Apple Vs Windows Operating System

As you likely know by now, Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. After nearly a decade, Microsoft will no longer be required to put out security patches or provide support for the Windows 7 operating system (OS).

While Microsoft announced Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 7 starting April 2019 through January 2023, this is only a temporary solution and comes at a premium — $50 to $200 per device. Plus, Windows 7 ESU does not offer Help Desk support or regular bug fixes and patches.

This is significant news for thousands of organizations and millions of PC users leveraging Windows 7. On the bright side, now is the perfect time for organizations to determine how they want to empower users with technology, what types of technology they plan to offer and how they can protect the company’s bottom line in the process. When strictly looking at a cost comparison of Windows PC and Mac, the upfront cost of each hardware can be deceiving.

Some come to the conclusion that Windows PC is the less expensive device overall. However, when seeing past the initial price tag, the perception of true value changes.

This blog post compares Windows PC and Mac in four areas:.

Windows vs macOS: Gaming

Hardware and operating system costs. Enterprise device management costs. Support and help desk costs. Hiring, training and retention costs. In general, a Mac typically costs more than a PC. MacBook laptops start at $999 and go up from there depending on needs.

Apple’s strategy has always been to create quality products that are built to last. PCs can range in price due to varying levels of specifications and battery life. Those willing to sacrifice performance and features can purchase a low-level PC.

According to business.org, the lowest an organization should ever spend on a business PC is $300, and that range will only offer the bare minimum of capabilities.

Hiring, training and retention costs

Beacon IT Services, an IT service organization, says a low-level or consumer-grade PC typically offers a 2-3 year lifespan before it needs to be replaced. Business-grade PCs — ones that more align with Mac pricing — can expect three to five years.

On the other hand, Mac can be a reliable computer for five, six or seven years after purchase. Online shoe retailer, GOAT, leverages seven-year-old Mac computers on a daily basis as warehouse kiosks. Mac longevity also leads to greater resale value once organizations look to refresh hardware — helping offset the cost of new devices.

According to PowerMax, Windows PCs provide close to zero residual value after three years, while a MacBook Pro offers more than $300 of residual and trade-in value after six years. Software must either come with or be added to the computer. All Mac computers ship with the latest version of macOS — the Mac operating system — for free.

Apple only builds one version of its Mac operating system so there are no discrepancies in features.

User Interface

This provides a consistent, reliable experience across all Mac users. When a new macOS becomes available, which happens on an annual cadence in the fall, users can update for free, always. Contrary, Microsoft offers Windows 10 in a Home and Pro version. While the cheaper versions of PC will likely only ship with the Home version, organizations are going to require the Windows 10 Pro version to give employees the basic tools they need to be productive.

Windows 10 Pro is $199 per device and will need to be added to all existing computers running Windows 7 and/or new PCs that don’t ship with Windows 10 Pro. A management solution is essential for both Mac and PC devices.

Management empowers IT to deploy new hardware, configure settings, update software, enforce security protocols and gather extensive inventory details.

Windows vs macOS: Security and ease of use

Management solutions are becoming increasingly foundational for the success of infrastructure and application investments. Every macOS has built-in security features that naturally protect the device the second it is powered on. These include FileVault, System Integrity Protection (SIP), XProtect and Privacy Controls just to name a few. Pairing these native (free) security features with updated OS and apps, Mac is inherently more secure and less susceptible to vulnerabilities than other platforms — and is not something organizations have to pay for.

macOS also includes a mobile device management (MDM) framework which allows products like Jamf Pro — the standard in Apple device management — to leverage in order to conduct ongoing, remote device management.

Windows vs macOS: Popularity and compatibility

Apple deployment programs such as Apple Business Manager allow organizations to order Mac computers and flag them as corporate-owned devices. Without ever opening the box, Jamf Pro can leverage the serial number of the computer to communicate with the device. Once the user turns on the computer, the device is enrolled into management and loaded with all the apps, settings and resources IT deemed necessary. Jamf Pro also empowers IT to create a custom app catalog through Jamf Self Service. Self Service is a portal where users can access IT-approved apps and settings — all without submitting an IT ticket. In a recent Hobson & Company study, Self Service was found to reduce end-user productivity loss by 60 percent and help desk ticket volume by 15 percent.

Microsoft offers two management solutions for Windows: Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

Virtual Assistance

E3: Enterprise Mobility + Security ($8.74/month per user) . E5: Enterprise Mobility + Security ($14.80/month per user) . Jamf Pro provides all Mac management features up front, and when new ones are made available, they are added to the solution without additional cost. Jamf Pro costs $7.17 per month per Mac. While support staff and resources will vary based on organizational needs, it has been well-documented that Mac users require less support than their PC counterparts. IBM has provided concrete data to support this claim. IBM’s technology choice program — which has seen more than 100,000 Mac computers rolled out — cites that PC users are twice as likely to call support than Mac users. Plus, out of all the Mac support tickets that are opened, only five percent require an in-person visit.

One Unique Advantage

Contrary, 27 percent of the PC tickets that are opened require hands-on assistance from IT. According to Spoke, an IT service provider, the average cost per support ticket is $15.56 ($1.60 per minute). With PC users submitting many more tickets and requiring more visits from IT, the costs quickly add up every time a PC user has an issue. With less tickets to field, and streamlined management tools to automate time-consuming tasks, it’s safe to say that Mac requires fewer IT staff to manage than PC. In fact, one IT admin at IBM was able to manage 5,400 Mac users.

And, according to Glassdoor, the average IT administrator’s salary is $60,000 per year, so identifying device management efficiencies and offering hardware that users can confidently use is essential to keeping staff costs down.

Total Cost of Ownership

Aside from the costs of paying essential IT staff when a work device is being fixed, the employee is sidelined until the issue is resolved. Every ticket submitted and minute that passes is time and money wasted. Employees are no longer satisfied living by the status quo. So, when traditional organizations provide a standard-issued PC to each and every new hire, this can leave many workers frustrated.

In a recent survey, employees said they are more productive, creative and collaborative on a work device of their choosing. And more often than not, the work device of choice is Mac.

In fact, 72 percent of employees will choose a Mac over a PC if given the chance. But choice programs aren’t essential, right? Well, 77 percent of employees will choose to work at a company or stay at their existing company if given a choice in work technology.

This is an alarming stat considering how expensive it is to hire, train and replace employees.

Windows vs macOS: Updates

Nobscot, an organization focused on HR technology and employee retention software, identified four areas where organizations are hit the most when employees leave:. Cost of turnover When an employee leaves, the cost of the hiring process, training and overall productivity go with them. Nobscot says the average cost of turnover is 25 percent of an employee’s salary. If an employee makes $50,000 per year, it can cost upwards of $12,500 to replace them.

Loss of company knowledge Employees who leave take with them valuable company, customer and project knowledge (maybe even to competitors).

Should I buy Windows or macOS?

Disruption of customer service An employee’s departure often leaves a gap in delivery of customer service. Relationships are key to a strong business and returning customers. A break in the system could have a lasting impact. Turnover leads to more turnover When an employee leaves, others must pick up the slack until a replacement is found. This can lead to unnecessary stress and negative employee morale.

Keeping employees happy (and employed at your organization) is crucial to any business. If you can do so simply by providing them the hardware they are most comfortable with, why wouldn’t you? When you add up the potential cost of not offering employees the work technology they need, with the cost savings of simple to use, easy to manage technology, the answer is clear: Mac is a great option for even the most budget-conscious organization. And offering employees Mac doesn’t hinder them from leveraging the best part of their PC experience — the Office applications.

These productivity applications (Word, Outlook, Excel, etc.) are now available in the Mac App Store and Microsoft and Jamf have partnered to make it simple for organizations to empower users with secure access to these apps on their Mac.

If you’re ready to give Mac a serious look, try Jamf for free and put best-of-breed Mac management features to the test.

In Conclusion: Where Are You in the Mac vs Windows Debate?

Or, if you want more reasons why Mac saves organizations money and moves businesses forward, download our full Windows and Mac cost comparison guide. If you're looking to buy one of the best home computers or the best laptops currently available, you'll need to make one particularly important decision -- do you want to go with a Windows device or one that runs macOS? Both operating systems offer considerable advantages but they can also offer some disadvantages too. For many users, personal preference will be the key difference here but there are some important factors to take into account before you decide what to go for. To help you decide what to do, we've taken a look at the key strengths and weaknesses that both operating systems provide to help you evaluate what's most important to you and your needs.

Microsoft's Windows has the monopoly when it comes to global desktop market share.

Hardware and operating system costs

Holding around 77% of it, it's the most popular OS by far. That means mostly everything is keen to be compatible with Windows and, in particular, Windows 10 as it's the latest version until Windows 11 arrives later this year.

What does that mean for you? A wider range of options. There are thousands of different desktops and laptops that work with Windows which means you can get some very cheap systems as well as some very high-end devices too, all depending on your budget. Windows also has the biggest library of software out there so no matter what you need to do with your computer, you'll be able to do it with a Windows desktop or laptop.

One of the biggest issues for many people with macOS is that to use it, you only have a very limited choice of systems to buy. That's because unlike Windows, you can only use macOS on Apple products. That limits you to the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro or Mac Mini.

While these systems cater for a variety of different needs and budgets, it's a far cry from the thousands of different Windows systems you can choose from.

On the plus side, you won't be overwhelmed with choice as each Mac tends to suit a specific purpose.

History and Technical Specifications of Mac vs Windows

If you already own an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch then macOS works very well with these gadgets. It's possible to browse a website on your iPhone before seamlessly transitioning to your MacBook Pro, for instance. Similarly, you can do so with various documents you might be writing. Elsewhere, you can use the cloud to view your iPad's photos from your laptop or view files that are stored across your devices.

Essentially, once you become part of the Apple ecosystem with one purchase, Apple is keen to keep you coming back for more, so all its devices play very nicely together. Macs have been traditionally popular with designers and video editors for a good reason. Certain high-end apps for such purposes are macOS only.

This includes the likes of Final Cut Pro which is often considered the best video editing software out there.

Enterprise device management costs

Of course, if you have no intention on using your computer for specialist purposes, this won't matter, but this is where it's important to consider just why you need a new computer. Winner: Windows (unless you're already in the Apple ecosystem). When it comes to update frequency, Windows updates come along far more often. Now, we're not talking about incremental updates. For both operating systems, security updates and patches are very regular. Instead, we're talking about how Windows 10 offers twice yearly updates which tend to add new features and more performance enhancements than a simple tweak.

In contrast, macOS tends to have a significant update each year.

Additional Differences to Consider: Mac vs Windows

Does that make a difference? Well, sometimes Windows updates can cause temporary issues while macOS updates tend to be more stable, but if you're keen to have the latest changes then Windows will appeal. Without a question, Windows is the far better platform if you like to game.

macOS supports a number of games but it pales in comparison to the amount of games that Windows supports. In many ways, you can save money over time too with more Windows games available in Steam and Epic Games Store sales than you'll ever find on macOS. Generally, you can buy a more powerful Windows gaming machine than when looking for a macOS-based system too, thanks to there being so many different configuration options out there for Windows devices.

Winner: Windows. While macOS-based viruses and malware are growing in number, the risk of a virus infecting your system is still far lower when using macOS than using Windows. That means a more stable and secure experience that's particularly useful if you're a novice with using computers.

Related to that, macOS is generally simpler to use too, unless you've previously used Windows extensively.

Your Ideal OS

If so, you may need to take some time to relearn familiar techniques but, overall, macOS is a bit more intuitive than the Windows way of doing things. It's harder to 'break' anything and simple things like installing apps or games is usually quicker and more straightforward on macOS than using Windows. If you're looking for a system for someone who's never used a computer before, macOS can be a massive help here. So, what should you buy? That decision is down to you. In the past, macOS felt a little more niche - a format best aimed at designers and those that wanted stylish systems with limited functionality - but nowadays, you can still play games, run many of the same apps on both systems, and generally enjoy a very similar experience on either Windows or macOS.

Both operating systems are very stable and increasingly secure but Windows is generally far cheaper to get involved with thanks to more expansive hardware options. It's also often the operating system we're all most used to using. However, if you're looking for a system that 'just works' then macOS is a good bet providing you don't plan on playing many games and there isn't any Windows only software you need to run.

Check that the apps you plan on using are compatible before you pursue this path.

Offering Mac saves money

Do your research, figure out exactly how you plan on using your new computer, and you can't go wrong. You’ll find passionate people on both sides of the Mac vs Windows debate. These two operating systems dominate the marketplace for personal and professional computers. Although both options provide similar outcomes, you’ll find several differences between them that solve specific needs. When Microsoft and Apple were absolute competitors in the home computer market during the 1980s and 1990s, both systems’ hardware and software components were almost unique. As the technology evolved over the years, these platforms have come much closer to parity. The primary difference is that Apple is an internal product with its iMac, MacBook, and Mac Mini series, whereas Microsoft licenses Windows to multiple vendors. That means Apple has more control over the user experience. These additional comparison points are worth considering if you’re in the market for a new computer today.

Support and help desk costs

Windows holds a significant market share compared to Mac systems. About 3 out of every 4 computers (77.74%) that people are using globally right now use the Microsoft platform. MacOS currently holds a 17% part of the market, while Linux and ChromeOS clean up the remaining percentages. Why does Windows have such a dominant percentage of the computing marketplace?

Apple macOS3
Microsoft Windows 10 9
Tie5

This comparison requires us to look at Microsoft’s history with IBM briefly. When the computer developer needed a product to compete with the Apple I and Apple II, IBM contacted Microsoft.

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Setup

At the time, the only item in their portfolio was called Microsoft Basic, and even it had been allegedly copied from another company.

IBM asked them to provide DOS to the personal computer, eventually resulting in a $1 billion campaign against Apple products. Although IBM’s efforts failed for itself, Microsoft benefitted from the marketing campaigns.


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When people use macOS, they often feel that the system is better.

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