BYOD: My Journey From Windows To Mac
By Mike Anderson
Last year as we were forming Aragon I was a steadfast Windows user. Although we had made the decision early that we would allow user freedom of choice for computing, Jim was all Mac in his home office. Keeping integration simple by choosing the same platform made sense as a startup, but I was still thinking like the Windows user that I had been for more than 15 years.
Sure, the Mac would run Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook that were to be our mainstays, but I was settled and comfortable using all of the Windows versions. Being a touch typist with more than 15 years using the same keyboards with the same tactile feedback, the Mac keyboard looked like a showstopper.
The key factor, though, was my knowledge, experience and overall comfort with Windows. I knew how to handle drivers when I needed to, and what to do when things went wrong with software, networks and peripherals. Utilities and security software are a priority, and the Windows options were richer. Overall, when things went wrong I felt confident that diagnosing and fixing them would be in my control with Windows, and not so much with the Mac.
With some trepidation, I opted for a MacBook Pro. The key factor: I could run Windows 7 on the Mac.
The Mac was sleek, elegantly designed, and powerful. More importantly, when I loaded up my favorite Windows programs, the Mac showed more information than the Windows PC. It was a win-win. The Mac path was now mine, and I could stay Windows on the same computer with ease.
After about a month I found myself using only the Mac applications nearly all of the time, and only booted up Windows when I needed some old file. The MacBook Pro is well designed, has great graphics, a bright screen and crisper text than I was used to getting from the PC. My keyboard phobia was unfounded, and I find myself frustrated trying to use the multi-touch gestures of the trackpad on other computers. Most notably, my lack of Mac support skills was a non-issue as I found that the Mac just works with fewer problems needing those skills.
My experience parallels that of many in enterprise IT. Users who have iPhones and iPads are now clamoring for Mac support, encouraged by the few who already use them. The IT team has years of skills in Windows support, maintenance and break-fix, and supreme confidence in those skills. Bringing in Macs, they say, entails a lot of retooling and reskilling, and added costs. Their fears are largely unfounded, and the added ease of use and simplicity for users where Macs meet their needs can pay off well.
There’s no avoiding the Mac momentum. Making it work without stressing you out will take letting go of those nagging doubts and uncertainties.
We have some new research to help those just confronting these issues. This month Aragon Research published our special report on Apple in the Enterprise. Three particular reports target the growing Mac movement in the enterprise:
– The Long Term Test of Macs in Enterprise, Education and Consumer Environments (note, one unit ran dual OSs (OS X and Windows))
– The Toolkit for enabling and using Macs in the Enterprise
– Questions and Answers about Apple in the Enterprise