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If you don't understand why AMD is the only company that can compete with Intel I suggest you look into the history of why AMD was/is allowed to continue manufacturing Intel compatible chips, and you might as well read about the 64 bit architecture that Intel uses while you're at it.
That's great that your parents only need to use TextEdit, and are not connected to the internet.
I guess I should have learned though... I mean when my beloved Motorola 68k based Macs were phased out, I gladly spent way too much money upgrading to 603 and 604 based machines. Only to find that for some reason despite being modern much more powerful systems, real world performance was strangely lacking. Hmm what was going on here... oh Apple introduced a new architecture but didn't rewrite the core of their OS which was written in assembly for the 68k. Rather they just emulated the old 68k on the new chip, wonderful idea right?
Then as those machines (which I was never happy with) aged I watched MS surpass Apple in almost every category imaginable. We received some BS cobbled together upgrades which were given major release names but were just desperate attempts at keeping System 7 somewhat relevant in a world which had long since passed it by.
Still I continued purchasing and using Apple computers. Now we're back to the beginning, where we were speaking of the last generation Power PC processors. End result... In my long experience with Macintosh computers they do not "have useful lives longer lives". In fact they have shorter useful lives from what I have experienced. There's a pretty interesting Youtube vid of someone upgradeing all the way from the very first Windows up to Vista (I believe) in a virtual machine, and also showing the surprising amount of compatibility between early programs and later OS's. Stick to your guns right? One architecture verse three, that alone says something.
I've read what you had to say and besides having purchased a mini for your parents see no facts in your statement, instead quite a few opinions (including your rather outrageous XP statement)... If you wish to contradict my belief that Apple computer's do not have longer lives than alternatives please feel free to give facts and reasons to support your belief.
Let's also not even bring up the fact that OS X is nearing end of life, and who knows how Apple will handle it's successor. It also happens to be a bit of a clunker compared to many other modern *nix based OS's. Sure Aqua sitting on top of it gives you the impression of riding along in a Ferrari, until you pop the hood and see the small old diesel sitting in the engine compartment.
But Hey a quick look at the "have useful lives longer" poster's profile reveals a pattern of pro-Apple, anti-MS, posts... including a rather extremely ignorant post about "anyone who has ever shopped at newegg.com", probably means that bringing up any sort of valid point that contradicts his own will probably be pointless.