The undiscovered country:
When a Microsoft fan goes Apple


blog Regular readers will know that we’ve long been following the blog of local Microsoft Office 365 MVP Loryan Strant, who tends to make regular interesting posts regarding the Microsoft world, especially with relation to the company’s software-as-a-service products. Well, after an experiment in using a Surface Pro tablet as his main desktop machine Strant revealed last week that he’s embarking on an even more extreme experiment, which will take this Microsoft devotee into uncharted, dangerous territory, beyond the boundaries of his normal world. Yup, that’s right. He’s going Apple. Strant writes:

“Many of my customers at Paradyne have Apple Mac devices in their environments. While we know that Office 365 and many Microsoft solutions “work” with Mac devices – the experience can sometimes be frustrating for those users … So for the next month I am conducting an experiment – living in a Mac world connected to a Microsoft cloud. This means I will be using both a MacBook Pro and iPhone 4S as my primary devices – leaving my beloved Surface Pro and Nokia Lumia 920 to gather dust, only to be turned on in case of emergency … I will be posting my adventures over the next month, featuring the good, the bad, and the things that make me want to cry. Stay tuned!”

So far Strant’s main issue appears to be the lack of Microsoft’s One Note application for the Mac. Speaking for myself, as someone who’s switched at various points between Windows, Mac OS X and Linux over the years (not to mention iOS and Android), I have to say that it’s a pretty easy switch at this point. The main thing to realise hardware-wise is that Mac OS X seems to require a great deal more RAM than Windows 7 — my 27″ iMac really didn’t start to fly until I upgraded its RAM from 4GB to 12GB, but my Windows 7 gaming box, which has similar specifications, has been fine for years with just 4GB.

On the application front, most of the same apps are available, especially if you use open source apps. However, I would also advise that sometimes in Mac OS X there are just different ways of doing things than on Windows — it’s not a matter of the software not being available, but it’s also necessary to change some of your working processes slightly etc. Good luck, Loryan!

Image credits: Shane Fullwood (CC2.0)


  1. I switched to a Mac at home after using PC’s for most of the last 20 years and im glad i did – but the most annoying thing is having to use a windows pc at work and mixing up keyboard shortcuts! :-p

  2. My gripe with Apple has always been the same:- they are great at things Apple will let you do, but if you want to do something Apple doesn’t like, or didn’t think of, you run into “issues” and frustration.

    If your needs are in line with what Apple envisions though, they’re great.

    • @tinman_au

      I agree to a certain extent but Apple are slowly embracing the idea that you don’t have to use exclusively Apple products or software.

      iPhones and iPads now don’t need iTunes to activate.

      That being said, with Microsoft being the de-facto choice and standard (especially in the business world) you’re going to run into problems from time-to-time.

      I’ve been PC free since 2005 but am forced to run windows in a VM for Visio (I’m an IT Architect and Visio is essential).

      Microsoft have thumbed their nose at Office for Mac and refused to release versions of Visio and Microsoft Project that will run natively under OS X. Whether this is intended to push users to Office 365 is yet to be determined, given that as far as I know, there’s no Visio or Project available with an Office 365 subscription.

      My computer of choice is my Mac Book Pro. I use it for both home and work and for the most part it works. Using SMB shares works (a little clunky) and printing works so I get everything I need.

  3. I’m usually amazed at friends who swap from pc’s to macs because ” mac’s don’t have problems”..

    they think that the hardware / software is fool proof…

    i point out to them that there are mac service centers…

    Most people’s pc problems are from poorly sourced equipment (eg harvey normans).

    • Macs do have less problems in general and the UI is a very efficient and productive design.

      Im a form Wintel Server Engineer and still operate my own windows server but prefer to use my mac for general computing duties and my idea of “PC gaming” is playing classics from Sierra and Lucas Arts in DosBox or playing my favorite Amiga games on my a500 or a1200. :-)

    • doh, meant to type “former”.

      btw, I also have an original breadbin Commodore 64 too!

      the last few years of gaming have really sucked to be honest but i was thrilled when both the creators of the Quest for Glory series and the Space Quest Series launched successful kickstarter campaigns for new adventure games (which I contributed to). :-)

      • worked as a wintel admin as well for a long time , however also worked in mac only, and mixed environments.

        I don’t honestly find the mac os easier to use . but what i do find , if you are inclined to look / fix things – is they are more likely to hide things from you.

        I’ve still got my amiga 500 .. but started on a trs 80 :P

        I play alot of games, and for that – the pc is for me (except for sport / wrestling games – then ps3 …)

        But as macs are intel chips and nvidia or whatever graphics cards – to me , they don’t really seem to make hardware anyway,

        so it’s an OS choice.

        • yep, definitely an OS choice – I just find it to be very simple and intuitive to use (some keyboard shortcuts exempted) and my wife who is not a geek, and had never used a Mac, before loves it too.

          • I actually find the latest Ubuntu a lot easier to use than OS X. I’m impressed with how far they’ve brought it, when I used to consider it a very fiddly OS.

  4. Microsoft’s ball and chain is the huge installed base of XP in the corporate environment. All those desk jocks whose only computing experience is XP, Office 2007 and IE7, or perhaps 8. When they see an iPhone or an iPad it is truly a revelation. It’s not far then to step up to a Mac.

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