Saturday, November 13, 2010
Switching to the Mac: The background
I am an Apple fan and I am also a Microsoft fan - those of you who know me, know this.
Apple has come a long way since they did their first iPods. I think Macs are awesome for multimedia and have quite a few nifty 'work' features that make me wish Windows had them too! Spotlight for one, Quick view for another, fast boot times, awesomely fast network connectivity (ability to connect, not necessarily the speed), built in screen sharing with iChat (although OCS has it now) Time machine, Keynote etc. are just a few.
Microsoft though, also does a damn decent job of making pretty good products.
Sure they, lost their way a bit with Vista (which had huge sales btw) but hey, shit happens. They got the Zune right (sales are not necessarily a good indicator of a great product:)) , Windows 7 is pretty good, Xbox 360 is awesome. Office 2007/2010 is exceptionally good, Windows Phone 7 rocks - so, in all, they get more things right for most people than they get wrong - and for someone that dominates most of the markets they are in, that is a big statement to make.
However, the device that my life actually revolves around is from neither of these companies - it is the Blackberry. It has my emails, it has my social networking and chat clients. Being a stickler for carrying as few devices as possible, BB is also my primary 'mobile internet' devices (Opera Mini to the rescue) Having been a BB user for the last 5 years and waxing lyrical about its awesome enterprise integration, I have finally gotten fed up of how far behind it is w.r.t other devices. I mean, it's terrible. Really. The phone app is an after thought, the browser is terrible. Video playback is average at best, and its killer app of push email is becoming hygiene on other systems.
So finally after using every major BB they have made (from 79xx onwards till my current Tour - yeah, I broke quite a few of them) I decided to bite the bullet and switch to iPhone 4 - more out of irritation due to a constantly freezing up phone with a battery life that was less than a day and RIM's inability to fix issues I have been bitching about since my first BB. Plus iPhone 4 has a better camera, takes better videos and god it's beautiful :)
Then recently, I read about Outlook coming to the Mac and this led me to think about moving to Mac + iPhone entirely and really see first hand how 'ready' the Mac platform is to work in a windows dominated enterprise environment. Having been a journalist in a past life, I have used the Mac in a work environment but we weren't as entrenched into an MS environment with BBs and Outlook and Calendaring so the switch was really quite un-dramatic. Here however, we have a multi-billion dollar global enterprise running the latest greatest from Microsoft and where BBs, Outlook and calendaring are like oxygen.
Is iPhone + Mac ready to get integrated into this or is still a lot of talk by Apple with little feature implementations that really matter? This is an experiment to find out exactly that.
As with any deviation from standard IT issued hardware, the first challenge began by convincing them to support a non-standard device. This led to a VERY pleasant surprise where our awesome IT team basically said as long as you buy your own device, we will support the notebook and the phone plan. I was in luck, I already have my devices so this was a non-issue - yeah I am a tech junkie so I just basically have devices lying around so I can check them out - since I am no longer a journo, I don't have companies lining up to give it to me for free :)
So to summarize, I will be moving from a windows 7 powered HP laptop with Office 2007 and the blackberry tour to a Macbook Pro 13" running Office 2011, iWork 09 and and the iPhone 4. Also, my company runs MS Exchange 2007.
Stay tuned for more frequent updates as my experiment progresses!
Posted by RandomGyan