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OS X vs Windows: 8 reasons to switch to Mac

After using Windows for 20 years, Khidr Suleman tells us what life is like after making the jump to Mac.

Those who complain about Apple forcing you to use its proprietary software are misguided. It's possible to install Windows on any Mac via the built-in Bootcamp tool or by using virtualisation software such as Parallels 9.

You're not forced to use Safari, FaceTime or iTunes. Indeed, you can download browsers such as Chrome or Firefox, carry out video calling via Skype and buy your music and movies from the Amazon, LoveFilm or stream via Netflix.

I've also been syncing my Android phone and dragging and dropping files and folders. The one limitation is that you can't move files larger than 4GB to a FAT32 file system.

8. Trackpad

The gestures on MacBook trackpads are unmatched. They work flawlessly - so you can swipe between apps, desktops, and windows by flicking fingers up and down the pad. No Windows machine provides an experience anywhere near as consistent.

If you want a two button mouse with a scroll-wheel that's not problem either - just plug one in.

But, as I said earlier, nothing is perfect and there are some - only some - downsides...

3 Drawbacks of a Mac compared to a PC

Macs aren't perfect and I've found a handful of niggles but nothing serious enough to make me regret the decision to switch.

1. Not sold on the laptop keyboard

Coming from a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop, the MacBook had to up a best-in-class keyboard and hasn't managed to do this. My main gripe is the shallowness of the keys and this is an area where Apple needs to improve upon when it refreshes the range. Though, when working in the office, this is easily compensated by using a full-sized keyboard.

2. Price

Cost is the main barrier of entry for many people either because they don't have the means to purchase an Apple device or because they believe that they are not value for money. There's nothing I can do to help with the first problem, but the second is down to misconception. When you compare the components on offer in most Macs with PCs, you'll see Apple is offering reasonable value for money.

With MacBook Pros available from just over 1,000, this is a similar price to most high-end Windows Ultrabooks. Remember, if you buy cheap, you buy twice.

3. Poor upgradeability

Apple doesn't like third-parties - including customers - tinkering around with its products. As such, most products have components stuck in place with blobs of glue. This means you have to pick the specification carefully when you purchase devices and a simple job like replacing a battery can be a nightmare.

It was surprising to see the likes of the Mac Pro (2013) ship with such an upgrade-friendly design - but this is targeted at the professional market and Apple laptops, tablets and smartphones are likely to remain locked down.

Overall

I'm not saying everyone should ditch their PC and run to an Apple Store. Macs aren't for everyone. You might be part of a business, which is tied into the Windows ecosystem due to the use of legacy apps, or you simply might not be in a position to splash out on the hardware.

But if you're free from any restrictions and you're due an upgrade, Macs are worth considering. Trust me.

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