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Moving from Windows to Apple - yes or no?

(24 Posts)
PiggeryJokery Mon 01-Oct-12 18:25:53

My laptop is dying. I use it for creating documents, sorting out photos and browsing the web when my iPad isn't enough eg educational stuff for dc that runs on flash or needs more mouse control, or when I need to do a fair bit of research for work. Am thinking about moving to a mac of some sort.

I've only ever used Windows, is it easy to adjust to a Mac?

Can I transfer all my current docs over to a MacBook with no problems?

Will a Mac link up "automatically" (YKWIM!) with my iPad, iPhone etc?

The alternative is going for a fairly basic notebook, would this be more sensible given what I want it for? I already keep everything on a separate hard drive so memory isnlt a big deal although I can't cope with something that operates slowly.

All thoughts and opinions welcomed please!

Pluses:

It will link seamlessly with Ipad etc
It is stable and fast to boot up
Don't have as many worries about viruses etc

Minuses:
Cost
Word for Mac is crap compared to Word for Windows but I have had no problem with backward compatibility of old docs
If your DCs or you use Word at Work or school it is confusing switching between the two
The way the computer works is very different to a PC

Our family desktop is a Mac but I've recently bought a Windows laptop and it has come as a relief TBH, I just haven't taken to Mac at all. I have, finally, after about a year of tearing my hair out got to like the Iphoto software but it was very hard work getting my head round it.

SomeoneThatYouUsedToKnow Mon 01-Oct-12 19:28:20

I agree with whoknowswherethetimegoes Her take is spot on.

I am pleased I changed to an IMac but it's not quite as user friendly as I hoped. I haven't had any guidance on how to use it which is a bit daft of me to be honest. I think if you make the change then you need to put a bit of effort into it.
The way all our iPads/iPhones/MacPro and iMac interact is fantastic. Everything just works and is lovely and quick and trouble free.

I don't have any problems with word for Mac and no problems at all with compatibility. Transferring the data from old computer to the new one was also simple.

One other thing, I bought the bigger screen and I wish I had got the smaller one. It's fab for photo editing etc but a bit big for something.

It does look lovely and shiny smile

PiggeryJokery Mon 01-Oct-12 19:34:21

Ooh thank you v helpful. What do you use to create docs on a Mac if you don't use Word? I would need to be able to open and copy from old word docs, but wouldn't need to actually create new docs, happy to go with a new system - or will it be too frustrating after the whole of my computing life spent using Word (about 20 years!).

SparkyDuchess Mon 01-Oct-12 19:38:09

Can I ask about Excel? I'm in the same position as the OP but would be more likely to need to update spreadsheets.

OneOfMyTurnsComingOn Mon 01-Oct-12 19:39:58

I prefer pages - apples own word processing software. But if opening and editing a word doc, I do use MS Word.

SunWukong Mon 01-Oct-12 19:57:55

Both os suck I prefer linux, been using it since 1998.

I only use Excel at work, rarely at home, so can't comment on that.

I just think I fell for the hype a bit with the Mac and it isn't as wow as all that. I feel frustrated with it as it is much more of a "black box" than a PC, it seems to have far fewer user customisable options across the board and I am a tweaker.

Going back to Word, I think it depends how in depth a user you are. I would say I am moderately advanced in Win 2003 or 2010 but find the functionality limited in Mac, Either that or it is really well hidden.

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Oct-12 20:16:44

I found it all quite easy. There was a brief adjustment period but once you get the logic, it's all very simple. Much simpler than Windows.

Now, when I have to do something on DH's Windows laptop, I can't get over how slow and clunky it feels and am very grateful for my Mac Air smile

PiggeryJokery Mon 01-Oct-12 20:25:05

This is all very insightful though I am swinging madly from one option to the other each time someone posts! Speed and connectivity with iPad etc is a big plus, getting my head round a new system not so good. Cote do you /DH create documents in Word on your mac?

basildonbond Mon 01-Oct-12 20:44:16

it didn't take me any adjustment period at all but then I loathed our horribly clunky PC with a vengeance ...

I use pages for documents which I much prefer to word and find much more intuitive, although I have to admit that excel is much better than the apple equivalent but as I only really have to use spreadsheets for work and that's all done on a work laptop that's not a problem

you will get a few apple haters on this thread - they pop up every time someone mentions anything apple-ish, but they are hardcore computer bods - I'm perfectly prepared to believe that there are superior operating systems blah, blah but many people, me included, don't want to customise or tweak - they just want something that works

SomeoneThatYouUsedToKnow Mon 01-Oct-12 21:05:31

I am a enthusiastic novice with regards to word but I haven't found anything difficult about word for Mac and never had a compatibility problem. I can easily make documents, leaflets or whatever and I have never had any training ( I know I should but meh, I manage ok)

CoteDAzur Tue 02-Oct-12 17:56:42

Piggery - I often create Word documents on my Mac, and very easily. There have never been any compatibility problems with DH, for example, who uses a PC. I have used Word professionally on a PC for many years (writing industry & company research reports for a financial firm) and can't say that I find Word on Mac any different or inferior.

I made the switch 5 years ago.. and have never looked back. I'm not keen on Microsoft Office for mac OR pc, but it's ok.. I only use Word and Powerpoint most of the time, but if you don't want to pay Open office is free and compatible.

The lack of antivirus stuff taking time, money and memory is a massive plus as far as I'm concerned and we have only had one computer problem with our three macs in 5 years.. and that was because my idiot DS1 dropped it onto a marble fireplace from a height!

It took me a couple of weeks to get used to the differences but macs are very simple to use. And 99% of the time they just WORK; speedily, smoothly and of course they are beautiful :D

12thmonkey Thu 04-Oct-12 14:41:15

i did loads of research for this before i made the change to Mac.. one thing you WILL find is many people move over to mac but no-one goes the other way.

The moment you contemplate such a move you should do it straight away, the only limit really is cost, but then you can get second hand models quite easily and they will be just as good a new windows laptop and still last you a lot longer.

It does take a little getting used to , but thats only because windows is so arduous and you slowly realise how simple apple macs are and many features of windows are a poor imitations.

go for it.

niceguy2 Thu 04-Oct-12 19:04:55

It took me a while to get used to MacOSX but now it's second nature.

I agree that MS Word for mac is pants. Utterly.

The kids seem to take to the mac easier than I did to be honest and now they are very proficient at both mac and Windows which cant be a bad thing really.

I love not having to worry about viruses/spyware as much. I love how it sleeps and resumes almost without fail, unlike a PC.

It isnt as bulletproof as they'd have you believe though. It still occasionally crashes and need a reboot/whatever.

NetworkGuy Fri 05-Oct-12 01:01:29

I think the standard (Apple) browser, Safari, is poor compared with any of Opera, Firefox or Chrome, so if you do go the Mac route, at least try out one or more alternative browsers.

I use XP, Vista, Win 7, Linux and iMac (OSX 10.3, 10.5 and 10.6 depending on which machine) and while I find few problems with the Apple kit, I have to say I find Windows just as good, once you've tailored the desktop with Quickstart items etc.

Buying new, I'd never go for Apple kit, though (I don't own an iPod or iPhone, consider them expensive as the most I've paid for an MP3 player is 18 quid and the most on a smartphone is under 150 quid [for a Samsung Galaxy model with a 4" screen, but one that's a year or two old, so doesn't 'break the bank']).

There's lots of freeware / shareware for Windows, more so than for Apple, at least that's what I've found, and because there are relatively few versions of Windows, it's far easier to determine whether something is worth downloading (for example, Chrome will only run on some of the iMac family, and not on the older eMac, as far as I know).

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Sat 06-Oct-12 21:08:01

If Macs were cheap I'd could understand the restrictions, but they're not. Stick with Windows and stay compatible with the rest of the world.

TirednessKills Sun 07-Oct-12 16:50:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Abra1d Sun 07-Oct-12 16:56:57

I recently moved back from a MacBook to a Toshiba laptop running WIndows.

Got so sick of endless Apple updates to Word on Mac meaning that my clients couldn't open the files.

I find Windows does me fine. I am currently formatting an e-book on my Toshiba. Macs are over-priced. We have had to replace the power cable three times in one year on our MacBook.

Save your money.

AndrewD Wed 10-Oct-12 13:54:13

I switched 6 years ago with a Mac Mini. It still works. Has never been repaired. It has never crashed or lost any data. It handles 15000 photos in iPhoto, 10000 songs in iTunes and records freeview TV connected to my roof aerial. I now have a MacBook and an iMac too. They are expensive but less hassle, last longer and have higher quality components (dvd drives especially).

Whilst the Apple versions of Word and Excel are superior, they are not 100% compatible so I use MS Office for Mac and it works very well.

You will find this to be a Marmite issue. I love macs but used windows for 20 years.

GooseyLoosey Wed 10-Oct-12 14:00:41

Not sure. We live in a household of Macs - IPads, Macbooks and Mac mini, except for one Dell laptop.

I have never found the Macs as intuitive as you would imagine either. I find there are subtle differences between the versions of word which they use and I use which drive me nuts.

They are less buggy and prone to bugs than PC. However, when something does go wrong, it costs an arm and leg to replace as you can only get the stuff from Apple (think £60 for new power cable).

I also find that Apple operates something of a gilded cage. Everything does sync together but there is stuff that it is harder to access if it is outside of the Apple universe.

All in all, I will continue to be the only member of my family who has a PC - I just like it better.

TariffHound Wed 10-Oct-12 16:04:12

Hi PiggeryJokery,
The community feedback on this topic seems mixed - I think that's great news for you, it shows that people are happy on both platforms and either option should work out for you.

We've got a mixed Mac / PC household - I'm on a Mac, my wife on a PC, and we're both happy.

I have a personal preference for working with a Mac, but would caution that there is a learning curve to go down if you plan to switch. When I switched a few years ago, I found the learning curve not as simple as the Apple advertising suggests, and had to invest time and effort to learn the Mac way of doing things. So this could be a factor to consider. If you enjoy or at least don't mind fiddling with technology, you could have fun switching. I enjoyed the tinkering.

However if you see you laptop just as a device that just needs to do certain things, you may get frustrated learning how to do tasks in a different way and in this case it may be better to stay with PCs. My wife is in this camp - she sees her PC as a tool for doing her work - certainly not as a hobby to tinker with.

I'd also suggest you consider how intensely you work in Microsoft Office. Do you just open the odd Word document or Power Point presentation, and do basic editing? In which case, the Mac version of Microsoft Office will work fine, and you will probably even get away not even bothering to buy Microsoft Office for Mac and instead use Apple's version of Office applications, which can open and edit basic Microsoft Office documents with some limitations.

However if your work requires you to trade Powerpoint, Word, Excel documents in a corporate environment, you may run into problems with the Mac. Office for Mac is compatible with Office for Windows, but the odd flaw or gremlin sometimes creeps in - especially for Excel and Powerpoint. It the gremlin will naturally lay in wait until the super - important presentation to suddenly appear and scupper you.

i do need Microsoft Office to work perfectly on my Mac, so I use another piece of software called Parallels which allows me to run Windows on my Mac. Consequently I can use the native Windows version of Office, to ensure I get 100% compatibility when trading Office documents with PCs. You can read a review of Parallels here:
online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443847404577631503443643534.html

This solution works perfectly for me, but it adds another layer or complexity to your laptop solution - not to mention cost. Again, this is great if you like fiddling with tech, but a pain if you don't.

Another consideration can be customer care. Apple will hold your hand with your new purchase via great instore customer care in the stores, whereas a PC laptop purchase via somewhere like PC World is a bit more of a box mentality - they won't want to know you once you've handed over you money and walked out with your box.

This enhanced customer care costs money though - you're going to pay more for a Mac laptop than it's PC equivalent. So if you're keen on "peace of mind" with respect to after sales support, Apple is a good bet, and if you're happy to manage your own support after purchase, you can save money via choosing a PC laptop.

Finally, seeing this is a significant purchase, a great option could be to make use of the Which? website's option for £1 daily access.

You can then see the results of their reader survey of the best laptop brands:
www.which.co.uk/technology/computing/reviews-ns/best-laptop-brands/best-laptop-brands-overview/

And also their "Best Buy" laptop recommendations:
www.which.co.uk/technology/computing/reviews/laptops/

Oh, and one last point. Microsoft have a new version of Windows coming out at the end of this month - Windows 8. If you're planning to go down the PC laptop route, hold off for a month if you can, so your new laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 8.

Good luck!

Abra1d Wed 10-Oct-12 16:21:52

'It the gremlin will naturally lay in wait until the super - important presentation to suddenly appear and scupper you.'

Yup. That's what happened with Word on my Mac. It would be 'updated' and suddenly documents I saved in Word would be unopenable on client PCs, involving complicated procedures such as me emailing it to another laptop at home, opening it up and resaving it in WOrd, and then sending it on to the client.

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