Mitch Goes Mac!? Nah!

For more information about the Windows Springboard Series visit http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8418918.

My name is Mitch, and I am a PC and I run Windows 7!

This statement will not surprise anyone who knows me.  As a Microsoft MVP and trainer I have been quite vocal about Microsoft’s new client operating system, and everything I love about it.

What has utterly shocked a lot of those same people is the fact that my new laptop is not a Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, or Vaio… it’s an Apple; more specifically, it’s a 13” MacBook Pro.  When I boot it up, it makes the Apple sound; the back panel of the screen lights up the familiar Apple logo.  The number of people who have done a double-take by now (especially since this month I have taught Windows 7 twice and spent a week on Microsoft’s campus for the MVP Summit) probably number in the low hundreds.

‘You finally went over to the Dark Side!’

‘You’ve lost your mind!’

‘You lost a bet!’

I could keep going, but the truth is none of the above; sure, I am a Microsoft MVP, and I spend a lot of time teaching and presenting to Microsoft audiences, but the truth is I am first and foremost an IT Professional and technology enthusiast (read: geek).  I am also what some call a ‘super-influencer’.  However that is based not on my pretty face (thankfully!) but on my credibility.  I have always felt that if I wanted to maintain that credibility as an IT Pro rather than as a Microsoft Evangelist then I had to be open to all technologies, and be able to compare them all authoritatively rather than anecdotally.

I hadn’t really done a lot of work on a Mac since before I went into the army – I was working as a software analyst for the Israeli Ministry of Education and frankly nobody else knew anything at all about the Mac in the corner, so that system became my responsibility.  In those heady days of Windows 3.1, Mac OS was far superior to any GUI available on the more popular PCs.  Then nearly four years ago, toward the end of the Windows Vista beta program, a friend of mine in Montreal asked me to install that OS on his new Mac Mini; I was so impressed by its performance (in a side by side comparison with my Asus Ferrari 4000 it stood up quite favorably) that I looked into it, and sure enough Apple made excellent hardware that was solid and lacked a lot of the compatibility issues you encounter when the hardware manufacturer uses components (and thus requires drivers) from different manufacturers.  Anyone who has challenged me on Mac since then will attest that I love Mac hardware!

Fast forward to January, 2010.

I tried in vain for three weeks to buy a new laptop, and I won’t go into the details of that debacle.  I was a bit put off by that experience, and decided to look elsewhere… when I had an idea, based mostly on the prodding and goading from a client of mine (IHYF!).  After consulting with and getting approval from the finance department (read: wife) I trekked down to the Apple Store in Square One, and bought a shiny new MacBook Pro.

I want to be clear that although it was and remains my intention to use the MacBook to learn Mac OS, I am still primarily a Windows guy, and so the first thing I did when opening the box was figure out how to install Windows 7 on it.  After a lot of hassles and ‘figuring things out’ I got it working and true to my earlier impressions, it is a great Windows machine… although the critics are right that the much lauded battery performance is quite diminished when running Windows, due to the fact that it was likely not Apple’s #1 priority to optimize the drivers to run Windows.

In my next article I will guide you step-by-step through the installation and configuration process, for those of you Mac users who are interested in dipping your feet into the Windows OS!

For more information about the Windows Springboard Series visit http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8418918.

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