6 Reasons Windows Beats Mac

Windows 7 Has Erased Mac's Advantages

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I'm a fan of Windows, and Windows 7 in particular. But I'm also a user of, and fan of, Macs. I've used both over the years; but unlike so many devotees of a particular OS, I don't feel the need to pump up one at the expense of another. Another way of saying that is that it's OK to like both Windows and Mac.

On the other hand, Windows-bashing is much more prevalent than Mac-bashing. I'd like to balance out the scales a bit by pointing out some of the advantages I believe Windows has over Mac.

Again, this doesn't mean that Macs are garbage; quite the opposite, in fact. But now that Windows 7, in particular, is basically on par with Macs in terms of usability and reliability, many of the reasons for choosing Macs are less apparent than they once were. Here are the top ways, in fact, that Windows outdoes Mac, and is a good choice for your next computer.

  1. Much cheaper. This isn't new, but it's still the number one distinguishing characteristic. The least-expensive new Mac is $999 (at time of publication and not counting the Mac mini, which doesn't really count and barely sells). For that price, you can get a top-shelf Windows desktop computer or very nice Windows laptop that will be faster, have more RAM and a larger hard drive than any comparably-priced Mac. Again, the money difference could have been justified before with the superiority of the Mac platform; not so with Windows 7 having closed the gap until it's basically gone.
  1. Many more programs available. The number of programs available for Mac is limiting. This is especially true for high-end gaming -- try to find a hard-core gamer who uses a Mac. Good luck. If you're looking for financial software, for another example, you'll have dozens of more options for Windows than Mac. If having options are important to you, Windows is the way to go.
  1. More transparent and better patching. Microsoft, because of well-earned skepticism of its security practices, has instituted the best and most public patching system in the industry. Every second Tuesday of the month is "Patch Tuesday," the day Microsoft releases Windows patches. The releases also come with detailed explanations and tons more information available than most vendors include. This includes Apple, which would like you to believe that its security is flawless. This is what's known in technical geek-speak as an untruth.
  2. More customizable. Let's say you want to add a beefier graphics card to your desktop computer. If you use Windows, there's a whole universe of choices, with a huge range of prices and features. You can upgrade a Mac the same way, but with far, far fewer options available. Apple tightly controls its "ecosystem" -- the vendors it allows to make software and hardware to run on its computers -- whereas Microsoft's ecosystem is much more wide open. That means you can tweak to your heart's content.
  3. You won't be part of the Mac fanboy universe. There's no gentle way to say it, so I'll just state it plainly: Mac users can be extremely snobby. There's an air of superiority that clings to many Macophiles, who love to look down on us sub-human Windows scum. This is a generalization, to be sure, and doesn't apply to all Mac users. But it applies to enough of them that I know I don't want to be associated with it.
  1. Microsoft isn't ignoring Windows development. This is hard to quantify, but by all appearances, Apple is giving Mac OS short shrift when it comes to development. For instance, most new announcements coming out of Apple these days revolve around the iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch and iPad. In other words, Apple's mobile devices. There hasn't been much innovation over the last several years in OS X "Snow Leopard," its latest OS. Everything seems to be focused on iOS, the OS for the "i" line of mobile gear. Microsoft, on the other hand, is hard at work on the successor to Windows 7. It's also working on its own mobile stuff, but not to the exclusion of Windows. Windows 7 was a big advance over Windows Vista; no advances have been seen like that on the Mac OS side in ages.