Vista using considering moving to Mac - How much new software needed?

I'm so fed up with Windows, Toshiba, Vista, etc.  
I'm thinking about moving to Apple/Mac.  Consumer reviews are so good for Apple and declining for everyone else - according to PCMag.

I'm a web developer and need to use Dreamweaver, Photoshop.  I'm very used to MS Office - Outlook and Excel.

I'm just trying to figure out how much new software I'll have to buy to make the switch.  

Anyone know if we can upgrade or get discounts if we need to purchase new versions of Adobe Creative Suite CS3, MS Office 2007 ... not to mention all the other software like RoboForm, CuteFTP, Quicken, etc. etc.  

Anyone gone through this already?  Was it worth it?  Anyone know of a web site that walks people through this process?

Apple's commercials look so great ... but they never talk about all the additional software necessary.  Gosh, it almost puts it out of reach to switch from Windows to Mac.

I'm interested in what you experts think.

April

aprillougheedAsked:
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Eoin OSullivanConnect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
Nearly all the applications you mention come in Mac versions too .. HOWEVER there are almost NO cross-grades and you'd have to BUY the software all over again.  Adobe will do cross-grades but you've to go through a few hoops with them.

The other option is to install XP (not Vista) on your new Mac and use your current software them under Parallels virtualisation while you save up for the new software!! This will also be good for some of the apps that you use that have no mac versions such as Roboform ...

This works well for most Windows applications and I use Wn & Mac on the one Apple all the time pretty seamlessly.

There are a load of Mac-apps which have the equivalent functionality of the missing apps .. for example instead of CuteFTP .. try Transmit or Interarchy

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aprillougheedAuthor Commented:
Very good info.  

Here's a quick followup.

Can I use any kind of external hard drive with a MAC?  Like a Western Digital Hard Drive and USB 2.0 cord?

I'm sure this would have to work - since I see graphic artists I work with all the time sending me zipped files of PDFs, Photoshops, etc. that they've created on MACS.

Thanks!  April

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Eoin OSullivanConnect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
Yes .. you can ..  if they are FAT32 formatted .. they will work with Mac and Windows .. if formatted NTFS .. then Macs can read but not write.  
Just about ALL USB2 external drives will work with Macs.
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aprillougheedAuthor Commented:
very good answers and very thorough.  thanks.
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