Windows 10 and Mac OS X Yosemite Installation Comparison

Windows 10 is the “next gen” for Windows and won’t be available as a general consumer release until sometime in late 2015 according to Microsoft. Mac OS X Yosemite is here today. Both of these operating systems are modern, clean looking and powerful.

This post is going to be an overall big picture review of the installation process/experience of these very powerful operating systems.  This is my first experience with these two operating systems and I’m looking forward to comparing the differences between them and seeing how they each fit into my workflow.

At this moment in the process I’ve downloaded Mac OS X Yosemite and am almost done downloading the Windows 10 Technical Preview (no the Windows install did not take that much longer, I just started the donload after the download of Yosemite was already complete).

My Background

As a kid I had a love for technology and I’ve been using Windows and Mac operating systems since the early 1990s. Before that I played games and edited graphics on Apple IIc’s, IIe’s and DOS IBM systems. I remember Windows 3.11 and Windows 95 with a bit of nostagia since those operating systems accompanied me through my teen years. When other kids where playing Super Mario, I was playing Oregon Trail in the command line when you had to feed your family by typing B-A-N-G on the keyboard or starve to death.

Those certainly were interesting times and thing have certainly changed a lot.

As a website designer/developer I use both Mac and Windows. I find that I enjoy the experience on Mac a lot. I do a lot of work in the command line and really like it. The user interface has great polish and the options for multiple desktops are nice though I actually found myself using them very little because they are sometimes cumbersome to manage. I’m an Android user when it comes to my smartphone, though I have an iPad that I use for games and other small tasks.

When it comes to productivity, I enjoy the Mac but have found that Windows allows me to be slightly more productive. I also like choice and find that Windows and the PC ecosystem allows me to have more of that on the Mac. I am slightly biased towards the PC but I have nothing against the Mac in general.

My Rigs

The Mac is a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 iMac with a 27 inch screen and 20 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM. It’s obviously not the most powerful Mac around but it does the job. The PC is a custom built system with a Pentium Duel Core E5300 CPU running at 2.6 GHz. It has 4 GB of RAM and is currently running Windows 8.1. It is also equipped with an SSD which has been quite an advantage for it since it seems to regularly outpace the Mac for basic tasks.

Begin Installation: 10:56 AM, Oct. 20, 2014

Both operating systems are  downloaded and the installation process is ready to commence. Oops, not ready to start installing Windows 10 Technical Preview yet… have to find a disk to put it on in order to begin installing the operating system. Have a Western Digital My Passport drive that I use for stuff like this so now am copying the ISO over to it and then will begin the  install process.

Oops… wrong file? 11:25 AM…

Now things start to get a little interesting. After copying the Windows 10 preview ISO to my external drive, and clicking on the startup.exe file, my computer tells me it can’t run it. So now to download the 32 bit version and see if we can run that one… fingers crossed!

Important to Remember…

One detail that folks have to remember when considering the installation of Windows 10 Technical Preview is the fact that this truely is beta software.  Well maybe not even beta software, this sofware still has tons of issues that are being worked out.

11:36… Still Downloading

Still downloading Windows 10. Chrome crashed a couple of times while trying to download the 32 bit version (weird, haven’t had Chrome crash in a long time!). Anyhow, restarting the download in IE.

11:49: And We’re Off to the Races!

Installation begins now!

CaptureExpectations.

While both of thes operating systems are installing, I’ll take a look at what my expectations are. I have higher expectations from the Mac then I do for Windows. For one, this is beta software on Windows. For another Apple takes pride in calling their operating system the best OS.  They take care to add fit and finish and polish to the operating system. I’m looking forward to exploring the new attention to detail and the design of the OS.

On the Windows side, I’m really interested to see how Windows is maturing. Unlike many users, I actually didn’t have too much of a problem with the “Start Screen” but I am also looking forward to the return of the Start Menu. Some have argued that the Start screen diminishes productivity since  when you are in it you are pulled away from the work that you are doing and the chances of becoming distracted increase. I think this is true and I look forward to seeing how my productivity might be enhanced through the return of the start screen.

12:17 – Windows is Almost Done Installing

The Mac still has about 22 minutes according to the screen but Windows is almost done. It says that it is installing new apps currently but setup should be done in just a couple of minutes.

Not sure what this means for the new operating systems, but it does have ore to do with the installation process than with the actuall performance of the operating system. If you’re like most normal people, you will take a break while the OS installs and get a coffee or your favorite tea. With the Mac you will have more time then with the PC to enjoy your coffee.

12:22 AM: Windows 8 First Impressions

One of the first things I notice now that I’ve logged into Windows 10 Technical Preview for the first time is the ever so slight shadow on the windows. This is certainly a welcome addition to Windows. It’s a subtle feature that has been missing from Windows 8.1 that just helps with overall user experience. I like knowing exactly where I’m at and it helps do that for sure.

Another nice addition is actually a removal. The application frames are gone. In Windows 8 I felt they were clunky and really just took up too many precious pixels. I like that Microsoft has taken a cue from Apple and completely removed the window borders. Just feels more refined.

The Start Menu is Back!

It should have never been gone but it’s back. And it looks nice. First impressions of the new Start menu are those of nostalgia and excitement. The Start menu being gone has probably counted for much frustration and a loss of productivity. But that can be forgiven as it is back in full force and the tiles that have been brought from Windows 8 look really nice and I think will be really useful in Windows 10.

Snap To It!

Just tried out Snap and it is just as good as it has been in the past. Other reviewers have mentioned that there is a lack of polish here and I will acknowledge that may well be. But the feature is nice. The reason that you would snap an app in one location is so you could have another app on the other side of the screen. Snap certainly makes this possible and very easy to use apps side by side.

Bringing The Family Together

One thing that was really hard with Windows 8.1 was the new Metro apps that, while often very pretty where completely separated from regular apps often rendering them completely unusable. You would have to switch into Metro mode in order to use these apps and they seemed really out of place. With Windows 10 this is no longer a problem as the Metro apps now can be windowed just like desktop apps.

12:45: Mac OS X Yosemite First Impressions

About 20 minutes after Windows logged in, Mac OS X Yosemite is up and running on the Mac. the icons (or should we call them iCons?) are certainly different. The entire OS looks a bit different. I like some parts but other parts I could take or leave. A lot of developers are certainly going to need to redesign their app icons to fit in here, and there certainly is a lot borrowed from iOS 8.

Notify Me if Anything Changes

The “Notification Center” looks like it has some potential, though I have not used notifications very much on the desktop. They are great for a smart phone, but on a desktop I would much rather get stuff done then have stuff constantly popping up and distracting me from my work. Also, when you click on the stock center in the notification panel, instead of taking you to a website or showing more info, it does absolutely nothing. It’s stuff like this that makes the notification center useless for all practical purposes.

A New Look

At first blush, the most notable change with this new version of Mac OS is the icons. The entire operating system has gotten a refresh and a coat of paint. But Overall the operating system feels much the same as the previous version. Personally, I don’t really like it yet and I’d almost prefer to go back to the old look. The new icons seem garish and will probably get in my way more then they will enhance my workflow. would be more interested in the way that Microsoft is going in toning back the interface and making this more subtle instead of garish and bright. However, I’m certain that others will like the bright, toyish looking icons.

 Conclusion

Both Windows and Mac are distinct operating systems with distinct uses. This is becoming more apparent with these latest versions of the operating systems. The Mac is getting brighter with fancier icons and an more colorful user interface. Windows is going in a more subdued but professional direction. For me I’m going to continue to use and prefer Windows as my main driver though I’m sure I will learn to enjoy and use Mac as it has become the default computer for many people in the field of design. Yosemite has a lot going for it and the new operating system brings it closer in design to its mobile counterpart.

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