Apple vs Microsoft – What is a Writer to Do??

Just an hour ago, I clicked on the “purchase” button at the online Apple store, spending $1700+ dollars on a new MacBook Air. Hence the Apple logo, the insatiably voracious version of Pac Man.

Munch, munch, munch out of my budget…

Five minutes later, I panicked and canceled the order.

This, after spending at least a week reading CNet reviews, Google and Amazon reviews, and Apple and Microsoft forums. Apple people and PC people cannot share the same electron cubicle or they’ll sling mud at each other all day. However, it is fascinating how many crossovers from MS now sing the virtues of Apple with nary an epiphany going the other way.

But there’s also the complication of having to decide between Google Docs, Word, and Scrivener applications. I’ve used Word since I was born–well, at least since WordPerfect died. My business-y husband loves Google Docs and “the Cloud.” Writers apparently love Scrivener, either the Windows or Mac versions (although the Windows version hasn’t caught up to the Mac capabilities, yet). And even Mac people will tell you that Word for Mac is a shadow of the “robust” (always brings on visions of Great Aunt Edith and the crumbs on her, ah, shelf) Windows edition.

So right after I hit “purchase,” Evil Doubt grasped the nape of my neck, jerked me off my physioball chair, and rattled my bones around the office, demanding “What if Mac’s Scrivener is just a raging toothache when you want to share files with your clients, editors, and other writers who use Word? And the alternative, MSOffice for Mac? What if it truly is the kiss of death?”…Fully off my ball (rocker), I fell to my knees in horror and reached for my keyboard to cancel.

What had I almost done? Had I almost blown up the bridge between me and all the Word people I know? Had I almost handed over my soul to Satan because I love the feel of the Air’s touchpad? Oh how silky smooth and effortless to swipe! In comparison, the Lenovo, the Samsung, the Asus laptop touchpads I had tried felt like a long drag through the La Brea Tar Pit.

Plus, ya gotta love that sleek Air-brushed-aluminum wedge!

And then the Best Buy Microsoft Rep leapt from the shadows and recommended the new Surface Pro (everything but the gorgeous HD pixelated screen looks clunky), running Windows 8 (yet a new look and format!!!%#@!); a tablet PC sporting an awesome stylus for drawing and writing copious notes (marginalia, yes!!!) on the touch screen, which you can then turn immediately into type!! Oh, have mercy on me Satan!!!

But the Windows 8 features this new “tile” system that blocks all plug-ins, so you have to use the desktop view if you want plug-ins and tabs that resemble anything I’m used to seeing. And then I stumped the rep when I asked if I could see 20 “tiles” when I have that many windows open. After fiddling for a moment, he concluded: you can only do that in desktop mode. And it doesn’t have as much RAM or disk space as the Air, although it is cheaper…. Hmmmmmm….

But if I buy any PC laptop, I would be stuck with Windows 8! So does that mean I should buy a Mac?

There’s a reason I haven’t worked for IBM since the dark ages.

I’m a writer folks, I just want to use these tools to do my work. I want to focus on the WORDS, and occasionally incorporate some photos, graphics, and videos.

WORDS WORDS WORDS —- Can anyone hand me a torch that will show me the way out of these infinite circles of hell?

25 thoughts on “Apple vs Microsoft – What is a Writer to Do??

  1. jumeirajames says:

    I bought a Mac Air and its got some great features BUT you cannot actually ‘file’ anything (no file ‘tree’ like Windows) and finding stuff in the computer is a nightmare – you cannot search by file title and other ways that normal people would retrieve their items.

    I have an iPhone and iPad so the ghost of Steve jobs has me truly boxed off in his little control-freak world.

    What to do indeed

      • jumeirajames says:

        If you try to find a picture titled ‘family’ – it pulls up every pic, doc, spreadsheet that contains the word ‘family’ anywhere in the body of the document.
        My storage contains my 110,000 word book – there is almost every word in the English language in that book, and I have dozens of versions, rewrites, chapters and so on. So every time I look for something it starts with 200 lines of iNation – the book’.
        Search on-line ‘mac air – filing system’ or something like that, a lot of people are not happy

  2. Margarita says:

    I’ve never liked the Mac platform – and I’ve worked with both Windows & Mac for a long time since I can’t control which platform my clients use. I’m not happy with the MS “innovations” because they just strike me as Mac wannabes and not innovative at all. I’m clinging to my old laptop as long as I can! xoM

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Oh, how I wish I could do that.But ominous signs are telling me that it’s time to get rid of the old one before truly unpleasant things start happening, the “blue screen of death” and the like.

      • Margarita says:

        Maybe one approach might be to get a refurbished older model as an interim measure. Interim to MS getting its act together. I’ve done that a couple of times, extending the reprieve for getting a new system by a year or two. Just a thought…xoxoM

        • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

          Thanks for this suggestion, Margarita! I did this once and my refurbished machine turned out to be a lemon that was always “in the shop.” Hence the saying, “Once bitten, twice shy.” It happened with a car I owned as well, so I don’t seem to have any luck with this. Maybe I have some sort of electronic force field surrounding me that makes everything go haywire.

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I feel your pain. I don’t dare switch to a Mac, because I fear it will confuse me after years of PC use. But I’ve heard horrible things about Windows 8. Luckily my PC is only a couple years old, so it has plenty of use left. Hopefully by the time I get a new one, Windows 8 will be long gone.

    Guess I didn’t help you much, did I? 😉

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      That’s what I did with Vista. I leap-frogged over it. But now, I really don’t have the choice to wait. Two of my PCs kicked the bucket at critical times during my work life, and I don’t wish this agony on anyone, not even Lord Voldemort. Suffice to say, an HP or Dell product will never again darken my doorway.

  4. mskatykins says:

    I feel your pain and your niggling doubts. When we put together the first edition of the ezine there were major complications because I’m a Windows user and my co-editor is a Mac user. We ended up going with a package that was compatible with her computer and it meant I couldn’t contribute to that aspect of our project. That was really hard for me and will continue to be a hurdle. But I don’t see why I should have to change over to Mac when I’m happy with my laptop as it is… Hmm. I hope you resolve your issue soon. It’s really hard and it’s an expensive commitment!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      This is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. Why can’t we have a “one-world” standard that everything must be compatible with?? Is that too much to ask? I guess the answer is “yes.”

  5. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Well, I did it. I couldn’t wait any longer. I ordered a MacBook Air. I have my fingers crossed that all will be right with the world (at least my technology world) once I have it in house.

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