MacBookPro for Windows Developers

When we started developing Quince I thought we’ll need a Mac to be able to test it in OS/X. I finally had a good excuse to get a Mac! It was a good decision, because it was useful while developing Quince (more about that here), but I´m not happy with it at all.

To make it short, it's pretty bad as a Windows machine. My main concerns:

- The amount of heat the Mac produces when running Windows is unbelievable. Is like using a laptop with a Pentium 4 before we got the 'Mobile' processors.
The same happens when you do any CPU-intensive task like watching a movie. If are using OS/X you can use FanControl to make the Fan work harder when it gets warmer, which makes it bearable. I did not find an alternative to use when booting Windows that runs as well.

- I use VMWare/Bootcamp. From times to times, when booting in Bootcamp, I lose the Windows activation and I need to activate it again. As I have a corporate Windows license that needs to be activated with a KMS, it's not a simple task. Actually, the way I usually do it does not work right now, so I cannot boot Bootcamp.

- The wireless connection drops. The way it ended up working for me is to hide the wireless status icon from the menu bar (!!!), but it still gets a worse signal than the rest of the laptops in the office. There are several threads about this in the support site at

- In Windows you can tweak almost every setting using the UI and if not, you can probably fix it tweaking the registry. In OS/X you have much smaller number of settings in the UI. You can tweak it from the unix shell, but I'm not good enough with it to be able to do it.

- Even if you can emulate most of the Windows keys, it´s not the same as having a Windows keyboard. For example, if you are not using an external mouse, one way to right-click is doing ctrl+click, which on a PC I always used to open a link in a new tab. Also, there's no 'delete' key, there's one called 'delete' that is actually backspace. You can emulate it with Fn+Delete. I also make mistakes during Cut and Paste, as in OS/X is Command+C/P and in Window Ctrl+C/P.

- AFAIK, OS/X does not have concept of 'Uninstall'. Some applications do provide a way to do it, but others don't. I had an issue with a driver for a 3G Modem and I could not uninstall it until I found a thread that described how to do it by manually deleting/editing some files.

- AFAIK there's no IM client that supports video/voice chats with MSN Messenger users. The Microsoft version only supports text.  I did not get good Video/Voice quality while using Messenger inside the VM. This means I'm only using Skype lately, which has a good OS/X client.

- Mac Office is not as good as Windows Office. Entourage in particular is much worse. I also miss the Ribbon when working in Word/Excel. I find myself using Office in the Windows VM most of the time.

On the other hand, when running OS/X for internet surfing and digital media managing, I got a nice experience, probably better than Windows'. But that's not what I need to get my work done.

So, if you are a Windows developer feeling tempted to switch to a Mac, my advice is to not to do it. On the other hand, I love my iPhone and I strongly recommend it to everyone.


  • As a 100% satisfied mac user, I have to argue in some points:

    Bootcamp vs Parallels/VMWare Fusion:
    I strongly recommend you to use Paralells or VMware (as I do) in OSX and run only the software you new in Windows (like Visual Studio), for all the rest, use OSX, so you have the best of both worlds.

    About wireless connection, it's really strange, as my macbook gets stronger wifi signal than my previous laptops (HP & Toshiba).

    About tweaking UI, it's not a valid argument saying than in windows you can do it via registry tweaks and in OSX you can't because you are not familiar with unix shell. By the way, OSX default UI is much better than win and much smother.

    Right click: just tap the trackpad with 2 fingers :)
    Command + C/P or Control + C/P: you can customize them as you like in System Preferences.
    Delete (Supr): I agree with you, but is just matter getting used to the new keyboard.

    According Uninstall issue: I think programs/drivers installation/uninstallation is muuuuuch simple in osx. All are just files, applications are just an .app bundle, drivers are just .kext files located in /System/Library/Extensions. So for install, copy a file, and for uninstalling, just delete it. Thank good there is nothing like registry in OSX :) It's just matter of knowing how osx works (.app bundles, .kext drivers, preferences and so on).

    "there's no IM client that supports video/voice chats with MSN Messenger users", wrong.... Try aMsn and not the one microsoft provide for mac. However, I recommend you to use Adium (multiprotocol) + Tokbox (webbased (flash)) for voice/video. The advantages of tokbox are that only one person needs to be registered in, and the other just join the conversation with a link; and you can do videoconferencing with more than one :).

    Mac Office: Blame Microsoft (not Apple) or use iWork.

    So, in conclusion: using a mac running windows (Bootcamp) it a waste of money. I think the best way is running windows within OSX using Parallels or VMWare, and run just the needed software in windows (note I said "needed" and not "used to" :P).

    At this point you would already noticed I'm an Apple fan :)

    Enjoy you MAC (iPhone, and anything that has an Apple logo on it)!!!

  • I do use VMWare Fusion all the time. I use an external keyboard and an external mouse.

    I hate clicking trackpad with 2 fingers. One of them always moves and the window scrolls ,).

    I have another big drawback to add to the list.. you cannot write NTFS volumes! For having VMs in an external drive you need NTFS, so each time I want to use a VM I need to copy it to my local hard drive, which is much slower.

    Adium does not have Voice&Video ( aMsn does not support voice, and TokBox is not a native OS/X client, so my claim is still valid ;).

    About Office, I need a good Exchange client and there isn't one better than Office 2007's. I also need good Sharepoint integration which is not provided by any Office suite in OS/X.

  • Andres:

    For NTFS I use MacFuse , works fine for me , I write in the windows partition , and in external NTFS volumes.

    On the mail issue , You know I use Thunderbird as a mail client in Windows and in the mac ( never a fan of Outlook) ; Both work reasonable with Exchange Mail (sync with both outlook calendar and Google Cal ), and directory services. I agree that for the Outlook power user, and for Sharepoint , the best is Outlook.

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