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Its the Graphical User Interface, Stupid

Over the past couple of years, Ive watched many consumers and business users move from Windows to the Mac. (Comparatively few have moved from the Mac to Windows.) Its funny what trips up and frustrates new Mac users. Its not the system architecture, or any broad paradigm variations between the two operating systems. Those, nearly all new users take in strike. Rather, its trivial difference between the Windows user interface
Over the past couple of years, Ive watched many consumers and business users move from Windows to the Mac. (Comparatively few have moved from the Mac to Windows.) Its funny what trips up and frustrates new Mac users. Its not the system architecture, or any broad paradigm variations between the two operating systems. Those, nearly all new users take in strike. Rather, its trivial difference between the Windows user interface (which is formally known as Presentation Manager) and the Mac user interface (called Finder).One die-hard Windows user decided to embrace the Mac because he was tired of his Windows XP laptops unreliability. However, he almost moved back to Windows because he hated  hated  that you could only resize a Mac application window by dragging the lower right corner. He wanted the Mac to work right, which meant that you could resize a window by dragging on the top, bottom or sides. It sounded trivial to me, but to that user, it was nearly a deal breaker.

Walt Mossberg, the incredibly influential technology pundit at The Wall Street Journal, is probably more sympathetic to those small user-interface changes than I am, and so he has recently offered Some General Tips for Switch from Windows to Mac. Some of them seem far too basic to me, such as telling users that where Windows gives each application window its own menu bar, on the Mac there is only one menu bar. But according to Mossberg, these UI tips are based on queries from his readers, so maybe theyre not as oversimplified as they might appear.

You might consider sharing Mossbergs tip sheet with your friends who are newly switching to the Mac, or are contemplating such a move. Be sure to read the comments: there are excellent additional tips there as well.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing