PC vs. Mac deathmatch: Snow Leopard beats Windows 7

Windows 7 is a worthy rival, but Mac OS X Snow Leopard is the better operating system by a whisker for discriminating professionals

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Backup is a critical area that Snow Leopard still wins outright. With Time Machine I plug in a USB hard drive and forget about it. Windows Backup is sufficient for most individual users, but it requires setup and isn’t nearly as simple as Time Machine. Since, for most users, setting up any backup routine is an issue of overcoming lethargy and complication, the Snow Leopard solution wins here.

Verdict: The basic applications from both Microsoft and Apple are far better than they were even two years ago, and you can’t beat the price. Although the system utilities for networking, file sharing, backups, and other tasks are largely equivalent on both platforms, the Mac's are typically simpler to use. The advantage here, while not huge, goes to Snow Leopard.

A cat by the tail
Although I gave Snow Leopard the edge in most categories, it was a much closer contest than this former Vista user expected. I would be content to use either operating system as my daily work platform, and in fact there will be a role in my office for both. Neither left me cursing its shortcomings, and each will be able to support the sort of applications I need to be productive for some time to come.

The good news for both Mac and Windows users is that the belt will rest easily with Apple for only a short time. Windows 7 is clearly the operating system that Vista should have been, and Windows is now on a par with Mac OS X. Windows could easily pull ahead as future developments like WinFS come on line.

As the lights come up the Mac faithful can stand proud, but the rematch is coming -- and it promises to be a doozy.

This story, "PC vs. Mac deathmatch: Snow Leopard beats Windows 7," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in WindowsWindows 7 , Mac, and Mac OS X at InfoWorld.com.

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