Originally Posted by YipYipYipee
We will simply have different perspectives on what "runs well" on a given vintage PC, as we did not declare what application is being used on the system as a reference (e.g. office vs more graphic intensive applications).
As to "value", I maintain the opinion that Apple is still the better value-for-money proposition, as I failed to mention the "Apple Experience", for me, is much better than with Microsoft and a given PC manufacturer.
Well then you made my argument for me - it all comes down to personal opinion and taste, as well as what is important to you. You value the Apple experience in how all their software integrates together. That works perfectly for you. I prefer to be a bit more open than what Apple typically allows me, so I aim for solutions that will work across many platforms (Windows, Linux and the Mac). Again, that's just my opinion.
If all you need is a stable machine that surfs the web and lets you watch YouTube every so often, a cheap Windows 7 PC is all you need. In regards to the now 'ancient' Dell Dimension 2400, that PC belongs to my mother, who needs are vastly different from my own. If it were my machine, I would definitely buy new hardware as I have a need for it. But for her, as long as the thing boots up in a reasonable amount of time (usually under 1 minute on Windows 7) and doesn't bombard her with error windows or popups, its more than suitable for her needs.
The performance difference between Vista and Windows 7 are most apparent on older hardware. Though *obviously* the operating system won't make the computer itself run any faster, the fact remains that Windows 7 plays much nicer on older equipment than Vista could hope for. That's especially appealing to businesses, who realize the reduced cost of support and increase productivity would more than pay for the upgrade even on older, existing machines.
I'll make this point again, because I feel it is an important one. If I wanted to get my existing workstation that is about 5-6 years old running with all the benefits of Windows 7, I can do so. If, however, I wanted to bring some of the new speed improvements and exchange support for a friends Powerbook G4 found only in Snow Leopard.... well, they're out of luck, even those the laptop is only 4 years old. They'd have to buy a brand new machine, whereas my Windows PC worked just fine.