Thursday, November 06, 2008

1 year of Mac: Windows/Mac interoperability

One of the things that worried me the most when I decided to switch to Mac OS X, is the interoperability with Windows. Because I have to collaborate with some work colleagues that use Windows, namely in writing papers, reports, presentations and other documents, I had to make sure that switching to Mac wasn't going to jeopardize these collaboration activities.

The first step was to ensure that I could do the same things in Mac OS X that I was able to do in Windows. And to that end, the switcher's application guide and the how-to switch to Mac guide from the Tao of Mac were really helpful. For example, the application guide allowed me to discover that the Mac OS X's equivalent to Nero was Burn, a nice and simple CD\DVD burning application. And the switching guide is excellent to learn those small differences between the Windows environment and Mac OS X environment. Other guides were also useful.

The second step was to ensure that it was possible to maintain a fair level of interoperability between the two operating systems so as to make sure that I could still do my work once I switched. And to my surprise, the interoperability between the two systems is quite efficient and peaceful: whether it's for network file sharing (whether is PC-to-Mac or Mac-to-PC), playing media files between the two systems (for example, playing WMV files on a Mac), printer sharing (again PC-to-Mac or Mac-to-PC), Microsoft Office documents sharing (there's also a MS Office version for Mac) or instant messaging (just install Adium).

And if everything else fails, you can always just run Windows on your Mac, using virtualization software or simply by double-partitioning your hard disk with the two operating systems.

To this date I haven't had any problems working with colleagues that use Windows. In fact, I think that those with which I work remotely haven't even realized that I've switched to Mac :-)

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