.

    This aging HP laptop (has it really been nine years?) running Slackware-current has never crashed. Not once. It averages uptimes of three months (I turn it off quarterly to clear out critter hair & dust).

    Properly built working systems don't crash. Ever.

    Development systems, on the other hand ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: Whatever.

      That's not a fair comparison and you know it. Windows is so tightly coupled with its graphical environment that it's nearly impossible to recover from a fault arising out of an issue with the gui. All distributions of Linux share the same alternative architecture where the gui rides on top of the O/S and can be separately reset without risking a full system crash. Even the occasionally bad video driver won't bring down a Linux system, while the same would bring the average Windows PC user to tears. In almost 15 years of running various Unix-like O/S variants (FreeBSD, Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu, Fedora) as my primary desktop at work and home the only time I ever had a system lock up was due to a short circuit in a keyboard (brought on by an ill-fated bath from my morning coffee). As a mere sysadmin I've never had the wizadry to send a Unix system over the edge the way some of my developer colleagues have, although I have stood by in wonder to witness the fun (that's right, I've never run NIS in production, and have always managed to be out of the room when an NFS mount went south). From what I've seen it usually has something to do with really badly designed PL/SQL queries.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Whatever.

        My point, if you failed to see it, is that Slack on my old HP just works.

        More commercial systems? Maybe not so much.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whatever.

          I supported, installed, configured Slackware, in a job. Pain. Decades behind to when you almost had to build and configure the whole operating system, hunt for drivers for everything ... The rest of the world has moved on. We now get OSX, or Windows XP or later or even a properly thought out version of Linux and expect just to install and use it. Then we can stop reinventing the wheel and get on with something useful, fun, novel.

          Of course, as a hobby, like only ever buying and driving kit cars, if you've got the time and money (people always, always underestimate how much "free" or "cheap" costs) ....

          1. eulampios

            @AC hurt by Slackware

            Are you sure you mean Slackware or is it LFS?

            As for people always, always underestimate how much "free" or "cheap" costs I'd say people also do tend to overestimate the quality of pricy stuff.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever.

      Dismal when all people can say is 'well look at my [insert ageing POS machine] it almost never crashed'.

      Anecdotal at best??

  6. Lord Zedd
    Thumb Up

    In other words...

    Laptop makers would make better products if they made better quality products.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In other words...

      Why not state the bleedin' obvious - yes a dark room is lighter if you turn the light on - wow.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flawed but...

    It's a surprise that decent quality hardware is more reliable?

    Surely this applies across the board, Wintel, Mac, toasters, all of it.

    Wiping off the bloat that manufacturers install by loading a fresh copy of the OS from disk is generally a good starting point to make any machine more reliable.

    Having said that, my two slice toaster has been completely reliable as supplied by the factory so YMMV.

    1. Mike Richards

      Re: Flawed but...

      'It's a surprise that decent quality hardware is more reliable?'

      It can't just be that, after all the Lenovo scored at the bottom of the table; traditionally they've been every bit as well-built as Macs.

      Although, as the article suggests, perhaps its the extra software they insist we need that's doing it - my last X-series came with a mountain of bloatware that kept finding ways back on to the system everytime it needed an update from Big-L.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Flawed but...

        >It can't just be that, after all the Lenovo scored at the bottom of the table; traditionally they've been every bit as well-built as Macs.

        Certainly other surveys, based on other data such as numbers returned to base etc, suggest that Apple and Lenovo have been among the more reliable machines available.

        Solutu said that they didn't include all machines in their test, only those that they had enough data for them to include... it is very possible that there is a more reliable ThinkPad model out there, but that it wasn't included because it didn't sell as much as the X1 Carbon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Flawed but...

          Except that clearly is untrue - I've seen plenty of Lenovo's and Macs and in reality the Macs are far better built - say what you like about Apple - their stuff is well designed and made. We've also found it far more reliable based on hardware failures and OS / application support. So $1000 Macbook or $500 Wintel machine - the Macbook extra cost is reclaimed within the first year and from then on saves time and money.

          Of course it depends on your environment - at home you may put up with less and tolerate downtime / crashing and not put a $$$ value on your time but for businesses it's a different story.

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Flawed but...

      > It's a surprise that decent quality hardware is more reliable?

      There isn't anything that Apple sells that is significantly different in this regard.

      If anything, the "design" centric approach that Apple takes will compromise the engineering of the device.

  8. Arthur Kater :-D ☺
    FAIL

    Apple users use OsX most of the time

    I assume Mac users buy a mac to primarily use it as a Mac running OS X and not Windows.

    In other words, all those Macs run sometimes Windows and therefore, relatively speaking, crash more often than Acer, Dell, etc.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Apple users use OsX most of the time

      Are we sure they don't amortize the results per hour of use or anything like that?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Apple users use OsX most of the time

        >Are we sure they don't amortize the results per hour of use or anything like that?

        You would have thought so, but the breakdown of the methodology at https://www.soluto.com/reports gives no suggestion that they did... it is all talking about 'crashes per week'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple users use OsX most of the time

      I know plenty of people that run Macs as they want OSX and Windows - OSX is great for everyday (and then you can use Windows in a VM) or use bootcamp for the native Windows experience. My Macbook runs Windows better (faster with less crashing) than any normal / other laptop I have used.

  9. JDX Gold badge

    just 0.88 crashes a week

    Is that .88 crashes per PC (mac) per week? Because that seems incredibly high to me - I use my PC for 8-10 hours a day for gaming, development, etc and frequently go for weeks without restarting (I hibernate). I cannot remember the last time it actually crashed or blue-screened. I don't think this is particularly unusual...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: just 0.88 crashes a week

      JDX

      You're right to spot that is a high number, however:

      - those 'crashes' refer to application crashes, not BSODs. Solutu have used the terms '[application] crashes', 'non responsive events' and 'BSoDs'.

      It could have been clearer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: just 0.88 crashes a week

        Application crashes? But there are more apps for Windows than Mac. And they are starting to restrict what you can run on your Mac.

        So there are more likely to be unstable programs for the Windows machines.

        Could it also be accounted for that the Mac users just weren't working hard enough and were busy trying to look cool in the local coffee shop instead?

        /flamebate

        1. Dana W

          Re: just 0.88 crashes a week

          They are NOT restricting what you run on your Mac at all. Not one little bit. That is a myth.

          Change your security setting and run anything you like. Mine is set to right click the first time and run for untrusted software. I like that feature, I can run what I need to run, and foolish people stay safe.

          And besides, us coffee house use our iPads. I don't want anyone spilling a Latte in MY Macbook Pro..

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even sample size would be a naive measure. Windows-on-a-mac is, by its nature, the secondary operating system. It will see less use, experience less wear and tear. I'd be much more interested in the sample size in terms of hours of use rather than unit count. Similarly, those savvy enough to need two operating systems and actually install two operating systems are going to be savvy enough to not shit up their computers - some use case analysis (what caused the crashes, bsods etc.) would be more useful.

    That said, it's an unsurprising result. What is slightly surprising is just how well a very cheap laptop like Acer's Aspire E1 performed as well as it did. Really puts the cost of the macbooks in perspective - not even a 7% improvement in the score of the Aspire for more than tripling the cost. Also something of a surprise to me as I've mostly found Acer's kit to be trash. Dell dominate the list but Asus, whose recent output has been stellar, are nowhere to be found?

    1. Steven Raith
      Thumb Up

      The Acer thing

      in my experience of building enough of them for domestic and business customers, Acer have put a shitoad of effort into sorting out the software environment to the degree where a basic install of a basic Acer is actually allright.

      They went through a few periods in their base models of having different sysprep environments:

      A few years ago, having everything under the sun installed on FirstRun - tedious waiting 40mins for it to install loads of pish, including AV, media playback bloatware, etc. Not even joking. It was a grind.

      Then they switched to giving you a selective first run installer on some models - untick all the crap and leave Virtual XP Mode, thankyouvery much. Much nicer.

      Now they seem to be giving a fairly light selection of apps preinstalled that are just there from the off, with installer links to other things (Skype, etc) that you can install if you like. They get the kickback from the software company, without me having to wait half an hour for the machine to boot up.

      I still find myself uninstalling some bits and bats depending on the requirements of the customer (A small office does not need an eBay link on the desktop, etc - which for some reason has an installer) but generally it's not bad now. Certainly better than the shit Sony put on their machines by a wide margin.

      The hardware on Acers has been perfectly acceptable for a while now (I see far more HP laptops in for broken DC jacks or mobo faults at that price range, believe me), the software was the issue.

      Their base level Win8 machines are (WIn8 aside, natch) pretty nicely setup in terms of the sysprep they do. Really can't argue at the price.

      It's at the stage where if someone just wanted a machine to do Office and Youtube stuff on and no other specific requirements, I'd actually suggest a low level Acer. They are the Kia Cee'd of the IT world. Inoffensive, well enough made, reasonably specced, seem to last pretty well - a perfectly acceptable basic workhorse at a perfectly acceptable sticker, frankly.

      Steven R

      (Clarification - work for a reseller who sells Acers a lot, but believe me, I remember back in the day where you'd expect a third of the Travelmate laptops you had to go back under warranty for genuine hardware faults - it's taken a long, long time for me to warm to Acer as a hardware supplier)

    2. Mark .

      "What is slightly surprising is just how well a very cheap laptop like Acer's Aspire E1 performed as well as it did. Really puts the cost of the macbooks in perspective - not even a 7% improvement in the score of the Aspire for more than tripling the cost."

      Not to mention that there are several low cost laptops that do better than the $2199 15" Apple model...

      "Dell dominate the list"

      Yes, that was the thing that struct me about the top 10 - Dell come out top overall, not Apple, and I'd place Acer as doing as well as Apple (one model is one place below, but they have another model one place above).

      "but Asus, whose recent output has been stellar, are nowhere to be found?"

      I think that's just more evidence as to the problems on this study. Were some models just not included because there weren't enough samples, or are Asus way down the list?

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Disraeli, Clemens, and other d*mn liars...

        > "Dell dominate the list"

        That is the really interesting point about these numbers. The fact that Apple placed in this list or even had one item on the top of it is really far less impressive. Dell had a better showing because they had more top 10 models. That means that it's really Dell that's on top.

        If Apple were as good as the masters of spin want you to think, then there would be more Apple on the list.

  11. xj25vm

    Hmm - did they divide the number of crashes by the number of hours the machine was being used? I don't see that anywhere. Crashes/week? WTF is that? I can have a machine up for 5 minutes in a week - I bet you it won't crash. How many hours per week were those Mac's running Windows? Why don't you take your headline grabbing statistics and shove them - you know where.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >Hmm - did they divide the number of crashes by the number of hours the machine was being used?

      No, they didn't. But then, they have laid out their methodology.

  12. MrE
    Facepalm

    As if a Mac user would run windows 24/7

    Less crashes through less use...Hmmm

    1. James O'Shea

      Re: As if a Mac user would run windows 24/7

      Sigh. I can think of several Mac users who _do_ use Windows all the time. All of them are victims of a very, very, VERY good salesdroid at one local Best Buy, who convinced them that Macs are better machines than anything from Dell/HP/etc., and who got the 'tech' people at the store (anyone who's seen Geek Squad in action knows why I put in the quotes...) to run Boot Camp and install Windows for them or to install a VM (usually Parallels) and stick Windows on that and set the VM to autolaunch on startup. They literally never see OS X; on the Boot Camp machines Windows boots first and they have no idea how to get to OS X, on the VM machines Parallels is set to grab the whole screen.

      So, our enterprising young salesdroid has done the following:

      1 sold a flock of iMacs and Mac minis (desktop machines all, no hanging out at the cool kids table at Starbucks for these machines)

      2 sold a flock of Windows licenses, full price

      3 sold a lot of 'tech' time

      I'm sure that he made Salesman of the Year.

      I found out about this some time ago, when one of his victims called the company for help, and the guy we sent around found that this sweet little old (85 if she was a day) lady had a honking great 27" iMac running (shudder) Vista. And that's just plain Vista, too, no service packs installed... We pretty soon had other customers who were also victims of the same bright young thing.

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    " The company also points out that Windows installs on Macs aren't straightforward and that Windows-on-Mac experience suffers from poor drivers and the lack of a Windows button on the keyboard."

    How many people regularly use the windows button on the keyboard unless they have no mouse plugged in? Hardly a major stumbling block to having Windows on a Mac

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Coat

      No Windows key?

      I'd be stuffed. Well, not stuffed, but quickly very irritated.

      WinKey + D = most useful feature on Win8 :)

      1. EddieD

        Re: No Windows key?

        Oddly, the apple key on my MacBook works just tickety-boo as a windows key.

        I must be lucky.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >How many people regularly use the windows button on the keyboard unless they have no mouse plugged in?

      I only use two, but use them regularly:

      Windows Key > start typing name of program > press 'Enter'. A pretty quick way of starting an application.

      Windows Key + X Brings up a panel with display brightness and power scheme selection, amongst other things. (the taskbar power plan selection is useless because it only shows 'balanced' and 'last used' - switching between 'high performance' and 'power saver' is more useful.

  14. IanzThingz
    Pint

    Win on a Mac - Yes

    In my case....

    Since my desktop PC died a couple of months ago, I installed Win 7 x64 on my 2010 MacBook Pro and it runs like a dream, runs continually, and I very rarely boot back into OS X. I do like OS X which is why I bought the Mac in the first place, but have been a Windows user since 3.11 :)

    Just my pennyworth :)

    Beer because its Friday.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Win on a Mac - Yes

      @IanzThingz +1 for reason for beer :)

  15. sandman

    Crash free zone

    I'm running three Windows machines and one MacBook Pro and can't remember when I last had a crash on any of them. The occasional self-recovering video driver glitch and the odd long hang when editing big videos, but otherwise no problem with either OS. However, as has already been pointed out, with top of the range machines with plenty of ram and decent internal parts/drivers, you'd expect a decent amount of stability. Oh, and no BSOD since replacing Vista with W7 a few years back.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Crash free zone

      Win 7 is pretty good for not crashing, once I updated a card-reader driver my Dell shipped with. Sometimes, rarely, the system will be frozen when awaking from sleep... something to do with not turning the HDD back on, as far I can make out. Occasionally programs crash, but they are the sort that expect to crash, evident from the 'you have not saved your document for 20 minutes' dialogue they pop up.

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Surprise!!!! - Windows is the LEAST reliable...

      Well done Eadon, a new low. Go read it again and find something related to criticise.

    2. Def Silver badge

      Re: Surprise!!!! - Windows is the LEAST reliable...

      I can't believe I'm even bothering to reply to this, but well, it's Friday, and I'm going on vacation tomorrow... :)

      Yes, well done. Windows is the least stable OS compared to Windows. But on a brighter note, Windows is also the most stable OS when compared to Windows.

      You should try using a version of Windows from this century. The current kernel in Windows is as rock solid as any alternative out there. As an earlier commentator mentioned, I haven't seen Windows blue screen in many many years - and yes, my PCs are usually on 24/7.

      Just about the only thing that will cause the Windows kernel to crash these days is hardware failure, and there aren't many OSes out there that can survive that. Beyond that, I suspect 99.99% of those reported blue screens are from dodgy drivers and McAfee/Norton/et al. Steer clear of non-certified drivers, and the chances of your system crashing are virtually (practically in many cases) zero.

      1. eulampios

        @Def

        Eadon writes Antivirus hosed your system again?

        You write: I suspect 99.99% of those reported blue screens are from dodgy drivers and McAfee/Norton/et al.

        So you both agree then.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Surprise!!!! - Windows is the LEAST reliable...

      And there was me going to post "I wonder what Eadon thinks?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprise!!!! - Windows is the LEAST reliable...

        No, I already know what he thinks, wondering how he's going to say it is another matter, mind...

      2. Martin
        Happy

        Re: Surprise!!!! - Windows is the LEAST reliable...

        "I wonder what^H^H^H^H whether Eadon thinks?"

        FTFY.

  17. EddieD

    Does the company know anything about BootCamp?

    "The company also points out that Windows installs on Macs aren't straightforward" Erm, yes they are. Bootcamp assistant, save out support software to usb, insert dvd, answer a couple of questions, re-insert usb stick, run installer, voila, Windows. More straightforward than on most machines - no desparately trying to find which revision of which GPU driver you need and so on.

    "and that Windows-on-Mac experience suffers from ... the lack of a Windows button on the keyboard" Except that the Apple key works as a Windows key on all the Macs I've bootcamped, and I'm definitely into triple figures on those installs.

    As other folk have pointed out, their methodology is questionable, but so apparently is their experience with bootcamp.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Does the company know anything about BootCamp?

      If you have to start mucking about with USB then it is no longer straightforward compared to "insert disk, press go".

      Of course many Macs don't have optical drives which makes it less straightforward still.

      1. EddieD

        Re: Does the company know anything about BootCamp?

        If you have to start mucking about with USB then it is no longer straightforward compared to "insert disk, press go".

        And end up with a system with generic drivers..oh, you mean you have to install them? What hardware do you have? Which chipset, have you got the install disks, yada, yada...get them off the internet? Allow windows update to do it?

        A bootcamped mac you have no worries about what your drivers are, you've got a nice neat bundle. By far the easiest installs I do.

  18. Colin Ritchie
    Windows

    I went the other way.

    Faced with a £3500 bill for a new Mac Pro to my desired spec, I decided to reverse engineer the problem.

    Putting OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion on a hand built i7 Hackintosh with the same performance cost me £1200 instead; I'm still waiting for a blue screen or problem 5 months later. Meanwhile the Windows boxes at work crash more often than Lindsey Lohan in a Maserati.

    I could put Windows on it too and compare reliability I suppose but I really don't need it thanks.

    Maybe if a new game catches my eye...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I went the other way.

      If your wintel boxes crash, they're built or used wrong.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: I went the other way.

        More likely they're stuck on Windows XP SP1 because of an in-house application that has some retarded, ancient dependency on IE4 or similar.

        Either that or they're managed by a sysadmin who doesn't understand how to administrate systems. "I wont let those damn Windows machines access the internets - they just slow down the network and introduce security holes!". Isn't that right, Eadon?

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: I went the other way.

        > If your wintel boxes crash, they're built or used wrong.

        The end user is generally not responsible for building a PC.

        Otherwise, it should not crash period. "Using it wrong" is no excuse for a modern OS.

        The fact that the vendor may have screwed up ultimately doesn't matter. I doesn't matter who you get to point the finger at if the end result is a big fat steaming turd.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. JC_

          @JEDIDIAH

          The end user is generally not responsible for building a PC.

          Indeed, and a vanilla Windows PC is most unlikely to crash. It's been decades (literally) since I had a Windows box crash because of the OS. That long ago, the Linux and Mac OS PCs I used shat themselves on a regular basis, too.

          If your wintel boxes crash, they're built or used wrong.

          i.e. faulty hardware or someone's been playing where they shouldn't, like the registry.

          1. eulampios
            Linux

            @JC_

            someone's been playing where they shouldn't, like the registry.

            Is there Linux or Mac registry? There's Gnome/Mate gconf, it's a per-user thing, plus it is pretty straightforward to edit. So would the registry existence or the crappy design it uses qualify as bad hardware?

            As far my experience is concerned, when dealing with a bad driver, on Windows, often you wouldn't be able to figure out which driver is it. Whereas, on GNU/Linux you got pretty nice debugging means and tools. When things are open they are easier to troubleshoot and fix.

            On MS Windows things are cryptic at best, like this message "Windows has encountered a system error f3-f100-0010 and will have to shut down"

            MS Windows side of the problem is always flooded with expertise like "it's a virus, get a better AV", "just reinstall your Windows, the younger it is the better"

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @JC_

              @Eulampios - If you understood Windows and how to configure/maintain it, you wouldn't have these problems. The Registry is easy to understand and it's easily configureable, but easy to balls up if you don't know what you're doing. This is just like the .conf files in linux, or the .config .cnf or dedicated directories containing configuration files, if you don't understand them you'll bollock them up. There are relative advantages and disadvantages of both: Text files are easy to edit, but you don't always know where they are and you can only set permissions at the file level. In the registry, it needs a dedicated gui and command line to edit/view it, but it's all in one place and the ACLs allow you to set permissions on each individual setting.

              It's rare in Windows that you get large hex numbers as an error, but they do (since either Vista, or 7, I can't remember) automatically look up errors and potential solutions upon crash recovery/reboot.

              The main thing is that Linux has some clear advantages over Windows and Windows has some clear advantages over Linux. The trick is to maximise your knowledge and benefits from that knowledge by learning both, rather than blindly slagging off the one you don't know.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. eulampios

                @AC, begging to differ

                Very few people can actually understand Windows. That is the problem. I think the KISS principle has NOT been refuted up to this day.

                As I said earlier a free *nix system is easier to troubleshoot. It is usually, dmesg and syslog creating concise but enough for a human to understand logs. These are pretty verbose and would tell you the name of misbehaving driver/module upfront. You do get a lot of hex numbers, however they are used for debugging purposes for the actual developers and seem to serve better. So you basically know where you start. Google/Bing is most often your best friend, since you get a workaround or fix very quickly. Sometimes you find a workaround or fix yourself (out of experience and logic). Most obvious and "dumb" way, which I seem to resort to more often, is to try an upstream fresher kernel that would work in 95% of the cases.

                AMOF, never would you get a suggestion to clean up your computer from malware from one place and reinstall the system from another (the most popular panacea in the Windows world). The enigma for me was that neither MS nor Toshiba seemed to know what the hell that hex number f3-f100-0010 represented. This and many other instances are enough evidence for me that Windows must either be very stupid or require some rocket science.

                Did you ever hear about the "registry hell"? I did. I've seen and heard about very slow Windows XP/Vista machines. No one (not even MS) know the reason. One theory suggests over-crammed and ill-maintained registry. Remember frequent accusations of Windows OS designers of messy directories where program files, documents and other stuff is often mixed up together. The culprit for a mess in the registry is not the user but applications. Never sis I hear about messed up .conf2 or .config dirs, more so about any chaos in /etc/ .conf files that are usually not cryptic and easier than registry to edit (for a human), logic and common sense are your best friends. Same goes with g/mconf tools, they do use xml but gconf or dconf-editor make it human readable and human editable. So MS Windows system might be out of this world, and there is an extraterrestrial humanoid life that would find it good for them? Hopefully, it's already been discovered by the Kepler telescope. ;-)

            2. Cipher
              FAIL

              Re: @JC_

              eulampios wrote:

              "MS Windows side of the problem is always flooded with expertise like "it's a virus, get a better AV", "just reinstall your Windows, the younger it is the better""

              True, take a look at enough MS technet, answers.MS, etc. sites where MS employees and quasi employees hang out and the familiar pattern described above becomes evident. MS clearly has no clue as to why some problems occur. *Real* fixes, even if only work arounds, come from folks not paid by MS in most cases. The MS script is "Its either a virus or Av related, or try a system restore." Which often doesn't work, which is why Acronis does so well...

              Speaking of the registry, isn't WinSxs just MS's way of saying "We give up on trying to correct the registry and make it work right"?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @JC_

                WinSXS is nothing to do with the registry, sort of shows up the rest of your comment as being from someone who doesn't know what they're talking about...

                1. Cipher

                  Re: @JC_

                  Correct, I meant the .dll system...

                  ...and no, one error doesn't invalidate the rest of my comment. But I suppose you never make mistakes.s

                  1. Richard 12 Silver badge
                    Happy

                    Re: @JC_

                    Side-by-side is the solution to the DLL problem, and it works very well when used properly.

                    Given that you cannot guarantee binary* compatibility of all versions of a DLL with all versions of all programs that use it, you have two choices:

                    1) Install a copy of the DLL with every single application.

                    This uses lots of disk space (how many copies of the same release of MSVCP90.dll do you need?), and perhaps more importantly the user cannot (easily) update the DLLs to fix bugs.

                    The advantage is that the application will always use the exact same version it originally shipped with. One hopes that's also the version it was tested with!

                    2) Have a central repository of DLLs that maintains a list of all versions installed and ensures the most up to date binary compatible version is loaded by each program.

                    This saves disk space and means DLL updates can easily be applied - and rolled back.

                    The downside is that every program needs a correct manifest stating which version is binary compatible - and a bad application/installer can of course screw that up or forget it altogether!

                    3) Install the newest version of the DLL into a central repository and don't bother checking anything.

                    This will blow up in your face. Microsoft did finally learn that.

                    4) Compile everything from source so it all uses the same version of the DLL.

                    Not an option for proprietary software!

                    * Or source compatibility either.

  19. Alan Denman

    Do nothing sort of stuff

    Obviously limitations have their advantages, especially if it is one big turn off.

  20. John Tserkezis

    But the company also feels “... PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform just as well as a cleanly installed MacBook Pro.”

    So they're saying that if you remove the added bloatware, you'll have a box that's as reliable as a Mac?

    Or in other words, the study proved nothing other than the bloatware manufacturers include is trying to bork your box - irrespective of what colour your box is.

    Why couldn't they just say that?

  21. Crisp Silver badge

    I've been running Windows7 since last year on a machine

    And the only time I've had to reboot it is for windows update.

    At this point, maybe it's the computer operator that's at fault. I find it difficult to believe that there's a magic OS out there that just works, when any operating system can be stable with the right system administrator at the helm.

  22. Cuddles Silver badge
    WTF?

    I don't get it

    The very best of the sample crashes once a week? I have three PCs running pretty much 24/7. Two have never crashed, and the other only does so when I do something that would be expected to be risky, such as trying to get old games working. What the hell are these people doing with their computers?

    1. eulampios
      Happy

      Re: I don't get it

      Playing their own old games too?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it

      My HTPC runs Win7 and the only things I do with it are run Media Center, IE, and VLC. It crashes about once per week.

      To be "fair" I have Win7 set to high-DPI mode so I can see it on my TV from my couch, and it seems like most of the crashes are related to that. But I think it's not unreasonable to expect the feature to work.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. OffBeatMammal

    I agree with this

    while I am a small sample I agree with the findings...

    I'm on my second Mac Book that primarily runs Windows (I need OSX for testing and some dev but spend half my time in Windows) and it's significantly less troublesome than other machines around the house and office (Vaio, Lenovo and Samsung laptops and Asus desktops).

    When I got my original Mac I assumed Boot Camp was going to be a half-arsed kludge but I have happily been proven very wrong and Win7, and now Win8 are quite at home on the, admittedly more expensive, hardware.

  25. Jim O'Reilly
    Holmes

    Good statistics - weak conclusion

    The applause for the Mac needs to be a bit muted. Apart from the comment that the Macs weren't typically loaded up with apps, the result looks like small sample measurement with random fluctuations. In other words, another set of tests would maybe swap the two Mac Pros, or move Mac down the list

    I'd say the real conclusion ought to be that Acer won overall, while Mac did well but is 3x the price.

    Lenovo clearly did very badly, which doesn't square with who they sell too (Enterprises) and their pricing.

  26. Dan Paul
    Devil

    Totally Skewed Survey, never believe any of them!

    First you would have had to be a customer of Soluto (and not uninstall their spurious sounding crapware). That limits the playing field right there.

    Next, it appears that you would have to be part of a subset of people who buy computers from Dell, Lenovo or some other crap PC manufacturer who provides crap driver support, no updates, modifies the stock drivers or hamstrings them.

    Why would you not think they would crash frequently?

    I have built perhaps 40 PC's myself over the years and can count the number of true hard crashes on one hand. But then, i don't install crapware or ridiculously old software, I do all the updates and tell people how to do this properly. There are no monitoring and "nanny" programs on my computers.

    Are the PC's in question from individual private users or are they from a call center? Big frikkin difference there! What software is running on them? The first rule is that Crap Software begets Crap Performance. What are the specific reasons for the crashes? Patchy or incomplete software & driver updates, particularly old browsers are often the cause of instability. Are they running new applications on old PC's or old apps on new PC's?

  27. Dan Paul
    Devil

    Can we have an automatic downposter option please?

    Please, may we have a way to select a specific handle name and fill in some form for proof that allows one to automatically downvote all posts by specific posters as they show up in a thread?

    It would just make it a lot less tedious than clicking "back to the forum" a dozen times in one thread.

  28. Stevie Silver badge

    What's a BSOD?

    Seriously, I haven't seen one in several years. Win XP on an old Compaq since 2001 and Win 7 (64 bit) on a Dell Inspiron 1545 since 2009.

    Of course, I haven't got this "agent" on any of those machines...

  29. Epobirs

    So many problems

    Who buys a Macbook to use as a full-time Windows machine? Certainly not anyone I've ever met.

    All of the BootCamp and Parallels users I've known consider OS X their primary OS and go into Windows only as needed for specific tasks. Which means they have less third party software installed and a much lower exposure to malware. In some cases the Windows install only talks to the outside world to download updates and leads a very sheltered existence compared to a more typical Windows box. Just the fact that the total hours of run time on their Windows install is relatively low means they're pretty much guaranteed to record fewer crashes unless there are some disastrously bad drivers coming out of Apple.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform ...”

    Aspire!

    I see what you did there!

  31. Herby

    Reliable? Interesting adverts on TV

    Yes we get a bunch of these. They are magic potions that make your PC "run faster" "crash less" and other such diatribe. So, somebody must be making $$$ on these as I keep seeing the adverts where clueless person 1 says to clueless person 2 "just use (insert magic potion program here)" and it will all be good.

    So, why doesn't the operating system come with such things? Are they THAT stupid?

    We live in trying times!

  32. Trevor Zettler
    Thumb Up

    Windows installation differences

    Typical Windows PC distributors are infamous for loading their systems with "crapware"; on top of a base Windows installation. Many times, it's this class of software that contributes to the unreliable nature of Windows on a PC. Give these distributors a piece of Apple hardware and allow them to resell it and they'll make it just as unreliable as their own hardware via the addition of this value-add software.

  33. lunatik96

    Manufacturers take heed

    The death of the PC is finally eminent. WIN 7 has run much better than previous versions and my Laptop only Blue screens when I disconnect my external monitor (so much for taking it on trips).

    The point of the crapware is very relevant in that, the way software (Windows and the rest of the bloatware) runs, it is more like we pay to rent the machine after it runs their programs 1st.

    I tried to install WIN 7 on a new motherboard and it refused due to the SATA driver. Linux auto detected and installed no problem, so I run Windows in a virtual machine. MicroSucks needs to fix that portion of the OS they stole from DEC. And they wonder why they lose market share.

    The idea that the machine is mine and I should decide what runs on it is foreign to the makers. That is why I always do a vanilla install on a new PC.

    1. eulampios

      Re: Manufacturers take heed

      Even funnier thing would be taking the harddrive on which system sits, and plug it in a random machine with a random motherboard. Chances are very high it would boot up absolutely seamlessly (if you run a generic kernel). I even added an extra hdd while the machine was hibernating (dumped to disk) it came back and mounted it like it was there before.

      1. Jes.e

        Re: Manufacturers take heed

        Good point.

        One can also do that trick with Apples OSX. (In fact I do believe that from 1984 on, all Apple OS's did their installation from a live OS boot. )

        Just don't try that "move the drive to a different computer" trick with a MS OS.

        The fireworks can entertainingly time consuming (and may fail) even assuming that MS will give you permission to run their shiny OS on new hardware.

        Three strikes I believe..

        PS. Is Vista/Win7 any better than XP if you try to move your drive? I stopped re/building Intel machines by that time.

  34. P Taylor

    Its not all about hardware.

    Most Windows crashes are Driver related.

    My trusty HP Elitebook 6930p with a by-hand build of Win7 x64 with all the latest release manufacturer drivers never crashes or hangs at all. Certainly better than the 0.8 crashes per day they quote for the Mac.

  35. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    This won't help buying a new one...

    This won't help buying a new Apple model though, only if you are buying one that was on the market enough for it's stability to be characterized. I won't claim this is UNIQUELY an Apple problem... but.... based on my past experience, one Apple model will run nicely, rock solid, and may even run reasonably cool, really quite nice. The next model (which, since Apple is alergic to model numbers, may look exactly the same...) may prove to have design flaws, implementation flaws, and build problems, may run like a space heater, and may basically be a basket case of crashes and failures.

    Props where they are do to Apple for currently having a stable model available -- don't mess it up! 8-)

  36. IGnatius T Foobar
    Linux

    Beg to differ

    The most reliable machine to run Windows on is a VM on a computer primarily used to run Linux.

  37. ecofeco Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Yep

    Still overpriced.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    stupid..

    who is the apple fan boy...

    for the same price try an hp elite book or something of the sort...

    Lets compare price points to price points

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wow this story was dumber than i thought it'd be. congrats, dumbasses

    what the hell does app hangs, BSOD and other nonsensical horseshit having to do with software have to do with these hardware vendors?!! disgusting! thanks for pissing me off while i'm trying to have my coffee.

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