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Microsoft Windows 8 versus OS X Mountain Lion

Karl Hodge | Oct. 30, 2012
Mortal frenemies Apple and Microsoft have been locked in battle since 1984, when the first Macintosh shipped. Apple has always been the innovator; the prestige developer with big ideas. Microsoft took care of the mundane side of the market, catering for enterprise and home, developing solid products that ran on a range of hardware.

The App Store in iOS proved such a success that the model was emulated by Google on Android and Amazon on their Kindle Fire devices. Apple even successfully ported the concept over to OS X, with the Mac App Store.

It's no surprise that one of the keystones of Windows 8 is a built-in store. The Windows Store, it's imaginatively called. Unfortunately, it's a keystone made of sand.

While we're sure navigation will be more intuitive on a tablet computer, it's clunky on a desktop or notebook PC. We also found ourselves wondering where the search box was. It turns out that it's hidden in the Charm bar. Those crazy Microsoft UI designers!

In the preview version the store was populated with free apps, so we were unable to test the payment system. We do know that it uses your Windows Live login to process transactions.


Mac : 9

Windows : 4


17) Windows 8 verses OS X - Value for Money

Apple's last few upgrades have been priced generously,with Mountain Lion retailing for just £13.99. A real bargain. Prior to Mountain Lion, there were separate consumer and server editions. Now the server components are available as a separate purchase - at £13.99.

Pricing for Windows 8 is a little more confusing, with four versions available, several variations of those and price differences for download and DVD editions. The cheapest way to upgrade is to download the Standard version for £24.99. DVD editions are priced at £49.99 - with the Pro version the only widely available edition at the time of writing.

Strangely, to comply with European anti-competition ruling, there's also a version without any bundled media playback components. The "N" version is, in some ways, less capable than the Standard or Pro editions, but it retails at £129.99. That's Microsoft marketing logic for you...


Mac : 10

Windows : 7


18) Windows 8 verses OS X - Windows on a Mac/OS X on a PC

If your Mac is running Mountain Lion, it's basically an Intel PC. That means it can run Windows as well as OS X. With the help of Boot Camp, you can dual boot your machine to run both operating systems, natively, side-by-side.

If repartitioning your hard drive seems too scary, you can choose to run Windows in a virtual machine, using a tool like VMWare or Parallels.

Want to run Mountain Lion on a PC? It's not impossible, but it's not easy either. There are several online communities dedicated to cracking this complex task, writing guides and make tools to share with fellow self-built Mac enthusiasts. But even if you are able to get OS X running on PC hardware , you're never more than an update away from a kernel panic.


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