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Windows 8 vs Mac OS X Mountain Lion – Comparison

by Chloe Parker

Microsoft and Apple are two great corporations leading the development of operating systems for PCs. These two rivals have recently presented new versions of their operating systems – Windows 8 from Microsoft and Mac Mountain Lion from Apple. And the competition has reached a new level. From technical point of view, these operating systems are very different, however, what concerns the functional point they have a lot in common.


The latest world tendencies of mobile development have influenced the pc systems as well. They have become more “mobile oriented”. For example, Microsoft’s Windows 8 was developed to become a universal for tablets, smartphones and PCs OS, it has a new look of desktop, new touch-based system. Apple also has made several steps in this direction, but it still decided to make two different OSs – Mac X Mountain Lion for laptops and iOS 6 for mobile gadgets. However, as I said previously, these operating systems differ in many ways. Which ones? Let’s see.

Start Screens

If to speak about start screens, Apple hasn’t made any great changes. Everything looks typical. There is menu bar, wallpapers, the OS X Dock, etc. The only noticeable change is a Launchpad that makes the Mac Lion a step closer to the mobile look. Launchpad will bring some set of programs that a user will choose from.

Microsoft has decided to make a revolutionary improvement in the start screen of its new OS. There are no icons and menus. Now there are Live Tiles that remind more app bars on your smartphone rather than program icons. Live Tiles are developed to provide the fast access to the programs used most. Of course, there is an option of switching to a custom lay out.


Live Tiles aren’t only some sort of icons, they also serve as informational widgets you may get all the necessary information from. It is a new way of notification presented by Microsoft. The Windows 8 users will also get info from the banners of the programs, just like in Windows 7.

Notification functions in OS X Mountain Lion are performed by Notification Center where all warnings and notes are placed for the owner. They are sorted by the application. Pop-up notifications are also typical for this OS as well as dock icons showing numerical data about unread mails, for example.

App Markets

Both markets can boast of the great amount of applications and software products, but only Microsoft allows users to get trial apps before loading their paid versions.

Gesture Management

Gestures management is another “thing” of Windows 8 totally developed for touch devices. Everything can be done by gestures: switching among the Charms, app and toolbars management, etc. Mountain Lion is a pc OS having a limited range of things that can be done by touching. It is mainly a well-known multitouch for app opening, change of screen size and so on.

File Search and Management

Finder is left in Mac X Mountain Lion OS so the users won’t find any great improvements in this field. Windows 8 got two search systems: Metro Interface (for general search) and Windows Explorer (for file management) with Ribbon Toolbar update. Of course, it is not very convenient to switch between these two systems, but may be later Microsoft will join them in one.

Cloud File Storing

Clouding is another thing making these OSs closer to mobiles. iCloud is used by Apple and in Microsoft’s SkyDrive service is used by Microsoft. Both services allow and data synchronization. SkyDrive and iCloud are free services, giving 25GB and 5GB of storage space respectively.

However, iCloud has one disadvantage. The users won’t be able to get an access to the online files via the Finder. SkyDrive in its turn works like an ordinary app through which the pc owners can use their online documents.

Well, making a conclusion, it should be said that both OS are stable and work well. The ranges of possibilities provided are alike. In some points Windows 8 wins but it is a totally new OS while Mac is an update of an older one. Which one to choose? It is only for you to decide.

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