I switched to using an Apple computer, a 24 inch iMac to be precise, over a year and a half ago. After making this move, I ask my self what prevented me from switching earlier? So here is a small list of what hindered me from making this move even though I wanted to much earlier.
I know Windows
I would have to say the first and fore most point for me was familiarity. I know how to use a Windows computer. I have been using a windows based PC basically since its conception and I knew exactly how to achieve the tasks that I needed to do. Even though I found myself complaining non-stop about how I disliked the certain features of the operating system, for example simple features like creating a folder in Windows Explorer is no possible from the tree view, I felt at home with Windows. I knew what worked, I knew how it worked and I kind of even liked my constant complaining. It gave me some good conversation at coffee breaks with the guys at work. But in reality I was tired of the “Reboot to fix all problems” or the oasis of small glitches in Microsoft Windows which when strung together resulted in a headache that would make Mount Rushmore look tiny in comparison. Please don’t get me wrong I think Windows XP is one of the most steadiest versions of Microsoft Windows to every be produced especially after Service Pack 3 where many security issues were addressed. Windows Vista is another a story, which I will not cover here. However, that being said Microsoft was just not creating new and innovative features like the ones I kept on seeing produced in OS X, Apple’s operating system. This made my itch to change grow coupled with my ever growing list of grudges with Windows I found myself being more and more lured to the Apple World.
I use Windows at work
There is no doubt that Windows is part of my day to day life at work and unfortunately I do not see that changing any time soon. I actually develop software for Microsoft Windows and if you pardon the expression, I earn my bread and butter from it. So my concern naturally was that what if I need to bring home some work and what kind of problems might I encounter with working on a different operating system at home. When Apple moved to Intel based machines and with the emergence of software like Boot Camp, VM Ware or Parallels which allowed the running of Windows on an Apple Machine this concern of mine became almost non-existent.
In addition, there are many productivity tools which are available for both Apple and Windows. The most obvious being Microsoft Office. This productivity suite is available for both platforms and it is possible open and save documents that I would write at the office and finish at home.
Another important point is that more and more of what I do with my computer is done through the browser on the internet. For example, I am writing this blog using WordPress on FireFox. FireFox is available for both OS X and Windows XP. So the emergence of Internet applications makes the bind to one operating system or the other a non issue.
Apple is Expensive
This was for me personally one of the real sticky issues, Apple just appears to cost so much more. Its all about perceived value. Apple gives much more value for what you are getting. I have not really delved too much into what I like with Apple and OS X, but trust me I will soon enough. I have rather tried to take you though the points that I had to overcome till I was able to start using an Apple Computer. The truth is that Apple costs more money. Is it worth it? For sure. How did I justify the costs to myself? I got to the point where I could no longer continue using an outdated operating system. I was craving to rush into the next generation of computing, and to leave behind my old archaic windows system. This urge pushed me over the top.
Once I knew I wanted an Apple I just looked at how I could make it affordable for myself. For me personally this meant financing the machine with monthly payments and offsetting the costs of the machine with cash gift certificates that I received for one of my local electronic stores.
There were a few other small issues for me like can I find all the software that I need, how long will it take me get over the learning curve, how will the rest of the family adjust to a new operating system that I just planted in front of them and so on. Finding software was really not an issue, there is a galore of software available for OS X and in my opinion in many ways superior to equivalent products found on Windows. The learning curve took me a few weeks, but I guess the average is about four to six weeks.
My family also has adjusted to the new machine. I think the ultimate vindication came about a month ago when I caught my wife telling a mutual friend of ours that the Apple is actually a lot easier to use once you get used to it. She has recently even requested her own laptop. Apple of course 😉