After I talk to someone I meet at a coffee shop or while traveling and help them with a small technical issue like getting photos transferred or getting on a wireless network, I’m sometimes asked for advice on becoming tech savvy. My advice for someone struggling with their PC who I won’t see again and won’t be able to help in the future is to get a mac. I point out that it really is totally different from a PC, and once they get a mac they should be able to figure out how to do a lot of stuff by themselves, instead of asking for help like they do now.
There is one thing, besides not wanting to pay extra money for a mac, that keeps people from empowering themselves by getting a windows-free computer that they can actually learn to use and maintain themselves — either they or someone they know has had hardware problems with a mac.
In my opinion, even if a mac breaks several times, it’s still worth it to get a mac (and an extended warranty) if you can’t figure out windows and need a computer for your career. I’m reminded of this by a comment by an editor on The Consumerist, an extremely popular and successful blog. He says that he’s had issues with three different macs and an iPod, but it’s still worth it to him to have a mac. Of course it is. He built a successful career with macs.