OS X vs XP

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Macnewbie1, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Macnewbie1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2003
    Cary, NC

    I am sitting on the fence right now and trying to decide which way to tumble. I have been using windows for ever and have been coming to this forum out of curiosity. Now having read about the raving reviews of OS X and how it is next best thing to God :D, I need some objective assessment of OS X vs XP (please don't tell me that your windows OS is crashing all the time....that was the case with me too when I was using 98 but since then fewer than 5 crashes for win2K and not even a single crash for XP and I have been using XP since RC1 .. I have no idea what these people are doing with the machine that is making them crash all the time :rolleyes: ).

    Moderators please share your wisdom if you have time and others please feel free to join in (it is not supposed to be a flame war .... please just share your experiences only)

    Thanks All.

  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    In my experience (Not owning XP or having any intention to) I have found XP to slow durring basic tasks, and quite unintuitive. I tried to use my aunt's Dell with XP, and found many of the tasks I used to use in 98 were gone. Many times my roomates/coworkers/family cannot get something to work with XP, like a mouse, printer, or even some webpages. I hook it up to my PowerBook and use OSX and they all work, with no configuration. Also, the spyware built into XP has me quite concerned. Anything you do can be viewed by M$ if they so desired. However, we only have to put up with Adobe's spyware. That is easily disabled, but Windows won't operate without the spyware.

    Many other problems... but I don't have time.

  3. Freg3000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 22, 2002
    New York
    First off, let me agree that I think too many people here say that Windows based PCs crash everyday, which is simply not true.

    However, I do think that there is a lot of crap you have to wade through on XP. My friend for instance, has a Dell running XP. He has to wait 2 minutes after it is turned on, after all these little applications that he never installed open, so he can close them. They might re open for no reason, but he closes them again.

    Pop ups? Wow. I told him to get a browser with pop up blocker. He already does.

    I can go on and on. It's not that is crashes, it just always acts poorly. It is not his fault, he is an average user (not dumb enough to mess it up accidentally, and not smart enough to be tinkering with the system and thereby screwing it up.)

    Is it Windows fault? Probably not. But why would you want to deal with all of that?

    In Mac OS X, that barely ever happens. Once in a while you'll download a dmg file from some ultra small 3rd party software developer, and it won't open. An an app might unexpectedly quit. Big deal, all software has a few holes.

    Point is, that is the biggest difference I see between OS X and XP. If you don't experience problems with the task manager or spyware, this post probably won't mean much to you. But if it does, you might be ready to come out of the darkness. :)

    Good luck.
  4. Waluigi macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2003
    I'm writing this post on a PC running windows XP for 12 straight days with multiple programs being installed, and internet explorer having crashed a few times, but have not needed to restart. Seriously, windows XP is a good step in the right direction for Microsoft.

    Pros of XP:
    Can utilize more RAM then older versions
    New user interface (I like it personally)
    Auto-install (lots of stuff is just plug in play, and was only a dream in 98)

    Cons of XP:
    Internet Explorer
    The whole registering with microsoft only 3 times

    But, that is only the OS.

    Sure, Apple's OS is very nice, and so much more enjoyable to use, however, it is really the APPS that got me to buy my G5. I'm not going to use the start menu, or the Dock 95% of the time. I'm going to be video editing, making web sites for companies, video chatting, playing a library of songs, touching up and playing with photos in Photoshop, and things like that. Using OS X is just so much more integrated, and an overall positive user experience. iMovie and iDVD are so easy, and nothing written for windows comes close.

    Go to OS X, and you'll be very happy, but windows XP is no joke either, it just really lacks the iApps, and is made by evil Microsoft.

  5. Mac til death macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2002
    Mac OS X is a dream for me, and I've had experience with many OSes including Mac OS 6 thru 9, Windows 95,98,ME,2000,XP, and to a much lesser degree linux. I guess it just has to do with personal preference... If you want (biased of course) info that is negative about Microsoft there is www.microsuck.com

    as for a comparison of the two, there are websites that do pretty fair comparisons.



    http://forgetcomputers.com/~jdroz/05.html (haven't looked at this one as much)

    but IMHO, having used Mac OS X and XP, I would never want to use XP again. it's just like giving yourself paper cuts in odd places (jackass:themovie flashback)....
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    here's one small example of annoying things about XP.

    i log on. XP finds wireless network and/or external USB device. there's a pop up window that let's me know that the network was found and/or device was connected successfully...


    those pop ups don't seem to go away. i actually have to drag my mouse down and close them. (there probably is a way to suppress these popups, but i don't really care to find out.) if XP was able to find these things, just let me use them, no need to let me know they were found successfully! these messages stem from the days of old when windows weren't so good at finding those devices... well, now XP works better than that, just let me use the computer!

    i highly recommend getting your hands on a mac with OS X and play around a bit. that's the best way to judge for yourself. the only thing i like better about XP than X is the built-in CD burner. i believe XP burner allows built-in multi-session burn, which is not quite the same in X and is rather complicated. (Yes, i know about disk copy trick.)
  7. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    I agree with Jxyama, be your own judge. You know your needs the best. Try playing with one for a few days if possible. At least try and play around with a demo model.
  8. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I use XP at work, 2000 on my PC, have used every M$ OS since DOS, and much prefer the Mac OS. OS 8 used to give me issues, 9 was ok, but 10.2 (and to a lesser extent 10.1) are the best I've ever used. For some reason they just don't seem to give me as many headaches. I find myself very rarely saying "stupid computer" on Macs. I don't seem to have to fix as much. XP and 2000 don't crash as much, but they still have a lot of problems, DRM being the least of them. X isn't perfect (and I'm really looking forward to 10.3), but it's a lot easier to use, for me at least.

    Your experiance may vary, but just go into any CompUSA and compare the 2 side-by-side. Try to do a couple of things you might normally use to see what is easier. You may be fine with XP, but seeing as how you came here, I'm thinking you aren't.

    Can't give you any specifics without knowing what you do, but I have a feeling you will like it. :)
  9. rebelberg21 macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2003
    I agree with most of the replies above.

    XP is great improvement compared previous versions. Although i was very happy with Win2k.
    (small note: if you go XP go XP PRO not HOME.....you probably already heard that before)

    If you don't mind tweaking the computer, etc. I still feel with XP you have to get your hands a little dirty to get the optimal performance and stability. Like making sure there are few or no programs starting up at login...etc.....

    Aside from the small annoyances that add up.....For me it's kind of like driving a car....it's the feel of it....

    OS X feels like a BMW to me and XP feels like a Lexus....both nice....but different approaches...

    Some things that I love about OS X that make it my fav....(in no particular order)
    1.) The dock (I know in XP you can put shortcuts in the taskbar....but still not the same.)
    2.)UNIX - great stability, the Terminal is a powerful thing...
    3.)Quartz Extreme...I have a PC with XP about 6 inches from my Mac...and even with XP's luna theme...it can't compete with Quartz and Aqua...it just can't....not yet at least...

    all in all...i agree with the people above...you really have to try it yourself.....

    P.S.- alot of the what seems to be speed differences betweent he two OSes (with things like window resizing and moving..)is GREATLY improved with Panther....my friend has a recent build of Panther...can't wait...
  10. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2003
    Okay, everyone has listed bad things about Windows XP. I agree with all of them, and I hate XP and love OS X. But now I'm gonna talk some of the disadvantages of OS X. There are not many, and most will probably be fixed. Software is a major issue; mainly games and business software. A lot of games have not come to Mac yet, and even if they have, they were just a quick port and not optomized. This is becoming less of a problem as time progresses, as more games are being rewritten for Mac. I don't know much about business software, but I heard a lot of business programs only run in Windows. (Windows emulation is extraordinarily slow) I play console games, and don't use business software, so they do not effect me. OS X has the iApps and Final Cut, which are probably some of my favorite software. Also, things such as scrolling and window resizing aren't as responsive as one would expect, not seriously major, but can be irritating. I heard that this has been fixed with OS X 10.3.

    Those are the only major disadvantages I can really think of, but I believe that the advantages outweigh them.
  11. Fender2112 macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    I use XP on a Dell at work and OS X on an eMac at home. Here is what I feel to be a typical example of how much easier Mac OS is.

    Task: Change your startup disk.

    1. Right click on the "My Computer" icon.
    2. Select "System Properties".
    3. Click the "Advanced" tab.
    4. Click "Startup and Recovery" button.
    5. Select the boot system you want to use.
    6. Decide if you would like to select your boot system each time you start or restart.
    6a. Mark appropriate choice.
    6b. Click "Apply" or "OK" (I can't remember if this step was actually involved but is typical of a Windows dialog box.)
    7. Click "Start" menu.
    8. Select "Shut Down".
    9. Select "Restart".

    Mac OS X:
    1. Click on the "Apple" menu.
    2. Select "System Preferences".
    3. Click "Startup Disk".
    3. Select the disk or volume you want to use.
    4. Click "Restart".

    I had to do this recently on my office computer and was baffled at how cryptic this was to do on XP. It was so bad that I had to post a plea for help in another thread.

    I work in both environments everyday and this is typical of how different it is to perform the same task.

    Here's another example: Connect two computers so that you can share a cable modem and share files via an ethernet router. At work it took me about three hours. At home it took 30 minutes, maybe.

    Need more? I 'm sure I can come up with a few.

    Do the right thing. Once you do Mac, you won't go back. :D
  12. Independence macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2003
    United States
    i've used microsoft operating systems since dos (i was about 5 years old or so when i started getting an interest in computers). IMO, Windows 2000 Pro is the best of the MS operating systems. 9x/ME were garbage because of instability. XP was a step in the right direction. the new GUI was nice but i've reverted to the "classic" look. it just looks better. i've had only a little experience with Mac OS. system 7.5 through 9.1. not impressed. i've only got a "real life" look at Mac OS X for about 15 seconds before i had to do something else. fromt what i've seen of the screenshots, it looks like an awesome OS. i have yet to actually use it though.
  13. Macnewbie1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2003
    Cary, NC
    Thanks to all those who replied. What I have got so far is that OS X is much better at handling day to day tasks and great for movie making (FCP etc). And i am not here because I am having problems with the XP (I have kind of got used to it...I am comfortable with tweaking my OS and as I mentioned before it has never even ONCE crashed on me since I have been using it when the RC1 came out... not even IE if you can set it right and not let it handle everything for you), I just want to know what is over on the other side. Since I have never used macs (except for may be Physics tutorials) so I must get my hands on OS X as most of you are suggesting hmmmm.

    I don't really care for games (except for may be Age of Empires.....which i really like and is also available for Macs), I do care about Office apps (which are also available). Is there any difference in responsiveness, stability of Office X as compared to Office XP.......I use Office XP a lot and it is really important. Also, any word on Macromedia apps....are they stable on macs. I am not concerned about other apps like FCP and Photoshop (which I would like to use to edit my home movies and pictures....the Casio Exilim series is awesome BTW).

    Thanks people for your time and experiences (moderators....Arn, anyone ......):p

    PS: I am going to check the sites siggested by mac til death
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    They're both great, and you're right about the "problems" of XP being exaggerated. I'm typing this on a WinPC using XP (like I always do), and the system never crashes. Programs crash, but rarely. Windows itself never crashes. I have never been forced to do a reboot of the system due to a crash, and I've been using WinXP since the day it came out. The only programs that crash are Mozilla (rarely), and IE (all the time). Sometimes I need to use IE because some webpages don't load well in Mozilla, usually sites that offer music previews like at HMV.co.uk. The songs don't come up in Mozilla, so I use IE. But this is only every 2 weeks or so, so no biggie.

    Anyway, both OS's are great. The only problem with using a Windows computer are the spyware (get Ad-aware 6.0), the viruses (I get the Lovegate@mm and Mumu viruses, I think), and.........nope, that's it. You'll also have to watch out for DRM in the future, so switching now may be better for the long haul. Otherwise, that's it. It doesn't seem like a big deal to switch to me, but rather, its a matter of preference. The iApps are great value, and "ease of use" may be an issue, but that would depend on whether you were having trouble XP or not. I don't. Stability isn't an issue with me, but I still like MacOSX more. I really don't know why.

    The "con" of Mac OSX is the speed. My AMD Duron 650MHz runs everything very zippy and fast, including all "scrolling" and window resizing in WinXP. I can even boot up in less than 25 to 30 seconds, while my brother can do it in around 15 to 20 seconds.
  15. acj macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2003
    Changing a startup disc is not a common task. Connecting two PC's took ME about a minute at work. First time I tried.

  16. coopdog macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2002
    The Great Midwest
    I use XP at home and OS X at school and at home also. I like OS X compared to XP.

    Think of them like houses.

    OS X is a very nice designer like house that looks great inside and out, stable, flows nicely, and has great strong steel construction. Because of its artistic nature it doesn't need a bunch of unnessary finishes and added crap to make look "nice" thoes just get in the way and make the house not flow well.

    XP is the cheap house. It looks ok on the outside but once you go in a go exploring you find yourself thinking, "Why is this here" and "wouldn't it be better if they put this over there." Soon you notice that the house that you thought looked ok when you first walked in, isn't as nice as you thought. Things you would use often are in odd places or hard to reach. The house was kind of built in pieces and slamed together and has bad construction and they used old and bad building techniques.

    Then a storm comes along (a Virus) the OS X steel well built house isn't affected at all it stands up to the storm well but the XP house poor and outdated construction got damaged and now needs to be repaired.

    Later you buy a new car, you take it home and realize it doesn't fit in your garage. So you have to put more money into the house to get your car to work with it.

    Later your sitting around the house and things stop working, the lighing, phones, plumbing. You realize that all the patches you added on to fix problems only masked them and didn't solve the problem. Now your sitting there with no plumbing, lighting, or internet and your stuck. The house it falling apart and you think to yourself, "Maybe all thoes patches I use to fix all the problems with my house did more bad then good."

    Soon you have to scrap the whole house, all your comforts, settings, tweeks and start all over again with a new house. Because the builders ****ing tricked you into thinking it was a great house. Then when the poor craftsmanship started to make the house unliveable the builder offered to patch the whole in the wall, duct tape the plubing, and splice the phone line back together all for free. Then it broke again, fixed for free, and again then for free again. The the whole house caves in on you and the builder backes away slowly saying that maybe you need to scrap the house and start all over again with a new house but the same blue prints and same builder. You agree.

    The people in the os x house just laugh while they are able to listen to music, move their files, have a video chat, download legal music, and watch porn all at the same time with no problem, no patches, no annoying pop ups, no spywear, no exe. ****, no viruses. :rolleyes:

    Man I have no idea where i was going with this, well it's late and i guess i just wanted to type or something, don't you hate pants?:p :confused:
  17. gwangung macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    Quite correct. But I think the point is that Macs are probably a bit better in getting oddball tasks done (that's the experience I've had using both XP and OS X). And.....that no operating system will ever be free of those oddball tasks..
  18. Macnewbie1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2003
    Cary, NC
    LOL :D

    That was a good one
  19. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    I use a Mac (MDD 867 DP) and PCs at work (NT4, 2000 & XP)
    I find I gravitate to the Mac. More confortable to use.

    One thing I like about using the Mac is that I don't feel like a target because of viruses. On the PCs I run Nortons to keep it clean. I've been saved a few times by Norton. On the Mac I don't run any virus software.

    I bought a miniDV camera. Plugged it into my Mac at work, it popped up iPhoto, made viewing simple. No drivers to install, brilliant. iMovie works with it simply as well. On my 2000 machine at home, I had to install drivers (do things in a specific order). It works but feels fragile.

    My recommendation is go play with OS X for a while. You'll likely be impressed.
    PS I will be ordering a Dual G5 soon for home.
  20. HasanDaddy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2002
    Los Angeles

    there is ZERO comparison between XP and OS X

    I have a WinDoZe computer that I run GIS applications on --- I had ME installed, and I decided to upgrade to XP --- BAD IDEA

    After upgrading to XP, the computer can hardly even launch itself

    - when it does launch, it is so PAINFULLY slooooow

    - and seriously, it does crash

    I will admit though --- my father's Dell runs XP pretty good, but even on his computer, I haven't been able to:

    1. Block pop-ups

    2. multitask (XP can't multitask for NOTHING!)

    3. and does go rather slow

    OS X on the other hand is, and I don't meant to exaggerate, but seriously, if I could conceive of a perfect OS, it would've been OS X (or at least REALLY close to it!)

    I think the best compliment I can give OS X is that I CONSTANTLY feel that I'm 100% in control of my computer, when I'm running OS X

    However, with WinDoZe, I always feel that the OS is controlling me

    Honestly MacNewbie --- I don't know what else I can tell you, but if you choose XP over OS X, you will be making a HORRIBLE mistake
  21. mim macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2003
    flesh, melbourne.... heart, london
    Most people seem to have issues with the virus's and spyware, etc, but for me it comes down mainly to interface issues - and stability.

    Most people are saying XP is really quite good for stability - and yes it is an improvement (but not over 2000 IMHO). I think it comes down to what you do with your system though.

    I haven't had Word crash on me in 2000/xp for no apparent reason. This was not an uncommon problem with earlier releases! But I use my machines a fair bit heavier than just word - and I think that's when the differences become clearer.

    OSX will work when 2000/Xp doesn't. Lots of examples of that - mostly when dealing with photoshop/illustrator/other graphic packages. Now this may or may not be a software issue - but when high spec PC's can't raster a huge EPS, but the 1 year old G4 flies through it - well, you can give me all the benchmarks you want but the G4 will just do it. I believe that this comes down to the OS and how it handles multitasking/memory/etc. This example is not an isolated case.

    Not many people do things like that all day long, so the other way OSX excels is with the GUI. XP tries to make things easy, but I keep finding more and more tasks are given "wizards" with cute little animated icons (have you tried a search on XP recently - bizzare) - these just get in the way for me. OSX seems to have the perfect solution - set up the system in a way that doesn't require these! And when you need to do a bit of hardcore meddling, you have the shell. Powerful and fast. Not like XP registry hacking at all.

    The way OSX handles windows is much better to. The interface of Windows almost assumes that you will have 1 program open at a time, maximized. I use my Cad software like this *sometimes* - but only becuase it doesn't really connect with any other software. When I'm writing a report, I may be using 3 or 4 programs at the same time, typing, making images, surfing for references, playing some music, etc. The OSX standards using floating palettes, overlapping windows, etc are a multitaskers'
    dream. Recent XP software (adobe things notably) has started to use this too - but it works much better in OSX (with the common menu bar, the dock, and expose when it comes!).

    Sorry that this is so long - but just have a play with OSX at an Apple store...you'll see all this and more. It will probably seem strange and odd at first (seems that way to me too, I spend so long at work on XP boxes!) but if you made the transition to XP, you'll pick up OSX in a flash!
  22. Gaz macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2002
    London, UK
    Now I love OS X, I think it looks beautiful and is straight forward to use. I like the unix backend as you know it's built on proven technology.

    ...however, I find my pc to be a more versatile machine. I do lots and lots of development work. With windows I have the choice to work with all the technologies I want from .net 2 java (java is always a little behind on the mac if you need to be using the latest builds). One area I think many people overlook with web development is the limitations of choice with OS X. With my PC I can develop cgi, php, asp, jsps etc.. while you can host microsoft based technologies using virtual pc this isn't a realistic option when time is important.

    The same is true with database technologies, I can run all the different instances of the databases I might need for various platforms.

    Will this isn't directly selling XP over OS X I find my pc can't be beaten for development, need a different os? install vmware and you can have a virtual network on one pc, ideal for enterprise level stuff.

    For me it's all about using the right tool for the job. XP for development, OS X for multimedia. General office work? Well I don't think it makes a huge difference, you have the tools available on each.

    Ultimately I wouldn't give up my mac for anything, OS X is by far the best most appealing OS. But then again I won't give up my vaio with Windows XP either.

    Hope this tries to be objective.

  23. aafuss1 macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2002
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Windows XP is, in my words easy to install,when setting up a new PC (I installed a copy of XP onto a computer for sale). Takes around 30 minutes to install. Its setup assistant is good-,youc an setup user accounts in XP then (easy to do).Activating is quick, if done over the web. Windows XP has built in file compression. And its 'show in groups' feature is quite good.Also XP can group multiple windows into the one button, saving taskbar space-like when you're in IE or Word with many windows open-reduces clutter. I watched this in action, with a video I found at:

    Apple should do something similar to that at the MS website link.
    XP also has system restore-which Mac OSX lacks. Remote Assistance is one feature that Mac OSX doesn't have, and built in Remote Desktop with the Pro version. My copy is a academic version, its for Christmas (December 25 will be a long day for my PC-with the XP install). And XP's Add/Remove control panel is better than the 98 one-eay to add and remove software (centrallised unlike Mac OS x with its various types of application installs). Also XP has many internet games-for example internet checkers,hearts,etc along with solitaire,freecell,spider solitaire and Minesweeper.

    Plus the interface looks great-nice and vibrant-using StyleXP you can change the visual style to myriads of ones you can get off the web-Mac OSX isn't that themable as XP is. And XP has Internet Connection Firewall. Back to the setup process-you can install XP while in Windows-you won't need to load a version of Windows. Mac OS X requires that you install Mac OS 9.1 just so OS X will install-tiresome and adds to time the install. XP's Network Setup wizard is quite simple to follow-easier than 98 and easier than manually doing it in Mac OS 9/X. I've used at XP work experience regularly.
  24. iTag macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2003
    Melbourne Vic Aus
    Speaking from the prospective of the 3 os syndrome i happen to use windows xp Linux and Mac Osx i know your asking about XP and Mac OSX but thought id chuck in linux because its an intresting little os that isnt talked about much

    The Pros and cons are simple people have said most of them already havent read all of the posts to many too long and mines long too.

    Windows xp dose run better crashes only if you over do it ie too many things runing at once
    For some reason it dosnt seem to want to see Mac Osx on a netwok dont know why
    its got awful colours since i got mac colour just seems to stand out more on a Mac

    Pro side though it dose work better dose run faster but i think 98se runs faster still.

    Linux is the little verison of Mac OSX WITH NOT SO MANY NICE COLOURS OR OPTIONS... thats all there is to that. thats my opnion


    i even bought a mac so i could have it i use a g3 not a g4 and it works a treat
    looks and feels great

    the not so bad side of things with mac is i havent come across a problem yet with it the only thing that nagged me was the one button mouse and been able to do all sorts of neat things like delete things and they would go away no spare bits here or there also the way that the OS never anoyes you with ballons is good too the icons jump man they jump up and down to get your atttention its great mind you iam easily entertained, also the fact that it gets a little bit of use to using the dock nothing major just such a pleasent little thing to use love it..


    HIGHLY windows xp if you really want to play games though,

    video stuff though go for Mac for sure

Share This Page