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View Full Version : A Windows user's take on Mountain Lion




spiderman0616
Nov 26, 2012, 08:24 AM
I have been a Windows-only user almost my whole life. All of our home computers always had Windows on them, and I never messed around too much with anything pre-Windows, because we just simply didn't have computers in my house before that. The couple of times I had to use Macs (in high school and college labs usually) I had issues with them. The issues could have been user error, so I'm not necessarily blaming the machines--but nonetheless, I had a Mac lose a major project that I worked really hard on back in college, and I was turned off to Mac forever. (So I thought.)

In 2010, I bought an iPhone 4. In 2011, an iPad. Followed by an Apple TV. And so on and so on. My wife and I have basically been living in iOS for the last couple of years and she uses a work issued Macbook. Then there's this Windows PC sitting in my basement. It has been on XP, Vista, and 7. I built and rebuilt it by hand over the last few years, and it has been a workhorse for me. But it's starting to show its age, and to put it simply, I no longer feel like messing with it. These days, it is only being used to store media and share it out over HomeSharing. That's about it. Needless to say, we were in the market for a new computer.

I decided on the new Mac Mini after realizing that Windows machines just don't fit into our lives or our workflow anymore. (The 2009 and before version of me would be slapping current me in the face right now. I will reiterate that I used to be a HUGE Apple hater.) We have decided to hook it up to our HDTV in the man cave and use a magic trackpad and wireless bluetooth keyboard as the interface.

As far as setup, it took no time. I've been planning ahead for this for about a year. All my media files and documents I wanted to keep were already on an external drive ready to go. iCloud/iTunes Match took care of the rest. I dumped all my media on to the new Mac, formatted the external drive so I could use it for Time Machine, hooked it up to my Airport Extreme, and set it up for Time Machine backups. The backup situation that I thought would take forever to set up, took no time at all. And as I mentioned before, we use iCloud for everything else, so setting up profiles for my wife and I was painless.

As far as learning curve goes, it took all of one night. After the first night of learning how to use the trackpad and learning my way around the OS, I realized there really is no learning to worry about. You just do what you need to do. By the next day I felt like I was USING the computer instead of trying to figure out HOW to use the computer. Everything I used to do on my Windows box, there was an equal, no, better way to do it on OSX. And big advantage for me: My wife already uses Mac full time at work, so I don't have to show her how to do anything.

My original plan was to do Boot Camp and run Windows on my new Mac as well--just in case. That is no longer my plan. I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything by no longer using Windows. And I will add a side note to this as well. I tried the Windows 8 consumer preview back when it came out. My thought was that it looked pretty, but was, in general, a failure for PCs. It hit me last night when I was on Mountain Lion: "This is what MS was trying to do with Metro interface." I feel like MS saw where OSX was going and seemed to be trying to emulate it by using these full screen "apps" in the Metro interface. But what they ended up doing is putting 2 different versions of Windows in one OS. No convergence. Mountain Lion is convergence. And it works. And I love it.

So, Microsoft, the time has come for you and I to part ways. I will still use my Xbox 360 (I feel it's the only thing you're doing right anymore). Other than that, we're divorced. You've made things too complicated, too convoluted, and your OS shouldn't require a reformat every one to two years. Maybe we can try again when Windows 9 comes out.



rhoydotp
Nov 26, 2012, 08:31 AM
i had a similar experience when I got my iMac in 2006 using Tiger. good for you ... of course, it's not a silver bullet and later on you'll find things that are lacking. there are ways around it is just vastly different from what Windows does. have fun!

sensorian
Nov 26, 2012, 08:32 AM
Pretty mirrors my experience albeit mine was a rMBP 15" that I moved to from a couple of Windows laptops (one work, one personal). I now have both of those machines running under VMWare Fusion but spend as little time as possible in a Windows environment but have taken to OSX like a metaphorical duck to the proverbial water. I am writing music again for the first time in years (via Logic) am writing productively and editing video and photo's easily and effectively.

I bought one-to-one as I thought the transition would be harder but I've not needed it yet. Still there in case though I guess.....

Nice write up by the way, great post.

spiderman0616
Nov 26, 2012, 10:46 AM
Pretty mirrors my experience albeit mine was a rMBP 15" that I moved to from a couple of Windows laptops (one work, one personal). I now have both of those machines running under VMWare Fusion but spend as little time as possible in a Windows environment but have taken to OSX like a metaphorical duck to the proverbial water. I am writing music again for the first time in years (via Logic) am writing productively and editing video and photo's easily and effectively.

I bought one-to-one as I thought the transition would be harder but I've not needed it yet. Still there in case though I guess.....

Nice write up by the way, great post.

Thanks--I could gush more, but people don't tend to read long posts. Needless to say, I'm just thoroughly impressed with how easy the switch was and how easy it was to get comfortable with the OS after moving all my data. I'm also uber impressed with the hardware quality of the Mac Mini itself as well as the wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad. The trackpad was a little perplexing at first, but then my brain said, "Use it like an iPhone, dummy!" Then it all came together.

MonkeySee....
Nov 26, 2012, 10:49 AM
Nice post.

My only issue with moving to OSX and my iMac was that I didn't do it sooner :D

Macman45
Nov 26, 2012, 10:58 AM
And another convert joins the ranks...:) My next door neighbour and buddy was a "I will never use a Mac, iPhone,or any Apple product period" kind of guy.

He now has an iphone 4S, an iPad 3, and will soon be consigning his Windows PC to the history books when his new iMac is ordered and deliverd soon.

Like the OP, he discovered that everything "just works" and I helped him along, lending him my MBA for a day...That's all it took.

I'm not going to knock MS, the have their customers and OS variants which I too used to use. There is a lot in the old one...: Once you go Mac, you never go back.:)

gowanis
Nov 26, 2012, 02:50 PM
I moved from Windows 7 to Mountain Lion a few months ago. Overall, the experience has been very positive, but the one thing that still bugs me is the way the Mac OS handles window management. I miss the ability to instantly tile all open windows. I purchased a few different programs (I think I'm using Better Snap Tool or something like that - at work now can't remember the name) and its manageable, but still not as easy to use as Windows.

BRyken
Nov 26, 2012, 02:55 PM
I moved from Windows 7 to Mountain Lion a few months ago. Overall, the experience has been very positive, but the one thing that still bugs me is the way the Mac OS handles window management. I miss the ability to instantly tile all open windows. I purchased a few different programs (I think I'm using Better Snap Tool or something like that - at work now can't remember the name) and its manageable, but still not as easy to use as Windows.

I agree. This is one part of my work PC I wish was implemented on Mac. It is so useful.

spiderman0616
Nov 26, 2012, 03:00 PM
And another convert joins the ranks...:) My next door neighbour and buddy was a "I will never use a Mac, iPhone,or any Apple product period" kind of guy.

He now has an iphone 4S, an iPad 3, and will soon be consigning his Windows PC to the history books when his new iMac is ordered and deliverd soon.

Like the OP, he discovered that everything "just works" and I helped him along, lending him my MBA for a day...That's all it took.

I'm not going to knock MS, the have their customers and OS variants which I too used to use. There is a lot in the old one...: Once you go Mac, you never go back.:)

Some people in the media are starting to bury MS now that Black Friday has come and gone and barely any Surfaces were sold. I think it's a little premature for that. I honestly don't think MS is in a "death spiral" as some people have suggested. I do know that I'm 100% fed up with Windows as are a lot of others, and I think that's going to continue.

I also think MS is in dangerous territory. Their business model USED to be that they will always sell tons of Windows licenses with new PCs. But people appear to be holding off on Windows 8 as well as buying PCs in general. So MS upended the whole business model and started selling their own hardware. Unfortunately, it's not actually selling. So they've ruined their customers' perception of Windows by essentially screwing it all up, they've ruined their relationship with 3rd party PC makers, and they appear to be failing in the 2012 holiday shopping season so far. This is a very important quarter for all tech companies and MS was already behind.

I really don't care about any of that. I use what I like and don't use what I don't like. I don't wish for MS to die or anything. I just can't believe how bad they suck lately. I thought Windows 7 was a return to form and that Windows 8 would be amazing. I was wrong on both things. I ended up hating Windows 7 too.

SuperRob
Nov 26, 2012, 03:15 PM
Add another voice to the choir. Your experience is nearly identical to mine, right down to the timeline. I do have Windows 7 in a Parallels VM as a security blanket, but I never use it. I almost didn't bother installing it again when I wiped everything to set up a Fusion Drive. (Though the VM is FAST on the SSD.)

My sore spot has been OS X's handling of multiple monitors and full-screen apps. I've finally resigned myself to Apple's way of doing things, and keep my Macbook Air closed when attached to my monitor at work. I'm much happier using Spaces to flip between full-screen apps, although this becomes a bit of a pain when I want to drag between those apps. Still figuring out how to be efficient in that context.

----------

I moved from Windows 7 to Mountain Lion a few months ago. Overall, the experience has been very positive, but the one thing that still bugs me is the way the Mac OS handles window management. I miss the ability to instantly tile all open windows. I purchased a few different programs (I think I'm using Better Snap Tool or something like that - at work now can't remember the name) and its manageable, but still not as easy to use as Windows.

I missed Aero Snap quite a bit. I got an app called "Cinch" from the AppStore, and that has sated me. I didn't really tile my windows all that much to begin with, but I used Aero Snap quite a bit.

mschmalenbach
Nov 26, 2012, 03:34 PM
My mum is on an older Packard Bell running VISTA.

Most of her phone calls are to get my help to get her out of a situation...

She lives in the UK, I live in the USA, 7 time zones away, so being the Support Desk is not so easy.

My gripe is that technology intended to be used by 'mere mortals' should not require having to think like the designers and engineers who created the thing in the first place. They should think like a 'mere mortal' and just make it intuitive.

I keep telling her to get a Mac, that when I next come home to visit (this time next year, probably) I'll make sure she gets a Mini - she only does surfing, email and looking at photos/videos from friends & family and her own cameras - not a power user...

The question is, will her sanity, and mine, last another 12 months??!!!

spiderman0616
Nov 26, 2012, 03:37 PM
My mum is on an older Packard Bell running VISTA.

Most of her phone calls are to get my help to get her out of a situation...

She lives in the UK, I live in the USA, 7 time zones away, so being the Support Desk is not so easy.

My gripe is that technology intended to be used by 'mere mortals' should not require having to think like the designers and engineers who created the thing in the first place. They should think like a 'mere mortal' and just make it intuitive.

I keep telling her to get a Mac, that when I next come home to visit (this time next year, probably) I'll make sure she gets a Mini - she only does surfing, email and looking at photos/videos from friends & family and her own cameras - not a power user...

The question is, will her sanity, and mine, last another 12 months??!!!

I went one step simpler with my parents--I told them to ditch their Dell and just get an iPad. My "support calls" with my parents are virtually non existent now. They have a Verizon iPad 2 and a wireless printer for AirPlay, and they couldn't be happier. It's nice to be able to do Skype and FaceTime with them without first having to do a remote session out to their Dell to reconfigure everything YET AGAIN.

oneMadRssn
Nov 26, 2012, 03:40 PM
With Windows 8 out now and on nearly all new PCs, and it being so drastically different from all the previous versions, I think there is really no more barrier to switching.

Whether a Windows user is moving to OS X or to Windows 8, there is going to be some learning and adjusting. Might as well learn and adjust to OS X :-) Some might even say switching to OS X is easier than to Windows 8.

craftytony
Nov 26, 2012, 03:46 PM
I was a windows guy since windows 3.x and have used vista/7/8 for work or helping fix family/friends computers. I was never an Apple Hater, but I just always thought it would be too hard to learn. Finally after always dealing with viruses, slow performance, boring OS, and just common maintenance to keep my machines up and running I finally took the plunge in early 2009 and got a mac. Since then my apple product purchases have included iphones/ipods/ipads/appletv and macbooks. I am still amazed out how well they all perform and how easy it is. Apple doesn't always "just work" 100% of the time, but it does for the most part, maybe 98% of the time :) My 3 year old mac is still superfast and I haven't run antivirus on it ever until recently because I just wanted to see and of course it found nothing. I don't think I could ever go back to windows...nope....no way :)

Congratulations and Enjoy!

Krazy Bill
Nov 26, 2012, 04:42 PM
So, Microsoft, the time has come for you and I to part ways. I'm getting quite content with Windows 8 in Boot camp. It's actually a joy to use now that I can boot right into my desktop and use the faux startup menu just like the old days. The minimalist interface really grows on you and I like what they did to MS-Office.

Waiting for Apple to write boot camp drivers which should arrive any year now. :(

Also waiting to see the MS Surface Pro in January. (I might give the macbook to the kiddies to play with along with the rest of their iToys and iTrinkets.)

spiderman0616
Nov 27, 2012, 07:42 AM
I'm getting quite content with Windows 8 in Boot camp. It's actually a joy to use now that I can boot right into my desktop and use the faux startup menu just like the old days. The minimalist interface really grows on you and I like what they did to MS-Office.

Waiting for Apple to write boot camp drivers which should arrive any year now. :(

Also waiting to see the MS Surface Pro in January. (I might give the macbook to the kiddies to play with along with the rest of their iToys and iTrinkets.)

I tried Windows 8 for awhile. There is absolutely no reason to have it on a desktop. NONE. At least in my opinion. At some point I may stick Windows 7 on my Mac Mini in boot camp, but honestly, the chances of that happening are slim. With the exception of Xbox Live, MS and I are splitsville.

satcomer
Nov 27, 2012, 08:04 AM
I moved from Windows 7 to Mountain Lion a few months ago. Overall, the experience has been very positive, but the one thing that still bugs me is the way the Mac OS handles window management. I miss the ability to instantly tile all open windows. I purchased a few different programs (I think I'm using Better Snap Tool or something like that - at work now can't remember the name) and its manageable, but still not as easy to use as Windows.

Take a look at the applications XFinder (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/42067/xtrafinder) and Default Folder X (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/7214/default-folder-x). See if these either of these two programs might fit your bill.

hallux
Nov 27, 2012, 11:03 AM
I moved to a 15" MBP from a 15" HP laptop in July. My experience is also very similar. My job is in IT support and had used a Mac there for over a year. I now use a Mac for work and a Mac for personal, almost exclusively. I still have a work-issued Windows laptop, but that just sits in the docking station for those times when I NEED to have Windows because there's no Mac equivalent. I also still have a Windows PC at home, for occasional gaming and large capacity storage (media sharing). Like the OP, I found the interface transition VERY easy. I still stumble on a few things and need to remember that for certain tasks I have to use a certain application (usually browser-related), but it's been pleasant.

I haven't looked back. In fact, my HP laptop was wiped and set up for my mom.

Izzybeff
Nov 27, 2012, 11:15 AM
I so wish this was my husband who had posted this!

I have been using Apple products for the last 3 years and he is still dragging on with his PC's. and whining and complaining the whole time. I'm still hoping to convert him though as whenever we travel he seems happy with my Macbook Pro & iPad... Someday, someday.

spiderman0616
Nov 27, 2012, 01:24 PM
I so wish this was my husband who had posted this!

I have been using Apple products for the last 3 years and he is still dragging on with his PC's. and whining and complaining the whole time. I'm still hoping to convert him though as whenever we travel he seems happy with my Macbook Pro & iPad... Someday, someday.

Haha--I haven't had a chance to sit down at the new machine with my wife yet, but at some point she's probably going to be able to show me some things I didn't know!! She has been on OSX for work for about 10 years.

50548
Nov 27, 2012, 01:28 PM
Take a look at the applications XFinder (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/42067/xtrafinder) and Default Folder X (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/7214/default-folder-x). See if these either of these two programs might fit your bill.

Also these for having the (few) better Windows features which are missing in OS X:

http://www.tested.com/tech/mac-os/559-how-to-steal-windows-7s-best-features-for-mac-os-x/

Or this one for tiling windows (free):

http://osxdaily.com/2012/02/08/organize-tile-resize-windows-without-a-mouse-spectacle-for-mac-os-x/

bogatyr
Nov 27, 2012, 01:53 PM
I missed Aero Snap quite a bit. I got an app called "Cinch" from the AppStore, and that has sated me. I didn't really tile my windows all that much to begin with, but I used Aero Snap quite a bit.

Cinch works with multiple monitors as well. That should fix any issue with fullscreen and multi monitor support. Instead of hitting the full screen button, snap it full screen. Leaves both monitors usable.

----------

I'm getting quite content with Windows 8 in Boot camp. It's actually a joy to use now that I can boot right into my desktop and use the faux startup menu just like the old days. The minimalist interface really grows on you and I like what they did to MS-Office.

Waiting for Apple to write boot camp drivers which should arrive any year now. :(

Also waiting to see the MS Surface Pro in January. (I might give the macbook to the kiddies to play with along with the rest of their iToys and iTrinkets.)

What BC drivers? I haven't had any issues using Windows 8 in BC. No driver issues.

rrm998
Nov 27, 2012, 07:31 PM
I started with the iPhone, got an iPad, and now a rMBP. I refer to the iPhone as a "gateway drug" for Apple products.

spiderman0616
Nov 28, 2012, 07:35 AM
I started with the iPhone, got an iPad, and now a rMBP. I refer to the iPhone as a "gateway drug" for Apple products.

It definitely was for me. When the first iPad came out, I was still an Apple hater, but I was slowly coming around. My first reaction to it was, "that's stupid". Then the iPhone 4 came out. I didn't have a smartphone yet, and I was dead set on a Droid Incredible. Then I tried an iPhone 4 at the AT&T store, and my first reaction was "ohhhhhhh, that's awesome", and I immediately ordered one. A year later I had an iPad 2. A year after that I had an iPad 3. A few months later and now I have an Apple TV and a Mac Mini and have convinced my wife to convert to iPhone. We're both thrilled.

s.horsfield
Nov 29, 2012, 03:11 AM
Growing up out family were always on PC's. I remember every few months we would drive to our family friends a few hundreds KM's up north to get something fixed by him. The machine was a complete dog, blue screening, viruses, slow performance, terrible stability etc. Not to mention the ugly design, lack of simplicity and interconnectedness. My primary school were one of the only schools in the areas fully kitted out with iMacs. They ran flawlessly, never any issues. We had no IT department because of this. Aside from one Apple specialist that came in every few months to check on things (as I understand the visits were pretty quick). My all PC owning friends always thought of Macs as 'weird' but from a very early age I was going into my local PC shop to check out the Mac's. So from an early age I'd always had good experiences. Then finally after years of making excuses along the lines of "they aren't worth it, it was probably just chance". I splashed out (kidding) and bought a year old (but new) clearance machine. An early 2009 Mac mini, I happily kept it for a couple of years before selling it just a few months ago for a PC. The machine was amazing and ran great (aside from whenever I wanted to play the latest game). Gaming has always been a strange thing for me, I get so hyped for games that I never end up enjoying. It's more like the idea of games gets me. Anyway this idea I had in my head that I needed a gaming PC really grabbed me. So I built a gaming level hackintosh after being told the parts I'd chosen would work flawlessly, they didn't and still don't. I basically get a machine of PC quality (which runs like a PC), with all the issues I listed earlier (I've had to reformat countless times...) just to keep a machine running. It really is just a PC with Apples interface. Sure it can game, but it has so many issues it really isn't worth it. I've now realised after being in the Apple camp for only a few years its the place for me. I'm still friends with a bunch of Apple haters that don't see why I like them but I know I'll be first in line for a 2013 MacBook Air next year!

z06gal
Nov 29, 2012, 08:59 AM
I don't know what Windows 9 will be like but I tried 8 and it is straight up awful. It is not smooth at all and why they removed the start button is a head scratcher. I am sure it can be hacked and changed that way but I am just not into having to do all that to make it useable. It took me forever to get to the control panel. OS-X has its issues and quirks, but I will take it all day over Windows ;)

sim667
Nov 29, 2012, 09:24 AM
I felt the same when I got mine on 10.2

The only thing I found complicated was setting up my wifi network, but wifi was a brand new thing back then.:D