Can a Mac run Windows and Microsoft Office?
Yes. Microsoft Office is available for the Mac, and Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files created on a Mac are fully compatible with Windows. Most other popular applications are available for the Mac, too. But if you need to use a particular Windows-only application, you have a few options: Boot Camp comes with every new Mac, and it lets you run Windows natively — as if your Mac were a PC. If you want to run Mac OS X and Windows side by side, you can purchase Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion. Install one of these applications, along with the Windows Installation CDs, and you can run the occasional Windows program right next to your Mac applications, without having to restart.
Is a Mac safe from PC viruses?
Yes, a Mac is 100 percent safe from viruses designed to attack PCs. And although no computer connected to the Internet is completely immune to all viruses and spyware, the Mac is built on a solid UNIX foundation and designed with security in mind. The Mac web browser, Safari, alerts you whenever you’re downloading an application — even if it’s disguised as a picture or movie file. And Apple continually makes free security updates available for Mac owners. You can even have them download automatically.
Will my PC devices (cameras, printers, hard drives) work with a Mac?
A Mac has hundreds of drivers for peripherals preinstalled. Just connect your device and, in most cases, you’re good to go. And a Mac is smart enough to know what to do when you plug in your digital camera: It opens iPhoto and asks if you want to import your recent photos.
Can I join Windows networks?
Yes. If you have a network at home or at work, whether wired or wireless, a Mac will fit right in. You can share files with any computer on your network, browse the web, and get your work or home email.
What about Wi-Fi?
All new Mac computers are Wi-Fi capable. Available wireless networks automatically show up. Just select the network you want to join, enter a password if necessary, and you’re connected.
Is a Mac reliable?
When you buy a PC, you’re buying hardware from one company and an operating system and software from other companies. Not so with a Mac. Because Apple builds both the computer and the software that comes with it, they’re literally made for each other. This means that a Mac rarely freezes or crashes. Occasionally an application might quit, but it won’t affect the rest of your system. And Mac OS X resists most viruses, so you can do anything — without worrying about losing everything.
What kind of support can I expect?
Every Mac comes with service and support that’s consistently voted the best in the business. If you have a problem in the first year of owning your new Mac, you can take it to an Apple Retail Store to get it fixed or figured out. And if you purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan, you extend your service and support to up to three years. The Apple Retail Store also offers services like ProCare, which gives you priority support, and One to One, which provides personal training on your Mac. Each service costs $99 a year.
Is it easy to learn how to use a Mac?
Every Mac is created with the guiding principle that computers should be easy to use, so you can spend more time doing what you love and less time figuring out how your computer works. If you’ve never owned a Mac, you may need a little time to get used to it. But within a week or two, chances are you’ll get along like old friends. And because all Mac applications are designed to work in the same, intuitive way, once you learn one application — iTunes, for example — you’ll quickly pick up iPhoto, Mail, or any of the other software that comes with your Mac.
Why should I spend more money on a Mac?
When you compare the cost of a PC and factor in the additional software, memory, and other extras you have to buy to go along with it, the difference in price between a Mac and PC isn’t as great as most people believe. And because the Mac comes with so many built-in applications that you’ll enjoy using for both work and play (rather than useless freebies you’ll want to uninstall), a Mac makes good financial sense. Finally, a Mac is built with the most cutting-edge technology by some of the smartest hardware engineers, software developers, and product designers on the planet. So you’re getting the latest technological advances and a computer that isn’t in danger of becoming obsolete anytime soon.
How do I move my files to a Mac?