There has been a never-ending debate on whether the Mac is more favorable than the Windows PC, and this continues till date without a clear winner. There are a few areas where MacBooks excel in and there are areas where the Windows PC trumps the competition. Each of them have their own fan base - but Microsoft Windows has a larger one, commanding 90% of market share in the world, whereas Apple’s Mac OS stands up for 7% of the market share.
There is a huge difference between the stats here, presenting Windows as the clear winner; but it was Apple that produced the first successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface (GUI) on 24th January 1984. Microsoft followed suit and introduced the Windows OS in November 1985. Both have come a long way, with Microsoft having just announced the Surface tablet and Apple, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
Follow us here as we lay down a few important traits where both these brands differ.
I am not going to compare the two on a feature-by-feature basis, but instead will try to present a fair and objective view on a macro-level so that it guides prospective users on whether to go for a Windows machine or a Mac.
MacBooks are usually a bit costlier when compared to their Windows counterparts. The least possible price at which a MacBook can be purchased is US $ 999 (11-inch MacBook Air) while you can get a Windows-running Dell Vostro 1440 for US $499 only. The new MacBook Pro with Retina display will make a huge hole in your pocket worth US $2199 and so will the Sony VAIO Z Series (VPCZ21BGX/B) do [US $2999].
The Macbook Pro sports 4-8 GB of RAM storage on its standard versions while the Macbook Air has universal memory storage of 4 GB across all versions. On the other hand, basic Windows laptops start off with 2-4 GB RAM (standard versions) and end up as high as 16 GB RAM (IBM ThinkPads).
Windows-running computers are usually associated with more storage space when compared to a Mac-running machine. A MacBook Air sports a maximum of 256 GB as storage space while the MacBook Pro can hold date up to 750 GB which is more than enough for a user with average needs. Priced at US $1899, the Samsung Series 7 Gamer running the Windows 7 OS comes with a storage space of . . wait – 1.5TB !
Security was one prime area where the MacBooks and Windows PC were differentiated. Users of the former, used to scoff at the problems of the latter. Malware/Viruses/Trojans found their way to Windows PCs, due to its immense popularity and the huge user base – making it a more attractive proposition to attack.
Apple should have had learnt more about the security issues as they plagued the Windows machines but it didn’t. It was basking in glory after the iPhone/iPad success when suddenly more than 600,000 computers running Apple’s Macintosh OS were struck by the Flashback Trojan! The increasing popularity of the Macintosh platform meant attention for hackers/malware writers. Microsoft too has had its share of security problems including the Welchia and Conficker botnet which infected millions of computers including government, business and home computers in over 200 countries. Kasperky’s latest evaluation stating that Apple is 10 years behind Microsoft on security matters indicates that folks at Cupertino have busy days ahead. In fact Apple is also recommending that Mac users use an antivirus now.
A Mac user can install the Windows OS on his machine officially with native support while a Windows user cannot install the Mac OS natively (though in this world of endless possibilities, there are always tweaks, third-party software assists etc.).
Windows user benefit from a wide ecosystem which boasts of a range of software -with so many of them are available as freeware. Compared to this, a Mac user may have lesser options and lesser freeware to choose from. He will therefore have to be prepared for paying to use the many services and software, that a Windows user may take for granted as being available for free.
Apple devices are beautifully designed and are sure to make heads turn; but the same cannot be necessarily said about Windows computers – although some Sony and Samsung models now look classy too. This factor however may soon change with the launch of Surface tablets.
You can chose your hardware configuration as well as upgrade or change any components any time you wish. That may not be the case with a Mac. Moreover you will be able to get support and repair services for a Windows computer freely, at a more reasonable cost – unlike for a Mac, where you may have to visit an authorised personnel only – and the costs may not be exactly cheap.
Kelly Ford, the marketing and content head for Hunch, conducted an extremely helpful report that talks about “Mac people & PC people”.
The key findings in the report were as follows:
- Mac People are more likely to see the existing world in a light of “sameness” and thus express a desire to be perceived as different and unique. This is consistently reflected in their aesthetic choices such as bold colors, “retro” designs, one-of-a-kind clothing and highly stylized art.
- PC People are more likely to see the world as “different enough already” and appreciate “being in tune with those around them.” This is reflected in their subtler, “mainstream modern” (neither retro nor extremely contemporary) design choices and their practical choices in clothing, footwear, and cars that favor getting the job done rather than making an overt design statement.
Personal computers running the Macintosh OS are usually seen in art studios, design theatres, sound-mixing rooms and stock markets while Windows running PCs are primarily visible at business offices, education sector, legal dept. offices etc.
Though having a minority stake in the market share, Apple’s Mac OS has managed to hold up its chin and compete against Microsoft’s Windows Operating System. But with Windows 8, Microsoft is aiming to strengthen its position as the leading tablet OS provider, which goes to Apple’s iOS right now.
Competition and competitive products will only produce the best from the better and is a win-win situation for both the consumers and the company itself.
Your thoughts, views, observations, comments would be most welcome!