Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

For most people, Windows and macOS aren't much different now. Most of what you do on your home computer every day can be done in a web browser, and popular apps like Spotify, Slack, and Photoshop are cross-platform.

1. Abundance of pre-installed software

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

MacOS has an advantage in terms of software that comes with the OS from the beginning. In addition to Mail, Safari, Maps, Messages, FaceTime, iTunes, etc., it also comes with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote equivalent to Microsoft Office. That said, when it comes to business apps, it still can't match the features and power of Microsoft Office, but I think it's good enough for most people's personal use. And unlike Microsoft Office, this software is completely free.

MacOS also comes with apps such as iMovie for video production and GarageBand for music production, but there is no equivalent in Windows genuine. For macOS, there may be little need to include other apps.

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

Windows comes pre-installed with a lot (too many), but you might think that, among them, the ones that are likely to be used to some extent are Mail and Calendar, People (Contacts), and Skype. Edge, maybe. It also includes simple tools for managing photos, music, and videos, but Windows Movie Maker, which we loved, is no longer included, and Windows Media Player is sadly neglected.

Instead, Windows has a lot of third-party software, many of which is free. However, when compared with what is in the OS itself, Windows pales in comparison to macOS. Microsoft might take comfort in the fact that Word and Excel are better than Apple's Pages and Numbers, and work on both Windows and macOS. However, even the cheapest 1-year license for Microsoft Office is a little over $90, and the permanent license is around $220, which is about the price of a cheap PC.

Summary: macOS has high-quality software built-in, so you may be able to reduce the cost accordingly.

2. Support for games and VR

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

The overwhelming strength of Windows is its support for games and virtual reality. HTC Vive can now be used with macOS Mojave, but Oculus Rift is not yet supported, and Windows Mixed Reality is Windows-only as a matter of course. If you have an Xbox, you can play it in conjunction with Windows 10.

It's not that you can't play games on macOS, but it's far behind what you can do on Windows. Windows has the most popular titles and far more games available on Steam. Many Macs do not have a separate graphics card (although external GPUs are supported), so at least in the initial state, you can't play serious games.

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

On the other hand, the Windows gaming environment is gaining momentum, players are gathering, and gaming accessories, utilities, add-ons, etc. Are just being enhanced. Even if you make your own gaming PC, you will use Windows.

Apple has made moves to ramp up gaming and VR support on macOS, but it's too late and there's little interest from third-party developers and manufacturers. Apple has no choice but to console itself with being the mobile gaming platform.

Summary: Windows is overwhelmingly strong when it comes to games and VR, and it can also be used as a game console, so you may be able to save money. If you buy a Mac when your main purpose is to use your computer for gaming, you're throwing money away.

3. UI/Usability

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

I think this point is the most subjective. Windows has become as sophisticated as macOS now, so it comes down to personal preference. Maybe the one I've used the most is the one I like most.

I use both macOS and Windows every day, but I think Windows is easier to use. But that's probably because I've used Windows for a long time. Windows File Explorer feels more intuitive and functional than macOS's Finder, but maybe that's because I've learned the shortcuts and necessary techniques over time.

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

When it comes to window management, Windows is tighter and macOS is looser, but I'm sure many people would prefer to be familiar with it anyway. Whether it's Siri or Cortana, Dock or Start Menu, there are many differences, but the impact on productivity is essentially negligible.

Apple and Microsoft have absorbed a lot of each other's work over the last five or ten years, with dark mode and so on, so the gap isn't that big anymore. Personally, I like Windows' ability to snap windows to the edge of the screen, and macOS' ability to automatically organize desktop icons, but those are all minor differences.

Summary: UI may not make much sense in comparison anymore. Both Apple and Microsoft have created systems that are attractive and easy to use. But anyway, it should be easier to use the one you are used to.

4. Non-PC ecosystem

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

Like many tech products these days, when buying a computer, it's not so much whether it's a Mac or Windows, but whether it works with the rest of your home. It's not just hardware, it's also about services like iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

Of course, it's possible to connect an iPhone to Windows or a macOS to an Android smartphone, but it's easier to unify everything with Apple or everything else. If you have an Apple TV in your living room, by default Windows will only send sound, not video. If you're using a Mac, you can use AirPlay to send sounds and videos, and screen mirroring is also possible.

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

If you have an iPhone, your calendars, contacts, and notes are all syncing with macOS before you know it. It can also sync with Windows, but it's very complicated to do, and there are a lot of things that need to be cleared. If you want to cross platforms between Apple and Microsoft, the best thing is not to use Microsoft or Apple's services as the main, but to do everything on Google's cloud. You can use Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Photos on both Windows and macOS, and with Windows 10, you can reply to text messages on your Android phone from your computer.

Apple's ecosystem feels tied to expensive hardware from Apple (or a limited number of partners). But with the recent arrival of AirPlay on Sonos and third-party TVs, it looks like Apple is about to roll that wall down a bit. However, there is no doubt that Windows is better able to cooperate with various services. If you're uncomfortable with having all the gadgets in your home from one manufacturer, Windows is for you.

Bottom line: Apple's closed ecosystem is fine and works beautifully together, but it limits you to more expensive hardware. Windows can't connect Apple products as well as Apple products, but it can connect relatively well with other products.

5. Security and privacy

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

When it comes to security and privacy, Apple wins. Apple takes a very proactive approach to user privacy, and it's good for them that most of the malware in the world targets Windows. It seems that Windows is being targeted because it has a large market share. So macOS is probabilistically more secure, but it's not without vulnerabilities.

However, the difference is not that big. Gone are the days when Windows was riddled with viruses without antivirus software. Windows 10 now comes with the anti-malware software Windows Defender built-in, which protects against major threats. Most security issues these days are either using an older version of Windows or having nothing to do with the OS.

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

Both Windows and macOS give users control over which programs can access their microphone, camera, location, and more. However, Windows offers relatively more freedom for users and developers and therefore greater risk. It's fair to say that Windows users need to be more security-savvy than Mac users.

Also, regarding privacy, Apple is trying hard to appeal that it is very important, so I will tell you that it seems that there is such a feeling. But when you compare Apple's and Microsoft's privacy policies, the way data is used isn't that different. It's true that Apple uses more local storage than the cloud, so it may be said that it's relatively safe, but if you care about the difference between Apple and Microsoft in that respect, Google or Facebook. You should consider whether it is okay to use it.

Summary: Apple has a strong commitment to privacy, so it is possible that Macs are less likely to leak photos and data. Windows has improved dramatically in this regard, but it's still safer to be aware of privacy and security concerns than when using a Mac.

6. Cost performance

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

When it comes to cost and performance, Windows has always been and still has the advantage. With macOS, you can't buy a $200 machine. For students, casual users, and price-conscious people, it makes sense to buy a Windows machine. Especially now, most things can be done with a web browser, and even if you don't have spreadsheet software on your computer, you can do it with Google Spreadsheets.

Still, many people are willing to pay Apple's premium price. Also, I haven't done any statistics, but I often hear people say, "Macs last longer," or "I've been using them for years and they don't slow down that much." This point is a problem of the hardware manufacturer that makes Windows machines rather than Windows itself, but there is also the idea that it can be used for a long time, so it can be a little expensive.

Mac or Windows? 6 things to think about when choosing

Speaking of hardware manufacturers, Windows comes in many forms, including laptops, desktops, and 2-in-1 machines. You can choose between a Surface Pro, a Dell XPS, or a Lenovo all-in-one, and the advantage is that you're not limited by the way Apple designs Macs. There are drawbacks to this, but it's true that there are many options.

The bottom line: Windows has more hardware options and a wider range of price points. If you're just looking to buy a cheap machine, Windows will be your go-to choice, regardless of Apple's design.

**Image: Gizmodo

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