MacOS vs. Windows: Which computer should I get?

Other Apple Chat

Happy New Year everyone.
Anyway, I am eligible to apply for a new computer through ADP (Assistive Devices Program) and I was wondering about which computer I should get. Should I still get a windows computer? Or should I get a Mac? What can a Mac computer do that a windows computer can't? I've been using windows computers for 10 years. My first computer didn't have any problems, but my second computer did. Whenever my second computer stopped working I always had to get sighted assistance to help me figure out what the problem is. Now, I think I should get a Mac. On the Mac computer I could use garage band in order to make music and do audio recording. I can't do that on a windows computer. However, when my windows computer was working I used a program called Audacity which is also available on the Mac. I once listened to David Woodbridge's podcast about why he keeps using a Mac and he said that he could troubleshoot and reinstall the OS completely independently without any problems. On a Mac computer I can use an application called text edit in order to edit my word documents. I could do that on a windows computer with Microsoft word. However, I would rather have a Mac with all my favourite apps such as: iTunes, garage band, text edit, mail and so on already installed on it. Also, on a windows computer I could use JAWS. However, I can not afford upgrading JAWS whenever new versions are released. On the Mac VoiceOver will always stay up to date whenever a new version of MacOS is released. What do you think?



Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What I suggest that you find someone who can let use their PC be it Mac or Windo. I use Window and I like it and find it easy to use. Most also like the Mac. Check all the tutorials that applevis and other created for the Mac and go to freedom scientific and check tutorials about jaws and windo or for NVDA and Windows. I use JAWS 2019 and W10 and I like it. Many people will tell you what they like or not but you are the one who will be using it. Good luck.

Submitted by Erion on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

This is an ongoing debate, and I always see new users asking the same question. My answer is always the same: it is completely up to you and your needs.

I had been a Windows user for over 10 years, it is what I grew up with. However, that did not stop me from switching to a Mac in an instant, because there came a time when Windows was too unpredictable. Screen readers were getting worse, less and less stable over the years, and when I encountered too many issues just with a simple open dialog, my computer did not boot, or when it did, my user account was damaged for no reason, twice in a row, I had enough. Despite some quirks, just like with every operating system, to me, a Mac is a better alternative. But this is not the same for everyone.

Windows has gotten better since, now you can also have speech when installing it or when entering recovery, but I still would not switch back, due to my workflow. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

The Mac has an excellent, although arguably quirky built-in screen reader. It takes a lot of time for Apple to fix issues, and sometimes it might feel like VoiceOver is getting worse with each MacOS release. Still, VoiceOver performance is stable and it is more reliable than possibly any other screen reader on any other non-Apple operating system. When VoiceOver stops working, does something unexpected, or an application does not work, however, there are no alternative methods of trying to use an application, such as on Windows. There is no OCR, no other screen reader to try. In this way, application use is quite limited. The good news is that Apple provides excellent APIs for developers to make their applications accessible out of the box.

Screen Reader use is a bit different. On the Mac, VoiceOver uses a hierarchical layout. You are likely to see a toolbar, and buttons inside it, while on Windows, navigation is more linear.
As a result, Mac applications are more likely to have huge main Windows, with lots of controls organized hierarchically, on Windows, you tend to have more smaller dialogs, and usually more menu navigation going on.

The built-in apps. Although this should not be influencing your decision, Apple includes a lot more applications either built-in, or downloadable for free, like the iWorks suite with Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc. I personally prefer the Apple built-in apps over the Windows ones. More about that later.

There are things that MacOS can do a lot better. Audio is one of them. There is a reason why the majority of recording studios use Macs. From a developer standpoint, you have built-in 3D audio support, something that Microsoft tries to match with something that works a bit differently, via Dolby Atmos for the end user. but even if this is not relevant to you, there are unmatched applications still. One of these is Audio Hijack, which really makes capturing audio a breeze. The same can be achieved on Windows via so called audio cables, via applications like Virtual Audio Cable, or VBAudio Cable, but your experience will be less pleasant. RSS feeds can be easily read by News Explorer, music creation is also unmatched if you have Logic Pro.
On the Windows side, there is no accessible RSS reader that gives you the same experience, and audio creation is not quite the same via Reaper, if you own a Midi Keyboard. Audio editing is a different story altogether, and for that, I heavily recommend Reaper, even on the Mac side.

Production is also quite unmatched on the Mac if you are into writing. Nothing beats Ulysses, Bear, NVault and Scrivener, or blogging via MarsEdit for that matter.
I personally prefer Pages over Microsoft Word, a lot of the needed features are where you expect them to be, and it is a lot more convenient and quicker to use.

File management is all right, I prefer Finder over Explorer, though nothing beats Total Commander on Windows. There are a few passable alternatives on the Mac, such as Commander One or Forklift.
You can mount a lot more things via Finder, and there are applications to mount even more things, one of them is called Mountain Duck.

Web browsing on the Mac is stable, although slower compared to Windows, be it via Chrome, Firefox, or via other browsers. The new Reddit interface or Facebook, Youtube are typical examples of this.

Another huge selling point of the Mac is that you can, 90% of the time, use Linux terminal applications. Git, Rclone, Mosh, Screen or Fish are typical examples, and of course we should not forget about the venerable Emacs.
These have been ported, and can be installed in a breeze via HomeBrew, or the less famous MacPorts.

If you are into gaming, your choices are unfortunately quite limited. While there are a number of games written for the Mac, one by yours truly, you will not find the same amount of them by far. Almost all mainstream games are also written for Windows.

Another huge disadvantage is that a lot of things on the Mac are proprietary. Messages, FaceTime and other, mainly Apple apps will lock you into Apple's ecosystem, and while they are great, if most of your friends are devoted Android or Windows users, you will have a hard time adjusting and trying to not convince them to switch ☺️

Another thing worth mentioning is that a Mac is a great standalone product, optimized for the hardware it comes with, but it really shines with other Apple products. It is convenient to have an Apple Watch, which can unlock your computer when you are close, EarPods, so you can seamlessly switch between devices without having to switch headphones, an iPhone, so you can enjoy receiving calls and text on your Mac, develop for iOS, record voice memos that appear on your Mac automagically when you are done, and of course it is very convenient to start on one device and continue on another. For example, start writing something, realize that you need to take a picture, so you go out, take the picture and when you come back, it will be inserted in your Pages document on the Mac.
All this is quite expensive, sometimes horribly so, when compared to other products, but in return you receive quality products that last and receive updates for years, which is something that sometimes cannot be said about other products (Android, I am pointing at you.)

As you can see, your decision really depends on your use case and preferences. Keep in mind that no operating system is perfect. Good luck!

Submitted by Remy on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

I doubt you'll find a better answer than this. As a writer, I was leary of switching to a Mac because I love the ease of navigating by headings, paragraphs and sentences on the PC. But as a musician, sound designer and voice actor I have been very curious to see how everything works on a Mac, because I've heard it's much easier to do that sort of stuff. I am exclusively a Reaper user because it's powerful, affordable and and plays well with both the vast amount of plug-ins I use for music creation, and all my sound design needs.

Submitted by Daniel Angus MacDonald on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

with all this excellent info, something is missed in this post so far ... You can run Windows on a Mac. Bootcamp works well, partitioning your Mac for Windows and macOS. you can alternatively run a virtual machine with VMWare Fusion if you don't have a big drive. Bootcamp requires a dedicated partition with no resizing available after setup. VMWare Fusion, on the other hand, only takes the space Windows needs. it is a paid app though, and Bootcamp is free.