Operating Systems

On the other hand Macintosh , commonly known as Mac , is a brand name which covers several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. Macs and PCs both have dedicated followers, and each type of computer has its own strengths and weaknesses.


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  • 5: Operating Systems - 10 Differences Between Macs and PCs | HowStuffWorks.

The main reason for this was that Apple produces both the hardware Mac computer and the software Mac operating system ; so they have better control over the integration of the entire system. Apple is also known to use only the best parts for its computers. Since the Windows operating system can run on hundreds of different types of computers , variations in hardware configurations within those computers can cause stability problems.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of PC manufacturers and so there is a wide variety in hardware quality of PCs. Another reason for Macs being traditionally more stable is that since PCs are the more popular choice in the desktop market, most hackers and computer virus makers target PCs. As the popularity for Mac computers increase, it can be expected that the incidence of hacker and virus attacks will increase. Apple has also released a software kit called Bootcamp for running Windows on the Mac.

Related Features

Other software virtualization applications used to run Windows on Macs include Virtualbox and Parallels. Another factor contributing to a better user experience on the Mac is that there is no software cruft i. PCs usually come with several 3rd-party apps pre-installed.

Some of this software can be downright dangerous for the security and privacy of the user; case in point: Lenovo's Superfish scandal. Interestingly, this feature of Apple devices also applies to the iOS vs Android debate ; Android devices ship with "crapware" 3rd party applications that many people don't ever use while iPhones and iPads ship only with Apple software.

The most noticeable difference between Macs and PCs is in the user interfaces. Highlights of the UI in Mac OS X include Launchpad a screen full of app icons for easily launching your favorite apps , hot corners that can be customized for various types of views, a "dock" that has icons for your favorite apps, full screen mode for apps, and "spaces" that create as many desktops as you like so you can minimize clutter.

With Windows 8 UI highlights include a touch-friendly "metro" interface that contains "live tiles", rectangular boxes of varying sizes on the screen that represent an app and get refreshed with the latest content from the app. Several apps utilizing the "metro" interface are full screen apps like in tablet computers. Macs have a reputation of being more secure than Windows PCs.

In the 90s and early to mids, Windows was plagued with adware, malware and viruses that were mostly a result of users downloading compromised software, opening malicious email attachments or other malicious files downloaded from the Internet. Macs had a lower market share so malware-makers and distributors focused on the Windows platform.

Switching from Windows to Mac: Everything You Need to Know (Complete Guide)

Today the situation is not so lopsided. Windows security and Microsoft's Defender anti-virus program have made great strides and made Windows a safe platform. Macs have had security problems of their own, like the admin login vulnerability discovered in November And because of the growing popularity of the Mac platform — especially among high-value targets like computer programmers — malware-makers are increasingly homing in on Macs as targets. Irrespective of whether you're on a Mac or PC, it is not advisable to open files from unknown sources or any files downloaded via email or on the Internet that seem suspicious.

If you're on Windows, it is further recommended to not use anti-virus programs other than Microsoft's Defender because they introduce security vulnerabilities of their own. Mac computers are most widely used in the creative professional market, including in journalism and desktop publishing, video editing and audio editing, but have also made inroads into the educative and scientific research sectors.

Macs are also popular with computer programmers — a majority of web and app developers tend to use Macs. PCs are also used with some of the video and audio editing and research purposes but are found largely as the Home or Office Computer. PCs are also widely used in gaming due to a wider variety of games available for the Windows platform.

Apple's share of the U. Source: Associated Press. In Q1 , worldwide PC shipments were around 70 million up from 61 million in Q1 whereas worldwide Mac shipments were around 2. Historical charts for PC vs. The market share of Mac for the July-Sept quarter was estimated at 3. Most popular applications for Mac and PC use the same file formats, making it simple to exchange documents with friends and coworkers or move existing files from a PC to a Mac.

There is a variety of software available for PCs, which are better than a Mac machine for use as gaming machines since most high-end games are created for the general PC. Traditionally PCs have had the upper hand when it comes to gaming because more publishers developed games for the PC platform. Dollar for dollar, PCs have also provided more powerful processors and speed is an important criterion when it comes to gaming.

Other productivity software like OpenOffice and StarOffice is also available for all platforms. Apple's iWork office suite, which includes Pages word processor , Numbers spreadsheets and Keynote presentation maker are only available on the Mac and iOS platforms.

Which Platform Is Right for You?

Macs were hugely popular when the Macintosh was introduced in the mids. They pioneered the GUI and the mouse. With Windows 3. In the s, Windows grew by leaps and bounds and Apple went downhill. Apple's Macs have always had a small but passionate fan base.

Windows, Mac, or Linux? We compare the pros and cons of these computing platforms | ZDNet

These have been parodied online, often with a 3rd character a woman for Linux. In September , Microsoft responded to the Apple campaign with a campaign of their own to break the PC stereotype. In other words, a MAC can run Windows on it. Apple does not allow the use of its operating system on non-Apple hardware. Current prices of various models and accessories are available on Apple. PCs usually cost significantly less than Macs with comparable hardware. Be prepared for your mind to be blown a second time: the Mac OS supports both a left-click and a right-click for the mouse.

More than that, you can hook up the mouse you use on your Windows PC and use it on a Mac. And while Apple's Magic Mouse may seem like it is a single button, clicking it from the right side produces a right-click. In fact, one of the biggest stumbling blocks people coming from the Windows world comes down to keyboard shortcuts. The first time you try to use control-c to copy something to the clipboard, you realize that control-c doesn't copy anything to the clipboard. You see, on the Mac Command-c does.


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And as simple as that sounds, it can take some getting used to before it feels natural. If you've heard the term hackintosh used, you might be a little confused. But don't worry, it doesn't mean a Mac that's been hacked. At least, not in a bad sense.

The Differences Between Mac, Windows, and Linux

Remember how a Macbook or iMac can run Windows because the hardware is virtually the same? The reverse is also true. It takes a lot of research to get the right components and there's no guarantee Apple won't try to make future updates incompatible with that machine. Share Pin Email. Daniel Nations has been a tech journalist since Updated August 14, We know. Your mind is now officially blown. Let's look at some of those similarities:.

They both use the same basic hardware components.


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They are both compatible with third-party keyboards and mice, including wireless keyboards and wireless mice. They both have a similar interface that allows you to save apps to your desktop, click on apps to run them, browse files in folders, etc. They both have a virtual assistant. They both allow you to use cloud services such as Dropbox, Box. Popular browsers like Chrome , Safari, and Firefox are available for both with Microsoft's Edge browser one of the few popular browsers to remain only Windows only.