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Switching Isn't for Everyone

by Derrick Story
Mac Newsletter for 11/08/2002

Dear Mac Reader,

Earlier this week I wrote a Weblog titled, "The Begrudging Acceptance of Apple" where I cited a few instances where traditional Windows-centric publications were giving Apple products fair reviews. I think this bodes well for consumers who now get to base their buying decisions on a broader range of products.

I guess the true test of success, however, is when the backlash begins to appear. Now we're seeing stories that have the theme, "I switched to Mac, but now I'm jumping back to XP." I'm not talking about the lame Microsoft campaign that featured anti-switchers who didn't really exist. (Probably created by the same people who showed California Governor Gray Davis accepting a campaign contribution at the capitol, when in fact it was nothing more than a bad Photoshop job.)

I'm talking about real people who probably should have never switched in the first place. That's right, Mac OS X isn't for everyone.

I have a lot of people ask me about switching. I recommend it about 80 percent of the time. I think switching is particularly exciting when you know other Mac OS X users and can join their informal support community. But let's face it, some folks are born Windows users. Let's not torture them by advocating a change that won't improve their life.

When people ask you about switching, ask them why they're interested. Inquire about how they use their computer, what environment they're going to plug it into, and what applications they like to use. After a short discussion, you'll know if the Mac might be a good choice for them.

To subscribe to the Mac newsletter (or any O'Reilly Network newsletters), visit http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/user/home and select the newsletters you wish to receive in your user profile (you'll need to log in with your existing O'Reilly Network account -- if you don't yet have an account, you'll need to create one).

The best switches are the ones that stick. Not that we're omnipotent or anything, but I feel Mac users have the responsibility to give the best advice they can--even if it's recommending Windows.

Until next time,
Derrick
--
Derrick Story
O'Reilly Network Managing Editor
derrick@oreilly.com

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