Throw that Apple out of the Window?

In this article we’ll compare some of the features of Apple’s Mac Leopard operating system to Microsoft’s Vista operating system.  I can sense the pressure is already rising in some of you looking at the headline of this article.  Let’s roll-up our sleeves and take a look under the covers.

It would never end the passionate debate between the die hard Mac lovers and the windows fanatics that swear by it.  While one claims that the user needs to shell out $50 once in every two years, the other claims, the user needs to upgrade to the next version shelling out a few hundred dollars once every five years.

This post is not looking into the hardware issues.  Having said that let me be clear that I am only looking at the software issues and how user friendly these two operating systems are in terms of Productivity and getting things done.  Before I do that let us look at the specific aspects of the software because the core of the argument depends on it.

Software Installation:
mac leopard graphic
Mac uses the “package” to install and run an application. Package is similar to a folder. It contains all the files that are needed to run the application. The finder helps the user find the application.

Let us look at some of those user-friendly features.

Drag and Drop: In Apple’s Mac, the user with the help of the finder, locates the package, drags it to the Application’s folder and drops it and it is ready to work with. There are no additional steps involved. (Some of the applications launched the first time, do trigger the set up wizard but it is only once.) Users can place the package wherever they wish but then Apple recommends that they be placed in the Applications folder. The user would agree it is more organized that way.

Move it – The Apple user has the flexibility to move the package from one location to an other. Changing the location does not break the program and stop it from running. In fact a user can move the program even when the Application is running, however it might prevent the software update.

Update plus: For the Mac user it is very easy to update the software. All the user has to do is replace the existing package with the latest one. There are no un-installs and re-installs and reboots. User can even run multiple versions. This really helps, for example, when a web developer would like to test a web site on two different versions of the same browser.

Windows Vista
windows vista ultimtate
In Windows the install wizard installs all the software in the default location –
C:\Program Files\

The .exe files of the Applications are usually placed into sub-folders along with the associated files that are needed to run that Application.  The shortcut to these Applications are listed in the Start menu, occasionally they may even display un-install and help files..

In Windows, the user is advised not to move the Application once it is installed. If an Application is moved from its location there is the possibility that it might not launch. Of course the user always has the freedom to copy a program to a hard drive and “install” it, but then a shortcut needs to be provided manually to the Start menu for it to appear there and help launch. A user can launch a program directly from the search bar or a run dialog if it is installed in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Well, there is your flexibility of both the systems!

So what, if we are talking about productivity and playing FreeCell is not productive or is it?

  • While the PC users say that they are a lot more inexpensive to buy and maintain, Apple costs an arm and leg.
  • Mac users say that the PC’s are for game users but when it comes to productivity tools nothing can beat the Mac.
  • We cannot forget the fact most of the Mac users have used a Windows machine, but how many of those had used a MAC OS X?
  • Windows Vista Ultimate costs $399-00 and Mac OS X Leopard is $129.00 for the entire packaged deal.
  • The market share as mapped by netapplications for the year 2009 is: Macs 9.76% and Windows 88.12% and for the corresponding period in 2008 is Macs 8.03 and Windows 90.67. So what do those figures say?

Where do you stand on the issue?  What features do you find in either of the operating systems that you find superior to the other?  I’d love to hear your feedback.

Windows or Macs?

Did someone whisper “Linux”?


  1. says

    I am A PC user through and through. Been using PC’s all my life. Well not quite, had a ZX Specturm once.
    Never used a apple mac, cant afford one. I write window .net applications, so a Mac wont do me any good.
    Although I did use Apple IIe once upon a time, many moons ago.

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