Recently, Microsoft and Apple both released an update to their operating system, from Windows 8 and OS X Lion to Windows 8.1 and OS X Mavericks 10.9, respectively. Having had the pleasure of being able to personally experience both operating systems- one on my Microsoft Surface RT and the other on my MacBook pro, here is an analysis on some of the discrepancies, issues, and points of interest found across both operating systems.
While Windows 8.1 was released at a modest price of $199, Apple decided to launch its product for free. Although it is key to note that both companies offer both operating systems for free if users already had owned a previous version of their OS, From a financial standpoint, conspicuously, Apple’s decision clearly made its customers happier.
Windows 8 was originally released as Microsoft’s response to the prolific mobile market, as the company has been struggling to gain dominant influence in that market: an ascendency that the company otherwise maintains in the Desktop and Operating System industry. The goal was to integrate the traditional power-pc experience (the colourful ‘windows’ symbol at start up followed by a traditional desktop, with little icons to click and a task bar at the bottom.) with the modern tablet and smartphone experience. (Touch-based interface, with more focus on interconnectivity in lieu of productivity, in effect providing a smoother GUI (Graphical user display) experience.) This was done in Windows 8 by introducing the metro interface, where tiles are stretched across a horizontal page, with each tile representing an app, or other items of interests. The tiles may change according to its function; A mail app, for example, may have a mail tile that sometimes shows the number of unread message the user has.
In this way, Windows could target both the traditional desktop users and the mobile users, by offering a new operating system that would integrate both worlds together. This was in part so that Microsoft could enter the tablet PC and smart phone market. Products such as the Surface RT and the Windows phone where in development whilst Windows 8 was in production. Microsoft also introduced the Skydrive, which is an iCloud equivalent for the Windows Operating system.
Overall, after Microsoft’s failure with Windows Vista, and it’s loss of market influence in the mobile sectors, induced Microsoft to overhaul its operating system and enter the mobile market, as well as catch up on the losses made in the past. Unfortunately, Microsoft has yet seen success that was much anticipated.
It has made losses this year, and it still only owns 8.02 % of the Operating system sales for the worldwide market. Nevertheless, in Windows 8.1 , Microsoft addressed many issues that the users have voiced after the Windows 8 launch, adding the fact that the update is free for any Windows 8 users, long time users of the Operating System are surely to be rewarded.
OS X Mavericks 10.9
Remember the days when major new Mac OS updates came in a CD? Well, those days are long gone and they have come a long way since then. Apple has now integrated the OS upgrade or update experience in to a completely online experience, with each new update costing less and also being less ‘revolutionary’. Take the transition between OS X and Snow Leopard. It was a huge update, with major new features as well as performance updates. The transition from OS Lion to Mountain Lion, on the other hand, has been more of a refined experience of the Lion OS. Apple is slowly making the user update experience more gradual and feel as if its a regular occasion, where as in the past they were much more rare and significant for the user. This suits the modern Operating Systems’ and Applications nature of release: Companies now often release products that have not been fully debugged, and rely on the users to give feed back so that the company can make small updates to reflect the users complaints. This is what Microsoft has done on a large scale with the transition from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, and what Apple has done so with all it’s Operating system upgrades. The latest OS, OS X Mavericks, also reflects this trend, with minor upgrades that will refine the experience that Apple has been shaping since the companies creation.
One difference, however, is that Apple has not chosen to integrate it’s iOS (the operating system for Apple’s tablets and iPhones) with their Computer Operating systems, unlike what Windows has done. They have, nevertheless, consistently brought major elements of the iOS to the Computers, such as the 5 finger touch support, and the Launchpad.
Since the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple has been criticized for its minimized approach, and the newest OS X definitely reflects this approach.
Getting the Update
To install Mac OS X Mavericks simply go to the Apple App Store on your desktop and search for Mavericks . Once found, simply click download and enter your Apple ID. Once the download is complete you will find the installer in the Applications Folder under the name OS X Mavericks Installer. Run it, follow the instructions, and wait for a little while longer
In Mountain Lion, Apple introduced notification center on the Mac. Now, on OS X Mavericks, notifications can come to you from websites as well in addition to locally installed applications. To manage these Web Notifications go to Safari > Preferences > Notifications.
Tabs in Finder
Apple has just implemented the ability to browse your files with tabs, just like Safari. Press Command + T to open a new tab from your current location. New tabs will open with the same view. If no tabs appear, open Finder > Preferences > General and select the option “New Finder windows show”.
iCloud Key Chain
The new Keychain allows you to store all your passwords safely in iCloud and makes them available on all of your devices synced with your Apple ID. To use this new feature, go to System Preferences > iCloud, and check the box for “Keychain.” If you didn’t set up iCloud Keychain in the Mavericks Setup Assistant, then you’ll be walked through preparing your iCloud account to make it more secure for Keychain Access.
Applications now have the ability to implement interactive notifications for users. For example, If you get iMessages on your phone, and the notification also pops up on your desktop, you can reply to it immediately from the notification bubble without going into the iMessage Application on the desktop.
Tags in Finder
Now you can be even more organized with your files in OS X Mavericks with Tags! Tagging items in the Finder (or anywhere) is very easy. Simply right-click an item, and select “Tags.” A pop up will appear, and you can either use existing tags, or type in a new one to assign that tag to the selected file(s).
WINDOWS 8.1 TIPS
Getting the Update
If you are upgrading from Windows 8, Windows 8.1 is completely free. To download the update, go to the Windows Store and you should see the update displaying “prominently featured on the Windows Store home page” according to Microsoft. If not you need to update to the latest version of Windows 8 first. If not ,please feel free to contact us for help. (We know how frustrating Windows can be)
Going Straight to Desktop (Skipping Metro)
In Windows 8, Microsoft always had you go through the Metro Interface first and then you may be allowed to go to the desktop. In Windows 8.1, you are now given permission to go straight to the desktop. To do so, Right-click on the desktop taskbar > Properties > Navigation tab—tick the top option under the Start screen heading to boot to the desktop (and return to it when there are no apps open).
Setup Automatic Updates
In Windows 8.1, contrary to Windows 8, app updates will be installed automatically. If they are not updating by themselves open up the Windows Store app and get to the Settings Charms menu (the charm must only be activated only in the Store or else the app updates option will not display). In the Charms menu, select Settings, then navigate to App Updates.
Use the Start Button
After being taken out of Windows 8, the Start button is now back in Windows 8.1. However, unlike before the start button of Windows 8.1 is not necessarily the same as before. Now by clicking it, the button will take you to the Metro UI. If you right click the button options will be shown for you to select, such as Shut down and key access to system preferences.
Customize the Start Screen
If you do use the start screen often to access all your apps—you can name individual groups of shortcuts, access more shades of color, and switch between three app tile sizes. Right-click on the Start screen and choose Customize to change group names and tile sizes; open the Settings charm and choose Personalize to access the wallpaper and color options.