The world of programming is exciting and every day there are new tools to exploit the resources of a computer. Both macOS and Windows have their advantages and disadvantages. However, depending on the type of programmer you are, one might be more convenient than the other.
Mac is best for programmers who need to work with greater stability and security. Also, Mac is more practical for developing iOS apps and working with servers. On the other hand, Windows is recommended for video game developers and for working with graphics programs.
There are many nuances to consider, where each operating system has its advantages and disadvantages. Here, we will analyze in detail each of the aspects involved.
- What is the best operating system to work with in programming?
- Advantages of macOS for programming
- When to choose Mac over Windows for programming?
- Advantages of Windows for programming
- When to choose Windows over Mac for programming?
- Disadvantages of Mac for programming
- Disadvantages of Windows for programming
- Mac vs Windows for programming: which is the best option?
What is the best operating system to work with in programming?
One of the biggest dilemmas software developers have is the operating system they are going to use. It is no secret to anyone that Windows is the most popular platform worldwide, both for the common user and for programmers.
However, there are those who choose to use a Mac, and even recommend this type of computer over those that have Windows. Of course, each system has its adherents and personal preferences come into play for the choice.
If you want to choose the ideal operating system, you must thoroughly analyze each one.
Advantages of macOS for programming
macOS is one of the most powerful, robust, solid and stable operating systems on the market. Of course, the computers that incorporate it are exclusive to Apple, and as you probably know, they are reasonably more expensive equipment. However, investing in these devices offers the following benefits:
1. Unix operating system
Unix-based operating systems, such as macOS, are really important to programmers. They are very versatile platforms and offer numerous tools for developing software, using databases and system environments.
Additionally, Unix systems are characterized by being flexible, stable, adaptable, and especially secure. In fact, most of the internet sites you see on the web have been developed in Unix-based environments.
2. Greater security
As we already mentioned, computers with macOS are notably more secure, and we want to emphasize this aspect. There are virtually no vulnerabilities, and hackers will have a harder time infecting your computer if it is from Apple.
No developer wants their work to be interfered with by viruses, malware, or Trojans. Obviously, we do not mean that Windows is not secure at all or that it is totally vulnerable. It is also a robust platform, but macOS beats it by far in this aspect.
3. More build quality
It is a somewhat subjective criterion because it is true that there are laptops and computers with Windows that are first class. However, Mac computers stand out for having a longer life span, both in software and hardware.
Apple products have fewer technical problems, and therefore are often the preferred option for programmers. There are even people who have bought a Mac laptop and have stayed with it for more than 5 or 7 years without having a single failure.
4. Fewer interruptions
A very interesting fact about Mac computers is that they make work much more efficient. Windows PCs sometimes get interruptions, either from notifications or updates, that waste a bit of time. Even though it is not such a serious problem, if you want to make the most of the time possible, a Mac is preferable.
5. Cross-platform compatibility
This is one of the main areas in which Mac is better than Windows for programming. They offer complete compatibility with all the operating systems, or at least with the most popular ones on the market. This refers both to the execution of the software and to the possibility of installing other systems on the same Mac.
For example, it is possible to develop programs that work for Mac, Windows, Linux, and cell phones. Also, Mac computers support installing Windows as a secondary operating system on one of the hard drive partitions, which does not happen the other way around.
When to choose Mac over Windows for programming?
If you need to work on a robust, stable system with absolute security, Mac is one of the best alternatives. In addition, it is the ideal platform to develop programs and applications for this same operating system, as well as other Apple products, such as apps for iOS.
In the same vein, Mac allows the installation of various software environments and its interface is clean and easy to use. Finally, it is one of the best options for working with servers, such as PostgreSQL, Apache, among others.
Advantages of Windows for programming
With everything discussed so far, it seems that Mac is more superior to Windows in the field of programming, but it is not. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, it all depends on the type of programs to be developed, the environment and the user’s needs.
Windows also offers numerous benefits, the most important of which are:
1. Absolute software compatibility
Even though Apple products are also compatible with most tools and programs, Windows is the clear winner in this regard. Keep in mind that it is the operating system that has become the standard for society.
Most computers use Windows, and that is why there are more programs, especially private ones, designed for this platform.
2. Best for video games and animation
3D animation and game development will always be much better on an operating system like Windows. In fact, most games are developed to run on computers with this platform, which is why there are more tools for their creation.
We are talking about video games for both computers and phones, in this case, Android, which is also the most widespread mobile operating system.
3. Intuitive operating system
Everyone knows how to handle Windows since it is a simple system, easy to use, and quite fast. However, the interface cannot be configured as it happens on other platforms, but in most cases it is not necessary.
It also does not mean that macOS is very complicated to use, but if you have never used this platform, you may find it difficult to get used to.
4. Better use of resources
Windows has more tools to monitor the system and optimize the use of computer components. In the same vein, most parts work better with Windows and much higher performance is possible.
This is very important especially for game development, where heavier graphical interfaces are used and more power is required to compile.
When to choose Windows over Mac for programming?
If you plan to dedicate yourself to developing video games or programs based on .NET, Windows is the best alternative. This operating system has more resources to develop graphic applications, especially in 3D. It is also the most appropriate platform for beginners, because it is simple and intuitive to use.
Disadvantages of Mac for programming
Now that we analyzed the good points of each system, it is time to mention their cons. In this way, you will have a balanced visualization of each one to know which one is more convenient. Starting with Macs, it is no secret that these computers are much more expensive than Windows computers.
To program with an Apple product you need to have a good sum of money to obtain a PC with characteristics inferior to those of a Windows computer that costs the same.
Another of its drawbacks are the following:
- The operating system is not that intuitive for beginners.
- It consumes more resources, especially RAM.
- There are fewer updates than in Windows.
- In most cases, the components cannot be changed or expanded.
- Their equipment is not suitable for video games.
Disadvantages of Windows for programming
Unlike Mac, it is possible to buy a Windows computer for a more than affordable price. That is an important benefit, especially for beginners in this world. However, it is still a platform with some drawbacks, such as the following:
- There is less computer security.
- Not the best to use server software.
- The interface cannot be configured.
Mac vs Windows for programming: which is the best option?
The best operating system for programming is the one in which you feel comfortable and in which you can develop the software in the best possible way. There is no definitive answer because everything depends on your needs and the type of programs you plan to create.
Developers who prioritize security and stability can opt for a Mac. Additionally, Mac computers are clearly ideal for developing applications for Apple products. On the other hand, Windows could be the best option for video game programmers since most video games are developed to run on this operating system.
Generally speaking, both Windows and macOS are excellent operating systems for developing software, as long as they are used properly.