Throwing Microsoft out the Windows

by Colin Berkshire

Colin Here. My friends and colleagues were shocked and surprised when one day I showed up with an Apple iMac computer. They were more surprised when I cleared my desk of my Windows computer.

You see, I have used Microsoft products for over 30 years. I have used Windows exclusively. My company has only used MS-DOS and then only Windows and I don’t think we have ever purchased a desktop computer that didn’t have the Dell brand on it. Ever.

It’s been eight months now. Long enough to have seen the best and worst of it.

This all started one day when I was on a deadline and needed to get work done. Windows declared that it needed my time NOW to do updates, to reboot, and then to update and reboot again. When one of the updates didn’t install correctly and then when Word crashed I had a bit of a temper tantrum. By then, I had lost an hour and a half and my stress from the deadline was ready to boil over.

More as an act of revenge, I went to the Apple website. I looked at the attractive computers, and then I configured one, and then I gasped at the price. So I went over to Dell and discovered that for comparable specs they cost the same. Hmmph. So I went back to my work, but never forgot that Apple. Really, the thought was not so much an attraction to Apple as it was a desire to escape Windows. It had become like a houseguest that wouln’t go home and was starting to tell me what food to stock the refrigerator with.

Then, I needed help with Excel. The help feature on Windows is pretty much useless. It’s convoluted and confusing, and finding an answer is like a time-wasting treasure hunt. I thought that after 30 years and with 100-million customers, surely Microsoft could make help helpful. But then I remember that puppy-dog help from a previous Windows and realized: not.

When Windows 7 locked up I needed a break. I went to the Apple store, and in an act of revenge I told the sales clerk I wanted the best desktop they had. I handed him my card, he handed me an enormous box and I went back to work. To say that people’s jaws dropped does not describe their reaction. Words like “drool” described both their shock and their lust.

The setup took a moment. It was so un-Windows-like. And then my first surprise: It found all of the printers around. I didn’t need to “install” them or hunt for drivers. It found the other computers on the network and started talking to them. Setting up mail took a moment, but then it was working too…and it looked just like my iPhone mail. One by one I installed and configured the apps. It always took less time than I expected.

My first real surprise was when I called Apple tech support. The queue was short, the person was polite, and they used phrases like “I will stay on the phone with you as long as we need to get this set up how you want”  Wow. Double-wow.


Here I am eight months later and I am never going back. I love my Mac. It has never crashed, it has never been “needy”. It doesn’t consume my time for its own agendas. It seems to work with my scanners, printers, disks, and oddball stuff. I have never loaded a driver or anything from disk, nor have I had to go to any manufacturer’s websites to get stuff.

Several months back I did run into a situation where I needed a Windows computer. It was a special company app that was ancient. The company offered to give me a second Windows PC. A co-worker said to get “Parallels” and just install Windows on my Mac. I was reluctant to introduce Windows-pollution into my Mac, but he assured me it was fully sandboxed and could not hurt the Mac. He was right. So on those rare occasions I need Windows I flip my fingers and it appears. I hate it. But Windows on a Mac works better than Windows on a Dell, I think. It’s only about once a month I need to interface with that cranky payroll system anyway. It’s a great monthly reminder of why I left Windows.

I am surprised by how easy it was to switch. And, I am more surprised by how few problems I have had. (Like: none.) Oh, mouse did stop working. I called Apple and they mailed me a replacement. No hassles.

I am starting to think that there is a reason that Apple has become earth’s most valuable company.

Old friends still comment when they seem me for the first time using a Mac. I just smile and say: I wish I had thrown Microsoft out the Windows years ago.


Dave is not with me on Apple yet. See his 2009 post on the matter here: