Yes, its one of those ‘why I left my operating system’ blog posts.
I’ve been a Mac user for over 9 years, apart from a short period about two years ago when I used a Surface Pro 2 over a few months before handing it over to my better half. My first mac I obtained shortly before my son was born, another I purchased 3 years later, my final two I’ve been lucky enough to have obtained via work.
For much of that time I’ve ignored Windows but in recent times I’ve paid close attention to the arrival of Windows 10 and the recent directions that Microsoft has been pursuing. Given the rest of my family are dedicated Windows users I’ve had the chance to review Windows 10 up close and in that time I’ve been quite impressed by its performance and the improvement over Windows 8.1.
I’ve also found my computing needs changing over the years. From a single ‘most uses’ device to two diametrically opposed needs. The first, the portable consumption of information — email, web, reading, video and social media; and the second need; high end performance tasks such as gaming and development. The first I’m satisfying via an iPad, the second really needs a desktop computer.
I also see less and less impairment when I have had to move between the platforms. When I left my power charger for my mac at work I was just as productive at home on my borrowed Surface Pro. With the exception of the Command button and reversed scrolling my operating system has become almost invisible.
This lack of friction is aided and abetted by the fact that almost all of my applications are either web based via Chrome or cross platform desktop apps. My most commonly used apps are:
- Google Chrome
- Dropbox / Google Docs / etc
- Microsoft Office
- Eclipse / Java development Environments
The only Mac only app I used is a recently used one, Day One, which is available on iPhone and iPad and if I continue to use that I can do that from either of those devices.
So is this some road to Damascus conversion, do I now ‘hate macs’ with the fervor that only a newly converted fanatic can muster — No, that’s an absurd statement. I admire the design of the new MacBook’s, their design, size and quality of their finish is exceptional.
What I don’t see is there being a clear superiority beyond look, especially at the software level. I find their window management is inferior to Microsoft’s, I find their reputation for ‘usability’ over stated, and after many releases of OS X I find few of its new features compelling. And their software quality and capability has suffered an overall fall whilst they turn their back on various groups (Java anyone?).
So, I’m back on Windows. A desktop in fact. Two 23" monitors, 16GB RAM, i7–6700K and 2.5 TB of storage (512 GB of which is super high speed SSD).
This thing moves faster than me by some significant margin.
And in two weeks of using it, I haven’t missed OS X once.