What's the appeal of MacOS over Windows 10?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by bbates123, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. bbates123 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2010
    As someone who came from the Windows world, can somebody explain to the me appeal of Mac OS? I started on Macbooks back with my 2013 rMBP and I absolutely love my Macbooks, including the new 2016 rMBP…but mainly for 2 things, the hardware (with that silky smooth trackpad that I so far haven’t found on a PC laptop) and the ability to iMessage. So what I typically do is boot into Windows via Bootcamp during the day (so that I can join my company’s domain) then switch back to MacOS during evenings and weekends. I wish I could just run Windows all the time on my Macbook but the experience just isn’t as smooth as it is on MacOS and then I’d be missing my iMessage functionality.

    So I don’t hate MacOS and for much of what I do after work it’s just fine…and that’s really not much...mostly web browsing, replying to emails, etc. It’s when I try to do more complex stuff with the Mac that I run into frustrations. For example, a few times now I’ve tried running MacOS at work with multiple monitors as well as an external keyboard and mouse. Things that I find incredibly easy in Windows I find extremely difficult in MacOS. For example, clicking and dragging programs from 1 monitor to another. In Windows I just click and drag them. On MacOS I have to take my hand off of the keyboard and 3 finger swipe up on the trackpad to get to mission control (or hit the F3 button) then click and drag the app to the window where I want to park it. In Windows I simply click and drag the window, I don’t have to go into a “Mission Control”…and I don’t want 3rd party apps to do this. Another example…viewing photos in a folder. In Windows I just double click on an image and it opens it full screen in photo viewer then I use my mouse or arrow keys to toggle through the photos. In Mac OS I have to hit the spacebar to bring up the first photo then use the up and down arrow keys and that doesn’t work when the photo is maximized. File management is another issue. I just find it easier to manage files in Windows. For example, I can right-click on a file to drag and move it (instead of copy it). With Mac OS I have to press Cmd while I’m dragging. It’s just not as intuitive. Maybe it’s a matter of just getting used to it…maybe I just need to learn some keyboard shortcuts. I guess what I’m saying though is overall the Windows environment seems more intuitive. Somebody please help me understand the beauty of Mac OS vs Windows.
  2. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    (1) You can drag windows across spaces just fine, just drag them to the side of the screen. You can set up the arrangement of your displays in System Preferences → Displays, which determines the direction in which you can drag.

    (2) OS X does not have the exact Photo Viewer like Windows has. Instead you use Quick Look to see an image at its largest, actual size. You can also use Cover Flow in Finder or you can open all images (command + A) in a Preview window, make it full screen and then navigate around. There are also ample third-party alternatives that have the exact Windows behaviour too (although I cannot give you any names just now).

    (3) Finder always moves files by default, unless you are dragging from/to attached storage or a non-writable source. This change in behaviour is there to make it explicit, as such you use the modifier key. The right-click is reserved for context actions, the ‘right-click and hold to drag’ behaviour is a Windows-specific touch.

    It seems as though you are projecting your expectations of Windows onto another system and are either not comfortable with the alternative, unfamiliar with options or simply satisfied with Windows-specific workflows that you do not want to give up. Which is fine. OS X is not the gold standard of perfect computing after all. However, unintuitive is simply the wrong word for this, you just find Windows more practical and its workflows more suitable for your needs.
  3. bbates123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2010
    Yep, that's probably a fair assessment. To your first point about dragging applications to another monitor I'm not sure what I'm missing. If I drag the window over it will partially disappear from the monitor I'm dragging from but it will never partially or fully appear in the monitor that I'm dragging to. So if I'm dragging from a left monitor to a right monitor no part of the window shows up in the right monitor.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2016 ---
    But really my post was, what do you LOVE about Mac OS over the Windows experience? I'm not trying to be facetious...I really want to know. Maybe I just need to challenge myself a bit more with this OS to learn tricks and shortcuts and such. As it is I'm not feeling the love...yet.
  4. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    For me -

    Stability. I don't mean crashes, I mean the performance remains stable over time. Every Windows system I have ever used, including Windows 10, gets slower and slower over time. Microsoft has improved this, but it has not addressed the issue entirely. At a certain point, every IT person and every tech-support person will recommend wiping and re-imaging or reinstalling Windows. OS X performance remains fairly consistent throughout years of use and multiple updates.

    App Uninstallation Simplicity. I love that apps are actually special containers with the binary executable and all other dependencies built-in. It makes managing and removing apps very easy. Even those apps that keep their preferences or configuration files in /library or something are very easy to uninstall without leaving a trace.

    Security. People might fight me on this, but OS X is just more secure. Sure this is partially because there are far fewer hackers trying to breach it. Still, common sense and a basic understanding of what websites and sources are bad go a long way in OS X. In Windows, a Virus scanner is a must-have. In OS X, even those times there is mal-ware (such as the recent incidents with Transmission), it is super easy to remove.

    Terminal and Unix. I love that I can have access to batch terminal and run batch scripts. I love that I can run linux apps if I install X11 or some other linux window manager.

    Personally I prefer the UI over Windows.
  5. zaxxon72, Nov 10, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016

    zaxxon72 macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2007
    • Unix/Terminal
    • Spotlight
    • Quicklook
    • Unix
    • Safari
    • great hardware design
    • great UI design
    • Unix
    • Integration with IOS/iCloud
    • Xcode (I don't program, but it enables developers to build great apps)
    • Sleep/Hibernate that actually works
    • great battery life (yes, this is a function of the software design)
    • Unix
    • no tiles
    • no Touchscreen
    • no Metro Design
    • no plastic hardware
    • no forced updates
    • no need to hunt for drivers

    And did I mention the best part of it? Unix!
    • Secure by design
    • 40 years of design, experience and conventions
    • Bash + shell commands
    nothing beats mousing around lazily in the best GUI, and then popping into a shell for some serious unix plumbing.

    • Migration Assistant
    • Time Machine
    • no Home/Pro/Education/Premium/Ultra/Starter Edition - one license. Free (as in beer)
    • SuperDuper your system, connect the disk to ANY Mac (that fulfills specs) and it WORKS
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2016 ---
    Understandable. I was a DOS/Windows/Homecomputers guy for 20 years. Shedding muscle memory and acquired behaviour is VERY hard. Like going from 10 years of Nokia to the iPhone.

    What I usually tell people making/trying the switch: stop using your Mac like you used your computer so far. Think about what you want to do, and how you naturally would expect the computer to behave. And most of the time, that's how it works on the Mac.

    It’s like skiing and snowboarding. If you mastered one of them and expect to use your ‘skills’ doing the other, you will fail miserably and have a crappy time.

    Learn a different skill set, expect a different experience … and you are in for an eye-opening adventure.
  6. Goatllama macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2015
    Mountaintop Lair
    For me, it feels better, looks better, and a lot of functions are less labyrinthine to navigate than on Windows. That said, the complexity is not always a bad thing, as the 'deeper' functions are more accessible on Windows, which can be nice - at least, once you've spent 20 minutes finding them for the first time. :p
  7. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

    Jul 4, 2012
    The integration with other devices is a key area to me. I take a picture with my phone - get home(same wifi) and the picture is on my MBP and iPad. Same with everything else. I can do my messaging on whatever device I'm on.
    Even though I have the expertise (been a computer guy since punch cards) I like the fact that it works so well with no tweeking vs. my wife's windows 10 laptop.
    I like that it doesn't have 20 updates every month to the OS.
    not as great as I'd love it but it generally just works.
  8. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    You can buy hardware that meets the bold issues. The italics isn't an issue these days. You don't have to worry about the version, just use the one on your computer. Also, sleep works perfectly on my computer. If your reasons for using macOS include incorrect information, maybe you should take another look. :)
  9. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2016
    BaseCamp Pro
  10. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Yes, you can install a Linux subsystem on Windows, but macOS is a certified UNIX from the ground up

    I regularly use both macOS and Windows and there's nothing inherently bad about Windows, but for me macOS is just better:

    scrolling is smoother
    trackpad gestures are better
    mission control and multiple desktop support is better than the Windows equivalent
    Quick look
    Integration with iOS devices
    Shared clipboard

    I could continue but the above is enough to illustrate that for me there's not one single thing that makes macOS better, but lots of little things that add up to a better experience
  11. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan, Nov 13, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016


    Jul 4, 2015
    None to be frank. Those who have issues with Windows 10 tend to be spouting myths or aren't serious users. It outperforms macOS on every front because APIs and drivers are optimal and updated frequently. File management is deeper and performs better on corporate networks too.

    Where macOS continues to dominate, and Apple takes advantage of this, is just having a simple OS for laptop use. Apple knew years ago it can't compete as a workstation or gaming OS (though they still try) so all the innovation you see has been towards mobility and syncing with other mobile gadgets.

    I don't think Microsoft will catch up with what Apple has done in that sector, and probably they don't need to because they sell Office and other services to Mac users anyway.

    Anyway, that's my Captain Obvious post for the day.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 13, 2016 ---
    That's actually a myth. macOS is a XNU hybrid kernel based on mach and BSD. Mach can run on top of other operating systems too. It didn't get Unix certification until around 2005-2006 (7 years after OS X Server shipped)and until a few years ago the OS installed allowed us to not install the BSD sub system. There was also an option to install X Windows.

    The Windows NT kernel is also a hybrid derived from some of the same sources that the macOS kernel derived from.
  12. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    macOS is a certified UNIX - http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/brand3627.htm - so it's not a myth to say it is...
  13. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Jul 4, 2015
  14. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I don't understand what you're trying to say to be honest and think you may have misunderstood my point - I was comparing OS X being a certified UNIX to installing a Linux subsystem on top of Windows 10: nothing to do with when OS X got certified. "From the ground up" referred to the OS architecture as it stands today, not its history
  15. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009

    Drag + Option key will always Copy
    Drag + Cmd key will always Move
    Drag + both will create an alias / shortcut

    Sounds like you're simply more familiar with Windows, even though you've been using a Mac for a while ...
    --- Post Merged, Nov 13, 2016 ---
    Why don't you run Windows as a virtual machine, rather than using bootcamp. There are plenty of apps like VMware, VirtualBox & the new Veertu that will allow you to run Windows in a window on your Mac.

    Virtualbox is free
  16. entropi macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2008
  17. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
  18. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    Not trying to be facetious? You are in a Mac forum, asking people why they use MacOS instead of Windows, posting your complaints while disregarding a respond that tried to address your own misconceptions or claims.

    Sure, not facetious at all.
  19. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2016
    BaseCamp Pro
    I was simply responding to a comment about the power of CLI. I'm more comfortable with a Linux / Unix CLI but I recognize that the Windows CLI is very powerful as well. And it has to be when you have things like Server Core with no GUI to get things done.

    Both have their merits. For the average user, I'd recommend Mac every day but Sunday. Apple simply does a better job bringing it all together and giving the user less to worry about.
  20. Superspeed500 macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2013
    I personaly think that the command line (shell) is much better on Mac and UNIX systems. Permissions are group based in UNIX, which I prefer. Windows can run bash, but it's not the same as Mac or UNIX.
  21. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Windows and macOS user here, generally not caring which OS I use - they're simply platforms to manage my company and my personal stuff. Neither OS is "superior" to the other, if I need an application I fire up the relevant OS and get to it. I use Outlook/Excel/Access 2016, Exchange Server 2012, and a few specific engineering applications on Windows and Adobe CC/Merlin (project management app, far cheaper than Project)/Final Cut Pro X/Garageband+Mainstage on my Macs. I also use Parallels Desktop with Windows 10 Pro on my Mac laptop. Some of my work is done "in the cloud" - VMs crunching numbers in an Amazon AWS workspace and Office 365 for work email. I work in Windows and macOS environments, and turn to macOS for play. I'm looking forward to my next hopped-up Mac...

    A big reason for my preferring the macOS environment - Fluid. A $5 app that's priceless to me, with a smaller feature set in a free version. I've got web apps for tidal conditions at my job sites, server access via VPN, and Netflix queues - there's nothing like on the Win platform. WebKit makes this app possible and functional.

    A couple of other apps that are big reasons for me using macOS - you could use web search engines to find stuff, I use DEVONsphere. I also use DEVONthink Pro Office on my Mac and iPhone. There's nothing like DEVONtechnologies' products on Windows, and they've been producing for Macs since I can remember.

    OP, if you opt for a move back to a Windows laptop - we have several - explore a machine with a Precision Trackpad. We have a few HPs with that trackpad style, and MS's drivers are heads above the Synaptics-only options out there.

    I work with multiple displays. Moving apps/windows about - you're in need of an application like Spectacle (spectacleapp.com) or Moom - I use the former. Moving or resizing Finder Windows or apps, I pretty much never take my hands off the keyboard. I modified the Preferences of this app to make the "Option + -" (Minus Key) a shortcut to "Make Smaller" a Window and the "Option + +" (Plus Key) a shortcut to "Make Larger" a Window.

    Then there's the Keyboard Shortcuts Preference Pane. A few examples: for Finder and App Windows I added the "Control + z" keyboard combination to the Zoom Command, and a second "Command + P" keyboard combination to the "Save as PDF…" Command (first time gets the Print dialog, second time invokes Save as PDF… (that's an ellipsis on the end…)). For Finder "Cut and Paste" operations I mapped "Control + C" to "Copy" and "Control + V" to "Move Item Here". In Safari I mapped "Control + Shift + S" to the "Search with Google" Services option and "Control + A" to the "Notes" Sharing Service (it opens the Notes app and puts the forefront webpage URL in a new note or prompts me for adding the URL to an existing Note).
  22. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    It just occurred to me that Quick Look has a slide-show mode. You select all pictures in a folder with command–A, then you press the option key and the spacebar simultaneously. You can navigate with the arrow keys.
  23. Honza1 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2013
    Not sure if anyone actually answered this problem...
    This is by design and due to macOS flexibility. In System Preferences, Mission Control you have checkbox "Displays have separate spaces" checked. Therefore each display is totally separate "desktop" area and an application window can be only on one or the other, not on both. If you uncheck the checkbox, the two displays become "one" and application window can now span over multiple physical displays. That is what Windows do (the only way they know) and that is what you are used to. Just different philosophy of what is "monitor", "display", and "desktop".

    Multiple displays on macOS use "Spaces" - ability to have multiple desktops. These can be on one or multiple physical displays (monitors) attached - in line with what Linux does also... Not sure if Win10 have this baked in, but on prior versions of Windows I needed separate program to create ability to have "spaces" type desktops. Spaces can be convenient if you need to separate work projects.

    So add to the reasons for OSX : much higher flexibility and customizations
    add against OSX : too much flexibility which makes it sometimes difficult to find where and how to change GUI behavior.

    Note: Google is you friend and most of these customizations are discussed on line.
  24. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    1) rename or move files while they are open
    2) shortcuts still work after moving or renaming files
    3) no drive letters
    4) can boot from external drives
    5) can scroll inactive Windows
    6) the native graphics are PDF--print to PDF and manipulating PDF files is easy
    7) file open and save dialogs remember their locations
    8) Spaces, expose, mission control--better window management
  25. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    I use both Windows and Mac on a daily basis and it amazes me that people can possibly think Windows is anywhere near close to macOS

    A few trivial examples

    1. Even after all these years, Windows doesn’t display the size of folders. In macOS this is easily enabled
    2. Ability to save almost anything as a PDF, via the Print dialogue
    3. The Preview app will view almost anything and also allows signing & so much more
    4. Space Bar to Quick look
    5. Spaces, built in
    6. If Windows gets a bit busy it doesn’t update the explorer window unless you hit F5, which is a bit hopeless
    7. Ease of install & uninstall
    8. Lack of a (messy) registry on macOS
    9. Mac is all 64-bit. Windows still has plenty of 32bit apps, which make life a pain when installing database drivers etc; if you have a 32bit client app, you need the 32bit driver. If 64bit client, etc....
    10. Program files vs Program Files x86. Complete vacation from common sense, anyone?
    11. The completely different UI of different versions of Windows; Windows Server 2012, for example, does away with the Start menu in favour of showing things in an almost smartphone-like horizontal scrolling list with no structure. Just a mess

    I could go on endlessly - e.g. Skype for Business (used to be called Lync) instant Messenger doesn't allow you to paste images into the conversation. Skype conference calls break up appallingly, etc etc ...

    Microsoft makes some very good apps - like SQL Server - but for the most part they're a 1/2 thought through shambles. Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon are 'modern' IT and Microsoft are old / dinosaur IT

    But hey - each to their own. If you want to move to Windows, then good luck and farewell.

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