Where we're going, we don't need email.

Installing drivers for a mouse to enable a niche behaviour is no great hardship, but it still left me moderately concerned. This digging in the nuts and bolts of the machine was not something I had missed. The Microsoft of has a split personality.

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Where the company is successful today is where that latter desire is ascendant, and the Surface Book is the best example of a forward-looking Microsoft you can find. Small and powerful, with a long battery life, it impresses as a laptop, but its real strengths are revealed when you undock the screen from its base.

Being able to carry my laptop around the kitchen when doing the weekly shop, before docking it back and typing up some recipes, was genuinely cool. Unfortunately, cool is all it was for me. The ability to pop out my laptop and write on it with a very accurate stylus was never that useful. If anything, it served to underscore how efficient the keyboard-and-touchpad combo is for a lot of hefty tasks.

I had a similar experience with the ability to use the touchscreen while the Surface Book was in laptop mode. Occasionally, the touchscreen was actively bad. My first time opening Windows Mail, I was greeted with a helpful popover showing that I could swipe mails to the left to archive them.

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Two-fingered swipe on the touchpad? The answer, of course, is to reach up to the screen, and swipe that way. One downside of that setup: The platforms have converged on everything but aesthetics and personal preferences. Both have a locked-down store which power users ignore; both are fighting for relevance in a world of web apps and mobile-first design; both feel the weight of versions past sitting on their shoulders.

Switching pains

I was shocked by the amount of advertising and cross-promotion riddled throughout the OS, from adverts for apps in the start menu, to a persistent pop-up offering a free trial of Office I was surprised by the paucity of solid third-party apps in general, and particularly by the lack of any good consumer productivity suite. It feels like the Mac dev scene is full of teams making fully featured apps that compete with the big companies, while Windows devs are more content to make niche utilities which serve particular needs without needing to start a war.

I disliked the lack of a smart sleep mode, meaning my computer would often be flat when I opened it up in the morning because some utility had been running in the background. I hated the difficulty in typing special characters, from foreign accents to ellipses and em-dashes. I hated the lack of a universal paste-as-plain-text shortcut, and I mourned the loss of iMessage access on the desktop for texting my girlfriend. Maybe one day, one or other platform will have a commanding lead.

Is it time to swap your Mac for a Windows laptop?

But it might not be the case for you. Great-ish expectations. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Technology. Microsoft Computing Apple Laptops Internet features. Reuse this content. Most popular. From your dock open System Preferences or click the Apple in the top left corner and choose System Preferences. Now click Network to open your network settings.

By default your network adapter is set to DHCP. Depending on the network connection you are going to use you will need to change this setting to Manually. Keep in mind if you are setting a static address on your Mac and you take it to another network you might need to change this setting back to DHCP. I would suggest using the wired or Ethernet connection for your static address and use the wireless for DHCP.

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In this example I am setting a static address on the Ethernet connection. My Windows domain controller has an IP address of I'm setting my IP address to Click the Lock to make changes to these settings. Then click the Join button next to Network Account Server. You should now be at the Directory Utility ; click the Lock to make changes.

Then make sure Active Directory is checked, highlight it, and then click the Pencil to edit this setting. Here you can enter your domain information and computer ID. For this example the domain is hq. The computer ID is the computer name that will show up in Active Directory once the Mac is joined to the domain.

Click the arrow to Show Advanced Options. This gives you 3 extra options you can configure. To keep it simple I usually leave these settings default except for the Administrative section.

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For this example I used the IP address of my domain controller You can also specify groups that are allowed administration privileges. Now click the Bind button and you will be prompted for credentials. Enter your domain administrator username and password and click OK. Then close the Directory Utility. Now you should be back at the Accounts window. Note the green dot and domain name next to Network account server. Now you should be able to login to the Mac with your Windows domain credentials. Log off the current user you are logged in with.

When you get back to the login screen choose Other. That should get you logged into the computer with your domain credentials. So now what?

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How do you access the files on the server? We will need to map drives to the shared folders on the server so you can access the files. From Finder click Go then click Connect to Server. Since Mac uses SMB we need to use this syntax: Note that you will not be prompted for credentials to connect because we are logged in with our domain account. You can also connect to Windows shared folders with the same syntax and a username and password if your Mac is not joined to the domain. This process is not for the faint of heart and can get tricky depending on your environment.

There can be issues with joining Macs to a. With these things in mind, there are definitely some things to consider before joining your Mac to a Windows domain. Some may wonder what the benefits of joining s Mac to a Windows domain would bring. It mostly helps with accessing files on your Windows server without authenticating every time.

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It also helps with user account management and alleviates the need to have separate user accounts on the local Mac computer and on the Windows domain. In my opinion, if you have a mobile Mac user with a laptop you probably wouldn't join it to your domain, but would instead authenticate when needed.