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New study shows that Apple's 13" MacBook Pro running Boot Camp is the most reliable Windows notebook

Apple vs. Microsoft, OS X vs. Windows -- these are comparisons that pit fanboys from each side against each other with little middle ground. The two sides have bickered for years with Windows fans bragging about lower prices and larger market share, while OS X backers cite high quality, reliable machines and the lack of significant malware penetration.
Today, however, an Israeli PC management firm has added a slight twist in the age-old Mac vs. PC debate. Between January 1st, 2013 and April 1st, 2013, Soluto monitored 150,000 notebook computers running Windows and analyzed the data from:
224,144 crashes
250,791 hangs
84,251 BSoDs
1,346,000 boot cycles
62,476 hours spent on boot
After analyzing the above data and giving each machine a "Soluto Score", the results of the study were quite surprising. The results showed that the most reliable "PC" was the 13" MacBook Pro (mid-2012 model) running Boot Camp.
Soluto attributes this victory to the fact that a MacBook Pro running a copy of Windows via Boot Camp is free of the typical bloatware that comes with a brand new Windows machine. To this point, Soluto opines, "PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform just as well as a cleanly installed MacBook Pro."

To those that say that a clean install of Windows on a MacBook Pro isn't a fair comparison, Soluto offers this consolation, "One could argue that we should not compare a cleanly installed MacBook Pro with an OEM-imaged PC from Acer or Dell… But – for this first report we simply compared the real PCs in the field, some with original images and some reinstalled by their users. We believe it’s more representative of reality."
Rounding out the top five entries were the Acer Aspire E1-571, Dell XPS 13, Dell Vostro 3560, and the Acer Aspire V3-771. The 15” Retina MacBook Pro, three more Dells, and a single Lenovo entry fleshed out the top 10. Notebooks from ASUS, Samsung, Toshiba, and Samsung were nowhere to be found on the list.
ZDNET's Ed Bott reckons that the reason for the strong showings by Acer and Dell in the study is the companies’ relatively bloat-free installs, with very few third-party utilities to muck with users' computers. On the other hand, Samsung, which didn't make the list, is notorious for filling machines with needless third-party software junk.

Sources: Soluto, ZDNet

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What I take from this
By Gurthang on 4/24/2013 3:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
I looked at the data for a second and then realized that what the data is likey actually saying is not that MacBooks are inherently more stable platforms but that when you load Windows and just what you need on a system (no crapware) the system is in general more stable. It is a fact McBooks don't come pre-installed with Windows so whoever does it is likely more tech savy by default and not only is starting out with a cleaner setup of Windows is also more likely to maintain it.

Now I if someone had the data on how "clean" each of these systems are from the factory I would bet there is a strong coreleation.

As to stability of Windows vs. other OSes meh... The kernels are all very stable nowadays.. its the third-party drivers, software, and hardware issues most of the time. I hand built my personal system and other than automatic reboots for patches that box has crashed not more than 20 times in its 5 year lifetime even though it has been on during almost all of those 5 years. (Hey, I had to move) The first few due to a DoA DIMM, most were my Radeon 4870 starting to go bad, and a crappy USB 3.0 add-in card I'm about to yank.

RE: What I take from this
By amanojaku on 4/24/2013 3:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed with all of the above. My seven-year-old Windows box crashed about 20 times in two months. A check of the BSOD code made it clear why: bad hard drive. I swapped it out for an SSD, and the BSODs went away. BSODs are rarely the result of Windows these days. I built my box, as well, and anytime I get a corporate laptop with pre-installed vendor software, I force IT to give me a standard Windows install, or just do it myself.

RE: What I take from this
By inighthawki on 4/24/2013 4:35:11 PM , Rating: 4
Most people are unaware that probably 90% of Windows crashes are driver related or bad hardware. Very rarely is Windows itself the culprit. Everyone blamed Vista for being unstable but NVidia, AMD, and intel's graphics drivers made up about 65% of BSODs. Gave it a little bit of a bad image that they to date can't seem to escape.

RE: What I take from this
By andrewaggb on 4/24/2013 6:45:12 PM , Rating: 2
The only semi-consistent blue screen issue I've seen across many computers running windows is problems resuming from sleep. I'm not sure if that's a video card issue, bios issue, windows issue, or combination of things, but I've owned many computers that would on occasion not resume from sleep properly. (not necessarily a blue screen)

Otherwise I've had bios updates fix blue screens, but generally they've been video card drivers or audio drivers.

I've had at least as many kernel panic's running linux as blue screens in windows, but they could also be traced to disk errors or driver errors.

My brothers had vista with nvidia 8800gtx's when it first came out and yeah... they blue screened like crazy until nvidia fixed the drivers.

RE: What I take from this
By TakinYourPoints on 4/25/2013 1:09:43 AM , Rating: 3
My only reliable source of BSODs were during the brief period I had an ATI card, a Radeon 9800 Pro in 2003. I had it for only six months and was never so happy to get back on team green, worst drivers I've ever had to deal with.

RE: What I take from this
By inighthawki on 4/25/2013 1:25:36 AM , Rating: 2
That's interesting, the 9800 pro was probably one of my most stable and favorite cards I've ever owned! I have friends who also talk about its sheer epicness. There's a running joke among us how it's still the best card ever made :).

I'm sorry to hear about your experience :(

RE: What I take from this
By Gurthang on 4/25/2013 8:21:04 AM , Rating: 2
I'm no Linux expert but I grew up on the command line doing assembly on 8-bit 6502 based PCs back in the day so other than the annoying names for some commands Linux does not scare me. I reciently started testing a Raspberry PI for use as the brains for a robotics project of mine and geez what a nightmare hours wasted trying to get a suppoidly supported wifi adapter to connect and doing something as simple as serving VGA resolution stream at 10+ FPS without the deamon dying every 15 minutes or less seems beyond it. Not exactly Linux's fault but bleh between the 1000 blog and forum posts out there claiming solutions but not really to the epic kludgeing required to get what at first sounds simple working. I've come to realize how little we all appreciate the ecosystem that is the Windows environment.

RE: What I take from this
By Motoman on 4/25/2013 11:19:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I think this says it all:

Soluto attributes this victory to the fact that a MacBook Pro running a copy of Windows via Boot Camp is free of the typical bloatware that comes with a brand new Windows machine. To this point, Soluto opines, "PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform just as well as a cleanly installed MacBook Pro."

Here's the fundamental problem with OEM Windows machines: they're all freely interchangeable without penalty. A Windows computer is essentially a fungible commodity. That's also one of it's biggest strengths...and the reason why it makes no sense at all to say something like "Apple was the #1 seller of $1,000+ comptuers this quarter..." - HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, et al are really not individual sellers per se in the way the market behaves. Comparing Apple's sales against an individual Windows OEM is a flawed statistic - the only statistic that makes sense is to compare Apple sales vs. the sum total of all Windows machine sales.

The reason I went through that was to demonstrate why Windows machines have all that bloatware - it's really the only way that Windows OEMs can try to differentiate their products. They try to show more "value" by bundling in a whackload of extra programs that, to the uninitiated, make it look like they're getting a lot more for their money.

Of course anyone on DT knows that is false...especially granted that the vast majority of the things are only trials you'd have to pay for after month anyway, and/or BS little apps that serve no purpose but to load a bunch of crap at boot that you don't want and make your PC slower and unstable.

So yeah...comparing a clean Windows install in Boot Camp (which was obviously done by someone with a modicum of technical expertise) to the bloatware BS images that ship from the major OEMs isn't really a valid comparison. If you want to do that comparison, wipe all the OEM boxes and do clean installs on them too. Then let's see what happens.

For the record, I've been using a 17.3" Acer laptop for a couple years myself...naturally, having cleaned up the standard OEM mess immediately after purchase. It's got a tri-core processor, 4Gb of RAM, a Radeon 5650, and I stuck a SSD in it sometime last year for giggles.

I'm not sure why people like to rag on Acers...I've put a lot of them in the hands of my friends, family, and customers because they seem to really nail a sweet bang-for-the-buck combination of price and features. My laptop still plays all the games I want on pretty respectable settings - not all maxed out mind you, but medium-high on most stuff. And it's stable. And I want to say I paid something like $600 for it 2 years ago. It was a barn-burner of a deal.

So it's plastic - don't care. Every laptop I've ever had was plastic - and I've never had any problem related to that. So it doesn't have a mirror-white finish and an effeminate little light-up fruit symbol on the lid. It's matte-black, and it looks boring as f%ck. And it's simply soldiered on, doing whatever I've asked it to do, for 2 years now with nary a problem in sight.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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