Yes, I finally broke down and decided to get a MacBook Pro. Honestly, I didn't think the day would come...but it did. Now, I'm more of a practical person and not always the idealist. I'm also not an Apple purist, meaning that I can't give up access to the Windows OS. The challenge with not having access to a Windows OS is that you never know when you need to access a .net web site or web app that just won't quite work with a non-Internet Explorer web browser. And of course there are those beloved apps like Microsoft Visio that aren't available on the Mac.
So thanks to the brilliant people at VMWare I use their Fusion product to run Windows XP Pro (absolutely the most stable and reliable Microsoft operating system ever) as a virtual machine for all my Windows needs. I've been using it for several weeks and the software works amazingly well, unlike the old MS Virtual PC. The Windows XP virtual machine runs fast, almost to the point where you don't feel like you're working in a virtual environment. I even use MS Office 2007 and Outlook 2007 for my e-mail (yes, I do know about Office 2008 for Mac, but I want to see how well I can use Oulook 2007 running in a virtual machine).
Here are the top 10 things that I will miss from my Vista laptop:
- Wasting at least 20 minutes in the morning waiting for the laptop to come back to life from hibernation and trying to resolve my simple dual monitor setup.
- Intermittent hangups during the workday, such as the mouse cursor and IE freezing.
- Freezing during docking and undocking
- The friendly Vista security cop that asks me to confirm my actions constantly (I eventually turned this "friendly feature" off).
- Waiting for a non-beta version of scanner software for my Visioneer scanner (not sure if people at Visoneer know but it IS 2008 and maybe its time to remove "beta" from their drivers for Vista).
- The anxiety of wondering if the laptop will go into hibernate mode properly if I close the lid...or if I'm in a rush and the time that hibernate does not work the laptop overheats in my laptop bag.
- The constant paging and disk spinning - even with 2 gb of RAM.
- Seeing the "Vista is changing to Basic mode".
- My overall favorite - getting the dual monitors to work properly..every single day.
- The boot process that feels like eternity
So far the Mac experience has been fantastic. The MacBook Pro doesn't miss a beat. Just having the confidence of closing the lid/screen and knowing I can open it and be back to work in seconds is a huge time saver. I'm estimating that I save about 2 hours a day by using Mac (meaning that I lost about 2 hours using Vista).
Of course the built-in video chat capabilities are amazing. I've used the iChat AV software to video chat with friends and it has worked very well.
So where did Microsoft go wrong? Well, Vista could have been a better product. But its not finished and from my experience, full of time wasting, confidence crushing bugs. And its not like I even did an upgrade on my old laptop - Vista Business came with it pre-installed. Hopefully, Microsoft can redeem itself with Windows 7 that is due to be released sometime next year.