A guide for switching from Microsoft Windows to Apple Macintosh

“If Amazon’s hot holiday seller list is any indication, a lot of you got new Macs this holiday season. If you switched to a Mac from a PC, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of differences between the two,” Adam Pash writes for Lifehacker.

“To ease this transition for all of the new Mac owners out there, I’ve put together a quick guide for Mac newbies making the big switch,” Pash writes. “What follows is a round-up of everything that stuck out to me when I made the move to my first Mac. I’m still a dual-OS fellow, but after I’ve figured out the ins and outs of my Mac, it’s by far the place I find easiest to get things done. If you’re delving into Macs for the first time, the following should come in handy.”

Pash covers:
• Mac OS X Keyboard symbols
• Keyboard shortcuts
• Login Items
• Installing apps
• Hard drive structure
• The Dock

Pash writes, “Finally, I should point out that this is far from the last word on the topic. I did my best to remember what stuck out the most to me when I started working with my Mac, but I’m sure there’s a lot more territory that can be covered. If you’ve got any questions on the subject – say there’s some Windows function that you can’t seem to find an anolog for on your Mac – let’s hear it in the comments. If you’re a seasoned Mac user with a few tips of your own, we’d love to hear those, too.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
PC Magazine: Top 5 questions asked by Windows PC to Mac switchers – December 26, 2006
Mossberg offers advice on switching from Windows to Mac – October 05, 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


  1. This is actually going to be very useful: my friend just got a mini and while he’s getting the hang of it already, this will be good reference for those just in case kind of moments.

    Btw, he LOVES the Mac, and just this morning, he told me he didn’t know how in hell he made it through his old PC.

  2. Where the hell is the Start menu?

    If you’re going to help Mac n00bs you have to show them how to find the Start button so they can shut down their new Mac.

    Don’t tell me to just put it to sleep. Sleep never works, especially on a laptop. Any Windows user knows that.

  3. Good one, Mac n00b. I have soooo many Windows friends say exactly that to me, it really cracks me up. And btw, my son was “given” a Windows laptop by his school, and they really really do suck at going to sleep (amongst many other things). It’s quite shocking, actually, just how bad the user experience is with Windows.

    MW: “really”. Too funny!

  4. Apple urgently needs to spread more news about this.

    I was at a New Year’s Eve dinner and met a software designer in San Jose. This is exactly what we said and illustrates the Big Three misconceptions still killing Mac sales:

    Me: What OS do you use at work and at home?

    Software Engineer: Oh, I use a PC with Linux at work, and PC Windows at home because I need to run MS Office.

    Me: Did you know MS Office runs on a Mac?

    SE: Really? No.

    Me: Yeah, since years and years.

    SE: Wow. Never heard of that. But Macs are expensive.

    Me: No they’re not. Actually, the Mac Pros are hundreds cheaper than Dells configured the same.

    SE: Really? (He doesn’t quite believe it.)

    Me: Yes. And you can run Windows on all the new Macs. And OSX. And Linux.

    SE: That’s handy, wow. (Still doesn’t quite believe it.) But I don’t know how to use a Mac. So it’s easier for me to stick with what I know. I’m an engineer and don’t need more computer hassles.

    Me: Actually, Windows is a copy of the Mac, so you already know how to use a Mac.

    SE: Oh, really?

    This guy has an advanced degree, lives in Silicon Valley, works at a big software company and is still living under the Big Three misconceptions about Macs! How are the average Joes going to know if this guy doesn’t even know?

    The Big Three Misconceptions:
    1) MS Office doesn’t work on Macs.
    2) Macs are expensive.
    3) I don’t know how to use a Mac. I know PCs, so I will stick with what I know.

    Apple HAS to address these issues in its marketing!

  5. mac 1984:

    These three problems are always fluid, so you can’t really call them misconceptions. Today, they’re all bogus. But consider:

    1) Right now, Mac & Windows Office versions are compatible. When 2007 is released (already available, I think?) then the Mac version won’t be able to open the Windows version’s documents without rigamarole. MS is actively working to keep this one true.

    2) Price points move all over. For the longest time, Macs were significantly more expensive than their PC counterparts. And while it’s true at the moment that an identically configured Dell costs more than the Mac, Dell offers lots more lower-end choices for a lot less money that don’t exist in the Mac pantheon. And home-built systems can be much cheaper when you leave out the extraneous stuff you don’t want (FW, dual-display, etc.)

    3) If windows is a copy of Mac OS, then it’s a bad copy at best. You do *not* immediately feel at home when you sit down with the OSX interface for the first time. There’s a pretty steep curve that lots of people have trouble with.

    Apple doesn’t need to dismiss these problems, it needs to show that DESPITE these factors, their product is superior.

  6. The Mac people tell me it’s a matter of adapting what you know to what you have.

    The PC people say it’s because nothing is where it is supposed to be and doesn’t work the same.

    I think it’s because Mac’s see more upgrades in the OS, sublte as they sometimes are, they keep the user open to change.

  7. mac 1984, you wrote

    “Apple HAS to address these issues in its marketing!”

    Right you are.

    I’ve never understood why Apple doesn’t do this.

    They should also include a simple manual for switchers and beginners with every computer.

  8. “I’ve noticed that it seems harder for PC people to move to Macs than for Mac people to move to PCs.”

    The reason is that Mac users have working brains and PC users evidently don’t. How else to explain the “popularity” of the clearly inferior product?

    I do think Apple’s tv advertising has done a very effective job of broadcasting exactly this message in a lighthearted, relatively inoffensive way. The PC guy in these ads is a dolt, pure and simple. And Apple’s sales are booming.

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