June 12, 2015
As if I needed another article on why I’m so excited to have a Mac now, here are my thoughts on why Microsoft screwed up so badly with Windows and how I moved on to buy a new Macbook running OS X.
You can read part 1 here
Until very recently, I was solely a Windows user. I knew of Linux and OS X, but I never got started with learning how to use them. So when I started my internship and my manager mentioned that we’ll need to use Linux for test and development I thought: “Now’s my chance to soak up all the Linux experience!”. For someone who codes and may want control over every little thing, Linux is set up for the user to take full control through the command line and it is this awesome, convenient power that has sucked me in. In comparison, Windows’ “OS for the masses” philosophy is splattered everywhere in its OS (Why open window after window when I can just do it on the command line?). Since Linux is a favorite among developers, it is also much easier to install, debug, execute, and find help for everything developer related. It is this convenience that sold me over to the Linux camp.
Although I had been fairly anti-Mac in the past, the whole debacle with Microsoft’s transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and my knowledge of the greatness of Linux, left me tired of dealing with Windows and its clunkiness. So I started looking towards Apple to see what they could offer me.
###Hardware & Portability
Although my Asus laptop is great, it weighs 6+ pounds with an average battery life of 3 hours…so it’s not ideal to carry around campus all day. I had looked at Windows ultrabooks last year but few PC competitors were able to match Apple’s laptops’ battery life then. To be fair, PC laptops have gotten much better in battery life with this year’s models, but most manufacturers still ruined the user experience with weirdly textured typing surfaces like the Lenovo Yoga 3, or they just didn’t look appealing at all ( cough HPs are ugly cough cough ). I will say that the Dell XPS 13 is one of the few models I was considering if I went with another PC because of its great looks (I’m a little iffy about that black keyboard) and value. However Dell also manages to ruin itself by installing crapware on all of its machines, along with many other big computer manufacturers. So it wasn’t just hardware that drove me away from buying another PC.
###Operating Systems & Software
Ultimately it was the operating system that really influenced my decision to go for an Apple system. I know I was praising Linux earlier and Mac’s OS X isn’t exactly Linux…but it’s close enough thanks to its UNIX base so the coder in me is still happy.
The rest of OS X simply comes down to the fact that it’s not Windows 8 and Apple isn’t Microsoft. Being an industry leader in mobile devices, Apple knew to keep its pants on and that desktop and mobile shouldn’t LITERALLY be desktop AND mobile when it comes to the OS and its user interface. As a result, OS X doesn’t try to shove a mobile layout in the user’s face. Instead OS X keeps an iOS grid of your apps in the background that you can access if you WANT to. In addition, Linux and OS X know how to apply an app store to desktop. Windows, Linux and OS X’s app stores may all organize and serve applications, but Windows serves up specialized apps on its store that are designed for the “mobile”, “immersive” experience (or whatever crap they use to describe it). On the other hand, Linux and OS X serve up typical desktop applications that you can find and download from normal websites. Their app stores simply make it easier to find key software whereas Windows’ app store just tries to serve you extra crap that makes no sense to have on a desktop if you can find the desktop optimized version online.
Of course there are also features that OS X offers that aren’t comparable to Windows at all. The built in touchpad gestures and shortcuts are very useful and the built in continuity between your Apple devices mean I no longer need to life my fingers from my laptop to answer messages on my iPhone. In addition, there is plenty of Mac-only software which make Macs an enticing choice for myself as a developer and a photographer.
##So Here I Am…
I am a Mac user now. I still have and use my Windows 7 Asus, but my coding has shifted to favor my Mac and a Linux VM at work. If it weren’t for my VMs’ limits in virtual RAM I probably wouldn’t code in Windows at all. I’m happy with my set up because I can game, edit photos, surf the interwebs, and get work done across my Asus and my Mac… but if I only had one laptop today, I would probably go for my Mac.