"Hello, I'm a PC"

On July 29, 2003 I switched from Windows to Mac. I had used Windows as my main computing platform for 12 years, and was frankly fed up with its instability. Well, after 5 years on the Mac platform, today I switched back to Windows, and demoted my MacBook Pro to a lab machine. And I switched back for a very simple reason: Windows is better for business.

Microsoft Office is better. Support for scanning documents is better. Compatibility with mobile devices is better, eg, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. Business card scanning is better (make that “possible”). Yadda, yadda, yadda. No more compromises and missed opportunities.

So ends the Apple love.

I think this means that Eric will have a smile a mile high forever and a day.

For the record, my new machine is the Lenovo W500.

So yes, “I’m a PC”, and proud of it.

0 thoughts on “"Hello, I'm a PC"

  1. Michael, I’ve enjoyed learning from you as you explored the use of the Mac for business. When each time I have considered the idea of switching to a Mac, I have come to the same conclusion: It’s a fantastic machine but, at this time, it did not support the business applications that I needed to use. That may change over time, but as long as Apple holds a tight reign over the OS, Hardware, and apps (And there’s much to be said for that)I expect to see more business innovation on the PC.
    That said, I think I’ll switch to a Mack.

  2. Hi Michael, I use both and I’ll continue to use both for the foreseeable.
    I have issues with the mac that centre almost exclusively around the keyboard of my macbook, I prefer a windows keyboard 100% of the time. Also the WiFi seems flaky on my Macbook and my wife’s pro.
    But on the subject of Windows being better for business I’ve not found a limitation of the mac that I couldn’t overcome with VMWare Fusion. I can’t say the same for being able to overcome Windows many limitations with a Mac virtualisation solution.
    I’m interested in whether VMWare or Parallels wasn’t an option for you or if you tried it and found it lacking.
    Forgive the lazyweb question I’m sure the answer is in your blog…

  3. If those are your reasons for Windows ‘being better for business’, then all I can say is, oh dear. Windows Mobile? Scanning? Scanning biz cards?
    You need to do better than that, surely.

  4. Agree with Mr. Silverman. Why buy a cheap plastic Lenovo when you could have had aluminum and both OSes?
    And Windows may be for “business” but who’s fault is that? Microsoft, maybe? It’s their fault they water-down Office for Mac.
    And then you have the ongoing ordeal of fighting viruses, spyware, malware and the threat of running a spam-bot for the Eastern European syndicate you may never realize you are hosting.
    Lastly, Windows is so bland, bloated and full of annoying pop-ups compared to Leopard. How many times do you have to be reminded that you plugged in a USB device?
    Good luck with your switch.

  5. I think Eric Mac has the right idea. It’s absolutely stupid to buy a computer because of the OS. Instead, look at the applications you need/want to run and get the computer that does that the best. If I want some toast, I use a toaster, not a microwave oven. If you want to run the proprietary Windows mobile and sync to it, but all means get a Windows-based PC with proprietary software that allows it to sync more easily with your phone. And certainly don’t question why Microsoft proudly announces that they want to keep their proprietary monopoly and not make software for the Mac that matches the software for the computers on which they add their Windows-tax.
    However, your choice to use proprietary Microsoft items and find ease with syncing it to other proprietary Microsoft items does NOT make Windows “better for business.” Rather, it simply makes it better for your personal uses. If you want to pay the Windows tax, be locked into their proprietary systems, face 1,000,000(!) pieces of malware compared to none for Mac OS X, that’s up to you. But it doesn’t make Windows better.

  6. Blad_Rnr is “right.” Why go for a “cheap” Lenovo like the W700 with Quad Core CPU, 8gb Ram, NVIDIA Quadro FX mobile graphics with dedicated 1gb ram, BluRay, Dual Link DVI, Display Port and VGA, a 7-in-1 multicard reader, and five USB ports, Firewire, built-in Wacom digitizer and color calibrator, optional dual hard drives with RAID configurations, all in a 17inch form factor (http://www.dpreview.com/news/0808/08081204thinkpad.asp ) , when you can buy a pretty laptop in a shiny new aluminum case with last years PC laptop specs shoved inside?
    All sarcastic talk aside. If Michael (great name by the way) want to work on all PC what’s the problem with that. If someone wants to work on a mized box and it meets their needs and their happy great. All Mac and happy, same. Heck someone could throw the hardware specs for the Lenovo at me and say look, a Linux beast machine. I have in past lifes worked on and developed content on both platforms. I never used to find it an issue that some preferred to work on a Mac but for some reason the fact that I preferred a PC was always grounds for attack. Stupid… its just technology and throwing around baseless cliches that are reminiscent of those clever if factually challenged commercials is silly.
    Michael welcome back to PC and the more than 90% of the computer using world where the most applications for business and life reside.

  7. Don as a Mac advocate you are pointing out “your choice to use proprietary Microsoft items”…. with a straight face…. um as opposed to the ultimate propriatary platform (Hardware/Software/Services) in Mac? If you were advocating Linux then I would understand but Mac and Open are polar opposites.
    Okay this is clearly degenerating in to the stereotypical, turn brain off, spout memorized slogans, and attack the PC guy, conversation. ZZzzzzing outa here.
    Again Michael welcome back and if you ever decide to go back to Mac or try other systems its all good
    I’m outa here

  8. CardScan has Mac software now. Its easy to sync Windows Mobile devices to the Mac – there are at least two well-developed sync software packages (The Missing Sync is one of them). Same goes for BlackBerry, and BlackBerry themselves has stated they will soon release Mac sync software.
    Microsoft Office *may* be better for Windows, though look who’s in charge of that one (Microsoft!). OpenOffice 3.0, NeoOffice, iWork ’08 and Nisus Writer Pro (and Express) can read/write MS Office files.
    I’m not flaming your choice to go back to Windows – I use Windows at work myself (though not by choice, believe me!). But at home, I wouldn’t dream of using Windows. And my MacBook makes both possible.

  9. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
    1 John 2:19

  10. “Better for business” ok – your business ;).
    My business needs are met by any hardware able to run Debian.
    And so everyone has to choose by his self ;).

  11. I can deal with the “better for business” conclusion, given most IT companies’ bias against the Mac, etc., but really, why did you have to give bu||shit reasons? None of the reasons you gave is actually true.
    Office exists on the Mac–even a free alternative. “Support for” scanning documents is a vendor issue, and I’m scanning them just fine anyway. Everything I connect just works (oh, you mean PROPRIETARY, and of course, M$ crap.)
    Wow…five years down the tubes! FWIW, I’ve been using both platforms, out of necessity, for two decades…at the same time. The only difference is that I ONLY use the ThinkPad for what I HAVE to.

  12. First Point: Fanboys on both sides, just STFU with you rehashed talking points. You are both nuts. Seriously.
    Second Point: Michael, none of your points reflect superiority of the OS or the platform per se, but rather higher third party participation in adapting to the OS. Arguments can be made to the superiority of either OS based on built-in security, relative system resource usage, ease in coding apps, etc. Pundits on both sides routinely make (and fabricate) those points, but you did not.
    Your decision came down, not to superiority of the OS, but support by the vendors that create software for the business world, which will always be an exercise in mass appeal. The more mass, the more the appeal. Personally I think you probably made the practical decision in your case, so I’m not actually arguing with your decision, but rather thinking about the consequences overall.
    The more troubling issue is that as long as an OS has a monopoly on users of business software, that is the OS that the business software will run on. This will continue to have the effect of making the relative quality of the OS a moot point, and will also stifle any reason for the majority OS to actually become a higher quality OS.
    We all know that beta was better than VHS, but VHS had a porn-fueled advantage in user base, and so we lived with crappier video. You could argue that you had to buy VHS to get all the movies you wanted, but you knew that you were sacrificing quality for compatibility. The relative quality of PC vs. Mac is somewhat less clear, assuming you don’t buy into the vapid fuming of the associated fanboys.
    If, for example, we hypothesize that enough of the total computer user base switched to MAC suddenly so that the relative user bases were the same. Then, allow enough time for software manufacturers to make their development decisions going forward.
    Would the PC still be the better platform for business? Would the OS inherently be better for business users? And would it inherently be possible to create BETTER business apps on that platform, or vice-versa?
    I don’t honestly know, because I’ve heard a lot of FUD on both sides of that issue.
    The one thing I do know is that very few businesses will ever switch to the MAC because of Mac-only third party business software. So those companies that DO switch must be doing so for legitimate OS superiority concerns, or an effort to break the monopoly that stifles OS quality overall as I mentioned above. (That is actually the reason that my company has a large installation of macs…)
    You cannot say the same thing for businesses that switch to PC. It may be in isolated cases, but it also just might be the mass-majority advantage like you experienced.
    IN the consumer space, where more-or-less equivalent software is available for both platforms, Macs are definitely gaining market share at a respectable rate, which IS a OS superiority issue, in perception if not in reality.
    Just my thoughts. I have a PC and a Mac. For tasks that I can accomplish on either, I prefer the Mac, because I’m more comfortable with it. All the apps I use in my business have Mac versions, So Mac is thus the superior business OS for me.
    To each his own!

  13. Well well, I had to laugh after reading your article. Some people will do just about anything to drive readers to their columns. Me? I am not a secretary, so i don’t use “business card scanners”. I do budgets, cash flow projections and communicate without the age old “DOS” er ah “windows” problems that are always there. I get my executive work done and leave the “business card” scanning to the $10/hr folks. They all use PC’s, since I don’t buy them macbook pros like I have. After all, I only pay them $10/hr. Why should I give them what I use when I can get them to work with a pile of junk windows pc and update my address book. You are what you do…. and you do secretarial work. Use a pc.
    LOL. True that. Oh – I do have a screamer pc for games. but don’t ryt to tell me that you are more productive on a pc??? that can only be true if you are a secretary doing form updates and using a buggy card scanner.

  14. Oh, bull. Lot of Pinocchio noses around here. The only reason to own a PC is to satisfy uncontrollable masochistic tendencies.

  15. @Jason Hook … yes, I tried both VMWare and Parallels a while back, and found them sluggish. I didn’t like it.
    @Blad_Rnr … thanks the best wishes. We’ll see how this plays out. I realize there are downsides.
    @Don … good points. Remember that Apple has tax too.
    @Mike G … rotfl
    @Mike S … yes, apparently it does. V1, however. And so maybe in 5 years all these add-ons will be feature compatible, but not yet. For home use, yes, Apple is better. My kids sure think so.
    @R Mansfield … thank you, this made my day! That was perfect!
    @Olaf … totally agree. Enjoy.
    @Eric … stir away.
    @Kenneth … I have Office on the Mac. Have used it for years. I think the Windows version is better. I have scanning software on the Mac. Paperport for Windows is better. Why is it 5 years down the tubes?
    @Ray … Re #2, agreed. As my friend Kent said today, “It is clear that you are better in the Windows *ecosystem* than the Mac one.” Thanks for sharing your view.
    @Peter … thanks.
    @Rob C … I could draw interesting conclusions from your points, but I’ll leave it at “go well”.
    @Auramac … Haven’t heard that line before.

  16. I won’t disagree that Windows is good for business but I will disagree that it’s better than a Mac for business. Your reasoning seems pretty specific to whatever it is you do all day in your world of “business”….
    Rebuttal to your points:
    Mobile device compatibility : Per your argument “better for business”, most BlackBerry business users have an enterprise BB server. There zero compatibility issues with a BB in this mode. I know because I have a Pearl and Mac. As for Window Mobile, maybe. But if Windows Mobile is at one end of the spectrum there are a hell of a lot of iPhone users at the other end of the spectrum who are pretty happy with the compatibility too their Mac.
    MS Office is better on Windows? Probably a personal opinion, but I found the Mac version to be slightly better with the exception of Entourage (the mac version of Outlook) which is lacking in areas. This may be a issue for some but quite frankly, I’ve been using it for a year now and don’t miss much from the Windows version.
    Support for scanning documents? Huh? Do people scan documents at the office? I scan a few at home and I do it just fine on my Mac and Canon and Epson printer/scanners.
    Support for business card scanning? Are you kidding me? Who scans business cards? Who uses business cards?
    It seems like a hasty retreat from the Mac platform because you can’t scan business cards, the only possible argument. I have not seen any compromises in using my Mac (actually looking back, I was significantly compromised, but never knew it, on my previous Dell/Windows machine; super long boot-ups, lock-ups, virus software cpu hogs, malware, windows popups telling me to clean my desktop, network connections, etc) and I certainly have not missed any “opportunities” (although I did misplace a business card once)
    Most business users want 1) to check email 2) use office apps 3) use web apps/browse web sites AND they want 1) a stable, easy-to-use experience 2) small, light devices for portability 3) and they want to be secured from visus/theft. Given these criteria, I believe the Mac book is a more suitable machine than a Windows machine for the majority of business users.

  17. Could not disagree more, Michael. I made the similar switch to Mac five years ago, and could not be more happy. And BTW– I owned 5 blackberries, and they do not hold a candle to iPhone. Office for Mac 2008 is tremendous. And the MAC OS Spotlight finds everything, so have to also disagree with you on the search comment.
    I still use Windows at my university job, and it makes me puke.
    Mac is superior. For business, and creativity…

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