Since the turn of the century, there has been a divide between computer users through commercials, internet arguments, and office place debates: Mac or PC. Everybody has their own personal preference, and in the end, both platforms are more than sufficient for everyday use. However, there are a few objective differences between the the different operating systems that can appeal more to office workers. Here is a guide to help you choose which ecosystem will make your office the most productive:

Price

Let’s get this out of the way first: as everyone knows, Apple’s computers are more expensive than a similarly-specced Windows PC. The base-level iMac, with 2.3 GHz of processing power, 8Gb of memory, and 1Tb of storage space has a starting price of $1399 CAD. A desktop from HP with more memory, a higher processing speed, and the same amount of storage costs $599 and frequently goes on sale. At less than half the cost, the Windows-powered computer is a much better deal than the iMac. For this reason, a PC would best suit an office with a tight budget, or one that uses their computers mostly for web browsing and simple tasks. However, the Apple’s premium price is not just due to higher margins. Macs are known to have excellent build quality and reliability in comparison to their PC counterparts and can take a higher workload for a longer period of time. For offices with demanding needs from their computers, it might be important to look past the price and analyze some of the further benefits of Apple products.

Software

Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Apple’s OS X both come with a host of software, either stock or as an add-on with the purchase of the computer. The most famous and beneficial on the Windows side is included Microsoft Office, which includes the latest document-writing software including Word, Excel, Publisher, and more. These programs are world-famous for a reason; they are one of, if not the best at their respective functions. Windows computers also include Edge, an internet browser designed to work with the operating system. Edge features significant features and improvements over the previous web browser, Internet Explorer, and offers a clean layout with fast performance. To add onto this, there are a number of third-party applications that are available only for PC such as the Sony Creative Softwares (Sony Vegas, Sony Catalyst, Sony Acid), FL Studio, Fences, and more.

However, Windows faces solid competition from Apple on the software front as well. A suite of documentation software similar to Microsoft Office is free with every Mac product purchased. iTunes, the App Store, and iMessages all come with OS X, allowing seamless integration with iPhones and other Macs connected with the same apple ID. You’ve probably heard before that Apple products are preferred by creators and artists, and a big part of that is from some of the optional apple software. Final Cut Pro is one of the leading video editing software, exclusively available to Mac users. Other programs such as CSSedit, Coda, Espresso, Textmate, Quicksilver, Alfred, Things, OmniFocus are also preferred by coders, designers, and creators. Learn more about Apple’s free programs on their website. Finally, Apple’s web-browsing app that competes with Microsoft Edge is Safari. With an equally appealing interface and decent performance, Safari is more than sufficient. Safari and Edge go head to head, and both work absolutely fine for normal use.

Each office should look into what software they can benefit from, including the many different options offered. Keep in mind, however, that much of the software is cross-compatible.

Cloud Features

Creating and storing files, sharing across devices, and accessing documents from anywhere, are all useful features for many workplaces around the world. These features are offered for free to a certain extent with both operating systems in this comparison, extra features can be added for a small price. Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive each offer 5 GB of cross-device storage with their computers. To upgrade to 50GB per month, it will cost only $0.99 per month on iCloud and $1.99 per month on OneDrive. A 1TB option is also available from Apple for $9.99 monthly. While iCloud’s prices are more appealing at first, OneDrive offers some features that may be more useful for productivity and sharing among co-workers. For example, a bundle including Microsoft’s full Office 365 Suite and OneDrive storage is $9.99 a month for five users, each of whom gets 1 TB. This means a small business can share files among up to 5 employees with virtually unlimited storage space. OneDrive expands further to offer custom cloud storage options for any sized business. Overall, the importance of cloud storage depends on how each business can use it, and both competitors offer similar products at nearly identical preference. Be sure to research iCloud, OneDrive, and other third-party options thoroughly before making a final decision.

With today’s technology, it’s difficult to find a bad option for workplace computers. For 90% of tasks, any modern computer is well equiped for productivity. However, workplaces that rely more heavily on technology may need to intensively weigh their options to determine whether Mac or PC is best for them. Overall, a company with a low budget that doesn’t use computers for functions, that are more advanced than documents and video, fit the profile to use Windows computers. Windows is also beneficial when sharing and editing documents among employees that are essential to their operations. It may be worth the upgrade to Mac for workplaces that have demanding needs from their computers, do to extensive editing on videos and pictures, and need reliability from all their technology.

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