Mac OSX Mavericks Vs Windows 8.1 – How Do They Stack Up?

On the 10th of June, 2013, Apple launched version 10.9 of its OS, named Mavericks. The company has released a preview for developers across the globe, while it’s expected to be made available to customers by fall this year. There have been a number of new features included, which are set to stun its users worldwide.

However, Apple does have some stiff competition coming its way by the latest version of Windows OS, which is Windows 8.1. Windows 8.0 wasn’t a hit with its users, which prompted Microsoft to make a number of improvisations in this new version. Let’s take a look into the features of both these operating systems, to determine which one is a better bet.

The Features Of Windows 8.1

Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 is the latest version of the browser, which has now been upgraded for touch usage. This browser is set to stun its users by providing faster page loading, better appearance, and overall improved performance. This version of Internet Explorer allows its users to open as many tabs as they want, on which there was a restriction previously.

Windows Store

The Windows Store that comes with Windows 8.1 is similar to stores such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The store comes with a list of free apps, latest additions as well as a set of best picks, which have been placed on the homepage itself. This makes it highly convenient for the users, as they don’t have to dig around to find the app that they need. Microsoft also gives its users quite a bit of information regarding each app, allowing them to know what exactly the app does. A list of related apps have also been given, and this store also has a search bar, where users can enter the name of the app they’re looking for.

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Figure 1: The Windows Store in version 8.1 has been modified greatly, making it easier for users to search for apps, as well as download them

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Figure 2: X Box Music is a powerful entertainment feature present in Windows 8.1, and may prove to be stiff competition for iTunes Radio

Lock Screen Slide Shows

Microsoft figured out that in Windows 8.0, users often put photos of their loved ones on the lock screen. This made them make certain changes in Windows 8.1, which enables the users to make a slideshow of photos they want, and display it on the Lock Screen. Users may also take photos through the built-in camera from the lock screen itself to form a slide show.

X Box Music

X Box Music is another powerful feature launched by Microsoft for version 8.0 of its OS, in October 2012. However, Microsoft has made a great deal of changes to this software in its latest version of Windows.

In this new and improved version of X Box Music, users are presented with a two panel interface, which is intended to help users find music and access a huge list of songs. This app comes loaded with the latest and best songs around. Microsoft indicates that this version of the app is aimed at providing users with a simpler interface. This app also comes with a search box, and supports music files present on SD cards. Microsoft has also tweaked with the app to make sure that it performs faster, unlike the last version, in which the app was criticized for being slow.

Other New Apps

Microsoft is also intending to launch a number of new apps in version 8.1 of Windows. Some of these built-in apps include Sound Recorder, Reading List, Movie Moments, Calculator, and Scan. Movie Moments is an app that facilitates users to edit video clips by providing them with a touch-friendly UI.

Reading List is more of an upgraded version of Clipboard, which allows users to store URLs as well as other snippets from apps. Apps such as Sound Recorder, Scan, and Calculator provide practically the same functionality as their desktop versions. However, they are now tailored for touch usage. Users have also been provided with a facility called Help & Tips, which contains tutorials to clear the misconceptions associated with the usage of Windows 8.1.

Mac OS Mavericks’s Features

Safari

In OS X Mavericks, users are provided with a powerful new version of Apple’s web browser Safari, and this upgraded version comes with a great deal of new features. This version of Safari makes it easier for users to access the sites they visit on a regular basis and helps them find new ones as well.

In the Sidebar, users are provided with an option called Shared Links, which contains a list of updates from individuals they might be following on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. The feature, Top Sites, has also been re-designed, and helps users make a list of their favourite sites. This version of Safari also comes with power-saving technology, as browsing drains out the battery to a great extent.

iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain is another ground-breaking feature of OS X Mavericks, as it makes remembering passwords an easy task. This application stores website usernames and passwords on devices approved by the user, and these are protected heavily using AES 256-bit encryption.

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Figure 3: iCloud Keychain is one of the most dynamic features included in the Mac OS X Mavericks, making password remembering easier for its users

This app fills in the information as and when required by the user. Additionally, it also comes with a Password Generator app, which provides users with password suggestions for their online accounts. The iCloud Keychain app also works with credit card information as well.

Tagging

Tagging is another excellent feature provided by OS X Mavericks. This allows users to tag a particular document with a certain name and search for it when needed with the tag name.

iTunes Radio

iTunes Radio is the attempt by Apple to knock out X Box Radio from the show, as it provides users with access to several radio stations free of cost. However, advertisements are included in this free version of iTunes Radio. iTunes Radio also provides its users with a list of music, based on the music they’ve heard and purchased on iTunes. Users who subscribe to iTunes Match, which is priced at $25 a year, will be provided with access to an ad-free version of this application.

The Bottomline

After taking a look at the two operating systems mentioned above, it can be quite difficult to determine which one is better. The only determining factor would be the kind of use that the device would be put to. In terms of security, businessmen can opt for the Apple OS X Mavericks, as it provides iCloud Keychain, which protects passwords and other critical information – a feature that Windows 8.1 lacks. It also provides its users with several features for entertainment such as iTunes and iTunes Radio.

The OS X Mavericks also comes with an app called iBooks, which is very similar to Amazon’s Kindle. Windows 8.1 is slightly less robust than OS X Mavericks in terms of security, and can be classified as an entertainment-oriented OS. In terms of pure functionality, the Mac OS X Mavericks does seem to be the winner after all.

Reference Links:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/16/4435096/xbox-music-redesign-windows-8-1-windows-store
http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/16/xbox-music-windows-8-app-gets-a-slick-redesign/
http://blog.laptopmag.com/top-8-new-features-of-windows-8-1
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/06/how-to-get-the-best-features-of-mac-os-x-mavericks-right-now/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/06/10/business-apple-conference.html
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/06/how-to-get-the-best-features-of-mac-os-x-mavericks-right-now/( Figure 3)
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/06/windows-8-1-screenshots-leaked-online/ (Figure 2)
http://tinyurl.com/m5u7rne
  ( Figure 1)