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Leaving the Mac for Windows. It’s Time.

"DSC_5307" by JAcKLmF1990

I’ve moved back to Windows from MacOS. As a decade-long Macbook user, this huge shift (for me) deserves some explaining. In my business, many look to me for understanding about what to use, and quite literally the computer I use every day influences other’s choices, reactions and ultimately purchase decisions.

Here’s why.

I’m tired of being Apple’s guinea pig. The pendulum consistently shifts from one operating system to the next. In many ways, I think change for the sake of change is a good thing (heck, it’s a good enough reason for me), but there are other reasons for the switch.

Why change now?

The Macbook is a real shit-show right now. As a user of the Macbook Pro with touch bar, I was pleased enough to be running the “best” laptop out there, but from 2016 to 2019, things started to shift. The loss of good features was something to lament. The brilliant Magsafe power adapter was gone and I didn’t like it. The touch bar was clunky and caused many errors when I typed, and I didn’t like it. The various available ports on the Mac were eschewed for USB-C and a bunch of over priced dongles. The keyboard became a very low-profile, hard typing weird experience and I didn’t like it. Then, the world’s response started to enter my consciousness. Keyboard failures were rampant, Apple seemed to relent by offering free repairs. The construction of the machine meant loud bangs when heating and cooling (something I heard, but didn’t connect until people spoke of it). And, as if that wasn’t enough, Apple’s decision to block all but 64bit, approved-by-them applications on MacOS (though you know that’ll be bypassed eventually). This was becoming absurd as a platform user.

Meanwhile, a demo of Windows Subsystem for Linux (version 2) out of Microsoft build. This was running speedy, smoothly and it was Ubuntu Linux. The shell, a full Unix/Linux shell, was something MacOS lorded over Windows folks for so long. No more, as most modern platforms now generally have the ability to use some sort of Linux or Unix base. Even more, Microsoft’s interesting “Terminal” project seems to have some promise that they’ll better support open source. With all this. I started thinking this could be the time to make the move back.

Windows vs Mac hardware build quality was the next challenge for me. Apple makes a sweet looking machine. I started looking at what was out there in Windows flavors and surprisingly there was some good stuff. The Lenovo Yoga looked nice as a convertible, and machines like the Surface Pro (now in version 6) was starting to really mature as a device. My first change to try the Surface keyboard wasn’t great; it sucked actually, but the product has improved. This keyboard, while not perfect, is miles ahead of the shitty Macbook Pro keyboard. It was actually fun to type again on this new keyboard (dare I say).

My choice was the Surface Pro 6 with Windows 10.

I do still have many misgivings about Windows computers. The power/sleep/hibernate process on them has always been sub-par compared to the Mac. Loosing the ability to iMessage from the desktop, copy/paste from my iPhone on the fly and Airdrop files is going to hurt. I don’t look forward to those things, but it’s a compromise I’m willing to live with. The amazing thing is that these O/S’s have fewer and fewer exclusive apps, and even fewer “killer” exclusive apps (like Total Commander is).

So, the migration continues all week while I move all the data across machines and get rid of this Macbook (while seeing little to inspire me at WWDC 2019).

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