Windows 8 vs Mac OS X Mountain Lion head-to-head review

Reviews 30 Jul, 2013

A comprehensive look at the UI, software, security and business features to see which OS is top dog.

The battle between Windows and OS X is one of the fiercest in technology, with advocates from both sides insisting their OS is superior. 

Both have their advantages, and we aim to help you find out which is best suited to your needs. We've used Windows 8 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion as the basis for our comparison. With upgrades including Windows 8.1 and OS X Mavericks due to land later this year, we've also included features you can expect in the forthcoming releases.

User Interface

Most PC users have grown up with the classic Windows desktop UI, including the Start menu, taskbar and windows. That’s all changed with Windows 8: the desktop is hidden behind the touch-focussed Start screen, and the Start button was scrapped in the initial release.

Windows 8 is one of the biggest changes in the history of the OS, and a clear indication of Microsoft’s intentions to try and modernise the UI. The focus is on the large finger-friendly Live Tiles and finger-friendly menus.

Microsoft is addressing scathing feedback with the Windows 8.1 update.

The desktop remains largely unchanged, to the relief of power users. Microsoft’s changes mean the new OS works well with touchscreen devices but, for business users without touch functionality, it’s awkward: the Start screen is tricky to use with a mouse and keyboard, the Start screen’s full-screen apps aren’t conducive to multi-monitor working, and we’re no fans of switching between the Start screen and the desktop.

Thankfully, Microsoft has listened to some of the scathing feedback and changes will be released in the autumn via a Windows 8.1 update.

The free update will allow Windows 8 to boot directly to the desktop, which bypasses the Start screen entirely. A Start button has been added, although it’s still impotent compared to the original. A left-click allows users to jumps back between the Start screen and desktop. A more useful right-click brings up a set of shortcuts to access features such as the Control Panel or Task Manager. However, the list of programs appears gone for good.

The Start screen itself hasn’t been left alone, with more versatile split-screen options to aid multitasking, more Live Tile sizes and better search.

The end result should be an OS that’s a more comfortable mix between traditional Windows and the touch-focussed future, even if it’s more of a compromise than Microsoft would like. That means Windows 8.1 will be much easier to use for office workers who use keyboard and mouse, prefer multiple monitors and like to work with several applications at once.

Apple doesn't make sweeping changes to OS X, instead introducing incremental upgrades every year. The latest version retains the familiar taskbar full of icons at the bottom of the screen, and the OS remains based on a traditional desktop full of windows. The Finder app is used to navigate documents, applications and the file system, and a bar at the top of the screen houses notifications, networking information and menus unique to each application. Ironically, some Windows users may feel more at home with OS X than Windows 8, at least initially.

The current version, Mountain Lion, introduced the Notification Center, Messages app and automatic application updates. MobileMe was replaced by iCloud, which handles storage and synchronisation of email, contacts, photos across OS X and the iOS platforms.

Mavericks is the next version of OS X and it will be the first to be named after Californian places rather than big cats. Multiple display will support be upgraded, the Mission Control app supports multiple workspaces, and Finder now works with tabs. Mavericks will also add iBooks and iMaps apps to the desktop, and brings several other tweaks including interactive notifications and an encrypted iCloud Keychain. The latter aims to encrypt passwords, save them and then automatically populate them.

It’s no coincidence that many of OS X’s latest features have been borrowed from iOS, but OS X’s UI is firmly rooted to keyboards and mice. Concessions to touch have been made, but they’ve sensibly been left on trackpads: slick gestures can be used to scroll, zoom and open the Mission Control app.

If Microsoft wasn’t introducing the upgrades with Windows 8.1 then Apple would be taking home the prize in this category. But Microsoft’s changes – including boot-to-desktop, more Start screen versatility and the return of a Start button – give Redmond the edge. Just.

WINNER: Microsoft

 

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I agree with most of what is said here, but the legitimacy of this is completely thrown out the windown (no pun) from the beginning when you say Windows 8 has a better UI than OS X. The UI of Mac OS X is its strongest feature. It is far more intuitive and well crafted than Windows 8...its really not even close. Case in point, you have to into "settings" on the charm bar to shut down a Windows 8 computers. Settings? Really? I am no Windows hater or Mac fan boy, but Windows 8 has an extremely clunky UI, outside of the features that remain from Windows 7.

Can you legitimately say OSX has the better UI when you consider it too is a clusterf*ck of the legacy (Finder) and the nouveau (Launchpad)?

The only difference is Apple aren't instigating a shift to the new stuff (yet).

Yes. OS X is a hands-down superior user interface. It does touch better (trackpad touch is the only serious approach for multimonitor or desktop), it's consistent with keyboard shortcuts, spotlight is very good, multiple workspaces, central configuration (only one control panel, imagine that), automator, Launchpad is dumb, but unlike "metro" you can completely ignore it.
Also, OS X offers a much better command line experience, which is another user interface option power users prefer. I use them all, plus KDE and xfce. From both novice users to power users, OS X is superior, unless you rate touchscreen as important.

I have a Mac Mini and an i7 here, running ML and W8 respectively. I always default to the Mac, as I can get more one in less time. There's something about the Mac OS that will always be superior in my eyes. We just get along. Saying this I also have a Dell XPS12 touchscreen i5 laptop, and Win8 on that is great, works like a dream on touch. Really tempted to try it as a Hackintosh actually...touchscreens are supported in Mac OS X by default and have been since Mac OS 8 AFAIK.
I have just switched from iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy S3 too, but only because I smash iphones every time and since they keep dumping my contacts my iPhone can no longer be trusted for anything other than an alarm clock or iPod.

I found your first conclusion the most difficult to understand: as others have said already, it's based on the simplistic premise that the Windows desktop is simply superior to the MacOS one - you don't even attempt to justify this premise. I've been keeping an eye on both for many years, and over the past couple of years there's no doubt in my mind that the UX offered by MacOS has overtaken and is now superior to Windows. One significant point is that MacOS handles touchpads so much better - I have not yet encountered a Windows-running laptop that is as seamlessly responsive to touchpad controls as any of the MacBook range. The second point is that many recent features echo iOS devices and synchronise seamlessly with iOS devices, meaning that working with MacOS and iOS together has become a very enjoyable experience. And I speak as one who normally works on Windows, albeit with an iPad and Android smartphone! Not enough real analysis in this feature - too much of the same old 'MS desktop better, Windows more business-friendly vs Mac more creative, Mac more consumer-friendly' cant, rather than a genuine attempt to analyse the very latest moves by both companies.

My son is a programmer (Windows, Linux). We do not conflict with regard to our views concerning the relative merits of either OS. I frequently test for glitches in the appearance of my website on both systems. Windows seems to generate more work for programmers adding 'work-arounds' after almost all updates.when i activate tests on his windows machine I do double the amount of clicks or gestures to do the same tasks as I do on the Mac OS. I always come away with the feeling that Window is still clunky.

really? software goes to mac?

On board for most of what you said except for one thing. The metro interface can be ignored - I haven't seen the start menu since about a week after Windows 8 launched just by installing ClassicShell.
Granted whether you want to count that in a "head to head" between the two since it requires third party software is up to you, but it only took a minute to download and install - roughly the same time it would take to tweak something in the settings.

you are retarded

I was a hard core windows fan, I put up with its niggles and tantrums, until I bought an old MacBook Pro running lion which to this day has never frozen, stopped responding or played up in any way. I also disagree that the windows GUI is better than OsX, I felt the windows GUI was going downhill after xp!

You finish with the comment

"If Microsoft wasn’t introducing the upgrades with Windows 8.1 then Apple would be taking home the prize in this category."

In that case, Apple is still taking home the prize.

You compared the release OSX10.8 with the beta Windows 8.1

But OSX 10.9 if further on in it's beta process than Windows 8.1 and will be released before Windows 8.1, so comparing OSX 10.8 to Windows 8.1 is an irrelevant comparison.

And if 8.1 " give Redmond the edge. Just.", then I think that makes OSX 10.9 the clear winner.

Because OSX 10.9 is a big step forward from 10.8

i.e. OSx 10.9 is a clear winner over Windows 8.1

and OSx 10.8 is a clear winner over Windows 8.0

and OSx 10.9, not 10.8, is contemporanious with Windows 8.1

The other gross bias in your comparison can put put down to personal preference. But comparing new A with old B is just bent.

"...lion which to this day has never froze"

You've discovered the basic myth behind the idea that Windows is a real OS and OSX is a toy.

I still have to run Windows to test and support applications. But I only ever run Windows under VMware, generally on a Mac, and keep all of the Windows' applications data directly in the Mac filing system. That way, whenever Windows gets screwed up, I just roll it back and lose nothing.

Microsoft is built on foundations of sand. Once decent wave and the whole thing will vanish forever.

"...battle that Apple isn't even competing in..."

So Apple introduced, and continue to spearhead the ultra notebook, then last year full notebooks with 2880x1800 Retina display.

The iMac continues to be substantially enhanced on a regular basis and remains a superb all-in-one.

And the new Mac Pro makes it clear that Apple have no intention of leaving any part of the desktop market uncovered.

So why weren't your contacts on iCloud? They'd have been far safer there than they are ever likely to be on your Galaxy.

Remember, your galaxy you have "no reasonable expectation of privacy"

All i can say… keep your Windows XP/Vista/7/8… I was always a Windows user.. but I also used OS X since Tiger in 2005… so.. I'll keep my Mac, you keep your PeeCee… see ya

I think the biggest issue with this article is the fact that it was written - Let me clarify; Windows 8 Vs. Mac OSX Head-To-Head. Why would these products go head to head? Windows and Mac are different products for different markets. Even Apple realised this, and those Justin Long ads (Mac Vs. PC (which were remarkably funny and clever by the way)) have ceased to continue into what could have been an endless archive of comparisons that could well work against the merit of this article if you did indeed wish to go head to head.

Let me eliminate any (unfair) bias here by stating that i use both Mac and PC-Compatible hardware, and all of OS X, Windows (XP32 through to Server 2012), various distro's of linux and open embedded versions of linux.

They are all useful, I particularly like and dislike features of both. Hence why i use both. I think articles like this should be used to help people make good decisions and be relevant and geared toward helping people find the right system.

For example, for reasons too long to explain, i'd more often than not see the following scenarios;

Student with iPhone, iPad, needs office & e-mail, goes to Uni, studies Music, or media - MAC

Software / Web developer / Graphic designer - MAC

Office receptionist connecting to an AD Domain and using MYOB - PC

Hardcore gamer with a special permit from the energy commission to plug it into the wall and refrigerated CPU coolers to try beat his friends benchmarks by .1% - PC

But there's exception to every rule. My father desperately wanted a Mac because he could see how powerful and flexible it is, and how well it works for me. In practise, all he knew was what he used at work all day (windows), and all he did on it was install Office-for-mac and re-boot into windows to play his flight simulator. He was happy when i offered to build him a matched-spec PC in exchange for his iMac. Horses for courses.

I'm sorry Mike Jennings - If that's your real name (i am a fan of the movie Paycheck), but the more I read your article and the specific points, the more I realise that if someone who didn't have a clue read your article, they would be left with an extremely incomplete picture. I'll give just a few examples;

EDITIONS:

The different versions of Windows are entirely sensible, and not just for marketing/licensing reasons, they aren't just simply unlocked to a different degree proportional to how much money you spend. (and even if it was - it STILL makes sense if you consider office 365's pricing model makes a full featured office available to students on a budget with cloud services). These have different feature sets and different production purposes, and i won't go into detail on the differences and why they can't be rolled into one - BUT - if you want to be fair on this one, you should consider iOS as a mobile version of Mac OS. In regards to hardware, i don't know any version of OS X that requires high priced hardware to run it. Server is available on the Appstore and runs on a mac mini if you want. With regard to the special hardware for Server versions of Windows, well - firstly, funnily enough, any late intel Mac will run Server 2012 natively and allow VT-X extensions for powerful virtualisation of many server 2012 OS's - but - other than for a testing environment, why anyone would want to eludes me. Secondly, should laptops and consumer PC's continue to be available for less than $1000? or should they all come with special virtualisation extensions, raid controllers, RAC's, Redundant power supplies, special embedded hardware and hypervisors ? - On this point here i will tell you every desktop and laptop i own is an Apple, and every server product that i deploy is a Dell or a HP. Was comparing editions even useful ? If one truly understands the nature of OS X they would realise why there doesn't need to be many different editions, and if they truly understood Windows for the enterprise and home consumer use, they would understand why Windows does in fact need these editions. Microsoft actually does a good Job at making it simple, and offers the most critical diagnostic and essential features available to all editions (bitlocker as an exception, this should really be across the board).

BUSINESS FEATURES:

All you've actually done here is highlight that the PRO versions of windows contain more features. All of which OS X has out of the box (Pre-boot AD authentication, FileVault2, VNC/RDP, etc. Most of which goes back to the editions section. You should know Virtualisation is never (i mean never) done well by windows clients. This is one thing a Mac (hardware) coupled with OSX does exceptionally well, and is in fact the very reason i have all Apple hardware for my clients. with 2 fingers i swipe between dual screen running operating systems for all my development & office environments. I can switch from Mac OSX, to Windows XP32, to Windows 7-64, to Windows 8, to Ubuntu Linux in the blink of an eye, all running simultaneously and instantly, with full resolution. All the OS' share the same home folder and network shares (another major productivity/business perk is the way a mac can share network resources ahead of Windows lagging and unreliable network discovery feature), and it takes me about 4 seconds to revert ANY of those to any snapshot i want to recover the whole environment. If i execute a malicious executable on windows, forget going through hours and days of anti-malware software only to end up formatting and starting again, one click and i'm back to where i was just prior to clicking on the suspect file. If i am developing code in linux and crash the kernel, one click and i am back to that screen where the mouse cursor was just up to the left and i had 2 browser windows open - no files get destroyed in this process since it's home folder shared, and for those files, there's Time Machine (don't get me started on how Windows has nothing even similar).

Now before you think i'm just defending Apple products here, I'm not, but it seems to be that;

SECURITY

This should be a draw simply because it's subjective. Doesn't matter how creative you are as an administrator; NTFS permissions go out the window once you re-mount a VHD using your own parameters. Also, with physical access to the console, in some circumstances you can change the Administrator password and gain domain access. However, while it may be very very difficult to gain a Virus on OS X, it lacks some out of the box flexibility and resource control that may be unsuitable in an office environment.

THE FUTURE:

This is just speculation and rubbish. The heading was "The Future" and you make the most outrageous and unfounded claim:

"So when your colleagues are running a fully supported version of Windows 8 at the start of 2018 it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to upgrade to the latest version of OS X." - If Windows is still on Windows 8, in 2018, i'll be surprised for one (have you looked at windows release history ??)

In addition - lockdowns on hardware/software can ALWAYS be worked around - If you

SOFTWARE:

You surprise me. How can Apple win this category? If it wasn't for the software availability i'd probably rarely use Windows at all. I flick across to Windows to run all my Windows Server management tools, and most industrial software supplements are written for windows. Most cross platform software i prefer to download the Windows version, mainly because the Mac version is usually a half-finished low grade port of the windows version, with the exception of true cross platform apps. I've even seen ATM's that run Windows - with mouse cursors and BSOD's on them. You'd think they run an embedded linux, but hey.

USER INTERFACE:

Oh boy. Have you heard of Spotlight ? What about Expose ?

Let me clarify and maybe even teach you something - Windows 8 was a compromise, it was designed around a HTML-5 native development environment, thus bringing a cross-platform like structure to bridge the gap between mobile computing and desktop. It was also designed for touch screens. Unfortunately - there's a long long way to go here, and Windows 8 so far has been a frustration of countless organisations and home users, SMB owners, and especially computer literate people, who now have to perform one more step to try and translate it's "friendly" version of something. Luckily, for the time being, Windows 7 can be used alongside Windows 8 tablets in the same environment, but soon there will be "requires Windows 8.x" attached to certain tasks and configuration interfaces.

What about centralised settings ? These don't exist in Windows. For example, to turn off "Metered Connection", you have to navigate to a very specific spot on the home screen, list the connections, and right click it. It's no where to be found in network and sharing centre, control panel, or adapter settings (if you manage to find it!) -- on Mac OS X at least the procedure to do something technical yet essential remains mostly the same throughout versions - User management, network management, preferences, etc.

Anyone who googles "Common shortcuts for Mac OS X" and spends 10 minutes learning it will have a rich computing life forever. a handful of new, helpful, but not critical-to-know features are introduced in each rollout, but the old ones don't just disappear - really... they don't.

If you've helped as many common people as i have who have worked and migrated from Windows95, 98, ME, XP, 7....who barely adjusted to this "change in technology" - you would know that Windows 8 is particularly harmful to many small business' who are run by people that have no choice but to use a computer, and unfortunately when their Windows Laptop got a virus, and the computer shop had to replace it, and the hardware no longer supports the version of Windows they are comfortable with (kinda the opposite of what you were saying about future proof)), they are now stuck with a major shift in computing. Windows 8 is a philosophy on it's own. One that will not settle and continue to change.

What about simple things like ISA and compatibility - Plug just about any printer into a Mac, and it just works. You CAN download special software, and create fancy spool scripts if you want - but at it's core, it just works. No 300MB bundles software package just to gain access to a 17KB driver file, go through the new hardware wizard, reboot, and then if you swap USB ports, it detects it again. Clever.

PERFORMANCE:

This shouldn't have even been a category. It's not relevant unless you were comparing Apple hardware to PC-Compatible hardware. ANY computer with a Core i7 and an SSD is going to squash ANY computer with a celeron and a platter. MAC OSX or otherwise. (although - you may wish to read CNET's article on the MacBook Pro being the best performing Windows Laptop..from the viewpoint of PC service techs... just a bit of a mind opener)

What people need to know, is the other side to every story. I'm a lot more understanding and appreciative of Windows 8 knowing how and why it came to be, but you haven't helped anyone to understand this.

Similarly, if you knew what a Mac was good at, you'd be changing some of your limitations to features, and features to limitations.

It's one thing to talk about a meaningless topic, but it's quite another to misinform people based on ignorance. I'm disappointed to read your article amongst many that are similarly geared to try and compare food to a refrigerator. Maybe the time to compare Windows and Mac was back at v3.11 for workgroups. Go back a bit further and add Acorn into it as well could you?

People seem to be very passionate toward one or the other. I love Apple products and Mac OSX is such a strong base (that's right, it's interface is just layer on top of a very powerful unix core), but if i had to save one from a fire, it would probably be Windows sadly, simply because life would be hard without a Mac, but life would be impossible without Windows; it's deployed in the vast majority of the workplace, and the software is more available. It doesn't make it better or worse, it makes it an important player. Ideally, i'd have them both, and use the best from both columns, and as luck would have it - I do.

I've always used Windows PCs. XP/Vista/7/8 but a few days ago I bought my first Mac. I can honestly say I'm never buying another Windows machine ever again. OS X is in a totally different league to any version of Windows, especially windows 8.

Excellent! This is what the article should have said.

Excellent! very well explained.

One major factor in this that no one has figured. If a bottle neck of
the population says I do not want to learn a new system, then that new
system is not going to come to fruition. Baby boomers said no!
Microsoft didn't see the power of the Boomers. They did not care to ask
the customer - they got spanked for it!

"So when your colleagues are running a fully supported version of Windows 8 at the start of 2018 it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to upgrade to the latest version of OS X."

So let me get this straight; in 2018 we're comparing a 5 year old Windows 8 OS running on the latest hardware to an updated OS X running on older existing hardware. Just saying - this statement makes absolutely no sense for "The Future" comparison. Perhaps you can make an amendment and explain what you meant?

Personally, I believe apple/mac os x is better, the products are beautiful, the processor has been designed by the best companies who have put the parts together in a sleek metal casing and apple is amazing from writing simple documents, to hardcore gaming.

Seriously? OSX has better apps? You cannot draw this conclusion based on a windows store vs appstore comparison. Windows has far more programs, which are basically apps, than OS X.

who needs UI, we need a OS that can do every thing that we want to do dude.

OS X wins hands down for me. I've been down the Microsoft path from Windows 3.11 right through to Windows 7. I now own a Mac Mini running Mountain Lion 10.8.5 and an old MacBook running Lion 10.7.5, neither has ever hung, frozen or crashed.
I don't play games often and to be fair I only ever play Counter-Strike on the Mini for the nostalgia so I don't need a powerful system.
Sorry to all the MS fans but Apple rock as far as I'm concerned.

LOL! go play 2009 games on your mac..

Good wall of text! I read (most) it and theres not that much to complain.

I will stick to three points to be quick:
-Developers will either need to use both or either OS. Visual Studio is the best DE. Period. But web developers as you quoted dont need Visual Studio and therefore they will stick to other tools. Sublime text is the best overall editor and its cross platform(as any editor i could think of that is best is now too.maybe textmate can change it again with their next release but i doubt it since sublime text is soooo worth the money). Your argument was VERY valid two years ago, now its a draw at best.

Cygwin gets unix commands on windows and its pretty much as good for as much as u really need it.

I agree that the media students will use a mac but just because the hardware ist awesome and the OS is PRETTY.

Theres only two laptops that work really well, the macbook (ultrabooks are a nice try but im sorry if i pay that much i may get a macbook that i can resell for a lot more money if i want to) and the lenovo with trackpoint (if u dont know it, after a week or two ull be able to play games with the thing. Its the one and only real mouse substitute equal to the awesome apple touchpad).

-UI: Windows 7/8 Taskbar beats the Dock.
Mac is pretty, windows ... its alright.

The global menu may have been a clever choice but after spending some hours on a 27" iMac i dont think so anymore. Once u have mutliple smaller windows open ur gonna have to reach further to go to the top left of the screen then to the topleft of the window ur actually in. Also, as soon as the software supports removing the menu and getting it up on alt-press u lose some screen on the mac. Sublime Text is a nice example of it.

Installing apps on the mac is soooo much more fun and intuitive but lets be honest, its not important since its easy on pc too. Linux would win the app installation argument:)

Exposee and virtual desktops are awesome, u get them on windows too though (for free) if u install some app.
Resizing windows by pushing them into the side of the screen is awesome.
Again, u can get it on mac too by installing some free tool.

-Hardware
Buying a laptop gets u intel hardware in a aluminum case with a big touchpad.
Buying a ultrabook gets u the same to the same price plus now maybe a tochscreen (yay...totally useless feature if u ask me. If i want to touch it i buy a tablet and there android wins).

Now its getting interesting:
Buying a iMac gets u laptop hardware built neatly into your monitor.AWESOME no cables, no wasted space.
Buying a PC gets u Desktop hardware for half of the price and if u buy the right hardware u can run osx on it easily.
Ur gonna have to invest some time and care, ull have to find a place for a very small case but in the end u can get more for less money.

Conclusion: It really doesnt matter, if u dont care about maximum performance get a mac, install windows on it if u want to play some and please dear god get a usefull mouse.

If u care about the price get a pc, research working hardware and install windows and osx on it. Have fun and spend the 3hours to get your cables fixed up:)

Buying a laptop its lenovo or apple, fuck those ultrabooks they are way too expensive and u get less battery life (on the other hand, u wont need the battery life anyhow theres a power node every 5hours for sure).

To me its totally simple: Wanna spend a lot of money and keep the thing for years investing money on a new battery+service to switch it? Buy a mac. U want it pretty and u dont care, buy a mac.
Gamers get a pc, developers know what they need and they will most likely have to get a PC to use Visual Studio while a friend told me Photoshop ran as nicely on a mac these days and the money he saves he can invest in a even better monitor.

In the end its a pretty clear draw since both OS are awesome, linux cant keep up by far and fuck apple and microsoft for not being consistent in their design/ui/options or being less consistent every year(apple).

I realize I'm late to this tired ol' battle, but I was shocked that "ITPro" would have totally ignored 2 vital issues when comparing divergent computer systems.

First is TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) throughout the life of the user's experience over a set amount of time, such as how many computers are usually purchased, hardware maintenance, OS upgrades, user time spent on maintenance (virus, rebooting, etc.) rather than the task at hand, intuitiveness (time wasted using the OS), uniformity of the GUI across most apps (this uniformity greatly increases production and is the main reason why apps ported from MS are not well received), etc.

FYI: I have a 2007 Macmini (1.83Ghz Core2Duo). Originally purchased 6 years ago for $599, still worth $400 on eBay. A current new Macmini (2.5GHz dual-core) is $599. To pay only $200 after 6 years to upgrade to a Mac with the latest hardware/ports, is not a bad investment (never had service and not one byte of anti-virus software). For a pro user, TCO is everything.

Next is the simplicity for the pro user. Being a Pro doesn't mean having to trudge through muddy lines of code and cryptic syntax. For example scripting:

- MS Windows -

import clr
clr.AddReference("System.Speech")
from System.Speech.Synthesis import SpeechSynthesizer
sheet = "Sheet 1"
cell = "This is just a test."
mySheet = Application.Data.GetSheet(Environment.GlobalDataPipePath, sheet)
textCell = mySheet[cell]
synth = SpeechSynthesizer()
synth.Speak(textCell.Value)

(based on the assumption the user's computer is capable of speech)

- Mac OSX -

say “This is just a test.”

All Macs speak. Something can be said for having a tightly uniform system; advancement comes quicker if you don't have to keep the owners (corporations) of archaic hardware happy. I'd have no idea how much valuable (expensive) time would be wasted trying to do this on MS Windows…

set mgVoices to {"Kathy", "Vicki", "Victoria", "Alex", "Bruce", "Fred"}
set mgTheVoice to some item of mgVoices
say "aussie, aussie, aussie" using mgTheVoice
say "oy, oy, oy" using mgTheVoice

Note: the variable "mgTheVoice" knows to pull a random ("some item") voice every time it is called.

I think the real issue is workability and performance. I've had almost every version of Windows over the past 30+ years, and I'm pretty sure I've never gone a full day without Windows hanging up or crashing or causing me to have to stop and figure out what it's doing.
On the other hand, I've been using mac mini's for 3-4 years, and I've never had any problems that stopped or crashed the machine.
And one other BIG difference is that Apple entirely scrapped their software a few years ago (and so doing alienated a lot of users) because they knew it needed to be done. Microsoft on the other hand, just keeps on adding bloat to their machines with endless "updates". They are only now (10 years later) discontinuing updates for XP.

i disagree.
its just what you like more.
with interfoce and os.
They are actually pretty good,
but mac is more expensive.
so more people have windows.

Completed agree. 5 years down the line someone could still be happily running Mavericks on their old hardware. I highly doubt older hardware will be able to run Windows 10 or whatever it is in 5 years.

That's if Microsoft are still in business with PC sales falling by a greater percentage year on year with no signs of being a success in phones or tablets.

pressing for example win key+F to find files and going back to my work by pressing win key again and then clicking the desktop icon is kind of disgusting. also the problem of the modern-style ui volume control coming up without being pressed has not been solved

As a developer who uses these systems, and Linux, daily, I stopped reading after the first section. The authors of this do not understand the principles of Human computer interaction, nor do I believe, they have spent any serious amount of time in these OSes.

The Windows UI is terrible. Trying to be all to everyone means they do everything poorly. The touch interface drops the user, sometimes unexpectedly, into a mouse centric environment. The Win 8 interface has buttons that are only trial and error distinguishable from labels.

If one purports to do car reviews and then finds the Yugo "more reliable" than the Lexus, does the reader need to finish the article? I think not.

You simply cannot declare who is the winner or looser ( I ain't apple fanboy ) but it depends on a person and his needs .
I personally like apple for user experience and it completes my needs as a learning software designer I like MacBooks more because of its touch controls and it simply gets things done while with windows you have to also deal with viruses (again I ain't saying mac doesn't get virus it just it very little to none ) then apps personally I got what I wanted from apple .
Money - for a longer run mac will give you more satisfaction with its superior hardware touch controls and even in today's date windows laptop costs $700 Nd I got my mac for $800
To sum all up it depends on user and his way of using it if you are a gamer go for windows if you are productivity person go for apple
Again I ain't apple fanboy I just like how there products work

I'm neutral between the OS's, so I went with Windows. More bang for your buck.

That means nothing to a gamer. Mac's don't play gamez. They suck!

It also means nothing to a business. Mac's don't run archaic software any more. They're useless.

I agree with the advancements in OSX. Their decision to move on and completely drop the last line of backwards compatibility (Rosetta) was harsh, but here I am, on Mavericks now, and I can't say I really miss anything that was taken away.

But there was a learning curve in learning to do without, and learning to advance ahead. This isn't something most people want to do.

Imagine if OSX was the choice of businesses and gamers, and the large corporations could no longer run their arhaic databases, or whatever, because those companies didn't want to invest in the hard work to re-write their software. Maybe, some of them just didn't take it seriously. Not to mention it's a lot of work that can take years, sometimes. Or worse, what if GaMerX couldn't play his game any more?

Sadly, MS is stuck in the mud and won't be able to drag themselves out unless they do something drastic like what was done with 10.7. They can't rebuild from the ground up, or they run a large risk (this is an imaginary fear, I'm sure). They're grasping at straws to appease large corporations while hoping the public doesn't realize no one needs to run Office anymore.

Unfortunately, if they do something drastic, the risk is far greater. We've seen a glimpse of the low adoption rate with Windows 8, and that's just an extreme re-arranging of the furniture and decor. It's still backwards compatible and useful.

It's sad that we hold back, especially in this day and age when we're starting to realize there are better, more efficient, and more reliable things around the corner. But is it worth it for MS to genuinely look ahead instead of backwards, while pretending to look ahead?

We may say yes, but the nail-biting CEO might be a little more afraid of putting his toes in the water when he weighs the risks involved. Changing direction could mean going in the wrong direction. But then again, staying on course might also mean the same thing.

I agree that it was a shocker to me that windows won...especially without justification. The author probably also is still living at home with his parents... One major issue that proves good software over bad is the ability to use without a manual... windows 8.x is not intuitive. It takes more clicks to turn it off... if you know how.
the author is smoking krak