Windows vs. Apple

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When purchasing a computer two operating systems come to mind, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. How do you know which one is the right one for you? Before buying a computer, here are the positives and negatives, so you can determine whether you’re a “PC” or a “Mac.”

Windows Advantages

Windows has been around for years, and is omnipresent in the computing world; over 80 percent of computers use it as their operating system. Most programs are made to support and are compatible with the system so installing software or playing games is rarely an issue. Computers running Windows tend to be more affordable and can cost as little as $300. Windows can be modified, customized and upgraded by the user. It is self-updated and new updates come out on the second Tuesday of each month. If you have an older version of Windows-like Vista and XP- they will continue to function as updates are still provided for them.

Windows Disadvantages

The ubiquity of Windows around the world makes it more vulnerable to hackers. Windows does not come with an anti-virus so you must purchase and run it yourself which often slows down your computing speed. Some programs, like Adobe, need to be constantly updated to prevent the risk of getting viruses, spywares and potential hackings. Windows does not come preloaded with as many programs and apps as its Mac counterpart, meaning you have to download or purchase them.

Mac Advantages

Though most of the country uses an Apple product-iPods, iPads, iPhones- Macs account for only about 15 percent of the computer market share. Macs relatively low share helps reduce the number of viruses written for the operating system. Mac programs also allow exported files to be formatted so it is compatible with Windows. In addition, Mac can run Windows operating systems by using a special program called Boot Camp, which allows you to switch between both operating systems. Mac’s system lasts longer because it’s more advanced and stable. Valuable and easy-to-use apps- GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb- come free with every Mac.

Mac Disadvantages

Since Windows is usually the default operating system, it is the system many first-time computer users encounter. For this reason there is often something of a learning curve when it comes to adjusting to a Mac. Familiar programs like PowerPont, Word and Excel will be replaced by unfamiliar programs like Keynote, Pages and Numbers. It does not allow users to customize their computers, so no mixing and matching components. Mac computers and laptops are also more expensive and could cost upwards of $1000. When a new Mac operating system is released, like Snow Leopard or X Lion, updates and upgrades for the old OS stop being made. This often forces users to have to buy the latest software to stay up-to-date. For games, Macs are not the best choice as few games are designed for the computer. In addition, it is designed for Apple machines only, if run on any other machine it would be illegal.

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