Why Macs aren’t for me

In one of my recent client engagements, I’m surrounded by people with Apple Macs. Everyone’s on laptops, MacBook Airs outnumbering MacBook Pros about 2:1. There’s even the odd person running Windows on a Mac—wanting the cool but yearning for the functionality.

And then there’s the odd leper like myself, running Windows on a PC laptop. (From memory, I can only think of one other PC user besides myself, someone whose laptop is the size of a small aircraft carrier.)

And here’s the rub. I know of only two Mac users who appear serene and content in their worlds. Three at a push. The rest love their shiny toys. But they struggle to use them. They certainly struggle to do so in a way that looks comfortable.

Now I admit, most are new to the technology. They’re recent converts from the comfort of Windows. But even those that have been around Macs for a while seem to struggle. They struggle to do things that were commonplace in Windows. Sometimes, they seem vaguely aware that a certain swipe combination will yield a certain result. But don’t ask them to do it, because it probably won’t work.

Now I love Macs. They are beautiful. They’re functionally rich. And when used well, they are poetic. But I doubt that I’ll ever adopt for two reasons.

First, Excel. Excel on a Mac is truly a dog’s breakfast. It sucks so much ass. It feels like going back to Excel 5.0—at its launch in 1993, the most mesmerisingly sublime piece of software you ever did experience, but not so now.

And given that I live and breathe Excel, no thank you.

And second, the learning curve. It’s way too shallow for me to make the leap. My productivity would go through the floor for weeks, and would still be suffering months, quarters later, as I grappled with gestures, and an entirely new way of interacting with the OS.

I regard myself as a relative power user of computers. If I lived in word processing and email, maybe I’d think about leaping. But alas, I don’t. And I so I won’t.

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