Went From Windows to Mac, Now Thinking of Moving Back

Back in 2006 I made a decision to move our business to the Mac. I liked the elegance of the Mac’s design and how everything “just worked” in a way that Windows — at least at the time — didn’t. Subsequent introductions from Apple proved me right: the iPhone, the iPad and Mac desktops and laptops work very nicely together. I can answer and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, share passwords, and share data easily on any Apple platform. My iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro will remember all of my Wi-Fi connections and reconnect automatically whenever I revisit a location. The interfaces are all elegant and well designed.

But then Steve Jobs passed away and, apparently, Apple’s almost maniacal obsession for good design did as well, albeit more slowly. The Mac still works, but just not as well anymore. The company has shifted focus to the iPhone and iPad, even more or less dismantling its Mac team back in 2016. New versions of MacOS are more like point releases, offering interesting new features and functions, but many are more gimmicky than they are useful. While not Apple’s fault, Microsoft Office 2016 is a major step backward compared to Office 2011, but users are more or less forced to “upgrade” because of Microsoft’s end-of-support for 2011.

While I still like the Mac, a recent failure of my iMac’s Fusion Drive (Mac’s combo of a solid state drive and conventional hard drive) has served as something of a trigger and brought me to the point that I am now seriously considering going back to Windows. The drive started failing in late June and failed completely in late July. Since I don’t have on-site service available from Apple (more about that below), I took it to my closest Apple Store. The iMac stayed there overnight and was diagnosed with a software failure that connects the two parts of the Fusion Drive. After Apple “fixed” the problem, and after completely reinstalling MacOS and all of the applications, everything was back up and running…for 11 days. A couple of hours on chat and the phone with Mac technicians resulted in the same recommendation: we will have to bring the iMac back to the Apple Store for diagnosis.

The good news: Apple offers on-site service. The bad news: in order for Apple to authorize on-site service they need to know exactly what’s wrong with the computer so the technician can bring the one part that needs replacing. And in order for them to know which part the technician needs to bring, the customer first has to bring their computer to an Apple Store to have it diagnosed. I doubt that most Apple Support personnel have ever read Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, but Apple’s on-site support policy certainly embodies its primary theme.

So, we are at a bit of a crossroads: stay with a Mac ecosystem that is in decline, or go back to Windows that, by all accounts, is much better than it was just a few years ago? I’d enjoy hearing your opinions.