There are some among us who actually remember a world without Windows. Microsoft Windows was announced to the world by Bill Gates on November 10, 1983, as a graphical user interface for MS-DOS. Remember MS-DOS? If not, ask someone who has hands-on experience with it. (They’ll either break into a cold sweat and clam up, or tell you way more than you ever wanted to hear about the subject. )

Through the years, the only real market-share competitor to Windows has been the Mac. The two most popular computer systems in the world have been battling it out in the digital world for 35 years.

Windows vs. Mac

Here are the dumbed-down differences between the two: Macintosh and Windows are two different computer systems that run on different operating systems. Mac computers run on a Unix-based operating system that is designed and sold by Apple. Currently, Mac’s operating system is Mac OS X. From the outset, we’re comparing (Macintosh) Apples to “oranges” (Microsoft Windows).

Since Mac computers are designed around a graphical user interface, they are commonly used for graphics and multimedia services like photo editing. This graphics-multimedia focus is why the popular graphics editor Photoshop, used by professionals and non-professionals alike, was first used in Macs. Macs have also been a more user-friendly favourite for educational use.

The initial costs of Macs are higher because they come with many built-in security features, unlike Windows-installed computers, which requires users to purchase antivirus software separately. Macs also have more applications than Windows– adding further to the cost.

Mac owners are in it for the long term as an investment, not that Windows users aren’t. But for businesses, especially smaller and medium-sized business, the initial outlay for multiple Mac computers in the office has been cost-prohibitive.

Lots of people bought their first computers based on what they were familiar with at work. And that was Windows. So, Windows is here to stay. Die-hard aficionados of both operating systems will undoubtedly keep the debate going. But both systems have advanced to the point where specs and features matter less. Users’ needs and experience matter more. At this point in the game, it comes down to user comfort.

While owners of both brands engage in a passionate, ongoing debate over which system is better, the clear sales leader is Windows. There are an estimated one billion Windows-powered computers in use in the world, with close to 90 percent of users compared to about 10 percent for Macs.

Windows vs. Windows

So, who’s Window’s real competitor? One word: itself. If you’re a Windows user, you’re likely familiar with the seeming myriad of Windows versions. New releases roll out every few years. The most recent ones are Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. Even though Windows 10 has been in use since 2015, many users prefer to stick to the tried and true. And what is the “tried and true”? For many, it’s Windows 7, released in 2009.

The actual battle comes down to Windows 10 versus Windows 7. Although Windows 8 had performance improvements and security enhancements compared to Windows 7, many computer users considered it’s new user interface difficult to learn. Ditto for Windows 10. Thus, Windows 7 has continued as the Windows version of choice in millions of computers. And almost ten years after its release, it’s still a challenger to the much newer Windows 10. Windows 10 is taking over the market, but only gradually.

As of September 2018, desktop Windows 10 market share worldwide was 49.98% vs the “tried and true” Win7 37.31%. If it’s a slow day on Facebook, you can follow the Windows market share numbers anytime in real time on StatCounter’s Global Stats reports.

Personal preferences and practical needs are indeed significant considerations in choosing a computer operating system for business or personal use. But security is even more critical.

Many experts agree that there was a time when Windows was losing the security battle, and security concerns were reaching a crescendo at Microsoft in the early 2000s. Microsoft’s doubling-down on security issues, combined with notable, recent security issues in Mac computers have shown that security is an ongoing concern for both systems. And they’re each vulnerable. Because of the sheer numbers of Windows-installed computers, the number of viruses designed to attack them is expectedly larger.

The bottom line: all computers are prone to malware and other security attacks. Security is the real battle and it’s one your business or organization can’t afford to lose, no matter what operating system you’re using, or what Windows version you’ve loaded on your computers. At Tethered Computers, we’re ready to play a key role in your organization’s digital defence strategy with customizable network, cloud, and security services. Contact us today for a free consultation.