It used to be that if you were to wade into the middle of any large technology conference and shout out "Macs are whack" or "Apple rules, Microsoft stinks," you could start a riot. The conflict between Apple supporters and Windows fans raged on college campuses, social networks and internet message boards. Although the hottest days in the flame wars between the two platforms seem to have passed, both platforms have dyed-in-the-wool supporters. These days the two are similar enough that it often comes down to the kind of computer you prefer — or can afford.
Before we get started, we need to establish some definitions. In this article, we're comparing Apple computers running Mac OS X — no hackintoshes to be found here — and computers running the Windows operating system. While the term PC stands for personal computer and could apply to Macs, Windows machines and computers running other operating systems alike, we're using it in the common vernacular as shorthand for a Windows machine.
Given the passion often displayed by owners of both Windows and Mac computers, you may be surprised to learn what a small share of the global computer market Apple actually controls. While the sales of iPhones, iPods and iPads provide a strong boost to Apple's overall earnings, Macs account for about 8 percent of computers worldwide. In fact, in 2020 the greatest threat to Windows' dominance of the operating-system market became Google's Chrome OS, which at the end of 2020 moved into second place in computer shipments, with Chromebooks accounting for 14.5 percent of shipments. Both Apple and Google ate into Microsoft's market dominance, but at the end of 2020 Microsoft still had the lion's share, with 80.5 percent.
So, in our classic operating-system battle, which is better — Mac or PC? Click through our list of 10 differences between Macs and PCs and decide for yourself.