Mac vs Windows: Breaking Down The Key Differences

9 min read

The Mac vs Windows argument has taken up a lot of our collective effort since the advent of civilization (the 1980s) and destroyed a lot of otherwise good relationships. When it comes to their platform preferences, the majority of computer users are fiercely devoted. However, we believe there are reasonable individuals on both perspectives of the Mac vs PC operating system argument who are unaware of the benefits of the opposing viewpoint—or perhaps you’re simply inquiring.

The decision between a Windows vs Mac computer ultimately comes down to your necessities, tastes, and financial situation. Windows PCs provide more options, flexibility, and cost, while Macs offer a smoother user experience, attractive design, and optimal performance. The current moment is ideal for purchasing a personal computer.

Modern high-end computers possess greater power than before, owing to the two widely popular operating systems, the MacOS from Apple and Microsoft’s Windows. Computer consumers must so decide before making a purchase. Do you choose to purchase one of Apple’s high-end MacBooks or go into the vast depths of Windows computers?

Mac vs Windows

Continue reading and exploring to learn about the Windows vs Mac comparison and the best option you must choose in 2024.

What is Mac?

The brand name Macintosh, at times shortened to Mac, is used to refer to several personal computer lines that Apple Inc. has created, developed, and sold. Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Vista are among the major operating systems that operate on a Mac, making it the unique computer in the world. They may use programs like VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop.

After Windows, macOS is the second greatest-selling operating system for computers. Its UI is simple and easy to use. Moreover, it has amazing features like Dock and Mission Control. Mac users can effortlessly exchange files and data with other Apple devices, such as iPhones, thanks to MacOS’s seamless integration.

Additionally, it contains dependable built-in security protections like Gatekeeper, which guards against viruses and other harmful software. Let’s now talk about Windows in our Mac vs Windows battle.

What is Windows?

Microsoft Inc. offers Windows, an operating system that is also referred to as Microsoft Windows. Since its first introduction in 1985, the majority of computer systems worldwide have used it as their default option. Microsoft has produced many versions of Windows; Windows 11 is the latest version available for Windows-powered devices.

With features like the Taskbar and Start Menu, Microsoft Windows has a GUI or graphical user interface that is modest to use and navigate. Additionally, you can customize it to let users choose between themes and settings. Moreover,  it is compatible with a large variety of devices and applications. In general, a computer running the Windows operating system is the same as a PC.

Additionally, it is an IBM-compatible machine, which indicates that the IBM CPU serves as the foundation for its architecture. Computers may run a variety of operating systems, the most widely used of which is Microsoft Windows. UNIX variations like Linux, FreeBSD, and Oracle are among the others. Now, we will discuss the foremost differences between Windows and Mac and our Mac vs Windows comparison.

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Mac vs Windows: Key Differences!

Mac vs Windows Key Differences!

Here are the key differences between Windows vs Mac that you must know before buying any of these operating systems:

Configuration Expertise

Both operating systems include well-thought-out setup procedures. Although you may use both without logging in to an Apple or Microsoft account, doing so will give you a more enjoyable experience on both. Application roaming, voice assistants, synchronizing machines, messages, and a ton of other niceties are all lost if you don’t sign in.

Microsoft allows you to install the operating system via voice command, and the installation procedure varies depending on whether you are setting up the machine for personal or professional usage. You can now install macOS in three ways: via the Mac, the Apple App Store, the System Settings (known as System Preferences before macOS Sonoma), or by using Safari to download a disk image. Both operating systems automatically detect and install the drivers for standard hardware peripherals like keyboards, mouse, and storage.

User Interface

The user interfaces of Mac vs Windows differ most noticeably from one another. Although many computer users may declare one to be “better” or “greater,” in the end, this comes down to personal taste. The most notable features of Mac OS X’s user interface are Launchpad, an app icon-filled screen that makes it simple to launch the one you like apps, hot corners that can be adjusted for different views, an app icon-filled “dock,” full-screen app mode, and “spaces,” which let you create multiple desktops as you want to reduce clutter.

Also Read: Windows Command Prompt Cheat Sheet: Navigating Windows Like a Pro

Highlights of the Windows 8 user interface include a touch-friendly “metro” layout with “live tiles,” which are rectangular rectangles of various sizes on the display that represent apps and are updated with the most recent information from those apps. Numerous apps that make use of the “metro” interface are full-screen programs similar to those seen on tablets.

Hardware

Windows powers 74% of computers globally, far more than macOS, which powers 15% of them, according to Stat Counter. As a result, users worldwide most widely use Windows as the operating system. Because macOS is only compatible with Apple hardware, users can only use it with MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Minis, and Mac Pros. Conversely, users may use Windows with a vast range of hardware, including unconventional devices such as the Raspberry Pi, Holo Lens, and virtual reality headsets. Therefore, it is the main difference between Mac vs Windows.

Windows is companionable with a broader range of devices, so you may choose one that fits your budget. However, because different manufacturers make different Windows PCs, even ones with comparable characteristics may function differently, making the selection of the best one complex. On the other hand, Apple manufactures its hardware and software, which simplifies the process of selecting the right personal computer. However, some people may find the company’s costs exorbitant.

Also Read: Cloud Based Server Cost: Tips For Budget Friendly Solutions

Security

There’s a perception that Macs are safer than Windows computers. Windows was infected with viruses, malware, and adware in the 1990s and early to mid-2000s. The main cause of these infections is the users installing infected software, opening inappropriate email attachments, or opening other dangerous files they got from the Internet. Due to Macs’ smaller market share, virus producers and distributors concentrated on the Windows operating system.

Things are not quite so unfair these days. Microsoft’s Defender anti-virus software and Windows security have advanced significantly and elevated Windows to a secure operating system. Macs have also experienced security issues of their own, such as the November 2017 discovery of the admin login vulnerability.

Irrespective of whether you are using a Mac or a PC, you should never open files from strangers or any files you receive from the Internet or via emails that look dubious. It’s also advised against using any anti-virus software on Windows outside Microsoft Defender, as such add-ons have their security flaws.

Average Price

Next, the main difference in our Mac vs Windows comparison is its average price. Windows versus Mac For enterprises, the cost of ownership frequently plays a decisive role. Generally speaking, a Mac will cost a lot more than an equivalent Windows computer. Other firms build PCs, but only Apple manufactures Macs. Prices are being driven down in part by the fierce competition in the PC industry. Further reducing expenses, hardware-savvy sysadmins can construct their own PCs.

Nonetheless, a range of pricing ranges are available for both Macs and PCs. The most affordable Mac is $699, whereas low-end PCs are available for less than $200. A medium PC costs $400 to $1,000, whereas a midrange Mac costs $1,299 to $1,999. Professional, high-end Macs may cost up to $1,999 (and perhaps much more for Mac Pro models), whereas entry-level PCs in this category start at about $1,000. 

Choice

The quantity of configurations offered by each brand is arguably the most noticeable distinction between a Mac vs Windows. There are simply five computer lines that Apple now offers: the 13-inch MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Apple mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. At the time of writing, Apple only provides 20 different computer configurations, even if each configuration of these machines is listed separately. This little assortment is a component of the company’s “less is more” marketing strategy rather than an indication of weakness.

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Windows, on the other hand, is available in an extensive range of sizes and forms. Consumer Reports, including well-known brands like Acer, Asus, Dell Corporation, Gateway, HP, Hyundai, Lenovo, and Samsung Electronics, review twelve different Windows-based computer brands. Each brand offers a variety of desktop & laptop model options. Because they are more likely to locate a computer that precisely suits their needs, many buyers view this wide range as a positive.

Applications and Software

Creative workers have always preferred Macs when it comes to software and apps. Numerous programs for graphic design, video editing, and music creation are macOS-optimized. Nonetheless, Windows has advanced significantly in the last several years, offering a vast array of software choices for different sectors. Furthermore, Windows is a preferred option for gamers due to its improved compatibility with gaming programs.

Search

Next, the main difference in our Mac vs Windows comparison is Searching. Windows 10 always has a search bar visible, and when you type in it, a panel containing files, programs, and online results appears. Although my Mac-loving coworkers vouch for Apple’s Spotlight function, we are still not satisfied with it. These search functions may do calculations, display stock prices, weather, and sports scores, and quickly locate Thai eateries in the area.

With Cortana on Windows and Siri on MacOS, you can now search with your spoken word on both operating systems. Following Apple’s lead, Windows has separated voice search from written searches with the May 2019 Update, as well as the Cortana symbol from the search bar.

Availability

Apple is pickier than the PC makers in terms of which third-party retail locations it will allow to carry its goods. The Apple Store, the California-based company’s flagship store, debuted at McLean, Virginia’s Tysons Corner Galleria in 2001. More than 300 new Apple shops have opened in 11 countries and 43 states since then. To access a comprehensive client base, Apple has gone into several on-again, and off-again deals with grocery stores and electronics chains. This is because these outlets are often only created in significant population areas. Nevertheless, a lot of the businesses that sell PCs don’t carry Macs, including Walmart, the biggest retailer in the world. Of course, online retailers also offer Mac and Windows computers for purchase.

Microsoft’s approach is distinct. The corporation didn’t produce hardware for a while; instead, it gave other businesses licenses to use its Windows operating system. The majority of those businesses try to get their goods into as many retailers as they can. Thus, there will likely be several Windows PCs at your neighborhood computer store but not necessarily any Apple computers.

Also Read: What is a Digital Certificate: Everything You Need To Know

Getting Started and Logging In

Getting Started and Logging In

Last, the difference in our Mac vs Windows comparison is getting started and logging in. There are more login methods available for both platforms than just logging in on your desktop. Using a Magic Keyboard or a new MacBook, you can rapidly log in to your Mac employing your fingerprint. Alternatively, if your iPhone and Apple Watch are near enough to the computer, you may use them to log in. However, I’ve found that with a newer MacBook Air, fingerprint login doesn’t always work, so I have to input the computer password more frequently than seems essential.

Windows Hello supports fingerprint readers and mostly has on laptops like the HP Pavilion Plus 14. Windows will accept a PIN instead of a complete password if your hardware isn’t compliant with either of those capabilities. PINs are more handy than full passwords. It’s pretty safe since the PIN is linked to the specific machine and isn’t saved online like a regular account password is. It’s also entirely secure because four wrong PIN entries will temporarily lock you out.

Windows features a Start button and toolbar to access your most used programs, preferences, and documents as soon as the OS boots up. While you may arrange your desktop with icons for commonly used files and applications, you can also pin frequently used applications to your Dock or navigate to the Apps folder in macOS. Though few utilize it, the macOS Launchpad offers an additional method for paging through and launching programs.

Conclusion

So, is Mac better than Windows? The decision is on you. Which way should you choose between “Apple vs Microsoft” operating systems? The selection ultimately comes down to your personal preference and the purpose of the computer. Both “Mac vs Windows” are outstanding operating systems, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Microsoft Windows gives you more customization options for both software and hardware, and it is compatible with more devices. On the other hand, Apple’s hardware products are not as robust or as reasonably priced as Windows PCs, but they do have a more well-tuned user interface that prioritizes ease of use.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q#1 Which Is Better, Windows Or Mac?

About customizing your hardware and software, Windows gives you more flexibility compatible with a broader range of devices. Although Apple’s hardware selection isn’t as extensive or reasonably priced as Windows PCs, you will receive a more carefully calibrated user experience that prioritizes usability.

Q#2 What Can A PC Do That A Mac Cannot?

If a Mac can be upgraded, it can only have its memory and storage drive upgraded. Numerous motherboards, CPUs, storage devices, video cards, graphics processors, audio cards, and memory are available to PC users. This makes it possible for PC users to swiftly and simply construct a bespoke system or enhance an existing one.

Q#3 Do Professionals Use Windows Or Mac?

Certain IT workers choose Macs because of their dependability, user-friendliness, and security features. In contrast, others favor Microsoft Windows or Linux-based systems because of their adaptability, customization possibilities, and hardware and software interoperability.

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