While on the surface, performance, value for money and configurability all seem like obvious wins for Windows, there are potential downsides to consider. Until relatively recently, Microsoft didn't make its own hardware, and compared to macOS, a Windows machine can still can feel like a selection of parts and drivers. There is not the hardware quality, consistency and the reliability of a Mac especially for those of us who have access to an Apple Store.
The macOS still 'looks' better out of the box, and has a lot of helpful bundled applications, including Preview, QuickTime player and the excellent Finder preview, quicklook and column view. These can be replicated on Windows but only with the use of third-party apps or hacks. In terms of backup, Time Machine is still a better one-stop solution. In my experience, Macs are more dependable. Whenever I have taken a PC laptop out on a job with me, the battery has either run down because a background process has failed to quit, or the machine has only run at half-power because the CPU and GPU are being throttled.
The iMac Pro is the powerful yet quiet creative solution that's been missing from the Apple lineup. Compare this with the latest MacBook Pro, which does not throttle down any component while on battery power. The MacBook Pro also has an incredible standby time when the lid is closed and it's dropped into a rucksack. The latest generation of Macs are also very quiet in operation. Although expandability is still an issue on macOS — especially on the laptop front — Thunderbolt 3 can be an effective way of adding functionality to a Mac.
It's also simple to add extra storage space, as the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3 can easily cope with the much faster SSDs. Thunderbolt 3, as it uses the same connector as USB-C, means you can connect a plethora of peripherals to your Mac. There are signs that the pro software market is sticking with the Mac. Finally, it's possible to run Windows through any Mac via the Boot Camp software, turning your Mac into a multi-platform solution. A big shift in the last twelve months has been the appearance of popular, traditional apps in the Windows Store. Everything from Slack to Discord, Flux and Spotify now lives there, which has a fantastic side effect: seamless updates without ever thinking about it.
As Microsoft hones in further on Progressive Web Apps as a platform, this will likely become the norm, but it's great to have the apps I interact with on a daily basis showing up there. All that seems to be suspiciously absent is Visual Studio Code, which is odd, given Microsoft actually owns that project. One of the biggest hesitations of most people to switch is that they use a fancy macOS-only mail app they can't live without.
While that may be true, I've come to find that I now use many more native, first-party apps that simply didn't exist on macOS in the first place. Netflix on the plane without a separate iPad just for that? Yup, you can even sync stuff offline.
Switch between Your Mac OS X and Windows Partitions
There's native official apps for Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, Hulu, Plex and so on, which is surprising, given that they don't have macOS counterparts at all. There still remains a dearth of inspiring apps like you might see on the other side, but it's been years since something genuinely new arrived on macOS as well. What does feel like a missed opportunity is Microsoft pulling some of the flagship iPad-first apps onto Windows.
I'm hopeful that designers and developers looking for something new and jumping to Windows will encourage better, beautiful, weird ideas again, and there are promising signs. Unigram, for example, is an exponentially better Telegram client than the official one, and demonstrates it's possible to build something great. Bash on Windows is generally great, but a performance issue emerged at some point that causes slowdowns on common tasks like npm install or large commits.
This has been a known issue for months, with hundreds of developers chiming in about the issue The Fluent design language—which was touted as far back as two years ago—is a fantastic new direction for Windows. One area that seems to be ignored entirely is the taskbar.
I don't know if it's because Microsoft is scared to piss users off again after the debacle that was Windows 8, or if it just doesn't realize how messy it is—but it's in desperate need of new thinking. A great example of this can be found in the bottom right corner of the desktop, which I like to think of as the 'background dumping ground' where running tasks are relegated to a drawer that has no rules, consistency, or visual hierarchy. For search in the forthcoming 19H1 update, the same could be said.
Microsoft separated it from the Cortana assistant functionality—a wise move—but left it orphaned, floating, and just weird in general. Why can't this search bar be thought of in an entirely new way?
Scroll, swipe, click
I'd just love to see a fresh approach here: what does the task bar, or the dock, of the future look like? Can't we come up with something other than this space-hugging array of icons and distractions? Like all things in technology, there's good and bad to your choices of software. The Microsoft of has a split personality.
Where the company is successful today is where that latter desire is ascendant, and the Surface Book is the best example of a forward-looking Microsoft you can find. Small and powerful, with a long battery life, it impresses as a laptop, but its real strengths are revealed when you undock the screen from its base.
Being able to carry my laptop around the kitchen when doing the weekly shop, before docking it back and typing up some recipes, was genuinely cool.
Evaluate what you have
Unfortunately, cool is all it was for me. The ability to pop out my laptop and write on it with a very accurate stylus was never that useful. If anything, it served to underscore how efficient the keyboard-and-touchpad combo is for a lot of hefty tasks. I had a similar experience with the ability to use the touchscreen while the Surface Book was in laptop mode. Occasionally, the touchscreen was actively bad. My first time opening Windows Mail, I was greeted with a helpful popover showing that I could swipe mails to the left to archive them. Two-fingered swipe on the touchpad? The answer, of course, is to reach up to the screen, and swipe that way.
The platforms have converged on everything but aesthetics and personal preferences. Both have a locked-down store which power users ignore; both are fighting for relevance in a world of web apps and mobile-first design; both feel the weight of versions past sitting on their shoulders.
A Developer on Switching From Windows to macOS - Hongkiat
I was shocked by the amount of advertising and cross-promotion riddled throughout the OS, from adverts for apps in the start menu, to a persistent pop-up offering a free trial of Office I was surprised by the paucity of solid third-party apps in general, and particularly by the lack of any good consumer productivity suite. It feels like the Mac dev scene is full of teams making fully featured apps that compete with the big companies, while Windows devs are more content to make niche utilities which serve particular needs without needing to start a war.
I disliked the lack of a smart sleep mode, meaning my computer would often be flat when I opened it up in the morning because some utility had been running in the background. I hated the difficulty in typing special characters, from foreign accents to ellipses and em-dashes. I hated the lack of a universal paste-as-plain-text shortcut, and I mourned the loss of iMessage access on the desktop for texting my girlfriend.
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