Back to Windows

Well, I just did something I never expected I’d do—bought a new Windows 10 laptop. A Lenovo x270. Having used a MacBook Air as my go-to business machine for the past four years, this time around I decided to give Windows 10 a try. The new machine actually replaces a tired, six-year-old 17-inch “desktop replacement” laptop that weighs over seven pounds. While that machine served me well, it’s far too big and heavy to carry around comfortably. The new one weighs only three pounds, and is small enough to fit into my travel bag. And it runs cooler. And has much better battery life.

Another reason I switched is that much of the appeal of being confined to Apple’s closed little world has worn off for me. As much as I like my MacBook Air, the variety of software available for it doesn’t can’t match what’s out there for Windows users. And one of my favorite Mac OS programs that I own and use every day just went to subscription-based pricing which would require me to spend $39 a year to maintain cloud sync with other devices…no thanks.

While I did run Windows 7 on my old beast laptop, it’s been taking forever to boot. I also want to gain a working knowledge of Windows 10, now that it’s been around for a while and has matured somewhat. I don’t think the 600 million worldwide users that Microsoft claims for Windows 10 can be wrong.

I was just about ready to spring for a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition ultrabook or a System76 Galago Pro machine. Had a hard time deciding between them. Both run Ubuntu Linux, which I’ve used for over ten years now. I still like running free Linux software that’s as good or better than what’s available at a cost for other operating systems. Not to mention the freedom from viruses and malware. In fact, I run Linux on the desktop machine that I use as a server to host WordPress locally. I write my memoirs and autobiography, The Story of a Life, on that machine. It also houses about 75 mb of my favorite music. But, for everyday business use on a laptop, this time the arguments in favor of Windows won out.

I do a lot of writing, so the great Lenovo keyboard was a key decision factor. And the matte screen. This post is being written on a Samsung Chromebook Plus. While I really love the speed, hi-res display, glass trackpad, and overall performance of this little machine, the keyboard sucks. What you look at and physically touch on a computer really matters to me. And the Chromebook doesn’t have the variety of standard I/O ports that the more traditional, business-oriented Lenovo does.

Since I’ve used Windows since the beginning, starting with Windows 3.1 then moving on to  Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95 and 98, NT, Millennial Edition, XP, Vista, and finally Windows 7, this latest move will not be an abrupt change for me. Just the next step in the long journey I’ve taken on a wide variety of hardware platforms.

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