11 Differences Between macOS and Windows

The operating system is the lifeblood of any computer. It allows us to run and manage applications, access files, and handle network communication. 

The two most popular desktop operating systems are macOS and Microsoft Windows, but they come with some distinct differences that users should be aware of. 

1. User Interface

macOS has a more modern look and feel with its sleek design, while Windows opts for a more traditional approach with the Start Menu. 

macOS also uses the Dock to display commonly used apps, whereas Windows utilizes the Taskbar for this purpose.

2. File System

Apple’s file system is hierarchical, meanwhile Windows uses an NTFS file system. 

This means that in Apple computers, files are organized according to their location within the directory tree structure. 

In contrast, in Windows PCs, files can be stored anywhere on your drive without having to adhere to a specific structure like in the Mac line.

Of course, some processes and tasks are more or less identical when it comes to file management. For example, fundamentally, learning how to save webpage as a PDF on Mac is not that different from saving one on MS Windows. 

The same can be said about deleting data. But note that there are still distinguishable differences between the two systems.

3. Installation Process

Installing new software in both operating systems is fairly easy but there are key differences as well.

With macOS you need to download the .dmg or .pkg installer from a trusted source before launching it and following the instructions on-screen whereas with Microsoft Windows you can either download an executable (.exe) file or obtain an installation disc/USB drive or even purchase physical media such as software boxes from retailers.

4. Multitasking

Both operating systems support multitasking, so users can perform various tasks at once like running multiple applications at once or viewing several documents side by side but they do so differently.

While macOS offers Mission Control which combines multiple workspaces into one viewable area, Windows Snap feature lets you position multiple windows around one another like tiles on a board game board, allowing users to organize their work much easier than before.

5. Security

Security measures differ greatly between the two operating systems – while Microsoft’s focus lies mainly on anti-virus protection through its security programs like Windows Defender and Anti-malware tools; 

Apple tends to use built-in features that rely more on user authentication for example, requiring a password every time you turn your Macbook on or making you answer predefined questions when trying to set up an account.

6. Cloud Storage Integration

One major advantage of using either of these operating systems over others is their integration with cloud storage services such as Google Drive in MS Windows and iCloud in macOS, allowing users to store their data remotely without worrying about losing it when something goes wrong locally.

7. Updates & Upgrades

Both Systems allow auto-updates that keep your system updated but they differ greatly when it comes down to what happens next.

If a user chooses not to install an update then Microsoft usually gives out warnings periodically through popups, whereas Apple only requires manual installation of updates.

8. Accessibility & Customizations

In terms of customizing for each OS, there are many differences. While both support themes, wallpaper changes, etc., Microsoft provides additional customization options, such as setting up different accounts for different people using one PC; 

However, Apple does not offer this kind of personalized experience due to its hardware restrictions — such as no removable components apart from memory cards.

9. App Support & Availability 

Thanks to app availability, both systems have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of apps available online. 

On the other hand, when comparing them, we see many differences. 

While Mac has its own App Store where developers can showcase their products; Microsoft relies heavily on third-party stores, such as Steam, giving users a much wider selection which can sometimes lead to problems related to performance while running certain games.

10. Shortcut Keys

Keyboard shortcuts help us save time and simplify our workflows by allowing us to type commands faster than usual. 

On Macintosh computers, we typically use a combination of Command + Option/Alt + Shift keys, while Microsoft has its own set consisting mostly of CTRL + ALT + other key combinations, making hard drive navigation much easier.

11. Gaming Experience

Nowadays, gaming plays a big role in the tech industry, so let’s compare how these two platforms handle gaming respectively. 

For starters, both platforms have a great selection of games available at their respective digital stores; however, when compared directly, Mac has fewer games than PC, which often leads to purchasing the same titles twice (once for each OS) if the user wants the full experience. 

Additionally, running certain titles on Mac might require adding an external GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) since most recent models lack enough power within themselves.

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