New Operating Systems Revive a High-Tech Debate

With the release of Apple’s Leopard operating system following quickly on the heels of Microsoft Windows’ Vista, tensions between the two companies have never been higher. But on which side of the age-old debate should students be on?

Although Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world, Macs have much more to offer than PCs.

Windows is the more basic of the two operating systems with a straightforward layout and structure of the screen. PCs have a more professional feel to them; the wide range of applications makes it easy to accomplish a variety of tasks efficiently.

Macs, on the other hand, induce more creativity and are more oriented towards artistic media. Programs such as Photo Booth and iMovie allow users to create and edit movies, photos, music and much more. But this power doesn’t come without a price. The most basic of Apple’s laptops costs $1,099, while there are many different brands of Windows-based laptops for as little as $500.

One of the distinct qualities of Macs is the user friendliness. Although there may be a need to adapt to the new features of the Mac, there is an extremely fast learning curve.

“Macs were really confusing when I started using them,” freshman Marika Lee said. “Now I know how to use them, and it’s easy.”

Macs may be more expensive than PCs, but where that extra money goes can clearly be seen.

“Macs are a lot faster and never crash or get viruses … [They also] have really cool features,” sophomore Vienna Rye said.

Most of the programs that come pre-installed on all Apple computers must be purchased for a PC. Also, for those rare cases when something does go wrong with the computer, Appl has amazing support systems for all their products, online and at any apple store.

Although various compatibility issues between Macs and PCs made it near impossible to transfer files between the two in previous years, the newest versions of the various programs have addressed this issue. Because of the standardization of formats and programs, sharing documents between the two has never been easier and according to junior Ka Lau, “It’s not a problem anymore.”

So which operating system is more fit for the everyday student? Macs have the best of both operating systems with the business-oriented features of the PC and creative applications that come standard.

Although the rivalry still continues, Macs are slowly rising to power in a once PC-dominated world.