Could You Work in Windows?

How much is your Mac – or rather your Mac lifestyle – worth to you?

Just so we have some standard of reference as to what constitutes a “killer” job offer, we’re defining it here as making 25% more than you make now, all other factors being equal (same commute, same quality of co-workers, same boss, etc.)

Obviously, people who already work all day in Windows shouldn’t vote (but feel free to comment).

If you got a killer job offer but found out you'd have to use Windows all day every day, would you take it?

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23 Replies to “Could You Work in Windows?”

  1. Continuing our conversation … Funny, you’d have to pay me more to use a mac. I guess it all depends on what you are used to and comfortable with.

  2. Hi Tim! Yep, our conversation definitely got me thinking more about this.

    As for “what you’re comfortable with,” we humans can get used to anything. I don’t think it’s as simple as that. I think there’s a lot more to it than that, but don’t want to color this with a platform battle – that’s been done to death, and this is really just a curious question.

  3. I’d definitely *prefer* to use Windows (which I had at my previous job) to Mac (which I have at my current job) for the following reasons:

    -My Mac laptop has severe problems going to sleep and waking up (spinning beach ball for a minute or two, full system lockups at least once a week, very poor handling of situations where the battery fully discharges).

    -Battery life on my laptop is really poor (75 minutes, that’s a 15″ MBP C2D).

    -on my Mac desktop, MacOS is incapable of fully utilizing the CPU power that I have (linux has been measured to be 30% faster when doing the same task on the same hardware), and MacOS slows down over time, such that after a week of uptime it is 2 to 4 times slower than when freshly booted.

    I’ve had more annoyances with MacOS in one year on this job than I had with Windows in 7 years at my previous job.

  4. As I twitter-responded (twitsponded?) I’m working in a Windows shop, and pretty much have been since being in one of the most non-Windows outfits possible. No big deal, but then I am not a sysadmin or anything.

    Plus, my laptop at home is Windows XP, because at the time I needed something cheap that could write to DVD. But the other computer in the house is a Mac, so not all is lost ;)

  5. A better way to phrase your question might be:

    “If you were offered a 25% raise at your current job, with the stipulation that your entire desktop/server environment was Windows-only, would you take the raise?”

    Well, for all that I consider myself a Unix/Mac guy, that’s my current job. We have a total of three Unix “servers” – one a VM as a SVN server, and two spam gateways. And I bring my own Mac into work on a daily basis.

    The “fun” part is that I get to be the guy who does stuff that gets the response of “what did you use to do that?” And it’s usually a Mac or Unix tool.

    In the end, I don’t know. If I wasn’t able to bring my MacBook into my work environment, I’d probably have a much greater mental separation between work and non-work technical matters.

  6. @JBQ – Your battery life problem just sounds like a tired old battery – a problem that would be the same on any platform. And wake from sleep issues have plagued Windows users as long as I can remember. I believe you on Linux getting 30% more efficiency from the CPU. I haven’t experienced the “slows down over time” phenomenon you’re describing.

    @Sean: “Platform is a platform” — are you saying that all platforms are created equal, and that it doesn’t really matter? (I don’t believe that). Or are you saying that Windows and OS X are equally good? (I also don’t believe that :)

    Personally it’s hard for me to imagine being as productive — or as happy — on Windows as I am on the Mac.

    Amazing how different work environments are. Our sysadmin just caved and decided to allow a Windows workstation into a lab so students could test web sites in IE, but only with the proviso that it not be networked in any way. Thumb drive access only.

  7. > Our sysadmin just caved and decided to allow a Windows workstation into a lab so students could test web sites in IE, but only with the proviso that it not be networked in any way. Thumb drive access only.

    I sure hope your sysadmin thought to disable removable-media autorun while he was at it.

  8. I started my current job 21 years ago carrying my own Mac into the building. (Just like the commercial.) That Mac was the beginning of what became a huge Mac network over time that dissolved in the late 90’s for a variety of reasons.

    Today I carry two laptops: A Dell and a MacBook Pro. Every day. Parallels has *almost* got that cured.

  9. Oh… this was written on a Dell. Since I am home at night, there was about a 1 in 10 chance of that happening.

  10. I’d certainly rather work in Ubuntu than a Mac any day. Default Ubuntu UI is easier to get used to from Windows, plus lots of options, and it is free in all senses, including the cult :-). I have Dapper running on one old Thinkpad, and just installed Hardy on my little VIA home server. Pretty happy with that.

    If you dig back in your comments a couple of years, you will see us arguing MT vs. WP. Try the freedom :-)

  11. Nice question
    I guess I would not turn down the perfect job i order to work on my mac. But it wold definately be a consideration if the job is not othervise perfect.

    Maybe i could just work in fusion…

  12. I dwell in the scary devil monastery (alt.sysadmin.recovery) — and it’s not just because of lusers. There was NT4, oh yes, there was.

  13. I’d rather work in Windows for several reasons, not least of which is that my last job required using a Mac with a stupid metal keyboard which gave me a static electric shock every morning without fail. Now that’s what I call torture.

  14. @Dan – ??? You can use any keyboard you like… this is really an operating system question (you live in the OS – the keyboard is just accessories).

  15. Sure, I could use another keyboard, but I’m not in the habit of buying a new keyboard whenever I start a new temp contract – would have preferred to have been given a computer which wasn’t designed to give its users a shock whenever used.

  16. Congrats Tim!

    I did see that cnet piece… dude seemed pretty grumpy. What I mean is that his focus seemed to be mostly on what he perceived to be missing or different, and not on the hundreds of things that were better about the experience.

    Hope you have a gas. Let me know if you have any Qs.

  17. I tried OS X and found it too locked down. Windows strikes a nice balance between being really locked down, and being really open. It has great third party support, and I can get most of the tools I like to use as ports.

    At the time, I also wanted an *ix that was easy to use, and I found that OS X really wasn’t Unixy enough. Coming from a FreeBSD background, I wanted something Unix-like that was setup as a workstation out of the box, and I eventually settled on Fedora as good compromise.

    All OSs could be improved in some form or fashion — Windows (Vista) could be less obtuse, Linux could look better, OS X could be less constrained. It takes a special OS to balance everything that I want.

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