The Mac versus PC war has entered a new phase, with Apple and Microsoft readying new operating systems for launch. With Windows 8, Microsoft is ambitiously targeting laptops, desktops and tablets with a single platform (albeit with different versions). Meanwhile, Apple is sticking to laptops and desktops with OS X Mountain Lion, leaving iOS to lead the post-PC charge.
While Windows 8 represents an extreme makeover, Mountain Lion keeps the core OS X environment mostly consistent while borrowing some of the best features of iOS. As of press time, neither Windows 8 (available as a Release Preview) nor Mountain Lion (tested in developer preview) were finished products. But the operating systems are far enough along that we can compare them to see which platform is shaping up to provide the better everyday computing experience.
Editors’ Note: This comparison focuses on the laptop experiences both Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion offer. We will compare Windows 8 and Windows RT versus iOS and the iPad separately.