Switchers – Mac alternatives to basic PC apps

Get a Mac AdLet me be honest with you: my goal here is to clearly push you to ditch your PC for a Mac. How am I going to manage this? I will use a series of posts, starting with this one, where I recommend a Mac application for every PC program you might use. And to top it off, I’ll prove to you that each and every one of these Mac programs is better than their PC counterpart. In this first post we start off with basic apps, you know, the essential programs you use every day to do things like communicate with friends, work on documents or connect to the internet.

Outlook Express – Apple Mail – Finding Outlook Express excruciatingly slow every morning at startup? Apple Mail always starts up in a flash. Another thing I’m really surprised with Outlook Express is the lack of a truly effective search tool, where Apple Mail makes use of the lightning fast Spotlight. Add to that the great templates in Mail and the wide choice of third party plugins and you have a clear winner in Apple Mail.

Windows Live Messenger – Adium X – Why put up with the advertisement-ridden Live Messenger when you can use the open source and highly customizable Adium? The Mac messaging client lets you connect to almost any IM protocol like AIM, MSN or Jabber and can be customized with all sorts of icons, audio, styles and script. True it doesn’t offer voice or video chat yet, but you’ll still get encrypted Off The Record messaging.

Microsoft Office – iWork’08 – This one is a no brainer. iWork’08 is cheaper, smoother and creates better looking documents, particularly presentations under Keynote. You’ll also be able to work with any Microsoft Office document, whether Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

Internet Explorer – Safari – Apple’s homemade browser loads twice as fast as IE and integrates perfectly with Keychain, so your online account data is always safe and sound. The sleek metal view and clear bookmark also contrast with IE’s convoluted interface.

Nero – Roxio Toast Titanium – I’ve always found Nero too bloated a program and draining on PC resources. Roxio Toast Titanium on the other hand is much easier to use and offers a streamlined process so that disc of yours is catalogued, burned and ready to watch in no time. It now lets you watch movies on your iPhone and mix your own sounds.

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