Our epic battle has come to a close, with Mac OS X Lion winning six rounds outright and Windows 7 winning four. Both platforms tied in the special features category. So the final score for Mac OS X Lion is seven versus five for Windows 7.
Where does Lion excel? It has a slicker and more inviting interface, superior touchpad/multitouch navigation, and more robust system-wide search functionality. Apple’s OS also beats Windows when it comes to multimedia (thanks to iLife), security and parental controls, and backing up your system and important files.
Although it’s the older of the two OSes, Windows 7 outshines Mac OS X in some pretty important ways. We find it easier to multitask in Windows, and it offers a better native web browsing experience via IE 9 by leveraging the taskbar. Windows 7 also pulls ahead in gaming and value, making this the OS of choice for both budget-conscious shoppers and the most demanding users.
Our overall winner though is Mac OS X Lion. Assuming you can afford the premium for a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, Apple’s operating system simply offers a better user experience. Features such as the Mac App Store, better gesture support, Resume, and AutoSave—not to mention less security and stability issues—all add up to an OS that is now a step ahead of Windows. Now the pressure is on Microsoft to make Windows 8 great.