Windows 8 vs OS X Mountain Lion

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 Windows 8 vs Mountain Lion

The Mac versus PC war has entered a new phase, with Apple and Microsoft readying new operating systems for launch. With Windows 8, Microsoft is ambitiously targeting laptops, desktops and tablets with a single platform (albeit with different versions). Meanwhile, Apple is sticking to laptops and desktops with OS X Mountain Lion, leaving iOS to lead the post-PC charge.

While Windows 8 represents an extreme makeover, Mountain Lion keeps the core OS X environment mostly consistent while borrowing some of the best features of iOS. As of press time, neither Windows 8 (available as a Release Preview) nor Mountain Lion (tested in developer preview) were finished products. But the operating systems are far enough along that we can compare them to see which platform is shaping up to provide the better everyday computing experience.

Editors' Note: This comparison focuses on the laptop experiences both Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion offer. We will compare Windows 8 and Windows RT versus iOS and the iPad separately. 

Interface

Windows 8

Windows 8 sports a panoramic “Metro-style” interface that invites sideways scrolling and a UI that should look familiar to Windows Phone users. Is that a good thing? In many ways, yes. Windows 8’s Start screen uses Live Tiles that really make the OS come alive. For instance, the tile for the Weather app shows you the latest conditions at a glance, while you can personalize the Photo app tile with your favorite picture. OS X Lion doesn’t have anything like this feature.

Windows 8 makes it easy to move app tiles so you can customize the Start screen however you wish. Plus, using the Semantic Zoom feature, you can zoom out to rename groups of tiles and re-position them as you see fit. Scrolling to the right with your mouse (or swiping with your finger) lets you navigate through all of your apps.

Microsoft is also keeping the desktop in Windows 8, which is treated as an app, but provides most of the functionality to which Windows users are accustomed. You can pin desktop programs to the Task bar, use the improved Windows Explorer for finding files and close unresponsive apps via the enhanced Task Manager. Unfortunately, the Metro and desktop interfaces feel disconnected. There are two separate Internet Explorer browsers — one for each mode. There are also two separate settings menus.

In a controversial move, Microsoft removed the traditional Start button with a button that takes you back to the Start screen. This design decision will likely alienate a lot of users. In fact, some hackers have already devised ways to bring the Start button back.

OS X Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion has an interface similar to the original Lion that attempts to blend some of the best aspects of iOS with desktop computing. There’s a dock for quickly accessing your favorite apps, similar to Windows’ Task bar. But you can also see all of your pre-installed apps and items downloaded from the App Store in an iPad-like grid called Launchpad. Just use a four-finger pinch gesture or press the F4 key.

Similar to iOS, when you drag an app icon on top of another in Launchpad, OS X Mountain Lion automatically creates a folder based on the types of apps you’re pairing together. For instance, when we dragged and dropped Email on Notes, Mountain Lion created a folder called Productivity. Going back to the desktop is as simple as spreading four fingers apart on the trackpad.

Mission Control continues to be a hallmark feature of OS X, which provides a single view of everything that’s going on in your notebook. The center area houses your desktop and apps that aren’t running at full screen. If you want to cut down on the clutter, you can add a desktop space just by clicking on the + button in the upper-right corner. You can also drag open windows into newly created Spaces up top.

Between Mission Control and Launchpad, Mountain Lion can be disorienting, but at least the dock remains persistent in every mode.

Early Winner: OS X Mountain Lion

Microsoft scores serious points in this round because Windows 8’s Start screen is more personal and dynamic than Mountain Lion. However, Windows 8 can feel like you’re using two different operating systems. Mountain Lion is more cohesive. 

Gestures and Navigation

Windows 8

Microsoft includes three sets of gestures for Windows 8, one optimized for touch input and the others for touchpad and mouse usage. For this face-off, we’re concentrating on the touchpad and mouse experience.

When using the touchpad, Windows 8 largely mirrors the touch-screen experience. Swiping from the left edge of the pad lets you switch between applications, while swiping from the right displays the Charms menu (with shortcuts for Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings). Swiping from the top or bottom edge shows you the options for a given app. For instance, in Internet Explorer 10 swiping up or down will display the address bar and any open tabs.

When using a mouse, users hover over the top left corner to switch applications; hover in the top right corner and then pull the cursor down to show the Charms menu. Scrolling left and right is handled via scroll bars for now on the mouse, and two fingers on the touchpad.

Windows 8 will support traditional multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom, which engages semantic zoom on the Start screen, as well as rotate. Other gestures will be coming, but a lot of it will depend on what touchpad-makers decide to implement along with their partners.

OS X Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion introduces one nifty new gesture. When you swipe from the right edge of the touchpad, you’ll see the new Notifications Center (more on that later). Otherwise, Apple’s OS shares all of the same gestures with its predecessor. Two- finger scrolling is still smooth, as is pinch-to-zoom and rotate.

But where OS X Mountain Lion pulls ahead is with its myriad multitouch gestures. You can swipe between Web pages in Safari with two fingers, swipe between full-screen apps with three fingers and swipe up with four fingers to launch Mission Control. Pinching with your thumb and three fingers activates Launchpad, while spreading your thumb and three fingers shows the desktop.

All of Lion’s gestures worked reliably on our 13-inch MacBook Air, aided by its glass trackpad.

Early Winner: OS X Mountain Lion

Based on what we know now, Windows 8 will be better than Windows 7 when it comes to touchpad gestures. However, multitasking and activating the Charms menu requires more effort with a mouse. Plus, unless Microsoft changes the way OEMs build their systems, the reliability and accuracy of touchpads will continue to vary wildly from one system to the next. Mountain Lion adds only one new gesture, but Apple was already offering a superior experience.

Multitasking

Windows 8

You’ve never seen Windows multitask like this. With a flick of your finger from the left side of the touchpad, you can switch applications in the blink of an eye. In Metro mode, you can also dock an app to the left or right side of the screen so you can see two programs side by side.

However, to see multiple open apps at once, Windows 8 forces you to swipe from the edge, then go back toward the edge to show a thumbnail view. It’s annoying. Alternatively, you can press Alt + Tab to see a row of thumbnails in the middle of your screen, which works in Desktop or Metro mode.

In Desktop mode, you can switch between programs as you always have by using the task bar.

It’s nice that Windows 8 lets you place apps side by side, but we don’t like that it works differently in Metro and desktop modes. In the former environment, you can dock an app in only two sizes: one-third of the screen or two-thirds. In desktop mode, you can snap two windows next to each other at the same size or re-size them as you wish.

OS X Mountain Lion

Apple’s OS X gives you multiple ways to multitask. In addition to the always-visible dock, you can press Command + Tab to cycle through open apps. Perhaps the easiest way to see everything you’re working (and playing) on at once is the Mission Control, accessible via a four-finger swipe up. This feature gives you a birds-eye view of open apps.

If you have multiple full-screen apps open, you can four-swinger swipe between them. We wish this gesture applied to both windowed and full-screen apps, though. Why segregate them?

Early Winner: OS X Mountain Lion

Having a dock that’s always visible and the ability to see all your open apps with a single gesture trumps the speed with which you can flip through apps on Windows 8. If Microsoft makes the thumbnail view the default one when swiping from the left, we’ll change our minds.

Notifications

Windows 8

As with Windows Phone, Microsoft neatly integrates notifications into its Live Tiles in Windows 8. For example, the Email tile will tell you how many messages you have waiting. It’s obvious, but not in your face.

In addition, Windows 8 employs “toaster notifications” that pop up in the top right corner of your screen for certain applications. Right now, the list is limited to six apps, including Internet Explorer, Messaging and Xbox Live, but developers will also be able to plug into this system.

Windows 8 gives you a fair amount of control over notifications. You can turn them on or off or toggle them for specific apps within the settings menu.

OS X Mountain Lion

Apple takes a different approach to notifications with Mountain Lion. Similar to iOS, the new Notification Center stores all your alerts, from calendar appointments and Game Center invitations to mail and App Store updates, in one list. To reveal your notifications, swipe from the right edge. (You can also click a circle in the top right corner to see your alerts.)

Mountain Lion also displays Notification Banners in the top right corner as they come in, and if there’s more than one, they get vertically stacked.

As for customizing notifications, Mountain Lion gives you even more flexibility than Windows 8. You can choose the alert style, how many alerts you want to show in Notification Center at one time, and whether to play a sound when notifications come in. Mountain Lion even lets you customize the order in which alerts appear based on the app. Finally, a Do Not Disturb switch silences all alerts.

Early Winner: Windows 8

 Despite the fact that Mountain Lion’s Notification Center is very robust and you have a lot of control, we prefer the more subtle approach to alerts in Windows 8. They’re more inviting embedded within the tiles and deliver a more integrated experience.

Search

Windows 8

One of our favorite features of Windows 8 is that you can start searching from the Start screen by typing on the keyboard. Whether you’re looking for an app, a file, a song or a folder, the new Metro-style search feature has you covered. By default, Windows 8 will display app search results first, but in the right column, you can click again on any number of options to drill down. You can pull up results from settings and files with a click, or search within apps, such as Internet Explorer for a Web search, or the Music app for a particular artist.

Windows 8 also lets you search within an app while you have it open. Just open the Charms menu and tap search.

OS X Mountain Lion

The Spotlight functionality in Mountain Lion works the same as it did before. You click the looking glass icon in the top right corner to search. Almost instantly, the OS returns results in multiple categories, including Documents, Folders, Events, Web pages, Music and Web Searches.

Where Lion does Windows 8 one better is that you can preview your search results by hovering over them using the Quick Look feature. Spotlight also lets you drag results right out of this menu and drop them into another app. For instance, you can drag and drop a photo onto the Mail icon in the dock to send a message with that attachment pre-populated.

Early Winner: OS X Mountain Lion

 

 

 

 

 

Windows 8 lets you start searching faster, but Mountain Lion makes it easier to sort through your results without multiple clicks, and you can do more with those results with less effort. 

Cloud


Windows 8

Microsoft’s OS tightly integrates with the cloud, starting with your Microsoft account. Once you’ve set up a Windows 8 PC, your settings, desktop background and connections to services such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are attached to your account. So when you sign in to another PC, your personalized Windows 8 experience travels with you. This includes your contacts, which reside in the People app.

With SkyDrive offering 7GB of free storage, you can easily store files in the cloud and access them from your Windows 8 PC, Windows Phone, Mac or iOS device — or any Web-connected device. Third-party apps will also integrate with SkyDrive through Microsoft’s Live SDK.

OS X Mountain Lion

iCloud plays a critical role in bridging Mountain Lion with iOS, which is evident in such new OS X apps as Notes and Reminders. When you save a note, for example, it will automatically sync with your iPad or iPhone. All you need to do is sign in with your Apple ID to keep everything from mail and contacts to documents up to date across your devices.

iCloud continues to wirelessly sync your media between the desktop and iOS devices, so that if you buy a TV show on your iPad, your Mac can automatically download that episode. Photo Stream lets you automatically upload photos from your iPhone or iPad to the cloud for easy access from your Mac.

Unlike Windows 8 and Windows Phone, Mountain Lion doesn’t automatically set up accounts you’ve already established on your iOS device. And iCloud works only with Apple devices.

Mountain Lion makes productivity more seamless with Documents in the Cloud. When you launch an app such as Pages, you’ll see a Document Library view that lets you toggle between what’s stored in iCloud and what’s on your Mac. This feature will integrate with Apple’s iWork apps, and a developer API will let third-party developers participate, too.

Early Winner: Windows 8

 Microsoft gives you more storage with SkyDrive than you get with iCloud (7GB versus 5GB), you can sync files with non- Microsoft devices and you can easily take your settings with you to another PC.

Sharing


Windows 8

It’s easy to tell how important sharing is to Microsoft in Windows 8 because the option is always just a sideways swipe away. Just tap the Share option in the Charms menu to share a Web article, and Windows 8 will automatically create a thumbnail image and link description to go along with the Web address.

Right now sharing options include Email as well as Twitter and Facebook, social networking options made available through the People app in Windows 8.

OS X Mountain Lion

Apple’s OS has a Share Sheets feature that makes it easy to share items directly from the app you’re using, whether it’s a website in Safari, a document in your library or an item in Preview. The number of sharing options varies based on the app.

Twitter integration enables you to see a thumbnail image of the Web article you’re sending along with a tweet box for adding your message. Facebook will let you share items in a similar way, but this functionality won't be available until the Fall. Facebook integration will also add your friends to contacts and let you post updates from Notification Center. While the Share button isn’t difficult to find, its location varies depending on the app.

Early Winner: Windows 8

We like that the Share option in Microsoft’s OS is always in the same location, and we expect that it will work with more third-party services beyond Facebook and Twitter before too long. That includes LinkedIn, which already integrates with the People app.

App Store and Apps

Windows 8

Windows 8 will continue to run the plethora of desktop apps available today, provided you have a laptop with an X86 processor. Windows 8 for ARM devices, or Windows RT, will only run Metro-style applications. These apps will be available to x86 and ARM-powered devices through the Windows Store and nowhere else. Meanwhile, the Windows Store will list desktop apps but take you somewhere else to download them. Confusing? Yes, it is.

The good news is that the Windows Store sports a clean tile-based interface. Right up front are tiles for the top free, top paid and Spotlight. We like that you can try apps before you buy them. We're not fans of having to scroll to the right to discover other categories though.

Although there’s only 100 of them for now, the apps themselves look great so far and mirror the panoramic Metro-style UI of the Start screen. The USA Today app presents headlines and videos in an elegant grid. We also like the slick Slacker app, which lets you control audio playback while using other apps via a small panel in the upper left corner.

Microsoft is also bundling a bunch of its own apps, including Calendar, Mail, Messaging, People, Photos, Stocks and Weather. The People and Photo apps are particularly compelling because they tie into social networks. Messaging also works with Facebook.

Three newer apps include Sports, Travel and News, which are slickly designed and integrate with Bing to provide the most timely information. Last but not least, the Metro version of the IE 10 browser now supports Flash.

OS X Mountain Lion

Apple reportedly reached the 10,000-app milestone recently for its Mac App Store, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. It’s a cinch to download apps, which automatically show up on your Launchpad — just like iOS.

The interface of the App Store is iTunes-like in that it's a little too dense with info. For instance, Categories, Featured, Purchases, Top Charts and Updates sit in a gray background and are easy to miss. The right rail stacks a lot of valuable info at a glance, however, including Top Free, Top Paid and Top Grossing. Apple also promotes a bunch of specific and useful categories, such as Games Starter Kit, Macs in Class and Staff Favorites.

We like that the apps downloaded from the Mac App Store can run at full screen, which cuts down on distractions. And the quality is quite good, too. Some of our favorites include Evernote, Pixelmator, Twitter and riveting games such as “Quake 4.”

Apple’s own apps add a lot of value, too, such as Messages (which works with iOS devices), Reminders and Notes, all of which sync via iCloud so you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone or iPad.

Early Winner: Draw

When it comes to desktop apps, Microsoft will still rule when Windows 8 debuts. There have always been more apps for Windows than Macs, and they’ll all run on Windows 8 PCs (with X86 chips). However, we expect the Mac App Store on Mountain Lion to have a huge lead over Microsoft’s number of Metro-style apps. Developers will have to hustle to bolster the Windows Store.

Gaming

Windows 8

Just because Windows 8 is leveraging the Xbox brand for Xbox Live Games doesn’t mean that Microsoft automatically runs away with this round. Just look at Xbox Live for Windows Phone. Having this feature on board, though, certainly doesn’t hurt.

You’ll see a Spotlight option promoting new titles, and scrolling to the right displays your collection as well as links to the Windows and Xbox game marketplaces. As with Windows Phone, you have the option of personalizing your own avatar.

Microsoft bundled a couple of games with its preview, including “Pinball FX.” It has rich graphics but expectably ordinary game play. “Hydro Thunder Hurricane” was more action-packed. Full-fledged desktop games such as “Mass Effect 3” will be listed, but not sold, in the Windows Store.

OS X Mountain Lion

Game Center for OS X is very similar to the iOS version, a gaming social network that helps you discover new diversions and friends to enjoy them with, as well as see how you stack up against the competition. Invites from buddies will pop up on your screen if you get challenged.

Since Game Center already has a huge user base of 100 million registered users and counting, and because Games is the most popular category in the Mac App Store, we see a lot of potential for Mountain Lion to help Apple chip away at Windows’ lead in PC gaming. And, unlike Windows 8, you can purchase everything from casual iOS-like titles such as “Angry Birds Space” to such immersive titles as “Grand Theft Auto San Andreas” from the same store. No segregation here.

Early Winner: Windows 8

While it’s annoying that you’ll be able to discover desktop games in the Windows Store but not buy them there, there’s no denying that Windows is still the premiere platform for gaming. And having Xbox Live in the mix will be a nice perk for the casual crowd.

Security

Windows 8

In addition to screening apps for viruses before they’re submitted to the Windows Store, Windows 8 protects against threats in multiple ways. For example, the Trusted Boot feature can prevent malware from starting before the OS does, which should thwart rootkits. SmartScreen technology detects potentially malicious sites and is built into OS to check downloaded files for malware.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview ships with Windows Defender, which now includes the same level of protection as Microsoft Security Essentials. Third-party security apps will work with Windows 8, including software from F-Secure, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Norton, Panda and Trend Micro.

OS X Mountain Lion

Many have questioned Apple’s responsiveness to a recent Flashback Trojan that reportedly infected more than 600,000 OS X users. Apple eventually released a tool to remove the threat, but it came later than many would have liked.

Apple is shoring up its defenses with Gatekeeper, which is designed to protect users from downloading or installing malware. Developers can sign apps with a Developer ID too, which gets identified by the OS to make sure that it’s safe to use. Gatekeeper also gives you a measure of control over this feature, allowing you green-light app downloads from “Anywhere,” “Mac App Store” and “Mac App Store and identified developers.”

Early Winner: Draw

The recent high-profile attacks against OS X have understandably shaken the confidence of security experts and Mac users alike, but that doesn’t change the fact that Windows remains the biggest target because of its huge install base. Nevertheless, Apple has to step up its game and be more proactive in order to deal with a new wave of criminals capitalizing on the increased popularity of Macs.

Outlook

It’s safe to say that Mountain Lion is much less of a risk for Apple than Windows 8 is to Microsoft. While Apple has enhanced its desktop OS with new features without changing the design, Windows 8 represents a dramatic change for PC users.

A lot of these changes are good. We generally like the sleek Metro interface, and the first wave of apps (both from Microsoft and third parties) look great. Windows 8 also looks stronger when it comes to sharing content and how it ties into the cloud. Windows 8 is definitely the more modern feeling of the two operating systems.

On the other hand, Windows 8 has a split personality, and the Metro Start screen may turn off those who would prefer to work in a desktop environment. The lack of a Start button alone might make some think twice about making the jump from Windows 7.

OS X Mountain Lion is strong with its iCloud integration, and lots of people will like that more iPad features will be included with the software, such as Messages, Notes and Notification Center. The OS continues to be a cinch to navigate, thanks to intuitive gestures. And Apple has a big head start in terms of the number of apps available through its store. We also find Mountain Lion easier for multitasking and finding stuff you may be looking for.

At this point, we’d prefer to use Mountain Lion as our desktop OS because it offers a more consistent user experience. It’s not as ambitious, but Windows 8 feels like it’s trying to do too much at times and requires more of a learning curve. We may change our minds once we see the final software, but right now Mountain Lion looks like the better choice.

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Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
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50 comments
  • rory Says:

    guys chill out its only one guys say what he thinks is true and its only about OS's i think som,e of you need to grow up and move out of mommys house and find somthing really to aruge about.

  • bugalugs Says:

    Bruce acts like a Chinese blogger, only that he works for Microsoft rather than the Chinese government.

    Microsoft has gone on a rapacious monopolistic rampage and stolen all its ideas and smashed competition at every turn and tried to destroy innovation. Thy lie, cheat and do whatever they have to.

    They have two products - OS and Office - which make up the vast majority of their profits. Everything they do is to drive the consumer to use those products so it can maintain its monopoly margins. Windows 8 is a good example.

    Microsoft FORCING its users to drop their start button so that Microsoft can FORCE its users to get used to the Microsoft interface so they get used to the dog of OSs they have on their tablets and phones (which are DOGS too). If you use Office 2013 you'll note you can choose "add place" and it only gives you Office 365 and SkyDrive - yep - monopoly practices in full swing!

    To compare market share of Apple to Windows is an idiots errand. Apple is the sole designer and producer of their equipment. There are hundreds of different "brands" that use windows OS. Windows is a race to the bottom while Microsoft creams off the top - how else can desktops drop in price from 3,000 10 years ago to 500 yet Microsoft still charges the same price for their OS to the manufacturers (OEM)?

    Apple's not perfect of course, but Microsoft should be shut down.

  • best tablet 2013 Says:

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?

    I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's
    the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  • ani Says:

    Sachi Darling...

    Did you sold your mind before ?
    what you are saying:

    For those who are programmers, they prefer Linux
    For those who are developer and wanna sell apps they use Mac

    Linux user's are not idiot like you while they are using free OS why they will pay too much for this CRAP!!

    and windows is better for programmer MS have their software development languages i.e .net c# , VB.net ASP and these languages are using world wide to create both web & desktop app.

    apple have't any language to develop web or desktop app. if u are going to say you can use java , shell scripting , c, c++ then you are fully idiot or mind less



    :) _________________________________________ Sachi IDIOT Read This !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! --------------

  • Naterz Says:

    Used Vista for 2.5 years. Never any issues. Not sure why people are still trying to repeat the Tech Blog FUD. Upgrade to SP1. That may help, or stop running it on a crap PC. Vista's system requirements were double to quadruple that of XP depending on which spec you were looking at (wouldn't use it on anything without a late model P4/HT Processor, 2GB RAM needed instead of 256-512, a 7200 RPM drive for Desktop/5400 for Laptop, and decent discrete-level graphics were necessary - even an AGP 8x Radeon 9550 was good enough for Vista, but integrated graphics were sucky for it when it released).

    Vista on a Dual Core Machine with 4GB+ RAM and mid-range or higher ATI/NVideo graphics card from a fast hard drive... No issues, at all.

    The thing I don't like about Windows 8 is that all the new capabilities are shuffled into Metro Mode, and it's half-done. I like how OSX does Sharing. It makes sense. Integrate it into the OS and put the Share Button in most all the Stock Apps. I like how Apple has iLife and iWorks, integrated with iCloud/Sharing Platform and some of those apps either are missing for Windows or clearly superior to what's in Windows.

    Microsoft could have put Photo Gallery back in the OS and integrated it with SkyDrive. Windows Media Player and Media Center could have been integrated with Xbox Music/Video. Internet Explorer needed a Reading Mode, Cloud Tabs, and Share Button integrated with the system. Skype should have been integrated into the Messaging apps, and there needed to be a Desktop messaging app for Skype, Facebook complete with Voice and Video calling integrated into the Desktop.

    Windows 8 still doesn't have a decent Notification System, which really hurts it's Tablet counterparts.

    There's simply no way I'm going to buy a Windows 8 Touch Laptop or Tablet as long as the OS is in the state it's in right now. It's trying to do all things for all people and offering only half of what's needed on both sides. They should have not shoehorned Metro onto the Desktop. They really should have integrated the stock apps back into the OS (like Vista had them) and developed a sharing platform similar to Apple.

    Social updates on Windows 8 come in so slow that the integration is virtually useless aside for Contact information aggregation. It's like having a POP3 email inbox for all your social networks.

    I'm looking into switching to OSX and an iPhone. I like to be connected, and Windows 8 does make me feel sluggish as a communicator. Already tried Windows Phone 7.5. Not ever going to touch that PoS again.

  • Dave Says:

    I find that windows is the worst computer I have ever used. I had recently purchased a windows 7 laptop... within 7-9 months it stopped working... it was pretty much brand new. I had to get it fixed, it works but I don't use it any more... I think windows is crap. I am currently used a Vista and let me tell you... it is a nightmare. it is constantly freezing on me, if I download anything it will tell me that the file has been removed or deleted. I hate it! My brother uses an iMac and it is awesome... whenever I use it it is really fast and it will probably last forever... unlike windows. I am not telling you to not get windows... I have no idea what windows 8 is like so i will not say anything about it... although my sister recently purchased one. it is very complicated (well, at least for me) to use. And yes, Ankur Sharma, windows is good for gaming... but, let me tell you.. my brothers iMac is AMAZING for gaming... the HD quality is breathtaking. Yes, I am an Apple lover... but I can say... I don't have an apple computer. Maybe its because I am to cheap. But it is worth its expensiveness.

  • Ankur Sharma Says:

    Quiet a war goin on here..
    relavance of OS deponds on user.
    for lay man no other option is better than MicroSoft Windows.
    Apple comes with much better look and feel plus a much higher price.
    So it deponds, its not the question who is better and how..
    Its about what product is suitable for whom.

    If u are a gamer : no choice other than windows.
    If u r programmer: Go for LINUX
    If u more into look/feel/brand : Go for Apple
    ...So cheers....:)

  • John Says:

    Get over it, Apple does some things much better than windows & vise a versa,no one is forcing you to use either.
    I like both, but prefer Windows 7, have tried Windows 8 & Mountain Lion, windows 7 does it for me. I have found Mountain Lion & Windows 8 to be much slower than Windows 7 when doing something intensive, it is only a computer after all:>)

  • Christopher Says:

    oh yeah, I'm not hating either. I love my Mac. I loved Snow Leopard 10.6.8....I hate this Mountain Goat Lion Crap...

    sent from my Macbook Pro

  • Christopher Says:

    If I remember Correctly, Apple did well, but Microsoft had to help them quite a bit by designing a lot of their software...like the Mac Paint Program... Microsoft wrote that for them because their core apps sucked and without a mutual agreement between gates and jobs, Apple would have went out of business leaving Microsoft a Monopoly which, by anti trust laws, Microsoft would have to allow another business to compete against them to avoid this.

    in the end, Apple made great hardware, but needed Microsofts development team to write quite a few of their programs for Apple to not go out of business... If you think I am bullsh*ting you, just watch a video where jobs and gates are on tv together, I believe it mentions this very idea on national tv...

  • rafid Says:

    Just to let you guys know that windows created the first operating system and the creator of apple, Steve Jobs created the first mouse so is took both ideas to make a pc. some of you say crap to apple with out using their product and some of you say crap about Microsoft without using their pc. I have an ipod touch and a Lenovo n580 with windows 8. I have tried my cousin's mac and to me it is hard to operate at first but I can navigate through windows 8 with a few problems at first but after 2 days I got used to is. Upside of apple: no virus on mac and ipod mp3 players are great. Downside of apple: hard to navigate and too expensive. Upside of windows 8: fun to use and nice better than all other windows. I like windows 8 but not the other windows. Downside of windows: virus can be found and hard to maintain.
    So try their stuff before you say something.

  • Sethr Says:

    This has probably been said umpteen times throughout this forum, but if you want business and work, you want a mac. Also, Mac has a habit of making itself look flashy and fancy, so if you are into that useless stuff, Mac is great for you. Me? Definitely not. I play computer games all the time, so Mac absolutely sucks when it comes to gaming. not only is mac's graphic card sub-par, you can't even change it! Furthermore, it makes me quite angry when I log onto steam just to see that I can't play Blacklight Retribution, or Maplestory, or Torchlight 2, or Terraria, or many other games. What's that? just dual boot? who wants to pay 900+ dollars (macs are expensive) just to do something you could do even BETTER on a Windows computer? I certainly don't and unless you have money to blindly throw about, then neither do you. One more thing: this is a biased opinion, but most kids around my age who carry around their iphone 5 and such are arrogant, stupid, and don't know how to manage money wisely. I'm getting an android phone, android tablet, and when I can, an AWESOME windows computer.

  • Dan from Online9to5 Says:

    I've been using Windows 8 for a couple of weeks now and I must say, it ain't bad at all. Not yet at the level of polish in OSX, but definitely on the right track.

  • Dave Johnson Says:

    What I don't like about Apple is I can't use their OS with the hardware of my choice. I am forced to use theirs, and theirs isn't as good as any amateur builder can build himself. As for Windows 8, it's great for tablet-based entertainment, but that's not what I want, and I expect not what business users and professionals, worldwide, want. So I expect the great majority of them will reject it and stay with Windows 7, as I plan to do.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I really like learning what "new" features Windows users are getting that my Mac's had forever. Microsoft's days of playing catch-up are certainly coming to a middle.

  • Ken Says:

    I've been using both windows and Mac computers for over 26 years (mac) and 17 years (Win). Both have their pros and cons. Coming from an architectural design background, OSX works best for me. It is more intuitive to work with IMHO and the work flow just, works. Windows just took more thought processes to work with and after a whole day, I it made me brain tired.

    I was around at the time of Apple's dominance, and through the rise of Microsoft. Apple did use the Xerox PARC development GUI (Xerox rejected it btw) after Xerox agreed to stock in exchange for 3 controlled visits to the PARC centre. Xerox tried to sue after Mac OS was released, but failed due to the fact they were paid for the exchange. â…” of the PARC engineers went to Apple. Mac OS was vastly different from the PARC GUI.

    Microsoft were writing apps for Apple when they were given the Mac OS to develop apps for the Macintosh. MS did use the Apple GUI as the foundation for windows and released it licensed to IBM computers, then others afterwards. It was the boldest move to place MS in more computers over night. It was about numbers and dollars nothing else. Microsoft haven't changed that business model one bit. It's now reflecting in their profits. When Steve Jobs was asked what was wrong with Microsoft, he said, "They have no taste for style". He couldn't have put it more succinctly.

  • Richard Says:

    I would like to add to the discussion about Apple selling just their OS to 3rd parties for use-as-they-please-in-any-crappy-box-they-please. They tried that under someone other than Jobs and it backfired badly. Most of those 3rd party companies didn't use it correctly or successfully — and so after a jumbled market, and people blaming Apple for HW problems that were NOT theirs, they finally saw the font on the screen, and decided to "undo" the idea. When Jobs returned to the helm, the line and selection of models was transformed into a more compact, sensible array. Gone were the countless options, silly micro-steps in RAM, etc. Since that wonderful time when busin ess sensibility was restored to Apple they have grown in ways well documented. If they are not as good as some of you surmise, then why are they the most copied of all mnaufacturers?? Don't you remember those lame attempts by the Koreans to copy the iMac?? Everything that Apple has introduced has been copied in one way or another. Who ever heard of an "i"-anything until the iMac??? Now even CARS are labeled that way!! But, enough talk! Use what you want to use. Despite our present Congress, it's still a free country. Keep it that way and VOTE!

  • Richard Says:

    Dear Bruce: That was quite a rant! Are you just jealous of the fact that Apples are around, and for very good reasons. I myself have used them for about 15 years and have never had a failure of the system's critical areas. (I once had a defective out-of-the-box DVD drive, which was replaced the same day by my local AppleCare dealer @ N/C.) And please do not misquote known areas of history in computers. Microsoft and Apple have gotten over most of their disputes, or haven't you stopped ranting to notice? Those "arguments" are so late-1980's it's not even funny anymore! There's an old saying about live and let live — try it, you'll like it! (maybe) And by the way, Apple is worth about $700 a share today... What was MS last??

  • Greg Says:

    And if your still not happy with the mac convert it to a windows with crosshair or wine...um something.


    happy to help you

  • Greg Says:

    Hey guys mac isint supposed to be a huge open market. It uses it to its advantige of not crashing because of a bad page, good for work and great to store and be orginized, and mac osxes are there to be a computer not every single divise that was ever made so think of WHY the market is only 10%.

  • brenda Says:

    i GOT SO excited I hit the wrong button..
    that is the ONLY reason most people do not own MAC so please, before you start ranting and raving about something you clearly know nothing about..
    well..
    your just wrong buddy wrong.

  • brenda Says:

    OMGosh I just had to reply to than Rant from Bruce: DUDE COME ON DUDE..have you ever owned a mac? Seriously? Answer me that please.........................I just want to know if you have EVER owned an IMAC, in particular an IMAc, because if you had, you would not be ranting about them. MAC is superior IN MY OPINION and from a former 20 years windows user................WINDOWS is just plain terrible...I mean it!
    However..
    because MOST of the millions of people CANNOT AFFORD to buy an imac that is the

  • Daniek Says:

    @Sachi

    wtf how can u be racist to an OS!?

  • SlimOne Says:

    The reality is that there is no perfect OS on the market. All operating systems have pros and cons. Its all a matter of personal preference. In my opinion Apple has the advantage when merging software and hardware. Apple OS is used on Apple systems. Windows OS is used on Dell, Sony, Gateway, IBM, and all other manufacturers systems who don't even use the same standards in quality.

    Either you will buy a Toyota or a BMW. Yes, Toyota sells more vehicles but BMW makes a vehicle that delivers a much better driving experience. Thats the real difference between Microsoft and Apple. Numbers don't determine which is better. The consumers determine which they prefer and not all consumers choose them for the same reasons. When a person buys a Toyota that doesn't necessarily mean they wouldn't prefer a BMW if they had the resources to purchase and maintain one.

  • IndyTech Says:

    Um, dude, apple stole the GUI concept from Xerox, and then sued them over it. Your the one that needs a history lesson! I love how people paint Microsoft as the big ugly monster, when Apple has always been just as bad.


    "Andrew Says:
    June 24th, 2012 at 5:48 pm
    Bruce, do you like history? Well, if you don’t I’ll give you some… Apple created the first commercially successful GUI for a computer, and what did Window’s have back then? A command line interface. Who copied Apple? Microsoft. If anyone taught anyone how to design an operation system, it was Apple teaching Microsoft… :P "

  • Jack Jorr Says:

    OS X is Since March 24, 2001 whereas windows are since November 20, 1985 this clearly proves that why the market of os x is less whereas person thing that windows are good that's whay they have good market

  • Nami K Says:

    I have only recently started reading tech reviews on this site and I find them really clear and concise.
    I don't think bias is too much of an issue in this article: facts were stated, and conclusions drawn upon them.
    Also, even if I didn't agree with the conclusions made, walking readers through the different criteria of how the OS were assessed gave me the information I needed to the OS myself (particularly based to my personal needs and preferences).

    If I were to point to one specific aspect of this article that should be improved would be the inclusion of pictures. I could tell that the pictures related well to what was being said about each OS in the respective criteria, but I didn't understnad terms like "Charms Menu" or "Metro Style", for example. I suspect I'm the only one that isn't fluent in BOTH Mac and Windows 8 terminology, so it may be worth considering the inclusion of "picture explanations" along with the pictures you attach to articles.

    That being said, it was a well written review, and it's really helped me better understand the pros and cons of each OS. Thanks!

  • Raghav Says:

    I am neither a Microsoft nor Apple's fan but one fact I would like to bring to your notice is that Microsoft funded Apple to survive. And we all should respect both the companies.

  • shreyash nigam Says:

    @jerry

    i am an apple fanboy just like you but you said that microsoft completely copied windows from osx but thats wrong. ok i agree that most of the features in a windows wouldn't be present if it wasn't for apple but they did not completely copied their os there were some features which apple took from windows customized it and put it on their os so microsoft couldn't sue them. thats all i wanted to say

  • shreyash nigam Says:

    seriously bruce you need to take you're medication.

    and as for the article a great effort, i thought i'd never say this but win8 looks as good as osx. i also have a doubt about the home screen doesn't look much customizable so does that microsoft in order to make their os look better are sacrificing customization. well, i'll be damned. and i would just like to tell you people that there is really no difference between a consumer preview and real version the just add some minor things with are not even noticeable to some people.

  • K Says:

    "If Apple really wishes to own the market for it’s iOS then sell the SW and not force us to abandon easy to build and update HW (IBM Compatible??) and BUY Apple HW. Is it OK if I ask that question without being a turncoat for either OS? Question everything, maybe it is really Big Blue that the Big Apple is afraid of, need I say more?"

    If it did that it would start suffering from the same issues that Windows does (incompatiblity, crashes, dead machines because of Vendor neglect and cut corners, etc...)

    The only reason Apple appears better is because it's just like it's apps. It's a complete package. There is less room for hardware/driver conflicts and there is no risk of an OSX machine from any ol' Vendor that made a crappy machine with faulty chipsets so that they could sell it to you with 'OSX' smacked all over it. Bad hardware and craftmanship from the Vendor wars probably has more to do with Windows FAIL than Windows itself.

    And I don't really blame Apple for wanting to avoid a similar scenario.

  • dennis Says:

    Hey Bruce - how do you explain this:
    Microsoft's Q4 earnings are out, and despite increased revenue from last quarter, Microsoft has posted their first ever loss in the company's 26-year history - $492M to be precise - the company earned just $192M in operating income before taxes this quarter.

    Apple reap 8.8 billion dollars profit in the in the same period and is not the second most valuable corp behind Exon.

  • Richard Amedee Says:

    The only thing I find missing from this: Only discusses OSs with the only option for a MS Windows user is to dump their HW in the trash and go buy Apple products from that day forward. Why doesn't a smart (no pun intended) company like Apple sell just their iOS that can be ported to any PC HW regardless of who makes it? Remember why IBM almost died as a company? They showed their PRIDE and ARROGANCE by attempting to force their HW on anyone who wanted their OS. Almost sounds like history repeating itself doesn't it? (Maybe it will bring different results this time, Duh). By the way, I seem to remember that the original MS 16 bit OS was contracted by IBM to run only on IBM HW. IBM then came up with the original idea (borrowed MS GUI look only) of a Windows type OS called IBM OS/2. Where is it now, may be a better Windows Enviro than either iOS or MS Windows 8.

    If Apple really wishes to own the market for it's iOS then sell the SW and not force us to abandon easy to build and update HW (IBM Compatible??) and BUY Apple HW. Is it OK if I ask that question without being a turncoat for either OS? Question everything, maybe it is really Big Blue that the Big Apple is afraid of, need I say more?

  • Jerry Says:

    Jerry Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    July 29th, 2012 at 6:40 pm
    You Windows user need to get your facts right. First Apple did not copy from Xerox. Apple granted xerox to buy their shares in exchange of viewing their GUI. Don’t forget Xerox engineers show the GUI and the mouse to their board of directors and they all laugh at their ideas. When Steve Jobs saw what Xerox had he asked one of their engineers if they want to work for Apple. The rest is history. The problem with Windows users that you don’t know your own history. It was Apple was first to introduce a first personal computer for consumers in 1976. It was Apple in 1983 Lisa computer to have GUI. It was Apple was first to have text to speech and fonts in 1984, The Macintosh. It Too Microsft 12 years to catch up to Apple with the GUI. It took Microsft again 6 years to catch up OS X Cheetah, with Windows Vista. Why dont you Windows user look up the history of OS X and look at all the features that Apple Had before Microsft copy them. Look at Microsoft retail store, all copied from Apple, from the desk, Genius bar and the clothes, can’t believe it they copy their clothes, t shirt, jeans and sneakers. All I can say is Remond start your photocopiers.

  • Jerry Says:

    You Windows user need to get your facts right. First Apple did not copy from Xerox. Apple granted xerox to buy their shares in exchange of viewing their GUI. Don't forget Xerox engineers show the GUI and the mouse to their board of directors and they all laugh at their ideas. When Steve Jobs saw what Xerox had he asked one of their engineers if they want to work for Apple. The rest is history. The problem with Windows users that you don't know your own history. It was Apple was first to introduce a computer for consumers. It was Apple in 1983 Lisa computer to have GUI. It was Apple was first to have text to speech and fonts in 1984, The Macintosh. It Too Microsft 12 years to catch up to Apple with the GUI. It took Microsft again 6 years to catch up OS X Cheetah, with Windows Vista. Why dont you Windows user look up the history of OS X and look at all the features that Apple Had before Microsft copy them. Look at Microsoft retail store, all copied from Apple, from the desk, Genius bar and the clothes, can't believe it they copy their clothes, t shirt, jeans and sneakers. All I can say is Remond start your photocopiers.

  • max Says:

    craig you are stupid first take some history classes and then reply here.....................Windows is FULL OF VIRUS and totally pirated and it still uses that stupid system of serial numbers and serial keys..... they are easy to hack in even a 12 year old child can hack windows software ............. for those who curse apple---- if you people can't afford mac then don't buy it and let it be,,, why are you cursing it just because you can't afford apple hardware and software!!!!!!

  • george Says:

    I hate windows...3 years ago my wife bought a mac...It Is STIll woorking like new. I bought a windows computer. 8 months later it died.. Bought another windowsm.. It died..bought anothe r windows computer..it runs likew crap

  • Tom Says:

    Craig said: "GUI was first implemented in the Xerox STAR System. Apple stole it."

    Go and read the (dated) article at

    http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=On_Xerox,_Apple_and_Progress.txt&topic=Software%20Design&sortOrder=Sort%20by%20Date

    Much, much more informative than this waste-of-a-comment 'Apple stole it' tripe.

  • Chiiba Says:

    Actually, that was Pro (sorry)

  • Chiiba Says:

    Craig: Xerox GAVE it to them along with the mouse. Xerox still to this day, in remarkably dumb fashion, gives up patents. Just like HP could have owned all of this, but they thought personal computers were a silly idea. Ooops. Apple took the idea from Xerox yes, and I don't know if any code was shared, but even if Xerox built the core functionality, Apple designed and built the real desktop. Before Microsoft.

    Kaz knows what he's talking about in regards to the competition between Apple and Microsoft. If not for MS, the Apple products I recently started purchasing wouldn't be just so darn good!

  • Kimball Says:

    Well you see I am not very sure if I want Windows or OSX. I must say the best OS is the one that works best for you! Thats the problem I find I have. I want some windows functionality, and other times I want OSX!

    Why windows? because of the greater selection of computer parts at a lower price/customization. I do want a Geforce GTX M560 or whatever the hell they call high end mobile graphics. I want to run HD video, and high end games, and high end applications easily. Windows has a vast amount of applications for development/power user.

    Why OSX? Reliability, and ease of use. I absolutely love my families IMac 2010 it works fantastic 24/7 with limited hiccups. It does not get vastly slower over time without maintenance. PLUS the warrantee is incredible.

    I love, and hate both operating systems.
    Oh, and Linux is personally best for me as a file sharing system.
    What matters in an OS is how you use it, and the purpose it fulfills.

    Also Xerox invested in Apple.
    "Jobs was so struck by the power inherent to the PARC that he offered Xerox the opportunity to invest a million dollars in Apple computer if the company would agree to let him and his Lisa team study Alto. Xerox felt that it had nothing to lose. "
    http://www.vectronicsappleworld.com/macintosh/creation.html

    Which also explains why we use a computer mouse.

    Just because someone else came up with the idea, and another company used it; does not mean they stole it. It could be they had a mutual agreement.

  • Ken Says:

    GUI was first implemented in the Xerox Star System. It was a good idea, but not ready for prime time. Apple bought it. Then they researched into human factors, revamped it, implemented it, and made it a consumer product. A couple years later, Microsoft copied it. Apple sued, but the judge ruled that Apple's contract with Microsoft [inadvertently] licensed Microsoft to copy it in perpetuity.

    The reviewer compares Skydrive and iCloud incorrectly. Yes, Skydrive includes 7GB free and iCloud only includes 5GB free, but that is only part of the story. Any purchases from iTunes are stored in iCloud and can be streamed from there. For free. In my case, iCloud gives me 1.5 TB of storage for free, and I didn't even have to upload anything.

  • Craig Says:

    GUI was first implemented in the Xerox STAR System. Apple stole it.

  • Jah Says:

    Stupid article.
    Jah bless!

  • Bah Durr Says:

    People who care about which Os is better are just dumb. I use Apple products because I happen to think that the Os works better with the hardware. But really, who the hell cares. Buy a computer you can afford, and use it. Stop being no life whiney babies. Please. I hate the time I am spending even writing this, but I'm at work so it's cool. Shut up and get hobbies that aren't bitching about stuff. Durr.

  • Kaz Hanigan Says:

    Poor Bruce definitely has opinions, but needs to get his facts straight before expressing emotional decisions in writing. With age comes wisdom. Perhaps a history lesson would help. BACK THEN: Microsoft was still relying on a text-mode interface, while in 1984 the Apple Macintosh set the standard for GUI's (Graphical User Interfaces). The Macs GUI offered features that only came to Windows with version 2.0 and then NOT FULLY until Windows 95. Hmmm…… Microsoft Windows appeared to largely imitate a lot of the key features of the Mac Operating system. AND THE NOW: Is Microsoft still riding the coattails of Apple's success once again? In my opinion, Microsoft is still more of a “competitive response” type of company, rather than the “innovator” like Apple has always been. Bigger is not always better. But then some still believe that those with more corporate profits can be translated into saying that it equals a superior product for the consumer.

  • K Says:

    I thought Amiga created the first commercially successful GUI for a computer. I'll have to refresh my memory on that one.

    Anyways, I use both, like both, and mostly get a good laugh at the people that freak out over the articles that attempt to discuss both.

    As for Sharing and the Cloud, I think I like Macs way of going about it better. Maybe it was just the CP of Win8, but I recall having to log into my PC with my Microsoft account rather than the local one I'd prefer to use on my network in order to see the real advantages of linking up with SkyDrive. On the other hand, I got onto SkyDrive when they were offereing 25G of space as opposed to the measely 5G that Apple offers. Is MS not offering the free 25G upgrade anymore? The article only mentioned 7G.

  • Pro Says:

    Apple elitists can step down from the high horse about copying this or that. Most successful businesses get their ideas from somewhere else, usually another business.

    One poster stated how Apple had the first commercial GUI. Guess what, Apple got it from Xerox. Gasp, choke! What? You mean Steve Jobs wasn't a martian that created the microchip?? Oh no!!!

    Apple makes good products. They tend to be more stable than MS because everything that goes into an Apple PC is created by Apple.

    MS pushes the hardware & software market forward. MS products are good but usually not as stable as Apple because you have a ton of companies that all make parts for a MS pc. But, all of that competition is what pushes the computer age forward. Apple can never stay up with the latest graphics or the top memory or the top hd drives etc.. etc..

    Apple came out of this shell some by having Intel chips. But it's still just an Apple.

  • kennyrosenyc Says:

    Dumbest article ever. You have no idea of what you're talking about. When did we all turn into 15 year old girls? 'My tablet is better than your tablet!'

  • Anthony Says:

    MCROSOFT ALL THE WAY! APPLE SUCKS!