Windows vs. Macintosh

Windows vs. Macintosh

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Windows vs. Macintosh


Windows based computers are more practical, easier to use, and more versatile than Macintosh computers. There has always been much debate over which is the better system. There are people who are die-hard Macintosh users, and there are people who are the complete opposite, and naturally people sitting somewhere in between. The fact remains that the majority of home and business users own Windows based systems because of their versatility in all areas.

More Practical

Windows based computers are more practical for many reasons. Possibly the most prevalent of these being that everybody uses them. When using computers consistency is very important. If everyone is using a certain operating system and software, it is easier to transfer, share, and use the data you create. Windows based systems are the standard in our community, and that is not due to change any time soon.

Windows based computers are cheaper, and more easily upgradeable than Macintosh systems. The reason for this being that Apple has exclusive rights to the hardware made specifically for their computers. Windows based system hardware is produced by literally thousands of manufacturers. This, of course, means competition, which in turn lowers prices. Macintosh systems are sold (primarily) as a whole system, meaning that the consumer ends up with what Apple has decided should be included in the system. Windows systems, however, can be built to the consumers needs, or by the consumer themselves. They could select which component would be best for them for the price they would pay for it. Most importantly, with a Windows based system consumers could select what components they wish to have based on what they might pay for them.


At a Glance: AMD offers a high-performance chip at a low-budget price. If you're a thrifty shopper and don't need the zippiest system on your block, look no further.
Processor Price Range: $125 to $200

Pre-fabricated System Price Range: $1,800 to $2,500
Pros: Low-price, high performance. PC Magazine tests show systems based on the 450-MHz K6-III are nearly as fast as those based on the 500-MHz Pentium III (though shop wisely, as components can play a big role in K6-III system performance).
Cons: Solid 3-D performance, though not on par with the Pentium III. Fewer manufacturers to choose from.

At a Glance: In PC Labs tests, the G3-based 400-MHz Power Mac beat a 500-MHz Pentium III on several business and graphics tests.

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Related Searches


Processor Price Range: Since it is not available as a component, this is not available.

Pre-fabricated System Price Range: $2,999 for a 400-MHz system (not including monitor).
Pros: G3-based systems are strong performers, especially for graphics use. Easy to set up, easy to use.
Cons: More expensive than the competition (especially once you add a monitor). Ships without removable storage or a modem. Despite recent growth, the installed base is still much smaller than that for Windows-based systems, posing potential file-sharing and cross-platform compatibility problems.


Intel Pentium III

At a Glance: Systems based on Intel's highly-publicized new chip promise better multimedia performance through Streaming SIMD Extensions, which are special instructions coded into each chip.
Processor Price Range: $219 to $300

Pre-fabricated System Price Range: $2,000 to $3,400, depending upon configuration
Pros: Typically only slightly more expensive than Pentium II systems, and SIMD extensions can mean awe-inspiring graphics...
Cons: ...if only more software was optimized for it.

Lastly, Windows based systems are far superior in respect to software. There is much more software, and most of it is of superior quality. Significant software (software that is a standard) is often released for both systems, but it is generally released for Windows operating systems earlier (much in some cases). For Example, Internet Explorer 5, Microsoft’s most recent web navigation tool was released for Windows on June 10, 1999, a version for Macintosh has not yet been released as of November 14, 1999. A popular software download site, Cnet.com, has logged 499 software packages available for download for Windows 98 submitted within the last fifteen days, and only 37 (also within the last fifteen days) for Mac OS 8.x.

Easier to Use, More Versatile

Windows based systems are more versatile than it’s Macintosh counterpart in part because of the ability to interchange hardware components. Different manufacturers have created products that; while they still serve the same basic purpose (e.g. video card, sound card, etc.) perform those tasks better, more than just those tasks, or both. Hardware designed to take some of the load off of specific software can be installed.

The Windows operating system is also more versatile if only for the reason that it has more software for available for it’s use, but there are other substantial reasons. The definition of versatile is ‘turning with ease from one thing to another; readily applied to a new task, or to various subjects; many-sided…’ meaning that it can perform many tasks, easily and quickly. In Windows 98, the ‘Task Bar’ (Figure 2) contains the ‘Start menu’, volume, screen position and size controls, clock, as well as icons for currently running applications and windows. It can contain many other objects and utilities accessible by a single click. Macintosh Systems use the menu in Figure 3, at the upper right of the screen, it can hide either the current or background applications, show all hidden applications, or switch to another running application. This setup only allows one application to be viewed from the ‘front’ and requires several clicks to switch applications.

The method of viewing files within both operating systems is somewhat similar, but still considerably easier within the windows 9x platform. Figure 4 shows the windows explorer, the most popular way of browsing files within this platform.

Through this program the user can access all available drives (at any time from the left portion), as well as all folders (at any time from both the left and right portions), and data contained on them (from the right portion), all within this window. Figure 5 illustrates a popular way of accessing files within the Macintosh OS. Users cannot access multiple drives from the same window in this style of exploration.

The end result is that Windows based systems are the standard within our society, and with good reason. Macintosh Systems are slowly but surely making themselves PC-compatible, and this trend will continue to occur until eventually they are the same system. Conformity is often looked upon in a negative fashion, but in this situation conformity is not only a positive thing, it is a must. Computers must be completely compatible to further the productivity created with them, and it should be done using the windows based systems because of the progress already achieved with these systems.
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