I admit that I'm pretty much in love with my Apple MacBook Pro laptop.
As the marketing component of the Grassroots IT team, however, I must write a disclaimer saying that this a purely personal opinion from my creative, hippy perspective, and is not necessarily based on any technical knowledge and expertise of the Mac system.
I do know that a Mac isn't right for everyone, and the decision to move from a Windows based laptop to a Mac has to be given careful consideration. So, what do you need to think about before you switch operating systems?
Here's Ben's take on what to consider before making the switch:
So, in summary, there are two main things that need to be considered before moving to a Mac:
1. Does the software you need run on a Mac?
While generic software suites, such as Office, are generally compatible across both Windows and Mac platforms these days, there is still a lot of software that will only run in a Windows environment. Cloud based services (such as Xero cloud accounting, Office 365) are usually fine because they are internet based and run in a browser. However, if your business runs software that is tailored for your industry, you should check with the software designer whether you will be able to use the software in the same way, or even run the software, on a Mac. Perhaps you could make a list of all the software/applications you use on your existing computer and check each one to make sure it will run well on a Mac.
Also, if your company has a network that primarily runs Windows based machines, have a chat to your IT provider to ensure that joining a Mac to your network is possible and can easily be supported.
2. Do you know how to use a Mac? Does your team know how to use a Mac?
While using a Mac isn't necessarily difficult, there are definite differences between the two platforms, so just because you know how to use a Windows machine, it doesn’t mean you know how to use a Mac. And just because your team members know how to use a Windows machine, it doesn't mean they know how to use a Mac.
Before I made the switch to Mac, I had been using a PC most of my life. Despite being an avid computer user, there was definitely a period of transition as I worked out new ways to do simple tasks on the Mac that I was very familiar with in Windows. I spent a fair bit of time Googling and watching videos to get up to speed. Now using a Mac is second nature (and I would probably find it just as hard to go back to Windows!), but it definitely took some time to become familiar with the Mac environment and processes.
In my personal opinion, Macs are awesome, but just factor in a dip in productivity while you come up to speed with new platform. If you are going to make the switch, I wouldn't suggesting doing it when you know you have a busy period approaching. Make the change when you're in a quieter phase on the work front so you have time to become familiar with your new Mac without the added stress.
Here are a couple of other things to factor in before you make your final decision:
- Will you need to buy any new licenses or applications so that you can use your software on a Mac environment? If so, you'll need to factor this into the budget.
- If you're planning on moving your data from your older Windows machine to your new Mac, ensure this is given significant forethought so that it is done properly. It may take a considerable amount of time.
Before you rush out and purchase a new Mac laptop or computer, go into an Apple store and have a play with the Operating system and specific Mac machine you are looking to buy. Take a list of questions you have about the Mac and ask the staff at the Apple store (they are called Geniuses for a reason!).
Of course, there are pros and cons to both Mac and Windows based machines, so it's important to make a carefully considered decision on whether a Mac is right for YOU and your business