In This Issue: 1. Editor's Note: Are You Seriously Considering Switching To A Mac? 2. Today's Top Story - Gates Giving Up His Management Role At Microsoft By 2008 3. Breaking News - AOL Relaunches Netscape.com To Challenge Digg And YouTube - Google Launches Government Data Search Site - The Joys Of Dual-Booting XP And OS X - Researchers Find Technique To Quickly Erase Hard Drives - Mac Virtual Machine Runs Windows - Microsoft Reminds About Ending XP SP1 Support - Samsung Ships Blu-Ray Disc Player In U.S. - Mobile Linux Group Seen As Defensive Move - Monster: Online Jobs Continue To Rise - SonicWall Unwraps Content Security Appliance - Brief: Maxim Sued Over Stock Options Investigation 4. Grab Bag - The BlackBerry And The Work-Family Battle (The New York Times) - Another Linux Mobile Knitting Circle (MSNBC) - More Powerful Fuel Cells Get Closer To Market (Technology Review) 5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech - Switching To The Mac: A Guide For Windows Users - Build A Dual-Core PC Without Busting Your Budget - Photoshop Wannabes: 5 Low-Cost Image Editors - Review: The Gateway Profile 6 Goes Up Against The iMac - Review: Windows Live OneCare Protects Your PC—Almost - Review: Gamepark GP2X Hybrid Plays Games And More 6. Voice Of Authority - Desperately Seeking Neutrality 7. White Papers - Appraising Complaint System Effectiveness 8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek 9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: "Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts." -- Arnold Bennett
1. Editor's Note: Are You Seriously Considering Switching To A Mac? I've been using Windows since the Dark Ages, and never in a million years did I think I'd ever switch to a Mac. Oh sure, I admired the sleek lines and solid construction of Apple hardware, not to mention the cutting-edge look and features of OS X. But we live in a Windows world that depends on Windows apps, and for most of us it simply hasn't been practical to consider owning a Mac as our sole computer.
Apple changed all that with the release of its Intel-based Macs earlier this year. New software products called Boot Camp and Parallels let you run Windows XP on these Intel-based Macs, which means you don't have to give up Windows if you switch to a Mac. In other words, you can still run those must-have Windows-only programs when you need them, right on your Apple computer.
But what about the other concerns many Windows users have about Macs? This week's feature story, "Switching To The Mac: A Guide For Windows Users" by John C. Welch, puts a lot of those fears to rest. For example, Apple computers have always had a bad rap as overpriced and underpowered. But as Welch explains, all of today's Intel-based Macs ship with either Intel Core Solo or Core Duo processors, plus Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11g wireless networking support, Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, Serial ATA drives, and analog and optical audio in/out. If you match these features on PCs from other top-tier manufacturers like Dell, HP, or Lenovo, the prices end up being pretty comparable.
Although there are many similarities between OS X and Windows, many things about the Mac interface will seem strange to Windows users. What's that Apple menu all about? Where's the main menu bar for the application I'm in? And how the heck do I close out of applications? Welch answers those questions and more, carefully explaining those aspects of OS X that will be particularly confusing to Windows users. As with so many things in life, navigating OS X is easy once you know how.
What about that one-button mouse? No worries: Mac OS X has always supported two-button mice, and the current Mac desktops even ship with a mouse that can be configured for single- or multiple-button use.
Before making a decision, wouldn't it be nice to hear from a longtime Windows user who has made the switch to a Mac? Michael Brandenburg does just that in "The Joys Of Dual-Booting XP And OS X," sharing his firsthand experience of switching to a MacBook Pro with Boot Camp, which allows him to boot into either Mac OS X or Windows XP. It hasn't all been smooth sailing, but with a little tweaking he's figured out how to make Windows and OS X work well together. Now he can't imagine how he ever survived with just one operating system.
After reading both stories, I'm just about convinced. My current home PC is frighteningly long in the tooth (I won't say how old, but Microsoft is about to cut off support for the operating system). There's no question I'm due for an upgrade. I've been wondering whether to wait for the release of Windows Vista next year, but now I'm leaning heavily toward the Mac camp. The fact that Apple will responsibly recycle my old computer for free doesn't hurt, either.
What about you? Are you seriously considering switching to a Mac—or have you already made the switch? Why or why not? Weigh in at my blog entry.
The Joys Of Dual-Booting XP And OS X By letting you run Windows XP and Mac OS X side by side on the same computer, Apple's Boot Camp beta gives you the best of both worlds. Here's how to get the most out of dual-booting—including tips for making it all run smoothly.
Mac Virtual Machine Runs Windows Its manufacturer claims the software is the first commercial package for Intel-powered Macs that lets users run any edition of Windows as far back as 3.1 in isolated virtual machines on a Mac OS X desktop.
Microsoft Reminds About Ending XP SP1 Support Customers running Windows XP SP1 must migrate to Windows XP SP2 over the next three months, or they'll lose incident support as of Oct. 10. Microsoft also said it won't release any more security updates for SP1 after that date.
----- The latest research, polls, and tools ----- Open-Source Outlook Learn how more than 300 business technology professionals are planning to use open-source solutions in their IT infrastructure in this recent InformationWeek research report, "Linux: The Impact of Service and Support."
FREE Report Download: IT Budgets And Priorities Discover what business technology managers have planned for 2006 in InformationWeek Research's "Outlook 2006," part of our quarterly Priorities series. -----------------------------------------
Photoshop Wannabes: 5 Low-Cost Image Editors Adobe's Photoshop may be the standard for image editing, but there are other applications out there that can do the same job for a lot less money. We reveal the best of the bunch.
Desperately Seeking Neutrality Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would amend the Communications Act. Missing from the bill was any explicit requirement for what advocates and ideologues have come to call "net neutrality"—but such a mandate is entirely unnecessary, says Eric A. Hall.
7. White Papers
Appraising Complaint System Effectiveness No medtech company enjoys receiving product complaints, but complaint tracking is an essential tool for improving performance. Your managers must assess how well their complaint-handling systems turn incident reports into formal complaints and then, as necessary, into corrective action.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.