Looking for feedback on my comparisons between Apple, Google & Windows.
Good afternoon everyone, I was working on putting together a compare and contrast comparison between three of the big players Apple, Google and Windows. And I decided a great way to get feedback on my thoughts would be to post it on the Verge forums, opting to posting it to the Windows Tribe because it is the Windows users that I am most interested in.
But first, a quick preface, my name is Michael and I've been using Apple computers since I was 18 years old. I got my first MacBook Pro back in 2007 and I've been a diehard ever since. I've never considered myself a fanboy, as I often recommend other operating systems to friends and am constantly considering switching to a different OS. I got an iPhone back in 2010, a little after the iPhone 4 was released and was very impressed. But with the releases of ICS and Windows Phone 7, I started to see certain shortcomings in my choice of mobile operating system. And with the previews of Windows 8 being released, I further questioned my choice in the Macintosh. I have argued with this in my head for a few years now, even going as far as building a couple of desktops only to tell myself that a Windows environment is too troublesome, or that I've gone too far to switch now. I'm hoping to reach out to others who have the same thoughts as I... are my concerns justifiable, or am I just searching for greener pastures? Your input is something I am desperate to hear.
Below, I will list Pros and Cons towards the three operating systems (personal biases and all) and perhaps after I've finished, I'll add some final thoughts. Once again, thanks for reading.
Pros to living in a Windows environment: (I should note that some of these are speculative to what I imagine Windows 8 will provide)
- A better gaming environment. I should also note, that some of these a basic duhs, but I wanted to include as much as I could think of to really flesh out my position.
- Integration with Xbox. Both on Windows 8 and on the console. With the exception of Ouya, the Xbox provides Microsoft with a major win for those of us who like tight integration between our devices.
- A proper desktop computer. The Mac Pro is unfeasible, and to my understanding not really upgradable as far as processors or motherboards are concerned. They also aren't really for consumers like myself who are just looking for some general customization and no limit to physical storage.
- Windows 8 looks very usable and gorgeous. After initial training of course
- Skype integration. If managed properly, Skype could have some serious potential on the desktop and mobile.
- A more open environment. Custom parts, apps outside of the store, etc.
- More selection in hardware.
- Generally more affordable.
- Tight social integration .
- Tablet + Desktop OS. A pro and a con depending on you ask and how it's implemented.
What I like about living in a Apple environment:
- Previous investments. I've already bought apps, music, tv shows and books through Apple and guess what's coming with me if I switch platforms, nothing. Technically my music I guess.
- Familiarity. I've used it for 5 years now, it is very difficult for me to transition, as I've tried in the past.
- iBooks, iTunes, etc. Everything works together and is easy to manage.
- Cutting edge. (this is perhaps the wrong way to word this, but Apple's implementation of Thunderbolt and their pushing for retina displays. They seem to progress more quickly. Perhaps I am just ignorant, but Windows is just getting official support for USB 3.0 in Windows 8. Microsoft, in my opinion, just doesn't seem to push standards. One argument would be Blu-ray, but I don't believe Windows officially supports Blu-ray and it sure doesn't have a cheap way of playing it.)
- Better hardware. The OEM's are catching up, but it sure has taken awhile for hardware as nice as Apple's. And let's face it, Windows trackpads still suck.
- Beautiful design. This is biased, but I thought I should mention it. With the exception to Apple's love of skeuomorphism, they generally make beautiful applications and products.
- Simple interfaces. From the get go, Apple is designed to be simple. I can't say anything for Windows 8, but I know Vista and 7 were confusing for many people.
- iOS & OSX separation. Maybe a tablet and a PC are different. Windows 8 will tell us for sure, but it is a curious and unproven concept. Do I want the touch interface I use on my phone to be essentially the same as I would use on my desktop?
- Airplay. Please someone, tell me what Microsoft has planned to compete with this gem.
- iPod. iPods and iPod integration are almost universal at this point. I do not see competition anywhere else. A phone isn't good enough if it only has 16gigs of space.
Here's a quick list of things about OSX that I've grown fond of and did not experience whilst on Windows:
- Dictionary app. I love the built-in dictionary, and with Lion, it was even more involved within the OS. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I do not understand how people get along with out it.
- International Language input. On a Mac, it's very easy type accents for other languages. How often do I use this? Hardly ever, but when I was taking spanish, it made my homework very simple and allowed me to concentrate on my work, not looking for the proper keys. Windows implementation, as far as I know, isn't anything like this.
- Mountain Lion dictation. This recent addition to the operating system is wonderful. Sorry, but it just is.
- Podcasts. What do you Windows users do for managing podcasts outside of iTunes. I am unaware of anything as good.
- iTunes alternative. What is there? I didn't enjoy Music Monkey, or whatever, or Winamp, or SongBird. I wonder on your thoughts on Xbox Music.
- I love Google. I love my Gmail, Google calendar, Google Plus, Chrome, everything. They make great products.
- Android is the best. This is my opinion, but as far as mobile operating systems go, Android is my favourite.
- Google+ intergration.
- Google cares. Out of the three companies, it seems that Google is the one that is really trying to make the world a better place. Google fiber, self-driving cars, Glass, Knowledge Graph, Gmail, Google+. Maybe I'm just being silly, but Google seems to always want to make my life easier without trying to empty my wallet.
- Light hearted. Maybe its just me, but Apple and Microsoft seem all business, while Google seems to have a bit more fun. Easter eggs, Google doodles, those clever videos they always seem to make. They just seem friendlier, as weird as that sounds. But remember what Mitt says, "Corporations are people, my friend"!
- Uncertainty. Windows is putting a lot on the line betting on Windows 8, and Phone 8. If it is a failure, then what?
- Apps. At this point in my life, I'm very comfortable with my Macintosh apps, like Garageband and iMovie. Windows counterparts? Do they exist in the form that I could transition to easily. I don't want to be stressed out because, I cannot finish a project due to a non-existent Windows counterpart. Also, I should note that iPhone seems to get the first run of app development. Windows Phone 7 is still waiting for a version of Pocket. And Instapaper, get real. I really like there being an app for almost anything I want, guitar tuner, colour picker, etc. If Windows app development does not improve, I may be using it as a paper weight. Right?
- Xbox vs. desktop. Okay, so one of my pros to Windows 8 was the Xbox integration, where I can find all my games. What about Diablo? I don't think it theres a chance in hell games like that will see integration. And since there not, there becomes a separation between my Xbox games and my desktop games. And thus, I have to look in several locations to play my games. That's not what I wanted.
Metro(New UI) overkill. I love metro, but let's face it. If every app is going to use the same fonts, colour schemes and chrome(?), won't it get boring really quickly. It may sound lame and Applesque, but apps should be able to be their own thing and look different.
- Becoming more closed. A plus for Windows over Apple is that it isn't a closed wall like Apple is. That seems to not be the direction they are headed in. I agree, a more closed Windows with less pre-installed bloatware and fragmentation from OEM's is definitely better for the consumer as long as they don't go too far in that direction.
- No choice. When I buy an iPhone, I do have options. I can buy last years model for the new version for a lot of money.
- Outdated the day I buy it. This is true for everything, but it seems even more true for Apple. They release products with minor upgrades every 7-12 months and when they do, they quickly forget about the older hardware. It's disheartening.
- Skeuomorphism. Need I say more.
- Very expensive.
- Slow to update. On Android, any of there apps is subject to being updated. On iOS, you have to wait until new versions for products like Music to have some improvements.
Cons of Google:
- Nexus. When I say I love Android, I mean to say is that I love the Nexus devices. I don't care less for fragmentation and custom UI's. And until there are more than one Nexus device released a year, there really isn't a choice for me.
- Google is too reliant on the cloud. The cloud is probably the future. But today is not the future, and local storage is important. When you buy a movie from Google Play, it stays with them, how scary is that. Do you own anything at that point?
- Google products do not seem to leave the USA. I am a Canadian who is constantly shown awesome things from Google, only to realize they will not likely be in Canada for a long time. As a Canadian though, I am very used to this (Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, etc.).
- Google+ is lonely.
- No desktop counterpart. Apple and Microsoft have both Desktop and Mobile OSs. Google has Chrome, which is not quite the same.