Mac vs Windows for Programming

Here’s a great article from The Crazy Programmer

The programming world is quite thrilling and daily there are many new software’s to exploit computer resources. When it comes to choosing the right operating system for your programming needs, MacOS & Windows are two operating systems that have their benefits and drawbacks. However, depending on what type of developer you are, one can be a little more convenient and effective than the other.

Selecting between the MAC OS and the Windows operating system for your work will be exhausting as there are a lot of options and stuff you have to know before you think of buying your first setup. Mac OS is amazing for programmers who want to work with higher stability & security. Mac is quite practical in developing iOS apps or working with servers. 

Windows, on the other hand, is highly recommended for developing graphics programs and video game developers. There are a lot of nuances to look at, and every operating system has got their benefits and drawbacks. In this post, we will evaluate in detail each aspect involved.

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Select the Right Machine

If you’re a programmer, deciding on the daily driver computer will be quite a tricky state. Not only does the OS come into play, but even the hardware & price of the system.

Mac

Apple MacBooks have “Apple Tax,” where you pay the premium for devices. Besides the Mac’s build quality is stellar, with their amazing support system through the Genius Bar and Apple Support.

Moreover, if you’re an iPhone user, your information and data will automatically sync with your device. The continuity of devices is a primary reason why many people have stuck with Apple products for so many years.

Windows

Windows is mostly offered on different models & price points to select from. For instance, if you are looking for an upgradable device, then a Windows device is your best bet. Even Windows software is highly compatible with any software and hardware.

For years, Windows has had 77% of the OS market share across the world. It means that if you go for Windows, then you do not need to worry much about the compatibility issue.

Thus, deciding on the machine depends on various factors including specs, price, and the device you need to have for a long haul.

Software Compatibility

Both MacOS and Windows can easily be used in terms of software compatibility, both operating systems can run the same platforms and programs. When compatibility becomes a big issue, you can find a different way to circumvent this drawback that the OS presents.

It is significant to note that a few programming languages like Swift, are only accessible on Apple’s OS platform, while JavaScript and other languages are universally used with both operating systems.

Command Line

Thanks to the GUI or graphical user interface, many of us use computers just by clicking on the graphical components. But, you should be familiar with input commands in the computer if working as a developer.

Mac

The fact that Apple macOS is Unix-based is one coolest features. So, what makes it very good? It is because of the integrated terminal. Most of the command-line operations are done automatically through the terminal, with running apps & controlling the OS.

Windows

Windows command prompt or cmd has many restrictions, like the absence of common Unix commands. For having similar functionality as the Apple macOS terminal on Win, you can install a Unix-type terminal, though the configuration will be hard for beginners.

PowerShell is one sophisticated version of the Win cmd. Powershell’s feature can be compared to the macOS terminal. But, because of the huge usage of Unix in modern infrastructure, learning Unix syntax will be more beneficial than PowerShell syntax. It gets us on our next feature.

Detailed Features

Certain features are quite specific to iOS, like Swift Playgrounds, which enable the programmer to create certain interactive apps by using the actual code as well as access limited development tools such as Xcode that help to facilitate performance testing and debugging when coding in Swift.

Simultaneously, Windows offers access to Visual Studio, which is one renowned integrated development environments or IDE, especially for .NET programmers.

User interface is an important factor to consider when selecting between the Mac OS & Windows OS for programming needs; a personal preference that needs extensive checking before committing. Normally speaking, most programmers find MacOS simple to navigate because of its instinctive design; but, this particular point comes with the nuances depending upon your experience with both platforms.

Apple software and Windows systems have distinct user interfaces. The interface of Apple Mac OS is based on the Unix platform, whereas the interface of Windows 11 is based on Microsoft’s Windows NT architecture. So, both are specially made to make it simple for the users to interrelate with their devices.

Now that we have checked the basics, let us look at the primary differences between the Mac OS & Windows operating systems.

Apple Mac Windows
Original GUI For Home and Business Use
Small range of third party software Small range of third-party software
Good IDE support Windows doesn’t support high-end IDE
Mac tends to be costlier, as Apple is the only supplier Windows PC’s are cheaper than Mac
Powerful processors and a higher range of gaming options Powerful processors and higher range of gaming options

Conclusion

Always remember the kind of programming you would like to do & what your personal preferences are while selecting between Windows and Mac for your various programming requirements. Both the types of operating systems are quite similar and you will see that programming ease comes with knowledge and practice and not essentially the equipment.

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