Monday, November 28, 2005

A Switcher's Experience

The following is an experience from a someone who recently made the Switch. This person purchased thier first Mac, a new 17" Powerbook G4 and sent me an email describing the experience. The writer outlines their transition from a Windows user to one who truly enjoys Mac OS X.

My hope in posting his email is that thier experience will encourage those of you who are considering the Switch. I've removed thier name and email address for privacy reasons.

Impressions of Switching to my 17" Powerbook

- It looks awesome, the slim aluminum enclosure is better than any laptop that I've ever owned. It does have an inherent "wow" effect on others. When I take it to work, my co-workers tend to check out my system and ask what it is. The complements are a nice experience as I never got that from my previous Windows based laptops. Many have asked why I bought a Mac. On numerous occasions, I end up in a long discussion with and often find myself engaging in demonstrations showing it's ease of use and great features. I've launched the preinstalled iLife suite of applications and many are surprised how easy they are to use. My more technical colleagues find the UNIX underpinnings to be quite useful on a laptop when compared to it's Linux counterparts.

- It's easy to use. I find OS X to be a more intuitive operating system. It's easier to use and navigate. I like the interface. I am always working in multiple applications at any given time and therefore liked to use the "Show Desktop" icon in the Windows Quick Launch taskbar to minimize all open programs in XP. In OS X, I've come to love Expose as I can hide all open programs and windows with a simple keystroke. I am also able to switch from one running app to another in much less time than in XP.

- Logical and customizable. With OS X, I can launch the terminal application to access almost anything from a command line. I can easily do whatever I want from a UNIX perspective from writing and modifying scripts, navigating across directories, viewing log files, modifying permissions on files and directories, or anything else I want to do. Mac OS X gives me the ideal computing platform. I get a great looking, easy to use and learn GUI (thanks to Aqua) and I have the ability to customize the UNIX underpinnings. I can modify the OS to be as simple or as customized as I want. Thanks Apple!

- Integrated and optimized. OS X allows me to run those critical Windows based applications thanks to Virtual PC. I can stay productive with my colleagues by running Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac. We can easily share Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. My Powerbook allows me to work seamlessly with Windows-based systems in my employer's network. I can easily access the network; get email, and access files/peripherals that the Windows based systems use. Furthermore, there is a vast developer community out there that provides open-source applications/software. For example, the Firefox browser is available for OS X as well as chat programs, file transfer (ftp), and countless other software for free or minimal costs. I love checking out the site and I highly recommend it.

- More stable than XP. I've had better stability with my Powerbook running OS X compared to my previous laptops running Windows XP. I constantly find myself more productive in completing my day-to-day and workload intensive tasks.

- Community. I love the friendly, intelligent, and open OS X/Apple community. I've found that Mac users go well beyond the "general" interest in using their systems. Most are technically savvy and are willing to assist fellow Mac users. I find the community to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I've found the Apple Discussion Forums to be a great resource and the people there helped me get up to speed on OS X as they answered my questions clearly and coherently.

Additional Comments
Those of you who are considering the purchase of your first Mac, I can say from personal experience that you will not be disappointed. The decision to invest in an Apple Powerbook, iBook, G5, iMac or Mac mini may provoke you to ask yourself numerous questions. You will likely be inclined to compare the specs with a Dell, HP, or other PC manufacturer. In most cases, those systems will be less costly than a Mac but the difference in functionality, ease of use, and overall computing experience speak for themselves. I have no regrets paying the Apple "premium" as my experience has surpassed my expectations, it was worth it. I encourage you to make the investment and to reclaim your computing experience.

My hope is that potential switchers will find this write-up beneficial to making their decision and you can post it on your blog.

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