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The Mac Pack

Some entrepreneurs would rather switch than fight.
May 1, 2003
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/61050

Security holes keep popping up, licensing agreements have changed, .NET is still confusing, and the blue screen of death is still feared. All reasons some intrepid entrepreneurs are switching from Microsoft to Mac. Patrick Gant runs communications services firm thinkitPR communications in Ottawa, Canada. Windows ME was his final Microsoft operating system purchase. "I was tired of going the upgrade path and not getting a reliable computer," Gant says. Now an iMac 400 DV edition and an iBook laptop are the computing foundation of his business.

Changing operating systems and hardware is no small matter. Will your Mac files work with all the Windows machines out there? "I found there were no problems at all. Most [clients] don't even know I use a Mac," Gant says. A top software buy for business owners living in a Windows world is Microsoft's well-designed Office suite for the Mac OS.

Switching to Apple is appealing for entrepreneurs using standard applications and seeking an inherently secure and user-friendly computing environment. Gant transferred data by burning CDs. His experiences are a microcosm of what it takes to change over multiple workstations. A two-button mouse makes it even smoother.

You don't have to throw away your PCs, because you can network them with Macs. Bret Cravens, president of Kansas City technology consulting firm River City Solutions, says, "You need to design the network well." Setting up your computers for file sharing is simple using the latest Mac OS X. Complicated applications may require hiring an expert.

Cravens works extensively with both Macs and PCs. "The Mac gives you more options," he says. "[It] can run Windows programs if you have [one that's] fast enough." Try a Windows emulation program like Virtual PC by Connectix. Visit www.apple.com/switch for more on making the switch.