Yesterday, I started trying to translate Mac-speak to Windows-talk. That continues today as I look at customisation, security and applications for those making the switch from OS X to Windows.
On a Mac, you launch programs by double-clicking the icons in the Applications folder. In Windows, you click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen, click on All Programs and then browse to the program you want to open by moving the mouse pointer through the list.
When a program is running, its icon will appear at the bottom of the screen on the Taskbar. If you right-click the icon you can choose to “Pin” the item to the task bar. This is similar to choosing Keep on Dock when you click-hold an open program on the OS X Dock.
Where’s the top menu?
On a Mac, the Menu Bar at the top of the screen stays fixed with the contents changing depending on which program you’re using.
With Windows, each window has its own menu. If a window’s menu isn’t visible, it can be shown by pressing the Alt key on the keyboard.
Sort of equivalent applications
When you install OS X, Apple includes a number of applications. Some, like iPhoto, iMovie and iTunes are separate to the operating system. Others, like TextEdit and Preview come as part of OS X. Here’s a list of some commonly used Mac applications, that come pre-installed on a Mac, and their Windows counterparts.
TextEdit = WordPad. Both are solid, basic word processors
iPhoto = the Photos folder in Explorer. When you connect an SD card or camera, Windows gives you an option to upload photos to this folder.
iMovie = Windows Live Movie Maker (although this is a separate download)
iTunes/Quicktime Player/DVD Player = Windows Media Player (which comes with Windows) or Zune software which is a separate download
On a Mac, most of the system configuration is done from Preferences. When you change to Windows, you’ll find most of the same options, albeit with some different names, in Control Panel. You’ll find Control Panel when you click on the Start menu button.
Basic settings like the background wallpaper, screen saver and screen resolution are found under “Appearance and Personalization” if the Category view is selected in the top right corner of Control Panel. If you’re in either the Large or Small Icon views, click on Personalization for the wallpaper and screen-saver and Display to change the resolution.
Where is it?
Spotlight is the system-wide search function on a Mac. The same function is found under the Start menu.
The Taskbar, running across the bottom of the Windows screen is roughly equivalent to the Dock. Application icons can be pinned here and it shows you what applications are running. If you hover your mouse over a running application icon, you’ll see a small preview of what’s open within that program. This is similar to Expose or Mission Control, depending to what version of OS X you’re coming from.
If you’re looking for a Spaces equivalent under Windows — you’ll need to find and install a third-party utility.
When you get your first PC, you’ll need to factor in the cost of security software into your initial investment. Note — I didn’t say anti-virus. Yu’ll need something that checks that the sites you visit aren’t fraudulent and that nothing nasty executes without your consent.
Online security concerns all computer users. There are lots of solid options when it comes to security software. Before you buy your PC, do some research and either buy one of the paid options from Norton, Kaspersky, Trend one of the other vendors or look at a free option such as AVG Free.
So, that’s my OS translation guide for Mac to Windows. What other things do you think Mac users would need in order to switch to Windows?