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.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
Development approaches of Mac OS X Leopard vs. Windows Vista yield very different results – August 15, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006

Embrace and Extinguish in action: TechIQ’s ‘The VAR Guy’ dumps Windows, switches to Mac OS X – September 25, 2006
My switch from Windows XP to Apple Mac OS X – August 30, 2006
The Age: Switch to Apple Mac; just say no to Microsoft Windows – August 15, 2006
NY Times covers the basics of switching from Windows PC to Apple Mac – August 10, 2006
Liberal blogger on switch from Windows to Mac: I’m sold – August 03, 2006
Top Ten Reasons I’m Glad I’m a Mac Switcher – June 20, 2006
Switching To The Mac: A Guide For Windows Users – June 15, 2006
Sydney Morning Herald Tech columnist dumps Microsoft Windows, switches to Apple Mac – June 13, 2006
Moving Microsoft Internet Explorer Favorites to Apple Safari Bookmarks when you switch – June 08, 2006
Apple Boot Camp’s ‘Windows Insecurity Blanket’ helps buyers decide to switch to Macs – May 19, 2006
PC Magazine: Top ten questions and answers about switching to Apple Macintosh – May 18, 2006
Macs that run Windows will calm potential switchers’ irrational fears – April 06, 2006

Apple’s Mac market share rises over 24-percent year-over-year – September 21, 2006
Apple Mac’s 2007 market share climb will dumbfound almost everyone, create mayhem in PC market – September 08, 2006
Apple gaining traction as Mac market share increases – July 31, 2006
Apple market share myths deconstructed – July 22, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 4.8% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 4.6% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
‘Fantastic quarter’ helps Apple double share of U.S. retail notebook market to 12% – July 19, 2006
BusinessWeek: big market-share gains coming for Apple’s Macintosh – June 15, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac market share primed to explode; iPod Halo Effect to become increasingly important – June 13, 2006
Analysts: Apple Mac market share to surge by end of 2006 – June 07, 2006
Analysts expect Apple’s new MacBook to drive market share gains in near future – May 17, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ ultimate goal: ‘to take back the computer business from Microsoft’ – June 16, 2005

17 Comments

  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.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.