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Windows Expert Jumps Ship 939

Posted by kdawson
from the hello-apple dept.
An anonymous reader writes to let us know that Scott Finnie, Computerworld's Windows expert, has given the final verdict to Windows after 3 months of using a Mac. And the verdict is: "Sayonara." Finnie is known to readers here for his many reviews of Vista as it progressed to release. Quoting: "If you give the Mac three months, as I did, you won't go back either. The hardest part is paying for it — everything after that gets easier and easier. Perhaps fittingly, it took me the full three-month trial period to pay off my expensive MacBook Pro. But the darn thing is worth every penny."
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Windows Expert Jumps Ship

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  • by BWJones (18351) * on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:00PM (#17940854) Homepage Journal
    There are some issues certainly of migrating from one platform to any other platform, but it has been interesting to see a number of long time Windows users in hard core sciences with entrenched work flows that made them very dependent upon Windows to make the switch. When I joined the current group I was in, I essentially catalyzed a complete switch of our lab that is now percolating to many other labs in the group. These switchers have not and are not switching because I kept hitting them over the head with how great the platform is. Rather, they kept seeing the amazing presentations I gave with the help of apps like Keynote, or how easy it was to host a number of high traffic websites from a single OS X machine (including my blog [utah.edu]), our lab site [utah.edu], and Webvision [utah.edu] among a number of others. Or even how easy it was for me to replace an SGI, a Windows machine and a older Mac with a single incredibly powerful workstation running OS X. The new MacPros are one of the most amazingly powerful systems for the dollar that I've ever used making scientific calculations quick and easy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pentavirate (867026)
      People have different preferences. That's what makes the free market work. Thank goodness we have choices!
      • by Flavio (12072) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:27PM (#17941212)
        People have different preferences. That's what makes the free market work.

        Exactly, and this is why a lot less people should be using Windows. As long as Windows is shipped with computers and people have to pay the Microsoft tax, there isn't a free market to speak of.

        Most Windows users didn't choose a Microsoft operating system, so their preferences weren't a factor.
        • by DWIM (547700) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:43PM (#17941486)

          As long as Windows is shipped with computers and people have to pay the Microsoft tax, there isn't a free market to speak of.


          Are you implying that you can buy a Mac that is not bundled with an OS? Seriously, I don't know. Is that true?

          Regardless, the parent topic demonstrates there is a free market. You can buy a personal computer w/o Windows on it. Mac owners do it all the time.

        • by Iamthefallen (523816) <Gmail name: Iamthefallen> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @08:14PM (#17942006) Homepage Journal
          Funny, when configuring a Mac I don't see an option to select an O/S other than Mac OS X, how do I avoid the Apple tax?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nathanh (1214)

        People have different preferences. That's what makes the free market work. Thank goodness we have choices!

        The free market requires perfect knowledge. Many people aren't even aware there are choices. Ergo, it's not a free market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hollywoodb (809541)
      Many of the labs around my university's campus use Mac machines, but they're greatly outnumbered by cheap Dell and Gateway systems. Most of the Mac systems are older eMacs. I often see the PCs sitting there with a piece of paper taped to the screen with something along the lines of "Sorry, this computer is down for maintenance". I have yet to see that on a Mac system. When I asked why there are fewer Mac systems on campus I was told it is cheaper to replace the PCs when the upgrade cycle rolls around.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TrancePhreak (576593)
        My friend also works in a university in IT. They have mostly Windows machines and a small number of Macs. The Macs there require less maintenance because hardly anybody ever uses them.

        Yay for annecdotal evidence.
      • by feranick (858651) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @08:00PM (#17941772)
        Let's not forget one major thing: drivers. Macs gan be the best thing after chocolate. However if you use PCs for real experimental science, computers are supposed to gather data. Good luck finding drivers for specialized hardware for Macs. That is why many labs uses PCs. Luckily many drivers are available for Linux too. This unless you just run code or a website, of course. But then it's not a science lab anymore... ;-)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by demonbug (309515)
          In our lab, we've got both. PCs run the instruments, the data generally gets stored on network servers (running some sort of Unix - it is shared with the whole department), and then we do most of our analysis/writing work on Macs (because my PI likes them, and none of the rest of us really care - though it helps that our department computer staff have a very strong Mac background and tend to push them, and my PI's son works for Apple). I also work on my Windows laptop when I'm not around lab, transferring
    • by Simon Garlick (104721) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:21PM (#17941124)
      I, on the other hand, have no need for the sheer horsepower of a Mac Pro. So when I dumped my Windows machines a couple of months ago, I got Mac Mini for my desktop and a Macbook for my laptop. Couldn't be happier.
    • Amen brother (Score:4, Insightful)

      by edwardpickman (965122) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:45PM (#17941534)
      Long time user of PCs but there's no comparing the two. You get spoiled fast on a Mac. After reading a large number of reviews about Vista by pro Windows people ironically I'm afraid to buy a new machine. I hate XP because it's always harrassing me. Now I'm reading from people that didn't find XP a hassle that Vista is really bad about the constant prompting? Sorry but that's a massive productivity killer. Also most things don't have drivers yet. Yes I know they'll come out eventually but not overnight. Software was keeping me using Windows but I started researching Mac alternatives again. Final Cut Pro got me to buy a Mac. I think I can switch 90% of my operation to Mac and just keep one machine running Win 2000 for the softwares I can't live without. If most people tried the current Macs they'd switch. For a six year development cycle Vista is a joke. Apple is making more improvements in a single year and they get easier to use not more of a hassle.
  • I still miss Windows (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:04PM (#17940912)
    I have had my Mac G5 for a year now. There are many things which still aren't quite "perfect" enough yet. I am waiting for OS X 10.5 (as I've never been around for a point release) to see if it is an upgrade.

    For me I have one goal: Productivity. I'm am a network administrator for a enterprise company. I'm dripping in Windows but at home, I use a Mac. Why? Final Cut Pro and Aperture. That's it! I'm building my photography business and it's growing.

    That said I still miss Windows for a few applications and MOSTLY for the keyboard commands (in the OS GUI). Window Key + R + cmd = CLI. On the Mac it's click or Apple + Space + Term + Click.

    Lame.

    I see Mac and Mac-like products taking over the home desktop. Not the OS but the "utility" aspect of it. iTV and the iPod are nice because they just sit there.

    Microsoft can (and should) have the Enterprise desktops (for now).

    • by Lightborn (7556) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:07PM (#17940948)
      That said I still miss Windows for a few applications and MOSTLY for the keyboard commands (in the OS GUI). Window Key + R + cmd = CLI. On the Mac it's click or Apple + Space + Term + Click.

      Command (Apple) + Enter tells Spotlight to open the Top Hit.
      • by NMerriam (15122) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:24PM (#17941156) Homepage
        Or he could create a shortcut in Universal Access. Or make a service with a shortcut. Or make a QS shortcut. Or geez, just put the terminal on his dock if it's such a hassle.
    • by Fahrenheit 450 (765492) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:14PM (#17941056)
      Install Quicksilver [blacktree.com]. It' makes a world of difference -- soon you'll have a "Window Key + R"-esque experience for all of the apps on your machine.
  • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:07PM (#17940946) Homepage
    Perhaps fittingly, it took me the full three-month trial period to pay off my expensive MacBook Pro.

    Jesus. Did he buy it from DeBeers, or something?
  • by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:09PM (#17940980)
    I'm confused by this. You can run Windows on a Mac with Bootcamp, right?

    I suppose what he or the summary meant to say is "PC versus Mac" or, probably, "Windows versus MacOS on a Mac." It's really fallacious to compare an operating system to a computing architecture. You Linux users out there should be angry, since it tacitly implies that the only thing a PC ever runs is Windows.

    Personally, I'm a computer gamer. Much of my computer time is spent gaming, with the rest being internet browsing and completion of homework/programming/etc. I use a PC because I want the level of control this architecture provides over my components. I use Windows because, well, for most games I pretty much have to.

    (Yes, techincally "PC" means a lot of things. I use the term PC out of convenience, which is probably ironic of me to say given what half of my post is complaining about.)
  • Of course (Score:4, Interesting)

    by adambha (1048538) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:10PM (#17940992) Homepage

    Perhaps fittingly, it took me the full three-month trial period to pay off my expensive MacBook Pro. But the darn thing is worth every penny.
    Of course. Even Jim Allchin said, "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." [slashdot.org]

    The market preference is shifting...
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:11PM (#17941016) Homepage Journal
    Change if you want, stay if you want. I work on a Mac at home, an MS-Windows based PC at work and Linux my website. I like my Mac, but in a properly managed environment Windows does a good job too. I don't like the "I'm better than you attitude" coming from either side, use what you like and recognise each has its issue - like a significant other, you need decide what attracts you and which issues you can live with.

    If I had to choose a new computer tomorrow it would be a Mac, but that's my preference and my choice.

    --
    If you use the Mac, my choice of apps: Adium, Delicious Library, Disco, TextWrangler, Transmit, Darwin Ports, Handbrake
    • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:26PM (#17941206) Homepage

      I agree. I've used all three for large periods, but my current computer is a Mac and when I replace it I intend to get another Mac. In general, I find it better than Windows. There are tons of little annoyances that I run into almost daily using my PC at work that I don't have when using my Mac. But I also like it for it's "best of both worlds" that it provides me. Commercial applications and an extremely polished UI in all places (where parts of Linux can get hairy, although it's gotten better), but the UNIX command line and GCC and all that for when I feel like fiddling low level/programming/etc. A real CLI that I can use (let's face it, the windows shell is ancient and pales compared to Bash. Maybe when Monad comes out).

      These facts have provided me with great benefits besides my basic preference for the Mac. When I worked on my senior project (LAMP site) while my friends were testing on the test box the school was letting us use, I was able to run the whole thing on my laptop easily because all the components were already there and easily setup (where with Windows I would have had to download/install/configure each part). When I changed code I could test it instantly, no "copy to server, test, edit, copy" over the slow connection. I could work on it without an internet connection, or worrying about interfering with what my partners were working on (overwriting them).

      The only "long-standing" problem I have with my Mac is the lack of big games, but I don't have a ton of time for them anymore anyway so my consoles work fine for that (although I miss a good game of CounterStrike, I'm on PPC so I can't run BootCamp).

  • by TWX (665546) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:15PM (#17941076)
    About ten years ago I switched from Windows to Linux. I was prompted to make this change by Microsoft's bundling IE 3.0 with Windows 95 OSR2.1 where it would start an installation of IE after the Windows installation concluded. It could be fairly easily cancelled by Ctrl-Alt-Del/End Task, but that one had to so was ridiculous.

    Ditching Windows was a little hard as I used to play games, but I was reaching the point where gaming held little appeal for me anyway. Switching to a platform that ran for literally years on end without major crashes demonstrated the value of Linux, and obviously, the lack of worth to Windows.

    Microsoft only holds its place because people are too timid to try something else. Apple's OS is slick. Linux has had windowmanagers that mimic the windows shell for many years. For people who don't play computer games it shouldn't be a big deal to switch.
    • by earthbound kid (859282) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @08:20PM (#17942112) Homepage
      You stopped using Windows because they forced you to install a web browser?

      If so then my question is what do you do now that the only OS that doesn't come with a web browser built-in is Abacus 1.0?

      Seriously, MS has done a lot of crap things over the years, and it was harsh of them to make IE uninstallable, but bundling the browser with the OS? If you can bundle worthless stuff like solitaire with an OS and no one complains, I don't see how anyone can be upset about an OS coming packaged with the single most important piece of software for a modern computer. Seriously. I'm a proud Mac user, but I'll go to the mat for MS on this one: Bundling a web browser was the right thing to do. While strong arming OEMs into not including Netscape was evil, including IE was completely justified.
  • by LibertineR (591918) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:19PM (#17941110)
    Forgive me for saying so, but how many people with Windows expertise and a software reviewing job to boot, who have trouble paying for a laptop? Budget concerns? Payment plans? I mean, WTF?

    Any city, any country, an acknowledge 'expert' ought to be able to buy stuff without bitching.

    Is he married?

    Oh, wait.....

  • by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['nga' in gap]> on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:38PM (#17941384) Homepage Journal
    In the first article...

    My assessment of UAC is that it's a good idea that is badly implemented, even after recent refinements. I think it will have the opposite of its intended effect on many Vista desktops, where it will deaden users to security risks by asking them too frequently whether they're sure an activity is something they really want to do or allow.


    I disagree. It's a bad idea that's badly implemented... and it's not a new idea. Windows has been popping up "I'm about to do something that might be stupid, is that OK?" or "Which stupid mistake do you want me to make now?" dialogs for years now, and the biggest effect they have is to train people to automatically approve security dialogs. As a system administrator I had the same people come to me multiple times saying "Um, Peter, I just clicked 'open' on that popup again and I think I have a virus".

    Here's a helpful suggestion for developers. Anytime you're thinking of popping up a dialog like that, ask yourself "how can I make it so the user can *always* cancel the operation", and if there's a way... do that instead. For example, instead of asking the user "Should I automatically open this file you just downloaded in NEW-APPLICATION", consider the possibilities of not automatically opening files at all... give the user a better tool for managing downloads instead.

    Oh, and Mac users shouldn't feel smug about this one [scarydevil.org].
    • by yakumo.unr (833476) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @08:43PM (#17942424) Homepage
      IMHO most people mocking the 'muscle memory flaw of UAC' don't actually consider the real intention or application of it.

      UAC is not 'the little poppup that says do you want to do this yes/no' it's the whole system behind it, and the entire reworking of how windows deals with user accounts.

      Vista's been rebuilt to work properly as you would expect with non administrator level accounts. Applications should work without error from lower level accounts. People you do not trust to tinker freely with 100% of the entire system should not have administrator access, period.

      the "yes/no" prompt ONLY appears as a warning for possibly hazardous actions, if you are logged in as an administrator.

      If your logged in with a lower level account, you are required to authenticate the action with an admin level user & password a-la *nix.

      For the first time with reason in Windows, as an admin, you should be wondering 'why on earth is X webtard still on an admin level account, he doesn't need that access, he's a security risk' not 'why is UAC so stupid'
  • by stanleypane (729903) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @07:58PM (#17941736)
    I have to agree on the price issue many people raise. I wouldn't say Apple is expensive if you compare their specs to an equivalent PC, but I'd still say they sell expensive systems.

    I do think many people want control over their hardware. The only true desktop Apple offers is the Mac Pro. An entry level Mac Pro comes with two dual core xeon processors. Four cores for a home desktop? Maybe for a professional. But your average Joe isn't going to dump $2500 on a desktop for Mac OS and hardware control combined. They'll buy a cheap PC and configure/upgrade as much as possible. They might even find away to hack OS X onto that machine and save a few bucks. I don't think Apple will go on a legal crusade over the OSX86 market.

    If apple gave me a $1500 desktop, I'd jump ship on my next PC purchase. I just built a $1300 Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM system last month and plan on adding a new monitor for a grand total of $1700.00. I'd never get what I wanted out of a new Mac for that price. I'd get a beefed up iMac. pffft.
  • A switcher (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @09:01PM (#17942612) Homepage
    I've been using Windows from day 1, and seen the Mac as a curiosity. Being a hard core Unix junkie and developer, with the switch to OS X, my ears perked up for sure. The switch the Intel, even more so, so I picked up a Macbook. Well, baby, there's no looking back.

    I only got the Macbook because it was a fast x86 machine that could run Windows (faster than most laptops, it turns out), and I had Parallels to run a virtualized Windows (Crossover and VMWare still suck on OS X, but won't before long I'm sure). But guess what? I haven't booted Parallels in a week, and probably won't for another month. Almost *everything* works under OS X. VLC Player filled in the "play windows media files" hole, which really was one of the last reasons to boot Windows. Good bye windows, and Sayonara indeed!

    Yes, Jobs might be slightly evil ("Evil light, just one Calorie!" as Dr. Evil might say), but as compared to MS, he's freakin' Mother Theresa. (Oh wait, she was a little evil, too. But you know what I mean.) Even though Jobs obviously has Apple's shareholders' bottom line in mind, and embraces DRM, etc., etc., at least Apple shows a slight bit of respect for the consumer, while taking their money. MS is just stabbing in the dark, and nothing short of offensive in their business practices.

    In short, I love my Mac. I'll develop on it, likely deploy on Linux (LAMP is LAMP, on OS X or Linux), while having a wonderful desktop to use in the meantime.
  • by guidryp (702488) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @09:23PM (#17942806)
    I am nearing the point of upgrading my Windows box (Athlon XP) to a new dual core. I really wanted to give Apple a shot. But the lack of Hardware really had me give up. I was willing to pay a small premium but still there was nothing.

    First I have two monitors, so a built in monitor computer is out. Even if I needed a monitor, I would not be Crazy about tying them together permanently.

    That leaves the Mini and the Pro. I wanted decent graphics (~7600GT) so the mini was shot down.
    That left the pro. Way too much money. That left: another new windows box.

    There is just no reasonably priced Mac with even remotely mainstream graphics power.

    It is not so much that Apple takes an excessive profit margin, it is that they choose components that have poor bang/buck. The mini is built out of laptop components that all cost more and have less power. Graphics power seems completely irrelevant to Apple as well. You move to the Pro and you are forced to buy overkill Dual Xeons with ECC memory.

    I have no problem with Apple controlling their HW, but with that they need to offer broader HW choices.
  • by Digital_Mercenary (136288) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @10:00PM (#17943166) Homepage Journal
    -Episode 1

    Y0d4- to >g4+35
    Windows is the path to the dark side. Windows leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

    -Episode 4

    06iw4n- to >1uk3
    I have something here for you. Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. He feared you might follow old 06iw4n on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your father did. It's your father's OSX. This is the weapon of a Computer User. Not as clumsy or as random as a Windows OS, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Computer Users were the guardians of # and / in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.
  • Fires (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enrique1218 (603187) on Friday February 09, 2007 @12:40AM (#17944470) Journal
    I made the switch back in the days of 10.0. Year after year, I find myself putting out fewer fires. Now, I can't believe I spent time with that other OS doing things like defragging, virus scans, spyware scans, and my favorite- the clean reinstall. OS X moves to the background and I actually get work done on it. My powerbook is my workhorse. But, I would like to see a OSX on a Thinkpad. Reliable OS on reliable hardware.
  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:20AM (#17944704)
    We see A, a typical "I'm a Mac" guy and B, a typical "I'm a PC" guy.
    A: "Hi, I'm a Mac expert."
    B: "And I'm a Mac user."
    A: "Shouldn't you be the PC expert?"
    B: "Yeah, but I just switched."
    A: "Well... They couldn't have made this ad any more blatant, could they?"
    Steve Jobs (offscreen): "Shut up!"
    A and B stand around a few seconds in uncomfortable silence.
    A looks at B from the side.
    A (mumbling): "There goes the neighbourhood."
    B: "What did you say?"

    "Apple. It's not just for us painfully hip elitists anymore and boy, are we pissed about it."



    The sad part is that this actually fits the tone of the "I'm a Mac" ads rather well...

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