I have a confession to make. It took me years to reach this level of acceptance, but now I can say it aloud: I’m a Mac person.
You see, I grew up on PCs and never had a complaint. I scoffed at people who paid the “i” premium. “My Creative Player has better sound quality than your iPod,” I would remind my friends. But they would only shrug and smile, because it was never really about the technology at all. “I like it,” they’d say. “It’s easy to use.” I would shake my head and go back to methodically organizing the photos on my PC. I refused to be another sheep blindly following the cult of Apple.
Then two things happen: I was required to purchase a MacBook Pro for my undergrad program, and my Creative Player died.
It was a time of great unrest. I could replace my Creative Player and suffer the evils of incompatibility with my Mac. Or, I could buy an iPod let peace reign eternal. What could I do? I had to choose peace and unity.
Apple’s got a tight fist, man. Once you’re locked into their ecosystem, that’s it. Soon followed the iPad, then the iPhone, and eventually I had to admit it: I had become a Mac person. Worse, I started to like it. My PC had died prematurely from an overheating problem, but my MacBook was sturdy and reliable. My Creative Player started crashing in its later years, but my iPod kept right on ticking. I didn’t even know why I needed an iPad at all, but OMG IT WAS AWESOME!
All of this, of course, leads us to present day because I face yet another crossroads – choosing a laptop for business school.
This is a complicated issue, and PC/Mac preference is only one part of the puzzle. The problem is that Microsoft Office for the Mac is pretty lame, lacking many of the shortcuts and features of the Windows version. So while it’s possible to go through business school with a Mac, you really can’t expect to get by using Office for Mac.
There are a couple of ways around this issue. Some use a virtualization software like Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion to run Windows on their OSX desktop. There’s also Apple’s Boot Camp, which is free but requires a reboot in order to switch between OSX and Windows. Both of these options require not only the purchase of a Mac, already a significant investment, but also the purchase of Windows ($100-$140) and Microsoft Office ($140-$400). The third option, of course, is to swallow your pride and buy a PC.
There’s nothing like quitting your job to put your purchasing power in perspective, is there? All of a sudden I couldn’t stomach paying $2,500 for a machine I would basically use for word processing. “Besides,” I rationalized, “When I start my high-powered career in two years, I can buy myself the newest and shiniest MacBook there is.” Then I went to the store and brought home a Lenovo ThinkPad and a copy of Office Home & Student. All told, it cost me $1,200.
And now I have a second confession to make: I love my new PC. It’s fast, light, has a touch screen, and converts into a tablet. Can your Mac do that?
This doesn’t mean I’m a total PC convert, but I certainly won’t be ashamed to flash my sleek new gadget on the first day of school. No reboot required, no extraneous software crashing on me, AND I saved a bundle. Because here’s the deal, Apple fanboys – this is not the last laptop you will ever buy. The world will not end if you use a PC. And even if your last employer only used Macs, most of the corporate world runs on Windows so it pays to be bilingual. Besides, when I sidle up next to you in class with my next generation computer of awesomeness, you’re going to be super jealous.