All of the programs that you mentioned, except Corel(which apparently is no great loss for the Mac world), has a Mac equivalent. To be absolutely accurate, they actually have a Windows equivalent as they were Mac first.
You will be able to open already created files with the Mac versions.
You may even be able to convince the software manufacturers to give you the Mac version at the upgrade price as you are swapping to a new platform for their product. It's worth a try.
You might want to wait for the laptop until more of your favorite programs become available for the Intel processor machines. Most of the majors have plans to release at least a Universal Binary version of their stuff.
Purchase cost, if you take a real look at the specs, will be around the same for a good PC or Mac.
Check out the specs at the Apple Store. Apple.com
Servicing costs around the same for both platforms. Most of the places around here charge $60 an hour for PC's. At the last Apple Reseller in this area, we charge the same. You will, of course, get the AppleCare and take the warranty out to three years. It is well worth it on a laptop. One screen cracked and you have all your money back!
For web design you will not find Front Page for the Mac, Adobe makes a suite of stuff for web design. Don't forget to use W3 compliant code for your sites so that we can all view them correctly. None of this MS proprietary stuff. Pretty please
Let us know which way you go.
I'm in the market for a new laptop and want to make the best decision possible in choosing the right platform.
I'm pretty proficient with a PC and know there are various ''Multimedia'' options to go with if I choose a PC...however, like most people, I'm absolutely fried with all the headaches that accompany owning a PC (networking configurations, 3rd party software bundled into Windows applications, worms/viruses/hackers, holes in service packs & web browsers, etc.).
Over the years, most of the environments I've worked in have been PC-based, so it's been a while since I've really worked with Macs.
I know Macintosh has come a long way over the years to integrate better with Windows-based programs; and I've heard many designers swear by Macintosh's ''superior'' design elements (video card, screen resolution, etc.).
If I purchase a Mac for web/graphic design, it's going to be more expensive than buying a PC...but maybe well worth it? I've heard the costs of servicing are generally more expensive (but maybe it will be a rare occasion unlike a PC), and I'll have to purchase all new software that I already own (for a PC)...gulp.
I'm also concerned that I will not be able to open some of my older documents on the Mac that I created using Windows-based programs (Freehand, Corel, PageMaker, etc.). Does anyone know if this is true?
I know there are a gazillion pros and cons to be discussed here, but I guess I'm trying to gauge 1.whether buying a Mac will be well worth the extra expense; 2.whether all my peripherals/older documents will work with it (I will go postal if I have to deal with anymore configuration issues); and 3.whether there will be just as many configuration/security issues with Mac as with PC (which I don't believe to be true, but I thought I'd still make sure).