PC to Mac Conclusion: Switching Easier – and Harder – Than Expected

Switching from PC to Mac caused a lot of anxiety at first because the two operating systems are vastly different in some ways.  However after about a month of living with her new iBook, my wife – who falls about in the lower middle of the spectrum in terms of computer knowledge – has barely hiccupped. In fact, I’ve gotten fewer questions and problems than I did with the Dell. Granted, many of the problems with the Dell laptop were due to old age and not necessarily due to Windows. However it was refreshing not to click on a program to open it and then run an errand as it opens.

The biggest obstacles at the beginning were the lack of a mouse and learning what programs did what, and $8 and a little experience solved both those problems.

I was never able to resolve the printer problem, which surprises me. I expected that to be fairly simple once the two computers were networked together. I can share files from the Mac to the PC, but not vice versa. Not a big problem, but a big annoyance.

Many people are put off from switching to a Mac because of the high cost of Apple products, lack of knowledge of how to use a Mac, and the need to buy new software. These problems are easily solved though.

Buying a new Mac computer can be pretty expensive. However there are plenty of sites and stores that sell used and refurbished Macs, including the Apple online store. You can probably find an older Mac that suits your budget and needs. As always, do your homework before making a purchase.

The Apple stores and online forums offer lots of support for new users, and there are lots of books specifically on switching from PC to Mac to make the transition easier.

If you need new software, then you need new software – hard to get around that. You will probably have to buy new software for your Mac so factor this into your investment. As my experience with Microsoft Office for Mac revealed, even the same program will look and work quite differently on a Mac than on a PC. Also, some software just isn’t available for Mac. Then again, some excellent Mac software isn’t available on PC either. Use this as an opportunity to try new titles that might be less expensive and possibly work better than what you’re currently using, especially freeware office suites like OpenOffice.

If you are considering switching to or adding a Mac to your computing arsenal, make sure your current peripherals (like printers and monitors) will work with Mac or at least have Mac drivers available for download from the manufacturer site. If they aren’t compatible, consider the cost and nuisance of replacing those peripherals before your purchase.

For more information check out www.apple.com/support/switch101.

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Posted on February 4, 2011, in Apple vs PC and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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