Wednesday, July 01, 2009

When to convert from PC to Mac? What about Boot Camp and security? What about Expression Studio?

Can someone who has “invested” heavily in Microsoft-pc based applications reasonably switch to the MacIntosh? After all, the Mac offers “boot camp” to switch to Windows XP, and offers Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Entourage) directly for the Mac.

I checked out Expression Studio on the web and it appears that the only portion that runs directly on a Mac (without the PC emulation) is Expression Media. (See the chart on the right on the generic Wikipedia entry here for the simplest explanation; look at the sneaky way Microsoft mentions Expression Media on this system requirements page for Expression Studio, here.) For me, Expression Web (to replace Front Page) would be the most important component. I would have to switch to XP through boot camp to use it, it seems, and I don’t know how reliable that would be.

And everything I find suggests that if you work in XP mode, you should have the full Windows anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, and have the same security management issues that you have in a PC environment. That means being ready to process automatic updates, as usual. The main difference is that you will use it less. So there may be less practical exposure. But you may have some sensitivities if you have to go to the PC mode to update your own websites (as with Expression Web, to replace the older Front Page).

One of the considerations is that Microsoft offers a “whole universe” with its various incarnations of Visual Studio and various languages, but a C# enterprise or architect’s edition can essentially “do anything.” Therefore, it appeals to a business plan that demands flexibility and the ability to set up archetypes for others to use rather than just to process a certain set of transactions or self-publish a certain set of controversial materials.

So someone who, going back to 2002 or so, invested in the ability to use needs to keep efficient use of its functionality. One of my problems is that my domain is on a Windows Server platform, and I can’t be sure that I won’t need a direct modern Windows interface to use some of its more arcane features later.

Windows users feel discouraged by media hype that talks about deterioration over time, and a much bigger security target. But there is no reason why a Vista (or soon Windows 7) environment should not work smoothly if managed properly from the beginning.

There is a link that says “buy a PC now, upgrade to Windows 7 later” here.

There are, of course, many fine products which work great in the Mac world: Dreamweaver, and most of all FinalCut for movie editing (and Screenwriter). You can make a nice, flexible site by putting Dreamweaver and Wordpress together (here), and using the MySQL embedded in Wordpress (along with Wordpress categories). But it may be difficult to switch for someone who “got in bed with Microsoft” early in his publishing and “entrepreneurial” career.

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