Any Mac user you will ever bump into will tell you that he/she loves his/her Mac. Even more, most people that have bought an Apple product will also say they are satisfied with their acquisition.
The fact is that they will not say that because of some weird power that Steve Jobs has over all people that have ever bought an Apple product compelling them to always and forever remain Apple customers. This will happen because of the quality, ease of use and eye-catching design that most Apple products have.
In OS X’s case, things don’t stop at these aspects. People that become Mac users will have much more to say about their choice. The vast majority will say they like its interface, some of them will tell you they wanted to have one because everyone else did and most of their friends already had one, and there are also the ones that will mention specific facts that helped them make their mind into moving to the Mac.
But what are the exact things that make people buy Macs? Why do they switch to OS X after being long term Windows users? What are the features available in OS X that Windows lacks? People ask themselves these questions each time a friend tells them that he/she wants to switch from a PC to a Mac machine. The fact that people actually switch to the Mac side is a reality sustained by the increasing market share of the Mac platform.
In this article, I will write down a quick list of features that could be the ones that explain this reality. These are the things that Windows needs so that the answer to the question "Should I switch to the Mac side?" will always be no.1. Automatic document backup and restoration – The Time Machine
This is probably the best feature added by Apple to OS X Leopard and is also the one Apple made the most noise about. When you think about it, what can be more useful than having at your disposal a feature that allows you to revert any of your documents to any previous version in the past?
If you make a number of changes to a text document and decide that your recent modifications are not the ones that you want to have in the final version, you can simply open the Time Machine and browse through versions of that document on a timeline and choose to revert to the version you think that best matches the final result.
The Time Machine will be the one that will automatically backup everything you have on your Mac disk, from your system files to your documents and multimedia files. The Time Machine will also allow you to automatically stop it and resume it, select a list of items that you want to exclude from a Time Machine backup to be able to save space, browse Time Machine backups created on other Macs, quickly restore all the files on your Mac if you decide to go back to a previous state of your system, and to maintain access privileges associated with your files.2. Drag and drop software install and uninstall
This second feature makes the Mac a real heaven for people that had enough of the “Next, Next, Next” mumbo-jumbo. To install an application on a Mac, you just have to drag it from the downloaded archive to the Applications folder and uninstalling it is only a matter of dragging it into the Trash. What better way could it be?
Although the OS X development team has tried to make it as easy as possible to manage one’s apps on a Mac, there still is an occasional cross-platform application that comes with a built-in installer or even a native application that wants to verify your system beforehand to make sure your system meets all the requirements to run it safely and without problems. The fact is that these cases are very rare and you will wish to stumble upon such apps just to see what I’m talking about here.3. The highly intuitive and consistent user interface
The interface is certainly the feature that will make most people switch to the Mac after experiencing it on a friend’s machine. Apple has implemented two GUI features that make out of OS X’s interface the best choice when it comes to use an OS easily and effortlessly: a very strong feeling of consistency and high intuition.
OS X has an intuitive interface because, as most people that have used a Mac also say, one will get the hang of it in no time. Just think about it: you install and uninstall apps by drag and drop and once you get using it, you find that sooner than you think, you feel right at home, as if you had been using it for at least a couple of years.
Also, you will understand why OS X delivers consistency when you always know where an application’s menu is, where you can find the “add” button, when you are clicking on buttons that look the same in most OS X apps, facts that will quickly lead to very high usability. How is this possible? It is possible as the developers will take into consideration when designing their apps’ interfaces what Apple calls user interface guidelines.4. Boot Camp
Boot Camp is the thing that allows Mac users to run Windows beside OS X. This will prove to be very useful when you have to run applications that have not been yet ported to the Mac platform or test programs developed on a Mac into a Windows environment without having to deal with the hassle of lower performance when running it in a virtual machine.
Boot Camp will also allow Mac users to easily add the disk space used by the Windows partition to any of your Mac drives and to quickly modify, copy, delete and/or open files from the Windows partition.
Unfortunately for Windows users there is no way that, at the moment, they can run OS X on their PCs. Yes, I do know that there are ways to go around this problem if you are really determined, but, as long as Apple wants Mac OS X to only run on Apple hardware, those ways are illegal (even if you buy yourself an OS X license). 5. Easily creating workflows – Automator
Automator is one of the things that Mac users can’t get enough of when they get used to it. In Leopard, Automator workflows are created using a GUI and thus the user only has to drag the actions that he/she wants to have in his/her workflow into the Automator window.
After creating the series of action, you can edit each action’s settings and save the whole thing as a workflow. It’s as simple as that. After being saved, the Automator workflow can also be easily shared with other people that need to deal with the same task you wanted to automate.
These are the five OS X features that I consider to be the ones that Windows users take into consideration when deciding to switch to a Mac. Are you a switcher? What are the things that would make you decide to go for a Mac instead of a PC? If you already are a Mac user that migrated from Windows, then do you think that there are other, more important features that made you the Mac user you are? Share your opinion with everyone else in the comments.