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Mac OS X good and bad vs. Windows

by sclaflin / August 16, 2008 10:45 AM PDT

I am thinking about moving to a Mac for school, and was curious if any one knew what was good with Mac OS X versus Windows and what was bad versus Mac OS X versus Windows.


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That topic is a little overdone.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 16, 2008 10:52 AM PDT

Sort of like the pizza you left in the oven for 2 hours.

The best thing for you to do is to go test drive a Mac. Now the best thing and the only reason I use an Apple is that I don't have to run virus and other scans daily. I get to use the machine.

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mac v microsoft
by capoates / December 6, 2008 8:42 PM PST

Best advise is to road test the two. Mac is very easy to use and most applications yield an intuitive feel about them. Windows (XP) has been around a while now so most bugs have been fixed and you should have very few problems (Vista i still relatively new, and is being replaced with windows 7 - i think!?)

You can easily get Microsoft products to work on Mac (WMV files can be converted and Office has Office for mac).

I use both, PC for work presentations and general dogs body stuff, Mac for all other things. But i prefer Mac.

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Vista is new?
by bighedstev / December 11, 2008 5:47 AM PST
In reply to: mac v microsoft

Vista's launch date was almost 2 years is that new????

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by alexia.del.france-2138404 / January 18, 2009 2:01 AM PST
In reply to: Vista is new?

I think they may meant, in terms of operating systems, or at least Microsoft's, Vista is new.

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by jrlease1 / August 21, 2009 8:16 AM PDT

Think you should be more careful on what the **** you do on your compute then. I've owned window since the first one and never had problems. No I do not run scans daily and no I have never had to re-install my OS. Mac has very limited compatibility with other programs. I do not understand why Americans support Apple...

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Obviously you have never used one,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 21, 2009 9:28 AM PDT
In reply to: wrong

or you would not make that ridiculous statement.

Apparently you think that you will only find a Mac in America, are you in for a surprise!

Oh yes, Apple has FULL compatibility with other programs, 100% compatibility!

One wonders what the first window was that you owned, to be so knowledgeable

Enjoy your, apparently, one of a kind computer


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never had a problem, really?
by jrclay / September 22, 2009 1:28 AM PDT
In reply to: wrong

I can't help but laugh every time I see some windows fan boy write that "I've been using windows machines for 20 years and I've never had a problem with them" If you're going to lie outright to everyone, at least try and tell a convincing a lie. If you've "never" had a problem with a windows machine then you either never use a computer for anything other then playing solitaire or turn on your computer check your email and then turn it off. Or, your just a liar.

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Better faster cheaper
by ARB Powerbook / August 16, 2008 1:12 PM PDT

I use a current generation Dell Windows XP machine at work and a MacBook Pro at home. I find there is very little comparison between the two. The Mac is quite easy to use and requires relatively little maintenance. If you get in the habit of running one or two utilities on a regular basis, the machine itself will operate with few problems. My PC experiences regular problems and other than Microsoft software and a few other reliable programs, installing and using new software is often problematic. I am not a computer novice in any sense (I started using MS-DOS back in the day) but I find that problems with Windows are very difficult to diagnose and repair; often I need professional help. I think partly this is because Windows has to support so many different computer manufacturers and partly because Windows is simply not a very good operating system for personal use. My Mac, on the other hand is easy and I get to spend most of my time doing the things I want to do rather than playing with settings to get it running right.

Another advantage is the fact that my Mac will run Windows if I need it to, so I have the best of both worlds. With some third party software, I can even run Windows and Mac programs side-by-side. You just can't do that on a Windows machine.

The PC has some nice features, such as System Restore, and certain software is either unavailable for Mac or doesn't work as well as the PC versions (Quicken is an obvious example). But the Mac's ease of use and its ability to handle multimedia are unmatched in the Windows world and in my experience more than make up for those few deficiencies.


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You CAN do that on a windows machine
by Cityscape4 / April 29, 2009 3:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Better faster cheaper

ARB Powerbook said "Another advantage is the fact that my Mac will run Windows if I need it to, so I have the best of both worlds. With some third party software, I can even run Windows and Mac programs side-by-side. You just can't do that on a Windows machine."

He was wrong, you can do that a Windows machine. A person could dual-boot Mac OS X with Windows which gives him/her an option of Windows or Mac at startup. Or someone could install Mac OS X on a virtual machine using software like "Microsoft Virtual PC", this would let a Windows user switch to Mac with a few clicks of a button.

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by jedirock / April 29, 2009 8:45 AM PDT

Sure, you can do it, but it's currently illegal due to Apple's license agreement.

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(NT) And you cannot do it with Virtual PC
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 29, 2009 10:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Possible...
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by F59PHI450 / August 20, 2008 1:28 PM PDT

Mac is a better choice in my opinion. The only downside to Mac is software compatibility, but now that is changing. If Windows is necessary Macs can run both Windows and Mac OS X with bootcamp.

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Software Compatibility
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 20, 2008 9:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Reply

I have always found that the software I buy is fully compatible with my Mac.



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Software OS's
by squeeze / August 23, 2008 1:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Software Compatibility

The big difference in the two systems comes down to what you want to do with the computer. A normal "given" is that PC's will run Office software that is the best, and Mac's have a greater visual display. If you are into grapfics, the choice is Mac, if you are doing a lot of Office projects, then it's PC. Mac's can now run MSXP Pro with the machine. Sop that can give you the benefit of both OS's. The amount of viruses written for Mac, you can count on one hand. Pc's get that amount in the first hour of every day. Hope this helps.

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Office for Mac
by onemoremile / August 23, 2008 4:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Software OS's

I think that squeeze has not used a Mac lately. Microsoft Office is available, in current editions, for both Mac and PC. If you prefer free office suites, you can get Open Office for either program or you may try Neo Office, which is Open Office optimized for Mac, more or less.

I, too, use Windows XP at work and Mac at home and I agree with the comments above: The Mac is more trouble-free and I do not need to run the security software that my Windows friends do. The cost is about the same, so you might want to try out a Mac if you have not. If there is not an Apple Store nearby, you may be able to go and play with a Mac at your campus computer store.

Good luck!

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thats complete nonsense
by cmatter / August 23, 2008 4:44 AM PDT
In reply to: Software OS's

Since Win 98SE Windows has been as color-managed as any Mac OS; and, with Vista, color management is finally built into the OS architecture... just as Mac always has been. Mainly, color management was always the issue. MS finally wised up; years ago. For designers there may be occasional issues with certain type fonts between the 2 OS, but nothing that can't be easily be overcome.
I'm a high-end pro digital photographer. I have run both OS, and know them well. I currently work mainly on a custom-built Dell Precision workstation running XP-Pro. I can tell you that today, there really is no difference. PhotoShop, InDesign, Illustrator, Word, Exell all run the same on both platforms.

There are many many times more PC's in the world than Macs. This is the only real reason Macs are "less vulnerable" to viruses,hackers, etc. Not worth their time... comparatively. Those same production numbers also lead to economy of scale.. lowering prices and giving better overall value.

Macs have acquired a "cult status"... which is hard to reason down.

Best advice.. try both, decide which you are most comfortable with, for your own reasons. Then balance that against the costs of what you are looking for, in each platform.
Make your choice... then don't look back.

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I completely agree!
by sclaflin / August 23, 2008 2:40 PM PDT

You are completely correct. Windows has dominated the Mac forever and will probably continue to do so! For one, why would a developer develop for the Mac when so many more people use Windows. Apple is so controlling over their OS.

As for the amount of viruses and malicious software: Windows has more of that because most people use Windows. Why would a hacker or malicious code maker write a virus for Mac if only a small percentage of people use Mac!

For the safer, cost effective choice, go with a PC because you know your existing software and hardware will work, and buy anti-virus software with your hundreds of dollars saved from not buying a Mac.

I believe my questions were answered! Thanks!

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Those old myths keep trotting out.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 23, 2008 11:17 PM PDT
In reply to: I completely agree!

"Apple is so controlling over their OS." Compared to whom? Certainly not Microsoft.
OS X is based on OPEN SOURCE code that has been around for years. It is, and has been, open for anyone to poke around in which is why it is a more secure and stable system than Windows. OS X is Level 3 Certified UNIX.
Windows, on the other hand, is a completed CLOSED system with none of the source code being available to anyone.

Some years ago, some script kiddie wrote a virus for the iPod. Not just any iPod, but iPods that were running Linux! Probably not more that a couple of thousand in the whole world. Why would he do that for such a small percentage of users? Street Cred!

Why would a virus writer make a virus for the Mac? Because the writer of the first successful virus, not just a little script that deletes the current users Documents folder; a real virus that infected one machine and then sent itself to all the other Mac's in the world without any assistance from the end users, would be a hero in the Black Hat world.
The first real virus would drop around 90% of all OS X Mac's around the world, millions of them, given that the majority of Mac users do not use AV software.
Imagine the claim to fame on that one.
Right now, after 8 years of OS X, there is still not one real virus.

I thought I would be able to agree with you on your last statement but judging by the Vista forum, even that is a little like wishful thinking.

Just as an aside, your Windows software will work on your Mac too.

You don't appear to be making the change very well.


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You could be right.
by sclaflin / August 24, 2008 1:37 AM PDT

What do you mean my Windows software will work with my Mac? Do you mean with boot camp or virtualization? I certainly don't want to spend 400 dollars for a full version of Windows.

As for me not making the change very well, I completely agree! Happy

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$400 for Windows! Hardly worth it.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 24, 2008 2:41 AM PDT
In reply to: You could be right.
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by cgarrity / November 24, 2008 9:52 AM PST
In reply to: You could be right.

I bought an OEM edition of Vista Home Premium that runs great on my MB via Parallels 4.0. I've never tried Boot Camp, but it's a free program in OS X. The other VM program that is supposed to be as good as Parallels is Fusion. Both of these programs cost around $70-$80.

The benefit of them is that you can switch back and forth without rebooting. With Boot Camp, you have to reboot to go between Windows and OS X.

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by mindpower / May 22, 2009 5:30 PM PDT
In reply to: I completely agree!

Not the "small market share means nobody bothers to write viruses" myth again, sigh. This is totally untrue. Mac OS 9 had a much smaller market share than OS X and yet there were more viruses for it. BeOS had only a fraction of Apple's market share and there were more viruses for that than have been written for OS X.

Please don't perpetuate that silly myth!

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by samram1972 / May 23, 2009 1:12 AM PDT
In reply to: wrong!


I agree, and I am not saying that MAC OSX is not more secure, more secure than Windows 98, Xp and OS 9, but you have to remember, that most hackers do this for an effect, damage, so if they write for MAC the effect is not as high, where as in Windows it is.

However, I agree, MacOSX is by far more secure - now how secure compared to VISTA let's see - still to young, and VISTA does not have a great market share - but hackers are going to write for it. Apple themselves are releasing 10.6 because of security flaws in OS 10.5 (one of the reasons, among others of course), but it shows that without constant vigil any OS can be put at risk - do we really think if Windows and MAC's popularity was reversed that there will be so many viruses written for Windows, although it would be easier, probably? I am sure hackers would have targeted MAC OSX much more.

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Switched, switched back
by soba18 / January 31, 2009 9:16 AM PST

I asked one of these "thread" questions back in late November bc of the need for a new computer. I decided to go with an imac refurb.
The selling point was how "easy" it was to use and it's compatibility with pc software, as a business owner it's important to keep costs low and keep productivity high. Long story shortish first I blew out OSX operating system while trying to partition. Next, I found that I had to buy a new copy of XP w/sp2 as part of the disc. I was told that as long as I had my original XP & sp2 upgrade, I would not need to buy anything else to run both programs w/bootcamp (free) or Paralells, xtra cost. Wrong.
I spent $700 more for the IMac than I'd planned to spend on a PC. Next, I couldn't run my printer software; I couldn't run my bookkeeping software; I blew out OSx and had to reinstall it and then buy a new disc for XPw/sp2. I spent so much time trying to get the Mac to operate like a pc that I wasnn't getting my day to day operations taken care of. As much as I wanted the Mac, really believed it would be a better OS, what I found was that it was not compatible with any of my software, the graphics as beautiful as the sound was good were also a bit too cute for me; I need my computer for work to work. I was getting clost to $1000 extra cost to force my mac to run like a pc, was not getting any work done and ended up using my laptop (Dell) to run my office. I needed to get some work done without spending further time and money on the process.
I bought a Sony, am using my former virus software (Eset Nod Internet Security- good price, not a memory hog, fantastic program); have no ideal why everyone whines about Vista, it's Leapord minus the cutsie; my software works, and I've spent $1050 vs. $1900 (includes Mac classes, cost of their sorta free new printer, Iwork, 2 yr. Apple plan; does not include the upcoming costs of new XPsp2, Paralells, Quickbooks, etc. etc.). If I did not have a business, had unlimited funds and time to relearn everything Mac, I would buy a Mac. But to spent an additional $1000/lost time forcing the Mac to operate like a PC really made no sense for me. One really good thing about the Apple group - very friendly, helpful, and when the first tech suppt. person couldn't help me reinstall my OSX after 20 min. of trying, the next tech suppt person was excellent. The sales people for the return was fantastic too. They really tried. Including understanding that I had to make a sensible busines decision as well as have a fun computer.
Then I found out wh

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by keitheboy / March 20, 2009 12:15 PM PDT

have always used PC never again imac is by far the better system spend time with it and you will see

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I agree too.
by Cityscape4 / April 29, 2009 3:38 AM PDT

cmatter & sclaflin are both right on. Macs cost like $800 more than Windows PCs. You can get a state of the art anti-virus program with built-in firewall and everything for only $50, I'd recommend "Avira Internet Security Suite".

And the Mac Os is so controling, if i were to leave Windows i'd go to

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by adscram14 / November 7, 2008 8:23 PM PST
In reply to: Software OS's

Just wanted to let you guys know that (It is like Office) will run on an Intel mac, so Office projects won't be a problem.

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by bighedstev / December 11, 2008 5:51 AM PST
In reply to: Software OS's

PC's don't get viruses like you claim - if you aren't an idiot. Quit trying to mislead this person. If you aren't stupid about where you go online and don't open email attachments from people you don't know - you don't have a thing to worry about as far as viruses go.

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windows viruses
by xnickitynickx / December 19, 2008 9:35 AM PST
In reply to: viruses

I have no idea where you got that idea from but I have to say that you are sadly mistaken. I have 2 windows PCs right now and I hate them! I have had them for a couple of years now and I regularly run AV programs and I never open up unknown attachments and the one I have in the other room still has a LOT of trojans and other viruses. I think that you ought to stop misleading people because you are terribly wrong. That is one of the most blatant reasons why I am switching to Mac in a week when I get my new Macbook.

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You are both being misleading.
by AkulaTheDeathScythe / December 19, 2008 12:46 PM PST
In reply to: windows viruses

I have in front of me right now 5 computers that I use every day, 4 of them are Windows based, and the oldest one will be 7 years old soon. In those 7 years I have had exactly one actual virus; fortunately it just messed with cpu load and did no actual damage that wasn't fixed by deleting the virus and repairing infected files. What I'm trying to say is that there is some truth to what both or you are saying, bighedstev and nickrandocps. However there is also a lot of the usual Mac fanboy, Win fanboy crap that I get tired of seeing.

I am not an idiot, yet I still got that one virus, I know how I got it and where I got it. Simple fact; it couldn't have been avoided. Other than real viruses and trojans, which are rare exceedingly these days with people being smarter with their computers, the main thing that all windows computers will have on them are spyware and adware and all that stuff. You get them in all sorts of ways, a lot of them are just cookies you get from visiting certain sites and most of them are completely harmless. Some are real threats for security of personal information but these are far less prevalent and you won't find them in the mainstream waters of the net mostly.

So yes there are viruses and trojans on Windows, but by no means would you find tons of them on your computer every week, that's ludicrous and complete BS. nickrandocps if by "a LOT of trojans and other viruses" you mean spyware and adware, then yes it’s possible that you have these problems but most of them are probably harmless. On the computer I'm on right now that I've had for a year and a half now I did my first malware (spyware and adware) scan ever and came up with 127 results when the scan finished. Of the 127 exactly 1 posed me any real threat, which was the reason I had run the scan as my firewall had picked it right after it got in, the rest were all for the most part harmless, tracking cookies for various websites and online flash games, so on and so forth.

Windows has its security problems, even if you're smart you can't always prevent everything, but by no means is there some sort of torrent of evil computer killing viruses bombarding you all the time. So give it a rest I'm tired of hearing this same nonsense arguing from both sides. If you get a Mac, get it because it's a well built machine with a sleek and simple interface, not because it's going to save you from all the big scary viruses out there.

P.S. I'm still waiting for the day someone gets bored enough to create a real virus for OSX. They'll take down 40% of OSX based systems in a week. Just hope it doesn't get mine.

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