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15 February 2012

Windows 8 Vs. Mac OS X Lion: Feature by Feature

Windows 8 Vs. Mac OS X Lion: Feature by Featurelion-v-windows-8

With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview coming the end of this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world will get a more complete look at Microsoft's next big operating system. But thanks to the company being very open about what's in store with Windows 8, we already know a lot about it. The team building the operating system has posted extensively on the Building Windows 8 blog, providing a level of detail that is rarely seen in this world of surprise major tech releases.

On the other side we have Apple, which unveiled its latest desktop operating system, Mac OS X Lion, fully gestated, without a chance for the public to run it beforehand. Both operating systems exhibit a similar trend: emulating the company's mobile operating system in their desktop OS. For Lion, Apple drew heavily on iOS in several ways—its App Store, Launchpad screen of icons, and touch interface among the most notable. Windows 8 will be no exception to this mobile-to-desktop trend, as evidenced by the Windows 8 Developer Preview, released last September in Anaheim.
Both companies have been very open about this mobile-envy: in October of 2010 at an event on the Apple Cupertino campus called "Back to the Mac," the world got its first peek at the stylish tech firm's latest desktop operating system, "OS X Lion." CEO Steve Jobs explained that the success of the company's iPad tablet was a major driver in adding features to Lion.
The similarities don't end at the two future desktop OS's mobile influencers. Both Lion and Window 8 will make heavy use of touch interfaces, but with a big difference, as you'll see in the slideshow below. Both will have an App Store, both have full-screen app views, and both offer new ways to switch among and navigate within apps.
There are, of course, important differences between Microsoft and Apple's overall OS strategies It all hinges on tablet support. Apple is aligning its tablet and phone OSes, and keeping the desktop OS separate, though mobile-influenced. Microsoft, on the other hand, is creating one OS for tablets and desktops, while keeping the phone OS separate—for now, anyway. Both companies may even have ideas for a grand unified OS for all devices.
Clearly, the tablet and mobile worlds have begun to impact the desktop OS in a major way. This begs the question: Can the desktop survive? Once you see all the powerful goodies these new system software heavyweights bring to the table, however, you'd be hard pressed to make a case for the irrelevance of the desktop computer. Click through the slideshow to see whether you disagree, and to see which looks better to you: Windows 8 or Apple's OS X Lion.