“As I look at a newly arrived MacBook Air laptop, it occurs to me there has never been a better time to switch to a Mac,” Dean Takahashi writes for The Mercury News.

“That’s not something I say lightly. With the exception of a couple of years working at a magazine, I have never been a Mac user. After all, I’m a game player and games on the Mac are always light years behind games on Windows. I’ve not been smitten by Steve Jobs’ famous ‘reality distortion field,’ and have decades behind me as a Microsoft user,” Takahashi writes.

MacDailyNews Take: Somehow, often unfortunately, some weird sense of greater authority is sometimes conferred by Windows sufferers upon those who wasted decades by making the wrong choice, stubbornly sticking with it, and then finally waking up. Now, there’s a “reality distortion field.”

Takahashi continues, “Apple’s success with the iPod and the iPhone have turned the world’s attention to the fact that Apple’s products have superior design and more cachet than anything in the PC world.”

MacDailyNews Take: Tens of millions of Mac users knew the facts long before iPod and iPhone were even conceived. Those late to the party like to use halo effects as excuses for their own long-term ignorance and/or stubbornness. Still, welcome, anyway. What took you so long?

Takahashi continues, “If you bought a Mac in the past, you couldn’t run thousands of applications on Windows. If I used a Mac, I would have to wait a long time to play a game after it was out on Windows. But the Parallels desktop software and other ‘virtualization’ technologies now allow you to run both the Mac OS and Windows on the same machine. You can press a button and switch. Parallels slows the machine somewhat, but some games are still playable on a Parallels-equipped machine.”

MacDailyNews Take: We really have to question how much Takahashi knows about the Mac (see: wasted decades with Windows) as anyone trying to play a Windows game (or any Windows software) on a Mac knows that to achieve the best performance, you use Apple’s Boot Camp (built into Leopard) to run Windows natively, not slower virtualization. Apple’s MacBook Pro is the world’s fastest Windows notebook on the planet. Apple even ran national TV ads touting that fact, Dean. Boot Camp for performance, virtualization for convenience.

Takahashi continues, “You won’t find as many problems with spyware or viruses on the Mac OS. Based on Unix, it is more secure from the get go. Microsoft has been fixing its platform, starting with the recently released Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista. But there is still no guarantee that if you buy something for the PC, it’s going to work without any hassles.”

“Microsoft took more than five years to get Vista out the door, and now it is working on a project code-named Windows 7. But the rate of innovation at Apple is more impressive,” Takahashi writes.

“Mac sales are growing more than 40 percent a quarter, faster than the PC industry as a whole. Apple reports that 50 percent of the customers buying computers in its stores are new to the Mac platform. And Gartner expects that Apple will grow its share of the computer market from 6 percent in 2007 to 12 percent by 2011. I can remember not long ago that it had fallen to 2 percent. That’s a huge predicted swing in the market. Business users will still tilt the numbers toward Windows. But before you go off and buy that Vista machine, you should really think about moving to the Mac,” Takahashi writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: These “it’s time to switch to Mac” articles are always welcome, of course, but the authors certainly shouldn’t be granted any extra authority for switching at this late date. They should get quite a bit less, in fact. And Windows sufferers who are relying on them should be wary of their criticisms, as these Johnny-Come-Lately Switchers often bring quite a bit of baggage and have a lot to learn about Macintosh. Instead of just figuring it out yesterday, those who’ve been telling people to just get a Mac for all these years were right all along.