At Nextpoint, we’ve historically been fanatic Thinkpad fans. I felt about my Thinkpad I would imagine the same way Derek Jeter felt about his glove. But then something changed. Like when someone stole Jeter’s gamer and tried to sell it. Actually, a lot of individual things changed.
First, we started developing applications for the web instead of local installs because of the overwhelming business case to be made for SaaS products. Then, Thinkpad was sold and the build quality of the computers went down. I started using Firefox so I had a non-IE browser. Finally, an impending Vista upgrade and an “upgrade” to Office 2007 killed my T60 and put the final nail in the coffin. I migrated to a 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro and absolutely love it. It’s been so successful we’re planning on migrating most of the company to Macs as part of our overall strategy. Why?
– It’s the Web, stupid. Web developers know Macs work better with the web. Nextpoint is web-based. We built it to maximize our performance in a number of core trial processes – exhibit stamping, document presentation, deposition management, file sharing – for which no existing software worked. Because its web-based, we are no longer tethered to a Windows environnment in order to use of host of outdated applications that didn’t work very well in the first place.
We are seeing new customers and lots of interest from lawyers who run Macs. They simply had no option for litigation-focused software. Neither did we until now, making the Mac a completely feasible option.
– It’s less expensive. With Nextpoint, we don’t need local installs of Summation, Concordance, TrialDirector, Sanction or LiveNote. No Citrix configuration, no mapping of databases to networked drives. And one of the major advantages for us is that we can have a gradual transition as our equipment goes out of date versus needing to convert the entire company immediately. Macs and PCs can work on the same data with no problem. Forget about the effect on our bottom line of a forced upgrade to Vista, followed by forced upgrades by all of the supporting applications. Just contemplating the amount of support hours to install, patch, upgrade, and reset our entire network was enough to force us to another option. And I’m glad it did.
– It runs Office seamlessly. Office 2008 for the Mac works almost seamlessly with Office 2007 and to a lesser extent 2003 – even with graphic and data intensive PowerPoint and Excel files. This means we can open files without using Parallels, which frankly was not a pleasant experience. Migration to Entourage has been almost painless, and my BlackBerry didn’t even need to be updated. That said, we’re actively looking at enterprise web-based e-mail solutions so we can stop spending time on managing our internal network, and more time on our customers.
– It works super fast and looks great. My PC took forever to boot and shut down. My new MacBook flies through applications. Double finger scrolling through screens is great. The video drivers are vastly superior to PCs. VPN and wireless configuratios are a snap. The 16:9 screen means our document callouts are wider and easier to read. And the photos of the kids look better when I’m on the plane wondering when a gate at O’Hare is going to open up.
All in all, I had a great run with Thinkpads. I loved them dearly and will always have a soft spot for them. But in a way, its seems very 90s now, the stylish black case with the red mouse point I still occasionally grope around for, a memory of something that feels like it’s missing. For so long, it was the sign of competence, of gravitas, of business computing might. But alas, times change and so must we. And today, at least in my world, its time for a Mac.
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