I noticed that the Cult of Mac converted another member this weekend. Floyd bought an iMac. He’d been pondering the jump for a while, and now, his love for Mac has leeched over into his work.
Full disclosure here, I’m a convert too. So is Dan. So are Paul, Rich and I assume Anthony, too. He has an MBP, but doesn’t tend to gush about how awesome it is.
I think we all use our Macs to do work stuff, too. The knock on Macs for serious work has always been lack of software, but not anymore. For example, I have not one, not two, but three productivity suites on my Macbook: OpenOffice 3, Microsoft Office 2004 and iWork 2008. They all do a good job overall, with slight differences here and there.
Back when I started getting the itch to switch, around 2002-2003, the software argument on the PowerPC architecture was a non-starter, and so was the cost. However, in 2006, the move to Intel-based architecture opened the software floodgates and lowered the cost all at once, possibly the best move Apple has made this millennium, maybe ever?
And how about irony too? Looking back, Microsoft’s use of Intel’s x86 chipset created the Wintel behemoth, and the switch in architecture helped turn the tide for Apple. Not that Windows is dead, but Macs continue to take market share.
Today, Digg floated me this article on Macs in the enterprise. The main point is solid, i.e. Macs will push into the enterprise as college kids graduate, complete with brand new degrees and a fully-formed cocoon of love and hugs for Apple. After all, iPod, iPhones and Macbooks got them through the tough times in college.
This sounds familiar. I had the same experience coming out of college, back in the mid-90s. We only used Macs, and boy howdy was it a shock to use Windows 3.11. The big difference now is that Macs can do serious grown up work, and back then, they really couldn’t.
In the past three years or so, I’ve noticed a shift internally toward Macs for work. I know a lot of people who use their personal Macbooks for work; people in IT have even moved to Macs, but I’ve yet to see MBP on the official replacement laptop list. I keep hoping, as my Dell creeps toward replacement oblivion.
Incidentally, where do laptops go when they’re fully amortized?
Anyway, the question is why? What is it about Macs that make you want to use them for everything you do on a computer, even when you have a perfectly good PC provided by your employer?
If you read Floyd and Dan’s switching stories, the key seems to be that Macs “just work”, making them more reliable. I also agree with Floyd that the design and function of OS X is appealing over Windows. UI matters. I also agree with Dan that having a bash shell, even if OS X hides stuff from me by default, is very helpful.
If you’ve switched, how did that go? Did you convert to Mac for good or go back to Windows?
Personally, I like choice, which is why I have three productivity suites, and I don’t plan to convert fully to OS X anytime soon. Having hardware beefy enough to run virtual machines is a huge plus for me, so I can dabble with Linux and Windows as I wish.
Choice will drive Microsoft too. Windows isn’t going away anytime soon, and I expect future releases of Windows, maybe not 7, to put more emphasis on UI and design. The big question is how this affects software built for Windows. Will it need to conform to better UI standards (like software for Mac does), or will it continue to be a hodge-podge?
So, do you use a Mac? For home and/or work? Do you wish your company would give you a Mac? Find the comments and share your O/S thoughts.