10 ways that Windows is better than Mac OS

Having used both Windows and Mac OS X over the years, there’s little doubt in my mind that my Mac is, overall, nicer to use than any Windows PC. And of course, this is a Mac blog, so many of my posts invariably end up singing the praises of Macs and all things Apple.

However, as it’s the season of goodwill and all, I thought it fitting to redress the balance and list 10 things that Windows does better than Mac OS

1. Windows is more customizable

Change the desktop theme – including wallpaper, taskbar, window styles and fonts – to anything you like. Try doing that on a Mac.

2. Windows is more compatible

Let’s face it – practically all software and peripherals out there support Windows. (Though the Mac is getting better all the time in this regard.)

3. Choose your own hardware

With Windows you’re not tied into one manufacturer with a limited product range like you are with Mac OS (Psystar notwithstanding). On a budget? Any cheap clone will run Windows. Want something that exactly matches your lifestyle or situation? The range of PC options is huge so you’re bound to find something that suits.

4. Better keyboard shortcuts

You can access any menu option in a Windows app with 2 or 3 keystrokes, and they’re the same standard keystrokes on any Windows PC. With Mac apps you’re limited to the shortcuts chosen by the app developer. (You can add your own shortcuts on a per-app basis, but then you have to remember which shortcuts you’ve added for each app. And what happens if you get a new Mac, or use a friend’s? You have to redo all your shortcuts again!)

Furthermore, you can access pretty much all controls in any Windows dialog or window via the keyboard. Mac OS lets you turn on so-called “full keyboard access”, but there are still many things you can’t do with the keyboard (try moving from the Calendars pane to the Day/Week/Month View pane in iCal, for example, or activating the all-important Scan button in Image Capture).

5. Sensible use of navigation keys

I know I’ve been over this before, and it’s largely a “personal taste” thing, but after nearly 3 years of using the Mac I still can’t get my head around using the finger-twisting Command-Left Arrow to go the beginning of a line, and Command-Right Arrow to go the end of the line. Not to mention the Home, End, Page Up and Page Down keys that scroll without moving the cursor. Arrrgh. Windows uses these keys much more sensibly in my opinion.

6. More useful file manager

Finder can’t cut and paste files or give you a 2-pane tree view of your files and folders. Windows Explorer can, and jolly useful these functions are, too.

7. More flexible open/save dialogs

Speaking of file management, Windows open and save dialogs let you rename and delete files and folders; add new files and folders; open a selected file in another app for viewing/editing; open a selected folder in Windows Explorer; and manipulate image files:

Mac’s open/save dialogs merely let you select a file and create a new folder. Not nearly as useful.

8. Much bigger range of games

I’d love to play a lot of games on my Mac, but sadly there just isn’t the range that there is for Windows. And when you do get a game for the Mac, it’s often a second-rate port of the Windows version.

9. Easier to get help

There are many more Windows users than Mac users. If you get stuck with your Windows PC, chances are you know someone round the corner (or their kid!) who can help you fix it. With a Mac, you might be struggling.

10. Windows Media Center does more than Front Row

Media Center lets you watch and record live TV and/or radio (with a suitable card), and you can do a lot more thanks to plugins. It also works with a mouse if you want it to. Can’t do any of things with Front Row (the Apple Remote is nice though).

So there you have it. Macs may be lovely, but there are some things that Microsoft simply does better! Not that I’ll be trading in my iMac for a Dell just yet.

Merry Christmas, Windows users everywhere. 🙂

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67 Responses to “10 ways that Windows is better than Mac OS”

  1. Jonny Says:

    Also I’d like to add, that number 3 is probably the most important. Compare the price of an average mac with an average pc…

  2. Benj Says:

    I’ve been using a Mac for about a year now after using mainly Linux but also pleanty of Windoze in the past. I have to say, the Mac is not the amazing wonder computer I’d heard people talk about although there are some nice things about it.

    Here are some of my pet peeves:

    1. I’m in the UK and Mac doesn’t really support the UK keyboard! I have a so called Mac UK keyboard but it has several keys missing. It’s basically a US keyboard with the # replaced with a British pound sign. That’s all very well except that # (called the hash key in the UK) is damned important in the UK too!!

    2. I’m a programmer and I like navigating by typing because it’s so much faster and I work super fast. Even with Full keyboard access the Mac is seriously weak on keyboard navigation. How come I can’t just type into finder to navigate to a particular file! Even brain dead windows can do that.

    3. I have 3 monitors, WTF would I want to navigate over 3 screens just to get to the menu bar for the application I’m using!!!!

    4. I have a MacPro with 16Gb of RAM and 8 cores. It cost 2500 pounds (work paid) and yet it has a really crappy graphics card!! An equivalently powered windows/linux box would have cost me 1/4 the price and would have had top of the range video hardware.

    The only thing that Mac really has over Windows is:

    1. It’s prettier (although not as pretty as the new Ubuntu Linux 9.04)
    2. It is less inclined to constantly irritate the user with messages
    3. It’s significantly more secure (since the guys at Apple replaced OS9 with something based on FreeBSD Unix (a very secure operating system).

    However, for me Mac and Windows both play second fiddle to Linux which is far and away my favorite operating system. It’s as pretty and graceful as Mac these days. Incredibility reliable, incredibly flexible for advanced users (where Mac really really falls down).

    Mac is my least favorite, because it’s interface is almost too simple. It so often forces me into the grind of massive numbers of mouse clicks to get things done. Where other operating systems would just have an extra feature which would do what I want.

    Summary, Macs are great for kids and beginners, not so good for professionals.

  3. Mac vs. PC :: Will my next computer be a Mac? | K's Weblog Says:

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  4. Peter Says:

    I’ve got both XP (not Vista as my PC came with XP and I just can’t be bothered to update it, its working fine in XP (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it)) and an iMac (which has a few problems and I may need to get it replaced, dead pixel, buzzing fan and a possibly DD on the way out and its only 4 weeks old…Must of got a bad one T_T)
    Even so I know the differences between them and I know that each one has advantages over the other. For instance, you can do alot more in Explorer than you can in Finder via dialogue boxes as Windows has Shell expansions that add menus to the Explorer shell and menus, while OSx does have this in some way they are all hidden in a submenu.

    As for games I have no idea why people are saying OSx has more games or even Games consoles have more games, pretty much all console games end up on a PC and have you ever walked into a games store and seen a shelf on Mac games? I’m finding it hard just to get games for my iMac.
    But still Macs are good and so is Windows, I use both as much as eachother, XP more at the moment as I have no important files on my mac.

  5. leo Says:

    why you do not speak about viruses?
    why you do not speak about registries problems
    about crases about…………………………..?????????????????

  6. diipadaapa Says:

    If you want customization for your personal computer, install Linux or some BSD variant. Those are _not_ closed source software and you get to participate in the decision making process.

  7. S. Bala Murugan Says:

    Personal Experiences with mac.

    Hardware too fragile (Drop it once you are stuck with some or the other problem. Drop it after warranty period then you can pretty much buy a new one rather than repairing it) – Try an IBM laptop in this matter.

    Extended warranty is too costly… (compare with hp, dell or IBM)

    The moment you think of upgrading, forget about affordability… ( Things are going forward rapidly these days who wants to get stuck into a older configuration?)

    Unfair price difference in most countries (India, China etc.,)

    One same model for everyone????? Which self respecting person will spend a lot on a gadget which looks exactly same as million’s (I stopped thinking about mac when people around me started buying mac)… if you think mac is sexy then go see adamo by dell, voo doo by HP

    Windows (aka P.C) advantages:

    More flexible as a OS ( I mean only OS not all the software packages included, for that matter even finder and explorer are applications )

    Customizable…. (Try changing the apple logo in the menu bar into your company logo or adding the most powerful graphics card in the market into a mac)

    Technical Support… especially in Remote places like mine in India where the nearest apple store is thousand miles away and windows / PC support is two blocks away…

    Media center and gaming …. That needs no explanation

    Feature rich: Touchscreen tablets (Even multi touch) , Finger print reader, Face recognition, liquid cooling system (In Hot climates) and many more built right into your machine… here please dont give me “who needs those stuff” crap (Remember Magsafe, Laser drilled LED, Magnetic latch, mighty mouse)

    As a Urban and Regional Planner – CAD and GIS (Most people using macs don’t use such specialized programs eg. structural analysis, transport modelling etc… even when same kind of program available for both platforms the windows ones are better – don’t tell me ArchiCAD is better than AutoCAD)

    As you all know unofficially, you can easily (Just simple installation no command line n stuff) put mac os in a pc ( some companies thought its legal too…) only If you are so paranoid about OS and still want a better hardware.

    The one and only weakness you can have in a wintel combination is, Viruses – No matter what, you will get a virus some time or the other… But if you have an average IQ in terms of computers then i don’t think its a problem. (eg. You will get bitten by a mosquito in the tropics no matter what you do, but if you have some common sense you wont get malaria)

  8. Techdude21 Says:

    OK, i think one thing is for sure, Macs cant beat Linux, but do you see Linux fans go around saying that every minute no! Mac users also cant be quiet and just make stupid comments about how they are safer then windows and your wasting time using a PC, in a recent hacking competition a mac yes a mac fell first, so even if it was the wireless card had third party software that still means mac is not the most secure operating system in the whole world, yes windows might have lost of “viruses” but so does mac, and Linux, and no not just “Adware” or “Spyware” but Worms, Trojans, and if this world had a higher number of ASM coders we might just witness the worlds first mac rootkit “i dont know if there is one for macs” or witness the return of self reproducing viruses, so don’t try saying “oh macs are better then pc” because they don’t get many viruses doesn’t mean they are secure, if you do keep on buying macs, then we will see how the tables turn.

  9. My god people why are you all so worked up on defending your poor Macs??? Says:

    Wow guys, seriously, the most important thing here is that all of you here who love apple computers should just realize that the most important thing is that you know your computer is better than anyones IN YOUR OWN MIND! Why do you guys spend time writing essays regarding how macs are better? They are just a computer for gods sake after all. Writing essays like fanatics just makes it seem as if you guys are trying to convince YOURSELVES not someone else that mac computers are better than windows-running machines. Myself I prefer Windows because if you treat windows nicely, and dont trash it- that is where you get all your registry faliure commetns from, it’ll be a much more rewarding experience using it because with windows the world is there to get you; unfortunately with Mac- there is only apple out to get you. If there were the same amount of software and support from Mac and from Windows, I’d chose a mac though because macs ARE nice.

  10. bear Says:

    well i m not a mac fan. but rather than arguing about mac pc vs windows pc. why dont u just install mac on a pc? dude i own an imac 2009 version and i have a pc.
    both have core 2 duo. On my pc i have installed mac os x. Guess what i found my pc running leopard better than mac!!

  11. Wayne Bloss Says:

    Every answer to “the Mac can’t do this” is “Oh, all you have to do is install this utility” or “Why would you want to do that? That’s just wrong”. LOL

  12. George Klein Says:

    From all the comments I could conclude, that the MAC OS is net superior to WINDOWS VISTA.
    From my own experience I say the same think. There is no reason to justify it. Just buy a MAC try it and see it yourself. That’s what I did a few months ago, and realized, that I should have done this years ago.
    I am a power user, I use the computer for photo restoration. Almost all books about Photoshop and Adobe related programs are written for the MAC with the Windows equivalent shown in brackets. I haven’t seen even one Photoshop Professional using a PC. All of them have been using a MAC for many many years.

    I don’t say that everything Windows is doing is worst than what the MAC does.
    No. But if we put the two operating systems side by side there are lots of things the MAC does better than a PC, but only a few things the PC does better than the MAC.

    So, for all of you thinking that VISTA is better than MAC OS just keep using it and “enjoy” it. I prefer to enjoy my MAC.

  13. frida Says:


  14. tux Says:

    “Sean Says:
    December 13th, 2008 at 5:44 am

    I understand the gist of your article, and am in no way angered by it. However…

    I can debate each and every point.

    #8. Again, the Mac runs more games than the PC now. See #2. And who plays games on a computer when you can play them on a console in front of a 50″ HD LCD from the comfort of your bed or couch? Not to mention there are many more games for the consoles than for PC’s.”

    The user who said this clearly has no idea of what windows can run, LOL hes an ignorant at best. how in the world can u make such a claim that mac runs more games than the PC now, geeezz

  15. nathan harris Says:

    you can change the wallpaper on mac too, most of the stuff you can do with a mac.

  16. joe Says:

    PCs are better- you can get higher specs for a lower price, there’s more of a range, its more versatile and customizable. Macs are for working musicians and design guys :/. Macs limit their appeal by only allowing mac OSes on apple hardware. If I don’t like the very few designs of that hardware, I’m stuffed.

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