Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on April 15, 2021 By Frogboy In Personal Computing

So I keep my Mac and PC next to each other.

Broadly speaking, even taking multiple monitors out of the picture, I find the PC more productive.  This is primarily a difference in how Windows and Mac work.  This wasn't always the case but over time, Microsoft has added a lot of nice little short-cuts and tweaks that just don't seem to exist on the Mac.

Even little things in the Mac seem needlessly complicated. For instance, on Windows 10, I can hit Windows Key - Shift S to take a screenshot.  On the Mac is's Shift, Command 4.   This minor difference forces me to look up and in fact a lot of programs seem to not take power typers into account (hot key placement awkwardness).

Here are a few other observations.

Resizing windows on the Mac is often frustratingly difficult compared to Windows.

I find Mac a much more productive laptop environment to use because of the 4 finger full screen slide.

I really like the window snapping feature on Windows. 

File management in Explorer is a lot easier, faster than on Finder.  On the Mac, you really need to download a third party file manager if you're doing serious file management.

Installation on the Mac is much better.

UX on Mac is much nicer. Windows is full of annoying flickering and jankiness.

The Windows 10 system management stuff is much better now than the Mac System Preferences which seem to be from a bygone era.

I have to use a utility on the Mac to not have the mouse wheel work backwards from expected when I have a separate trackpad that I am expecting to work as it would normally.

Broadly speaking, the Mac is more pleasant to use and Windows is more productive to use.

Just some random thoughts.  Do you use a Mac and Windows daily? If so, what are your observations?


Comments
on Apr 15, 2021


Do you use a Mac and Windows daily?

Nope....only 'Mac' I have is an Apple 2c I paid $5 for ....and I don't have an OS for it...

on Apr 15, 2021

My rig is equipped with Windows 10, and a few versions of Linux. My end goal is to become skilled enough with linux that I could leave windows behind if I decided it was no longer worth it. I've been lazy though. I haven't even fixed which OS my rig boots to first. I fixed that in my last rig.

Switching to Linux does require a bit learning. How to find files, using files, and making changes OS is a bit different. Many windows programs are not on linux. Fortunately, I'm already in the habit of using alternative programs on windows like Libre Office or VLC player.

Edit: I've since got off my lazy butt and did a few fixes. The boot loader now puts windows on the top of the list. I'm glad I took notes when I last did it.

on Apr 17, 2021

I learned Windows 98 first and at a young age, so a lot of Windows conventions seem natural and second nature. I've experimented with linux and Mac previously but a lot of the changes seem arbitrary and counterintuitive; needlessly creating friction.  However I am aware that Unix conventions were established first and microsoft created these barriers, but given the market share dominance of Windows I feel the onus is on the competition to ease this friction.

My overall impression is that Windows was/is blamed for a lot of problems that are actually caused by third party vendors writing bad drivers which crash the system, or antivirus software causing slow system performance, etc.

I don't really know the others well enough to pass judgement, but I agree the Apple Mouse experience is off-putting (and not just the inverted scrolling).

on Apr 17, 2021

I use both, PC for Work and Play, Mac for personal work and playing in tech.  I've had a Mac 10  years now, love the power built in compared to windows(Mac built in automation is better, but windows is really catching up)  Both system can be configured, but I find the built in Mac features with Applescript and third part add on's such as Alfred are just better than window.. Ok  Stardock does a great job, but I still find the integration of third party apps are cleaner in the mac.. I prefer the Mac, but not strongly, I could live with the current state of Windows 10, I just don't prefer it..

The GUI is smoother/more responsive on the Mac.  Windows has made major improvements, but still not as smooth as MacOS.

For file explorer I used to prefer windows, but somewhere along my use, I started really preferring finder, particularly the List view and being able to open folders and indexed nodes, the biggest change was once I got the keyboard shortcuts on finder down versus explorer.. and man I wish explorer had a preview, I love the built in finder preview option via spacebar.  I prefer window's-E shortcut on Windows, but the rest goes to finder for me.

Screen Caps: I use snag-it for screen captures on both systems(for over 10 years), but I will say the built in screen captures on win 10 and MacOS have come a long way, I just don't use them, Snag it locked me in back when they weren't as good. (Wow, just tried screen captures.. I didn't know the window's shortcut, I hadn't used either of those in a long time, they are much more capable then they used to be, poor independent developers losing to Apple and microsoft, the screen capture is really good on both,  The Window-Shift-S is a better sequence than cmd-shift 4 or 5, but cmd-shft 5 seems slightly more capable, prnt screen for screen capture is best though.).  

 Alfred is the main thing that locks me into MacOS, as a keyboard shortcut, just wished windows had something competitive (It has some things, but nothing that works as nice for text based commands)

Desktop Handling - The multifinger swipes make up for the the less capable multi monitor setup against the PC.  Using one monitor on a Mac really doesn't feel like a limitation as it does on a PC.  I also love the trackpad for everyday use on a MAC, and only prefer a mouse if I'm doing lots of point and click (moving folders around/ Photo editing, gaming) but for anything else, the trackpad is preferred for me, most likely for the handling of desktops, and just moving around documents. 

Windows snapping - Windows wins, can't argue that one, but Mac get's close with either Magnet or better snap tool.

Recently, I was considering going back to windows as my personal laptop, the Mac keyboards from 2016-2019 were just awful, but then the M1's came out and just blew me away on performance and battery life (Intel is in trouble on this one.. Long time embedded ARM programmer, and ARM is just such a nice architecture, to see them overtake Intel should not of been a surprise)  I programmed Intel 196 for many years, and hated the memory architecture(overlays could be useful, but usually just opportunities for special bugs), while PC's broke through that memory limitation years back, it still has all these weird reverse compatibility modes that it maintains.  Intel will be around for a long time yet, they just have an uphill battle to stay competitive with ARM's architecture and all these up and coming designs from Apple, Nvidia and QUALCOMM, not to mention AMD (though ARM doesn't bode well for them, they have been more nimble than Intel recently)

IMO,  Microsoft is making huge inroads on usability the last couple years on PC's.  I think they are doing for developers what Apple was doing before 2015.  I've been a programmer for years, fell in love with the mac OS in 2010 after being away from Apple a good 15 years (I had a mac 128k in college, but switched to pc's and still build my own for fun, just really prefer MacOS/OSX when I switched back.  I can completely understand gamers preferring pc's, but I think that's may change, or not be as critical over the next 10 years, the M1 CPU/GPU/Memory architecture really is impressive.

Ok.. there is one thing I absolutely hate in window's 10 vs 7/XP.. and that is the control panels/preference panes in windows 10.. I hate it.. Mac isn't wonderful but it's better, fortunately both OS's offer a good search feature on both.  I really liked the old Win 7 control panel, and I can find it in windows 10, but I swear they keep moving it.

ok.. there' s my opinion of both.. Since most users are primary window's users here.. I'm sure I am a minority here.. 

 

on Apr 17, 2021

BigBad

I use both, PC for Work and Play, Mac for personal work and playing in tech.  I've had a Mac 10  years now, love the power built in compared to windows(Mac built in automation is better, but windows is really catching up)  Both system can be configured, but I find the built in Mac features with Applescript and third part add on's such as Alfred are just better than window.. Ok  Stardock does a great job, but I still find the integration of third party apps are cleaner in the mac.. I prefer the Mac, but not strongly, I could live with the current state of Windows 10, I just don't prefer it..

The GUI is smoother/more responsive on the Mac.  Windows has made major improvements, but still not as smooth as MacOS.

For file explorer I used to prefer windows, but somewhere along my use, I started really preferring finder, particularly the List view and being able to open folders and indexed nodes, the biggest change was once I got the keyboard shortcuts on finder down versus explorer.. and man I wish explorer had a preview, I love the built in finder preview option via spacebar.  I prefer window's-E shortcut on Windows, but the rest goes to finder for me.

Screen Caps: I use snag-it for screen captures on both systems(for over 10 years), but I will say the built in screen captures on win 10 and MacOS have come a long way, I just don't use them, Snag it locked me in back when they weren't as good. (Wow, just tried screen captures.. I didn't know the window's shortcut, I hadn't used either of those in a long time, they are much more capable then they used to be, poor independent developers losing to Apple and microsoft, the screen capture is really good on both,  The Window-Shift-S is a better sequence than cmd-shift 4 or 5, but cmd-shft 5 seems slightly more capable, prnt screen for screen capture is best though.).  

 Alfred is the main thing that locks me into MacOS, as a keyboard shortcut, just wished windows had something competitive (It has some things, but nothing that works as nice for text based commands)

Desktop Handling - The multifinger swipes make up for the the less capable multi monitor setup against the PC.  Using one monitor on a Mac really doesn't feel like a limitation as it does on a PC.  I also love the trackpad for everyday use on a MAC, and only prefer a mouse if I'm doing lots of point and click (moving folders around/ Photo editing, gaming) but for anything else, the trackpad is preferred for me, most likely for the handling of desktops, and just moving around documents. 

Windows snapping - Windows wins, can't argue that one, but Mac get's close with either Magnet or better snap tool.

Recently, I was considering going back to windows as my personal laptop, the Mac keyboards from 2016-2019 were just awful, but then the M1's came out and just blew me away on performance and battery life (Intel is in trouble on this one.. Long time embedded ARM programmer, and ARM is just such a nice architecture, to see them overtake Intel should not of been a surprise)  I programmed Intel 196 for many years, and hated the memory architecture(overlays could be useful, but usually just opportunities for special bugs), while PC's broke through that memory limitation years back, it still has all these weird reverse compatibility modes that it maintains.  Intel will be around for a long time yet, they just have an uphill battle to stay competitive with ARM's architecture and all these up and coming designs from Apple, Nvidia and QUALCOMM, not to mention AMD (though ARM doesn't bode well for them, they have been more nimble than Intel recently)

IMO,  Microsoft is making huge inroads on usability the last couple years on PC's.  I think they are doing for developers what Apple was doing before 2015.  I've been a programmer for years, fell in love with the mac OS in 2010 after being away from Apple a good 15 years (I had a mac 128k in college, but switched to pc's and still build my own for fun, just really prefer MacOS/OSX when I switched back.  I can completely understand gamers preferring pc's, but I think that's may change, or not be as critical over the next 10 years, the M1 CPU/GPU/Memory architecture really is impressive.

Ok.. there is one thing I absolutely hate in window's 10 vs 7/XP.. and that is the control panels/preference panes in windows 10.. I hate it.. Mac isn't wonderful but it's better, fortunately both OS's offer a good search feature on both.  I really liked the old Win 7 control panel, and I can find it in windows 10, but I swear they keep moving it.

ok.. there' s my opinion of both.. Since most users are primary window's users here.. I'm sure I am a minority here.. 

 
I know what you are saying about control panel. It used to be easy to find in windows, now I have to search for it. I’ve tried settings, it doesn’t cut it. Control panel used to be great, and then they gave a simplified version. I used to have to switch to classic view, and now I got to all control panel options. That used to be the default setting. 
Now referring to other posts. Microsoft’s logic has always been the uncrashable system, while Unix based operating systems has always been were an operating system, so let you run the computer. Microsoft has scaled down dos(Its command line interpreter) in favor of a easier to use desktop. Easier to use means less flexibility. They tried to replace the desktop with the user interface. I’m glad that didn’t work. With windows seven they created the ultimate user friendly system that to my opinion anyone could learn if they try. Now it’s less user friendly.