Seriously considering switching to Windows - some constructive advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Mildredop, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    I have a mid-2014 MacBook Pro and wanted to update it, but the new Macs just aren't worth it in my opinion.

    I use my Mac mainly for emails, web browsing and invoicing/light work (mainly Pages and Excel), so nothing that requires a particularly hefty machine.

    Important to me is build quality, design, battery life, usability and portability. Price isn't an issue.

    I've been looking at the Razer Blade Stealth or the Dell XPS 13.

    Here are a few questions that, if anyone can be bothered, I'd be grateful for some honest, balanced replies.

    1 - I haven't used Windows since about 2002. Is it much better? I remember regular crashing, restarting etc.

    2 - I assume a PC comes with Windows. When a new version is released, is it free to upgrade?

    3 - What apps come on a PC? Does Word etc. come included? Is there something like iPhoto? A version of Mail? If not, what sort of costs would I be looking at?

    4 - Any advice on how to port files across? All my invoices are Pages documents. Is it impossible to open them on a PC?

  2. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I use and administer PC's at work and use Macs at home.

    Honestly, for the kind of use you are describing, and if price isn't an issue, I can't see why you'd switch.

    Yes, Windows is better than it was in the past. Yes, PC manufacturers are building better devices than they have in the past. Still though, the experience is comparatively unpolished in comparison to what Apple is doing.

    I'll try to answer your questions in a straightforward manner though.

    1 - Windows 10 is quite stable out of the box. Most people will not have any major issues out of the box or with standard programs. Restarting occurs only for major updates which are typically released on the second Tuesday of each month. If there are bigger issues found outside of that timeline there may be additional patches.

    2 - Windows 10 is a new paradigm for Microsoft in that it is intended to be a 'permanent' OS that is updated and upgraded in perpetuity. For now that means free.

    3 - Word is part of Office which is not included. There are photo management and basic Mail apps included. I don't find them good enough to use, personally. Office is primarily sold as a Service now through Office 365. You'll have to look at that to see what's included in the various tiers, but it's probably under $10/month. Office includes Outlook which is a good mail client, but may be overkill for you.

    4 - I believe Pages documents can be opened directly in Word these days but don't hold me to that. Formatting may have issues.

    Finally, just some more specific comments on why I think you may be unhappy with the switch. Windows still requires a fair bit of fussing to keep going compared to MacOS. Updates and patches cause frustrating issues more frequently than on a Mac. Windows 10 has layered a modern UI over a traditional Windows UI. Many times those two worlds clash - and many times you find one set of menu options in the modern interface, but have to dig in to the traditional UI to actually find what you need.

    Build quality of PC's is greatly improved, but IMO still nowhere near Apple levels. Fit and finish and QC are still far behind in most cases. I sometimes have to laugh when I'm reading the kinds of things that Apple gets nit-picked on over here when there is no PC manufacturer that would stand up to that scrutiny. On the other hand, that scrutiny helps keep Apple sharp. Battery life never seems to live up to advertisements - even under light use. I'd say take the best-case scenario and take 40% off of that. Another issue is that Windows still does not enter its deepest sleep state reliably, which means that you will often put your computer to sleep, and wake it the next day with 30,40% battery consumed, if not more. In practice this means that you don't really have the battery life you thought you did. Lastly, on the same issue, I have not yet seen a PC manufacturer who has battery lifespan as well managed as Apple where you regularly see users with 1000+ cycles and better than 80% battery health. I have seen many PC's with failed batteries at under 200 cycles, and I don't think I've ever seen one in our business survive about 400-500 cycles in any condition.

    Think hard about why you want to do this. I suspect there is a good chance you'd have a good experience for a while as you enjoyed the new toy and enjoyed learning something new, but end up more frustrated in the long run. There is a reason why so many businesses are allowing users to choose Macs in their Windows environment.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've had more OS X crashes then Windows 10. I find Win 10 to be solid, fast and very customizable, something OS X never was.

    Windows 10 is free, so you'll continue to get free updates. There will be no windows 11, like OS X, they're just moving up the build number and offering the next "upgrade" for free. The last upgrade was called the anniversary edition and that rolled out in July. The next one is project for March.

    It all depends on where you buy it, some companies still load crapware, I have a SurfaceBook and only got the bare OS and 1 year subscription to Offcei 365.

    You have the basic, paint, wordpad, notepad apps, and the app store has fairly robust set of free apps.
  4. spacebro macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    Windows 10 might be free for pc users but not for mac users. If you had a legit win7 license, the free upgrade to win10 never worked on macs. This is because you have to "upgrade" from a win7 installation and macs either support win7 only or win10 only so the free update specifically didn't work for us. We are screwed into buying win7 AND win10 AND parallels. I didn't buy win10 yet and it won't let me update, it is hard to make this purchase when I already paid for parallels and win7. I might just buy a PC instead of getting ripped off again buying a win10 license they told us would be a free upgrade.
  5. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    I have a Surface Pro 4, which I absolutely love. The keyboard is fine for extended use, and the touchscreen interface works really well. The only downside for me is there is only a single USB Port.

    It's very smooth now - there were a few particular issues with the SP4 after it launched, but these have been sorted - major updates a couple of times a year, minor updates regularly.

    Yes, it's free.

    It has a mail client - it's.....not so great, but works...
    FOr Word, there's Word Online for free, or you can buy Office or pay a subscription to Office 365 which is what I do - it costs €70 a year for the full Office suite, and 1TB of space on OneDrive.

    Can't help there, other than maybe consider exporting them to Word before you change over.
  6. Tech198, Nov 5, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016

    Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Windows 10 *was* free upgrade. but if u get a PC now, u'll get Windows 10, however if u need a retail copy u must buy one. From memory Windows 10 is the last Windows version as well. Dunno how true that is.

    Internet explorer, Windows Media player (no more media center in Windows 10), and if u buy from Dell, HP, etc,, they bundle loads of 30 day trial u would wanna uninstall.

    Crashes happen, and probably better, its well... still Windows... u know third party drivers cause crashes etc.. usual stuff we all know.

    Now sure if this works:

    There are probably many ways around stuff.. PDF's will open on Mac or Windows, no conversion need, just the software used to open it with is Windows. Many file formats would just work, all office documents may need slight changing depending on extension, or newer .doc vs .docx for example, but as long as u have the Windows equivalent, should be fine for most.
  7. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    Blue screens, viruses, scamware, trojans, Microsoft spying on everything you do, Microsoft embedding ads in the OS, annoying popups begging you to use the Edge web browser etc. If that appeals to you, a Windows 10 PC could be a great option.

    Windows 10 is still a resource hog and is nowhere near as buttery smooth as macOS.

    Nobody seems to build apps for Windows 10 anymore. The whole Windows thing is stale and stuck in the 90s. Windows fanboy Paul Thurrott wrote a great post on this a few weeks ago.

    macOS works seamlessly with your iOS devices. macOS still has a dedicated group of developers building amazing apps and experiences for macOS, unlike Windows where most of the independent software outside of Adobe and Microsoft's own stuff is all abandonware.

    So in summary I think a Mac is well worth the hardware premium. It's so far ahead of Windows these days it's actually quite embarrassing.
  8. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    macOS uses far more resources than Windows 10 by design, especially if you look at RAM use. Take low end hardware and run it on either, let's say your Retina MacBook. You're going to get a consistently better experience on Windows. Stop fooling yourself.
  9. Pootmatoot macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2014

    This is just... fantasy. I dual-use, and always have. Windows software is mainly abandonware? What are you talking about? The entire Windows computer software ecosystem dominates all the others in the same way the Apple iPhone software ecosystem dominates all others.

    Literally EVERYTHING is either primarily on Windows and ported elsewhere, or dual released. The sole exception is Xcode coding tools and similar usages, and the odd consumer level program like Final Cut. There are THOUSANDS of things that go the other way.

    In 2016 - and by an order of magnitude with the new NVidia and Intel releases - Windows also has by far the best hardware options. And that's the key: options.

    I haven't had a virus or any malware for years.

    You sound like someone who thinks it's 2005... and even then, only the hardware argument would be trueish.
  10. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    I think its more abut use cases than anyting as the reason why everyone says blue screens, viruses and what not are prone on windows, because Apple protects us, and users never think about which webites afe sare or any security stuff.... They just ant it to work.... so the underlying effect of that is to blame windows for not making them more safe only after we've used something like a Mac which is a different beat itself that "makes us safe" while giving us the freedom to still surf to these websites, and what not without any worry, or much worry..

    Kind of like "u don't wanna take responsibility for yourself, so we'll blame a company for it" for not doing a better job.

    It still starts with the user..... just gotta control yourself in Windows more than u can with a Mac, and u can be just as safe.. So in reality, the whole "blue screen augments" are kinda of FAD because users just want Windows to work as well the way they like with no thinking.. but it doesn't work in the Windows world quite like that. Microsoft has had Widows 10 allot better, but it still not impossible to crash a Windows PC. It's just different responsibility, who controls this: Apple or the user on a PC
  11. Pootmatoot macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2014
    It's also that Windows has to be far more robust and complex: there are literally billions - if not more - of possible hardware combinations that Windows has to work on. MacOS has to work on a dozen... and they're made in house. Just look at the Hackintosh: the hardware you can persuade MacOS to work on is a tiny sliver of the PC world.

    That means Windows can occasionally panic, but it's payment for a vast array of options and a massive 3rd Party industry.
  12. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    People also forget that macOS has their own BSoD, it's just called a kernel panic.
  13. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    I've never ever experienced a single kernel panic on a Mac.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2016 ---
    Windows has admittedly loads of software available for it, but most of it is abandoned and not updated anymore. And UWP is a huge failure. Paul Thurrott wrote a great piece on this here:

    Thurrott is a Windows expert and has been writing about Microsoft for decades including countless published books on Windows and associated technologies.
  14. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    And I don't get BSoD. The last time I did was because I messed with the registry, something I probably shouldn't have done.
  15. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    Windows 10 is ok.

    I work for a pc repair company and 10 is our best customer.

    When it goes wrong nightmare to fix as no bios as such and unable to boot from CD.
    You have to go into windows 10 then tell it to reboot from CD/DVD/USB, useless if cannot boot into 10!

    Anniversary update brought us lots of work as it messed up lots of machines!
    70% of our customers asked us to take them back to windows 7 after the forced 10 update.

    Also in windows 10 (except pro) updates cannot be turned off, you are forced to do them.

    My fiancee uses 10 and it is ok, but she wants an apple now.

    windows 10 is what made me swap to apple.
    It is too controlling.
    Also if you read T&C of 10 (about 32 pages) microsoft has right to remove ANY software from your machine it deems no legal.
    It also has the right to view your data at any time they wish and may use it keep its system safe from hackers.

    Sorry nope too invasive, I left and sold my windows laptop and desktop and have mac.
  16. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    You're a computer repair guy? I feel bad for anyone who goes to you. Windows 10 does have a bios, except for those with UEFI, which you can access like you'd access the BIOS. Oh, and don't pirate software.
  17. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I switch between both on a daily basis, with my personal computing being a mix of macOS and FreeBSD and my work computing being in the corporate Microsoft space.

    Windows 7 was a pretty stable OS and very rarely would you see a BSOD. It also seemed a lot better in terms of maintaining performance over updates, although some of this might be down to a fairly tight corporate build. Didn't really like the 8.x interface, but 10 seems like a good compromise between the two. I have 10 running in a number of VMs and it too is very stable and I've never seen a BSOD.

    I still prefer using macOS, although wouldn't have a problem if I could only run Windows.

    Windows 10 plus Office 365 will give the OP most of what he needs, and there are a number of free Windows programs to replace Photos (Google Picasso is fine)
  18. Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
    So, in which way are those computers better?
  19. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    I do not pirate software!

    Windows 8 and 10 latops have eufi bios from factory unless custom built machines.
    Any new machine pre built, bar high end will have eufi.
    So almost all branded machines have no bios that can be reached via say F2 etc.

    eufi is what lets down a lot of new machines.
    Our engineers (I am front of house and deal mainly with android tablets) hate it as unable to boot from their tools DVDs.

    what i said was correct as was what you said sir.

    I just picked up a friends windows 10 ultrabook which after turning if one night next day boots to her login screen which is fine but entered password and 2 days later still spinning circles trying to load.
    120GB SSD i5 and 8gb ram.

    Windows 10 from what we see in our repair shop is quite unstable or we have a very high number of idiots who lie when they bring in computers.
    Most our customers are elderly though so we doubt they tinker too much.

    Anyway off topic, sorry guys
  20. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    I'm calling BS on this.
  21. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    As you wish but our engineer hates 10 and the problems we have.

    Every OS has its problems bound to be some.

    people only moan when bad so your gonna here bad before good.
  22. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    That's the thing u grips me with OS X is the *lack* of software that is available, when there is an easy Windows program that would do it... But i guess that's where emulations come in like WINE. or Wineskin which doesn't need Windows OS to install since it's only API calls only
  23. loby macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    I found this also to be true when Windows 10 first came out. I did an upgrade on a previous Windows 7 laptop with all legitimate licensed software and it took the liberty to wipe out my old system without noticed and without an option to cancel the installation. I selected the update option so it was not a user error.

    Believe it or not even Microsoft does not have all of their licenses for Office in their databases it seems and if they do not have records of it, they will take the liberty to delete it or the whole system. I had the same problem with Office for Mac 2011 and my original disk key code and called up Microsoft and eventually after going through hoops, they authorized the key code. They cannot wipe out OS X of course, but they can make it so it will not authorize If you reinstall. They told me they did not find my key code in their database.

    It looks like the first few years back in 2009-2010 when Office for Mac and Windows came out their record database had some errors. Not surprising if you ever worked with SQL. Systems are not perfect and sometimes these things go through the cracks, but taking liberty to just wipe out a system on installation without an option to cancel the installation is questionable behavior.

    I am the "go to" guy when Windows has errors and found what you said also to be true.
  24. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    The one thing I really liked when I played with the XPS was the touchscreen. All day I touch my phone - seems natural to be able to touch the screen of my computer, too.
  25. Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
    Gorilla arms and fingerprints on my screen, no thanks.

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