Microsoft’s Windows has long been the dominant operating system for the business environment with an overwhelming 90% share of the desktop market. With such an established foothold in the office is there ever a case for an attorney to switch to a Mac?
Just as Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe’s character in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test has his group of followers, the “Merry Pranksters”, Apple has its own followers called, “Apple Fanboys”. An Apple Fanboy is someone who believes anything that Apple marketing says, buys all things Apple, and believes all Microsoft products are inferior to Apple products. There are good reasons for and against switching to Mac without having to drink the Apple Kool-Aid. This article is not going to debate operating systems, phones, or tablets and compare them feature by feature. Instead, we are going to look at some lifestyle issues that might make sense for your next computer to be a Mac.
Don’t Buy A Mac!
First let’s identify something that rules out switching to a Mac. If the software you run for your law practice only works on Windows then switching doesn’t make sense at all. There is really no point in making the switch if you can’t get your work done and I won’t try and convince you to buy new software. In researching this piece I contacted some of the top legal software companies to see if their programs would work on a Mac.
The following companies said that their software will work on a Mac: CosmoLex, Clio, Amicus Cloud, HoudiniEsq, MyCase, Rocket Matter, and Total Attorneys.
The following companies said that their software programs will only work with Windows: Abacus Law, Credenza Pro, Amicus Attorney, LegalFiles, Needles, and PracticeMaster.
What I found was that most cloud based solutions will work on Mac, however, those requiring installation on a computer would not. Many reported that their software would/might work using Parallels. Parallels is a software program that allows you to run Windows on your Mac. However, this kind of defeats the purpose because you have to buy a separate copy of Windows and switch between the operating system.
So, to keep this rather simple, if you have a legacy Windows software program, use software listed above that only runs on Windows, or you are not planning on switching to one that works on a Mac, switching to Mac does not make sense for the working attorney.
The Apple Lifestyle
Does it ever make sense for an attorney to buy a Mac? Yes, I do think that a Mac is the right hardware choice for a specific set of attorneys. Purchasing a Mac is a good idea if you already own an iPhone and/or iPad. The reason has more to do with the lifestyle and integration Apple has created within their ecosystem. If you already use an iPhone and iPad you are already in the Apple system and it just makes sense to use an Apple desktop or laptop. With one login used across all devices Apple has made using all of their devices and all of their features just one login away.
The main reason to use all Apple devices is application integration across devices. From apps to programs having all of your data synced across your phone, tablet and desktop it is just plain convenient. Here are a few things that can easily be synced across your devices: email, browser bookmarks and settings, documents, music, movies, books, photos, text messages, and apps.
Lifestyle is also an acceptable reason. Do you drive a luxury vehicle, have an expensive watch, drink fine wine, or wear luxury clothing and accessories? If so, you have made these purchasing decisions truly on lifestyle choices because there are non-luxury choices for all of these that work just as well. Feeling good about yourself and the way you live is nothing to be ashamed about.
The Cost of Apple
Having the Apple Lifestyle does have its costs, a financial cost. Buying an Apple product is akin to buying a luxury brand. There are plenty of phones, tablets and computers that do nearly the exact same thing but at a lower cost. However, cost has not been a factor since more than 55 million homes have at least one Apple device and homes that have one Apple device own an average of three. It is a good thing that cost doesn’t appear to be a factor in buying Apple products because Mac desktops and laptops carry a premium over non Apple products. The iMac, an all in one desktop computer starts at $1099 and laptops start at $899. Comparable Windows based systems can be purchased for hundreds of dollars less.
If you already own an iPhone and iPad and either don’t use legal software, use web based software, or are thinking of changing your legal software, then you should consider getting a Mac when you replace your next desktop or laptop. Apple’s customer support is top rated, getting help from an Apple Store is easy, and integration can simplify your lifestyle.