After 10 years with in Mac I changed back to PC

In 2006 when Apple launched their first fully aluminium Macbook Pro I switched from IBM Lenovo Thinkpad to Apple camp. This was the time when I saw Windows was not going anywhere and Apple was the one that was changing the course of the web development tooling. After slowly switching everything I own from PC based tech to Apple-based tech 10 years ago, I can say without reservation; Jobs was bang-on here.

They’ve figured out how to make more money, but not how to make better products. Sure right now they are fine, but in 10 years? They very well might go the route of Xerox.

Apple is  incredibly successful currently and is still a dominant force in the tech market. Though Apple has had somewhat lackluster keynotes for their iDevices and Macs the past few years with very little innovation is seen with significantly higher price. And now in this past year we’ve seen a dongle future which no one was asking for.

I have never been particularly Apple or Microsoft fanboy but I have always wanted to have the best computer and software to work with. Although like most developers I do have soft spot to open platforms that allows me to configure my device to my needs. So, when Apple released Macbook Pros last autumn like many other Web Developers I started to search for alternative for it. I settled to Dell XPS 13 with touch screen but I waited 1 month so I could feel MacPro touchbar myself instead of reading reviews. When I had my hands on MacPro at the store I was ready for decision. I am buying Dell. I chose XPS with Windows because I am working quite a lot with .NET and I don’t like to boot virtual machine all the time like I did in Mac. But on hindsight I think I would have probably be happier with Linux as a host and Windows as virtual machine.

Dell Experience

My honeymoon lasted about ~3 weeks with Dell XPS. First thing I had problem with for Wireless. I started to loose wireless access and then suddenly sometimes computer freezed and crashed. But after couple of week I got bios and driver update and the problem disappeared. But then new problem occurred. When computer goes to sleep CPU jumps to 100% and never goes down. There is ngentask.exe that is ran by something that opens ngen.exe that is not dying. I have made custom .bat file that I run to kill it manually. These kind of problems I never had with Mac because yeah, Mac just works or it doesn’t work at all. Also, quite frankly I did not use to have many of these kind of issues with old Windows either. These driver and instability issues were kind of issues that I always had with Linux. But I have found workaround so now the machine is running fine.

Dell XPS is OK looking laptop I think. I think it is one of the best looking laptops that you can get but having it side-by-side with new MacBook Pro I think MacBook is prettier. But not a lot prettier. I think XPS comes close and the way Dell has changed themselves in recent years they might come up with something soon that might beat Apple on design even. That would be interesting power change. :)

Windows Experience

As coming from Macbook Air I would say Windows is good OS. Although, I am very familiar with Windows but not so much with Windows 10 and the whole metro “tile experience”. There are many things better on Windows but then some are worse. To me Windows 10 feels a bit clunky, metro UI and start menu is awful imho. I removed all Metro Apps it feels like old Yahoo Portal with tons of Gif animations when opening start menu with those apps. Window Management is fantastic Mac and Linux should just copy that 1-to-1. Opening apps like Windows key + just start to type is great, a bit like usage of Finder shortcut on Mac but on Windows typeahead makes ugly jumping as you type program or command. These small details makes Windows usage lesser experience than Mac. But Windows is OK, it is not bad. I miss in Mac more software than in Windows. The only thing that I really miss is Sketch -app on Mac. Everything else for me has (usually better) alternative on Windows.

One thing with Windows that I was positively surprised is touch screen. I assumed I would never use touch screen on laptop but I was wrong. I do use it a lot. It is great when showing something to someone on the screen, browsing internet casually etc…

Conclusion

Will I stay on PC? Probably yes, I don’t think I will be going back to Mac unless they come up with powerful workhorse Macbook Pro without touchbar so I can run Virtual machines with Windows 10 and SQL server. This is unlikely to happen though.

Will I stay on Windows? Probably no, I am quite sure I am going to Linux on the next laptop. If the amount of time that I have to spend on drivers and configuration is this much on Windows 10 then mind as well run light Linux setup and have virtual machines for working just like I had it previously on my Mac.

 

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