Mossberg offers advice on switching from Windows to Mac

This week Walt Mossberg’s mailbox contained another question about switching from Windows to Mac. Mossberg writes a weekly tech Q&A column for The Wall Street Journal.

Q: If I switch from Windows to a Macintosh, will my colleagues be able to read any Mac files I send them?

A: There is no such thing as a “Mac file.” The Macintosh today can create and read all the major standard types of files that Windows PCs use. For instance, photos in the common JPG format; music files in the common MP3 format; Adobe PDF files; text files; and many other types of files can simply be moved between Windows and Mac computers with no conversion necessary. Microsoft Office files, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, can also be shared between the two platforms, without conversion, if you have the Office program suite on both ends. The Mac’s built-in email program, Apple Mail, even has a setting for sending “Windows Friendly” attachments.

There are some specific programs on both platforms that can create proprietary file types not easily opened, or opened at all, on the other platform. Most annoyingly, the Windows and Mac versions of Quicken don’t share a common file format. But now that the new Macs can also run Windows, you can always launch Windows on your Mac in a pinch to run a program that can handle some Windows-only file type.

More Mossberg’s Mailbox here.

MacDailyNews Note: Find much more information about switching from Windows to Mac OS X here.

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  1. Advice for PC switchers.

    You need to plan what you are going to do with all the spare time you’re going to have not re-booting, re-loading,virus checking, activating, de-activating – you get the idea..

  2. I switched to a Mac from a PC earlier this year and concluded the Mac is overrated. Its interface is no more intuitive than Windows and its help function is all but useless. I agree, BTW, the Quicken for the Mac is a cruel joke. Intuit obviously doesn’t care much about it and fixing its bugs and snafus is a dreadful experience. Between Quicken’s kludginess and Mac’s many peculiarities, it has made me miss Windows XP.

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