I’m Not Switching to Windows

Recently, a few web people – Dave Rupert, Jonathon Snook, and Dan Mall – have been trying out the latest Windows machines and Dave Rupert is staying with Windows.

I’m watching these experiments with interest.

My MacBook Pro is 8 years old but I still work on it every day without too much trouble. The screen is cracked and held together with gaffer tape. It’s non-retina, slow and heavy compared to the new ones, but it still works okay for me.

I’ll have to get a new laptop soon though. Mine is now too old to get the latest OS update, so I haven’t been able to upgrade to macOS Sierra, and the lack of a retina screen isn’t great for my job! Hopefully some time in the next 6 months I’ll have enough money to buy one, but they are so expensive.

I have high hopes for the new MacBook Pro, it looks great, but it’s very expensive, especially in this post-Brexit low value pound world. The cheapest 15″ MacBook Pro with 512GB storage will set me back £2,529 – I’ve got 750GB in my current machine as I replaced the optical drive with a second disk, so I wouldn’t want to go lower than 512GB, which could work well if I upgrade my network storage as well.

So £2,529 for a new laptop is a huge amount of money for me and it has led me to explore the alternatives, e.g. a Windows machine. The new Surface Book with a similar spec would be £2,249, that’s £280 cheaper, and a similarly specced Dell XPS 15 is only £1,499. That’s a big difference between the Apple and the Dell.

£2,529 MBP > -£280 > £2,249 Surface Book > -£750 > £1,499 Dell XPS 15

Before I bought my MacBook Pro, from 1995-2008, I worked exclusively on Windows. I used various desktop machines that I built myself running Windows 95/98/XP, and I also had a pretty useless Samsung Laptop from about 2002. I was happy enough using Windows but I’ve been happier using the Mac.

I’m not that tied to platforms, I’ve had an iPhone for 3 years but before that I was very happy using Android. There are still Android phones in our house and they are fine to use, I’d be more than happy to switch back if needed.

I’ve successfully skipped using Windows Vista/7/8 much apart from testing websites occasionally in VirtualBox. And now I use BrowserStack for browser testing so don’t even use Windows for that anymore.

I like my MacBook Pro, it cheers me up, the build quality, the design, and the simplicity of using it. The Surface Book is also interesting as its design and build seem very good and one of its targets is likely people who currently work on a MacBook. Windows 10 may be a lot better than the previous few iterations, and I have no doubt I’d be able to transition to it fairly easily, but I am still very cautious of Windows, a feeling built up over years of using the previous versions,and the £280 saved is just not enough for me to go through that process.

I’d have to get a much cheaper Windows laptop like the Dell in order to make the switch and frankly the idea of working on the Dell for hours a day for possibly the next 8 years just makes me sad!

So for now I’m likely to stay with the Mac if I can find the money! But watching these switching experiments is still fun.