Leuwih dékade katukang Alex Hern switched ti PC ka Mac kungsi kokotéténgan deui. Tapi MacBook Pro anyar sacara pisan mahal jadi bisa manéhna pamustunganana jadi tempted pikeun pindah deui?
Kuring geus pamaké Apple leuwih ti dasawarsa, kungsi saprak kuring ngajemput a PowerBook 17in refurbished deui 2005 pikeun ngaganti ngagantikeun kotak Windows XP mah. Tapi bulan pamungkas, sanggeus Apple ngumumkeun anak paling mahal MacBook naros anyar ampir 15 taun, I reconsidered kaputusan mah pikeun kahiji kalina jeung, pikeun sababaraha minggu katukang, Kuring geus balik deui dina PC Windows.
Mah teu sok pamaké Mac. kahiji tilu komputer mah éta PCS, sanajan imah kuring tumuwuh nepi di miboga hiji ngagantikeun, hated Power Mac Performa. alesan mah ngaganti di teens mah éta cukup basajan: Abdi geus diputer kaulinan PC pangsaeutikna jeung pangsaeutikna, jeung belanja ngaronjatkeun jumlah waktu ngagunakeun komputer mah ngatur perpustakaan musik numbu ka iPod mah. Kuring salah sahiji jalma switchers, kaget ku elegance tina pamuter musik Apple sarta yakin pikeun nyokot terjun kana sistem operasi desktop full maranéhanana.
laptop ieu teu murah, tapi dijieun shuttling antara imah kolotna dipisahkeun mah 'loba gampang. Jeung bari lasut keur bisa ulin perpustakaan pinuh ku kaulinan PC Abdi diwangun luhur leuwih taun, ieu hiji waktu seru bisa pindah ka dunya Mac OS. Tambih Deui, Dunya Warcraft ieu cross-platform, nu ieu kabéh kaulinan mah diperlukeun pikeun bari alus.
Sapuluh taun dina, Aku pamaké Apple cukup standar. Aku dina iPhone kagenep mah, kadua iPad jeung Mac katilu; Kuring boga TV Apple di imah, Apple branded keyboard dina desktop mah, komo an carjer batré Apple AA, ti poe basa aranjeunna dijieun eta.
Tapi punches kembar hiji depreciation Brexit-dipingpin tina pound nu, jeung Apple ngaleupaskeun rupa anyar MacBook Naros jeung saeutikna bang-pikeun-anjeun-Buck dina mémori anyar, dijieun kuring mikir dua kali. Nu cheapest Mac nu bakal cukup pikeun kaperluan mah, a 13in MacBook Pro jeung 512GB tina gudang tempat jeung 16GB of ram, asalna di di well leuwih £ 2.000, can téh bieu leuwih kuat batan mesin eta teh ngaganti, a rétina 15in MacBook Pro ti opat taun ka tukang nu ngarugikeun ngan leuwih £ 1.500 di waktu.
Jadi kuring switched deui. Keur bulan katukang, Kuring geus ngagunakeun Surface Book, luhur-of-nu-garis laptop dijual ku, sakabeh jalma, Microsoft.
Eta teh geus hiji pangalaman.
ekspektasi mah bade di éta pasti. Kuring teu apal Windows geus mekar radikal saprak kuring pamungkas dipaké nya, deui di jaman XP, komo geus robah saprak pamungkas kalina mah dipaké dina anger, teu lila sanggeus peluncuran Windows 8.1. Versi panganyarna kiwari sistem operasi, Windows 10 (confusingly, ngan hiji versi saterusna ti 8.1; carita mana nu loba teuing pamekar wrote kode ngarujuk kana Windows 95 jeung 98 salaku "9 *", hartina hiji Windows sabenerna 9 bakal megatkeun kasaluyuan), umumna dianggap hiji hal anu alus. Ieu meshes pangalaman Windows anyar versi 8 kalawan heubeul-gaya desktop leuwih elegantly ti vérsi saméméhna, bari consigning kungsi leuwih cruft jero kana ménu nested jeung maturan pangalaman slick pikeun pamaké kahiji-time.
Kuring ogé dibikeun harepan ku mesin. Sanggeus an mimiti kagok jeung versi munggaran Surface deui di 2012, mangka pitched salaku saingan iPad, Microsoft geus jadi salah sahiji pabrik best of Windows PCS aya. Nu Surface Book nyaéta mesin nikmat, masquerading salaku laptop MacBook Pro-kelas tapi kalayan layar rampa pinuh pisah nu muka eta nepi ka range sakabeh anyar kagunaan.
Kualitas mesin Surface geus ngabalukarkeun masalah lamun datang ka hubungan Microsoft nu mibanda mitra hardware anak, anu biasana nyangka Microsoft jadi raking eusi dina jutaan jeung waragad lisénsi pikeun Windows, tinimbang competing sareng maranehna langsung for untung ti manufaktur hardware. Tapi keur ayeuna, pausahaan geus eusi diuk di tepi pasar, nyieun alat Ecological pikeun pamaké daya.
Najan sakabéh nu, 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. Pondokna, 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, sanajan.
That Spotlight/Cortana mismatch, contona? 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. jeung can, 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.
Tungtungna, 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 (Amérika Sarikat) as an option, and then remove English (Amérika Sarikat) 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. Kanyataanna, 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, atanapi henteu, 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. Dina sababaraha cara, the split is the same that it’s had for the past 20 taun, 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.
lebar, 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? Jawaban, tangtosna, 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.
saliwatan, 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 … sumur, ieu. 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, sanajan, 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. Tapi keur ayeuna, for the vast majority, it’s hard to say there’s anything in it.
Except, tangtosna, 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.
Kanggo abdi, 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. pamustunganana, the question comes down to how much you’re prepared to pay to keep things the same as they have been. Kanggo abdi, it turns out that figure’s quite high.
guardian.co.uk © wali News & Media Limited 2010