This week, our counterparts in the US got together to discuss the longstanding rivalry between the two major operating systems on the market: Windows 10 and macOS. How do their latest versions hold up? Is it time to switch? Let's find out!
Apple's software has long been heralded as a better designed and easier to use system, with Windows being a less glossy but more adaptable option. Is there still truth to that oversimplification?
Well, each OS is now so feature-congruent that the old rivalry doesn't exactly hold true anymore. Both systems offer all the major features you'd expect of a modern operating system and, for daily usage, most people would be fine with either.
It's in the details, though, where they differ. If you're a gamer, you'll probably want to stick with Windows particularly because you can adapt your own hardware to suit your needs. That might mean building a souped-up system from scratch or just upgrading your graphics card.
On the downside, Windows is more of a target for viruses and malware simply because the various versions of Windows have so much of the market share that it's an easy target. That doesn't mean macOS is immune to malware; it's just a less frequent target.
Both macOS and Windows 10 have voice assistants, with Cortana on Windows and Siri on Mac. While they can be helpful when you just want to check the weather or search for something online, we've found that we don't use them all that much. It feels a little less natural than using voice assistants on a phone and laptop microphones don't always work that well.
The biggest difference between the two is the actually the hardware you might be using. Apple's laptops were for many years a relative gold standard for well-designed, solid, daily use computers that you could buy without fretting about the specs very much. There are many cheaper options, but a MacBook Pro just works. However, recent updates to the MacBook Pro line that include the unique Touch Bar make them particularly expensive if you want high-end specs - and they're also missing key features beloved by design professionals.
If you want to use macOS, though, you'll basically be tied to Apple's hardware. (Or you can try to go the 'Hackintosh' route — that is, installing macOS on non-Apple hardware.)
Windows, by comparison, is designed to work on a wide range of hardware, from laptops to desktops and touchscreen tablets. That means you can spend just a few hundred bucks to get a low-end Windows laptop, but Microsoft has also made a push with new high-end hardware like the Surface Book.
There's also plenty of middle ground on the Windows front, with the Dell XPS 13 commonly recommended as a great value. And then, of course, if you want to build your own tricked out rig for gaming or other processor-intensive applications, then Windows is really the best choice.
Keen to hear more? You can listen to the team dig deeper into the topic at the below podcast link: