Windows PC vs Mac Comparision : Which one should you buy


  1. O.k. – a few items.

    Marketshare: A quick Google reveals that OS X Marketshare is closer to 15% and not the 7% that you cited in this piece. (

    Under the Space subject, you have incorrectly noted that the MacBook Air caps out at 256GB. This is inaccurate as I just checked and there is an upgrade option of 512GB. You also states “MacBook Pro can hold date up to 750 GB” I think you mean data – not “date”.

    With regards to security. Several of the articles you cited were written by people who amazingly – sell security/anti-virus software. What better way to scare people into buy your stuff? There was an interesting quote in this article where “”We are not sure that all 500K [of the Flashback bots] are Mac users,” said Aleks Gostov, a chief security expert with Kaspersky, in a message on Twitter on Thursday. ‘I have some suspicions that probably bots for Windows [are] also present.'” And then there is this aritcle ––apple-and-microsoft/546.aspx

    Not to say security issues should not be heeded. Whenever I’m asked to setup a system for someone I ALWAYS enable and educate the user with all the basic security features on the Mac and add in a free anti-virus software. Unfortunately Macs have a lot of their basic security features turned off or not enabled to give the user a seamless experience. I do wish Apple would change this function. But I always question the “sky is falling” reports from people selling their wares to keep from getting hit on the head.

    With regard to your Ecosystem subject – I think it falls flat. OS X has benefited greatly from the UNIX underpinnings and rarely a day goes by that I need/wish/didn’t have software available on the Mac. The only time it ever usually is an issue is if I’m doing something very Microsoft specific. While freeware universe on the Mac may not be as crazy-expansive as the MS pool, the quality of the apps typically are much better. Just because you have a wide and deep pool doesn’t mean you have quality as well.

    Finally – It’s amazing how a company that only manages roughly 15% marketshare seems to drag everyone kicking and screaming down the road. Almost everyone from hardware to software is gunning for this company that is managing a fraction of the market. Windows 8 is a direct response to the iOS (and sequential Mac OS X) success. MS is betting the FARM on Windows 8. There are some good qualities to it (it is REALLY fast and responsive), however unless there are some major changes I don’t ever see Windows 8 ever being adopted in the business world – where their bread and butter comes from. MS in my opinion destroyed their UI with Office 2007 and continues to break the rules in ways that are not helpful to the users of their software.

  2. The Macbook Pro with Retina Display also tops out at 16 GB of RAM, not 8 as the article states. As for Mac freeware and shareware: even if you ignore the tons of it in the Mac App Store, it’s NOT hard to find. I’d say the Windows shareware/freeware advantage has almost evaporated.

  3. @uther4: I’m sorry… maybe ’cause I’m old, I’m clueless…

    …but what, exactly, does “LINUX AND MAC WINDOWS SUCKS N” mean?

    And why, by your writing it in all-caps, are you, in effect, YELLING it at us?

    Moreover, please expand and explain what the heck you’re talking about. What is it, exactly that sucks; and why, in your opinion, is it so?

    In the future, please assume the common responsibility imposed on all humans (and which most humans seem to accept) to ensure that you’re understood. It is never the reader’s or listener’s job to understand the writer or speaker. Rather, it is the speaker/writer’s job to ensure that they are understood. Freshman college speech/public-speaking classes teach that.

    If English isn’t your first language, and you’ve not mastered it enough to post here, then please don’t post until you have.

    If you’re typing from a phone or something, and so are trying to use as few actual letters and words as possible, then please know that you’ve gone too far in that endeavor, because we can make neither heads or tails of what you’ve posted, here. Maybe you should try it from a device with an actual keyboard on which you may use both hands… that is, assuming you know how to type.

    Please be more clear, or don’t waste everyone’s time; and, along the way, please observe the rules and conventions of common netiquette… in this case, by not typing in all-caps.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  4. Syed,

    Well, we both know the beautiful thing about statistics – they can be shaped in any way we want to fit the argument we want to make/prove/support (and I say argument loosely – not trying to be, well, argumentative.. :D) Using NetMarketShare is one method of supporting your assertion. I supplied mine. So even if the actual numbers fall somewhere in-between it is still greater than the 7% you sited.

    I assumed (my bad) that you were referencing the SSD 750GB Mac Pro custom version because you were also referencing the 256GB SSD of the MacBook Air. Regardless, when you state “A MacBook Air sports a maximum of 256 GB as storage space” That is somewhat misleading because 256GB is NOT the maximum storage space. Now if you said “A ‘standard configuration’ MacBook Air sports a maximum of 256 GB as storage space” That would be much more accurate.

    It’s either that or I might have glossed over the part where you stated for the whole article that you were only going to reference the “base model” of each system. 🙂

  5. Thanks. I just re-read it and noticed the typos and a few convoluted sentences… I was in a hurry. Sorry. But the point is conveyed, in any case.

    Hope you realize that the “whoa” buzzword thing was just a joke. I only wrote it ’cause that sentence you wrote sounded like some trite thing that some corporate hack would utter in a boring-as-hell meeting. I should have put “[grin]” at the end of it to be more clear.

    You wrote a nice article. I just thought I’d toss-in an oldster’s perspective.

    Keep-up the good work.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  6. Gregg,

    Great write-up. You’ve got about 10 years on me in the computing industry. My first word processor was Word Juggler from Quark on an Apple II series system – although they were teaching AppleWorks in the only computer lab in school, and then it was only a couple of hours a semester they’d get you in there.

    There are some areas of your writing I agree with and others I might challenge, but overall I think you hit the nail on the head. While I’ve been supporting a multi-platform environment for my entire career, it’s always been the “just good enough” mentality of the Windows world that drives me crazy (I bet you could guess what I run at home now). 😀

    I’m with you regarding Windows 8. I think MS is going to get a very serious reality check when it hits the street. There are some plusses to it that I’ve seen – it’s stable, FAST and boots up really quick. But they have managed to continue to dismantle their UI in ways that is just amazing. Even Apple was smart enough to put the drop down menu under the Apple back after people complained about it in the early betas of OS X.

    I think Android could marginalize the iOS if they get some of the fit and finish iOS has – especially since they are doing so well in volume sales over Apple. As always though – I continue to support all platforms. I think for a healthy computing environment to exist there should always be direct competition. Developers (hardware and software) should always be looking over their shoulders, because without that competition the entire ecosystem will stagnate.

    A great example of it is what Apple did to Microsoft with regards to MS’s “tablet” environment. MS had that product out for nearly a decade, with no competition what-so-ever when Apple reimagined it, like they have done in the past and hopefully will continue to do in the future. There are things Apple does now that absolutely drive me crazy. I also have a tough time imagining what their next move might be in reading the tea-leaves of where technology has been and where it might be going.

    A lot of people have joked over the years that Apple is Microsoft’s R&D department, and on many levels that is true. Especially in recent years MS reacts to what Apple is doing – and they don’t do it very well. Regardless – the future is going to be an interesting one.


  7. I could not more strongly agree with much — most, in fact — of what you write, Brian. Thanks for the comments. And, yes, I can tell you’re an iOS user/lover. That’s alright… though I’m a far-left liberal/progressive, I have a few friends who are Republicans, too. [grin] (Just kiddin’ around)

    But seriously…

    Ah! Word Juggler. Know it well.

    I was the Director of Marketing back in the late ’70s for a long-ago-swallowed-up-by-a-giant company then-named “Information Unlimited Software” (IUS). Back in those days, the dominant word processor was Michael Shrayer’s “Electric Pencil.” But at the West Coast Computer Faire in… I think it was ’78 or ’79, we had a big booth and were pushing an extraordinarily-popular little cross-referencing database for the Apple II called “Whatsit,” to which we had exclusive marketing rights.

    Walking around the show I stumbled onto a booth where some guys were demonstrating a word process or the Apple II which was faster and slicker and truly amazing. It was written in FORTH, so it was ostensible and compact; and the software author was already famous in his own right. Rolling Stone Magazine had dubbed him “Cap’n Crunch” because he’s the guy who built the first little “black box” that was able to break dialtone and make free long-distance calls. The nickname came from the fact that he got the idea from a plastic whistle from a box of “Cap’n Crunch” breakfast cereal, with which whistle he was able to break dialtone every now and then (but unreliably); which then led to him building the box. When I found him at the Faire, he was on work release from prison, where he was serving time after having gotten caught using the black box and gaming the system. His name was (and still is) Michael Draper.

    Draper and I sat in a lawyer’s office in San Francisco for a day and a half, hammering-out a contract, through which we acquired the rights to the software and paid him royalties. We rewrote the manual, developed new graphics, repackaged everything, and it then became “EasyWriter” and, later, “EasyWriter II” for the Apple II. For the splash screen graphics, we solicited the help of a fellow named Andy Hertzfeld… who would later become known in Apple circles as the “father” of the first Mac OS.

    When we heard that IBM was creating a PC in its “secret” Hollywood, Florida offices, IUS pitched EasyWriter to it, and it eventually became the word processor in the first official “IBM PC Software Library” that shipped with early IBM PC computers.

    Ah… heady days, those, eh? [grin] Memories.


    Regarding Windows 8: I think it’ll actually do semi-okay on any touch-screen type device in the corporate (not consumer) world, but not on desktop/notebook/laptop (or even netbook) devices. What’s wrong with the Metro interface, in the main, is that it’s keyboarded-and-moused-device-unfriendly. But on a touch-screen, all bets may be kinda’ off.

    Of course, many believe that that’s precisely the point; that in the not-too-distant future, there will BE no desktop/laptop/notebook (or even netbook) type, keyboarded-and-moused devices; that everything will be tablets and smartphones. But the fact that serious users of even tablets find themselves sliding them into some kind of docking station that has a real keyboard is an indicator that the ubiquity of tablets and smartphones for which the futurists now hope may never be fully realized; and that there will always, always, always be desktop/notebook/netbook kinds of moused-and-keyboarded devices. At least that’s my hope; and if it ever becomes not so, I’m hoping to be, by then, either too old to care, or dead. [grin]

    As for Android vs iOS: It’s interesting that you make the “fit and finish” argument in favor of iOS. Whether or not you’re actually right, my point is that it’s a cogent example, right there, of my earlier right-brained, more-artistic iOS user thing… and how iOS users are more open to and interested in the aesthetics of it all. iOS users, I notice, make many of the same “fit and finish” sort of criticisms of Android that they make about Windows. Yet when a phone maker takes Android to the next step and makes it nearly indistringuishable from iOS on an iPhone (as Samsung, for example, has most successfully done), Apple sues ’em. I know it’s a small and stupid thing, but it just entertains me, no end. [grin]

    One of the things that Windows users appreciate about it is the standardization of the interface. If the software author really and truly observes, and develops pursuant to the Windows API, the user’s ability to intuitively navigate the app is enhanced because everything is in the normal places that such things always tend to be found in all Windows software. In other words, basic navigation and user interface elements are just plain Windows; and so the only thing that’s actually custom is the function of the app. That’s the right way to write a Windows app; and it also usually makes said apps smaller because much of the interface and navigation is just pointers to Windows native functionality.

    One of the reasons Windows users hate Java is because those who program in it tend to handle everything — not only function, but also form and interface and navigation — in what they write. The result is often something which only looks like a Windows app in a superficial way, but actually behaves like a vexing almalgam of Java and Linux. Ugh! Such apps also tend to be larger, slower, and sometimes more unstable.

    Many — in fact, most, I dare say — iOS (and I’m speaking, for the moment, of mostly Mac) developers tend to do things more like Linux developers; and so how one navigates around from one Mac app to another can sometimes (though gratefully not terribly often) be very, very different.

    I make this point because the navigational differences from one iOS -based app to the next are more profound on the iPhone and iPad. Though there’s obviously some standardization, how one moves around in iOS-based apps for Apple phones and tables can vary tremendously from app to app.

    Android phones and tablets, on the other hand, tend to be more like Windows in that regard. If you read-up on how to do things in Android in the manner that Google intended when it developed the OS, you’ll find that it made very clear how certain navigational things are supposed to be done in any Android app… so that the hardware “Back” button, and “Menu” button, and “Home” button all do certain things in certain ways; and so that the both appearance and behavior of the little menus which rise up from the bottom of the screen will always be familiar and predictable…

    …precisely the kinds of design goals intended by the Windows API.

    The typical iOS developer’s failure to fully grasp all that (either through ignorance of it, or stubborn resistance to it) is why so many apps ported to Android from iOS are so poorly-written, and often lack features found in the iOS version. And that’s why so many of them also have oddball and counter-intuitive (in the minds of Android users) navigational properties…

    …just exactly the same way that most users feel about most software written in Java. It is, in fact, one of C#’s (in effect, Microsoft’s version of Java) most salient benefits over Java that it somewhat more forces the developer to have more respect for, and to use, the more standardized and intuitive navigational elements of the Windows API in apps developed in that language.

    A desire to adhere more strictly to the Android OS’s native overall navigational behaviors, yet still provide all the exact same features in its Android version as found in its iOS (iphone/iPad) version, is precisely why it took the folks at Instagram so darned long to finally release the Android version of that incredibly popular app. They observed, as I’ve herein pointed-out, that when an iOS-based smartphone/tablet app is merely “ported” over to Android, and doesn’t really respect and use its native interface, both features are lost in translation; and, also — and perhaps more importantly — Android users are confused… nay, irritated.

    So part of my point, then, is that some of what iOS users of iPhones and iPads think of as the aesthetic fit-and-finish shortcomings of the Android OS are very similar to the same kinds of shortcomings they’ve always claimed were present in Windows…

    …but, in both cases, it’s because the OS, itself, provides all the navigational and behavioral elements that a developer needs, so that all s/he really has to do is figure out the functionality of the either Android or Windows app…

    …which is a very different — foreign, even — sort of environment and/or even paradigm than that to which iOS developers are accustomed.

    The result is that iOS users of Macs, a little; and iPhones/iPads, a lot, often find themselves kinda’ having to learn whole new navigational methodologies with each new iOS app they install and start using…

    …while Windows and Android users who download apps written by developers who don’t try and re-invent the wheel, and who just let the OS’s built-in navigational/operational standards rule the day, are able to move from Android or Windows app to Android or Windows app, and more intuitively (and iOS users) know what the press to make whatever happen, without having to learn anything new.

    Such standards have always meant more to the left-brained Windows (and, now, Android) world, and less to the right-brained Mac (and now iOS on iPhone/iPad) world. It’s just always been that way, like it or not.

    The result is that while there’s vastly more creativity (and even beauty) of navigational and behavioral elements across all iOS-based apps than there typically is across all Windows and Android apps…

    …the inherent downside for iOS users is that the lack of navigational and operational standardization can make for a lot of learning and relearning as the user moves from iOS app to iOS app.

    But — and this is important — it’s typically only the standards-loving, left-brained Windows/Android users who are bothered by that. The more free-wheeling, right-brained iOS users, with their more aesthetically-tolerant open-mindedness, actually LIKE the variability; whereas the more left-brained types who cleave to the notion of standards just shake their heads in disbelief about it.

    The new Android version of the beloved iOS app “Flipboard” is a classic example — one of the most extreme, actually — of iOS-minded creative of interface. Heck, the Android version of Flipboard is so radical (by Android standards) that even iOS users find it unrecognizable.

    But Google’s even guilty of that kind of what left-brained standards lovers consider wrong-headedness. Just look at Google Currents. While it’s at least reminiscent of Android-standard navigation and operation (though only loosely so), even it goes off down its own road in that area. It’s not as radical as Flipboard, of course… but I’m just sayin’.

    And so it goes… and maybe even as it should be. The result is that though left-brained, standards-loving Windows/Android users can’t figure out how they do it — what with that crazy, anything-goes both OS and attitude of theirs — iOS users nevertheless make that which is truly beautiful and wonderful and creative…

    …while Windows/Android users do all the accounting. [grin]

    My overarching point, though, circling back to your fit-and-finish point, Brian, is that what iOS users often see as fit-and-finish deficits are, in fact, the natural result of compromise-seeking standardization, and allowing the OS to handle navigation and operation. It’s intentional, and so will never be remedied to a typical iOS lover’s satisfaction.

    As for Apple innovating and Microsoft being an also-ran: I don’t know if I’d go as far as suggesting that Apple is Microsoft’s R&D department…

    …but, surprisingly, perhaps to you, not because Apple hasn’t, indeed, R&Ded its butt off; and/or hasn’t done a perfectly good job of it; or Microsoft hasn’t glommed-on in some way(s). Rather, Apple and Microsoft have very different goals in so many areas that it’s really a flawed premise, just sort of categorically. But I get your point… and it’s a perfectly good one, I might add.

    As far as tea leaves and figuring out what’s next, remember that the only real visionary at Apple was Steve Jobs; and now that he’s gone, it’s unclear just how trailblazing Apple will continue to be. That which has happened at Apple since his death is no indicator, because his fingerprints have been on it all right up to, quite literally, this moment. Starting with the next things that Apple does is where we begin to see that with which Jobs had nothing to do. I, for one, am very interested in seeing how it all plays out.

    I never liked Jobs, frankly, but he was definitely an innovator; and one of the biggest right-brainers of them all, yet he still had his feet firmly planted in the world of real computing, just like any good left-brainer. That’s why his aesthetically-innovative designs were nevertheless functional and useful… though left-brainers would say still fundamentally flawed because their unecessary aesthetics actually impeded some of the usefulness. Right-brained and even left-brained Mac users, though, have always loved his stuff. But those days are now over. It remains to be seen, then, just how well Apple continues to innovate; and whether or not even Apple lovers continue to joke that Apple is Microsoft’s R&D department.

    One thing on which we both agree: The future, is, indeed, going to be an interesting one.

    Relevant new article I just spotted:

    Why Microsoft isn’t building its own Windows phones (yet)
    (PC Magazine)

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  8. Agreed on the statistics point, Brian. Will keep in mind about pre-alerting when presenting standard info. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  9. Jesus, this is the first set of comments that I’ve actually copied and pasted to save for posterity. What an epic set of posts. Exceptional, Brian & Gregg.

  10. Surface Pro = Nnotebook + tablet.
    Macbook Air = notebook
    iPad= tablet.

    When you do this comparison you should notice that Surface will cost a lot less than MB Air+iPad combined because you can use it both way when using a SP3 (one device instead of two).
    A comparison as a notebook only is objectively incorrect.

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