In the strictest sense, Mac is a PC, since PC is an abbreviation for personal computer. However, in everyday use, the term PC generally refers to a machine running a Windows operating system, not an Apple operating system.
A PC is also known as an IBM-compatible computer, meaning that the IBM microprocessor is the basis of its architecture.
PCs are compatible with a variety of different operating systems; Microsoft Windows is the most common of them. Some others are the UNIX variants, such as FreeBSD, Solaris, and Linux.
Macintosh, commonly referred to as Mac, on the other hand, is a brand name that includes many lines of personal computers produced, developed, and sold by Apple Inc.
The Mac is the world’s only computer capable of running all major operating systems, including Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Vista.
They can be run side by side with software like Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion. Both Macs and PCs have dedicated followers, and each computer type has its own weaknesses and strengths.
How Mac and PC are similar
Since a Mac is a PC (Personal Computer), finding that Macs have more in common with Windows-based PCs than we would expect would probably not surprise us.
How much in common? Well, while this hasn’t always been the case, we can install a Windows operating system on a Mac.
Remember, Mac is just a PC that has Macintosh OS (operating system) installed on it. As much as Apple wants the Mac to be thought of as anything other than a PC, it’s never been more similar.
We can install both Mac OS and Windows on our MacBook or iMac, switch between them or run them side-by-side (or more specifically, run Windows on top of Mac OS) using applications such as Fusion or Parallels.
Some of those similarities are:
- You can view the documents that you create in Microsoft Office and other common Office suites on both Mac and Windows PCs. Most popular PC and Mac applications use the same file formats, making it easy to share documents with friends and colleagues or transfer existing files from a PC to a Mac.
- They both use the same basic hardware components.
- Both of them have a similar interface that allows us to save applications on our desktop, click on applications to run them, search for files in folders, and do other things.
- They are both compatible with third-party mouse and keyboards, including wireless mouse and wireless keyboards.
- They both have a virtual assistant. The Windows-based PCs have Cortana, and Mac has Siri.
- Popular browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome are available for both Mac and PCs.
- They both allow users to use cloud services such as Box.net, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
Differences between Mac vs PC
The Mac OS supports both a right-click and a left-click for the mouse. In addition, the mouse we use on our Windows PC can be hooked up to a Mac.
While Apple’s Magic Mouse can seem like it’s a single button, right-clicking produces a right-click.
One of the main stumbling blocks for people switching from Windows to Mac is keyboard shortcuts. We cannot use Control+C to copy something to the Mac clipboard, and you will realize that Control+C does not copy anything to the clipboard.
To copy something to the Mac clipboard, we should use Command+C. As easy as the difference seems, until it feels normal, it will take some getting used to it.
The differences include:
- Microsoft Windows provides better game support. This includes support such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive for Virtual Reality hardware.
- A Windows-based PC can easily be updated part by part. However, most people find it easier to purchase a new PC. Techies can improve the lifespan of their computers by improving the RAM used by software, the storage used by music, movies, and other media, or the graphics used by gamers.
- There is more software written for Microsoft Windows, like proprietary software that some people use for jobs.
- Both touch screens and the familiar keyboard and mouse configuration are enabled by Microsoft Windows, so it’s usable on desktops, laptops and tablets. macOS does not support touch screens, so it can only be used on a desktop or laptop.
- Most virus writers target Windows systems because it is the most common desktop choice. On the other hand, there is less malware written to attack Macs because Macs are not as common as PCs.
- Since the hardware & software packages and model updates have been managed by Apple, every Mac runs seamlessly without worrying about lagging. On the other hand, custom build PCs may not have the required drivers released for each component, and there may be incompatible or laggy. It may not be able to work as expected.
- PCs are built by many different manufacturers, including Dell, Lenovo, and HP. This keeps prices down on PCs (Personal Computers), which are usually less costly than Macs.