How hard is it to move to Windows?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Astroboy907, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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    #1
    First off, please don't make this into a flame war. I'm not here to discuss the pros vs cons of Apple vs Windows computers. I have my reasons, and I am sticking to them.

    I'm not completely decided on this yet, but I am going to college next year, and am planning on getting a new computer. Due to some issues I have with Apple's current offerings and business direction, I'm thinking more and more that the best computer for my needs might be a Windows one. Of course, I'm a mac guy. I've used Mac computers forever, and am fairly well integrated into the OS.

    So, I'd like to hear from any of you, if you have done the switch, how hard is it to move from a Mac computer to a Windows one?
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #2
    I mainly used DOS and Windows a long time ago before I switched to :apple:.
    Even back then the switch wasn't hard.
    Computer is computer and the principle is the same. I'd say switching from :apple: to win is easy.

    I would advise against it however.
     
  3. Renzatic, Jan 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015

    Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #3
    It's pretty easy overall. I switch between them all the time, and while you do miss out on some of OSXs UI niceties in Windows, and there are some things that work a little different, they're pretty similar functionally.

    edit: I should also add a disclaimer stating that I'm primarily a Windows user, who hops over to Mac land on occasion. Most of my Apple specific usage comes from iOS.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4

    Requesting that this not be turned into 'a flame war' strikes me as a wise precaution in the circumstances.

    I've used Windows on and off for over 20 years, and, switched to Mac only as recently as 2008. While I much prefer both Apple computers, and the Mac world to those of Windows, I will readily admit that Windows isn't all bad.

    Some of the Windows OS were pretty good (Windows XP, Windows 7) and some - in my personal experience - were absolutely awful, so dreadful that I detested having to work with them (Windows Vista, and Windows 8).

    The other problems with Windows tend to be bloated systems, and stuff such as spam, and viruses. Irrespective of what software I used, (and I paid for some, rather than simply downloading the free online versions available), I was unable to keep my Windows computers free of spam and other unwelcome visitors.

    In the work-world, another problem is that companies frequently do not upgrade their computers as often as they might (due to costs) with the result that many machines that run on Windows get slower and slower.

    As most of my work universe uses Word (and, by extension uses Windows), since I switched to Mac, I have always used Office for Mac so that what I am doing and working on is compatible with what colleagues can access and read without difficulty.
     
  5. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #5
    Nothing against the software known as "Windows". I do wonder why it would be asked in the community forum rather than the appropriate forum so.

    I'm going to say it's quit easy moving to windows.


    For me I simply walk over to the nearest wall with a window in it and POOF !

    :D
     
  6. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #6
    As a multiplatform user that can switch back and forth between Windows and OS X, I have to say that it isn't that hard. Both operating systems have their goods and bad. You will be able to adjust without too much difficulty. Remember to keep your virus protection up to date. I suggest that you use Microsoft Security Essentials.
     
  7. Squilly macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #7
    Why not just boot camp so you have the best of both worlds, albeit keyboard changes and minor hardware compatibility issues?
     
  8. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

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    #8
    I use OS X exclusively at home and Windows exclusively at school. It's not very hard to switch back and forth, but I much, much prefer using OS X. I find it's just the small things that end up annoying me on Windows, like not being able to just hover over a window and scroll even if it's in the background and the universally horrid trackpads on every Windows laptop. You'll probably end up missing a lot of UI niceties that make OS X what it is, but broadly speaking they do the same things.

    Windows is a much bigger headache when it comes to things like updates and anti-virus, though if you're set on switching you've probably weighed up those pros and cons.

    Good luck - I personally wouldn't ever do it - but if you're set on Windows, it shouldn't be that hard to adjust.
     
  9. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #9
    I give Microsoft credit here. The transition between the two is seamless if you use office and the like. Their hardware sucks, but their software is compatible across OSs
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    I run both windows and OS X. I found the transition to be fairly simple.

    I just bought a SP3 and I'm in the process of moving some of what I do on my MBP over to the SP3. The biggest issue is migrating the data, I need to use an external drive that both can read/write from.

    Most apps on OS X are available on windows, so program wise, its fairly easy to transition over.
     
  11. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    #11
    I use OSX at home and Windows at work and have no issues switching between the two.

    Only thing I'd like to have on Windows is to be able to text from my laptop like I can with my MacBook. It's too easy to text a link to a friend when you're browsing and do it all on one device.
     
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #12
    I use Windows at home, OS X at work to run a bunch of VM's with Windows and Linux... Each OS is different, but by and large they're the same.

    The biggest piece of advice I can give you, is buy a Windows laptop that has a good next-day warranty. Apple's laptops aren't any better built than a comparable PC, but they have the "Apple Store" to support them. PC's don't, so you'll have to rely on phone support, and mail-in or on-site service. The last thing you want is to buy your laptop from Best Buy and have to wait 2 weeks for Geek Squad to get around to fixing it.

    For that reason alone, I buy Dell PC's when I buy any Windows machine. Sure, I may have had 11 motherboards in one of my laptops (yes, it was a fluke), but the total downtime was still less time than it took Apple to fix my laptop once due to bad RAM.
     
  13. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    I'm fluent in both OSX and Windows, up to win7 with some win8 exposure. I HATE live tiles!! :p I have a friend who is Windows only and her HP laptop is was an utter mess until I got my hands on it. Explorer is an abomination. Her problem: she is a neophyte. If you just launch Windows and do "normal" online things, surfing, downloading a file or program now and then, Windows will kick your ass, inundated with pop ups, malware, adware, viruses. The complete opposite of what the Mac computer neophyte faces. A reason why people love MacOS? Very possible.

    However, if you take some precautions, Windows can be harrnassed and offer a reasonable experience.

    *Avoid Microsoft Explorer like the plague. Instead use Firefox and install security apps, like No Script, Netcraft Toolbar, World IP Identifer, AdBlocker, etc, etc.
    *Most importantly, install Tuneup Utilities 2014, possibly The Best Windows maintenance program hands down. They also have a new program which involves a yearly subscription. My neophyte friend? I put this on her computer after it would produce an error causing it to restart, ever 5 minutes. TU removed 1500 registry errors and a host of other problems that develop naturally just-using-Windows. It includes a complete protocol of maintenance tasks. It's a life saver. I use it on my Windows 7 partition on my MBR. Also has a turbo-mode which turns off background programs on command for when doing important intense tasks like gaming! ;)
    *Install Microsoft Security Essentials (may be included with Win8?) a free antivirus program or consider buying one.
    *Install Spybot and/or AdAware from a safe location. Both have free versions.

    Once setup, TU will handle maintenance and shoot you reminders. The others need to be run on a regular basis to keep Windows ruley. Good luck! :D
     
  14. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #14
    I guess it should not be harder than switching from Windows to Mac.
    It was very easy for me after some decades of using only Windows.
    You will find your way easily. The logic is almost the same.
    But as it was mentioned, Windows is more vulnerable. And experimenting with the OS or with some software can cause problems that you won't face with OS X.
    Pros: you will learn another OS and the environment. Windows based devices are cheaper.
    Cons: you will lose a stable, absolutely user-friendly and intuitive, (for you) well-known environment.
    And as it was suggested you might just boot camp, thus having two systems.
     
  15. Huntn, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #15
    One more Windows tip: after you are using Windows, go to Control Panels and select Programs. In the list of programs that appear, scroll down the list. Google any program name that does not look familiar. If a malware-how-to-remove link pops up, this is likely malware/adware or even a virus. Try to use the built in Windows uninstaller. Think about purchasing Revo Uninstaller which keeps track of everything you install ( you have to tell it to as you install the program). It's also good at uninstalling other programs that mysteriously appear on your computer, but some of these programs will not go quietly. They can even require editing the registry, which is something that can hose your computer if you mess up. Tip: Make a Windows restore point. I believe Windows backs up the registry as part of this process. Note, I have no Mac centric agenda. Just telling it like it is. I use Windows successfully every day. :D
     
  16. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    Although you lose the Windows hardware economy factor, I highy recommend this route. I've been using Windows via Bootcamp since Intel Macs arrived (2006) and it has worked wonderfully for me, especially while mobile. You don't have to leave the MacOS behind.
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    Excellent advice, and very well worth heeding.

    While I wouldn't describe myself as fluent in Windows, I have worked in it a lot (though less often by preference in recent years, precisely for the reasons you describe in your two excellent posts above).

    The problem is, while most people are competent in Windows, they are by no means fluent, and will need someone to deal with all of the stuff you mention. I found the endless spam, viruses, malware, adware to be a perfect nightmare to handle, irrespective of what I did. And they also slowed the system down, as did the endless updates. In fact, I never worked out how to deal with Windows 8 without swearing endless curses; even turning the damned thing off was a hassle.

    My Mac is an absolute pleasure to operate by comparison (and I write that as someone who is by no means a fan of the myopic adulation showered upon the late Mr Jobs). Actually, it seems to me that Windows manages to do a decent OS on every second round; thus, Windows 7 was easy to work (whereas Vista was ghastly).

     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    Looks like that's from AVG, do you use their antivirus as well?
     
  19. Renzatic, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #19
    I'm pretty solid with Windows, since it's what I use more often than not. I'd say your advice is sound, though a little overkill in places. From my experiences, I'd pare some things down a bit.

    1. Don't use IE? Sound advice. Even though IE10 and 11 are pretty solid these days, they still tend to attract weird plugins and add-ons you don't want. Use Chrome or Firefox instead.

    2. Speaking of add-ons, these tend to come in with free trials for programs you get off the internet. You'll go in to install something, and see a bunch of checkboxes with "INSTALL ASK TOOLBAR NOW" or "MAKE BLAH YOUR HOMEPAGE". Because of these very annoying people doing very annoying things, it's best to read through every window that pops up during an install process.

    3. Antivirus? I'd use Microsoft Security Essentials, which comes standard with Windows 8. It doesn't harass the hell out of you, and does its job well. Drive by viruses are rare things in Windows these days, so this isn't nearly as big of a deal as it used to be. But still, it's nice to have one around just in case.

    4. Malwarebytes Antimalware is also a good fallback option. I tend to run it once every other month, along with...

    5. CCleaner. Like your Tuneup Utility, but much, much lighter. Windows does have a tendency to collect some cruft after awhile. It's not terrible, but sometimes you'll want to clean your caches. This program does a great job without getting in the way.

    6. The Registry. Don't worry about it. I know it has a bad reputation around here, maybe deservedly so, but I've never ever ever once had a problem with it. If you still feel an absolute driving need to fix it, CCleaner does a good job of it, but I'd say leave it alone. Especially if you...

    7. Use Revo Uninstaller. Which basically does what all Windows installers should do, keeps track of all the changes a program makes, to the registry, the folders, and all, and gets rid of them entirely.

    8. Page File! Here's a complicated one. Since time immemorial, I've always set my page file to a fixed size on its own separate partition. I don't even know if this nets any advantages anymore (it's probably less important on an SSD equipped system), but I do it.

    Yeah, we've probably scared this guy away from getting a Windows PC entirely now. :p

    I've used it for years, and problems are exceedingly rare for me. Everything runs smooth, stable, and nicely, sometimes even smoother than it's Mac equivalent.

    ...but it is occasionally fiddly, and it's this fiddliness that someone moving from a Mac to a PC will likely have a hard time coming to terms with. OSX never ever seems to get in your way (except when it does), while Windows does require you to sit it aside to wipe it's nose and clean out its eye boogers every once in awhile.

    edit: 9. If you see anything with McAfee or Norton on your brand new computer, kill it. Don't even give it a second thought. Pull the trigger, and kill it until its dead. A good number of problems I've seen people experience with Windows come directly from their overzealous, resource hogging, cure worse than the disease virus scanners and firewalls.
     
  20. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #20
    Windows 8 has Windows Defender which is Security Essentials plus Spyware. It is free and included.

    --------------------------

    I want to second what someone else said about using Bootcamp to be able to run OS X or Windows. All my Macs are at a minimum dual boot. I install Windows both as native using Bootcamp but also as virtual using VM Ware. It allows me to switch back and forth when I need to use an application program that is not Mac compatible. A quick example is Microsoft Streets & Trips or Mappoint. There really is no Mac equivalent.

    My DD12 uses a MacBook with OS X and Windows 8. She has to do certain things for school on a Windows PC with Internet Explorer. When she has to boot her Mac in Windows, she calls it "Dumbing down her Mac."
     
  21. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

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    #21
    As much as I love OSX, I still use Windows 7 on a regular basis. They both have their pluses and minuses. Right now I'm on my Windows PC converting my DVD collection. It runs much cooler and faster than my Mac Mini. On the other hand, I do most of my daily use, web browsing, email, watching movies, etc. on on my Mac. Love both. Couldn't live without either one.. And viruses? I haven't had one since the early 90's when I had no idea what I was doing..
     
  22. Huntn, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #22
    I just use MS Security Essentials. I've done some reading and it seems like no Anti-virus is 100% even 80%. So maybe I'm rationalizing using MS's free product. What is your impression about Anti-viruses?

    I agree with all of your advice, but have a comment about #6- The registry. The problem my friends computer had on it was with the registry and wanting to shut down every 3-5 minutes for a restart. Darn, I did not right down what the error was, but it was registry based. When I ran TU, cleaned and optimized, it removed 1500 registry errors and the problem went away. Does Windows 7 have a built in registry fixer?

    I'm not calling myself an expert but my impression is that the registry, the text database where Windows keep track of a lot of stuff, slowly gets bloated and if it's not cleaned and optimized, eventually will slow down your computer or may cause other issues. From my personal experience, cleaning the registry using TU corrected the problem with my friend's computer.

    My impression is that every time Windows accesses the registry seeking information about where things are stored, or stuff like that, it has to navigate the entire file. Would you say that's an accurate description? This is a disputed view from some tech corners.

    Edit: Oh yeah, Norton Utilities/Anti-virus, used to use it on my Mac until they lagged on updates as compared to MacOS updates, which broke it. So I stopped using it there. Now I use ClamXav on MacOS and it's free. :) I had Norton on my PC and and when I got mad at them, I tried to remove it, and it would not go away! Then I was really mad, but Norton got even. :( Had to do some registry tinkering based on Norton's How-To-Remove instructions, screwed up my PC and had to reinstall Windows from scratch. :mad::mad: Norton? Pew...
     
  23. localoid, Jan 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015

    localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #23
  24. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #24
    I think this Wikipedia article would do a better job of explaining the registry than I ever would, and Localoid does a nice job showing why you shouldn't worry about it.

    From what I understand, it's pretty inelegant, but surprisingly quick and efficient at doing what it does. Yeah, it can get crufty, but it doesn't matter because Windows doesn't have to parse through the crufty bits to get to what it needs.
     
  25. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #25
    My biggest annoyance with Windows is when a background program wants your attention, it jumps to the foreground. It's particularly annoying while entering data in a spreadsheet. I'm typing away for several minutes at a time, not looking at the screen. When I look up, I find that one of the programs I was running in the background popped up with a message, a trivial notification.:eek::mad: Five minutes of work wasted.:mad::mad::mad:

    OS X is great in that a background program have its icon bounce in the dock when it wants your attention.:cool: None of Window's IN YOUR FACE antic.:mad:

    It's the little things that bugs you when switching between the different OS's.

    Dunno where you get the idea that Windows machines suck. They use the same hardware as Macs. High end PC's stack up well against Apple's offerings. As is many times the case, you get what you pay for. You can't expect a $200 windows laptop to compare favorably against a $1000 MBA.
     

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