Switching Vista?

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I love apples. Crunchy, sweet and delicious.

I love Apples too. Whilst not crunchy or sweet they certainly, usually, look delicious and to all extents and purposes I’m certain that, if I were to buy an Apple Mac computer, it would do everything I need it to do and it may even be easier to do certain things.

I have considered, like others, switching to the “Apple camp”. I’ve been impressed by iTunes and the iPods, and with firsthand experience of an iBook or two, but there is so much more to the decision than that. Apple thinks there are ten reasons you should switch but I’m not convinced.

As the word suggests, switching platforms is considered all or nothing. On or off. That’s a scary thought, and maybe the whole ‘switch’ campaign needs tweaked or at least re-worded to ‘swap’ or something… I digress.

Apples recent switch (see what I did there?) to the Intel chip has me decidedly … well not unimpressed but nonplussed. Ohh sure, the machines are faster, but I’m not a gamer so things are already about as fast as I really need. Whack a decent chip and 2GB of RAM in ANY computer and it should be “fast enough” (and yes, I realise that last statement is fairly qualitative).

So let’s strike that one from the “reason to switch” list, shall we? Hang on, it’s not on the list. Ohh well, let’s just ignore it then. Now, let’s tackle that list.

But before I do, I AM going to be over-picky, to find out why, skip the list.

1. It just works
“Doesn’t crash, always works.”

Hmmm a quick google is all that is required to remove that one from the list. Now this is where the “everything is Apple” modus operandi fails. The huge majority of broken Macs is down to the hardware. Apple don’t make the hardware but as they kinda pretend they sort of do… well let’s just say that that “always works” statement may need some revision.

2. As easy as iPod
“If you love your iPod, you’ll love a Mac.”

I’m a little unsure of the foundation for this argument. Yes the iPod is well designed, but it doesn’t necessarily make it so for a Mac. Apple should realise not everyone is in ‘tune’ with their ethos.

Then again. I DO love my iPod.

3. Picture perfect photos
“Plug in your camera and the Mac does the rest, helping you import, edit, share and organize your photos faster than you can say ‘cheese.’ “

Really? Hello? Windows XP and Picasa does all this.

4. It’s a musical instrument
“Whether you’re recording your next big hit, burning a mix CD or podcasting your passion”

I can do the latter two on my PC, the first doesn’t interest me.

5. Home movies in HD
“From recording your HD masterpiece to burning it to DVD, a Mac grants you auteur status”

“Auteur status”? Ohh puh-leeze. Not currently interested in this either.

6. Online streamlined
“try all the built-in goodies – Mail, Safari, .Mac, iChat AV, AirPort and more”

Given my Airport Express woes, this is a no-brainer and demonstrates the upside of having everything Apple.

7. Join the party
“Buy a Mac and you become part of the solution.”

Can anyone tell me what this means? And as for…

“You join a worldwide network of Mac users, happy to share their stories”

Yes, I’ve read a few of them. See my response to reason #1. And remember that people are more likely to talk about problems.

8. No stress wireless
“Mobility means more on a Mac.”

Agreed. Windows XP is a bear to setup on a wireless network in comparison to a Mac.

9. It does Windows
“Share Office files with colleagues, and even use many of your PC hardware devices”

Mis-leading title aside, this is pretty crucial for me, and is probably the largest reason I haven’t switched. How much will the software and hardware replacements cost me?

10. It’s beautiful
“The Mac’s design folds function into form, so the perfect computer looks the part.”

How DO you spell narcissistic? That said a lot of their stuff does look good but it’s certainly never going to hold the casting vote.

A quick tally then and… well it’s not looking good really, is it?

So, what was the point in that exercise? Namely to try and highlight something that never really gets mentioned when you start any kind of comparison of Mac vs Windows.

I have invested a lot of time and money into the Windows world. I understand much of how a Windows box works, and I have mine running nicely. Doesn’t crash, no viruses, and it’s all nicely tweaked to the way I work.

If I move to a Mac it will cost.

Beyond the initial purchase price of a Mac, I’d probably have to spend twice as much again to re-purchase the software I currently use (and remember, that software won’t do anything different), and I will lose a LOT of time learning a new operating system. A lot of that time, from what I’ve read, is spent learning that I don’t NEED to know how X works, or why Y works the way it does, because that’s the “beauty of a Mac” you see. It just works.

So, I move from a working environment that I understand and can comprehend – if problems or oddities DO occur, I can usually fix them… ohh and my recent printer woes are hardware related before anyone casts that up – to an environment where I just have to trust the operating system is doing things properly? Sorry you’ll need to convince me of that one by letting me UNDERSTAND how X works and why Y does what it does.

Such is the mindset of a Windows user, and I don’t care how many people gush their praise about the joy of being a Mac owner. You need to convince ME.

And then there is the sting in the tail. It’s name is Vista.

By all accounts it’s looking quite good. Both visually and functionally I can see improvements that I’d welcome, however I will probably have to upgrade my video card and add in some more RAM, not to mention a larger hard drive… factor in the cost of the software and… well I’m not far short of buying a Mac (minus software mind you!).

So I’m currently stuck.

Part of me would quite like to “join the club”, aside from the recent horror that is the Apple iPod Hi-Fi, I’ve been impressed anytime I’ve seen, touched or used Apple goods. But then I quite liked our Peugeot 206 when we bought it but recently I’ve felt like taking a large heavy and blunt object to it, repeatedly.

It’s not an urgent quandary, in fact the only reason I’m posting this now is because I happened across several related posts in quick succession. Yet it remains a small thought loitering in the back of my head. Do I really want to wear a scarf indoors?