This is going to be a very lengthy article, buckle up ladies and gentlemen.
If you're hasty, here's what you need to know:
- Windows 10 is still Windows, but it's nowhere near the nightmare of the 2000's. It rightfully deserves a new chance.
- OS X is on its way to becoming no more than an XCode runtime. Rumor says that Apple doesn't even have a dedicated team for the desktop OS anymore. They are entirely focused on iOS and to make the iPad the desktop replacement.
- Linux is great, if you're a full-time web developer, you can comfortably run something like Ubuntu or Manjaro/Arch (my personal recommendation).
Best cost-benefit: the Dell XPS 13. The Surface Book 2 is totally worth it if you're a nerd like me. But as always, there are caveats to discuss.
I will definitely not duplicate every hardware review you can find out there. They are all true. As iFixIt says: it's the worst score in repairability. Like a Macbook, the Surface line-up is a statement. It's the best combination of design and functionality. But the trade-off is that it has zero expandability and you should really take care not to break it. If it breaks, make sure you have a warranty and ask for a replacement.
In terms of specs, it is close to other top-of-the-line notebooks.
The top of the line Surface Book 2 costs USD 3,299 and comes with 1 TB SSD, 16GB RAM, GTX 1060 w/ 6 GB GDDR5, Intel Core i7 8th Gen Kaby Lake R, 4K display. It is super expensive, but you can easily justify it. More on that below.
The top of the line Dell XPS 15" Touch costs USD 2,459 and comes with 1 TB SSD, 32GB RAM, GTX 1050 w/ 4 GB GDDR5, Intel Core i7 7th Gen Kaby Lake, 4K display. The design of the XPS is top notch for at least 3 generations now. To me, this is the best cost-benefit.
The top of the line Razer Blade costs USD 2,599 and comes with 1 TB SSD, 16 GB RAM, GTX 1060 w/ 6 GB, Intel Core i7 7th Gen, 4K display. It's arguably the best industrial design of this bunch, with Razer's impeccable attention to detail. But it's also arguably the one with least available support and more construction problems reported, so be careful to buy it overseas.
The top of the line HP Spectre x360 costs USD 1,499 and comes with 512 GB SSD, GeForce MX150 w/ 2GB GDDR5, Intel Core i17 8th Gen, 4K display. The design is awesome, super thin convertible. The specs are not so great, but it's the cheapest of the premium notebooks, so there's that.
The top of the line Lenovo Yoga 920 14" Vibe costs USD 1,899 but it only comes with Intel Integrated Graphics (no secondary GPU), 1 TB SSD, 16 GB RAM, Intel Core i7 8th Gen, 4K display, and comes with the Pen. The design, again, is great with an almost 360 degrees hinge so you can flip your screen around and use it as a tablet. A very good 2-in-1.
Now, the top of the line MacBook Pro 15" costs USD 3,399 and comes with 1 TB SSD, Radeon Pro 560 w/ 4GB, Intel Core i7 7th Gen, UHD Display, and the infamous touch bar (50% chance of liking it). And that's it. The industrial design and construction are still top-notch, but the others are nearly as good nowadays.
If you use graphics-intensive applications, the Radeon Pro 560 is good, but the GTX 1060 is superior. Apple's UHD IPS (LCD) displays have a maximum resolution of 2560x1060. All premium notebooks nowadays come with full 4K (LED) displays with a maximum resolution of 3840x2160. It is noticeable. If you never saw a modern 4K display the MacBook displays will look good enough. And that's without saying that they are all touchscreens with 4,096 points of sensitivity. And what was once just a gimmick nowadays compare with the best Wacom has to offer. The Surface line up comes close to the top of the line Wacom Cintiq and the new iPad Pro. They are in the same league.
There are 2 aspects of the Surface Book 2 that are lacking, unfortunately. First is the absence of a proper Thunderbolt 3 port. Without it, you can't connect to modern external storages or external GPUs. The second is the weak power supply. Reports say that in highly demanding games (a.k.a. Destiny 2 not properly configured), the system will throttle down and drain all the battery faster than it can charge from the wall. The Verge broke this story and Microsoft is yet to unveil a solution if any. So, if gaming is your top priority buy a Razer or any of the gaming specific laptops such as an Alienware. The battery issue is not as dramatic as some have previously reported, though.
In terms of construction. Macs are usually all built with the same aluminum unibody construction. The Book 2 uses Magnesium instead. It makes for a very solid construction but also very lightweight. By the way, after so many years, everybody mastered aluminum. And they are moving in other directions, for example, Dell uses carbon fiber on the palm rests, which I find much comfort. Magnesium is also not so freezing cold as aluminum, again, more comfortable. I like that they are passed just copying and really trying new and interesting materials.
We established that the Surface Book 2 is very expensive, and it's not even good enough for highly demanding games such as Destiny 2.
Where it really shines is the fact that it's not a convertible 2-in-1 such as the Spectre or Yoga. You already know that it can detach the screen from the base.
The crown achievement of the Surface team is the dynamic fulcrum hinge. It's a marvel of engineering. When it's attached, it doesn't wobble nearly as much as one would expect. It's very solid, you can pick up the entire unit from the screen without worrying that the base might fall down or break.
When I first heard about it 2 years ago, I thought it was cool but that it could break over time, so I waited. I am all in now because 2 years later you don't see a "hinge-gate" or massive reports of the hinge falling apart, so you know it's solid. And 2 years later, no other manufacturer has it, and if you don't see a cheap knockoff from China, you can tell that this is a very difficult thing to build. Microsoft really nailed this part.
By having a detachable screen you also know that the main components are all behind the screen. The CPU, the GPU, the RAM, the SSD. So you have a top-of-the-line Intel i7 in a tablet! The battery is understandably small (no more than 3 hours) to drive a 15" 4K display with touch capabilities and enough precision to rival the iPad Pro and the Wacom Cintiq or Mobile Studio.
Now, what most people don't report is that because of this, the screen housing is the one that gets warm. The performance base remains cool! So it's super comfortable to have it on your lap for many hours without the risk of getting sterile or getting boiled eggs in the process.
It has enough power to drive 1 external 4K display at 60hz or two 4K displays at 30hz. The MacBook Pro, with its custom port, can drive a 5K display. Something most notebooks still can't. So there's that.
I am not a designer by trend, but I am a hobbyist. And after many years working hard, I do believe that I can afford something like this. And don't get me wrong, the Surface Pro is another great option for a designer. The top-of-the-line Surface Pro has everything the Book 2 has, without the GTX 1060 but costing USD 600 less at USD 2,699. I think it's a more suitable product for most people interested in having an easy to carry sketch solution around.
Creative Professionals are the ones that fully need to be careful on specs. But for the majority of non-demanding professionals, they can pay a lot cheaper. They don't need extra GPU horsepower, or the i7 (an i5 is more than adequate), 8 GB of RAM is enough, even 256 GB of SSD is ok because everything is in the so-called "Cloud" these days. This is the USD 999 Dell XPS 13. Or the only comparable option from Apple is the USD 1,299 with a ridiculous Intel m3 processor. For most professionals, the cheaper Dell XPS 13 is a much better value proposition than the Macbook.
For demanding professionals, the Dell XPS 15 is the best value for the buck. The Surface Book 2 is the best premium one for those that favor the touch screen more than workflow. Meaning: designers, go with the Book 2, video editors or 3D modelers, go with the Dell XPS.
Oh, and one last thing about price. The MacBook Pro 15" costs USD 3,399 and the Book 2 costs USD 3,299. But if you want a tablet, you still need to add an extra USD 949 for a 12" iPad Pro with Wi-Fi and 256 GB of storage. And you will end up having to carry around a heavier backpack.
Why not install Linux?
You don't buy a Surface product unless you're interested in the Surface Pen experience and ecosystem. I think this is obvious, otherwise, you're better off buying a Dell XPS or any other cheaper notebook.
It's also obvious why it makes no sense to ask "Why don't you ditch Windows and install Linux on it?". Because no Linux distro has Pen support, whatsoever. The performance base also has a physical key that you need to press in order for the hinge to release the display.
You want to have Adobe Photoshop, or Autodesk Sketchbook, or Sketchable, or any other great software package out there. Again, I don't want to repeat every other review available out there showing how great the pen is. I will just confirm that, yes, the pen is super great, precise, accurate, and flows very naturally. It's an entire studio in a box.
Software developers by trend should stay away from this kind of product because most Linux distros won't have the proper drivers to hook up to so much exclusive hardware solutions. For those situations I highly recommend the Dell XPS 13, specifically the USD 1,759 configuration with Windows 10 Pro (or you can save USD 60 and get it with the Home edition if you intend to install Linux on top of it), the great QHD+ (3200x1800) InfinityEdge touch display, 8th Gen Intel Core i17, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD. This is, by far, the best value for the money for a full-time software developer.
OS X has a great community despite Apple not doing a lot to help them. Historically, the jump from the legacy MacOS to OS X meant having a UNIX-compatible kernel and toolchain available. To this day, it's still not comparable to a modern Linux distro. But OS X makes it up to it by having, by far, the best Graphics Compositor around. The GUI is smooth, responsive.
The Darwin Mach kernel supports multiple policies, most important for Creative Professionals, mainly musicians, was the soft real-time capabilities of the scheduler. To this day, Linux Real Time is not the default option, and it's not as well tuned or stable. And the Windows kernel evolved, but again, still not nearly as polished.
Soft Real-Time avoids the stuttering effect we see. And is one factor of why the Mac experience is, overall, superior even on less powerful hardware.
In particular, everybody around the Homebrew community deserves high praise for their efforts of keeping up in bringing open source tools to OS X, despite every new Xcode update and OS X upgrade, breaking them.
After a lot of experimentation, I decided to settle on having a native Windows 10 to drive the host and having a full-blown Linux distro (Manjaro GNOME) on a Virtualbox environment where I give 4 of the 8 cores (2 physical cores, each with 2 hyperthreads) and half the memory (8 GB).
Why not using the brand new Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) instead?
Because although it's great and all, we will need to wait until they figure out the rough edges. Particularly a better GUI support and faster I/O abstraction. What hurts the most is how painfully slow the filesystem layer is right now. It's an order of magnitude slower than using Linux on Virtualbox.
I could use a Vagrant-like hybrid solution, having a headless Linux distro on Virtualbox and accessing a file through CIFS/NFS. And that should be fine if you like editors like Sublime Text 3, Visual Studio Code or Atom. But I am a Vim guy, and I like GVIM, which works best within GNOME, within a proper GUI-enabled Linux distro.
"Why not using Docker? It's supposed to be super-fast and all."
It surprises me when people ask that because it demonstrates how little they know about the tools they recommend.
Docker only really makes sense on a proper Linux distro. On Windows, it will have to run Linux on Virtualbox or Hyper-V. On Mac, it will use the Hypervisor framework, which - like Microsoft's Hyper-V - is a virtualization layer. It's just like Virtualbox, for all intents and purposes.
Docker, like LXC, is just making a process "believe" it's running alone on the OS by hiding the other processes from it. So, on Linux, it's super fast. On any other platform, they have to virtualize Linux proper and then run Docker there.
The Docker client is actually communicating with a virtualized Linux on Windows or Mac. You've been fooled if you believed it's faster than Virtualbox or Hyper-V in any meaningful way. There is no magic here.
"Why not just dual-booting then?"
Again, this doesn't help my scenario. I want a full GNOME GUI environment. And I don't want to keep Outlook on Windows and Thunderbird or Evolution on Linux for example, and managing different accounts on all sorts of different applications (and yes, I highly prefer native binaries instead of web apps, I am old-school like that). I don't want to reboot when I want to use Photoshop and reboot back to Linux to run Vim.
I want to have software from both platforms available to me at the same time. I don't believe in dual-boot scenarios unless the usages are completely separated. For example, using a Linux distro all day, and at night rebooting into Windows to run Steam and play some games.
Yes, Virtualbox will have a less responsive UI thanks to a virtualized Graphics pipeline. But for software development, it works just fine. I even see people doing gimmicky things such as having a full development environment in an AWS EC2 instance and SSH'ing there to use Vim with Tmux, for example. That is far more convoluted if you ask me. I wouldn't go that far.
All top-of-the-line hardware I listed above have enough Cores and enough RAM so I can afford running 2 OS'es at the same time. Don't do that on budget hardware.
And if you don't need to carry around a notebook, for the same amount of money you can buy a far superior desktop computer.
"But you have all native on OS X, because it's UNIX and all"
Yes, but I really distrust Apple's OS X big upgrades. They always, always screw up something. After I had my fair share of lost work days after upgrades, I moved my development environment to Vagrant at least 5 years ago. So I was using Linux in Virtualbox (or VMWare) all along. I never looked back. I was always reading people complaining after the big upgrades and there I was, unharmed and productive. Virtualbox was way worse back then, it's not so much nowadays. I can't remember the last time it crashed on me, if ever.
"Well, and why not Hyper-V instead of Virtualbox?"
I did try it. And I do not recommend it right now. It was built so Windows can run Linux boxes in servers. So it's super good in partitioning the hardware resources between the different virtual instances. Unless you're a sysadmin in training or in need of a simulated server on your laptop, this is not for you.
It has very poor support for graphics (headless servers don't need graphics). The maximum resolution in the virtual monitor is a ridiculous 1152x864. My Virtualbox supports my LG Ultrawide 2560x1080 monitor just fine. Hyper-V can't and this is a deal breaker.
Virtualbox, VMWare, Parallels, Hyper-V will all use the same VT-X instructions provided by Intel. The base performance will not be so different. Guest tools might differ. Some stability might differ. But all in all, they're basically the same thing from the user's usability standpoint.
I know, it sounds "weird" to run Windows 10 as the primary native host. But it does work generally fine right now.
And I also know that it sounds weirder to run a Linux distro as a secondary guest OS in Virtualbox. And again, let me tell you that when I am using it in full-screen mode, working, I don't feel like it's slow or unresponsive.
If you're in OS X you are probably used to a lot of tools. You paid money for some of those. And switching to another OS is always a pain.
In summary, the only piece of software that I really missed, in the beginning, was Keynote. But I went past my prejudice against PowerPoint and I have to say that it does everything I really need right now.
I always hated Pages and Numbers, they are very good for amateurs. But nothing, not even LibreOffice, and definitely not Google Docs can replace Office. Google Slides is terrible and Impress is beyond useless to me (and it's super slow). Seriously, PowerPoint is now a much better tool.
Office in the Mac was always "enough", luckily. But Office on Windows is far superior. No doubts in my mind, so one big benefit for me going back to Windows 10 is having the full Office experience.
If you use the Pro line of tools, you will miss Final Cut Pro. If you're a professional musician, you will miss Logic Pro. There is nothing like Garageband if you're a hobbyist musician. There is nothing we can do here. And even though we have better hardware on PC, Apple custom tweaks Final Cut to perform exceedingly better on AMD Radeon Pro. So Final Cut export times are still superior to Adobe Premiere's. Motion 5 is still easier and more responsive than After Effects.
That being said, it's not by a huge margin. Adobe Creative Suite is super strong, and unless you're a one-trick pony, any pro can switch to Adobe and get the job done.
In terms of software development, unless you're a one-trick .NET pony, you will want all the open source shebang. WSL is supposed to provide you that - in the future. Right now your best bet is running Virtualbox and you will not regret it.
Yes, yes, you have small exclusive software such as 1Password, Tweetbot, Alfred. I don't miss any of those. Especially because my last iPhone was the 4 back in 2010. Then I switched to Android with the Galaxy S4 and also never looked back. I'm using an S8 and about to receive my Pixel 2, so I am good in terms of Twitter client or password management (I use LastPass and although it's not perfect, it gets the job done).
Either there is a good enough native desktop replacement or a mobile replacement, or there is a Web service. I may feel uncomfortable changing, but in practice, there is nothing in macOS that prohibits me from switching. Even if you bought iTunes songs or movies, there is iTunes for Windows.
"But wait, Windows Update will annoy you!"
I thought as much. Microsoft did finally figure it out. It's still there, you still need to restart. But it's not nearly as annoying as it was before. Most updates will run in the background and you won't even notice. And you have several options such as scheduling it to run only at night when you're not working.
"But what about the security issues and viruses!?"
Yes, I highly recommend you not to browse the Deep Web on a Windows machine, you will be owned. Not even using a Tor browser. You will be owned.
I also recommend you to use BitLocker (only available on Windows 10 Pro) to encrypt your partition. And also to backup to external hard drives as frequently as you can. Nothing can save your better than a readily available cold backup.
And yes, install some 3rd party solution such as Avast antivirus. Have healthy web browsing behavior and avoid shady websites. You know what I am talking about. You will be owned.
If you must, install a secure Linux distro within Virtualbox and open Tor from there.
"But what about the mess that is the Registry!?"
It's still there. If you never experienced it, the Registry is Windows equivalent of "/etc" in Linux distros. It's a binary database. It gets corrupted. It gets dirty entries.
But my recommendation is: forget about it. If you're thinking and tinkering with it, you will get a corrupt system. Do not try to clean it up (never, ever use something like CCleaner).
Windows itself now has automatic system restore snapshotting everytime something big happens. And it's mostly reliable. They go as far as duplicating the current "C:\Windows" directory into a "C:\Windows.old" when there is a big Windows Update, just in case. They shot themselves in the foot so many times that they finally learned to have several layers of recovery options.
Nowadays you can even download the Media Creation tool from the Windows website itself. You don't even have to sign up anywhere. And the Windows license comes with the machine's firmware (BIOS). You don't even have to remember where your product activation key is. It automatically activates and because every machine comes with a license, the process is seamless. And most manufacturers have automatic updates for drivers and firmware.
So you should have a reasonably smooth experience, no matter what.
"But Windows is not open source!"
Neither is OS X. And this is a Linux advantage. So, if you must, use just Linux natively. The point of the argument is finding an alternative to the Mac. So we're on the same page.
The Ruby on Rails and the Hipsters effect
Truth be told. In the software development arena, we switched to the Mac mainly because of Rails and Textmate 2. We had access to some open source tools built-in, we had GCC to compile the rest. Windows XP was way past due. Windows Vista was a terrible experience. The PC hardware manufacturers were not even trying, and Apple was launching good hardware and good experience all the time.
Developers switched in drove after the switch from PowerPC to Intel in 2005. My very first Mac was a G4 Mac Mini with OS X 10.4 Tiger. And then I bought the very first Intel White MacBook and I never looked back.
Software tools on Windows were laughable. Visual Studio.NET was terrible. Eclipse-based IDEs were terrible. We didn't have Powershell yet. And we definitely never had anything like WSL for command-line. You could install Cygwin, but it was a poor experience.
And running Linux as the primary OS was also terrible. Wine is still terrible, despite its best efforts. Unfortunately, NVIDIA and AMD GPUs will only run at their best on Windows. And Linux was never really good for content creation. It's not even a matter of learning a new workflow, the tools are mediocre. They have to reverse engineer everything, and that takes time. And in the velocity of social media, we don't have enough time, so we need to settle for compromises.
The Windows ecosystem stopped pretending, and finally embraced everything the open source and Apple ecosystem built. Now we all benefit.
By the way, if you like iTerm 2, you will be delighted to install Tilix for Linux, which is very similar.
As time goes by
I have been following the Surface line-up evolution over the years. In the beginning, I was very skeptical. Because it's very easy to launch a gimmicky product and discontinue it. I trust companies that keep evolving their products over the years. Not only an ecosystem form around it, but you have time to put together support services, there are parts available in the official stores and in the aftermarket. After all these years, Microsoft deserves to be called a hardware manufacturer.
This is Microsoft finally fulfilling what Alan Kay once said:
"People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware."
They only really failed in the smartphone market, the competition is way more difficult there and because of that margins are super low. But they did nail the tablet market, the desktop, the notebook, the gaming, the servers (with their own Azure services), so now I believe that they really understand the specific needs of all those areas, and it shows in the software. They have a far superior understanding of every market - but the smartphone - than Apple. They finally have true skin in the game.
Because now Microsoft builds their own hardware and they made a business out of it, they have real incentive inside the teams in the company for a positive feedback loop that results in more refinements to the Windows codebase.
They have been trying and failing in the touch-based solutions since the early 2000's. Now the Pen is not a gimmick anymore, it's a real product, with real qualities, and real use cases.
They also kept their vision of playing nice with Open Source. No one can reasonably expect Microsoft to go full-blown open source. But it shows. They are second only to Google on GitHub in terms of open source contributions. They acquired Xamarin and their .NET Core strategy is on-going and strong. Heck, even Visual Studio received the open source treatment. There is still a long road ahead, but one has to recognize the giant steps.
Which is way more than we can say about Apple, where poor guys at Homebrew suffer on each OS X upgrade?
The Surface RT and Windows Mobile attempt even made possible for Windows to finally be compiled to run on ARM processors. This is a good sign going forward. Reminds me when OS X was first compiled to run on Intel processors (they ran on PowerPC before) in 2005.
And the Macbook? They get a gimmick touch bar. Apple is really out of touch with reality.
Why am I out from the Apple ecosystem?
Apple's focus is not on the Mac. Worse: the Mac is quickly becoming abandonware, despite the PR statements.
They are clearly an iPhone company, with a hobbyist side business that builds Macs and MacBooks, which exist mostly to serve as an iPhone app development toolchain. This is the business model.
Did you see their latest Ad for the iPad?
Yes, this is super cute and I dig it.
But the message is crystal clear: the vision is for people to use only iPhones and iPads. There is no such thing as a "computer".
They are the most valued tech company right now. But since last year, they don't even have a dedicated OS X team anymore. What does that tell you?
The iOS line-up is a "monopoly" within Apple's line up. The Mac can't compete. Steve Jobs himself warned about what happens to monopolies.
We are starting to hear the same story all over the industry:
- Apple’s relationship with pro music needs some mending - Sep, 26, 2016
- How Apple Alienated Mac Loyalists - Dec, 20, 2016
- macOS is becoming legacy software - Dec, 21, 2016
- Apple Is Dead To Me… I’m Switching To Windows! - Feb, 10, 2017
- Why I left Mac for Windows: Apple has given up - Mar, 5, 2017
Microsoft played their cards right. It took almost 15 years. But it paid off in spades. Apple really did alienate the loyalists, the ones that used to "Think Different".
Apple is a "victim" of Clayton Christensen's "Innovator's Dilemma". If they still had vision left, they could reach out and maintain. But instead, they chose to go all-in on a single product line.
Microsoft seems to have read the Clayton's "Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth".
When the iPod was at its peak, Microsoft had "lost". They were out of the game. It was a depressing thing to see. Steve Ballmer was a shameful CEO. Windows Vista was a shameful OS. The Zune failed to capture the aura of the iPod. Windows Mobile was a mess. And Sharepoint ... oh Sharepoint. They even celebrated when JQuery was added to ASP.NET! Talk about too little too late.
And Amazon - a retail store - successfully launched the best infrastructure in the world and became synonymous with "Cloud" and Microsoft was still struggling to understand what Linux was.
Failure after failure, instead of defending their low position, they finally decided to step up and move forward one ahead one step at a time. Refine. Evolve. Sustain.
Now, Windows 10 recaptured the aura of XP at its best. It's doing incremental, and solid upgrades. First the Anniversary Edition, then the Creators Update and finally the most recent Fall Creators Update. All solid upgrades.
The Surface line-up is going strong as the best reference for industrial design and features on desktops, notebooks, and accessories. Seriously, Apple still sells that terrible slippery, difficult to hold, Magic Mouse 2, but the "magic" is that someone actually buys those. Microsoft has the Arc Touch and the Precision Mouse, two of the best ever made.
Creative professionals, software developers, we all jumped ship in droves to OS X when it was the "Different Thing" on the "Think Different" campaign. We helped evangelize. We helped build tools. We helped build services. We wrote tons of blog posts and documentation to help out.
Steve Jobs died, and Apple died with him. They basically did nothing new ever since, and their once successful products were left to decay and die. The only thing left is the halo effect, the inertia, and their ever-growing hunger for milking the same cow indefinitely, while ditching R&D altogether.
Apple doesn't care. Why should I?
Microsoft played smart, they kept fixing and evolving, year after year. They lost the 90's generation. They recaptured the 2010's generation. And they started early, getting their attention from the Xbox all the way to Windows.
Seriously, the XBox Dashboard is better than the PS4's. I highly prefer it.
And they are now in a good position. The players are inverted in the game. The "Think Different" now refers to Windows 10 and the PC hardware. Intel is playing conservative. NVIDIA build the best GPUs. There are many great options not available on the Mac.
The jump from 32-bits to 64-bits and the necessities of the XBox even helped Microsoft rethink how to isolate and package their software. Even though the Windows Store is still a bad joke at this point.
And Bill Gates was dead right in the mid 90's: the browser would render the Windows monopoly obsolete. And it did. On the bright side, you have the very same Chrome and Firefox browsers available on OS X, Windows 10, and any Linux distro. This means instant access to most of what people need: Gmail, Google Docs, Office 365, Dropbox, LastPass, Spotify, Slack, Discord, Twitter, Netflix, HBO, Hulu, etc.
The browser is the new OS for the majority of people. Heck, most people can get around using Chromebooks! Everything else is on the phones, not the desktop. So hard tools are needed. Soft tools you already carry in your pocket.
The Apple ecosystem is not dead yet. Apple still has time to fix this situation. I've been waiting for the past 3 years, but still zero signs of anything getting better. My very first switching article was published on Nov 10, 2015.
Unlike other "switching" articles, I am not saying this lightly. I have switched already, in the past 2 years.
As I say in many of my posts and talks about events: I am not defined by my tools. I don't carry banners. I am not loyal to anyone by default. I was never paid by Apple to defend it. And I am not paid by Microsoft to say good things about them. I just analyze the facts and state the best course of action going forward.
And the facts tell me that macOS is no more. It was a good ride. Goodbye to the Mac and thanks for all the fish.