Today I had one of those prime examples of why I use Apple products over Microsoft for most of my needs.

I use Office 2013 within a Windows7 virtual machine. The Office 2013 showed there were updates. During the process of updating it failed. The Microsoft website listed resolution steps were to try an online repair of the product. Oh dear.

This online repair also failed and in doing so removed all usable aspects of office. Subsequent attempts to repair Office 2013 failed with error messages like 255-13 and 255-16 which basically equates to “Oh well, never mind, try this repair process again…”. The very process that has just failed.

It was at this point that I gave up and shut down the VM and dived into Time Machine on the MacBook to go to yesterdays backup of the VM and restore it. Some 40 minutes later the VM was back in a pristine state with Office 2013 fully working and no data lost. Hooray!

I will be studiously avoiding updates to Office 2013 for some time. “What’s not broken does not need fixing”

Last week I bought myself one of these magnificent machines.

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I have been debating and waiting to get one of these for some time. Last week I finally did the deed and handed over a large sum to Apple for a 13″ Retina MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. [Full spec here.]

One of the things that is making the big difference is the speed of I/O thanks to the SSD. That and the closing of the lid sends it to immediate sleep and it wakes just as quickly. I have never experienced such speed or certainty from any Windows PC/Laptop I have owned.

I have the full Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 on it (bought on an Employee Purchase for £10 when I worked in Wipro) and I also run VMware Fusion 6 which enables me to run Windows 7 (with the full Microsoft Office 2013 from another Employee Purchase scheme) when I need to do those oh-so-vital things when the only thing that supports that particular business application is a Windows environment.  Needless to say I can do 98% of things that I need to do just fine on Mac OS X.

In speaking of VMware Fusion I must also talk about the fact that I tried Parallels. There was not, to my mind, a great deal of difference between the capabilities that I require on a day-to-day basis and as I was a Fusion 4 owner I could upgrade to VMware Fusion 6 for a lot less than buying a new Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac.

In short the MacBook is superb and I can only suggest that anyone else should not debate for as long as I did and just get one.  If you are in doubt then consider that you have a 14-day grace period to try the Mac and if not satisfied, and provided you have not broken it, you can return it to Apple for a full refund!