The 10 Most Important Differences Between Macs And PCs

Macs and PCs have been locked in an epic battle for many years.

PCs were once the go-to computer because developers used to write the best apps for Windows first.

But over the last several years, that’s changed. Now it’s almost impossible to find an app on Windows that isn’t also on Mac.

Now that Windows 8 has been available for about two years, Apple and Microsoft’s platforms seem even more different than ever.

We put together some of the key differences between Macs and PCs to help you out.

This is an update of an article originally written by Kevin Smith.

Apple prides itself on design.

Apple spends years working on how its products look. The company is all about the details, even the internals of its computers are beautifully constructed.

PC design depends on the company making them, but they're usually not as attractive as Macs. However, we have seen some nice copycats like this Dell laptop from 2012.

Macs are usually more expensive.

On average, Macs tend to be noticeably more expensive than their PC counterparts. Although there are some high-end Windows PCs that cost about the same as a MacBook Air (or more), there aren't really any super cheap budget options like there are with Windows computers.

You can get a Windows laptop for as cheap as $US200, which is a fraction of what you would pay for a Mac.

Macs tend to be safer against malware and viruses.

Security company AVG writes that since there are still fewer Macs than than Windows computers out there, Apple's platform is still a bit more secure. But that won't last for too long, the company writes, and we've seen evidence of this as an increasing number of viruses have surfaced on Mac computers in recent years.

Apple also says it's added new types of encryption and security features in OS X Yosemite to keep your computer safe.

And, since Apple's Mac operating system is built on Unix, it's a little more secure by default than Windows, Macworld reports.

Some Windows computers come with touchscreens.

With many Windows computers, you have the option of ordering a version with a touchscreen since Windows 8.1's interface is more touch-friendly. That option doesn't currently exist for the Mac.

Windows runs on tablets, too -- not just laptop and desktop computers.

Windows 8.1 is available on devices of all sizes from giant all-in-one computers to laptops to tiny 8-inch tablets. OS X is only available for Apple's laptops, desktops, and all-in-one computers.

Get used to different keyboard shortcuts if you're planning to switch.

A generic picture of a woman typing in an office on an IBM computer keyboard.

If you are getting ready to make the switch anytime soon, getting used to the different keyboard shortcuts may be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Even taking a screenshot is different on Windows versus Mac.

With Windows 8.1, you can press the Windows key and the print screen key to take a screenshot, but you'll need to use another program like Paint to do any cropping. On a Mac, you can hold the Command, Shift, and 4 keys to take a screenshot that lets you crop whatever you want from your current screen.

BONUS: Want the best of both worlds? Macs can run Windows!

Macs have the ability to run Windows either through a virtual machine or directly on the system. Every Mac has a built-in program called Boot Camp that lets you install Windows on your machine. If you want, you can divide space on your hard drive between Windows and Mac OS X so you'll have both operating systems on the same computer.

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