Moving forward

Yesterday morning I nipped down to my local Apple Store and bought a MacBook Pro. This is the second Apple product I've ever bought; the first was my iPhone. I'd be lying if I said the iPhone didn't have something to do with this.

I've been a Windows user all my life, mostly by choice. On the whole, I like Windows. I know it inside and out, upside-down and backwards, and I'm wildly productive with it. I'm also very aware of its many shortcomings, and one of the things Windows has never had that I've always wished it did is a solid Unix foundation under the hood.

Over the last few years I've watched as Mac OS X has risen in popularity and grown more mature. Part of me was always jealous — of the sexy UI, the powerful Unix underpinnings, the thriving open source community that sprang up around it — but another part of me was hesitant because there were things I liked very much about Windows that I would have to give up if I moved to Mac OS. So I watched from afar, often thinking about switching, but never making the leap because I could always think of at least a few things I wouldn't be able to live with (or without) if I switched.

Now, though, the time is right. Leopard resolves many of the minor complaints I've had about past OS X releases and brings a bevy of glorious new capabilities that Windows just can't compete with. And for those times when I still have to fall back on Windows — of which there will be, and already have been, many — I can rely on almost seamless virtualization thanks to VMWare Fusion and Parallels. And when that's not enough, I can still retreat to native Windows land via Boot Camp, whereupon my MacBook Pro shines in comparison with even the best PC laptops.

There have been, and will continue to be, frustrations and inconveniences (I still can't believe how slow and crappy Mac Firefox is), but I've made my choice. I'm betting on the OS that embraces tried and true technology rather than pretending it doesn't exist and that doesn't assault its users with DRM or unauthorized software updates.

Don't worry, Windows. We can still be friends. I just need some space.