As a Microsoft employee and fanboy, I have used Microsoft software for all my career. I have dabbled in and used Mac’s here and there, but at the core of everything I have done has been Office and the Microsoft platform. My last Mac died about 3 years ago, and while I have been aware that Microsoft software has come along in leaps and bounds recently, I still underestimated it.
With the re-contract of my broadband package I took advantage of an offer for a MacBook Air M1 at a decent price. I wanted to get back into Mac because I have been working with some customers lately who are using less Microsoft stuff on the desktop and productivity side. They are using Mac or Linux, and usually with tools like Slack, Zoom, G-Suite, etc. etc. As per most people, once they are happy working with their tools and they have their workflows they mostly stick with them. For some people, the “non-Microsoft software” defines their identities. However, there are some people who just don’t realise that Microsoft software and productivity suite is available to them if they aren’t on Windows. So in getting a Mac, I thought it would be a great opportunity for two things:
- To update my experience with Microsoft software on a non-Windows platform and be able to speak to others about it from first-hand experience
- Be a continual visual reminder to customers that I meet with that Microsoft is trying to meet you where you are and that there is always something you can consider trying
Of course, I believe that the Microsoft platform, particularly the productivity suite is the best on the planet. Sure, it may lack certain hot features at times, be difficult to use at times and have other faults, but when you look at the integrations I don’t think it can be beaten.
This is my view, all readers are entitles to their own opinions and it doesn’t need to be a debate. The point of the post is to outline what is available!
So, here is my new M1 desktop:
As soon as I set up my MacBook, I downloaded Company Portal and Intune/Endpoint Manager-enrolled. Now, I was able to use my new laptop for work.
I immediately downloaded the following as shown on the taskbar:
- Office (OneNote, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook)
- Microsoft Defender ATP
- Microsoft Edge
- Visual Studio Code
- PowerShell 7
- Azure CLI
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft To-Do
I also downloaded Terraform and Docker, as I am doing some work with the Cloud Adoption Framework at the moment (which I will share in another blog post).
Having used this for a few days, I have to say I am really quite impressed with the Microsoft experience. Teams seems to absolutely fly compared to my usual experience with Windows. I’ll share more of my experience as I go on, but having the battery life of the M1 is something else. The parity of experience is really nice and I can switch between the Mac and Windows on my Surface Book very seamlessly. Especially Edge! All the layout, settings, extensions, everything is just sync’d and it all just works!
I’m happy to be back in the Mac community and I’m seriously impressed at the job Microsoft has done on Mac software. I’m looking forward to confused faces when I break out the MacBook in front of Microsoft customers. I know I am not the only person at Microsoft to have adopted a Mac, but it still doesn’t look natural to most people, and if it’s a conversation starter then its money well spent.