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7 reasons why now is the best time to upgrade from Mac to a Windows PC

Mac and Windows have been a rivalry dating back decades, most famously encapsulated by Apple's somewhat amusing Mac versus PC commercials. It was always said that Windows PCs are built for spreadsheets, can break easily, aren't supported well enough by manufacturers and do not offer a consistent experience. Apple Macs, on the other hand, simply work out the box. Some of this was actually true back in the Windows XP and Vista days, but times have changed and so has Windows.

Microsoft now produces sleek, aluminum-based portable PCs that offer immense performance in a gorgeous form factor, the same goes for vendors like ASUS and HP. The OS has evolved too, offering advanced features like ink and pen support, touch-friendly operation, and even more immersive gaming. I'm going to run through a few reasons why you should at least consider upgrading to a Windows 10-based notebook.

Windows 10

XPS 27

Microsoft has come a long way with Windows over the years. XP was the golden years, Vista brought issues, 7 fixed said problems and 8 completely changed the OS for the worse. Now we have Windows 10, skipping 9 entirely, and things are better than ever. The OS — when installing on an SSD — is blazing fast, especially when booting and waking up from hibernation. It's also super stable.

The OS comes rocking a number of features, including support for Virtual Reality (like macOS) and Windows Mixed Reality — the latter allowing you to bring the desktop experience to life with a compatible headset, running Windows apps in a virtual home. Security has also been improved by Microsoft with Windows 10 and Defender has become quite the package. While it remains true that more vulnerabilities are present for Microsoft's OS, Mac owners aren't safe.

It's an incredibly versitile OS, running on tablets, laptops and powerful desktops. That means it has many usabilitty features ready to go.

An issue with Windows is the design and lack of consistency, mainly in context menus and how software looks. Microsoft is working to address this with the Fluent Design System, which is gradually being rolled out. This will help tie everything together in a sleek-looking package. But until then, you'll have to deal with a few visual issues that wouldn't be experienced with macOS.

Windows 10 isn't perfect, nothing really is, but Microsoft is making strides while Apple seems to be crawling.

Get all your apps

Microsoft Store

The Microsoft App Store.

Microsoft added a Store in Windows 8 to allow consumers to purchase and download apps from a centralized location. This allowed for the release of Windows 10 S that restricts access to just the store for installing software, but keeps costs low and improves security for the education sector.

While the store itself may not be perfect (it's far from it), it does mean that macOS users who rely on the App Store can find a replacement and won't need to run through countless installation wizards. Gone are the days when you need to roll out CDs and install ugly software.

Gorgeous on the Surface

Surface Book 2

Should you be looking to replace an aging MacBook and don't wish to fork out the extra cost introduced in the latest generation, Microsoft has some amazing looking devices. The Surface family of portable PCs include tablets, 2-in-1s, and laptops. The Surface Book is one of our favorite PCs, which offers the best of tablet and notebook worlds. It really is a killer machine.

Purchasing a Windows 10-powered PC from Microsoft (and partner products at the Microsoft Store) will ensure you deal with no bloatware. A clean installation of Windows 10 ready for software and apps to be downloaded and a device that not only sports premium materials like an Apple product but can at times cost a little less while sporting better components. Then you have the Surface Studio (opens in new tab), which is a beast for creative individuals.

Attractive third-party hardware

MSI GS63VR

If the Surface line from Microsoft isn't quite what you're looking for, there are a collection of partnered manufacturers who also release Windows 10-powered PCs. Laptops specifically used to come as bulky black slabs that looked horrific when placed next to the MacBook for the day, but vendors like ASUS, Acer, HP and Dell have really stepped up their game to offer some compelling products. Take the stunning XPS 13 laptop as a perfect example of this.

You could even go all out and not purchase an Ultrabook but a machine built for intense workloads. you'd be hard-pressed to find a MacBook that could match something like the MSI GS83VR in raw performance. It has two (yes, two) GTX 1080 GPUs running in SLI, costing around $5,000.

MSI GS83V

Vendors use different touchpads, keyboards, screens, materials and more. You may prefer the keyboard of a Dell laptop than that of an MSI notebook. The beauty of choice means you can purchase a Windows 10 PC that best matches your requirements, meaning you'll be less likely to endure issues that affect all machines, like that problem MacBook owners are experiencing with the keyboard of more recent MacBook models.

Making all kinds of savings

HP Omen 15

With Windows 10, there are some serious savings to be had. If you're not after a powerful notebook or PC, nor do you require fancy features like an IR camera that can scan your face and log into Windows or an expensive Core i7 processor, there are some more affordable devices running Microsoft's OS. There are some great little devices that cost you less than $300.

The MacBook can be purchased with an Intel Core m3 processor for a whopping $1,299. The Surface Pro from Microsoft costs just $799 (opens in new tab) and features the same processor, amount of storage and RAM. It's also made of aluminum. For $1,299 you could upgrade to a Surface Pro model that comes with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM, or the HP Omen 15 gaming laptop (opens in new tab) with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, GTX 1060 GPU, and a 2TB HDD.

Get your game on

The Witcher 3

Gaming on macOS was being pushed by Apple a few years ago but it seems the steam has run out in the engine. Oculus Rift still isn't officially supporting Apple's computers but Windows users can enjoy a number of VR-ready titles available on the store. The same goes for normal gaming, which continues to take place on Windows.

Most gamers use Windows to play titles on and developers don't develop games with macOS in mind. This likely won't change because in order to get a Mac computer with enough power, you're looking at well into the thousands. You can build a $700 PC and run The Witcher 3 without issue.

Build your own

Thermaltake Core P5

Thermal Core P5 (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

You can build really cool-looking Windows 10 PCs. That alone is awesome enough. Not only can you use a computer but you'll learn how to build one, troubleshoot and make upgrades as more powerful components are released. You... can't build your own Mac.

Your reasons

Made the switch from macOS to Windows 10? Let us know what made you upgrade in the comments.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

64 Comments
  • I made the switch and I never looked back Windows 10 is far better than Mac OS
  • Yes, I could never change to Apple.
  • Speaking about the OS should be enought to make that switch.
  • The first reason, Windows Store is laughable. While you admit it's far from perfect, it's far worse than that. I agree Windows is better than ever compared to Mac, but the Windows Store isn't a reason in my opinion. It's one of the worst parts of Windows today.
  • For example?
    Did cuphead, facebook, messenger, netflix, Forza, Middle Earth, etc crashed on your machine?
    Store app don't launch? Won't load anything?
  • The Store app keeps crashing regularly, updates to apps fail randomly or are delivered successfully the n-th time the system tries, UWP apps are generally a nuisance to work with on non-touch devices, the Facebook app only uses a third of the available screen space on Full HD and has about a half of the features available on other platforms.
    Live tiles are working at their own will, no way to actually make them work.
    As regards great apps, try to find a decent mail client in the Store.
    The Store is a mess, it always has been.
  • "try to find a decent mail client in the Store" OK, I found Outlook 2016 in the store. Is that not decent? What features are you looking for in an email client before you would call it decent?
  • No need for the Store if you want to use Outlook or Office in general. Also, no need to drive a limo to get to the grocer's around the corner.
  • I can agree certain UWP apps aren't designed as well to utilize space like Facebook, but that's on the developers. Other than it being aesthetically annoying or requiring you to move your mouse farther to click on things, it doesn't impact how well an app works. I do agree it's not as featured as say the iOS or Android app, but I hope there will be a trend toward PWA as that would especially benefit Facebook from having to develop 3 separate apps. I used to have more issues with the store crashing or being unable to update apps but that hasn't happened in a loooong time. I wonder if there's a weird bug with your store? Not sure if there's a way to reset the store itself. However, I feel like the content in the store has vastly improved. It's not up to par with Android or iOS yet, but I've definitely been noticing improvements. Regarding mail apps, I mainly like to use outlook 2016 but the default mail app has worked well on the go. I haven't had to look for or use other mail apps.
  • Store app crashing... I think that's on you. No prob on my Alienwares and Surfaces. And, I've no problem install, update, uninstall apps. The only app I know that's a lilo unstable is Wxxxxxx Central... but that's on developer.
  • The Windows Store is loaded with great apps, and desktop bridge applications now. Can you provide some concrete examples of what is so bad about it?
  • Loaded with great apps? Wow, I would not call them great apps, there may be a handful of good apps if that.,  
  • I guess you never owned a mac. Mac OS app store is in way wose shape. It's having the same problem as windows phone. With apps leaving Mac OS store. Twitter just recently remove it's app from Mac OS store. 
  • I know people that do own a mac and I do not think they use the MAC store, in fact one person  don't even have an Apple ID,  Her daughter does and you are right the Mac store is not great either. 
    the problem is a lot of the apps in these stores are not really needed for a full blown computer. Do a Mac really need an app for twitter?  No more so than a windows based PC, they both have things called browsers.   
  • I can understand a Mac not needing a Twitter app as you mention, Mac don't have touch screens, but Windows 10 can come in tablet format with touch screen and then having a touch friendly app instead of a browser is nice.
  • You may be right, but we are not on about tablets here. 
  • I don't mean the apps. In particular search, app discovery, recommendations, lack of ability to hide something, can't search comments, can't remove an app from all installed devices with the same ms account.
  • Not to mention UWP access anywhere and Xbox play anywhere!
  • I swapped my old iMac for a Dell XPS tower three weeks ago. Delighted by price+spec, OS and what I can do. I only miss Tumult Hype. The funny thing is W10 store makes OSX version look meagre.
  • Mark, Windows 10 makes MacOS look meagre.    MacOS is *****!   We were talking about this at work yesterday.   I said,  as far as phones and tablets go,  Apple has it nailed.   Fast, easy to use,  I hate to say it but "just works".   Then,  I added,  I would rather take my sons macbook and toss it across the driveway than use it.   Its garbage.  Windows 10 and my dell devices are FAR superior than that overpriced peice of crap!
  • As a programmer, menu key (and various shortcuts for me to go mouse-free) is enough reason for me to stick with Windows. And uwp, xbox, ARM, IOT, AR, MR, Azure, etc synergy / infrastructure is actually interested.
  • You left out MSFT AI ;) Siri is sitting ducks.
  • It's always a good time to move from mac
  • XD
  • Yep, it's always a good time to move on from Apple ecosystem. Android took more than 80% in phone market, Windows took more than that in PC market.
  • I use both on a Macbook Pro either by Bootcamp or Parallels. I prefer MacOS because it just integrates better with my other devices and it is absolutly stable. Windows 10 is ok. It still needs a lot of polish and consistency. I'm still waiting for the day an update doesn't fail.
  • Always had a high spec Windows gaming pc and use Mac laptops for moble use. Own 2x Macbook pro , Macbook air , and G5 ibook. Than want back to school for some IT certs a few years back and  i was always in a windows VM, because non of the software i needed was on mac. Sold my mac and got a surface. 
  • BootCamp all the way! Hehe😅 Okay just kidding ☺. Don't mad☺❤. Btw, can't wait for RS4😌.
  • you mean you can't wait for RS5!
  • Nailed it
  • Because a PC will integrate better with your new iPhone?
  • Bleached,  My iphone integrates with my Dell PC perfectly.  I can send and receive imessages, answer and make calls through my PC to my iphone,  and all my contacts, bookmarks, and even the webpage I am on will sync seamlessly.   
  • Well, I liked Windows 10 until the Fall Creators Update. Since then I only had issues with it, and Windows Store is far from perfect - major apps like Messenger, Instagram and Facebook still don't have all the functions that are offered by their respective web counterparts. If I would be buying a laptop for college, I definitely wouldn't look for something that I can game on as I already have a gaming PC, so about 3 of reasons don't apply to me. I still think the elegance of Apple is still not reached by Windows OEMs, so I will get myself both, a MacBook (possibly a MacBook Air if they will refresh it this year) and an iPhone, as my Windows phone is slowly dying. 
  • Strange that one of your complaints is the lack of features in Apps like Facebook, etc - yet Macs aren't going to have better options.  Also remember, some Apps, like Facebook, favor the browser, and unless you are using the Apps for notifications or other OS integration features, you get a faster and more complete experience by using the Website and not a watered down 'mobile' App.  (Remember that Facebook, like many others, created App versions of their websites because iPhone and iPads originally couldn't use all the features of the Website due to limitations in their browser.) As for 'stability' issues since the Fall update, do yourself a favor and download the ISO, and run Setup.  This does an inplace non-destructive upgrade.  Essentially it is like Restore, except you don't have to reinstall anything.  (Or take it to a Microsoft Store, even if you didn't buy it there, Microsoft helps fix Windows Issues on any brand PC, usually for free.) As for 'elegance of Apple' in hardware, there are a lot of quirks and issues with Macs, from a fairly bad keyboard to even production quality issues. Remember that it is human nature to 'like/love' what we purchase, and there are a lot of Mac users that simply overlook things, that less commited buyers take issue with.   In actual 'construction' and 'technology/components' used in Apple hardware, it is very mid-grade compared to the PC industry.  They are pretty, but that doesn't make the slower parts or lower quality features magically better.   With that said, there are some sucky PC OEMs out there, even big name products that are junk.  For people that are leaning towards Mac for hardware, our team pushes them to Microsoft Surface products, because Microsoft does stand behind them, all you have to do is take it to a Microsoft Store if you have any software or hardware issue and they will fix or replace it.  Microsoft's store policies are far better than Apple and don't require the purchase of AppleCare.  
  • Take it to an MS store? LOL! The train fare to London alone would cost more than enough to make the bank manager cry. Very funny.
  • He is American.
  • Yeah, but there are other countries in the world, you know... My next Micro$oft store would be in Germany, for example.
  • I agree that Mac and W10 apps are really nothing to boast about. As for stability issues, it's really lame that the solution here at Windows Central to every W10 OS issue is to download an ISO to do a restore. You people have to remember that normal non techie people don't know anything about that. This is where Apple excels. You turn it on and it works. To say that Macs are slower because they have slower hardware is complete BS. MacOS and iOS are really refined. They are optimized to work simmingly with the hardware. That's why an Android phone with twice the power is still slower than an iPhone with slower hardware.   FYI - Apple service > Microsoft service (and it's not even close).
  • I have been thinking of going from Windows to Mac,m the only problem is I have spent money on updating this PC and it is the thought of spending more money that is stopping me. 
     The Mac mini may be a good way to get into the MAc world.  
  • I just dual boot both on a MacBook Pro either by Bootcamp or Parallels. I wouldn't get a Mac Mini though. Its internals are too outdated.
  • Its my understanding that one of the main uses for Mac Minis these days is to run Apple development tools for programmers using Windows PCs and working on iOS apps using Xamarin and the like.  Doesn't need much power, you can plug it into your network, leave it in a corner somewhere and pretty much forget about it.
  • We will see, I have a couple more things on my plate at the monet than to get another computer.   
  • In addition to some great hardware technologies, there are some important features and technical reasons in the Windows OS itself that are advantageous to OS X on the Mac. A quick article could be written about the basic things like faster graphical rendering in 2D and 3D software, with an additional article that talks about NT itself and the features and performance it offers with things like agnostic processor thread scheduling to get more performance out of 'laptop/tablet' class devices, and things like the RAM requirement differences, where a 2-4GB Windows system can handle content that is troublesome/slow on a Mac with 8GB of RAM. ... Etc.  
  • NT is a good point. Way back, when we were using 3D MAX and Softimage 3D / XSI, both 3D packages required Windows NT, eventually turning into Windows 2000. Oh man! Win 2000 had issues and it was buggy!
  • Just seven?
  • I have 1000 xD
  • It's obvious Apple needs to switch Mac to its ARM A series processors to stay relevant and have ios app synergy.
  • I was given an older MacBook Air recently, and while I still like macOS a lot, there's some big problems with it. First, Apple has once again made it difficult to port apps to Mac.  The Mac App Store is a wasteland, and is significantly worse than even Windows Phone. Second, it's REALLY difficult to buy a Mac with modern specs.  While Apple churns out yearly iDevices with what could barely be called iterative, their Mac selection is full of 3-4 year old devices that carry the same price tag they did 3-4 years ago, and their newer devices have returned to the 68k/PPC era of overcharging for hardware. Modern Macs are basically overpriced ChromeOS machines.
  • For one thing Windows 10 fails to properly handle moving windows between monitors that are scaled differently. I often have to manually resize them to fix what windows screws up. Also, the update process is painful as occasionally it will refuse to actually complete a large update, requiring multiple reboots. The interface is an awful mess of inconsistency, probably caused by years of layering code on code. Dialogs are inconsistent, some even look like remnants of much earlier windows versions. The same for widgets. The registry fills me with fear at its absolutely immense ability to fill with crap. Windows is in dire need of a complete rewrite and overhaul. That’s just my opinion.
  • Too funny since MacOS is in DIRE NEED of a re write.  No touch, having to use finger gymnastics to do simple tasks (on windows),  make Terribly idiotic by NO RIGHT mouse button..etc....This is NOT my opinion,  it's FACT.
  • My partner is entrenched in the Apple universe, and like many won't hear a word against it. And sure, if you have a Mac an iphone etc makes plenty of sense. But every time I have to go and sort something out for her (Macs "just work" don't they... yeah right) I'm always thinking why am I stuck back in this XP type UI? Microsoft changed the game with the taskbar in Win7 and have been leaving OSX behind ever since. Sure there are graphic inconsistencies across Win10, but for day to day productivity the ways Windows makes things available (and the options it gives you) far outweigh that kind of niggle. And if design isn't about such fundamental usability then what's the point? Apple makes nice and efficient hardware, no question, but the software UI is way behind (not least hampered by their arrogant refusal to consider how and why you might want to put touch and the desktop experience together, which they're now plainly struggling with)
  • But Macs just do work, that is the thing, you take them out of the box, turn them on, regester tham and it works.  I friend of mine have an Imac that is 5 years old and never had a problem with it, it still works as smooth now as it did when it was new. I have never had that smooth running from my PC for more than a few months, if i ever do to be honest. Yesterday I was trying to edit a video and for some reason this machine was having problems and yet is was only an old Mpeg2 video taken from a old Video 8 camcorder. Strange mind you since a full HD video was fine.   but it seems with Windows there is always something, even updating is a pain, Mac Os is so quick to update. I get it that Windows have to to be an OS for different hardware, while OSx/Mac OS islimited to just certain hardware, but Macs just seem to work better.  The onhe problem with Macs is updating hardware, I changed the harddrive in my friends Imac, I never want to do that again, she wanted a larger one. New Imacs are almost impossible to change hardware.  
  • My dell PC did the exact same thing Ad47uk.  I took it out of the box,  turned it on and OMGGGGGGG  it worked.   My dell 2 in one is going on year number 2,  I have an acer 17" notebook from 2008 that works the same as it did when new...wait,  NO better than new since it now has windows 10 on it.   Your buddy's macbook cannot get the new OS version since it's older than 5 years.   I went through that with one of my macs.   Support dropped after 5 years.   Apple are great at smoke and mirrors.   Your systems are not smooth because you must be downloading crap etc onto them.  It's not windows fault,   it's YOURS.
  • Windows start falling apart after a while or it gets a bad update.  Things may have improved a bit with Windows 8 and 10, but the OS still seems to fall apart after a time and need reinstalling or reseting.  My friends Macbook is an Imac and is one she uses for office stuff, it is not her main machine, so not being able to update is n