Features Specific to the Mac (or PC)?

Reader Tim is thinking about the great Mac versus Windows debate. He writes in:

Without starting a holy war, I was wondering: What features does the Mac operating system have out of the box that Windows doesn't? What can you do in Windows by default you can't do on the Mac? It seems that feature convergence is happening across modern platforms (even Linux!), so it's harder to say what (if any) OS offerings are truly unique. Can we make a list?

We sure can make a list! Here are a few operating system-specific features off the top of my head:

  • The Mac can save any document in any program to PDF from the Print dialog. (Though you can get this feature in Windows with a program like CutePDF.)
  • The Mac can look up words in its dictionary from newer Cocoa programs using a keyboard shortcut.
  • Windows can auto-hide its taskbar and clear your desktop entirely, where the Mac's menubar is fixed.
  • Windows Vista has an awesome one-click monthly calendar in the taskbar; on the Mac it takes a few clicks or some tweaking to see today's full date easily.
  • The Mac offers Unix command line tools built into the Terminal, which Windows does not (though you can get them by installing something like Cygwin.)

Surely I've missed dozens of other platform-specific features. So let's hear it, Windows and Mac users—what can you do that the others can't? Remember, fanboys and girls, keep this discussion clean and respectful—OS wars are SO 1999. (And don't forget to check out our complete guide to Mac/Windows interoperability.)


    I think you'll find that the Mac has a one-click monthly calendar, just hit F12 and one comes up in Dashboard.

    Absolutely no tweaking involved.

    This a pretty weak story, and frankly just an excuse to regurgitate the same old story about the difference between two different computer systems AND attempt to prove what?

    Mac is all Eye-Candy. But the point is, It's eye candy is worse than linuxs'(Compiz Fusion). Why buy a Mac if they're not good at the things they're suppose to be.

    "on the Mac it takes a few clicks or some tweaking to see today's full date easily."
    Have to disagree. I have the time displayed in my menu bar. When I click on it (once) the full date displays underneath.
    And for the keyboard-inclined, one strike of the F12 key will bring up the date/calendar in the dashboard (unless you should choose to remove that widget).

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now