According to Statista, as of October 4th, 2021, with an operating system market share of 71.06%, Microsoft’s Windows is still the most dominant operating system worldwide. From its initial release in 1985, Windows have gone through different releases including Windows 95, XP, Windows 7, 8, 10, and now the latest Windows 11 which brought some incremental upgrades over its predecessor for a more smooth user experience. Apple’s macOS on the other hand, with a market share of 15.56% remained a minor player in the desktop OS market. But because of their strong ecosystem and M1 chip domination in the laptop and the desktop market, more and more people are shifting towards their MacBook Pro, Air, and the iMac. Also, Apple’s newly released macOS Monterey is here to enhance its ecosystem even further. And, if you are in the market to buy a new PC, then you are in luck! Because in this article, we are going to talk about the similarities and the differences between Windows and macOS and which one you should choose.
Setup Experience and Logging In
The setup experience on both of the operating systems is quite similar as they both offer clean and polished setup processes. To log in to a Mac, you can use its Touch ID to simply sign in to your computer. This is convenient, but Windows has an upper hand here, as it offers several biometric login options. Windows Hello supports easy Face login, Fingerprint unlocking as well as using a PIN.
Included Apps and Bloatware
Both operating systems offer a good number of built-in apps. But macOS throws in some superior built-in apps like iMovie and GarageBand so you can work right out of the box without purchasing professional software for editing. A downside of using Windows operating systems is that it often comes with a lot of bloatware which depends on the manufacturer. macOS on the other hand does not have this issue.
Third-Party Software Compatibility
The primary concern of most people who are thinking about buying a Mac is software compatibility. And, many think that third-party software is limited on macOS. Which is not true at all. In fact, you will most likely find all the software you need for Windows to be available on a Mac as well.
Both Windows and macOS offer decent customization which anyone will appreciate. You can easily change the desktop backgrounds, screen item sizes, and screensavers. Dark modes are becoming very popular these days as they can reduce eye strain as well as increase battery life, and both of the operating systems offer them.
Search and AI Voice Helpers
The Search Box in Windows can be found on the taskbar which you can also disable if you want. And, on the mac, it is called the Spotlight which can be found on the menu bar. Both can help you quickly find files, apps, and documents on your PC. Both operating systems also let you search with your voice assistant called Cortana on Windows and Siri on macOS. Cortana arrived in Windows a year early before Siri made it to the Mac. Both work in the same way. However, Cortana can log out and shut down the computer, something which many people will really find helpful.
Desktop and Window Management
It can be a bit frustrating to manage the different tabs and windows of apps on macOS. And, Microsoft’s operating system makes it easier to arrange multiple windows on the screen. Moreover, you can run apps side by side and resize their borders with zero learning curve. The Timeline feature in Windows can be very useful for someone who is trying to go back to a document or a webpage that they have forgotten.
File Explorer vs Finder
In recent updates, Windows File Explorer became more and more useful, especially with the Quick Access features that make it easier to find the last file you saved. File Explorer on Windows and Finder on macOS works differently. Finder lets you see all the files in one place but can’t give you access to the main hard drive. Whereas, File Explorer gives you access to all its content, even system files, and program files.
If you are a hardcore gamer, then you should close your eyes and go for Windows. There are several games available for macOS but the problem is Macs typically don’t offer the level of hardware customization that is required for PC gaming. Moreover, Macbooks don’t give you enough GPU power for intensive gaming sessions either. Although iMacs and Mac Pros have plenty of GPU power, they are not optimized for gaming and are mainly meant for office work, content creation, and web or application development. If you have noticed, there are more games on Steam that are compatible with Windows than macOS.
If you are a tech-savvy person, then you should be familiar with the term “Apple Ecosystem”. It is a term that has been popularized by fans which means that Apple-made devices and services are designed to work with one another seamlessly. So, using Mac allows you to take full advantage of using other Apple devices which is impossible in Windows. For instance, you can transfer your photos, videos, and almost anything using AirDrop. You can even join in video calls between devices using FaceTime.
Alternate input like Touch and Pen support was always integrated into Windows 10. In comparison, Apple introduced limited touch capabilities in macOS through the Touch Bar. Windows 10 also offers a Tablet Mode which lets you quickly switch between touch and keyboard for inputs. That way your convertible laptops and tablets can take full advantage of it. Plus, the support for Pen & Stylus on Windows is robust and lets you quickly jot down your ideas and sketch a design.
Security and Stability
When it comes to security, Windows PCs are more prone to virus and malware attacks than Macs. It’s because when a hacker creates a virus, he always creates it for windows users as they have more users. But that doesn’t mean that Macs are immune to virus attacks either, as the recent Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities affect both the operating system. So, using Antivirus on both systems is necessary. But when it comes to stability, macOS clearly has an advantage over Windows. That’s because Apple makes its own hardware and software and doesn’t rely on third-party manufacturers.
All things considered, it is pretty clear that both operating systems have some similarities as well as some differences. Which operating system you choose depends primarily on your preferences. If gaming and flexibility are your main priorities, then Windows operating system is a no-brainer. But, if you are into content creation and Apple’s ecosystem, then you are likely better off with the macOS.