Thumbs-Up Microsoft, Thumbs-Down Apple

March 1, 2007 by Jared Goralnick

Well, I did manage to get Vista installed. The advice here worked like a charm, and I was able to install Vista clean with an upgrade product key. No, Microsoft never did follow-up with a solution…but at least it worked.

I’m really enjoying Windows Vista. Sure, a few programs don’t work (I don’t want to upgrade QuickBooks and iTunes isn’t even upgraded) but the visual improvements are stunning. Sure, Mac may have had similar features for a while…but it’s great for us PC users to finally get a break.

Some of my favorites: the integrated search, the new Windows Media Player, the lovely Aero interface, the massively improved wireless and network connection management, the better display options, the weather gadget… I really dig it.

On the other hand, I’ve been seriously disappointed with Apple. The majority of my gripe is that I purchased a lemon of a MacBook. I’ve spent about 5 or 6 hours on the phone in the last week with a unit that is now officially considered DOA. Now I have to run between a few places to get it repaired. And I’m going to think twice before purchasing from MacMall again. When business is so busy, as it is now, this is a horrible waste of time.

But, for the record, when this MacBook was working it was no panacea, no magnificent wonderful machine. It wasn’t necessarily more intuitive to work with, and I’m not in any way sold. Some of my least favorites: error messages that are immensely unhelpful, no manual way to eject a CD (and no eject button that works without software), a remarkably sparse online support, no visual or audio indication when important statuses changed (like connecting to a network or disconnecting from a network), and about a million compatibility issues with Office. But I’m going to take a deep breath and get this machine (for SET’s designer; it’s running Vista, as well) repaired…

So this week has seen a great deal of upgrades. A MacBook. A Vista install on my primary machine. A gorgeous new notebook (Dell XPS M1210) with all the bells & whistles. Now it’s time to update the infrastructure a little bit–redo the server, clean up a dedicated XP box for use as a computer-to-be-dialed-into, and figure out some more features in OneNote 2007 and Groove Server…

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