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For Mac and PC users: 10 Key Differences You Need to Know

There's no doubt that Mac users' share is increasing in recent years. However, lots of PC users and Mac usres have trouble identify the main key difference when using their devices. This article helps you to find out the differences before you choose a right computer for yourself. Please read more about this now.


Macs and PCs have been locked in an epic battle for many years.

PCs were once the go-to computer because developers used to write the best apps for Windows first.

But over the last several years, that's changed. Now it's almost impossible to find an app on Windows that isn't also on Mac.

Now that Windows 8 has been available for about two years, Apple and Microsoft's platforms seem even more different than ever.

We put together some of the key differences between Macs and PCs to help you out.

This is an update of an article originally written by Kevin Smith.

Apple prides itself on design.

Apple spends years working on how its products look. The company is all about the details, even the internals of its computers are beautifully constructed.

PC design depends on the company making them, but they're usually not as attractive as Macs. However, we have seen some nice copycats like this Dell laptop from 2012.

Macs are usually more expensive.

On average, Macs tend to be noticeably more expensive than their PC counterparts. Although there are some high-end Windows PCs that cost about the same as a MacBook Air (or more), there aren't really any super cheap budget options like there are with Windows computers.

You can get a Windows laptop for as cheap as $200, which is a fraction of what you would pay for a Mac.

Windows is better for hardcore PC gamers.

Because of how highly customizable Windows machines are, gamers tend to prefer them. You can boost up your computer's performance with a better graphics card or add more memory to handle power-hungry games.

Macs typically can't compete on the gaming side unless you're willing to spend a huge amount of money.

You get better customer support with a Mac.

When your Mac breaks, you can book an appointment and take it to your local Apple Store. There, a specialist can help you out with your Mac. If the problem can be fixed in one session, there's usually no charge.

Microsoft does have a few retail locations, but not nearly as many as Apple does. You'd probably have to call your laptop's manufacturer directly to get customer support or head over to your local Best Buy. There's no Genius Bar option like there is for Mac owners.

Macs tend to be safer against malware and viruses.


Security company AVG writes that since there are still fewer Macs than than Windows computers out there, Apple's platform is still a bit more secure. But that won't last for too long, the company writes, and we've seen evidence of this as an increasing number of viruses have surfaced on Mac computers in recent years.

Apple also says it's added new types of encryption and security features in OS X Yosemite to keep your computer safe.

And, since Apple's Mac operating system is built on Unix, it's a little more secure by default than Windows, Macworld reports.

The two operating systems look entirely different.

Windows 8.1 and Apple's OS X operating system look completely different from one another. By default, Windows has a tiled interface that lets you explore the news, your photos, your contacts, or browse the Windows Store among other options. You can view your apps by scrolling to the left and right, or swiping down.

Mac OS X has a cleaner, less busy look. At its most basic level, you have a desktop, a dock for accessing all of your favorite apps, and a taskbar across the top of the screen.

PCs have a larger variety of hardware to choose from.

There are many different PC manufacturers, giving customers lots of different options and brands to choose from.

Microsoft simply makes the software, but companies like HP, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, and many others make the hardware. This offers variety and features that can fit anyone's budget or preference.

Apple makes the hardware and software, so you only have a handful of options if you want to buy a Mac.

If you want to get really technical, it is possible to build your own "Hackintosh," or a traditional PC that runs Apple's operating system. Here's a quick guide if you want to learn how to do it.

Some Windows computers come with touchscreens.

With many Windows computers, you have the option of ordering a version with a touchscreen since Windows 8.1's interface is more touch-friendly. That option doesn't currently exist for the Mac.

Windows runs on tablets, too — not just laptop and desktop computers.

Business Insider/Julie Bort

Windows 8.1 is available on devices of all sizes from giant all-in-one computers to laptops to tiny 8-inch tablets. OS X is only available for Apple's laptops, desktops, and all-in-one computers.

Get used to different keyboard shortcuts if you're planning to switch.

A generic picture of a woman typing in an office on an IBM computer keyboard.

If you are getting ready to make the switch anytime soon, getting used to the different keyboard shortcuts may be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Even taking a screenshot is different on Windows versus Mac.

With Windows 8.1, you can press the Windows key and the print screen key to take a screenshot, but you'll need to use another program like Paint to do any cropping. On a Mac, you can hold the Command, Shift, and 4 keys to take a screenshot that lets you crop whatever you want from your current screen.

BONUS: Want the best of both worlds? Macs can run Windows!

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