Apple vs. Microsoft – Comparative Essay

Shannon Mrs. Rogers English 112 N01B 14 October 2012 Apple vs. Microsoft The question can quite often spark tension between people: are you an Apple or Microsoft lover? Technology is a personal choice that stems down to one’s perception of what they think is innovative, creative, and efficient. Since the mid 70’s, both of these computer companies have worked continuously to make what appeals to people the most. Everyone has their own ideas as to why they prefer one to the other, and as technology continues to grow, so do the opinions of millions of people. Today both of these companies tediously strive to be successful technology pioneers.

Students need these companies’ computers to let them create and research. Businesses rely on the companies’ software to solve major projects. Let’s face it; all of us at one point or another have used a device made by either Apple or Microsoft. As our world continues to advance rapidly, we all need to have corresponding technology that allows us keep up. Both Apple and Microsoft provide the world around us with the necessary tools do to exactly that. So it shouldn’t matter which device is being used, right? However, just as the battle between Pepsi and Coke exist, so does the battle of technology.

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Both of these companies have pros and cons that should be noted before deciding a favorite. A technology engineer founded Microsoft April 4th, 1975 by the name of Bill Gates. Today Microsoft is a multi-million dollar company that creates everything from computers to video games. Many gamers support Microsoft because of its ability to branch out into the gaming world. Microsoft introduced the Xbox, a highly famous game console, in November 2001. They also introduced the upgrade to the Xbox called the Xbox 360 four years later. As of 2012, over 70 million of these game consoles have been sold worldwide.

Xbox also has a feature that impresses gamers: they are able to play with friends all over the world. A feature called Xbox live allows players to play online through an Internet connection. “The Xbox 360 is a truly impressive machine and shows an enormous amount of potential for the years to come. There are titles in development that seem to have the potential to be true blockbusters – and the clever use of a proprietary online marketplace opens up the possibility of innovation” (Morris). Apple has yet to invent any type of gaming device. Needless to say, Microsoft has the upper hand when it comes to gaming.

Microsoft also has immaculate software that even Apple lovers are guilty of using. It’s called Microsoft Office and it was first debuted in the late 1980’s. It was made to appeal to a wide array of computer users. Microsoft office breaks down into several different applications, but the main ones are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. Each application provides a user-friendly process to ensure the user can have documents, power points, charts, graphs, and many other helpful tools. Microsoft office has become more and more popular with the growth of technology in the work place.

Being proficient in this software can really boost a company’s view of the applicants’ skills. Having these extra assets can really increase a person’s chance in the work force according to one author. “When you are applying for a job you want your application to stand out from the rest. You may have a college degree and this is certainly worthwhile. However, having a Microsoft qualification is worth its weight in gold and many employers place greater emphasis on this as opposed to a college degree. This is because the qualification is more specialized to the application in question.

For example you may have certification to show you are proficient in using Excel or Word” (Barnett). Along with theses previous great accomplishments, Microsoft users are patiently awaiting the release of the new Windows 8. The new innovative software is expected to be release October 26th, 2012. Windows 8 will be display significant changes compared to the previous Windows 7 software. The new software is expected to have a great development platform. The upgraded platform will have many advanced features such as a windows store for music, games, and apps.

It’s expected to be highly competitive to the ITunes store by Apple. Windows 8 will also be partnered with Internet Explorer 10, which can run as either a desktop program or as an app with a new full-screen interface optimized for use on touchscreens. According to a writer from the technology weblog Gizmodo, Internet Explorer will be the greatest feature of Windows 8. “I know, I know. We’re just as shocked as you are. But IE 10 is fast, fluid, and tons of fun in Metro. Swiping to navigate back and forward makes perfect sense; it’s how every mobile web browser should navigate.

Double tapping zooms in, or out, even when IE is running in Snap state (a small, minimized version that runs in the side of the main window). Zooming and panning is fluid, reacting just as you would expect a natural object to react. Momentum speeds up and slows down in relation to your touch. And if you do need the power of a full-throated, plug-in capable version of IE, you’re just two clicks away from the Desktop version” (Honan). Lovers of Microsoft are eagerly awaiting these new features. Microsoft isn’t a company that fears trying something new.

In addition to new software, Microsoft will also be doing something that they have never done in their 30+ years of business; they will be releasing the first ever Windows operating cell phone. The Windows 8 cell phone is going to be released in October 2012, around the same time frame as the software launch. The phones will have four different manufactures that are: Nokia, Samsung, HTC, and Huawei. Microsoft has confirmed the following features: Internet Explorer 10, background multi-tasking, high-definition resolution, superior map technology, as well as many other creative tools.

The phone is also expected to have top of the line web browsing says a writer for the company Nokia. “You have more power in IE10 and Windows Phone 8 to customize your web browsing experience. For example, you can set the web address bar button to operate in different ways – as a shortcut to your favorites, for example, or to bring up your open tabs. Windows Phone 8? s web browser will be quicker, safer and more flexible than what we’re currently using. Mobile web fiends should be chomping at the bit to see what Nokia has planned around such advanced features” (Mundy).

The Window’s phone will be highly competitive to Apple’s iPhone 5. Many people would say that Microsoft has become a master of technology over the years, but many others would beg to differ. Plenty of people complain that Microsoft makes the worst, most inefficient software there is. The software has been targeted continuously for having an atrocious security system. Microsoft’s products are notoriously criticized for their security holes. Security holes in Internet Explorer and Windows NT have been widely publicized and are now accepted as a common occurrence when announced by users.

The public has become largely oblivious to new security holes, which is unfortunate because it means that a widespread attack on users’ systems is not only possible, but also quite simple. If it’s not such a big deal for a user that security isn’t a top priority for Microsoft, then they shouldn’t keep sensitive information on their computer, think again – if the computer is taken over it could easily be used for such devious tasks as trafficking child pornography, trafficking pirated software, or even emailing death threats to the president.

What’s worse is that if any such activity would point to the computer, the user would have no way of proving that somebody else did it because Windows does not keep logs. One of the biggest reasons Microsoft has gained a bad reputation by many users is because of how easily their computers can catch viruses. Window’s computers are extremely prone to all kinds of danger attacks, even with the most advanced anti-viral software installed. When the designers of Windows were creating software for computers, safety and security was not a top priority.

Windows was designed to be a single-user operating system. This means that the operating system is designed to let the user have free reign over the entire system. However, the system has no way to tell who’s doing what on the system, and no means of enforcing who can do what. As such, viruses can all too easily sneak in via the Internet without a user’s knowledge or permission. Some versions of Windows, such as Windows NT, 2000, XP Professional and Vista have multiple user logins.

However, Microsoft chose to maintain compatibility with programs designed for other versions of Windows, such as Windows 95, 98, or XP Home Edition, because those programs were use to having the whole computer all to themselves. As such, they had to do some fancy hacks to pull all that off, and in the process, they still left even Server 2003 and Server 2008 full of holes for hackers to exploit. Having said all that, Microsoft is a company that continues to grow and innovate. It has been doing so since the mid 70’s, but it has had many flaws along the way. It will have to continuously find ways to try and narrow down he world of competition in technology, especially their main competitor, Apple. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Inc. on April 1st, 1976. As of 2012, Apple has over 300 retail stores in thirteen different countries. The company specializes in everything from computers, to software, and digital music players. Apple stunned the world in 2001 when they released a revolutionary new way to store music. The iPod was invented to allow music lovers to store all of their music on one digital, hand-held device. “IPod is one of the greatest discoveries of today’s generation.

It falls among the best of the electronics goods. Its popularity is on the greater log because of it is use at ease” (Jones). The first iPod was called iPod classic; the device gave users the eligibility to store up to 2,000 at once. At the time, it was only made for storing music files . The iPod has innovated and grown drastically since 2001 when it first hit the scene. Today, the most recent version of iPod is the called iPod touch. It is a completely touch screen device that can do everything from accessing the Internet to video chatting. The iPod has become the most popular digital music player in the world.

As of 2011, over 300,000,000 have been sold worldwide. “Apple’s iPod has dominated the portable audio market completely over the past few years. Giants like Sony and Microsoft where insignificant players in the mp3 players market” (Ionescu). Apple has also played a major part in the world of tablets. The greatly anticipated Ipad was release in early 2010. It is a hand-held device that allows users to access applications, music, photos, and many other things. The iPad is such a popular device with people because it gives them the accessibility of a computer, without being restrained to a desk.

Users are able to take the device with them anywhere and with built Internet capability, they can use it anywhere Wi-Fi is available. There is now iPad 1, 2, and 3. The most recent, the iPad 3, has a 5 mega-pixel camera installed, which is better than many cell phones. As of 2011, there has been over 84 million sold worldwide. Many companies use these handy devices versus purchasing computers. Restaurants use them to display their menus to customers, Gyms use them to let new members sign up, and even schools and businesses are beginning to find them useful. Presentation and brainstorming – The Ipad can act as an independent presentation tool without the need of a projector. So it is great for people who have to do spot presentations. Plus the ipad can also act as a whiteboard allowing you to brainstorm and sketch ideas directly on its screen and then save and email those images to your colleagues” (Benjamin). With all of their appraised devices, Apple’s MacBooks are their most popular product without question. Apple’s first ever laptop, iBook, was released 1999-2006. It was widely used in schools, homes, and offices.

In 2006, the new sleek MacBook was released and lasted until 2010. The most recent is called MacBook Pro, which came out in 2011. The computers are very popular with many people because Apple combines simplicity with design, and functionality. These computers are highly desired by the younger generation because of how stylish and modern they are compared to a bulky, dull PC with Microsoft. Macintosh has a very simple, user-friendly operating system that allows people of ages to learn and understand. “Microsoft’s approach seemed to be “if we make it hard for them to change or remove applications, they won’t have problems with it.

Apple takes a different approach. Install the applications, keep them available in the dock, but wait for the user to click on them and then ask whether or not that application should be the default”(Guha). Macintosh computers operate on an operating system called “OSX”, which are almost never prone to any type of virus. Because the Mac has a relatively small amount of users compared to Windows, it is less of a target to those that look to exploit vulnerabilities. This doesn’t mean that Macs are immune or impervious to viruses. To the contrary, they’re just as vulnerable as Windows machines.

Mac computers are smaller targets, especially to the kind of people that exploit these vulnerabilities; this is something Apple users have in their favor. They want to capture the largest amount of systems in the fastest possible time. More and more people are buying Macs because of the computer’s safety from viruses, which can ruin computers and be expense to repair. Apple has definitely established a name for themselves in the tech world by being creative and pushing the boundaries. Their products are built well and last long, but Apple does have some negativity that tends to sway people towards Microsoft instead.

One reason is how expensive Apple computers are. A customer could go to a store and buy about four-five computers that run on Microsoft for about the same cost as one MacBook Pro. Many people cannot begin to dish out over $1,000 dollars for a laptop. The cost is a big problem that will always keep customers buying an affordable computer by Microsoft versus an outrageously expensive computer like a MacBook. If there is ever a problem with the computer, the customer should expect to have to pay additional big bucks to replace Apple’s pricey parts. “Macs are still priced too high.

Tell me you don’t agree. And if you don’t, then you’ve been hypnotized, too. The Apple Stores and apple. com have created a one-world pricing universe for all things Mac, while in the PC world there are multiple manufacturers, tons of retail stores, loads of sales and rebates, and plenty of cheap refurbished parts on the market that people can use to make their own dream machines. Apple’s cheapest laptop is still more than $1,000. You can get a PC laptop for $500 at Best Buy. Yes, they’re different in quality — but an eight-year-old who needs to plunk out a book report doesn’t need 0. 3 inch-thin wafers of aluminum. Families, non-nerds, and most of the adult world need less-expensive options, and for $500, the only thing Apple sells that has a screen and reads email is an iPhone or an iTouch” (Stein). Many people also believe that Macs are no greater than the average PC. They think that Apple is just an image that seems to brainwash the world into believing that they’re truly the best company. “It is often said that you are paying just for the look of the Macs. Unless aesthetics are important to you, the higher price may not be justified” (Larson).

Apple advertises far more on television, magazines, and posters than any other technology company. Therefore, many people believe that Apple is the best around. In reality, there are computers made using Microsoft software that can keep up just as sufficiently, if not better. Another major downfall of Apple is so much software is made only for Microsoft PCs. Apple does not have any software nearly comparable to Microsoft Office. Mac users must use a specific type of Microsoft Office that has been designed just for Apple Computers.

If a Mac user goes into a store to buy specific software the chances of it being compatible to a Mac are slim to none. Almost all software in store is made primarily for PCs only. This not only hurts Apple, but it helps Microsoft drastically. This will continue to be a big problem for Apple if software continues to be made solely for PCs. In retrospect, many people honestly think the battle between Apple and Microsoft will always be around. Technology continues to advances everyday and both of these companies have the impressive innovation to keep with our constantly evolving world.

People will always have one that they prefer over the other, because it’s just the way life is. Our world is filled with diversity and opinions, just as the world of technology is. People will continue to argue and agree when it comes to the two polar opposite companies. We all know that both Apple and Microsoft still have a great deal of room for improvement and progress. Works Cited Guha, Robert Adam. “Macs More Flexible, More Friendly Than Window’s PCs. ” Lowendmac. com. Apple Archive, 06 June. 2003. Web. 10 October 2012. Morris, Chris. “Xb0x 360: Good, But Not Great. Money. cnn. com. CNN Money, 21 November. 2005. Web. 10 October 2012. Ionescu, Don. “Why Ipod is So Popular. ” Articlesbase. com. Articles Base, 19 April. 2008. Web. 10 October 2012. Mundy, Jon. “Why Windows 8 Phone Will Be Good News For Mobile Web Surfers. ” NokNok. tv. NokNok Article, 3 September. 2012. Web. 10 October 2012. Honan, Mat. “The Five Best New Features in Windows 8 Consumer Previews. ” Gizmodo. com. Gizmodo Top Stories, 29 February. 2012. Web. 10 October 2012. Benjamin, Mel. “Top 5 Reason Why Ipad Is A Great Business Tool. ” EzineArticles. com.

Enzine Article, 28 October. 2007. Web. 10 October 2012. Barnett, Paul Roger. “4 Reasons Why Microsoft Office Certification Will Be Beneficial For Your Career. “Enzine Articles. com. Enzine Article, 27 May. 2011. Web. 8 October 2012. Jones, Sarah. “I-Pod The Great Invention. ” GoArticles. com. Go Articles, 15 October. 2009. Web. 10 October 2012. Stein, Scott. “Five Reasons Why PCs Are Better Than Mac. ” Esquire. com. Esquire Article, 31 March. 2008. Web. 10 October 2012. Larson, Travis. “Cons Of Apple Computers. ” Ehow. com. eHow Tech, 5 June. 2010. Web. 10 October 2012.