Battle of the Bytes: Macintosh vs. Windows 95


It used to be that the choice between a Mac and a PC was pretty clear.
If you wanted to go for the more expensive, easier to use, and better graphics
and sound, you went to buy a Macintosh, for the cheaper price, it was the PC.
Now it is a much different show. With the release of Windows 95 and the dynamics
of the hardware market have changed the equation.

On the other hand, Apple has made great price reductions on many of
their computers last October. You can now buy a reasonably equipped Power
Macintosh at about the same price as a PC that has about the same things. This
makes the competition much harder.

Windows 3.x have been great improvements over the earlier versions of
Windows, and of course over DOS, but it still didn\'t compete against the ease of
use on a Mac. The Windows 95 interface is much better than Windows 3.x. It
borrows some from the Macintosh interface and has improved on it.

Some improvements are the ability to work with folder icons that
represent directories and subdirectories in DOS. Windows 95, unlike the Mac,
logically groups data and resources. A Taskbar menu lets you call up and switch
between any software application at any time. Thus feature is better than the
Mac\'s because its use is more obvious. It clearly shows what is running and
allows you to switch programs with a single click of the mouse. Control panels
have been added so you can configure your hardware. There is easy access to
frequently used files. You can make very long file names on Windows 95 instead
of short and strange names that leave you wondering about, such as on Windows
3.x I could not name a folder This is stuff for school it must be a lot shorter.
The Help system helps you implement its suggestions. A multilevel Undo command
for all file operations safeguards your work, something Macintosh does not have.
Something that Windows 95 has, similar to the Macintosh Alias function, is
shortcut icons. It calls up a program very easily, instead of searching through
your hard drive. The Windows 95 shortcuts go beyond the Mac\'s, they can refer to
data inside documents as well as to files and folders, and can also call up
information on a local area network server or Internet site. Windows 95\'s plug
and play system allows the operating system to read what\'s on your machine and
automatically configure your new software that you need to install, however,
this only works if the added hardware is designed to support it, and it will for
a majority of hardware.

All these things are major improvements, but hardware and CONFIG.SYS
settings left over from earlier programs can conflict with the new system,
causing your hard drive to crash. This is something all users of Windows 95 will
dread.

Even though Microsoft has made many wonderful changes to Windows, Apple
is working on developing a new operation system, called Copland. It may beat
many of the Windows 95 improvements. Apple is still deciding on what new things
to add when the system will start shipping later in the year. Some new things
may be a customizable user interface and features such as drawers, built-in
indexing and automatically updated search templates to help users manger their
hard drives much more efficiently. The biggest improvement is to be able to
network systems from multiple vendors running multiple operating systems. Like
Windows 95, Copland will also have a single in-box for fax, e-mail, and other
communications. The disadvantage of Copland is it can only be used on Power
Macintoshes.

I would personally go for a PC with Windows 95. I choose it because of
the many programs that can be used on PC\'s. Whenever I walk into a computer
store, such as Electronics Boutique, half of the store is taken up by programs
that can be used on an IBM compatible PC. There is only one little shelf for
things that run on Macs. It seems that the more people use PC\'s. I have met very
few people with a Macintosh. I can bring many things from my computers to theirs
and the other way around without worrying, "What if I need to find this for a
Mac?"

Schools should use Windows95 PC\'s because of the many more educational
programs available for PC\'s. Since of the making of Windows 95 many companies
now make programs for the PC. It may be a long time, if ever, that they will
decide to make it