What does it take to cross the barrier and go to the dark side?
Many people are forced to use a Windows PC at work, but choose to have a MacBook for more personal business.
For them, it can be assumed that there is a marginal element of learning to live with both – followed by an innate shift from one system to another.
This is not the case of everyone.
Every time I’m in front of my wife’s Windows laptop keyboard, I just can’t. The whole thing seems confusing, mentally debilitating even.
The camera is down here on the left side? Why?
And how do I open, well, anything?
So I was moved by the recent lyrics of Ashley Gjøvik. She was a senior programming engineer at Apple before becoming a whistleblower and being fired for allegedly leaking confidential information.
She is currently involved in several lawsuits against Apple. However, when she gave an interview to Telegraphshe made a very personal comment about the difference between Apple’s products and Microsoft’s.
She said she gave up her iPhone. However, he is unable to leave his Mac. In his words: “I try to change but I sit [at rival] computers and I think it’s crap, so I keep going back.”
I wouldn’t suggest for a moment that all Windows PCs are crap. I would simply never offer such rudeness. But is there still something about the design of Macs that makes them instantly more intuitive for any user who encounters them?
Or does something else make them more attractive?
I admit to having a bias. I’ve been using Apple laptops for as long as they’ve been around. I’ve never found it hard to deduce how they work and how I can do my work on them.
They always felt inviting. They’ve always offered a simplicity that other laptops couldn’t capture. They came, after all, from a philosophy of “it just works”, juxtaposed with a PC philosophy of “look at all these features”.
In recent years, however, I thought Windows PCs had caught up, in part by looking and working more like Macs. So I wonder to what extent Apple’s usability is still a deciding factor in purchasing decisions.
I wonder all the more after hearing recently from Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri to announce that 50% of Mac buyers in the second quarter of this year were new. Yes, they had never owned a Mac before.
Who are these people? And why did they make their decision?
Were they mostly young people who could finally afford their first Mac and had always wanted one? Or were they the ones who now intended to work permanently from home and finally had the choice of having a Mac?
How many, indeed, have turned to the Mac precisely because they think it’s simply more human-friendly?
And how many, like Lee Morris, wedding photographer and longtime Windows user, took a look specifically at Apple’s MacBook M1 and were curiously converted?
“I’ve had my new office here for two months, I’ve set up my Windows PC and I think I’ve only turned it on twice,” he said in a recent FStoppers video.
He added this piquant perspective on his previous penchant for large Windows setups: “I’m an adult now and I don’t want a gigantic, noisy, power-guzzling machine next to my desk.”
He had always assumed it was the only way to achieve performance. Now that is not the case.
So it goes a little beyond ease of use. The Mac seems to have kept it and made huge progress in terms of performance.
Recent reports have suggested that Jony Ive left Apple because his design aesthetic was increasingly questioned by people he called “the accountants”. Still, the design decisions of its time — the painfully unsimple Touch Bar, for example, and the very surprisingly awful butterfly keyboard — somehow steered Apple away from its position of being close to people.
Increasingly, however, the choice of hardware is a personal choice. If you can use all your Microsoft business software on a Mac, why would you choose a Windows PC?
Feel free to respond to that, as I upset you by saying that Apple PC shipments are growing, while the PC market is shrinking.
Some companies still impose certain brands of equipment. But how many, with completely free choice, would choose a Windows computer over a Mac?
For more than price, of course.