Friday, February 1, 2013

Windows 8 Gaining Traction; Yet Loses on Various Fronts to Mac

It seems that the $1 billion budget Microsoft has set for the marketing of Windows 8 has started reaping fruits for the software powerhouse. The OS is outpacing Mac if we talk about the worldwide user base of the two. Certainly, it’s no mean feat considering the repo Apple’s products have developed over due course of time.

As per the figures that were released last Monday, Windows 8 was installed in 2.36% PCs worldwide. That’s right behind Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the most recent Mac OS version. Previous versions of Mac are behind Windows 8 by quite a distance with Mac OS X Lion at 1.96% and Snow Leopard at 2%.

The stats clearly indicate that Windows 8 is steadily gaining acceptance and if things go well, may soon be rated in one of the preferred operating systems in the Windows series. Here’s a somewhat critical view on Windows 8 vis-à-vis Mac OS X. Read it and judge by yourselves on what to pick and kick between the two.

Interface Needs to be Simpler

So much is said and written about the new user interface of Windows 8. According to many, it’s complicated, especially for the first-end user or the one who has just upgraded from Windows 7. We also somewhat agree that anyone should be able to use the technology right from the scratch rather than first going through a crash course of sorts to get trained in it.  Certainly, an average mind may need that in Windows 8, but not with Mountain Lion. However, it’s also worth noting that the company has tried something new with Windows 8 and as we can see, it has started reaping benefits for them.

How Secure is Windows 8
No doubt Windows 8 is far more secure than legacy operating systems from Microsoft, but expecting it to stand on its own to deal with canniest of online threats is asking too much from this OS. Mac OS X however has far more secure architecture than even Windows 8 and delivers on security all by its own.

It’s New and Different
History is the witness here. Whenever Microsoft has tried something new it has failed big time—Windows Phone 7, for instance; Windows Vista was a sure shot disaster. Probably we will have a more precise answer on Windows 8 in a few months time. Moreover, enterprises are waiting for Windows 8 to get rid of its so-called issues before they deploy it. Mountain Lion, on the other hand, is an open text book of sorts if we talk about issues here and is far more acceptable than Windows 8 in the current scenario.

Less Apps; but Time is the Key
Apple is a big player in apps. Its Apple Store has more than 1 million approved apps in comparison to Windows Store with 40000 odd. A clear advantage for Apple here, but once again let me remind you that Windows 8 is just over three months old.

Hardware Stands No Chance
For sure Apple has an upper hand here. Unlike Microsoft, the company manufactures and sells its own hardware along with the OS line. And the technology, with due respect to the likes of HPs, the Dells and the Lenovo’s, is in a league of its own. On the contrary, as we all know Mac OS cannot run on any of these machines, whereas Windows 8 can. More options for an end user to pick you see, with Windows 8 that is.

Updates are Less Frequent
Mac OS X gets far more rapid updates than Windows-based operating systems. For the record, Apple updates its OS almost every year unlike Microsoft’s strategy of incremental updates, once in a few years only. So, Mountain Lion gets new features almost every year.

So Windows 8 may be gaining traction with every passing day, but Mountain Lion still scores more on various fronts. However, as with other Windows-based operating systems, Windows 8 can run on any machine, even a Mac. The same is not true with OS X though.

You can also watch this video and learn to operate Windows 8 in exactly four minutes and believe me, it’s not difficult.


Image by:  comedy_nose

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