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

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

Security features

Security is a sore point for Windows fans and a weakness which Apple devotees use to claim OS X is superior. Apple's OS is rarely subjected to attacks because of its UNIX underpinnings and smaller user base.

However, the growing popularity of Apple hardware means hackers are trying harder than ever to find vulnerabilities in OS X. Cupertino has responded with Gatekeeper, which is a system that checks the unique codes in each application you install to your Mac in order to prevent malicious software from sneaking in.

Elsewhere, Apple uses its App Sandbox to filter out malicious code, runtime protection, encryption options, parental controls and privacy and phishing tools in Safari. There's also iCloud, which can be used to track down stolen or lost hardware.

Microsoft is trying to beef up security too. It's built in Defender app works in the background to protect against spyware and malware, but its free Security Essentials antivirus tool returned "dire" results when tested by our sister title PC Pro it's simply not good enough to protect your PC.

Options included in the standard version of Windows 8 are understandably designed for consumers. Secure boot prevents malicious software from accessing the PC before Windows even loads, picture passwords can be used with gestures to log in, and PIN numbers can also be used. There are parental controls, too.

Other security features are only available to those who use Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 8. Encryption, Group Policy and domain options are only supported by Windows 8 Pro, and AppLocker, Network File System tools and Group Policy options are only available to Enterprise-level users.

OS X is the more secure of the two operating systems, but Apple hasn't rested on its laurels and has introduced several security tools and features. Microsoft has plenty of its own tools as well as several business utilities, but the awful performance of its Security Essentials package means that this round goes to the Mac.

WINNER: Apple

Featured Resources

B2B under quarantine

Key B2C e-commerce features B2B need to adopt to survive

Download now

The top three IT pains of the new reality and how to solve them

Driving more resiliency with unified operations and service management

Download now

The five essentials from your endpoint security partner

Empower your MSP business to operate efficiently

Download now

How fashion retailers are redesigning their digital future

Fashion retail guide

Download now

Recommended

Apple reportedly planning all-5G iPhone lineup for 2022
Hardware

Apple reportedly planning all-5G iPhone lineup for 2022

21 Jul 2021
Apple reportedly delays return to the office amid rising COVID cases
Careers & training

Apple reportedly delays return to the office amid rising COVID cases

20 Jul 2021
Apple's M2 chip to debut in early 2022, leaker claims
Hardware

Apple's M2 chip to debut in early 2022, leaker claims

6 Jul 2021
Apple plans return to office despite employee complaints
flexible working

Apple plans return to office despite employee complaints

30 Jun 2021

Most Popular

The benefits of workload optimisation
Sponsored

The benefits of workload optimisation

16 Jul 2021
RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience
Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G review: A rose-tinted experience

14 Jul 2021