By Anu Passary | Aug 04, 2012 10:10 AM EDT
Apple has made it a habit of collecting laurels for its ventures. The Cupertino-based company's newest OS X - Mountain Lion - has been out for only a week but is already creating waves. Rival Microsoft too is gearing up for an October 26 release of its overhauled Windows 8. In the Mountain Lion versus Windows 8 battle, Apple romps its way to victory.
Here are our top five reasons why Apple roars while Windows attempts to soar.
Reason 1 - Notification Center
Mountain Lion's Notification Center's built-in system is akin to a virtual organizer and keeps app notifications and new messages sorted. What's more System Preferences provided customization options that lets you choose how the notification appears.
The cherry, though, is undoubtedly the easy accessibility via your trackpad. All you need to do is take two fingers and slide from the top right corner towards the top left corner. Voila! The notification pops into place! Now, you can swipe through with the two-finger gesture to navigate between pages even in iTunes and the App Store.
Windows 8 is also expected to have pop-up notifications that slide onto the top-right corner of the screen. Spotting new messages, appointments, or other important updates will now be easier courtesy this feature. However, Windows 8 is no match for Mountain Lion. The Windows 8 notification system may operate on the same principle and be similar in nature; however, it could use the list view feature of Mountain Lion.
The list view negates the need for annoying pop-ups that interrupt and distract whilst working, while still letting you glance at the notifications.
Reason 2 - iMessages
Thanks to iMessages (which replaces iChat), conversations can now be synced across all Apple devices. You can now start chatting on your MacBook, continue on your iPhone, and conclude the chit-chat on your iPad. Mountain Lion users may not be able to send and receive all text messages on the Mac; however access to all iMessages, which come from other iOS and Mac users, will be available.
Microsoft, on its part, could perhaps look to offer closer message syncing between Windows Phones and PC. This would enable users to check out messages on their desktop, when working on it, rather than their phone - a la Apple.
Reason 3 - AirPlay Mirroring
It's no secret that in the days to come, PC-to-TV connectivity is going to be massive. No surprise then that Apple has incorporated an AirPlay Mirroring feature into Mountain Lion. Microsoft, on the other hand, is also keeping itself in the race and the company is expected to release a SmartGlass app that will allow tablets to stream content to its Xbox 360. However, not much is known about this app and its functionality.
Apple's Mountain Lion's nifty AirPlay Mirroring feature lets you stream to Mac's entire screen in HD to the Apple TV.
A similar integration and mirroring capabilities between Windows 8 PCs and the Xbox would make Microsoft even more attractive to prospective buyers.
Reason 4 - Personal, Notes, and Reminder Apps
Both platforms have a bevy of personal apps for staying connected and organized. It is expected that several third-party notes and reminder apps (that sync data across all devices) will be on offer for Microsoft fans, courtesy the Windows Store.
By contrast, with Mountain Lion, these features are built in. Thus, notes and reminders are automatically available on any Apple device. Moreover, the Calendar and Contacts sync with mobile devices via iCloud feature. On the other hand, Microsoft's version of Contacts (called People) ties into Facebook and gives peeks into "What's New" with your friends.
Reason 5 - Voice Dictation Made Easier
Voice dictation is available as an accessibility feature in Windows 8. However, one has to dig deep as it is buried under several menus and not meant for general use.
Mountain Lion on the other hand has capitalized majorly on this feature. The Siri-like Dictation app has easy accessibility and makes life a lot easier. All you need to do is press a keyboard shortcut and a little purple mic pops up wherever the scope to enter text exists. Say the words and you're done. It's no fuss and that easy to use.
Mountain Lion aka OS X 10.8, the eight major update to the OS X software for laptops and desktops, is a tweaked and refined version of its predecessor. Microsoft's impending Windows 8 on the other hand is a complete overhaul. With over 200 features to boast about, Mountain Lion has left no stone unturned to up the ante for Windows. In fact, Microsoft would do well to take a few pointers from Apple's Mountain Lion (and incorporate the same in future Windows versions). Judging by the past, stolen OS features are not uncommon!
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