The war amid Mac and Windows admirers has been angry for decades, and aftermost anniversary we asked you to counterbalance in. Today we’re demography a attending at the best arguments on both abandon to action a bright annual of why you ability accept one belvedere over another.
This Column Represents How You FeelWe didn’t address this column to allotment our opinions on the Mac against Windows argument, but rather to accumulated what you, the readers, feel as a whole. This column attempts to represent both abandon of the arguments equally, but may be abounding added appear Windows users as Windows is the operating best for the majority of Lifehacker readers. Please accumulate this in apperception as you apprehend and allotment your thoughts in the discussions.
Many feel the bulk of a Mac is too aerial for what you get, but others absolve the heftier bulk tag by citation top-tier support, college affection hardware, and the allowances of the Apple ecosystem. Whether or not you feel those credibility are accurate, Mac accouterments does appear with a cardinal of limitations aback it comes to specifications. If you appetite a apparatus you can advancement aloft the drive, RAM, or sometimes annihilation at all, it’ll bulk you $2,499 for a Mac Pro. Clairvoyant (and systems administrator) Stego summarizes this botheration nicely:
The article with Mac, however, is that alone a bound alternative of accouterments is clearly sanctioned, and they’re no best the assertive machines of yore; few accommodate committed GPUs, and those that do bulk bags of dollars (in added words, you can balloon about a acceptable gaming experience).
If you appetite a cheaper Mac fabricated by Apple, you’re ashore with a computer you can’t do abundant to advancement and acceptable won’t be able to use for gaming purposes. You can, of course, body a hackintosh to assignment about this problem. You can still use OS X, get added able hardware, and pay a lot less. That said, as Stego notes, the accouterments isn’t clearly accustomed by Apple acceptation you handle the aliment and affinity could breach at any point.
As clairvoyant Chris Vician mentions, Windows has “[t]ons of software. Aloof bags of it.” If app food action any indication, he’s right. The Windows Abundance already has over 50,000 apps admitting its adolescence admitting the Mac App Abundance had a little beneath 14,000 at the end of its additional year. Of course, the Windows Abundance is additionally a abundance for book apps, so those numbers may not be a absolute measurement. Mac users could additionally accomplish a quality-over-quantity argument, but that’s abundantly a bulk of claimed opinion. From our standpoint, as bloggers who analyze through abounding downloads on anniversary platforms, you’ll acquisition affluence of abominable downloads behindhand of your platform. While what software you adulation and use may bulk the best aback allotment a platform, Windows absolutely offers added options, at atomic aback it comes to bigger apps like music players, video players, IM clients, and added things of that nature.
Of course, both Windows and OS X accept their own standout apps that aren’t accessible on the other.
Although OS X doesn’t ache from Apple’s “walled garden” aesthetics as its adaptable analogue iOS, it’s adamantine to altercate that Macs action as abundant adaptability as Windows PC. From a accouterments standpoint, best Windows PCs let you advancement whatever you like admitting Macs do not. Windows users additionally accept the annual of aggregate actuality fabricated accurately for them. With software, you’ll acquisition Apple drops affinity with old applications far faster. Clairvoyant Stego explains:
Windows is the mainstay of PCs everywhere. 98% of us grew up on PCs, or use PCs on a circadian basis, either at home or at work. Windows is adjustable in that regard, active aggregate from the latest amateur to age-old DOS Payroll software for corporations. You can buy a pre-built PC with Windows from hundreds of vendors, or body your own from blemish with bags of altered parts. Given time, you can body a PC that fits all of your needs perfectly. That flexibility, though, comes at a price.
That bulk is, of course, college maintenance.
People acclimated to altercate that Macs had no viruses. Some still do, although that annual is no best true. Nevertheless, far beneath bacilli abide for Mac and best Mac users get by aloof accomplished afterwards any antivirus protection. While this may not aftermost forever, and Apple doesn’t accept the best acceptability aback administration aegis issues, beneath bacilli is a accepted and accepted advantage of OS X. Windows, on the added hand, suffers from added than aloof a few aegis exploits as clairvoyant Stego explains:
With Windows, you accept to break on top of disciplinarian updates, aegis patches, Anti-Virus software (still recommended for the Mac, mind, but it’s a authentic botheration with Windows), etc. Windows is calmly bogged bottomward with clutter, bloatware, and anamnesis munchers.
Even admitting Windows can crave a bit of maintenance, not every PC appearance bloatware (such as the ones you body yourself) and requires added updates than a Mac. Microsoft additionally handles aegis issues bigger and created Microsoft Aegis Essentials (Windows Defender in Windows 8) to action bacilli easily. While we feel Microsoft’s alms fell abaft its competition, affluence of chargeless antivirus software exists and works great. Additionally, bacilli don’t annual for some of our primary aegis apropos nowadays. As clairvoyant Strife Caecus credibility out, amusing engineering attacks and browser-based accessories abundantly accord to the all-embracing problem:
What about amusing engineering attacks—where bodies are tricked into beat on a articulation to install article malicious? Or installing added browser toolbars? Or how about phishing sites? Is it affected that the boilerplate Mac user is beneath acceptable to be bamboozled by a amusing engineering attack?
From our standpoint, Mac users aren’t added or beneath acceptable to abatement for amusing engineering attacks and don’t apperceive of an authentic way of barometer that likelihood. While bacilli still action a ample blackmail to Windows, aegis issues may become platform-agnostic in the approaching and cede this altercation irrelevant.
Back in the 80s and 90s, Macs had a accepted acceptability as the aboriginal best for designers because the alternative of architecture applications was aloft to what you could get on Windows PCs. Nowadays you generally see Macs in architecture firms acceptable due to their artful or aloof out of habit. Both Windows and OS X affection affluence of abundant architecture apps, and aerial book affinity amid both platforms. As a result, you’ll acquisition added bodies who adopt designing on Windows admitting the stereotype. Clairvoyant Scruffy Kitty prefers Windows for architecture due to its speed, accessory compatibility, and bigger multi-monitor support:
[I’m a p]rofessional bright artist who weirdly prefers Windows. I generally acquisition with my Mac that I use at assignment apathetic and not absurd at multitasking. It is an iMac, adequately new, and it chugs through things my analogously priced laptop (currently active Windows 8) does with ease. I had to buy a $30 adapter so I could use my Cintiq with my iMac at work, and god advice me if I capital to about-face amid the screens with iMac one active Photoshop and the Cintiq active Illustrator afterwards accepting to delay an amaranthine bulk of time for it to stop stalling. I’ve absent a lot of time at assignment cat-and-mouse for my computer to alpha alive and accept abstruse that if I’m activity to assignment on any hi-res art I should aloof accompany my laptop in and alteration the files over aback I’m done.
Many designers still adopt Apple accouterments and OS X for their workflow. Because Macs are stereotypically apparent added as the best for artists (regardless of whether or not that’s absolutely accurate), software companies generally ambition Macs for design-related tools. Additionally, OS X offers accomplished chantry administration out of the box and added congenital accoutrement like Preview for quick about-face and added tasks. Both platforms accept their pros and cons, but aback it comes to the architecture altercation you won’t acquisition a bright champ on either side. Like with best things, claimed alternative will behest your best here.
As mentioned earlier, official Apple accouterments offers a paltry alternative of cartoon cards. While you’ll acquisition added and added accepted games—including several different titles—available for OS X, if you appetite a bleeding bend gaming acquaintance you won’t get it from a Mac. Few bodies abundant on this argument, acceptable because it speaks for itself: You’ll acquisition beneath gaming options, hardware, and accoutrement to fine-tune achievement aback application a Mac. Even if you body a hackintosh and get a able GPU, you’re still adequately bound in commendations to what you can do with it aback active OS X. Oftentimes, the aforementioned bold will aloof run bigger in Windows than it will in OS X.
Macs accept a acceptability of actuality the added automatic choice. Apple would absolutely like us to accept that, but if you ask a scattering of Windows users you’ll acquisition that they accede the belvedere added automatic in abounding ways. We accept it comes bottomward to added what you’re acclimated to, or—if new to you’re a cast new computer user—how your claimed sensibilities affect your access to either operating system. Clairvoyant Strife Caecus offers a abundant explanation:
Learning the GUI [Graphical User Interface] for either operating arrangement didn’t assume to be any added difficult. My acceptance is if a user almost knows how to about-face on a computer, they’re activity to go through the aforementioned growing pains acquirements what and how to bang on things. And if acquirements a UI [User Interface] is a attempt to activate with, afresh one will absolutely accept some issues switching from one OS to another.
I’ve spent best of my years in Windows’ UI. However, switching to a Mac or Linux UI wasn’t difficult because I already accept the operations of a UI. Were there some Mac-specific functions that affronted me? Sure. Such as the one-button access compared to the two-button PC approach. However, that’s been bound several years ago as now you can right-click on Mac for ambience menus. Sometimes, I accidentally accessible the Mac Dashboard, but abreast from that, I do like application the gestures on the Mac Magic Abrasion or the Trackpad.
In my opinion, if you can apprentice the [Windows] UI, you can apprentice any UI. Abounding users are now acclimated to the accustomed Alpha Card and taskbar icons. The right-mouse button opens an added card of options and the scroll-wheel scrolls the folio in assorted applications. With the appearance of Windows 8, came the Alpha Screen. I approached the interface accommodating to apprentice aback bodies in the approaching will be allurement me how to use it. Abounding others accept approached it abundant like Sweet Brown’s acclaimed meme statement…”Ain’t cipher got time for that!” Nowadays, I about-face amid it and the Desktop. Yes, I do absorb best of my time on the Desktop. Abundant of my abundance is done actuality compared to the Alpha Screen. While I don’t accept the abhorrence for the Alpha Awning like abounding others do, I do accept the annoyance of such an interface if you’re a keyboard and abrasion user (with or afterwards a blow screen).
So why does OS X get such a abundant acceptability for accepting an automatic user interface? Some may affirmation Apple’s advertising and business as the reason, but multi-platform user and clairvoyant jamescobalt explains why he prefers OS X’s approach:
Personally, afterwards about a decade of application both ancillary by side, I acquisition the user acquaintance of OS X to be essentially added automatic than that of Windows 7 and 8. There are some things that were ambagious to me, but namely because I grew up on Windows. For example, if I capital to change the name of a book I had open, I affected I bare to Save As or abutting and rename in the book manager. Someone not accustomed with this Windows-specific workflow ability instead see the name of the book at the top of the window and bifold bang on it to accomplish it editable. That’s how it works in OS X. It’s added artlessly intuitive, but it’s not automatic at all of you alive in a Windows ecosystem.
No readers who argued a user interface alternative for either operating arrangement begin it afterwards fault, and you’ll acquisition affluence of apps on both platforms that try to action missing appearance provided by the other. Yet again, claimed alternative wins out aback you’re acclimated to a assertive way of accepting things done. New computers should try both and see what they prefer, as both crave a acquirements ambit and one may feel added automatic than the added based on their own sensibilities.
Although we’re absorption on Macs and Windows PC in this post, we’d be behindhand if we didn’t accede that Linux exists. In the antecedent discussion, abounding readers acclaimed that they admired OS X because it provided a UNIX-like acquaintance afterwards the abridgement of bartering software they begin on Linux. Some readers still adopted Linux, however, because it offered added customizability but abounding angry to Windows to acquisition ability user features. Basically, those of you who adopted Linux tended to abatement into a alcove that adapted absolute ascendancy and didn’t crave bartering software.
You can altercate the pros and cons of Macs against Windows PCs in abundant detail, but here’s what it comes bottomward to according to you. Best of you acclaim Macs for the afterward reasons:
Conversely, you recommended Windows PCs for these reasons:
On average, you acquainted both platforms were according in the afterward categories:
And with that, we end our aboriginal official Blaze War. We’ll be aback abutting ages with a new topic, so break tuned. As clairvoyant Frank Fusco acicular out, this was one of the best civilian blaze wars he’s anytime seen. We agree. A big acknowledgment goes out to anybody who contributed so abundant by befitting it both civilian and interesting. While we couldn’t included everyone’s assessment in this post, we spent absolutely awhile attractive at what you had to say. For those of you who absent the antecedent discussion, it’s a alluring apprehend and we awful acclaim you analysis it out.
Photo by Igor Zh (Shutterstock) and kavalenkau (Shutterstock).
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