One especially controversial topic in digital photography is that of which operating system is better. Mac users claim that due to OS X's ease of use and Apple's eye for design, their systems are the best in the world for storing and editing digital photos. On the other side of the discussion, Windows users have long bandied about the assertion that PCs are more compatible, more universal, and thus more qualified to handle the workload of the digital arts community. So who is right in this battle of the software titans?
Microsoft Windows has been the long time standard for business software like Outlook, Word and Excel. The majority of offices use PC's with windows as this is mainly due to the lower cost of PC equipment and the compatibility of different systems working with windows. However when it comes to digital photography, using Windows gives you no clear advantage over any other operating system.
Software like Adobe Photoshop run almost the same on Windows as a Mac and since Apple switched to using Intel processors now the hardware is almost the same as well. What are the pluses of using Windows? To start with, PC's are significantly less expensive when compared to Mac's. Most of the software you can find for OS X is also available for Windows, and you can get a decent PC capable of easily dealing with photographs for far less than an equally geared Mac. If you're cost conscious and on a tight budget, then you should probably consider getting a PC with Windows.
It's hard to believe that just ten years ago, many industry analysts declared Apple "dead in the water.". Thanks to innovative design and easy to use software, Apple managed to stage an incredible comeback to become one of the leaders in the world of computers. OS X was designed and built with multi-media in mind and is often praised for its intuitive interface and seamless meshing.
Apple computers are sometimes viewed as less advanced as PCs hardware-wise, and often cost an good chunk of money. The top of the line PowerMac could run you over $4,000, and when you consider that the easiest way to upgrade a Mac is to buy a new one, taking the financial plunge can be quite difficult. That being said, OS X is an incredibly stable operating system that suffers from minimal virus threats and rarely (if ever) crashes. Another thing you'll find better with a Mac is when you work on multiple programs at once it's a lot faster and easier which can significantly increase your productivity.
Naturally, people are going to fall into their respective camps, and this is where the real answer to the Operating System Debate lies: You should use whatever operating system works best for you. There is no difference between the file formats that Photoshop or Lightroom create on either operating system, and having one or the other will not have a negative impact on your ability to work with digital photographs. Your best solution is to visit the Apple store and then visit a computer store and play around with both operating systems. Whichever one makes the most sense to you is probably going to be the best one to invest in, unless you're looking for something specific your normal OS doesn't have.
Mac and Windows each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and one or the other could reasonably be declared a victor in certain battles. However when it comes to photography, either one is a good solution for helping take your pictures to the next level. As long as it makes sense to you, everything should be just fine.
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