Michael's Happenings

Ed on Living Microsoft Free

Ed Brill, an IBM executive, writes about living Microsoft free for two years:

Two years ago, I switched to a MacBook Pro as my business desktop. A year later, I added an iPad. My mobile device during this whole time has been some flavor of Blackberry. In our home, we have an iMac, MacBook Air, an iPhone, two iPods, and wii. On my desktops, I use Lotus Symphony productivity tools and Apple’s Safari browser; no Parallels or other VM needed for Windows apps. Like most of the world, I don’t use Bing (it’s less than a tenth of a percent of searches that end up on edbrill.com). I don’t even have one of the at-one-time ubiquitous Microsoft mice.

In short, I live a Microsoft-free life. I’m successful in both business and personal life without any influence from Redmond.

And I think I’m doing pretty OK without them.

My Comments
1. Like in Ed’s work and personal life, Apple dominates in our house too. The children have one Windows PC in their computer room, but it’s broken (sound doesn’t work) and is hardly ever used. But the four Macs – 2x Mac Mini and 2x iMacs – are used a lot. One of the older boys has a Windows laptop, but that was only because I told him he couldn’t buy a MacBook as his first laptop. He needed to experience … the pain first. Sorry David.

2. My work revolves around an iMac when I’m in the office, and a MacBook Pro and iPad when I’m out. Sometimes I carry a PC as a third device, but it often gets carried around and never turned on. For example, I took an HP Mini on my “round the world in 7.5 days” last month, and never turned the thing on in the whole time. I’m leaving it behind when I head to Switzerland in a few days.

3. I haven’t given up Microsoft Office though, unlike Ed – at least not yet. I’ve written my three books in Word on the Mac … but will probably not do that for the next one. I need to find something else – better – less prone to crashing – but haven’t done that piece of research yet.

4. I have helped various people switch from Windows to Mac over recent years – including my Dad to an iMac 27 last year. He uses Microsoft Office (2011) on it, and is having some struggles with it. He emailed me last month to say he was having problems with applications quitting on his Mac, and he said “I thought this didn’t happen on Macs.” I emailed back: “I bet it’s Word that’s quitting, and would just like to point out that an Apple fanboy would say it’s a Microsoft product that’s causing problems, not an Apple one.” Indeed, it was Word 2011 for Mac. Ouch.

Categories: Michael's Happenings

4 replies »

  1. Michael,
    If I were to make the move i still would struggle with one thing… Working in the built environment, Bing Maps “birds eye view” is by far the best free aerial mapping service I have seen, enabling you to get overhead views from 4 different angles. While I will still use Google Streetview for detail, this specific view provides a richness of context that Google Earth can’t provide.
    let me know if there is a comparable alternate

  2. I recently made a switch, but didn’t go Apple all the way 😉 I bought MacBook pro a month ago, and I love it. Got free from my slow Lenovo laptop (though it’s still a guest computer for the guests of the house). I am intending on getting an iPad, but still gonna retain my Android device, that offers a lot of neat features that integrate in my Google working environment.
    Beside that, my book is being written in WordPress (on my blog) and in Evernote. I am not using single Microsoft product, apart from Operating System.