The great PC vs. Mac debate should have been settled years ago when Macs became capable of running Windows both in addition to and alongside OS X. The real debate, which still brews to this day, is about the operating system. OS X, the predominant operating system associated with the Mac, is great for many different things. In my home, we’ve almost entirely made the switch to OS X, due in part to the sheer amount of video editing that takes place. However, Windows gets an unfortunately bad rap for being a boring operating system geared towards professionals and business users. Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are five reasons to choose Windows over OS X.
Possibly the biggest reason to choose Windows over OS X is for gaming. Even on Steam, which runs on both operating systems, there are still a limited number of games that run on OS X. This is due in part to market share and the high costs of game development time to make them compatible with both operating systems. Windows is currently the largest PC platform for gaming, and that title isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.
While I stated earlier that we made the switch to OS X for video editing, there are still some extremely powerful video editing programs currently only available on Windows. Programs like Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere just run better on a native Windows environment, and while they may not have universal market share in the professional editing community, they are very capable and in some ways superior to editors that only run on OS X. OS X, for the most part, is still a pretty closed system when it comes to built-in support for various codecs and software options. If you want any more proof of this, just try throwing an .MTS file in Final Cut Pro or iMovie and see what you come up with. Do the same in a powerful Windows-based editor, and you may notice a difference.
This is where the OS X vs. Windows debate goes into the realm of Mac vs. PC. Hardware upgrades available to OS X are limited as the platform was designed to work on a specific set of hardware, and not much else. You can upgrade hardware on a machine running OS X, and there are great options to do so without having to go through Apple, but these options pale in comparison to the amount of hardware configurations that run on Windows. The same goes for popular peripherals like webcams and scanners. Manufacturers make drivers for their hardware for the market that buys them. If OS X users don’t make up a significant number of their projected user base, they may not have support. You can even run Windows on a Mac if you want to.
It’s been said before that Windows has more software. Not only in gaming, but in general, Windows has a lot more software made for it than any other operating system family on the market. This is due to a surprisingly open platform and larger market share. Most business class software runs almost exclusively on Windows, and this is one of the main reasons so many companies do bulk order buys of Windows machines. You could say the industry is locked on the platform for this reason as frequent full upgrades are seen as poor investments.
Even some software that has an OS X version lacks crucial features exclusive to Windows counterparts. Microsoft Office for Mac is an excellent way to bridge the gap between users, but the Windows version has traditionally included a more robust feature set than the version that runs on OS X.
This is possibly the most argued point in the great OS X vs. Windows debate. Windows is pretty much wide open, despite repeated attempts by Microsoft to keep it closed for security reasons. Because of this openness and long history of legacy code, there are a seemingly countless amount of programs available to customize your Windows experience and make it look and act the way you want it to. OS X has its own share of customizability available through several third-party apps, but when you look at the two platforms side by side, Windows just has more options available to the user. OS X is made to be user friendly, and garnish a clean user experience from the first time it boots to the final shutdown.
No matter which operating system you prefer, remember that the most important factor in this decision should lie in which operating system you feel most comfortable using. Is Windows better than OS X? That’s not a question that can truly be answered by any one individual. Like art, poetry, and literature, software is in the eye of the beholder.