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Need some help selecting your operating system? 

There are two guiding principles:

  1. Software Availability 
  2. Your Computer Experience 

Software: if you will arrange for any licensed software, check that it's available for the operating system (OS) you want to use. (This refers to any software UB doesn't install on all computer. Click here for that information.) 

Your experience: when choosing your UB computer it's best to go with what you know. If you're comfortable with it, choosing the same OS avoids guesswork for you. Granted you may not love what you've been using, but if, for example, you have used only Windows in the past, changing that now may be more disruptive than you expect. 

Additional information for comparing the operating systems follows. If you need additional support, please contact the OTS Call Center or your business manager. 


The differences between Apple and Windows had been, for years, drastic enough that it was easy to choose which was a good fit for you. In recent years, those differences have eased. Here are some ways in which the two platforms have grown more alike:

  • Software availability: While each operating system may be known for handling certain types of software better than the other, the availability of software for both operating systems isn't as marked as it was. Still, there are some applications considered fairly common in higher education that are available only for one operating system. 
  • Viruses and malware: Apples tend not to be targets of viruses, yet viruses and malware can affect both operating systems. Both companies continue to integrate security into their operating systems to provide protection for the end user. 
  • Ease of use: The Apple OS was knowng to be the easier operating system to figure out. This is more of a personal preference as both companies focus efforts on making the end user experience friendlier and easier. Someone who is accustomed to working on a Windows computer will argue it is easier than a Mac and vice versa. You should chose the operating system you are most comfortable with unless you have reasons to switch. 

Apple Operating System Strengths

  • A focus on handling graphics, video, color and type.
  • Apple computers designs may be more appealing and sleeker. 

Windows Operating System Strengths

  • Best on campus experience for connecting to network drive shares. 
  • Less expensive than a comparable Apple computer. 
  • Usually a better option if working with gaming or simulation. 
Last Published 4/2/16