Microsoft Windows 8 Vs Apple OS X Mountain Lion

Today Apple announced the release of a developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion, the next major release of Mac OS X. As usual Apple clearly marketed the developer preview among few tech bloggers who use OS X on their daily life. There are even blog posts stating that Mountain Lion is a must have update ! Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg on Windows 8 & Mac OS X Mountain Lion said that “Microsoft wants them to look the same,” , “Apple wants them to feel the same.”

So I thought of comparing Windows 8 with Apple OS X Mountain Lion’s features revealed today by Apple.

First of all, Apple says that over 19 million copies of Lion have now shipped including both Mac App Store and new Mac numbers. So 30% of the total OS X user base in under seven months. The laughing moment comes when they compare it with Microsoft Windows 7 which took 21 months to reach the same level. FYI, In June 2010, seven months from the Windows 7 launch date, Microsoft shared that 150 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold far. Also OS X Lion was sold under $29 price tag while Windows 7 was sold under $150 price tag. I expect Apple to share better stats next time.

Now the features,

Messages App:

Mountain Lion:

The developer preview of Mountain Lion features the all new Messages app which replaces iChat and allows you to send unlimited messages, high-quality photos and videos directly from your Mac to another Mac or iOS device. Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. I also got info from many beta testers that, messages sent through this app is being delivered to non intended recipients. So be careful in using it !

Windows 8:
Microsoft has two highly popular messaging platform called Windows Live Messenger and Skype which allows you to send unlimited messages, high-quality photos and videos directly from your PC to another PC or Mac or any mobile device. Both the services has hundreds of millions of users.

Game Center:

Mountain Lion:
Game Center lets you personalize your Mac gaming experience, find new games and challenge friends to play live multiplayer games, whether they’re on a Mac, iPhone®, iPad or iPod touch®.

Windows 8:
Windows 8 will feature Xbox LIVE hub which will allow you to personalize your PC gaming experience, find new games and challenge friends to play live multiplayer games, whether they’re on a PC or Windows Phone or a Xbox. Xbox LIVE currently has over 45 million active users.

Notification Center:

Mountain Lion:
Mountain Lion presents notifications in an elegant new way, and Notification Center provides easy access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps.

Windows 8:
Microsoft doesn’t believe in providing a dump place for app notifications, instead apps will have their own Live tiles which will provide the latest updates. You can see how a Mountain Lion home screen & Windows 8 Start screen will look like from the images on the top. I prefer live tiles over sea of icons spread over my 27inch monitor.

Social Sharing:

Mountain Lion:
System-wide Share Sheets make it easy to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps. Twitter is integrated throughout Mountain Lion so you can sign on once and tweet directly from Safari®, Quick Look, Photo Booth®, Preview and third party apps.

Windows 8:
Windows 8 will have a new feature called Share contract which allows you to share links, photos and videos directly from Microsoft and third party apps. Now just twitter, any social network can be integrated into Windows 8’s system for sharing.


Mountain Lion:
Mountain Lion also introduces AirPlay Mirroring, an easy way to wirelessly send a secure 720p video stream of what’s on your Mac to an HDTV
using Apple TV®.

Windows 8:
Windows 8 doesn’t have any direct alternative to Apple’s AirPlay so far. But that doesn’t mean you can’t replicate the same using some other apps. For example DLNA compatible Windows devices can stream to virtually any DLNA compatible HDTV’s. Also Microsoft has not announced any integration with Xbox on Windows 8 so far which I think is highly possible since Microsoft has already released a Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone devices.


Mountain Lion:
More than 100 million users have iCloud accounts, and Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to set up iCloud and access documents across your devices. Mountain Lion uses your Apple ID to automatically set up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime® and Find My Mac.

Windows 8:
Windows Live network which has over 500 million users worldwide is directly integrated into Windows 8. You can sign-in to Windows 8 PC with your Windows Live ID which will allow you to roam your contacts, messages, personalization settings, language settings, app settings, Windows settings, credentials, etc,. More than that Windows Live ID will give you access to 25GB of Cloud storage called SkyDrive which can be used to store photos, documents, etc and synced with Windows Phones as well.


Mountain Lion:
Gatekeeper is a revolutionary new security feature that gives you control over which apps can be downloaded and installed on your Mac. You can choose to install apps from any source, just as you do on a Mac today, or you can use the safer default setting to install apps from the Mac App Store, along with apps from developers that have a unique Developer ID from Apple. For maximum security, you can set Gatekeeper to only allow apps from the Mac App Store to be downloaded and installed.

Windows 8:
Windows has a long history of providing built-in security features in the OS. Windows Defender prevents malware from Windows PC’s and Microsoft even provides a free simple tools called Security Essentials which will protect you from malware, viruses, rootkits, etc,. Apple has even decided to rip-off the logo of Windows Defender & Security Essentials for its new Gatekeeper. See it below.
Image Credit: @TomWarren

Languages Support:

Mountain Lion:
Apple has added support for Chinese language & some Chinese search engine options as well.

Windows 8:
Windows is already available in hundreds of languages in the world including Chinese. Also Internet Explorer allows you to add/delete search engines of your choice any time.


Both Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion has added support for no.of new API’s for developers to build applications & games. For example
Apple provides iCloud & Game Center API’s while Microsoft provides Windows Live & Xbox LIVE API’s.

Apart from these, there is one significant difference between both the Operating Systems. Windows 8 supports full touch interactions with gesture support while OS X Mountain Lion supports gesture only through trackpad.
I’ll update with more details as I learn about both of them.
  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget under Messaging that Windows 8 will have Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn messaging as well as pointed out recently on the Building Windows blog.

  • Anonymous

    On the topic of a Windows alternative to AirPlay, can’t you use Windows Media Player’s PlayTo feature or Windows Media Center to send video/multimedia content to your Xbox 360/TV?

    • Anonymous

      Also you can use Windows Media Extenders!

    • peter terry

      i regularly play music from my pc in other room on my xbox in living room

      • Melanie

        “peter”…try to get a grip on English articles, their usage and meanings. Otherwise you will give people the impression of having the intelligence of a ten year old.

    • Jiprotect-tech

      I like widi because it displays the entire screen, not just the video or browser.  I can work on the main screen and share the extended screen on the tv.  It acts like a multi-monitor setup.

  • Jiprotect-tech

    Actually, there is an alternative to airplay.  It is called Intel widi.  I use it and love it.

    • Kyle K

      WiDi is the sh$t!

    • Anonymous

      Yes I was wondering why Widi wasn’t mentioned.  Widi is awesome but I do have one huge problem with it.  Why the heck are the adapters still $100?  You can get an Apple TV for that amount.  If Intel ever wants Widi to go mainstream, they need to get sub $50 adapters out there or at least get the tech built into something like the xbox.

    • Anonymous

      Windows 7, released in 2009 has Play To, one year before Apple’s AirPlay.

  • Paras Valecha

    Awesome post! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Under security, you should probably remove the word revolutionary as there is nothing new to report in the tech industry. Windows 8 has already announced that the Windows Store will have certification for non-desktop apps even.  Microsoft has had code-signing of software for Windows for as long as I can remember, mostly visible in the last 10 yrs though. In addition, via IE9+, the Smartscreen feature would crowd-source the trustworthiness of an application that you were about to download and report that before you confirmed.

    • Brian Maziriri

      couldnt have said it better

  • Pierre Venescar

    And the winner is…..Windows 8. As always

    • Anonymous

      Without a doubt.  I already thought the sea of icons looked bad on the 3.5inch iPhone screen.  On a 27inch monitor they look laughable.

      • Anonymous

        On that note, MS really needs to release some better mock ups soon that show off the real potential of the live tile start screen.  So far most of those tiles are just static images.

    • Matt Greathouse

      I fail to see how they’ve won. A simple OS spec sheet is no basis for a comparison.

  • brad

    Why are you comparing Windows Runtime to OS X?  Shouldn’t you compare Windows 8 to OS X?  Also, the long history part about security in Windows, that’s laughable, I’d take that out.

    • Kyle K

      They are comparing the iOS like part of OS X and the features included in that to WinRT.  The comparison of the desktop version and OS X desktop is a separate issue.

      The security of Windows defender has been out since 2006 and since late vista to early windows 7 it actually works quite well for most average users to block viruses.

      The laughable part is that Mac has officially admitted, by adding this into their OS, that their operating system now has virus problems.  They touted for years at how they were the most secure.  The only difference was merely due to virus makers not developing for Mac because they were such a small market.

      Let’s be honest Win8 and Win7 beat OS X hands down for one simple reason, it’s capable of being used with 1000s and 1000s of different forms of hardware from various makers, old and new, and still works.  

      • Anonymous

        This long explanation, but its nice to see Windows win, afterall

  • peter terry

    windows security essentials is the most unobstrusive, effective, cheapest (free) efficient antivirus software i have ever used.  makes symantec seem primitive.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, I’ve been using it ever since the beta, and to be honest, I’m curious as to why anybody would still pay for something else nowadays, especially since MSE is so light on resources. On another note, was Apple serious with their logo for Gatekeeper???

      • Anonymous

        Just you wait.  There will be articles soon asking why MS chose to blatantly copy Apple Gatekeeper with their MSE.

        • Guest

          So true. Soon thsoe iSheep fanbois start saying BS stuff like that. Well typical Apple fans!

          • Giulietto

            And a little after that Apple will start sueing MS for copying their wonderful logo…btw, do not ever draw a rectangle if you don’t want to end up in a court with apple…

          • Anonymous

            The fanboy insult as soon as someone says anything positive about apple is a bit ignorant and arrogant, but that aside, I think both Apple and Microsoft’s attempts to patent or copyright basic ideas and common sense is rediculous. As long as you’re writing your own code it’s your work, whether you use a smiley or swipe.

      • Lauren Glenn

        They should use as a picture of Sigourney Weaver if they want to look different.

        • Melanie

          It’s “Think Different”…but hahhaa…good one.

    • Anonymous

      Before MSE i use to boycott antivirus programs because they always made my machine run worse than any amount of malware could.  MSE blew my mind when it installed in seconds and ran in the background without ANY noticeable performance hit.  And its free!!!!

    • Anonymous

      My corp security group won’t use anything other than Symantec.  I made a pitch to switch to MSE for cost reasons and got beat up.  They pulled Gartner articles that cited “completeness of vision” because Syamtec’s client has Mac support, encryption, firewall, and dataloss controls.  MSE is malware. 

    • Anonymous

      I used MSE and never looked back, got 1 virus in 4years that too due to my stupidity…that how good it is..only you need to be smart too…

  • WixosTrix

    While I think Apple needs to officially hand over “The Most Advanced Operating System” title to Microsoft, it won’t not even be believable consumer-wise anymore, this comparison couple of holes.

    There should always be a place where all notifications supported are dumped.  It’s one annoyance on WP7 now that push notifications are easily missed and unknown about for apps you don’t have pinned to your Start screen.

    In the gaming section you say Windows 8 will feature live cross-device multiplayer gaming, but then say nothing has been announced regarding Xbox Live integration. We know there is some Xbox integration coming, I just think those comparisons contradict each other..

  • Anonymous

    This guy had it right some time ago about Apple de-emphasizing the Mac in favor of iOS. It seems there is very little innovation these days from Apple at the desktop level — it’s all copy & paste from iOS.  Now all they need to do is open srouce OSX.

  • Matt Greathouse

    Stupidest post I’ve read in a while. You clearly don’t understand OS X.

    • Anonymous

      Stupidest comment I’ve read in a while. With nothing in your post to back you up, you’ll get flamed in no time.

      • Anonymous

        Not his fault, his brain is the of Mac OSX marketshare, pea size ie..

    • MrPixels

      Been a Apple user for over 15 years and Apple tech for 12 and Im looking to move to Windows 8 when comes out. Already moved to Android. Apple is a joke these days .

      • Char_rob

        I got a brand new mac book pro for xmas from my son,the problem was he thought he was doing me a favour,I went one step further and got myself a iPhone 4s because that seems the normal thing to do when u join the i family……yeah right,I can’t wait to go back to the real innovators….I miss my freedom,I miss my pc and I miss android

    • Darren R. Starr

      I’ll bite. I DO understand OS X and have used it since Yellow Box. I found his review to be pretty well done. Oh and I’m typing this on a Windows 8 tablet.

  • Anonymous

    I like how the person comparing W8 and MT is fair in comparing and not bias on any side…G’d Up!!

    And I feel that Windows 8 will take over simply because its Windows, and regardless of all the hate it gets it has alway us won…No doubts and no questions, never ever !!

  • Anonymous

    Pradeep, excellent comparison. Windows 8 is going to be exciting and fun to use vs. the boring icons of Mac. The details Microsoft is putting into the user experience for touch based screens in Windows 8 is simply awesome.

  • Anonymous

    The gatekeeper icon has a resemblence to defender icon, in it, only there is no flag at the top and no windows at the bottom..


  • JimmyFal

    I’m stunned that Intel Wireless Display has gotten no mention, as our Windows alternative to Airplay. I’m more stunned that more laptops have not implemented it. I ROUTINELY am sitting on the couch and tearing tabs of video, podcast, and all kinds of content off of Internet Explorer and sliding them over to the television screen for the entire living room to watch, while I continue to sit on the couch surfing the web simultaneously.

    Netflix looks just as good on WiDi as it does on anything else. I look forward to deep integration in XBOX on this front, and you gotta show the world that it is there for gods sake too. Every time I throw something onto the screen I steal the show and play the movie at the same time.

    • Offbeatmammal

      sadly I have never seen Intel Wireless Display advertised as a feature for a laptop, TV or console… if folks don’t know about it they’re never going to look for it

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I wish it was more prevalent too.  It’s great if you can get a laptop that supports it, and like the rest of the laptop.  Best Buy Blue Label lineup were the three laptops I found that had it at the time, I believe, and I would have preferred different specs though they were OK spec-wise.  I did try downloading and installing the program from intel’s site on other i5 and i7 intel hd machines that had bluetooth/wireless, and the receiver, and it said not supported.  I think it has to be specific notebooks, unfortunately.

  • Hank

    Dies anyone else think the windows 8 screenshots all look like the ugliest thin ever.

    • Anonymous

      I just don’t see how the Metro interface, designed for mobiles, that everyone seemed to reject in the mobile area it was designed for, when Windows phones seemed to flop, would all of a sudden be better now that it’s ported to a desktop, though many point out it’s even clumsier there with a mouse.
      I am willing to give it a chance once it comes out officially and is stable though.  Though if MS makes the usual deals, if I buy a new Windows PC in a year, I’m bound to be stuck with it like everyone else.  It would be nice if Windows bundled crap-ware came with a purge function that put you to a clean, licensed Windows with the right drivers, but understand that’s not really the ecosystem and you can always uninstall.
      I’m still not on board with Lion, much less Mountain Lion yet though.  I think Snow Leopard beats Lion, performance and functionality wise, and has much less compatibility and performance quirks, but that should change, hopefully.

  • Paul Renda

    Why compare? Windows 8 is far more superior in all fronts to Mountain Lion. Is there any doubt at all?

    • Anonymous

      That kind of talk makes it seem like you do not know either, or are being ironic.  OSX built on Unix has a lot of benefits over Windows, and Windows has benefits, not the least of which is a lot of free programs and user base.  This higher adoption and plethora of developer tools also means more readily available virus toolkits for Windows.  To just declare one better on all fronts makes it seem like you are just being ironic though.

      • Darren R. Starr

        Personally, I use Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a slate. When Amazon releases a kindle app for Windows 8 I’ll probably just give my iPad to my son. When I can buy an x86 Windows 8 phone from a real company, not The Granny Phone Company (Nokia), I’ll give him the iPhone too. I found an email I wrote in 1999 to my fellow developers on a project at Ericsson that when Microsoft makes Windows desktop run on phones with a phone UI, the web pads we were developing would be trash. Stands true for iPad too. 

        I also use mountain lion preview. It might be theoretically easier than older versions, but I feel as if Lion and Mountain Lion pretty much binned all the features I liked best about OS X and it still takes forever to perform system updates and reboots. :(

        Microsoft finally gets it and Apple apparently is fat enough to assume they can just sit back and relax a while. I use Android too… when I have to. That feels like a hacker experiment gone bad.

        • Anonymous

          I agree with you on Android. As an old Linux geek who used to squeeze use out of old PCs with Debian, I appreciate Linux and open source. Android is a bit buggy and behind for its potential, and google’s restrictions on core development are just as silly as some of apple’s. Many of the apps appear dangerous to your privacy.
          However just waiting for any windows mobile incarnation that works, whether current issues be hardware or carrier, smacks of a personal desire or investment to see windows work that has nothing to do with which is technically better.

      • Melanie

        Apple just needs to work on first party hardware/driver integration and maybe their house of cards OS will stop imploding so often. Then they need to give the users some semblance of at least a tenth of the steam off of their own p!ss in terms of usability. Because the UI is a nightmare for a plethora of common operations…not the least of which is moving files.

  • Chris

    What a biased bullshit comparison. However wrote this is surely a nerdy windows fanboy.

  • Anonymous

    A feature I see on the Mac that I don’t see on Win8 is icon grouping.

  • Dan Law

    Guys, this is really ironic. Back to 2006, when Apple releases ten of thousand of Mac vs. PC ads, they wants to promote that the Mac computers never need a security monitoring program as they claims that their computers have a unique and advance OS that can prevent hackers attacks. Now, six years later, Apple starts to copy what Windows does and their “error”, even their logo.  

    • Anonymous

      Even if macs are generally more secure out of the box, that’s no reason not to improve it or take extra steps.

      • Anonymous

        Macs are generally not more secure out of the box. In most BlackHat events, Macs are usually the first to get hacked. Sometimes literally in minutes. Seriously doubt the security in Macs.

        • Anonymous

          If you know that much, then you know at those more like WhiteHat events, that the first person to hack gets the prize, and everyone goes after the nice new macbook pro, mac air, etc. and Windows falls shortly after as a consolation prize, so you should not be misleading.  Mac’s Unix based system is pretty secure by default, and those events involve user consent opening certain files and websites at the hacker’s direction, for demonstration, and it’s a good one to use good practices.
          Use a Windows XP or 7 machine with no anti virus for a week surfing the web, and then use a Mac with no antivirus for a week surfing the web and you’ll find out the real world.

          • Anonymous

            Whether it be Windows or Mac, its always advisable to have a security software running. By default hackers and malicious sites/people target the largest ecosystem. However, thats not the point Discit. The point is Mac’s percieved security strength is misleading and experts have proved it again and again. This is real and you can choose to be ignorant.

          • Anonymous

            Are you deliberately not listening or just trying to take bits and pieces to twist it to an argument I did not make?
            I agree it is good to have good security habits, and it would be a good idea to run AV regardless, if it’s good AV that doesn’t sap your system performance too much.
            I said, initially that regardless that Macs are more secure out of the box, strengthening that security is a good thing.  The misconception that a good system to start with is all you need, and there is no reason to improve it, was what I was refuting.  Just because Mac security is improving, it doesn’t take away that it was pretty good.  The white hat contests you referenced seemed deliberately misleading, unless you are ignorant.  The prize goes to who hacks what first, and everyone goes for the Mac first, having spent plenty of time preparing and being allowed to direct the user to open certain pages and files.  As soon as someone wins the shiny new mac they focus on the windows as second prize, and it goes down like a sack of twigs too, at this level of hacking under these conditions.  It is not ignorant to recognize that Unix is a very good base to build on.  Most web servers in the world run on Linux, Unix’s close cousin, and not Windows, for very good reason too.

          • Martyn Metalous
      • Melanie

        Mac OS is a disaster just waiting to recur.

        • Discit

          OK. Have fun spouting. Windows has had plenty of virus invasions. Talk about an accident waiting to happen, MS security suite not covering third party browsers but still acting like a full AV solution is pretty bad too.
          I do understand criticism of many things Apple, I’m just hoping you contribute some real information instead of just empty bashing. I didn’t mean to personally focus on what level of knowledge you have since you must know things I don’t and vice versa. I have found Apple’s hardware refinement and OS integration amazing though. I use a macbook Air with Ubuntu Linux and it’s the first time all the Linux drivers on a notebook just worked right from install, even the multi touch pad taps. It’s quite nice. I’m not stupid enough to not use antivirus on OSX or Windows.

    • Melanie

      Is Windows saying that you don’t need to take security measures? I don’t see any evidence of them making such statements. You put words in their mouth.

  • AS147

    Lets not forget that there is a rich eco system using windows media centre to send AV content to TV’s both wirelessly and over wired connection. The interface is fantastic, the simplicity is apparent and the W8 team will continue to deliver Windows Media Centre in W8. I am expecting bigger and better things in W8. Based on what I have read to date I don’t think I will be disappointed.

    Let’s not forget, it appears that Apple is playing catch up to MS and whilst I think they are great innovators they seem to have lost their way. I hope they improve again as competition is a good thing.

  • Wade Grahms

    Windows 8 is for faggots

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think so. Nope, you can also use Windows 8 if you want. Just like homosexuals and everybody else. Although perhaps there’s a special SKU for special people like you.

    • Melanie

      Unfortunately for you it’s not.

  • 4ndrww

    so many typo’s!

  • Akash Kalghatgi

    while apple has got airplay, Microsoft has got the nfc technology which is gonna get reveiled in the final version of windows with a typical metro app of nfc

  • Akash Kalghatgi

    even skype and firefox are about to provide a metro app which may be included as inbuilt feature in final windows 8
    still windows 8 final has got hundreds of more surprising unique features to show in the final version

  • Akash Kalghatgi

    but msft has to haste to release windows 8 instead of releasing it in late 2012 coz in between apple will enjoy the market share even further and even more windows users will get converted

  • deni s

    and remember with win.32/flame

  • french of Montréal

    Windows 8 is “un échec” for me and mac os x 10.8 is “un succès”.
    The start menu of W8 is “vraiment laid!!!” and the rest of the system!!!
    Mac os X is for me the best!!!!

  • Melanie

    Learning how to write in a language should be a prerequisite for writing articles of this kind.

    • Discit

      Are you just going around spouting personal and/or MS PR nonsense?
      I got an email from another post you must be trolling this whole comment section for things to bash.
      Anyway, calling OSX a house of cards OS with poor hardware/software integration makes you seem like you have a personal grudge with no regard for any facts. Bashing the author for not knowing how to write in a language is another.
      I’m one of the first to complain or acknowledge some of the plus or minuses, that is negatives of some apple products, but overall the hardware and software integration is much better than elsewhere.

  • Rodrigo Villanueva

    Ubuntu 100%, its free, no virus 😛

    • creative3studio

      Only idiots gets infected with virus.

  • trinitifx

    I don’t like apple. I like windows!