Tech: Windows 8 vs. OS X Mountain Lion

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William Christian Stephens

wcstephens@radford.edu

The vigorous battle between Microsoft and Apple continues, that of which could mean a greater product for the consumers. The launches of both Windows 8 and Mountain Lion have promising new features that will maximize a user’s experience. This year we can expect many things from both operating systems, but which system will prevail over the other?

User Interface is a key point in a consumer’s experience with an operating system. Apple users can expect a similar arrangement to previous operating systems. This means the tool bar will remain at the top, and the dock will have the same features. Those familiar with Apple products will have no trouble adapting and maneuvering through the system.

Microsoft however, is creating a totally new user interface. For instance, the start button will not be available anymore; a similar change Microsoft’s UI had with the upgrade from XP to Vista. Like Vista, many may have embraced the facelift, yet the general view was rebuffed.

Nonetheless, the chance of a disapproving outcome could hurt Microsoft as well as their consumers. They would not want a repeat of the Windows Vista catastrophe. Although taking a risk can be beneficial, it can also be costly.Users of the Windows Phone Marketplace will find the new UI very easy to adapt to. The UI also uses similar ‘gestures’ to the Windows tablet products, which completely revamps the typical mouse concept. Although this feature may seem new, Apple incorporated ‘gestures’ in their previous operating system OS X Lion.

The trend of online storage now has Apple’s Mountain Lion offers a 5GB service of free online storage that works hand-and-hand with their mobile devices. iCloud, which was introduced in 2011, allows users to store content on a server. The biggest bonus to iCloud is its ability to store content from itunes.

Skydrive, a service of Windows Live will also be available through Windows mobile devices. The application will have 25GB of online storage that will sync mobile photos to the server. The application has a document sharing feature that allows others to collaborate on documents at the same time, similar to Google Docs. Skydrive is the winner when it comes to storage capabilities.

Messaging is similar to iChat but it does much more. For starters, it lets you send unlimited messages to anyone on a Mac or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5. Send photos, videos, documents, and contacts as well as send messages to a group. You can see when your message has been delivered and when someone’s typing a reply. Turn on read receipts, and they’ll see when you’ve read a message. The best attribute that Messaging has is that it lets you start a conversation on your Mac and pick it up on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

As technology excels, the hackers and viruses become more complex as well. Apple has been noted for having an operating system that is prevents many malicious software from installing. The new app Gatekeeper in OS X Mountain Lion provides another safety net. The application has three security options that controls what is being downloaded and how it is ran. One option is to download and run applications from anywhere, just as in OS X Lion. The second safer option downloads and run apps from the Mac App Store and apps with a Developer ID. Or the third option downloads and run only apps from the Mac App Store.

If you are considering upgrading or buy a new computer, choosing between Windows and Mountain Lion could either make your decision or complicate it. Windows 8 allows users to personalize their computer, a trait that Windows has used to triumph over Apple. Yet Apple provides an operating system that seem to aid in productivity.

Both systems appear to be integrating all of their products so that they will work together in their respective brands. However, with Microsoft holding a majority of the market share Windows 8 will have a slight advantage over Mountain Lion.