Long time PC user switching over to Mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by world2er, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. world2er macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2010
    After being a PC user exclusively for many years, I have finally seen the light. I'm going to pickup a new MBP 17" this weekend from Tekserv in NYC ...

    I have already settled on the following configuration:

    17" w/ Hi Res Anti-glare screen
    2.66 GHz i7
    500 Gb 7200 rpm drive
    8 Gb Ram

    (I do audio work, and am going with recommendations from friends & colleagues ... I also enjoy the occasional game of World of Warcraft)

    As this is obviously going to cost a bundle, I am opting not to immediately get the Applecare package, as I understand that you can get it anytime within the first year that you purchase a new MBP. I will definitely be getting it in a month or so, but just don't have the immediate budget for it, after paying for the MBP itself.

    My main question is how many other of you are previous PC users, and in all honesty, how difficult is the changeover (I use the normal Microsoft Office programs Excel & Word also)?

    Most everyone I know says that using a MBP is much easier than a PC, but it would be great to hear the honest opinions of others how may have done the same.

    Thanks in advance for your replies :)
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    It really is easy to change over. I think the Mac version of office takes a bit of getting used to, but when I switched, it really only took a couple days before I was totally used to using OS X. It only took a few minutes to figure out what I was doing as well, and I quickly discovered how much more intuitive it is than windows. I hope that is what you were looking for, cheers and enjoy your computer!
  3. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    the biggest issue you are going to have is navigating in the finder and understanding that just because all of the windows of a program are closed doesn't mean the program itself is closed. IT's really annoying, but you either have to click the program name in the menu bar and select quit or click command-Q. The only thing I can't stand about macs is that there isn't a button to quit the application. Also, understand the the workflow is different. Instead of minimizing windows, I think you will find that it's more efficient to use something called exposé. Swipe all 4 fingers down on your trackpad and you will see every window. It is much quicker and frankly cooler to switch between widows that way.
  4. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    And I am going to be so bold as to say screw office on the mac and get iWork. Office for mac is just horrible. In every aspect. It is slow, unintuitive... I just don't like it. You can open and save office documents in iWork, the only compatibility problems you are going to have is the same with all machines such as using a font the other computer doesn't have or certain effects in keynote (powerpoint).
  5. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010
    And I also think you are going to find that you won't have your windows take up the whole screen, especially since you are going for a 17 inch. Don't try to struggle with making the dock disappear and dragging the window until it fits; just have each window not take up the screen like the middle button in windows does. The 3 buttons in mac are kind of dummy buttons, especially the far right "maximize" button. It doesn't really do anything.
  6. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    As far as MS Office, it depends on what you do. If you share documents with colleagues, you may want to consider getting a VMware Fusion or Parallels and run an instance of Win 7 and Office 2007/2010 that way. I have both MS Office for Mac 2008 and also Office 2007/2010 that I run as per the aforementioned comment. The Mac version of MS Office has some compatibility issues if you use more advanced formatting features in Word. Also, to use Solver and other more advanced Excel add-ins, you'll need to use the Win version of MS Office. It is actually very simple to get your Win MS Office running on a Mac, and with your machine you really won't know that you're running it under emulation.
  7. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    It really is pretty easy, Apple makes it really simple. I would STRONGLY recommend you go through these 2 Apple sites, lots of extremely useful information.


    As for your use of MS Office, just get a license of Office for Mac and or even better get iWork and you're good to go.

    Most everyone here has gone through the same thing as you so you have lots of support. Also take a look at the Apple Forums too, they're located at:



  8. zanax macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    I had been using PC since high school, then during my graduate studies I tried Linux, loved it and had been using it for 3 years, and have recently switched to a Mac.

    Regd the operating system, I would like to tell you one thing. It is NOT windows, so do not think you will be able to get around right after booting up your machine and filling up the registration info. If you have never ever used a Linux or Mac then I would strongly suggest reading up some excellent web resources/guides and youtube videos regd where things are (just google *** + Mac + guide) and work your way up as your need gets more specific. If you have used any Linux distro then it should be a breeze.

    Having said that I must tell you the system is very intuitive and the learning curve is painless and short.

    Dont get frustrated, you will have to love the system for the system to love you back and you will see why Mac and Linux OS are inherently better. Just don't go looking for a C:/ drive you already have a sweet "Home" instead. There are NO drive letters period, everything gets "mounted" and you will see it in Finder (explorer equivalent). And... you will need to drag your CD or USB jump drive to the trash bin to eject.

    Regd MS Office in Mac here are my 2 cents: (I previously posted it elsewhere in MR but here is the text).

    1> i have used all versions of office since Office 95, XP to 2007. there has been quite a few improvements in Excel particularly not so much IMO in Words, Power point etc. Eg, remove duplicate function, solver, sorting on multiple factors, multiple filter function etc. etc in Excel made my life a lot easier.

    2> You can buy Office for Mac BUT remember the Mac Office 2008 is CRIPPLED meaning a lot of the new useful functions that I mentioned exists in Windows version above are missing. I know because I had it installed by my institute on my MBP. And was sorely disappointed. I mean if I had paid good money to buy it I was surely going to return it or do something about it, MS DOES NOT mention the lack of functionality in the 2008 Office in Mac compared to Windows Office 2007.

    3> I also purchased the iWork when I got my new machine when I learnt that it can read/write MS formats. What no-one told me is that every time you have to save a word file or any file in MS format from Pages/Numbers (iWork suite) the default option is Apple format (duh!) BUT there is no way of saving the file your are working on-the-fly as you go along in MS format. Every freaking time you will be saving it you will have to go through at least 3 clicks and hit enter. That sucks for anyone working on a paper/thesis or anything other than writing a short memo to you mother-in-law. WORKAROUND is do the entire project in apple format and finally export it in MS format, but anyone who has done anything collaborative knows what a pain that might be not to mention all the confusing manuscript version you will be creating along the way which if not firmly managed will drive you nuts.

    4> For running Windows, I think if you have a fairly recent machine with 4GB RAM install VirtualBox software from Sun that will allow you to run windows when you must (it is free, but you will need a licensed WinXP, which you will need anyway for any Virtual Machine). Add your Mac home directory as a network drive that VM-WinXP can see and you won't have constantly copy paste files between mac and XP. (Perhaps only when you will be running photoshop, illustrator, VirtualMachine, Mail, iCal and iTunes all at once you might need 8GB but who would do that?).

    5> Download and install free softwares NTFS-3G and MacFUSE so that your mac will be able to read write on NTFS volumes. If using snow leaopard 10.6 then it is better as it has less compatibility issues.

    Sorry for the lengthy response....but hope this helps.
  9. robotmonkey macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2010

    I still think iWork is a better option than office. And I don't see the point of windows on a mac. It's slow, takes up space and ram, and worst of all it is made by microsoft ;)
  10. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    If you can, it might be worth holding off from Office until Office 2011 for Mac is out. Its "supposed' to be way better and far more compatible to the current Windows Office version. I'm using OpenOffice at the mo and awaiting the release and verdict on the new Office for Mac.

    There's already plenty of discussions on the beta version out there and also youtube clips.
  11. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    You'll have a love-hate relationship with OS X til you get use to it entirely.
  12. jive turkey macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    I think you really will find the switch easy. When I got my first Mac it took me less than a day to be comfortable with 95% of it. Maybe two weeks to get the hang of all of the keyboard shortcuts, but I never used them extensively on Windows like I do on Mac, so that might not take as long for you. Other than that there are a few things you will catch yourself doing, like trying to open a file using the return key (which most of the time this will instead edit the file name), and using Terminal is little different, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I suspect you will make the adjustment very quickly.

    I actually didn't mind Office for Mac (though I admit in the last 6 months I've exclusively used iWork or occasionally an Open Office variant). I thought Excel was a little more difficult to use, but not a deal breaker. And I even thought Word for Mac was better than the Windows version, because you can do things on the Mac release that you can't even do in Windows.

    If money is a concern like it is for most of us, I would suggest running a trial of iWork and also try Open Office/Neo Office or one of those forks and see if you can make it work for you. For what I do, iWork is mostly comparable to Office, though I will say Numbers falls well short of Excel in some things, mostly in the "ease of use" category (you can't edit cells across sheets for instance, so if you have to change it on every sheet instead of just highlighting them all and changing one like you can in Excel).

    Pages is good enough for what I use it for, and Keynote kicks the crap out of Powerpoint, IMO. I don't know if you use Outlook, but I personally think Entourage is awful (you can't even subscribe to calendars in the thing).

    Again I would advise that you just trial iWork and try Open Office before sinking your cash into MS Office for Mac, especially since a new version (with Outlook for Mac) is coming out soon.

    Best of luck! :apple:
  13. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
  14. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Open Office is great.
  15. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    Or you can simply right-click on the icon then click on 'eject' from the pop-up menu.
  16. apple.gr macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    Athens, Greece
    It's very easy to change. I made the big step three weeks ago and now I don't want to go back. NEVER! MacOS X is very simple, after a day of use you can do anything!
  17. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I have used Office 2007 and could never go back to some Open Office or iWork. If you work together with others on a paper the latter apps are annoying IMO. Wait for 2011 it seems a lot more like the Windows Office. 2008 crashes way too often.

    To switch and use OSX it is very easy if you already know some Linux. I also knew enough about OSX. Some things are just stupid though and although everybody keeps telling you to get used to the way stuff is done in OSX (whatever they really mean by this), there are some things you can change. It is like going to another country. You will find some things they do way better at home and some they are smart about in the new country. An Operation System can usually be adjusted to your needs unlike a country.

    One of the good things about OSX is how you install applications. It is much simpler than in Windows but still nowhere near as easy as it works in Linux. I switched a few days ago. I had a highly customized and tuned Windows too my needs and I still have to tune OSX a little more to use it as efficiently as Windows but that I already figured out 75% of the stuff.
  18. zanax macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    See point #3 above, it all depends. If you are a in a writing environment requiring collaboration (with authors in a mixed PC, Mac setup) then Pages can be used but with big caveats.

    But if you are a freelancer, and never have to share documents for serious editing back and forth then Pages is great, but so are Open Office and its variants.

    Regd. Numbers..it is too simplistic. And again same as point#3 for format issues in a mixed work environment.

    You DON'T but many DO specially who have to earn a living and their softwares are unfairly tied to a particular platform have no choice.

    Look do not start a OS war when it is uncalled for. I being a Linux user have strong negative feelings for windows too. Remember here is a new guy who wants to transition from one corporate brand to another for a better experience. Hate will only turn new people off, just because it is a microsoft product does not mean it is bad... mostly but not always.
  19. doktordoris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2009
    I got my first ever mac a couple of months ago.
    If you have any previous computer experience you'll be completely at home within an hour..

    My advice is simply to think how something should logically be done, and then try to do it. 90% of the time I find the sensible way of doing something is exactly how OSX does it.
    It really is that brilliant.
  20. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I've had every Windows since 3.0 or 3.1, except for Vista. For me, it took about a week to learn the basics, and more than a month to rewire the brain to fully transition to the OSX way, so that I'd no longer occasionally hit F2 to rename a file/folder or so I remember the keyboard shortcuts for the absent Home/End/Page Down/Page Up keys.

    Some things are off-putting, some things are just better. One thing that truly frustrates me is the inability to resize windows from any corner or side of a window. So rather than having 8 convenient window areas to manipulate a window, in OSX you only have the bottom right corner, which ultimately makes resizing windows very cumbersome. It feels even more intolerable now that Windows 7 has that great windows snapping/resizing feature.

    Should that come to bother you as much as it does me, install a free app called BetterTouchTool. It'll primarily transform the best trackpad on the market into a super weapon, but it also has a snapping/resizing feature that's actually better than the one in Windows 7, as it offers a great amount of functional and aesthetic customization. It won't remedy the inability to resize windows from any corner/side, but it makes windows manangement in OSX so much more efficient. It's the most important free app I've used on 2 Macs, one with a trackpad, another with a Magic Mouse. (There's another free app called Cinch that does the same thing. It takes up less memory because windows snapping/resizing is all it does.)

    I just came across this today: http://lifehacker.com/5562864/lifeh...essential-list-of-the-best-free-mac-downloads You may find it helpful, though there's many threads in this forum covering the same topic.
  21. Bosmonster macrumors member

    May 17, 2010
    I'm 32 and have been using Windows since version 3 like 20 years ago. Switched to a MacBook Pro a few weeks back and together with the iPhone, it's the best thing that ever happened to me.
  22. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I feel the same way about that. But I remedied that by assigning a trackpad gesture to quit an app in BetterTouchTool. So I just click the trackpad with 4 fingers and it's closed.
  23. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Agree with what people are saying regarding Office on Mac, if you're going to be sharing docs with Windows users then there will be compatibility issues. I really like iWork however my work is totally PC-centric so have to run Office 07 via Parallels. At least with the amount of RAM you'll have you can assign a decent amount if you go down that route.

    Tips wise use command and space for Spotlight, easy way to launch apps, find files etc. Get BetterTouchTool, it's free and allows you to program extra gestures for the trackpad and enables Windows 7 snap like features. IMO Mail is much better than Outlook, don't even bother with Entourage if you go down the Office for Mac route.

    Hope you enjoy the switch, the MBP is a brilliant computer, the best I've owned. It took me some time for adjustment, you'll get the bulk of it quickly however there will be little things that will crop up for a while that you will discover and can be quite frustrating, it's worth getting to grips with though. This forum is great for learning new things.

    Oh and to do delete it's fn+backspace, plus most keyboard shortcuts are the same as Windows, just use command in place of control (cmd+c to copy for example).
  24. Den Deze macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    I'm also a long time pc user and thinking about switching over to mac (well... still considering ^^)
    I would go for the MBP 13", but I'm a bit afraid from all the 'problems' and especially the warranty issues with Apple :)
  25. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    Stick to Windows laptops if you're really that concerned. I heard all Dell laptops are perfect in every way. They even do your laundry for you. :p :)

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