Posted by: Bill | December 1, 2009

Switching Teams

Fear not. I am not switching allegiance from the Steelers to say…the Redskins. Like this writer, I remain thankful for the best franchise in the NFL. I am talking about our recent purchase of an iMac and the future purchase of other Apple products.

Blimmel nerve center

New Blimmel nerve center

Years ago, I was devoted to Windows and other Microsoft products. There were a number of reasons for this. Anything from “this is what I’ve always used” to “the Windows platform has all the software” qualified as part of my rationale. I remember a development project (back in my Accenture days) in 2000 in which we all cursed Netscape and all Mac-compatible browsers because “they weren’t like IE”. Before IE finally moved toward compliance with web standards a few years ago, it was able to be a de facto standard on its own via market penetration. The fact that it was a terrible piece of software didn’t really matter when over 90% were using it. But I digress.

It never bothered me that much how hard it was to make Windows run smoothly because I just assumed all OS’s were this way. I knew about Linux and Unix, but those were not designed to be consumer friendly. I still hear talk about how ubuntu (a more friendly Linux offering) is going to break into the consume market (it’s free), but there has been no movement yet.

Being in charge of all things IT the last 7 years has changed my views on many things. Despite some of the pain that comes with open source software, I am a fan (not Steeler-level believer as yet). Not surprisingly, I think Google makes great software. They have so many good products that it’s overwhelming. I don’t have enough time to get to know all of them. Most importantly, I have watched my team spend a lot of their precious time dealing with all the overhead that comes with Windows, Outlook, Exchange and all their friends. Our team is small and their responsibilities go beyond desktop support, but there is always something happening to pull them back in.

Watching all this as well as the degradation of our own PC over time slowly led me to switch teams. My experience with the iPhone has been excellent from the first day when I was able to set everything up without ever consulting the manual. It was that easy. Heather did not take much convincing as long as I agreed to get Office for the Mac for work reasons. This was a welcome compromise. I have been spending a lot of time getting things switched over (usually at night after getting home from the hospital), but it has been oddly enjoyable getting to know a whole new OS and its products. The shopping and customer service experience have been excellent thus far. It is very similar to what this writer describes at the Apple blog. Reliable software plus amazing usability plus strong customer service is quite a rare combination in any consumer product and especially in electronics. If you add the coolness factor, it’s pretty much deadly.

It will be interesting to see if Heather likes it as much as I do. Having her learn a whole new operating system will be even more interesting. I think this will be a winner though no matter what so long as printing wirelessly is more reliable now than it was before with our PC. Another key to make wives and husbands happy all over the world is below.

Wire Chaos

Wire Chaos

The good people at our local Apple Store have also said they will help with the training. I’m not sure how we think there will be time for that with Rikki and Vikki coming home soon, but it’s a nice security blanket for us if nothing else.

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