At this moment in time, both the Windows 10 Anniversary edition and macOS Sierra are still in their Beta stages of development. And with them, both Microsoft and Apple have made it clear what direction they think computing should move in over the next year. I know there’s nothing secret about their interfaces, nothing is being kept a secret, web browsing, multitasking, search integration and other important features. However, which home computing operating system comes out on top?
In this article, I am going to compare both operating systems, as you would find then now and take a look at how they may evolve with this year’s promised updates.
Last year Windows 10 received a welcome new redesign, which breathed some new life into what was an old crusty looking design. However, Apple decided to keep macOS Sierra (or version 10.12) extremely similar in looks to OS X El Capitan (10.11), which itself was similar to the mac OS version of the previous year Yosemite (10.10). However, there is one change this year that is very noticeable, and that is thanks to the addition of Picture-to-Picture video.
As an added piece of usability, Microsoft has built-in to Windows 10 a tablet mode. This was designed for displays that are much larger than the average and as such Windows 10 has larger touch targets. What this means is, the operating system can be used with more devices than macOS and can handle different types of interaction.
So, for usability and interface, Windows 10 is the winner here. Because it is a cross-device platform and provides many more options.
Siri Vs. Cortana
Apple has discovered that its previous reliance on the likes of Spotlight and its manual touch-and-type interface is now a thing of the past. What it has discovered and decided to act upon is the need to include its personal assistant on the iPhone called Siri on to Mac too! So this year it has ported Siri over to the Mac and as such has caught up with Microsoft and its Cortana personal assistant.
As for what these assistants can do, other than manage files and provide new notifications, they can now handle contextual questions. In his keynote speech at the recent Apple WWDC, Craig Federighi, had Siri do some complicated file searching for images that he had been sent by a colleague. However, it’s not only Siri that can handle these kinds of test. Cortana was recently put to the test and asked “Who is the Prime minister of Great Britain?” but, when she was asked, “how old is he?” Cortana replied, “David Cameron is 49 years old”.
For this section, I have decided that macOS Sierra wins. Siri seems to be a much more accomplished assistant, but not by much!
One of the biggest changes happening on the Windows 10 operating system is that the Microsoft Edge browser is, at last going to get its own extensions in Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. However, what exactly they will be and how many there are, I do not know. But, if the amount of apps being developed for Windows 10 can be used as an indication, it does not look good for the Edge browser, and I can’t see it ever getting the support that Safari does.
As for functionality, both browsers allow you to pin tabs that you want to read from. However, of the two, it is only Safari, which lets you turn off the sound too noisy tabs. With Edge, you have to manually go into the tab and understand where the sound is coming from, before you can mute it.
So, which operating system wins the browsers? Well, that would have to be macOS Sierra. The fact that you can’t easily mute a tab in Edge is really annoying and enough to make the difference for me.
Updating and Price
Whilst Microsoft has allowed users with official copies of either Windows 7 or 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, this option only exists until July the 29th. After this period elapses, the operating system will cost around $119. Whilst macOS Sierra is the latest version of the Mac operating system that seems to have been free forever! On another note, and another positive for Apple. It allows its users to update when they want, however, Microsoft has adopted a policy of forced updating.
It wasn’t long ago that Windows 10 was kicking the proverbial butt of MacOS, but since then Apple has been working hard to correct the flaws found in El Capitan. Now, it has produced something with macOS Sierra, which is much more feature some and easy to use. From bringing Siri to the desktop PC to providing its users with the features they’ve been waiting a long time, I believe that Apple’s OS has overtaken Windows 10 in many respects. And whilst, Windows 10 is a great platform, Apple has done what it takes to take its crown.