Maybe pigs can fly: Windows is actually cool again.
For the first time in 12 years, I purchased a PC for my own personal use. Adios Mac. I now tote around a burgundy Surface Laptop from Microsoft, and so far, I miss nothing. Well, almost nothing.
I had discussed my desire to purchase a burgundy Surface Laptop in a recent episode of the 10-Minute Law Firm Podcast with my guest Tom Lambotte of GlobalMacIt. He urged me not to do it. I then received an impassioned letter from a listener urging the same. “Listen to Tom! Do not buy it!”
I did it anyway. And here’s why:
Don’t get me wrong—Apple’s software is incredible, and I still would urge most businesses to go Mac for many reasons, especially if they have an Apple store nearby. However, I’m fed up with Apple’s hardware decisions. Not only do they lack the vision that used to be there under Steve Jobs, but some decisions are positively puzzling.
Case in point: the Apple mouse that has to flip over like a dead turtle in order to charge it. More nefariously, Apple changes their plugs all the time, forcing you to purchase their clumsy adapters. The Apple Pencil has many poorly thought-out design issues as I’ve written about previously, and the new MacBook Pros have forgone the Magsafe adapter and Thunderbolt cables. And do you know a single person in love with their Apple Watch? Or do you get the same response I always get: “Meh.” (Meanwhile, for the record, I am totally in love with my Garmin Vivosmart HR+ which I only charge once every five days.)
As Apple loses its feel for head-turning design, Microsoft is seizing the opportunity. With the Surface Book, the Surface Laptop, Office 365, Redmond is turning heads. When I would pull out my Mac in an all-PC world in a coffee shop, I felt counter-cultural. Now, I feel the same way: When I pull out this gorgeous red machine in a coffee shop full of silver Macs, I feel one of a kind.
If you haven’t seen Microsoft’s Arc Touch mouse, check one out. I’ve been using it, and not only is it super-elegant, it is one of the most clever pieces of hardware design I’ve seen in years: You bend it to turn it on, and straighten it out to turn it off.
Switching from Mac to PC hasn’t been as tough as I thought. Most of my work takes place in a browser, Word, or Slack. What’s different are the system settings and my favorite keyboard shortcuts.
Learning how to connect to WiFi and configure the machine took no time at all. That part was easy. Changing the keyboard shortcut habits is taking a bit more time.
For instance, instead of hitting Command + Spacebar to bring up my app launcher, in Windows I hit the Windows button. To take a screenshot, I have to hit Windows + Shift + S, which is different from the Mac. To rename a file in Windows Explorer, instead of hitting Enter, I hit Fn + F2.
So, Windows is no longer the nightmare you remember. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, take a walk on the wild side and consider going burgundy.