Microsoft Windows vs Apple OS X

There have been some ads put out by Microsoft recently that emphasize that Macs cost more than Windows machines, for equivalent hardware. This may in fact be true to a certain extent, though not nearly as much as Microsoft would want you to think. They made some highly selective choices in their ‘report‘.

Also, their numbers don’t take the operating system and bundled software into account. Even if it is true that Macs cost more, you are getting a lot more for your money. Nor do they mention that, since Apple provides both OS X and the hardware it runs on, the system integration is much better than on Windows machines – everything works very well together, since every piece of hardware was tested with the operating system.

I switched to the Mac about the time Microsoft came out with Vista. I do use XP and Vista on several other machines, daily, and have since the advent of Windows; so I have the background to have a valid opinion.

I’m not going back to Windows as long as OS X, and the software that runs on it, continues to be of the quality it is. There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest thing for me personally is probably that OS X is so much more efficient to use, from my perspective. I can do more, in less time, and with lots less pain, on OS X than I can on any version of Windows to date.

I’ll bet my blood pressure dropped ten points when I switched to the Mac.

Furthermore, I’m still using the 17″ MacBook Pro I bought 28 months ago – and I’m still happy with it. It still feels as fast as the day I bought it – it hasn’t slowed down from sludge in the system as happens with Windows, even though I test a lot of software. So I bought a pricier computer – but I’m keeping it longer and enjoying it more.

Shucks, the difference is so great that I find myself writing articles like this one. Amazing.

-Popgun

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31 Responses to Microsoft Windows vs Apple OS X

  1. mike hopson says:

    I know just how you feel, I switched to an iMac 20″ July 2006 (Intel Core Duo) and love it. (34 months)

    I am a little pissed, I have had my eyes on the new MacBook with the 24″ MDP monitor, with the idea of upgrading when Snow Leopard is released.

    My iMac bit the dust last week :(, took her in to the Apple store, they are replacing the logic board, and they also told me I had some flecks on the screen (I never noticed) and they are replacing that as well under the 3 year warranty.

    Now that I am receiving a basically new computer, how do I justify buying a new one?

    any selling points I could use with the wife??

  2. HD Boy says:

    Hey Popgun:

    How about setting up a service to have PC-to-Mac switchers ship you their Windows PCs?

    You shoot the PC to put it out of its misery.

    You then turn over the “dead” PC to an electronics recycling center.

  3. Andrew says:

    Long live the Mac! I’ve been using it for 25 years, never turned back. Never understood the appeal of Windoz except for the herd mentality. Be blessed!

  4. Andrew says:

    Mike-

    Sell your iMac on ebay. You’d be amazed at how they hold their value, especially with the new screen and logic board.

    – Andrew

  5. Bodie says:

    Nice site. Just found it. Long time Mac user – 22 years. I’m on Mac #5. And my five year old Mac #4 still has legs. How many windows users could say that.

    Mike, Andrew is right. You can probably get a real good price for your iMac. Especially with a new logic board and screen.

    Last December I found a 2.0 GHZ Xeon Mac Pro, w/AppleCare for $1400. The computer works great, looks new, and as of today, still has 14 months of AppleCare left.

    Shabat Shalom

  6. popgun says:

    HD Boy –

    There wouldn’t be any shortage of target practice, would there?

    Say – it might be a money-making proposition – set it up where frustrated Windows users could shoot old PC’s, for a fee.

    -Popgun

  7. Give your wife the old iMac?

  8. unseencorner says:

    i love “Apple OS X” ^___^
    cause,Windows OS not stable for me.

  9. Pothi says:

    While I haven’t tested Mac yet, I am sure, Microsoft hasn’t done anything to keep the customer happy for long enough.

  10. Gustavo Ruiz says:

    My experience with Apple, since the first one I bought, a LC-II -I have owned three different models from this brand- it has been a little cumbersome.
    There’s three laptops at home: dell xps, dell latitude 800, asus Eee, 10″. None of this fake, to date.
    Two of them with Xp; one with Vista Ultimate. They are tough enough for the kind of stuff we make, screens are ok, perhaps a little bit glossy the XPS one.
    Both OS are better by far, from my Apple experience and cheapest. I agree with the gorgeaus design Apple shows and the Jobs charisma. We also use some Ipod’s (two of them have been changed after failure just after two years working) and I tunes, but there is a lot of applications we rather prefer run on a PC.
    Regards

  11. yourboro says:

    I use both and prefer Windows much much much more.

    What my problem is with this post is that you claim that Windows made your blood boil but you don’t specify what exactly made you mad?

    It can’t be the lack of programs or Windows not understanding something, a program not being able to run on it, because it’s only made for a Mac. Heh.

  12. legendarykx says:

    Ha Ha! i LOVED THAT ONE MATE. blood pressure dropped. That is so right. Looking forward to macpro comparisons.

  13. popgun says:

    Hi, yourboro;

    True, I didn’t get very specific – this was by intent. There are many articles out there about annoyances, on both platforms. This posting was only intended to convey my convictions on the subject – it is not a ‘review’.

    There are many, many details that make up the difference. Elegance of design – for instance, the simplicity of installing or removing most programs, the fact that there is no separate, complex menu system for applications (it’s not needed), and the list is many hundreds of items long. Shucks, just the fact that I can make a phone number fill up the screen when I’m making a phone call. Spell check that works almost anywhere. Lots of stuff.

    I may have to make another entry about this, and go into more detail.

    -Popgun

  14. magnaported says:

    Feel’s good to break free doesn’t it? I broke from Microsoft a few years back and felt the weight lift right off my shoulders. I tried the Mac and enjoyed it, but then I was suduced by that sly little bugger called Linux/Ubuntu and have never turned back.
    I installed it on an old PC I had and I have always had solid stable reliability. I converted my kids and they too enjoy the smooth clean function of that Distro.
    Just wanted to put my 2 cents worth and give you all another alternative besides Windows and Mac. Evolution is key to survival.

  15. Pat says:

    Well – just to be the voice in the wilderness – many years ago I had the opportunity to get a Mac but chose a PC because I wanted to play specific games, install the video card I wanted and have batch programs which controlled things around the house. I found the Mac only worked with Mac stuff – (and at the time the hardware was quite a bit more expensive). I decided at the time I would not support a company which was proprietary in hardware and software (I could not make specific changes to the OS). it has now been over 30 years and i have never owned a apple product for that initial reason. I’m just one guy but Apple would not support what I wanted so I continue to boycott anything Apple. When the kids wanted MP3 players – I steered them to the other vendors – when they wanted a digital phone – we went the blackberry route. I’ve acknowledged for some time that the Mac and software has some very superior reasons to buy it – but I will never give Apple a penny and wouldn’t own a Mac if you gave it to me.

  16. popgun says:

    Hi, Pat;

    To be truthful, I used to feel the same way; back when the Mac was truly proprietary in hardware. The thing which made me willing to try the Mac was that they moved to Intel processors a few years ago. After some research, I found that if I just didn’t like OS X, I could always install Windows. But I did try it and I love it.

    Also, with the advent of Parallels virtual machine, I do have a copy of Vista I can crank up anytime I need to. Presently, the only time I need Vista is when I need to run Solid Edge, the CAD system I use. Other than that, I don’t need it at all – and I avoid it because it’s such a pain.

    Finally, Macs are neat – so are iPhones – but if you have both, they really reinforce the utility of each other. The iPhone is the first handheld device I’ve ever used that was actually both useful and practical.

    -Popgun

  17. Tobias says:

    Microsoft has this “World Without Walls” campaign. But it’s kind of like George Orwell’s 1984, because there’s one giant wall around the whole lot that they don’t want you to see: that you HAVE TO run some version of Windows!!! (of which there are very few favorable options). It’s like…”there are no walls inside our giant walled garden.” And then they foist all these proprietary technologies on people within their playpen (“PlaysForSure” anyone?), and also charge insane amounts for relatively minor OS upgrades (or downgrades) because there are no other options available. So, whenever I see “World Without Walls” I think…1984. Break through the wall and run rings around it outside and be free!

  18. andrewbaddeley says:

    I trained on a Mac in 1991 and worked on Macs both professionally and whilst studying for the following 11 years. When I wanted a graphics card for game-playing – in 2002 – I had to fork out twice the amount for it due to a slight change in BIOS code on the Mac version. Same card, slight code change. Since then I’ve gone PC’s and never looked back. In South Africa I can choose quality components (anyone with half a brain and some research can dig up the same stuff Apple are using – oops, it’s a PC now, innit?!) and assemble their own. I can do this for around R10,000 – similar Mac costing around R18,000.00. Almost double. Operating system I bought OEM with a HD in 2002 and am still using it (a curse as well as a blessing). Your point of compatibility and all ‘running smoother’ with a Mac – and I hear this a lot – really bothers me. As I’ve said, if you source good brands, Seagate HD / Kingston Memory / Intel MOBO etc (and their are many other brilliant, reliable brands to choose from, I’m only quoting some) you will have no issues. And you get tons of software you guys on Macs dream of. And much of it for free. In all my years on a PC (7 in total now, I’ve never had an issue with hardware ever. XP died once, and that was it.

  19. ChicagoismynewBlog says:

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    http://chicagoismynewblog.wordpress.com/

  20. popgun says:

    Hi, andrewbaddeley;

    Well, as I said, my history with the (modern) Mac goes back only about 28 months. Perhaps things have changed since they moved to the intel architecture. The last desktop I built myself was around 2004, and I spent nearly three grand on it – all choice components, just as you say. Over the next couple of years, I had to replace – at different times – the ATI video card, the power supply, and the (intel) motherboard. I sold it last year for $300 to get rid of it. So I think your comment “you will have no issues” is a little optimistic.

    Just as a point of interest, my first two computers were Kaypro running CP/M. I’ve been doing computers since before IBM came out with the PC. When I moved to the Mac, it felt like a revelation – I had no idea it had improved so much since the early days.

    Maybe it’s inexplicable, but I have had zero problems with my Mac. Realizing that any computer can have problems – but none so far.

    Of course, none of this says anything about OS X. Or the fact that most software for the Mac costs less than comparable Windows software.

    -Popgun

  21. Foreal says:

    PCs (Windows) are like semi-trailers on the highway, big and clunky but a necessary evil.

    But I prefer to drive a Porsche – long live Apple & OSX – and anyone who thinks differently, does not have a clue.

  22. hakalautom says:

    yourboro:

    There are several Mac-only programs I would not like to give up, including: Apple Mail (better than Outlook Express), OmniWeb browser (best ad-free browsing), and Graffle (easier to use than Visio). That said, for every one of those there are two Windows apps I covet that work worse or not at all on Apple. I hope for better market penetration by Apple, so vendors will bother to do better ports to OS10. When viruses for OSX rival those for Windows, Apple will have arrived ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Tom

  23. Dave says:

    First Mac purchased in 1987. I’ve owned literally dozens since. Nearly 30 Macs run my business. I often trade up to new model, and reassign the old. Yes, I have had a few issues, a couple of disk failures, a failed card now and then. But nothing like what I hear about from fellow PC users in the same business. I keep the Macs for business for about four years and then I upgrade and offer the old ones to employees. They are already lined up in a queue waiting for the next one to go. I’ll add a new 24″ iMac in May.

    Upgrade process is so easy it is laughable. Boot, tell it you are upgrading, plug in Firewire cable, and wait and hour or two depending on what you have on the old system. The process is fully automated!!

  24. hakalautom says:

    To Pat in the wilderness,

    Disgusted by the lack of choice in Macintosh hardware in the late 80’s, I too headed for the DOS wilderness, emerging only when Max OS10.1 had established itself as a much superior OS to NT4 in every way. (Had XP come out a little sooner, I might still be in the wilderness ๐Ÿ™‚ Microsoft has finally stabilized XP, but Apple has improved, too.

    Meanwhile finger pointing and lack of accountability among vendors of OS, applications, and hardware in the Windows world, and now viruses, continue to waste the time of many customers. If that includes you, and if you no longer need those specific games, do consider the Mac. Cover your ears against the fanboy chorus, or they’ll drive you back into the wilderness ๐Ÿ˜‰

    – Tom

  25. steveH says:

    andrewbaddeley;

    “And you get tons of software you guys on Macs dream of.”

    Since I can run Windows, not to mention any number of Linux distros, on my Macs, what software would have be, exactly?

    I’ve worked inside computer development groups since 1978, and in all that time I confess nothing stronger than mild disinterest in Windows, being more involved with Unix of various flavors, MacOS and Linux. MacOS X being the only one I use for any reasons other than being required to use it for some work requirement.

  26. shawk says:

    Computers, operating systems and users have evolved to the point where users can pick what makes them happy.
    This is progress.

  27. muahman says:

    Macs are terrible. My iMac blew up a logic board inside of three months. Now, the power supply. You’d think they put out better stuff since they sell this “Just Works” Bullshit.

  28. popgun says:

    Hi, Muahman;

    I hate you had a bad experience. One sample does not a statistical sample make. I’ve been working with PC based hardware since DOS was invented, and I can’t even count the number of hardware issues I’ve had on that platform.

    Our discussion is far more about the advantages of OS X compared to Windows than it is about the hardware, anyway.

    -Popgun

  29. Jose says:

    What a lot of people seem to be missing is the actual user experience. A Mac is just a computer. Now that Macs have intel processors, what little difference there was before is almost gone. Hardware wise, Macs are usually good quality hardware put together with good build quality and attention to detail. But what really makes the difference is the software… specifically the OS… the bundled software to a lesser extent. Installing and uninstalling apps is a great example… the fact that the computer doesn’t slow down significantly over the months like Windows machines do is another. Whenever I have to work in Windows, it feels like the OS is deliberately getting in my way.
    My point is that all these little things add up to the user experience. If you haven’t had a better user experience, you probably don’t know what you’re missing.

  30. Richard says:

    I have personally stopped going out of way to beat my get a Mac drum but, when asked I always tell people Macs are the best computers on the planet. I have been using computers of all kind since 1984 and work as a Windows Tech but I have not owned a PC for almost 7 years now since I started using Macs. I shared your article with a co-worker who shares a lot of your values and maybe, just maybe this will help him to get over the โ€œI know about this Mac thingโ€ hump. Thanks for a good article.

  31. James says:

    Just ran across this post while checking my WordPress blogs; nicely done and it chimes in with my current feelings with Windows Vista at the moment.

    I’ve been a steady Windows user since 1996 and have had bad hardware and software experiences since then. Lately my version of Vista HP SP1 (I wanted to get a Mac mini years ago but couldn’t afford one and I desperately needed a computer for school) locked out ALL off my web browsers because they were “security threats”, forcing me to reinstall everything and losing my articles, podcast archives, iTunes music (thank Jesus that I backed them up) and Steam games that took forever to install.

    It’s not that I hate Windows 100%, and it’s true that Windows PCs can accomplish some tasks that Macs can’t easily enough but when I’m not at work using Windows XP Pro or finishing my college courses using my Vista laptop I want to relax and be more creative, as well have a more stable computer when my Vista machines break down AGAIN. I’ll see what happens on July 11th when I pick up my first Mac.

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