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Mac and Windows compatibility through the decades

Fredric Paul | Jan. 22, 2014
A trip down memory lane: Macs and PCs haven't always gotten along, but the problem has largely gone away.

Sleek Macbooks from 2010
I was pretty much PC-only during the oughts, but in 2010 I took a new job that came with a spiffy new 15-inch Macbook Pro, even though most of my colleagues there used desktop Windows machines. The timing was fortuitous, though, as Microsoft had just released a new version of Office for the Mac. Although buggy, it was pretty much compatible with the versions of Office running on the Windows machines, but I had to use the Parallels Windows virtualization program to operate our proprietary content management system. Seriously, in 2010!

My next machine at my next job -- was a MacBook Air that may be the single best laptop I've ever carried, when you combine the power, form factor, weight, battery life, and construction. With no removable media at all and software increasingly in the cloud, the compatibility issue simply faded away. With just about everything running in the browser, it simply doesn't matter much what hardware and OS you're using. That is, unless there's some legacy program somewhere that still requires a specific version of Internet Explorer.

But let's not go there.


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