Opening the door to Windows
I’m now a week into my switch from MacOS to Windows, and you know what? It’s fine. It’s all fine.
If I tell you that the last time I used Windows was in the horrible days of Windows XP, you’ll understand why I was reluctant to switch back. Back then, Macs were a breath of fresh air. Windows was a clunky platform while OS X (as it was called then) felt far more in tune with the idea of getting things done easily.
This feeling stuck with me so long that I clung onto my 2012 Retina MacBook Pro for nearly seven years. But eventually it needed replacing, and well… today’s Mac platform just isn’t as compelling as it once was.
Compared to the variety of exciting Windows laptop designs out there, Apple’s lineup looks incredibly conservative. And its one nod to trying something different, the Touch Bar, has hardly been met with the warmest of receptions from users.
The there’s MacOS, which develops at a glacial pace. While Microsoft regularly adds new features to Windows 10, Apple seems reticent to do anything significant other than make MacOS and iOS as similar as possible.
All this might be tolerable if I knew I’d be able to type on a new Apple laptop reliably. But no, the well-documented keyboard problems with the MacBook line were the last straw in drawing me into Microsoft’s orbit.
And so last week I bought a Surface Book 2. It’s a laptop where the screen breaks off to become a 15-inch tablet. That sounds enormous, but having a full computer in such a lightweight package is surprisingly liberating. When it’s in full laptop mode, it has the benefit of a 6GB Nvidia graphics card, meaning it can take on meaty video and image editing tasks with ease, and play graphically advanced games too.
Oh, and when I needed to sign a document on day one of owning the Surface Book 2, being able to just reach out and draw on the screen (hardly an innovation for Windows laptops) felt like something from the future to this Mac user.
It’s just a much more interesting package than anything Apple offers. And Windows? That’s far better than it used to be, too. The days of needing third-party antivirus packages and regular disk defrags are largely behind us, and the whole thing operates far more like a Mac.
iCloud and iTunes apps for Windows mean if you rely on Apple for music, cloud storage, and photos, you’re not out in the cold.
If there’s one thing I miss about the Mac, it’s having a just-good-enough video editing package built in. You’re more likely to find yourself drawn towards the likes of Adobe Premier Pro with Windows, even if your needs are relatively lightweight. There are of course many other video editing apps available for less money, but it might take a while to find the one you like best.
Windows 10 won’t be an ideal switch for every Mac user, but if you’ve ever entertained the thought, I’d suggest you entertain it again.