At first, Windows 10 was just supposed to be an experiment for me. But I ended up liking Windows 10 quite a bit — especially when paired up with the Surface Book, Microsoft’s first laptop, released in late 2015.
In fact, I like the Windows 10/Surface Book combo better than any of the many MacBooks I’ve ever owned since I went all-Apple around 2008. In many ways, I’m more productive and a much happier computer-user on Windows 10.
But, in the spirit of fairness, I decided to give Apple’s new MacOS Sierra operating system a serious try-out on my MacBook Air. I used Macs for many years, and I was prepared to accept that maybe, just maybe, Apple had come up with something better.
A few weeks into my experiment, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Here’s why I still like Windows 10 a lot more than even the latest and greatest Apple MacOS.
I don’t really care about the perennial Mac versus PC rivalry — I get the vast majority of my work done in the web browser, so my only criteria is whatever helps me get more work done, faster.
In early 2008, I got my first MacBook, moving off of my desktop Windows XP computer. There was definitely a learning curve, but I came to rely on the MacBook for its speed, simplicity, and stability.
I ended up skipping Windows Vista, 7, and 8 entirely. But when Microsoft rolled around with Windows 10, I decided to see what I had been missing. And I was very impressed. Touchscreens! Stylus input! Nifty new ways to manage my open windows!
One of the things I like most about Windows 10 is Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant. She’s always sitting in the corner of the screen, ready to present all the stuff I need to know at a click.
So when I found out that Apple’s Siri was coming to the new MacOS Sierra operating system, I was really excited. Maybe, just maybe, the stuff I liked so much about Windows 10 was starting to come back to the Mac.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. While Siri is definitely available, and can do some nifty things like send e-mails or search for photos…
…I still don’t find her that useful. See, you have to call Siri up with an icon and ask her a specific question before she can do anything for you.
Compare this with Microsoft’s Cortana. Just clicking on her gets me the information I need to know — usually, the weather and the location of my next meeting. But she can also search the web or even remember specific things for me if I only ask.
(Here, I had previously asked Cortana to remember the nuclear launch codes. You can use that for frequent flyer numbers, scratchpad math, or anything else, too.)
And otherwise, MacOS Sierra doesn’t do too much else that’s new, apart from some slight interface tweaks, automatic cloud storage for certain files, and some goodies like Apple Pay integration (though, in fairness, Apple didn’t pitch it as a HUGE overhaul).
The one thing Macs still do better, as you may guess, is iPhone integration. Apple’s iMessages and FaceTime are the default way I communicate with the people in my life, and the Mac has really impressive integrations with both. While Sierra doesn’t shake this up significantly, it’s still nice to have a continuous texting conversation on my iPhone and Mac.
But, gosh, I’ve become so reliant on the touchscreen sported by so many Windows PCs. For taking notes, or just for everyday web browsing, a touchscreen makes a surprisingly big difference.
Matt Weinberger/Business Insider
And with Apple opting to build the new Touch Bar into the current generation of MacBook Pro laptops, instead of going whole-hog into the touchscreen future, it doesn’t look like a Mac will give me what I want any time soon.
Couple that with Cortana, and with Windows 10’s excellent multitasking features, and I’m increasingly comfortable with losing a little bit of iPhone integration.
Matt Weinberger/Business Insider
So for now, I’m sticking with Windows 10, where I can be happier and more productive.
But I’m still going to be keeping a close eye on what Apple is up to. I would love if the Mac came up with something really amazing to trump Windows 10. Not because I favor one company over the other — but because competition is good for everybody.