The releases of the latest versions of the operating systems from Microsoft and Apple were just a day apart, on the 21st and the 22nd of October respectively. Microsoft let out their Windows 8.1 – arguably just an update to the Windows 8 – for free to existing customers of Windows 8, and for $100 to those upgrading straight from XP or Windows 7. That is one Windows 7 vs Windows 8 argument in the latter’s favor, if ever there was one. Apple’s Mavericks meanwhile, has been available for free from the start.
The saving grace of Windows 8.1 would be that it brought back the Start menu that Microsoft had earlier scrapped – eliciting a huge outcry from users – from Windows 8. Heretofore, Windows users who’d gone on to buy Windows 8, and found the familiar and surprisingly indispensible Start button missing, had turned to third party alternatives. Mavericks too had some new stuff to add to the table, like Notifications, iCloud and Keychain.
That said, neither product is very remarkable. There is no great change to the way you run either OS on a computer, or even a noticeable one for that matter. Microsoft may have to deal with consequences from how Windows 8 was received, but even without problems along those lines, Apple already have a different can of worms open. Mavericks apparently has troubles ranging from usage to install, and reportedly even the download of the OS is fritzed. In fact, they will likely have to bear with customer discontent until they do what Microsoft just did – release a fix and call it an update – or do one better
Neither the 8.1 nor Mavericks is its developer’s best work or even close, but with the gap the two were released under, it would admittedly be interesting to watch and see which one fares better, if only from lack of a better diversion. When Windows 8 came out, we at least had the Windows 7 vs Windows 8 debate going – the only long standing discussion of appreciable intensity and meaning since the Vista debacle, and then later the unexpected, albeit partial, redemption by Windows 7.
None of the new features in the two operating systems is radical enough to change the overall experience while using a computer. But the companies are no longer waging a single-platform contention for supremacy as they did in the beginning, so there are still chances aplenty for one-upmanship. Meanwhile, we grab the better OS.Google+