एक दशक भन्दा पहिले एलेक्स Hern म्याक पीसी देखि सरेका र फिर्ता देख्यो कहिल्यै. तर नयाँ मैकबुक प्रो गरेको त त्यो अन्तमा फेरि स्विच परीक्षा हुन सक्छ धेरै महंगा?
म एक दशक लागि एक एप्पल प्रयोगकर्ता भएको छु, म एक मर्मत 17in Powerbook पछि छानिएको त्यसबेलादेखि 2005 मेरो बिरामी परेका Windows XP बक्स प्रतिस्थापन गर्न. तर गत महिना, एप्पल लगभग यसको सबैभन्दा महंगा नयाँ मैकबुक पेशेवरों घोषणा पछि 15 वर्ष, म पहिलो पटक मेरो निर्णय पुनः विचार र, पछिल्लो केही हप्ता, म एक Windows पीसी मा फिर्ता भएको छु.
म सधैं एक म्याक प्रयोगकर्ता थियो. मेरो पहिलो तीन कम्प्युटर पीसी थिए, हुनत म मा हुर्केको घरमा एक दुःखकष्ट थियो, पावर म्याक Performa घृणा. मेरो किशोरावस्था मा स्विच लागि मेरो कारण एकदम सरल थिए: म कम र कम पीसी खेल खेल्दै गरिएको चाहन्छु, र खर्च मेरो आइपड लिङ्क गरिएका लाइब्रेरी व्यवस्थापन गर्न मेरो कम्प्युटर प्रयोग समय को मात्रा वृद्धि. म ती को switchers थियो, एप्पल संगीत खेलाडी को शान गरेर हैरानी र उनीहरूको पूर्ण डेस्कटप अपरेटिङ सिस्टम मा प्रवेश लिन विश्वस्त.
ल्यापटप सस्तो थिएन, तर यो मेरो विभाजित आमाबाबुको घरहरू बीच धेरै सजिलो shuttling बनाएका. र म वर्ष बनाइयो चाहन्छु पीसी खेल को पूर्ण पुस्तकालय खेल्न सक्षम रहेको सम्झना गर्दा, यो एक रोमाञ्चक समय म्याक ओएस संसारमा सार्दा गर्न थियो. थप, Warcraft को विश्व क्रस-मंच थियो, जो म एक असल गर्दा लागि आवश्यक सबै खेल थियो.
दस वर्ष मा, म एक एकदम पूर्वनिर्धारित एप्पल प्रयोगकर्ता हुँ. म मेरो छैटौं iPhone मा छु, दोस्रो आईप्याड र तेस्रो म्याक; म घर मा एक स्याउ वी, स्याउ मेरो डेस्कटपमा ब्रांडेड किबोर्ड, र पनि एउटा स्याउ एए ब्याट्री चार्जर, दिन देखि जब तिनीहरूले गरे.
तर एक को जुम्ल्याहा मुक्काहरु पाउंड को Brexit-नेतृत्व मूल्यह्रास, र एप्पल कम से कम संग मैकबुक पेशेवरों को एक नयाँ दायरा जारी धमाका-लागि-आफ्नो-Buck हाल स्मृति मा, मलाई दुई पटक सोच्न बनाएका. मेरो आवश्यकता लागि पर्याप्त हुनेछ भनेर सस्ता म्याक, भण्डारण स्पेस 512GB र राम को 16GB संग एक 13in मैकबुक प्रो, मा मा राम्रो भन्दा £ 2,000 आउँछ, अहिलेसम्म बल्लतल्ल थप शक्तिशाली यो ठाँउ गर्नुपर्छ मिसिन भन्दा छ, एक 15in रेटिना मैकबुक चार वर्ष पहिले देखि प्रो समय मा बस भन्दा £ 1,500 खर्च भनेर.
त्यसैले म स्वीच. गत महिना लागि, म प्रयोग गरिएको छ पुस्तक सतह, शीर्ष-को-को-लाइन ल्यापटप द्वारा बिक्री, सबै मान्छे को, माइक्रोसफ्ट.
यो एउटा अनुभव भएको.
मेरो आशा मा जा अनिश्चित थिए. मलाई थाहा म अन्तिम यसलाई प्रयोग देखि विन्डोज मौलिक विकसित छ, को XP युग मा फिर्ता, र पनि म रिसाएर यो प्रयोग अन्तिम समय देखि परिवर्तन भएको छ, छिट्टै को प्रक्षेपण पछि विन्डोज 8.1. सञ्चालन प्रणाली को वर्तमान नयाँ संस्करण, विन्डोज 10 (confusingly, केवल एक संस्करण पछि भन्दा 8.1; कथा धेरै विकासकर्ताहरूले विन्डोज संकेत कोड लेखेका जान्छ 95 र 98 "9 *" को रूपमा, वास्तविक विन्डोज अर्थ 9 अनुकूलता तोड थियो), सामान्यतया एक राम्रो कुरा मानिन्छ. यो संस्करण को नयाँ विन्डोज अनुभव meshes 8 पुरानो शैली डेस्कटप अघिल्लो संस्करण भन्दा बढी elegantly संग, गहिरो नीडिंत मेनू मा cruft को अझ consigning र पहिलो-समय प्रयोगकर्ताका लागि slick अनुभव भेटी गर्दा.
म पनि मिसिन द्वारा आशा दिइएको थियो. सतह को पहिलो संस्करण संग एक अजीब सुरु फिर्ता मा पछि 2012, त्यसपछि एक iPad प्रतियोगी रूपमा पिच, माइक्रोसफ्ट छ विन्डोज पीसी को सबै भन्दा राम्रो निर्माताहरु मध्ये एक भएको छ. सतह बुक एक स्वादिष्ट मिसिन छ, एक मैकबुक प्रो-वर्ग ल्यापटप रूपमा तर प्रयोगका को पूरै नयाँ दायरामा यसलाई खोल्दछ एक पूर्ण अलग गर्न सकिने टचस्क्रीन संग masquerading.
यो माईक्रोसफ्टका यसको हार्डवेयर साझेदार संग सम्बन्ध आउँदा सतह मिसिन गुणस्तर समस्या भएको छ, Microsoft Windows लागि लाइसेन्स शुल्क संग लाखौं सामग्री raking हुन आशा गर्न जो tended, बरु हार्डवेयर विनिर्माण देखि लाभ को लागि उनलाई साथ सीधा प्रतिस्पर्धा भन्दा. तर अहिले, कम्पनी बजार को किनारा मा बस्ने सामग्री भएको छ, शक्ति प्रयोगकर्ताको लागि आला उपकरणहरू बनाउन.
कि सबै हुँदाहुँदै पनि, I had a fair amount of trepidation. Memories of blue screens of death, of driver conflicts, of cleaning out my registry and restoring the system after a malware infection, are hard to shake, as is the general hangover from my youth of Microsoft as the Great Satan of the tech world. As Zuckerberg is to the 2010s, Gates was to the 1990s: ever-present, professionally amoral, and incredibly, unflappably, successful.
But Gates is gone, as is Ballmer. This is Satya Nadella’s company now, and the Microsoft of this generation is everything the Microsoft of the 90s – or the Facebook of today – isn’t: humble, quiet, content with success where it can win and partnerships where it can’t, and as proud of working with competitors as Gates was of crushing them. छोटकरीमा, it’s a Microsoft that I could consider being friends with. It couldn’t be that bad.
The worst thing about switching, it turns out, is switching.
I’m not trying to be tautological. But the bulk of the unpleasantness I’ve experienced actually making this change hasn’t been inherent to Windows, but has either come about because of the differences between the two operating systems, or even just the difficulties in actually getting up and running from day one.
Some of the problems are as simple, but nonetheless infuriating, as different keyboard shortcuts. A lifetime of muscle memory has told me that Command-Space brings up Spotlight, which is the main way I opened programmes on my Mac. The same shortcut on Windows 10 is to simply hit the Windows key, which invokes Cortana, Microsoft’s AI assistant, and then typing in the name of the programme you want to open.
Similar mismatches appear in areas like window management, alt-tab behaviour, and programme installation. It’s a push to say which is better (though I maintain that running an installer is less elegant than just dragging an app into the Apps folder), but whichever you’re used to, the other will be worse until you re-educate yourself.
That’s not to say I didn’t have plenty to complain about, हुनत.
That Spotlight/Cortana mismatch, उदाहरणका लागि? It wouldn’t have been so bad, except that Windows maps the alt key to the location of the command key on Macs, and alt-space is the Windows shortcut for switching languages, so every time I failed to invoke Spotlight, I would accidentally switch the language my computer was set up in, resetting my keyboard to a US English layout.
That was an annoying problem. Worse was that I didn’t actually have two languages set up on the Surface Book in the first place. र अझै, hovering in the bottom right, permanently, was a little box showing whether I was running in UK English or US English, with no option in sight to remove it.
In the end, I had to turn to Twitter for troubleshooting advice. We determined that there was no option to remove the US English language because there was no US English language set up. So to remove it, all I had to do was go into a language menu, add English (संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका) as an option, and then remove English (संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका) as an option. I know. But it worked, so who am I to complain.
I’m also firmly aware that a critical eye on Mac OS will reveal many similar bugs. Mac users, particularly long-term, slightly jaundiced, Mac users, have long become familiar with the hollow laugh and invocation of Apple’s erstwhile marketing slogan “It Just Works” as something emphatically continues to not Just Work. वास्तबमा, that phrase has been uttered in irony so many times that it’s easy to forget that it really does come from a place of competitive advantage for Apple.
That advantage has largely been eroded over the years, as Microsoft has cottoned on to the joys of vertical integration, plug and play accessories, and standards-compliant behaviour.
But not entirely. Plugging in an external mouse (an utterly standard Microsoft-made laser mouse), I was annoyed to find that I couldn’t reverse the scrolling behaviour on the scroll wheel to match that of the in-built trackpad. It’s one thing to have to relearn behaviours when you switch machines, it’s another to have to re-learn them every time you plug in a peripheral.
About an hour of fruitless Googling later – including several suggestions to install obsolete utilities, hack the registry, or roll back to an earlier version of Windows – and I discovered the way to do what I wanted. I had to download drivers for my mouse.
If you’re young, a Mac user, or not particularly technical, that might not mean much. Drivers are the small pieces of software that tell the operating system how to work with hardware, from complex components like graphics cards to simple accessories like this mouse. But the necessity, कि हैन, of drivers for accessories was a big part of that competitive push by Apple, which made a point of ensuring out-of-the-box support for many of the most commonly used peripherals like printers, cameras and mice. When Steve Jobs said “it just works”, this is the sort of thing he was referring to: the ability to plug in a mouse and have it Just Work.
Installing drivers for a mouse to enable a niche behaviour is no great hardship, but it still left me moderately concerned. Microsoft made both the mouse and the laptop, yet the two weren’t able to play nicely together without my intervention. This digging in the nuts and bolts of the machine was not something I had missed.
Touching the void
The Microsoft of 2016 has a split personality. थुप्रै तरिकामा, the split is the same that it’s had for the past 20 वर्ष, between its desire for continuity and its desire for reinvention and technological leadership. Where the company is successful today is where that latter desire is ascendant, and the Surface Book is the best example of a forward-looking Microsoft you can find.
It’s a fantastic machine. Small and powerful, with a long battery life, it impresses as a laptop, but its real strengths are revealed when you undock the screen from its base. Being able to carry my laptop around the kitchen when doing the weekly shop, before docking it back and typing up some recipes, was genuinely cool.
दुर्भाग्यवश, cool is all it was for me. The ability to pop out my laptop and write on it with a (very accurate) stylus was never that useful. If anything, it served to underscore how efficient the keyboard-and-touchpad combo is for a lot of hefty tasks.
I had a similar experience with the ability to use the touchscreen while the Surface Book was in laptop mode. I simply didn’t do it much, and most of the time when I did, it was just to see if I could.
Occasionally, the touchscreen was actively bad. My first time opening Windows Mail, I was greeted with a helpful popover showing that I could swipe mails to the left to archive them. But I couldn’t work out how: click and drag? Two-fingered swipe on the touchpad? जवाफ, पाठ्यक्रम, is to reach up to the screen, and swipe that way. A shortcut it is not, particularly if the screen is up on a dock and you’re already using a keyboard and mouse.
सोही, unlike many hybrid laptops, the base isn’t just a keyboard: it also contains a second battery, and a number of hardware components including a discrete GPU. (One downside of that setup: if you let the screen run out of battery while undocked, you can’t re-dock it until you’ve charged it separately, even if the base still has some power left).
PCs are from Mars
If this sounds like a long list of nitpicks, it’s because … राम्रो, it is. For all the existential battles that have been fought over Windows versus Mac, there’s little to distinguish the two on any important level. The platforms have converged on everything but aesthetics and personal preferences. Both have a locked-down store which power users ignore; both are fighting for relevance in a world of web apps and mobile-first design; both feel the weight of versions past sitting on their shoulders.
If you asked me to explain why, despite it all, I’ve put my money down for a MacBook Pro rather than buying the Surface Book from Microsoft (which loaned the device for this trial), I can give you some reasons that feel solid enough for me.
I was shocked by the amount of advertising and cross-promotion riddled throughout the OS, from adverts for apps in the start menu, to a persistent pop-up offering a free trial of Office 365.
I was surprised by the paucity of solid third-party apps in general, and particularly by the lack of any good consumer productivity suite. When the most common recommendation, for services from photo storage to calendaring, is “just use Google’s web apps”, there’s a hole waiting to be filled (though maybe that’s just my dislike of web apps in general). It feels like the Mac dev scene is full of teams making fully featured apps that compete with the big companies, while Windows devs are more content to make niche utilities which serve particular needs without needing to start a war.
I disliked the lack of a smart sleep mode, meaning my computer would often be flat when I opened it up in the morning because some utility had been running in the background.
I hated the difficulty in typing special characters, from foreign accents to ellipses and em-dashes. I hated the lack of a universal paste-as-plain-text shortcut, and I mourned the loss of iMessage access on the desktop for texting my girlfriend.
Most of all, हुनत, I couldn’t stand the small irritations, from the failure of Chrome windows to correctly adapt when dragged from a high-res screen to a low-res one, to the trackpad’s inability to accurately click when I used it with my thumb rather than my finger.
I don’t pretend that those irritations are unique to Windows, or even that they aren’t things I couldn’t have fixed with time, effort or re-education. But the problem is, fixing them isn’t worth it: the difference just isn’t there.
That’s true whichever way you’re thinking of switching. If you’re a Windows user nodding along with my problems, I can guarantee you that within a month of switching to Mac, you’ll have a list just as long. Maybe one day, one or other platform will have a commanding lead. For some use-cases, that’s already happened: gamers have Windows, while iOS developers have Mac, to state two obvious examples. तर अहिले, for the vast majority, it’s hard to say there’s anything in it.
Except, पाठ्यक्रम, for price.
Because these problems are minor, and a price difference of up to £1,000 isn’t. The Surface Book is around the same price as the new MacBook Pro, but many other high-quality laptops aren’t: you’ll easily find models like Dell’s XPS range or Lenovo’s Thinkpads for hundreds of pounds less than a comparably-specced MacBook.
मलाई लागि, with four years of saving for a new Mac, good credit, and risk-aversion to digital irritation, it’s worth paying through the nose to stick with what I know. But it might not be the case for you.
Switching isn’t a panacea, and there’s no silver bullet out there – no Windows computer that will be anything better than a bit annoying for former Mac users – but before you get too complacent, I have a feeling the same is true the other way round. अन्ततः, the question comes down to how much you’re prepared to pay to keep things the same as they have been. मलाई लागि, it turns out that figure’s quite high.
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