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Mac vs Windows - Everything You Need to Know

Considering the switch between Mac and Windows? You’re not alone. As many as 1 in 4 Windows users plan to jump ship to a Mac in the near future. But Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, publicly admits that Windows 10 remains ten times more popular than Mac OS. Right now the OS war is heating up and you might be tempted to switch teams.

Let me help you figure out the pros and cons so you can make a fully-informed decision. I personally use a 2019 Macbook Pro for work and an HP Omen gaming desktop for fun. I’ve previously built multiple custom windows rigs. If you ask my parents and grandparents, I’m their go-to tech guru, so you can trust me too!

Windows 10 vs Mac OS Catalina

As I write this article, Statista provides a near real-time Windows vs Mac marketshare report: 77.6% of computers run Windows and 13.17% of computers run Mac OS X.  Apple has kicked Windows out of the mobile arena, but Microsoft is maintaining PC dominance.

Most tech writers agree that Windows 10 brought Microsoft toe-to-toe with Apple in the OS software war. But software is just one piece of the puzzle. We’ll go more into hardware in a second.

Brick Wall with Windows 10 Logo

Windows 10 Pros (Software)

  • Compatibility with broad selection of legacy enterprise applications.
  • Strong Office 365, Onedrive and Skype integration.
  • Huge selection of games and enthusiast entertainment.
  • Popular with Fortune 500s – modern workforce needs to be familiar with it.
  • Support for touch-screens and Windows Hello (Facial Recognition Unlock)
  • “Pick Up Where I Left Off” – Easily get back to previously open files and applications with a comprehensive timeline.
  • Far more opportunities for end-users to customize and personalize their experience.

Windows 10 Cons (Software)

  • Huge code overhead to preserve legacy compatibility.
  • Major privacy concerns.
  • More vulnerable to viruses and malware.
  • Can’t easily respond to text messages and phone calls.
  • Windows updates regularly cripple systems.
  • Inconsistent experience based on which computer you purchase.
  • Far more phone calls for tech support from my parents and grandparents (admittedly anecdotal).
  • The Windows app store falls flat.
  • Most system manufacturers install a truckload of bloatware out of the box.

 

Apple Mac Desktop

Mac OS Pros (Software)

  • Slick integration between iOS (iPads and iPhones) and Macs (Easily answer texts and calls, for example.)
  • Relatively less susceptible to viruses (Most viruses are coded for Windows.)
  • Apple’s stellar customer support experience.
  • More energy-efficient OS means that your battery lasts longer. (When comparing, remember to take battery capacity into account.)
  • Killer mouse gestures that always work as expected.
  • Intuitive interface for users unfamiliar with technology.
  • Having software and hardware developed / controlled by the same team delivers a better user-experience.
  • iTunes, iMessage, Facetime and Apple TV+ integration.

Mac OS Cons (Software)

  • If Apple doesn’t want you to do something with your machine, good luck.
  • Lack of touch-screen or pen support.
  • Siri is Artificial Un-Intellgence compared to Alexa, Google and Cortana
  • Very limited virtual reality (VR) support.

Internal Computer Hardware

Mac OS vs Windows Hardware

Mac OS vs Windows laptop and desktop debates are incomplete without an honest look at their drastically different approach to hardware. Apple has a strong track-record of releasing extremely sophisticated and polished hardware, even if the classic Macbook’s style is growing stale. Microsoft has entered the hardware arena, but they’ve maintained their OS licensing deals with an endless list of PC manufacturers. There are clear pros and cons to opening the garden up to everyone, versus walling it off.

Mac OS Hardware Pros and Cons

  • Hands-down the best laptop trackpad experience on planet earth.
  • OS is perfectly married to the hardware.
  • Incredible screen resolution and color-calibration.
  • Less powerful hardware than similarly priced windows PCs.
  • Stuck with shiny, glare-stricken screens.
  • Inconsistent keyboard experience.
  • Macbook Pro Touch Bar is neat but takes getting used to and sacrifices critical function keys.
  • Dongle-gate: You’re going to need an adapter to plug-in something that isn’t USB-C.

Windows OS Hardware Pros and Cons

  • Endless combinations from a variety of hardware manufacturers.
  • Purchase a Windows License Key and build your own system to meet your needs.
  • Serious gaming hardware configurations.
  • XBOX Gaming Controller compatibility.
  • Many PC manufacturers cut corners in ways that aren’t obvious when shopping for a PC. (i.e. cheap components and generic drivers)

Bottom-Line: Mac vs Windows 10

When a friend or family member asks me whether they should save money by purchasing a Windows PC or spend a little more on a Mac, here’s what I tell them:

If you aren’t interested in gaming and you’re looking for a hassle-free user experience, go with a Mac. If you are willing to deal with a few extra tech headaches here and there, you want to game with your friends and you want to use the world’s most popular OS, go with a Windows PC.

Of course, in my case, I use both. I’m a geek and enjoy the latest and greatest tech. I run X-Plane 11 on my windows gaming rig, but spend my workday on my Macbook pro. I love them both for different reasons. Hopefully, this unbiased and open-minded review helps you make your next computer purchase!

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