Switching to a Macbook Air from Windows?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by DaBossIsHere, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. DaBossIsHere, Oct 5, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013

    DaBossIsHere macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2012
    Been thinking on this for a while now. Basically I am a college student searching for an ultrabook to take with me and take some notes. I have some questions about this though..

    Will it be hard to adapt to Mac OS instead of Windows? (I always used Windows)
    Does it come with any software like Microsoft Office bundled with it?
    Can i use my Android phone freely like I use it on my Windows?

    I will be using the Macbook specifically for these things and the casual browsing the internet and watching a movie there and then. Will it suit my needs? Thanks :D

    EDIT: I thought to go for the Core-i5 model 1.3GHz. 256GB SSD. Is that a good model?? :)
  2. massi88 macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2013
    We're in 2013!

    I switched two months ago, and I'll probably never go back to Windows! OS X is great and you'll adapt very quickly. The only thing that surprised me was how apps are deleted: drag and drop to the basket! That's typical of Windows vs OS X, "complexity" of certain simple tasks is handled by the OS itself, not by the user.

    No, you don't have an office analog built in. You can buy pages, keynote etc, but I did so and I regret it! Open Office is a better option.

    I don't know about android phones since I own an iPhone.

    I hope this helps! ;)
  3. DaBossIsHere thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2012
    Thanks man, really appreciate your help!!
  4. luminouslight macrumors 6502


    Nov 29, 2012
    Orlando FL
    Once you use a Mac you won't want to touch a windows machine again. At least that's what happened to me! :D
  5. northernbaldy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2010
    the north, UK
    You can buy MS office for the mac, I haven't bothered myself though as I use pages, etc

    It's not that I hate windows, but I do find osx easier to use and mavericks looks like it's going to add some nice improvements

    I own the basic cheapest air and I love it! The battery is great, it's super portable and I have never felt the need for more speed

    Also, you can put windows on it if you need to
  6. Livewings macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    I can safely say as a "hardcore" Windows user, that Office for Mac is greatly inferior to its Windows counterpart.

    I recommend you get a Surface 2 as a side dish.
  7. DaBossIsHere thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2012
    I don't need another tablet..
  8. ritmomundo, Oct 5, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013

    ritmomundo macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    No. It'll take an hour or two to adjust. A day, tops.
    It comes with iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband). If you want to stay in the Mac/iCloud ecosystem, you can buy iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers). I would recommend heading over to Microsoft's HUP program, use your work or college email, and get Office for Mac for $10 (assuming you qualify).
    In general, yes.
    Uh duh. Not sure why people still ask this. :rolleyes:
  9. Dirt Bringer macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2013
    Bootcamp it. Because logic.
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    I switched in early 2008, and have never regretted it, for one minute. No, it won't be hard to adapt, but it won't be effortlessly easy, either. It'll take a few days, as Macs do most of what Windows machines do, only they do it differently. My advice would be to make a copy of a Windows to Mac change - i.e. a copy of keyboard commands for common functions and the like; I did, and I needed to, and kept it on my desktop as a handy prompt.

    No, it does't come with Office bundled, you will need to buy that separately. Some here will argue (with some justification) that native Mac products are better; this may well be the case. Now, while I actually have them, I find I don't use them, as my entire work-world uses Office, and they need to be able to access what I produce without any problems, and I need to be able to deal with what they produce. Therefore, on every Mac I have ever had, I have bought office for Mac, and have used Word daily. To me, it doesn't matter that what Apple produces is better; I'm not an evangelist and most of the work world still uses Word. Until that changes, so will I, on my MBA.

    I don't have an Android, so cannot answer that question.

    However, I do have a MBA, and, since 2010, it has been my sole computer. I travel a lot, and write a lot, and the Air is a superb computer. It is uber-portable, yet nicely and solidly constructed; outside of the retina equipped laptops, it has the best screen Apple ever produced on a laptop, and it is blazing fast.

    The MBA will do all that you ask of it in your original post, and more. My current 11" has 256SSD, and 8 GB RAM and is a superb workhorse. Its weight means it can travel everywhere with me (something I found uncomfortable with my old MBP, which was a terrific computer, but a bit heavy), while it has enough power and speed to deal with everything except advanced gaming and possibly heavy duty film editing.

    While I could see myself investing in a 15" retina MBP in a few years, that would be to serve as a desktop computer; I would never see myself being without a MBA as long as that model is manufactured.
  11. Livewings macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    Parallels it. Because clever.
  12. Dirt Bringer macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2013
    True. If you're using software that requires a decent amount of processing power though, such as Maya or Flash, you're going to have a bad time with parallels. Depends on the application.
  13. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012



    Don't have android but if you need a certain app to access your phone when obviously if that app is not made for OSX...
  14. massi88 macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2013
    For my work I use latex, and I only open "word"-type documents when dealing with administration, colleagues (non-mac users) etc so it is always a word file.

    Pages is nice if you use it in a mac-friendly environment, or if you are the one producing word type files, but it behaves badly when you have to edit word files produced by others..at least that's my experience with it!
  15. mortenandersen macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Change from Windows to Mac can be awkward, also in the long run

    Regarding changing from Windows to Mac: The different operation systems and certainly also the different keyboards can be very troublesome for many persons who have used Windows over the years. And the difficulties can for some last for a long time. The Mac is NOT more intuitive to use.
  16. DaBossIsHere thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2012
    Thats what i am afraid the most.. The keyboard shortcuts.
  17. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    OSX will drive u nuts. Everything is backwards, menu bar on top instead of windows' bottom, controls on the left side instead of windows' right... :D

    Go for it man.
  18. Y So Jelly macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2013
    The keyboard shortcuts drove me crazy. However after a week or so of heavy use I acclimatized to the new system.

    Multitouch is your friend..
  19. MacJuice macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2013
    I just recently got the base model 13" air for college and love it. First mac after years of windows pcs. Gotta say that I love this thing, its great. For me, I feel like OS X looks and feels heaps better than windows 7 or 8. The only thing I would have changed about my air is upgrading to the 256GB SSD instead of the 128, but I plan on getting a 1TB external drive that I can keep at my desk at home to keep other stuff like my large music library and pictures on.

    If you are decent with computers at all, you'll have no problem switching from windows to OS X. Like zero learning curve, at least for me. GET THE AIR! You won't regret it. Oh, and one of my favorite things about my air is the trackpad. Its incredibly responsive, and the multi touch gestures are awesome!
  20. mortenandersen macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    "...decent with computers..." ????

    The quoted utterance from the post, quoted in the Title field above, is hard to understand. Also, the other claims in the post are difficult to take seriously: "... you'll have no problem switching from windows to OS X. Like zero learning curve ..." although he adds "at least for me".

    For Windows users over many years, it's typically difficult - some would say very difficult - to begin and use a completely different OS and keyboard. And for many persons who try to learn to be familiar with OS X and the Mac specific keyboard and ways of doing things, the learning curve unfortunately is very steep, and also extends over too long time often. So one can rightfully ask the question: Is it worth the effort??? (If Sony at last can present an 11 inches VAIO Pro to the market, a machine without fan noise and WiFi connection problems, many of us would not even consider to leave the familiar Windows field. And with so small a machine as a VAIO Pro 11, the touchscreen can be experienced as a machine that is does not give the user the feeling of having got the "gorilla arm syndrome".)
  21. MacJuice macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2013
    If the only thing that makes the learning curve "extremely difficult" is the keyboard shortcuts, then I don't know what to tell you. Stick with a Windows machine, I guess.

    I'm simply sharing my experience so far with owning a Mac after years of Windows computers. It isn't hard to pick up a Mac and use it if you are technically inclined whatsoever.
  22. Sassers macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    After 25+ years on Windows, I switched late 2012 with the purchase of my first mac - an iMac. I've come to love the Mac OS. The thing I realized is that Windows trained me to do things a certain way - it may not be efficient, or intuitive, but my brain got hardwired by them and so relearning how to look for items, and where to look for them took a bit of time. I really wish I had been with Apple from the beginning. My work went to Mac minis, but we still run our accounting program and Office through Parallels, so I get to bounce between the two. What's funny is that I've now developed the annoying habit of accidentally suspending Windows by clicking in the upper left, as if I'm on a Mac:)

    No regrets, though. I just wish I had switched to or started with Apple years ago.

    And - I just bought my first laptop, a basic MBA as a tablet replacement. I can't say how much I love this machine - it's fast, light, has amazing battery life, and the trackpad is a dream to use (but the only other trackpad I've used before was a logitech one I flirted with briefly on my Windows 8 tryout with my old computer, so not sure how the MBA trackpad compares to Windows model laptops)
  23. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I've used both... my opinion is that since Windows Vista, Windows has gone down hill (although 7 is still nice) and OS X has gotten marginally better with each iteration. I think right now OS X is more pleasant to use and just works while Windows is messing around (and not getting it right). It won't always be this way but right now Apple is making a better product for user experience. If you're coming from Windows, it's hard not to like OS X the way things are right now.
  24. edgarp macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2012
    I had grown to hate computers. I always had used Windows machines, since 3.1

    Switching to a Mac gave me a new challenge and that is how I saw it. Even after two years there are stills thing that are not done very often that are still confusing however, I know do thing on the Windows, when I have to use it that I have have memorized on the Mac that don't work on Windows...haha.

    It is all about what keeps you inspired.
  25. NorEaster macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2012
    Except when you drag an app to the waste basket in OS X, it doesn't really delete the app in it's entirety. Many times, many files in OS X are left behind like preference files or other settings. This is similar to past complaints about un-installing an app in Windows (where the un-install doesn't clean up the Windows registry). In fact, I would say deleting an app by dragging it to the waste basket in OS X is worse (in terms of total removal) than un-installing apps in Windows. At least in Windows, many apps have un-install utilities that appropriately clean everything.

    To the OP: Don't believe all of the posts that say the switch from Windows to OS X took zero effort or had no (or very little) learning curve. I switched a few years ago and while I enjoy the quality of Mac hardware and stability of OS X, I found a bunch of things in OS X that are/were annoying as heck. Here are some annoyances you'll run in to:

    * OS X's version of Windows Explorer is called Finder and Finder is very hard to become accustomed to. If you enjoy organizing your file system (to organize photos, movies, music, documents, etc into folders), you'll find using Finder very cumbersome. Finder doesn't provide you with the ability to navigate your file system's entire structure while looking at the contents of a folder - which means it's difficult to jump from one folder to another to copy/paste/move files. NOTE: Yes, I realize some people will say: why even bother organizing your files? Use iTunes, iPhoto to manage your files...and for those types of files, I agree. But I use my Mac for work and I like to organize my Word, Powerpoint, Excel files into folders for faster access.

    * OS X's app paradigm is based on a document-centric view. This means the following: When you launch an app and use it, the app becomes the context for your desktop and windows of that app are "documents" of that app. This is why OS X shows you an app's menus in the top menu bar (instead of showing the app's menus in the window of each app's "document). Why does this matter? well, when you close the window of a "document", the app will remain running and will stay in context for your desktop. So you'll need to remember to close the app in addition to closing windows of that app. For example: Let's say you have Office for Mac installed and you launch Word and open a document. The document appears in a window. When you close that window (by selecting the red 'x' icon in the upper left corner of the window), you'll find that Word is still open. You need to additionally close Word as well. In Windows, if you close the window of a Word document, Word itself will close (assuming no other Word sessions are running).

    Here's another reason why this is annoying: Like I said above, an app's menus will appear at the top of your desktop in OS X. An app's menus do not appear at the top of the window of the open "document" for that app. This means you need to scroll more (or rather, move your mouse pointer) to the very top of the desktop to access the app's menu. Or you need to learn lots of hotkeys for that app. In Windows, an app's menus appear at the top of the "document's" window, so you don't need to use your mouse as much.

    This is further exacerbated if you have multiple monitors. So if you have a Word document open on Monitor A and you want to access the "File" menu, you may need to scroll over to Monitor B to access the "File" menu. How f@#$# annoying is that?! Mavericks should address this though (FINALLY!).

    * In some areas, Windows 7 actually is easier to use than OS X. For example: OS X does not show you a preview thumbnail in the Dock for each session of a running app. Let's say you have 2 Firefox sessions open (one pointing to cnn.com and another pointing to espn.com) and 3 photos open. The sample applies for your photos that you have open. If you hover your mouse over the Firefox app in OS X's Dock, there's no way for you to distinguish between the 2 sessions. Instead, you need to R-Click (or 2-finger click) and then you'll see a description of each session (but no thumbnail). This makes it harder/slower to switch between different sessions of the same app as well as between apps.

    Anyway, this is just a small list of some of the challenges I ran in to. You'll find OS X is definitely more stable than Windows (though I found that Win 7 was quite stable on my old Dell XPS 1330). Good luck. And share with us your thoughts once you've made the switch.

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