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Mountain Lion or Windows 8; Which is Best for You?
The latest desktop operating system from Apple called Mountain Lion just became available. It claims to include over 200 new features and most users agree, it's worth the $20 upgrade fee. Meanwhile a free beta version of Microsoft's Windows 8 has been available for some time and will become official on October 26th. As computing moves more toward mobile devices and both operating systems demonstrating a trend that reflect a "post-pc" era we couldn't help making some comparisons between the two contenders for your desktop (and mobile devices).
Some May Love It, Some May Hate ItBoth Windows 8 and Mountain Lion represent a merging of desktop operating systems and mobile operating systems. The tile-based Metro UI in Windows 8 and the iOS-like apps in Mountain Lion point to the general "appification" of both operating systems.

In Mountain Lion, Messages work with their iOS counterpart allowing you to send text, photos and video messages. Even files up to 100 MB can be "dropped" into messages. Reminders with Calendar integration can all be synched in Apple's "iCloud." Notes in Mountain Lion like their iOS counterparts can also be synched in the cloud. A new notification interface also shares a look and feel of iOS notifications.

Windows 8 uses tiles that look the same on a desktop or tablet as they will on a Windows 8 phone. The tiles can display active information like the current weather or stock prices. Some users find that using tiles for notifications is a more appealing technique than the new Apple notification "center."

Some users may find the merging of the desktop and mobile operating systems undesirable and long for the good old days of desktop computing while others will find the commonality of the user experience refreshing.

The Battle for the Living RoomMountain Lion gets a new version of AirPlay which includes the ability to "mirror" what is displayed on your device's screen, like a movie or an application, onto a big screen TV, using an Apple TV. Apple's Game Center is an attempt to make up for lost ground in the gaming department where Microsoft with Xbox and a popular PC gaming platform has a big lead. Apple's Game Center on Mountain Lion will allow users of Apple devices to play against each other through an Apple TV. Meanwhile Microsoft is hoping that game developers will find it easy and beneficial to port Win 8 games and apps across a similar set of devices that includes laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones.

Apple may launch a major offensive in the battle for the living room with a rumored Apple TV and we mean a "real" big screen HDTV set with the Apple touch. So far some say it makes sense and Apple will announce it while others dismiss it as "never going to happen." What do you think?

Who Will Have the Best Ecosystem?Both Mountain Lion and Windows 8 use a single sign-in to get you running on iCloud and Windows Live where you can then synch your docs, photos, contacts, calendars, music and more across all your devices. Apple's ecosystem can also save you money on phone bill with use if iMessage and FaceTime. Meanwhile Microsoft owns Skype which we're sure will figure prominently in the Microsoft ecosystem.
The Future User Interface Will Be GesturesWindows 8 and more and more Mac OS X are really meant for gesture input which in the future, will deliver best experience on a touchscreen or touchpad. Mountain Lion has added more multi-touch gestures while both operating systems move toward multi-touch gesture-based input. Is the one or two button mouse as we know it heading for extinction?
It's also just a matter of time before desktop computer monitors will be touchscreens while "hybrid" computers that combine touchscreens on laptops should continue to grow in popularity as users feel more comfortable swiping, tapping and pinching their way around the operating system.
Malware and SecurityAs the installed base of Apple products continues to grow, the malware developers may find the Apple platform a more attractive target. Some aspects of the Apple operating systems like the Unix core and Apple's tighter control on apps may help make it more difficult to breach the Apple defense. But not long ago 600,000 OS X users were reportedly affected by the Flashback Trojan that Apple was a bit slow to respond to. In Mountain Lion, Apple added a new security system called Gatekeeper that uses a Developer ID to help make sure software that you install is not malware. Meanwhile Microsoft, to the chagrin of the third party anti-virus companies, has incorporated into Windows 8, Windows Defender which includes the same protection currently in Microsoft Security Essentials. But that doesn't mean you still shouldn't consider the comprehensive protection applications from companies like McAfee and Symantec. Microsoft continues to beef up their defense against evil-doers with new features like Trusted Boot which can prevent a malicious program from starting before Windows does and should help prevent rootkit malware from working.
Whoever Has the Most Apps May WinWith over 600,000 iPhone apps 100,000 iPad apps and a growing library of Mac apps not to mention all the built-in creativity apps like iMovie, Apple has a lot to offer in the way of software and, as we always say, software sells hardware. Microsoft used to dominate the application war with a massive library of freeware, shareware and business application not to mention the mother of all apps; Microsoft Office. Time will tell if Microsoft can convince developers to continue to support the Microsoft platform. Steve Balmer knew this was important way back in 2006 and it's now more important than ever.

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When you have only two choices, you will sprain your back trying to find the "best".

None of the above

Linux is like Mac but runs on cheaper PC hardware. There are 300 distros to choose from; based on several main distros with multiple choices of desktops. Start with Mint or Zorin if you want something comfortable and Windows-like, then customize when you get used to it.

There are 50,000 programs and utilities that you can install with a couple clicks from the distro's repository, mostly free. I edit movies, "photoshop" pictures, and design electronic circuits.
See http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/ and http://www.distrowatch.com/

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Honestly, I have been a HUGE supporter of Windows for years. But ever since Microsoft has been pushing for a more "user friendly" and "universal" OS, I feel that it is harder to use Windows 8 because it is designed for the average joe. I feel like I am on a phone and not on a powerhouse computer. I speak for many when I say Windows 8 should have multiple versions. One for the tablets (because Windows 8 is primarily touch) one for the phones, and one for the desktops/laptops. When I do work, I don't want to look at email, shopping, etc. I want to get work done. The worst part is Windows 8 can have a desktop mode. This is fine, but switching between Metro UI and Desktop is annoying and should not be required. It seems like Windows 8 can't really decide what it is. A desktop OS? A Windows phone? I don't know, but I have a feeling Windows 8 isn't going to be appreciated by the working desktop community.

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I am sitting here at my iMAC - solar keyboard - wi-fi and behind me I have a sony notebook - loved my IBM computer steady and sure til a vendor decided to get inside of it via conference call and that was it -first mouse in 11 years - heard Apple was less prone to viruses so that is why I went that road - - it's the difference like eating at mom's diner - good home made food - or prime rib at that special place - both great - - as I said what initially switched me tho was from the virus aspect - I am retired and like desk tops -

Late to the game and not very smart.

Trying to make Windows work for mobile devices is not the best way to do things. Microsoft needs to continue to develop for desktops. I understand the desire to get into tablets and cellphones but this is not the way to do it. They do not have the jump on the rest of the market as they did when they first created Windows. They need to think outside the box. They have become a bandwagon company. Apple is attempting to hold the line while Linux/Android and Samsung are driviing all its competitors to freak out. As a customer of Google it is obvious why Microsoft and Apple are in full panic mode. Android is given away. Newsflash, you don't have to pay for the operating system. This puts Windows and Mountain Lion in dire straits. Linux which did not look like it would ever beat the big boys is doing it and what Microsoft did to so many competitors by giving away its internet software Linux is doing it to them. The writing my friends is on the wall. They just can't interpret it.

Neither

Neither Apple nor Windows 8 will ever be in my home desktop, android Notebook or smartphones. Though I embrace new products that are useful I will not be a sheep to unwanted cra*.

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At home, I have neither any Microsoft or Apple operating systems. I am having great joy using Mint Linux, Fedora and Android tablet....

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This is what makes America a great country!

Why only those two choices?

Because both are completely WRONG for me. I am not part of the sheeple, waiting for whatever comes out to Cupertino in order to go to an Apple store and mindlessly throwing my money at them with zealot fanaticism. Nor I am a 'business' drone that goes by whatever is good for management because "nobody got fired by buying Microsoft". I have Linux in my machines because I made that choice. Nobody did it for me. Linux just works for me. Linux is safe, stable, and allows me to be creative without telling me what to do. This is not an "Apple vs Microsoft" world. Thankfully, there are options for the thinking people. Linux is mine.

Operating Systems

I strongly oppose monopolies, Open Source is much friendlier and more economic. That made me decide long ago to go for (Ubuntu) Linux.

Linux is THE BEST!!!

Linux is THE BEST!!!

LInux - I don't think so

Linux is only free if your time has no value.

gtyilzfuou

Hear, Hear!

I repeat: Hear, hear!
I like aspects of Linux but I like the convenience of the much more common human/computer interfaces (i.e. OS). That's why my iMac has Windows available on it and why I use MS Office for things that have to work at home, at work, and amongst my friends.

Linux

It takes me 15 minutes to install Linux.

I don't waste time defragging, updating apps by hand and cleaning viruses. The time I spent learning about Windows, I now spend learning about Linux.

I do not understand what may

I do not understand what may be the reason for your opinion. You could give examples to support your comment. I have used both Windows and Linux at work and in my home network. I found that installing and supporting Red Hat or Ubuntu was many times simpler and easier than Windows at either location. The reason I prefer Linux is that each installation package has the basic distribution and all cumulative upgrades combined whereas Windows requires a basic installation and a time consuming installation process to upgrade each service pack. The worst example was Windows XP with SP2 which took approximately 2 days to install, upgrade and configure. Most Linux installations I have performed take 2 to 3 hours. If there is some task that you require on a system that is much more time consuming on Linux than Windows, I would like you to identify it. I suspect that it, or they, might involve gaming, streaming entertainment or exotic or arcane applications. I use Open Office and Firefox applications with Yahoo e-mail at home. The troublesome differences that I can identify have to do with VBA in Office and e-mail services. The macro support in Open Office is not compatible with MS Office and it is sometimes desirable for large organizations to support in-house e-mail services for privacy and security concerns. So what is your exact complaint?

Linux v mountain lion and windows

although I don't run linux nor do I know much about it. I beleive that apple and windows are becoming no more than multimedia devices with little user defined capabilities left. The few user programmable software platforms such as ms office access etc are now so prohibitively expensive even large companies are shying away and looking for other more cost effective ways of conducting daily business needs.
MS have even stopped giving you the choice of languages. unless you pay for the professional edition, and even then they will not allow you to upgrade from an OS originally say in French to the pro in English without formatting the HD and starting from scratch.
In my opinion anything that makes Apple and MS think again and consider user needs before there own profits can only be good

Give it a try

Give Linux a try. You do not have to install it to try it. I'd recommend trying either SolusOS or ZorinOS. At one time, I would have recommended Ubuntu, but they switched to the Unity Desktop back in 11.04. Prior, Ubuntu used the Gnome 2 Desktop and it was easy to pick up for Windows XP users. ZorinOS provides an menu option to run with three (Linux based) Desktops, Gnome 2, Windows XP or Windows 7. In other words, the look and feel is like one of the three, but the underlaying support is Linux (Ubuntu). SolusOS is fairly new and mimics the Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop or earlier. The Unity Desktop is akin to the Apple's I-Pad or the Windows 8 Metro D"desktops". It caters to tablets moreso than desktops/laptops. BTW, if you download Zorin, get it from the NLUUG site rather than the other 3 sites. It has a faster download speed. If you want to try SolusOS, get version 1.1 as it has the Gnome 2 Desktop, where SolusOS Version 2 is in "Alpha" stage and is using the Gnome 3 Desktop. The download page for ZorinOS is http://zorin-os.com/free.html and for SolusOS it is http://solusos.com/download/ . Burn the ISOs to a DVD (both are too big for a CD - Zorin is about 1.2-1.3GB and Solus is just under 1GB ). Then you can boot the DVD and run it in "try" mode (NOT install). If you like what you see, you can always install VirtualBox or VM Ware and then install them in a virtual machine.

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