Windows 8.1: Drawing me away from the Mac

Like many, I left Windows behind for the most part and switched almost exclusively to the Mac. That's gradually changing with Windows 8.1.

Like millions of Windows users, I was happy with my desktop system and laptops for years. I was one of the rare Tablet PC users in my daily work, with Windows front and center. Then I tried my first Mac, the original 17-inch MacBook Pro and everything changed.

Win over Macs
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

I got the Mac to give it a try and see what the other side had to offer. I used it as a desktop replacement more than a laptop. It didn't take me long, about a month, to realize I was using it exclusively in my office. The Windows systems were sitting on the desk without getting much use.

The primary reason for my happiness with the switch from Windows to the Mac was ease of use. It didn't take me long to realize I never had to think about maintenance. I never had to reboot a frozen system, nor deal with hung apps. It just worked.

I've been using Macs in my office ever since. I have two now, a 11-inch MacBook Air and a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. They are both fine systems that I've enjoyed using since the purchases.

As good as those Macs are, I realize I'm using them less than in the past. The reason is Windows 8.1, and how good it is. I now find my office compute time is divided pretty equally between my Windows 8.1 hybrid and one of the Macs.

That's a testament to how Windows 8 has evolved in the short time it's been available. With Windows 8.1, I really like using my Asus Transformer Book T100 tablet. My heavy tablet use sucked me into using the T100 a lot, and that use includes docking the tablet to form a laptop.

Windows 8.1 works as well on the laptop as it does on the tablet, and that has me reaching for it a lot. Where I'd formerly sit down at the Mac, I now often grab the T100 and work wherever. I take it for outside working sessions and I use it in my home office. It hasn't completely replaced my use of the Macs but it's eating into work time normally done with them.

I'm not ready to dump the Macs and go totally WIndows, but I know I could if I had to. Windows 8.1 has come along nicely, and it's a testament to the work Microsoft has done with it already that it's gradually getting me back to the PC side of things.

That's a significant change for this Mac user. That I'm even thinking about this speaks volumes.

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