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Microsoft Windows 8 versus OS X Mountain Lion

Karl Hodge | Oct. 30, 2012
Mortal frenemies Apple and Microsoft have been locked in battle since 1984, when the first Macintosh shipped. Apple has always been the innovator; the prestige developer with big ideas. Microsoft took care of the mundane side of the market, catering for enterprise and home, developing solid products that ran on a range of hardware.

Windows 8's social network integration enables you to link Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn to a Windows app called "People", which also pulls contact data from your networks. Though easy to set up, the People app itself suffers from the same tile based design issues that are rife through Windows 8. It's also far less configurable than standalone clients. Mountain Lion strikes a better balance, for our money.


Mac : 8

Windows : 6


6) Windows 8 verses OS X - Network Sharing

In Windows 7, Microsoft introduced the concept of the HomeGroup - a local workgroup configuration that automatically sets permissions for file access and media streaming between your Windows machines.

The same functionality has been carried over to Windows 8, with configuration settings secreted in the "PC Settings" section. A password is automatically generated to enable you to join machines on the same network. In theory.

In our tests, Windows 7, Vista and Windows 8 PCs all failed to find each other without a degree of tweaking.

AirDrop on Mountain Lion is, by comparison, made of stardust and magic.


Mac : 8

Windows : 5


7) Windows 8 verses OS X - Integration with other Devices

As an Apple user, you'll know how well your devices get along with each other. Your music is available on iTunes whether you're on an iPod Touch or your desktop machine. Your Photostream updates from Macbook to iPad. You can stream movies from your iPhone to Apple TV.

Since the introduction of iCloud, the integration between Apple devices has become even closer too - with documents saved on one machine automatically available on another.

It's a lovely thing to behold. Step outside the walled garden, though, and you're in for a shock. Sure, you can download iCloud for Windows. It'll enable you to share contacts and upload images to your Photostream, but application support will be limited. Limited mainly to Apple apps, in fact.

The same might be said of Windows 8. It will integrate seamlessly with your other Windows devices. Windows Phone and the range of Windows 8 tablets that will soon be appearing in stores. It'll even stream music and video to your Xbox.

Try plugging in your iPod or iPad. Unless you've got iTunes installed, you won't get far. In this case, Mac still wins despite the Apple-centric focus. Why? Let's get real. How many people carry their music collection around on a Zune? We bet even Bill Gates has an iPod.


Mac : 6

Windows : 5


8) Windows 8 verses OS X - Gestures

As seasoned iOS users on both iPad and iPhone, Mountain Lion's gestural interface seems a little wooden. But Mountain Lion is the inbetween phase, after all. With a track pad using full-screen apps and Mission Control is natural and easy. The OS also feels comfortable with just keyboard and mouse too.


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