So now it's been a little over a year since I switched from a Windows-based PC to an Apple iMac as my primary work and play computer. There are lots of good thing I've experienced in the switch: higher reliability ("it just works"), elegant design, higher degree of usability to name a few. However, there are plenty of Apple fans who will sing the praises of Macs and OS X across the internet. So, being the contrarian that I am, I spent New Year's Eve taking on the challenge of analyzing the downside of my experience in switching from PC to Mac. I came up with two.
First, once you get used to the Mac, it's really pretty boring. I used to spend hours and hours per week maintaining, tweaking, cleaning-up, protecting and otherwise improving my Windows environment. There really isn't a lot of that in OS X - no anti-virus scans, no defragging to speak of, no real performance miracles to work, no blue screen of death" to analyze and fix…nothing. You just fire the thing up and do your work. Oh sure, I clean my cache and repair my disk permissions every week, but that only takes about 10 minutes. The five to 10 hours I used to spend each week slaying technical dragons just so I could get on with my work is now time on my hands...heck, I'm thinking about joining the "Book of the Month Club."
Second, I'm no longer as popular with my Windows-using friends. I've gotten bunches of calls over the past couple of months asking for help with upgrades to Windows 7. I've had to explain several times that I don't really know that much about it and don't really have any plans to explore Windows 7. The friends have responded with sighs of exasperation and then…they stopped calling. Gee, I miss those 2 a.m. phone calls asking for help with an upgrade that's hung or a driver that's gone south or a virus that's brought their system to it's knees. Heck, some folks even took my number off their speed dial. It's lonely not being the 24-hour support guru for my Windows friends. And the Mac community just isn't the same, 'cause …yeah, it just works. So my Windows-based social network is no more.
So, for those of you thinking of switching from Windows to Mac, beware: my experience is that it can be a boring, lonely existence ;) Think about it before you make the switch.