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Introducing The "Apple Unvarnished" Blog

Apple is white-hot. Mac sales are outstripping Windows at a time when rival Microsoft is stumbling with Vista. iTunes has roared into the marketplace to become the third-largest music retailer in the U.S. And then there's this thing called the "iPhone" -- perhaps you've heard of it?<

Apple is white-hot. Mac sales are outstripping Windows at a time when rival Microsoft is stumbling with Vista. iTunes has roared into the marketplace to become the third-largest music retailer in the U.S. And then there's this thing called the "iPhone" -- perhaps you've heard of it?

All in all, it's looking like a good time to bring our Apple coverage front-and-center. That's why we've launched the Apple Unvarnished blog on InformationWeek. We hope you'll find the blog, along with our articles, to be your best source for news, analysis, and reviews of all of Steve Jobs's brainchildren.

I'll be the main author of the blog, along with valuable contributions from mobile editor Stephen Wellman, reviewer John Welch, and others.

I'll let you in on something: "Apple Unvarnished" was not my first choice for a name for the blog. I wanted to go with "Apple Fan." My editors said they thought it would make us look like cheerleaders, but I said that wasn't the case at all. Yes, I'm a fan of Apple, but not uncritical. I love their products but I know they're a company run by mortal human beings, and capable of stumbling. We'll criticize Apple when they deserve it.

Heck, I'm a Star Trek fan but I can't stand Enterprise and I never warmed to The Next Generation.

So, yes, you can expect me to frequently be enthusiastic about Apple. But when they mess up, I'll let you know.

As part of the Apple Unvarnished launch, it's time to retire the "Switching From Windows To Mac" blog. If you've bookmarked that page, bookmark Apple Unvarnished instead. The reason we're retiring the Switching blog is simple: I switched. It's done. I bought my first Mac, an iMac, in February. Previous to that, I think I'd only spent a combined total of a few hours on Macs, in more than 20 years of using personal computers. It was tough going for the first couple of days -- I was used to the way I did things on the PC, and the Mac was ever-so-slightly different. Keyboard shortcuts, in particular, were a problem.

But now I love the Mac. Over the past few months, I've all but eliminated Windows from my life. The big step was last month, when my employers issued me a new notebook computer -- a wee PowerBook rather than the Lenovo Thinkpad running Windows that's the company standard for editors.

I have Parallels on the iMac to run Windows, when I need it. I hardly ever do.

I also have a five-year-old Compaq notebook; I keep it on the coffee table in the living room and turn it on every few weeks, when I feel like doing something on the Internet and I'm too lazy to go into my home office and use the Macs. I don't use it very often though -- it keeps throwing off notices and dialogue boxes, letting me know it wants to start a virus scan or download a Windows update or that it can't find a file it thinks it needs but actually doesn't. And that's why I switched right there: The Mac hardly ever does that kind of thing.

And that's my credo about the Mac: Windows can do everything the Mac does -- and a little bit more. But the gap is closing. And the Mac is easier to use and more stable. Not a lot -- just a little. But a little is enough. After you've gotten used to the Mac, in the overwhelming majority of cases, you don't go back unless your employment requires you to.

And that's about it. We hope you enjoy the Apple Unvarnished blog, and all our Apple coverage, and find it useful.