Michael Sampson: "Hello, I'm a PC"

by Volker Weber

On July 29, 2003 I switched from Windows to Mac. I had used Windows as my main computing platform for 12 years, and was frankly fed up with its instability. Well, after 5 years on the Mac platform, today I switched back to Windows, and demoted my MacBook Pro to a lab machine. And I switched back for a very simple reason: Windows is better for business.

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Comments

Thanks for linking this, Volker.

It's nice to read about somebody who doesn't regard using 2 machines or having 2 OS installations on one machine a "solution".

Having a 2-seater sportscar on your driveway next to a Transit van in another "solution" but, in the real world, the majority of people buy family cars with a large trunk.

Ben Rose, 2008-10-15

Ben, we no longer need to compare computers to cars. That's an older generation.

Volker Weber, 2008-10-15

If you live in a Windows world, clearly it makes no sense to have a Mac and run a VM. For the rest of us though, this is an excellent and entirely workable “solution”.

Ben Poole, 2008-10-15

@Ben
"for the rest of us" is seriously streching it.

Macs are still

Craig Wiseman, 2008-10-15

Wow that got munged in when I hit submit

@Ben

"for the rest of us" is seriously streching it.

Macs are still a tiny share of the market.

"for the few of us" is far more accurate.

Craig Wiseman, 2008-10-15

Golly yes Craig, pardon me.

Of course, what I meant to say was, “for the tiny proportion of evil scum like me who have the temerity to use Apple hardware.”

Ben Poole, 2008-10-15

We have evaluated the switch to Apple in our small company (30 people) several times in the last years and it always came to the clear result that Windows is not replaceable for us.

Main reason:
- not enough software for Apple. Especially we need a czech accounting software. There is NONE for the MAC. And moreover the one we are using is really great (POHODA 2009), we have years of data in it, but it is a .NET application.
- All our customers are using Win and MS-Office. As a consultant it is necessary that i know these applications as good as possible. A lot of this knowledge actually comes from using this software in your daily life.
- As a Notes-Developer the Domino-Designer is application i use permanently.
- Apple HW is much more expensive compared to other choices you have with Windows.
- Moreover the tiny details which i would miss are the fingerprint-reader on my laptop and the right-click menus (or does Apple has them now ?).

A mixed environment would put too much load on our admins.(We only have two) Running Windows in VMs is not a good solution. For ordinary users it is complicated and they still would have to master both OS. And the license costs are expensive.

And what would we gain from a switch ?
Nicer hardware ? A slightly better user experience for the users ? More stability, security ?
Not really much ROI that i can see there for us :-(
Maybe in a few years things will change. :-)

PS: FYI - all our servers are running Linux. So we are not a pure MS shop. :-))

Hynek Kobelka, 2008-10-15

I am a Mac user in a Windows world, along with three other people in Bluewave. The vast majority of the documentation I receive is in MSOffice format. So, I have (and hate) Office for Mac. I can't really turn to Pages for word processing, as exporting to .doc format is a waste of time (not to mention formatting losses sometimes).
I use Lotus Notes 8.5 for business email and applications.
Most other solutions I use work in browser world...
There are downsides to a Mac, but not many, and the upsides are too strong for me to move to Vista.

Paul Mooney, 2008-10-15

Ok, my usual anecdote.

Employees have free choice of their desktop OS, there is no limitation. The Mac is slowly taking over our office of 25 people.

More than half of our employees are on the Mac. The previously only Vista user gave up and moved back to XP, joining a fading group of XP loyalists.

So now we have: 5/8th using Mac, 1/8th using XP, 1/4th using Ubuntu.

Hanno Zulla, 2008-10-15

Oh, I was mixing things up. The Vista guy actually moved to OS X.

Hanno Zulla, 2008-10-15

@Ben

My apologies. I wasn't trying to torch you.

I've used Macs for a long time, and there's many things I like about them. My first spreadsheet experience was with MultiPlan on a Mac Plus.

On the whole, I'm a tad bit frustrated with the arrogance of the Mac-uverse at the moment.

The user interface is excellent, the hardware elegantly designed.
But it's noticeably more expensive, and you're still buying into a proprietary, single sourced monster. So I don't see it as much different than Windows. I lived through the System 7 launch, and I'm very cognizant that Apple is quite capable of screwing up just as much as Microsoft.

Just at this point in the cycle, Apple's doing a good job. That won't last (it never does). And then you'll be just as stuck as us poor 'Vista sucks' folks.

It just seems to me that ditching Windows for another 'evil scum' master doesn't seem to as brilliant a move as it is portrayed to be.

Craig Wiseman, 2008-10-15

I don’t recall System 7 as being a big disaster, more OS 8 - 9!

In any case, Apple gear has worked for me for some 16 - 17 years. When it stops working, I’ll move on. For what it’s worth, I didn’t ditch Windows for OS X—I’ve never had Windows as my primary OS.

The whole proprietary thing doesn’t scan for me. I could get all ideological about it like Pilgrim, but life’s too short—crikey, I don’t even mind Windoze that much (well, XP), it’s just that I prefer OS X, that’s all. If the OS becomes too restrictive, then I’ll think again.

When it comes to file format lock-in, DRM etc., I hear you. But there are ways to avoid the worst of that, and DRM can (should!) be avoided (for the record, I don’t have an iPhone).

The arrogance / smugness of the Apple fanboys doesn’t strike me as a reason to switch away from the platform, and you certainly shouldn’t get drawn into that—just dismiss the chumps for what they are!

Ben Poole, 2008-10-15

@Ben - I seem to remember System 7 being notoriously buggy? I was managing a lab full of SEs and SE/30s at the time, and we stuck with 6.x for quite a while. I think we waited for 7.5, in fact? Maybe it was a MultiFinder thing? Can't remember the details at all, though. Guess I really DID kill off a bunch of brain cells over the years!

Rob McDonagh, 2008-10-15

7.0 was a bit grim, 7.1 much better. 7.5 started the drive to OS 8, and then we all mooned around for years over BeOS, Copland, and the rest :o)

Ben Poole, 2008-10-15

nothing as stable as my NeXT computers... The real reason behind my "switch" was that they simply ceased to exist.

Armin Roth, 2008-10-16

... and with regards to the "issues" of the poor guy: Iriscard for business card scanning, vuescan for anyting else. Office for Mac, if you must. No problem. Glad I am not in accounting.

The blog entry is a good example of someone who does not use the wealth of the net to arrive at workng solutions. I wouldn´t start readinghis blog right now.

Armin Roth, 2008-10-16

@Ben Rose ... I can do the 2 machines thing (or often 3), but I need one machine that's the primary one. And from here on, it's a PC. I tried virtualizing Windows on the Mac, and found it too sluggish.

@Hynek ... definitely agree re pricing. A comparative Apple laptop to the ThinkPad W500 was over 70% more expensive ... down here in NZ.

@Paul Mooney ... I tried Pages a while back, and gave up for the same reason.

@Armin ... have VueScan, don't like it in comparison to PaperPort on the PC. Office 2007 on Windows is better than Office for Mac, as I said in my original post. Thanks for the link re IRIScard ... I didn't find that one in my search, but then I think I had already given up mentally on the Mac.

Michael Sampson, 2008-10-16

For dealing with the MS Office issue, I've found Neo Office (open source, free port of Open Office for the Mac) to be more than adequate for my communicating with MS Office people. In reality, most of my client communications tend to be PDF anyway which is built into Neo Office, so it's mostly a non-issue.

Lance Spellman, 2008-10-16

MS Office on the Mac is nasty, I agree (a shame when one considers venerable Word 5.1!)

I used to use NeoOffice, but I switched to OpenOffice 3 recently, and was very pleasantly surprised the other day when it opened an Excel 2007 (xslx) file flawlessly.

Ben Poole, 2008-10-16

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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