How often do we read about someone who finally gave up the ghost and switched from a Windows PC to a Mac? Often. In fact, far more often than the other way around; switch from Mac to Windows. Here’s the brief story of what could have been.
Oh, and, no, I’m not switching from my Mac to any Windows PC. After all, if I so choose, my Mac can run Windows anyway. So, why would someone switch from a Mac to a Windows PC? Maybe those are the people who gluttons for punishment; you know, some kind of strange digital masochism. Whatever it is, it doesn’t happen often but it almost happened to a neighbor (one I persuaded to buy a MacBook Pro about five years ago.
Five years? You would think my neighbor would have remembered the days of Windows past; XP, Vista, Windows 7, viruses and malware galore, cheap and plastic personified. Somehow, over the course of a five year period of using a personal computer with virtually no hiccups, my friend forgot about the past pains, and was lured back to the dark side with a series of articles about Mac killers, iPad killers, and how Windows 10 was better than macOS, and how Apple was doomed, or, at least the Mac was doomed.
My neighbor was suckered in by commercials and articles which extolled the so-called virtues of Microsoft finally winning the Mac vs. Windows battle, that Surface-whatever vs. iPad was better because it was both PC and tablet.
Negative advertising works at least as well as positive advertising and my neighbor, just two doors down, was exposed to both just enough to place an order with HP for a svelte new notebook with a touchscreen, and brag about it to me. Yes, I was surprised but managed a smile and a question.
Well, I’ve read about how much better Windows is these days, and how the new touchscreen models actually work as both tablet and notebook, and Windows 10 is even better than the Mac.
Again, back to my line of questioning, but with double the words.
That’s where it became uncomfortable. For both of us. There was nothing beyond the “How so?” It was empty. Price? I pointed out the obvious. Cheap PCs abound, but pound for pound, they’re about the same, Mac included.
We did a quick comparison of a MacBook Pro to a Surface Book, then a Surface Laptop, and the prices– pound for pound (as in hardware comparisons)– were within about $100. Somehow price had become an objective, when just a few years earlier my neighbor was so unhappy with Windows and two Dell notebooks and one HP notebook in five years that paying any price to get out of the Windows PC trap was worth it.
One Mac notebook in five years with no problems, vs. three Windows PC notebooks and constant heartache. Is it any wonder that voters cannot stand members of congress but keep voting the same people back to office? We forget to the bad old days and romanticize the good ones.
My neighbor and I had a good, long talk about what features were actually wanted vs. the commercials and attractive price. Did my neighbor actually use a Windows 10 touchscreen notebook? No. Did my neighbor try out the keyboard? No. Did my neighbor remember that Macs can run Windows? No. Did my neighbor forget about all the Windows-based malware problems? Yes.
Don’t get me wrong. Those new Microsoft Windows 10 Surface models are attractive. On paper. There’s Laptop Mode where the kickstand kicks out to make it a notebook (the Mac uses a hinge; positively quaint). There’s Studio Mode where the kickstand can be lowered so you can draw on Windows with the Surface Pen. And, there’s Tablet Mode whereby the detachable keyboard and foldable kickstand disappear so you can use the world’s thickest and heaviest tablet.
Pricing? Pro starts at $799 but scoots to $2,699 in a hurry and does not include the keyboard. Tech writers point out that the Surface Laptop and Pro compete against iPad Pro and MacBook Air.
No. Microsoft designed those PCs to compete against other manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenovo, et al, but only sells devices at the higher end of the price spectrum so their Windows 10 partners have room to eke out a meager profit. In general, and I told my friend this, Windows 10 PCs have been going down in sales for a few years while the Mac sells at record levels.
That was enough. My job here is done. Another Mac life was saved that day.