mac-windows-logosby Natalie Muscat, contributing writer

In an era where everyone wants to stand out yet fit in at the same time, there is one major player in this controversy: technology. The young adults from “Generation Y” are growing up with the world’s technological advances; whether it’s the newest computer software to come out or the newest smart phone, they are growing up with technology already a part of them.

One current argument on technology is which is better: Apple or Microsoft. These two rival companies are a popular topic for young adults to discuss, though none can come up with a definitive answer as to which tech giant is better when it comes to its use in the life of this young generation. Apple and Microsoft both offer a user-friendly experience and the ability to run multiple operating systems. Some differences between the two include the facts that Apple computers rarely get viruses, but customization of its internal hardware is limited, while Microsoft offers the opportunity to customize the internal hardware and has more software options available, but is more prone to viruses.  With the advent of Microsoft Windows 8, and Apple having just launched its updated operating system, Mavericks, the conversations are sure to get even more heated.

Apple exclusively designs its own hardware and because of this, Mac is stable, secure, and very easy to configure with all the controls in one centralized place. The nice thing, though, is that with a Mac one does not need to deal with the “nerdy stuff.”  The hard drives Macs use are specifically formatted to be able to run with OS X, but the processors and graphic cards are made specifically for Macs by Apple. Everything in a Mac is wired together, which helps make the computer run more smoothly, instead of having different parts work together like a Windows computer.

Computers that run Windows offer customers the opportunity to customize the internal hardware of their computers. You can even choose to build your own computer to fit your lifestyle, rather than buy a pre-assembled one, and in some instances this can end up being cheaper. The obvious problem with this is that if you don’t know what you are doing or you don’t know anything about computers, this may not work well for you.

Macs have always been known to be user-friendly, but beginning with their Mountain Lion operating system, things have gotten more complicated.  Prior to Mountain Lion, the advanced features were purely optional. If you wanted desktops, you activated Spaces, for example. It was a perfect balance between the needs of new users and advanced users who wanted more features. Since Mountain Lion, though, Apple is not as user-friendly as it was before; don’t take me wrong, they’re still simple to use, but not as simple as Windows, which has retained its basic logic throughout the years that Generation Y remembers.

There are many programs out there that are only available for Windows operating system, which is a primary reason for many business people and gamers to lean toward Microsoft rather than Apple. It’s easier for programmers to create software for Windows computers because of how simple the base code of the operating system is whereas OS X is a more complicated operating system that is not easy to create programs for.  OS X is, however, based on the open-source Linux operating system, which has a strong reputation for security features, which is why it doesn’t get as many viruses as a Windows computer does.

Most viruses are developed and coded for Windows operating systems but there is not a computer operating system out there that is virus-proof. There are, however, anti-virus programs that may be installed on a computer even though they don’t block out all the viruses out there, but as the saying goes, “every little bit helps.” Since Apple based its operating system off Linux it doesn’t get as many viruses as Windows. More businesses use Windows-based computers. The hackers and coders who create the viruses go after information of the business people; they basically go where the money is.

Apple has a pre-installed program, BootCamp, that allows its computer to run two operating systems on one computer, but it doesn’t let the user run the two operating systems simultaneously, like Windows does. I run BootCamp on my Apple computer. I have all my school work on the Windows side of my computer and I work on my website and graphic arts projects on the Mac side. Apple computers are good for people who are using them for graphic design and video work.

The biggest problem with Windows is that it is more prone to getting viruses, but it is better for people in the workforce whose job requires them to use a computer all day long; there are more available programs out there that are created for computers that run Windows rather than those that run OS X, and even gamers prefer to use Windows because of the wide variety of games available for that operating system.

On the whole Windows outsells Apple by a wide margin, and that includes Generation Y, in specific. But Mac supporters make up in passion what they lack in numbers. With the impending release of OSX Yosemite, the debate is sure to rage on. we’d love to hear your thoughts. Apple? Windows? Sound off in comments below!

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