by Jason Snell

Windows vs. Linux vs. OS X: A Mac Expert Weighs In

Dec 01, 20062 mins
Operating Systems

I’d echo John Halamka’s thoughts about running Windows on Mac hardware: Parallels Desktop is definitely the better option, but it has the occasional quirk. Users who buy a Mac should expect to spend most of their time using Mac OS X. For the vast majority of tasks, the Mac-native software will do the job.

Websites that require Internet Explorer for Windows used to be the bane of Mac users’ existence, but these days most Web developers are building their apps using Web standards and testing for Firefox compatibility, which generally means they’re compatible with the Mac version of Firefox (and sometimes with Safari too).

The article makes Keynote sound like a “light” version of PowerPoint. My experience is that Keynote actually offers far more options (in terms of transitions and slide builds) than PowerPoint does. I can always tell when someone is using Keynote, but that recognition is because of extra effects, not the lack of effects. It might be more accurate to say that Keynote doesn’t offer the same effects as PowerPoint.

It’s encouraging to see that many of Halamka’s complaints are the sort you’d expect from someone trying to make a transition from their familiar Windows operating system to the Mac’s somewhat different approach. Although Mac users can rattle off the “Vulcan Death Grip” required to take a screen shot (Command-Shift-3) it’s not always obvious to new users how these things work.

–Jason Snell is VP and editorial director of Macworld

(Macworld’s publisher is a sister company to CIO’s publisher).