I’ve been accused of being a sell-out since I bought a MacBook Pro.
I’m still struggling to see the huge lock-in that people have been telling me I’d find in Mac-land. The only thing I can currently find is that I’m tied to Apple’s hardware. If I have a hardware problem I’d definitely take it back to base. If I had a hardware issue with a PC, I’d probably rip the guts out myself. Saying that, if it was a laptop, I’d think twice about trying to prise the case open.
Funny story: in the store, I was asked if I wanted to take the extended warranty (AppleCare, is it?), for a cost of something like £59. Apparently I could take it out any time in the first year, but if I didn’t take it on the spot, I’d have to pay the full cost of something like £250 later. The numbers are approximate and random, I don’t remember exactly.
Anyway, I hesitated.
The guy looked at me and said, “if you’re just starting university, it will see you right through”.
I looked back at him and said, “University? mate, you’re nearly 15 years out!”
At which point, it transpired that the cheaper price only applied if I was buying the Mac on a student discount, which clearly I was not.
The initial user experience has been pretty positive. After switching on for the first time, I essentially only had to choose the language, create a user, and I was in.
At registration time, I was asked if I wanted a trial .Mac account, but so far I’ve declined. I’ve already got email, already got my own blog, can find nice free tutorials, and use Google Talk / Jabber via iChat (and may move to another IM client which covers more networks). So, no lock-in there, that I can see.
On the software side, I’ve yet to find anything I’ve had to pay for. To be fair, my Lightroom license is already paid for by virtue of my being a Rawshooter Premium user. I’ve installed The Gimp and OpenOffice (although maybe NeoOffice would be better, since it is Mac native… I can’t quite see what benefit that gives me, maybe someone could enlighten me?). Basically I’m using open source or otherwise free software, exchanging files with other operating systems, and networking with both Windows and Linux.
Where is the lock-in?