in Personal

Going Back to Vista After 3 Months of OS X

It’s been about 3 months since I purchased by MacBook.  Since then, I’ve been using OS X Leopard as my main OS at home – the only exception was when I needed to pop back to Quicken 2006.  Overall, OS X wasn’t a bad experience, but there wasn’t anything magical about it either.

Perhaps jumping into OS X with Leopard was the wrong thing to do.  I’ve read quite a lot about how Tiger was a very streamlined and efficient OS and how Leopard came along and added bloat.  I’ve had very little experience with Tiger (or earlier versions) of OS X, so I can’t compare first hand, however, I can confirm that Vista Ultimate 64-bit runs much faster than OS X Leopard on this MacBook, which is a shame.  From what I’ve seen, Leopard has plenty of flashy effects along with a few nice features (e.g. Time Machine), but the bottom line is that I’m not more productive using a Mac.  I realize that part of that is caused by the fact that I’ve been a Windows power user for quite a long time.  The other part of that, is that Mac apps in general are fun to use and nice to look at, but your options in that software are very limited.  I thought I would like the simplicity of Mail, iCal, and Address Book, but the reality is that I miss Outlook – there’s something nice about having one application open instead of 3.

The other catch is that I’ve stopped doing development at home because it’s a bit of a hassle to switch to the BootCamp partition whenever I want to play around with .NET.  I tried VMWare Fusion and it worked great until I tried to resize the Vista partition, then VMWare got confused and couldn’t figure out how to boot Vista.  I realize these are petty items, the reality is that I’m still tied to MS and using OS X right now just gets in the way (I can buy another dedicated MS PC, but I don’t see a reason to do that at this point). My day job is at a Microsoft shop, my financial software is Windows based, my hobby development is usually in .NET as well, so it’s just so much easier to just stay in the MS OS world.

Secondary reasons for the move are the fact that Vista just plain runs better on the MacBook that Leopard ever did.  Leopard wasn’t super sluggish, but it was never all that snappy.  The other reason is that everything on Mac seems to cost more – the hardware is comparable to higher end PC prices, but it seems like all the basic applications I liked would all cost $30-$70 a pop. Which isn’t that expensive, but it just feels like even the little things are a bit pricy.  Maybe that’s just perception though – I know the tools I use on Vista aren’t cheap either (in fact, they are much, much more expensive than the equivalent Mac software), but the reality is that I already own them.

In any event, I just finished by MacBook reformat so now I’m up and running with Vista and it feels like home – it may not be quite as fun to use, but for me, it’s really about the productivity, and that is one thing Vista can handle just fine.

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