Why not both?

When I joined my previous company, I was pleasantly surprised to be asked if I wanted a MacBook or a Windows laptop when I started. Besides having used iPhone for some time, I wasn’t deep into Apple land. Getting a chance fill in blank space, I jumped at the opportunity and chose Mac.

After patiently taking the time to learn new shortcuts — and to scroll in the opposite direction when reading a text longer than one screen — I became a happy Mac user. As most applications run in browsers these days, I didn’t miss out on many features. Only Excel on Mac had some limited capabilities for Pivot tables, an issue that disappeared when we switched to G Suite…

In the end, the only recurring issues were to find adapters to plug into the video systems in the various meeting rooms and to find a spare power supply when I forgot one at home.

I find it difficult to explain exactly why I liked Mac — other than it was easy to carry around — until now when I have switched back to Windows.

My garden leave is over and the calendar says Autumn. Copyright Frederik Jensen.

Given the same choice when I started in my new company, this time I chose a Windows laptop. Nice, lightweight, good battery life, good screen, good keyboard. Touchpad not quite like a Mac, otherwise quite ok.

After one week, I can tell you why I think the user experience on Mac OS is better than on Windows:

The Notification Center is a constant distraction of messages very rarely relevant to the work I’m trying to do. Virus scans, screen resolution fixes, software updates and reboots required — even Slack notifications as if Slack doesn’t already have plenty of ways to notify about new messages. Day three I turned all notifications off. Windows, if you want my attention, send a letter.

Next, Office. I have used all the applications before, not just on this particular laptop. Still, when opening an application for the first time, a welcome screen fills the entire window. Instead of getting on with my work, I’m searching for the quickest way to kill the tutorial.

When I open Outlook to look in my calendar, it shows me the list of unread emails, inviting me to task switching into reading and answering a new email instead of completing the task I was working on.

Oh, and even if I enjoy coming back to OneNote, the issue that language follows keyboard is still not fixed. Creating a note in English with a Swedish or Danish keyboard will fill the page with red curly lines. Word and Outlook can detect language as you type, but not OneNote. Switching to English keyboard, and I’m chasing the ‘-‘, the ‘@’, and other special characters.

My conclusion

The Windows user experience is more noisy. Instead of getting on with my work, Windows is full of distractions. I simply do more task switching in Windows than on Mac OS.

Things will get better over time, I’m sure. It’s just a tool and what is important is what you use it for and how you use it.

In the mean time, when I get too frustrated, I can always open my personal MacBook and write a blogpost.

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