How Does Windows 8 Compare With OS X Mountain Lion?

Today the tech world was buzzing with the announcement of Apple’s next version of OS X, Mountain Lion. It’s clear that both Microsoft and Apple are trying to¬†achieve¬†the same goal: merging the mobile OS with the desktop OS. Apple wants the Mac to look more like an iPad, and Microsoft wants the PC to look more like Windows Phone. So how do the features of Mountain Lion and Windows 8 compare? Let’s find out.

MESSAGING

With iOS 5 Apple introduced the world to iMessage, a free way of communicating between people with iDevices. Mountain Lion incorporates iMessage into the native chat application formerly known as iChat. Now people will be able to text their friends at their computer.

Windows 8 counters with Skype. With Skype being baked in to future versions of Windows Phone it will act as an alternative to SMS for many people. The included benefit of this is Skype in Windows 8. Now Windows users will be able to use Skype no matter where they are. An added bonus for Skype over iMessage is the ability to do video calls.

NOTIFICATIONS

Mountain Lion includes the Notification Center from iOS 5. All notifications are funneled into one area that is accessed by a gesture. Email, iMessages, Calendar events, and 3rd party app notifications all show up here.

Windows 8, like Windows Phone, will use live tiles for notifications. A quick glance at the start screen will show which apps need attention.

THE CLOUD

With Mountain Lion users will be prompted to sing in with their Apple ID at start. After that they will have everything that has been saved in their iCloud. This inlcludes contacts, apps, photos, music, and messages.

Windows 8 has an almost identical feature. Users will be prompted to sign in with their Windows Live ID. After that you’ll have access to contacts, messages, settings, but most importantly: your 25GB of SkyDrive storage.

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Overall the playing field is pretty even. A majority of features found in these OS’ are shared by both. The direction Microsoft and Apple are taking is to go mobile. It doesn’t matter who started first, or who’s copying who. The only thing that will matter is who can pull it off.


  • It’s interesting how everything is going more connected and less fragmented. With so much of our lives on mobile devices, its about time our less portable devices sync’d less painfully with the stuff we depend on at all times.

    I’m crossing my fingers that they can both pull it off.

  • Anonymous

    I suspect both will ultimately execute it very well. It will truly come down to which of the two wildly different ecosystems are preferred. With Windows Phone and Windows 8 the old icon meme is essentially being tossed out, bringing a dramatic departure compared to iOS, which has stayed basically the same. This may be a comfort to a lot of people. But I have completely embraced the Metro meme and cannot wait until every last vestige of the old icon-centric desktop goes the way of the dinosaur. Intelligent tiles over dumb icons just makes sense to me.

  • karthik eswar