I got a bit of a kick out of the latest installment of Mossberg's Mailbox, Do Macs Last Longer Than Windows PCs?. In it, a reader asks:
Do Macs last longer than Windows PCs? I am willing to pay the additional cost for a Mac if it will last significantly longer, but if it has approximately the same lifespan as a PC from a reputable manufacturer, I will stay with PCs.
Walt answers by saying that he hasn't noticed a "significant difference" in the length of service that PCs and Macs provide, that Macs are generally considered high product-quality devices, and that PCs vary in quality depending on the manufacturer.
I think Walt Mossberg is either being too polite to his reader, or he is taking the question at face value in the interest of saving space in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal.
I think a more helpful way to answer the question is as follows:
The value of owning a Mac instead of a PC is in the quality of the experience of using a Mac every day, or the enhanced personal productivity that can be yours when using Mac OS X instead of Windows Vista. This includes the value of the iLife '08 software that ships free with all Macs, and represents a substantial value compared with the photo, video, and audio editing features of Windows XP or Vista.I don't think that answer took up any more space than Walt's did, and would probably be more helpful to the reader than answering the question as asked.