Mac vs Windows 7: the final verdict


I’m now at the end of my Windows 7 experiment and I have to return the PC users’ suit and tie to the PC Pro cupboard and put on my blue jeans, black turtle neck jumper and New Balance trainers.

It’s been a steep learning curve for me, but not in the ways I thought it would be. I had Windows up and running with all the applications I needed to do my job much more quickly than I thought. I’d arranged my desktop, partitioned the hard drive and worked out the basics in less than a day, and that includes installing the software.

I’ll admit that I made errors; some based on ignorance and others assumption. However, I can tell you with good conscience that everything I’ve talked about during this experiment has been my true experience. I’ve not said anything simply to stir the Mac vs. PC hornets’ nest or to get a rise.

What’s interesting is that despite the fact that the Mac market poses no threat or real competition to the PC world, there’s so much animosity between the two camps of users. Can you imagine Tesco customers arguing the toss over bread and cheese with Spar fans?

I’ve always been aware of the potential for Mac users and PC users to become heated in defense of their OS (I used to work for MacUser, which sits in the same office as PC Pro), but I’m surprised that even after all these years the arguments are the same. The row hasn’t changed even though Microsoft and Apple are largely transformed.

As I said at the start of this experiment, I’ve used Window XP, but that’s on an office machine and an IT manager maintains it so I’ve never really had a chance to play around with the system. This truly is the first time I’ve had the chance to snoop around and install questionable freeware and other such stuff on a Windows box. Nothing has really made me long for my Mac in that time. There have been a few differences, but none insurmountable and none that required me to go back to my Mac to get the job done.

I’m not sold on the “my PC is £800 cheaper than the equivalent Mac” argument because the price differential just isn’t that high. Not to mention the really, really dirty secret that no-one dare mention: price isn’t a factor for many people. Well, enough people to keep Apple in business, at least.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be switching my main Mac Pro for Windows 7, but my next laptop might be a Windows machine and that’s quite an achievement. I’ve set out to use Windows 7 in exactly the same way I would a Mac and I’ve found exactly zero problems. I still prefer my Mac, but whereas I find Windows XP a chore Windows 7 draws no such response.

If I were an XP user I’d upgrade to Windows 7 without hesitation. As a Mac user I’m a touch more hesitant, but that’s quite a shift in my opinion.

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