In 2006, I've had the privileged of seeing 4 good friends move from a Windows PC to a Macintosh, and what strikes me the most is their excitement over the little things, like installing applications or putting a MacBook to sleep by simply closing the lid.
I should start out by mentioning that the most recent switcher is my blogpal and good friend Michael Ashby, who just this weekend bought a MacBook and began his migration to a Mac, from a Windows PC. I think Mike has spent at least 15 years as a hardcore Windows guy, not only managing his life on one, but supporting many clients with their PC systems. So, when I learned Mike was buying a MacBook as a primary machine, I was surprised... pleasantly so!
I've been intrigued as I've followed Michael's progression from Windows to the Mac, since I know he has such a deep history with Windows. I've shared his excitement of the purchase, of learning how fun the Mac is to setup and work with, and have shared advice on applications and a few tricks I've learned.
Michael has been posting like a wild man since Friday, with new posts each day. You can check out his many postings below:
Making The Leap
Taking Her Out On the Town
One Of The Gang
OK, So Nothing is Perfect
Choosing Apps: E-mail
Choosing Apps: Web Browser
Choosing Apps: Office Suite
Surprise! I’m A Keyboard Guy. Who Knew?
Having A Hard Head Can Sometimes Pay Off (GarageBand & Axiom 25)
Flickr Photoset: Making The Switch
The funniest experience has been Michael's unbridled excitement over putting the MacBook to sleep by simply closing the lid.
Having been a Powerbook user for many years, I couldn't understand his thrill in this — isn't that how laptops are supposed to work?
Well, according to Michael, it ain't so:
One of the features I have been most eager to try is almost not even a feature to most Mac users. It’s the fact that you can simply shut the lid and put the laptop to sleep. If you’re a Mac user, this may seem old hat, but for Windows users, this is a very big deal.
Why? Because in the Windows world, if you don’t shut down the computer, you’re just opening yourself up to a world of hurt. Although the “feature” is present on all Windows laptops, it simply doesn’t work worth a damn. I’ve been using laptops for the past 11 years, many of which with the laptop being my primary machine, and the sleep has never worked properly.
On a Mac, when you close the lid, the computer quietly goes to “sleep”. When you open the lid, the computer comes back to life exactly where you were. I’ve been completely green with envy as I watched friends and colleagues at conferences just close their laptops and go. They then have to wait as I shut down my laptop. Why didn’t I just close the lid like they do? Because the results were so unpredictable. Some times it would come back, but more often than not the computer would lock up, or simply crash. It’s just safer to shut down.
When I mentioned how much I was looking forward to using the sleep feature on the MacBook to Mike Rohde, he asked me what I was talking about. When I explained how it worked in the Windows world, he said “Is that why my Dad freaks out when I just shut the lid to his laptop?” I let out a huge belly laugh and told him “Yeah. That’s why.”
Another common "wow" moment is when Windows users install new applications. Most Mac apps are simple to install: double-click a disk image file (.dmg) which creates a virtual hard drive on your desktop, then drag the application on the virtual drive to your Applications folder (or anywhere else on the drive). That's it. No registry hacking, wizards or other gyrations to go through.
Tonight it was great fun. Michael and I watched the WWDC Steve Jobs keynote video together — it was fun to see Michael get so excited about the new hardware and software Apple released. It was very enjoyable seeing Michael, this hard-core Windows and Palm veteran, so pumped up about his new Machine and platform, seeing features he could only dream of on his Windows machines. It was like seeing a kid in a candy store.
I'm going to enjoy observing Michael settle into his new MacBook. I think this is the most excitement I've seen from him on a gadget since getting his Tapwave Zodiac. I'm sure there will be frustrations here and there (it's a computer after all) but in general, Michael will love his new MacBook, and become one hardcore Mac fan.
Welcome to the Cult of Mac Michael! :-)
The truth about switching - what it's really like switching to a Mac by Bill Westerman