Windows vs Mac; Which is Better?

A battle as old as time. Well, as old as personal computers have been around. Over the decades, both Microsoft and Apple have revolutionised personal computing. The billion-dollar question (literally, they’re both billion-dollar businesses) – PC or Mac. Here, we round up the pros and cons of them both.

The PC vs Mac is an incredibly old rivalry, going back decades. In fact, the two technology giants even went to court in 1994 in Apple Computer Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, in which Apple sought to prevent Microsoft from using similar graphical user interface (GUI) elements to their own machines; Apple’s appeal was later denied by the Supreme Court. But back to the issue of which machine to choose.

Most people still buy Windows machines simply because they’re far, far cheaper than Apple’s alternative; you can get Windows laptops for around £500 with specs not far off high-end MacBooks. There’s also something comforting to many about owning a computer or laptop that runs Windows – it’s how most people, particularly millennials, started out. With the hefty price tag that comes with Macs, most schools – perhaps save for design departments – use PCs. Windows is seen as being easy and straightforward to use, and making the switch to a Mac can be like learning a whole other machine.

However, that isn’t to say Windows PCs are perfect. For one, they’re a much bigger target for viruses, although as we’ve written about previously, Macs are by no means immune to viruses. Microsoft Windows Defender, the free security software that comes bundled with Windows, does the job. But it can’t catch every malicious piece of software that attempts to access your PC. Indeed, we deal with devastated PC users all year round, some who we can help, and others, well, they won’t be getting their data back any soon. This is one edge that Macs have over PCs. Nonetheless, the reason Macs used to be pretty much immune to viruses was because of the user base – more people used PCs, and it was more profitable for cybercriminals to exploit them. Still, Mac users are generally less at risk or viruses and other malware.

Let’s take a look at macOS, the operating system installed on all Mac machines. It has a reputation for being fast, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing, and this is well-earned. Apple prides itself on the aesthetics of all of its devices, from the iPhone to the iPad, the Apple Watch and the MacBook Pro. As well as the aesthetics, Apple machines feel built to last. Microsoft is slowly catching up, but Mac machines just feel much more durable. Specifications-wise, Apple’s Retina Display, so-called because the human eye supposedly can’t pick up a single pixel, is breath taking. The Trackpad, which is now standard on all MacBooks and can be used externally for desktop Macs, allows pressure-sensing capabilities that make everyday tasks that little bit simpler. The soaring use of iPhones and iPads (Apple pioneered the tablet industry), and now the Apple Watch, means users want to be synced. Although the aforementioned devices work perfectly well with PCs, there's still that longing users get for everything to fit together neatly. 

Ultimately, it is pretty much a tribal thing. If you’ve grown up using PCs, you’re not likely to want to change to a Mac, and vice-versa. It’s certainly true that both offer their advantages and disadvantages; coders are more inclined to use Windows PCs, while graphic designers favour Macs due to the vibrant Retina Display and Trackpad. There really isn’t a right or wrong answer – choose the best suited for you.

Mac vs Windows