Mac OR Windows Laptop? Which is better for Programming in 2024?

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Both Mac and Windows laptops have their distinctive features and advantages, but which is better for programming? Read to find out.

Which Is Better For Programming, Mac OR Windows Laptop: Which is better for programming, Windows or Mac? This is only one more in a long series of inquiries into which of the two is superior for a particular activity. As long as the two have existed, there has been a Windows vs. Mac dispute.

Which Is Better For Programming

When choosing a laptop for programming, it appears as though the internet is awash with opinions regarding which is better for what task, whether it be for personal use, picture or video editing, web development, gaming, watching cat videos, etc. Overall, a Mac gives a superior user experience and security while a PC is a terrific alternative for gaming and offers a vast selection of apps built especially for Windows. But there are other things to consider when it comes to programming. Today, we examine which operating system is better for programming: Windows or Mac.

Reasons Mac OS is Better Than Windows for Software Development

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The Command Line: macOS Terminal vs Windows Command Line

Thanks to the graphical user interface, the majority of us utilize computers by clicking on graphical components (GUI). However, you must be familiar with inputting commands into a computer if you want to work as a programmer.

The fact that macOS is based on Unix is one of its coolest features. What makes this good? due to its integrated terminal. The majority of command-line operations may be carried out automatically via the terminal, along with running applications and controlling the operating system. The Windows command prompt, sometimes known as cmd, has several restrictions, such as the absence of some common Unix commands.

Reasons Why MacOS is Better Than Windows for Programming

To have the same functionality as the macOS terminal on Windows, you may install a Unix-like terminal, although the configuration is difficult for novices.

PowerShell is a more sophisticated variation of the cmd in Windows. Powershell’s functionality is comparable to that of the macOS terminal. However, due to the widespread usage of Unix in modern technology infrastructure, learning Unix syntax is more beneficial than learning PowerShell syntax. This brings us to our next point.

The Operating System: macOS vs Windows
On top of Unix, macOS is constructed. Because the majority of online and database servers are Unix-based, Mac machines are developer-friendly. The PowerShell on Windows might provide a comparable but not identical experience.

Security is another advantage of macOS. We may claim that because Unix delivers stability, adaptability, and security, macOS is by default secure against viruses and malware. On the other hand, if you have a Windows laptop, you’ll need to acquire a reliable antivirus and regularly scan your machine to ensure its security.

In addition, macOS comes with excellent apps that you may require even when you aren’t developing. There is more software available for Windows than for macOS, but none of it is included in the standard Windows installation, so you must first purchase it.

Stability Of O.S

Windows is excellent for front-end programming, but it can be difficult to work with for back-end developers. To get a solid system operating, you’ll have to endure several hours of updates, drivers, installers, etc., but once it’s up and running, development will be simpler.

Hardware and Battery Life

MacOS devices aren’t customizable, whereas Windows laptops allow you to add more RAM or a bigger hard drive. If your laptop is basic and you want to improve performance without buying a new one, you must do this.

Is a Mac or Windows PC Better for Programming?

On the other hand, battery life is still another crucial consideration. This will allow you to concentrate on your coding rather than trying to find a location to charge your laptop. The battery life of new MacBooks is usually excellent. The battery life of the MacBook Air with M1 and M2 CPUs is up to 18 hours, but the MacBook Pro 13″ is up to 20 hours. Windows-based computers can have erratic battery life; generally speaking, more costly models have better batteries than less expensive versions, although this isn’t always the case.

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Your Budget

The cost is the major deterrent for first-time Mac buyers. At the time of writing, the majority of new Macs cost far over $2000.

Because of its programming capabilities and user-friendliness in certain stack development, Mac is undoubtedly a choice to take into account if you plan to pursue programming as a career.

However, other, more affordable choices are accessible to you and will serve your needs if you are a casual coder.

Are There Windows-Specific Tools Required?

You would be creating software for Windows on the most popular platform. Windows continues to rule as the most popular platform and, consequently, the most developed, despite the media’s love affair with Macs. It’s more common among software developers who work for businesses. Nevertheless, you can’t work on iOS development on a Windows machine, so consider the kind of programming you want to undertake.

Windows is not a Unix-like operating system like macOS, although it can currently run Linux and updates are produced to support it rather frequently. This can increase Windows’ compatibility and reliability and get it close to the degree of convenience that a Mac offers.

Advantages of Mac for programming

The majority of Mac software flaws are exceptions to the norm. If you keep your computer’s system updated and keep an eye on its health, it won’t give you any trouble. As a result, unanticipated program crashes freezes, and data loss are all but impossible. The fact that there are no actual viruses for macOS, other than malware that you could unintentionally install, is crucial.

The most effective utilization of computer resources is the key characteristic of macOS. To put it another way, executing programs, rendering, generating code, etc. are often done as swiftly as feasible. People claim that macOS has obsolete parts, yet the fastest RAM and SSD more than makeup for all the shortcomings. Because of this, macOS can continue operating without interruption for 4-6 years after its initial release.

Unlike any other platform, the macOS one lets you install Windows if necessary. The process is quite straightforward, and the two operating systems will then operate simultaneously on the machine. In contrast, the Windows operating system does not offer such a chance.

Disadvantages of Mac for programming

Despite all of the benefits of Macs, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of. MacOS cannot be altered by the user. While it was possible to change the SSD or add RAM to older versions, these options are not available in the newer variants. Therefore, while making a purchase, you must consider what equipment configuration will be sufficient for you to do certain tasks.

There is hardly much software that macOS does not support. When attempting to install highly specialized Windows software on macOS, you may encounter some difficulties. Nevertheless, practically all programs offer variants for other operating systems and are cross-platform. For instance, there are programs like BBEdit, Sublime Text, Brackets, Atom, Visual Studio Code, and others that can replace Notepad ++.

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Advantages of Windows for coding

The majority of computers in use today use this dominating operating system. Because of this, Windows is the primary platform for the majority of software applications. The Windows updates always strive to deliver the finest programming usage experience. Using a single C # codebase, Windows 10 enables you to develop apps for the three most popular mobile operating systems: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

On Windows, managing tabs is still more practical. With Windows’ default setting, adding a tab to the screen’s edge is simple. Simply clicking on the cross icon will close the window. Every programming tool you might require is supported by Windows, especially when using a stack like LAMP or WAMP. Windows supports Ruby and all other popular programming languages. On Windows, you may even utilize the command line.

Users of Windows have access to a broad range of various PCs. Regular desktop computers and several laptop models are both available. Additionally, this OS provides the highest level of technological compatibility with third-party add-ons. It is simple to add or install almost any mouse, keyboard, camera, graphical tool, storage device, printer, scanner, microphone, monitor, or other device required for enhancing your computer.

Drawbacks of using Windows for coding

Because the License Agreement grants Microsoft the right to collect your personal information and statistics, such as location data, browsing history, and other information, if you use Windows, you may have certain privacy concerns. If you are creating a covert app, that is a serious disadvantage. Unfortunately, there won’t be a checkbox like “do not allow the application to collect my data” during installation.

It is vital to bring up the occasional job challenges brought on by the Windows system’s delayed reaction to any user activity in light of its flaws. For instance, if you click the right mouse button to display a menu, the window can take a moment to open. In addition, you need a few third-party drivers and add-ons to install the particular programming application.

The possibility of problems surfacing following upgrades is the primary drawback of the Windows operating system. In this instance, a user must hold off on fixing the issues until a new version of the program is released. It is one of the factors that Mac users prefer over Windows users while programming on computers.

Which Is Better For Programming, Mac OR Windows Laptop

A top-tier Windows laptop can, of course, match any MacBook, so to determine which option is best for programming we should analyze the operating system and see in which platform we feel more comfortable. The average MacBook tends to be more robust, elegant, and durable than the average Windows laptop. This implies that depending on our needs, the answer may change.

The best option is a Mac if you want a system that you can use straight out of the box that is based on Unix and has decent GUI and command line integration. However, a PC is the ideal choice if you require PowerShell, want a highly customizable computer, and want access to the majority of available applications.

Having said that, making a decision will be simpler if you already know the course you’re taking. A Mac is required if you want to create iOS apps, but if you want to create games, a PC would be a better choice.

Does This Matter at All?

Most programming can be done on any platform with a few workarounds, while Windows may be preferable for some programs and Mac may be better for others. Better (in terms of programming) refers to “easier” in this context. Both sorts of laptops are pretty comparable, and you’ll discover that programming comfort frequently results from experience and understanding rather than specific hardware.

Bonus: Running distinct operating systems on Mac and PC

Think carefully before purchasing a Mac or PC only to utilize a certain software you require for work or school as virtual machines allow alternative operating systems to be run on Macs and PCs.
For instance, you may use virtual machines like Parallels, VMWare Fusion, or VirtualBox to run Windows on a Mac. Additionally, Windows 10 enables Linux, giving you access to Bash, frameworks, and other tools that are incompatible with Windows.


When deciding between Mac and Windows for your programming needs, take in mind the kind of programming you want to be performing as well as your personal preferences. Both sorts of laptops are pretty comparable, and you’ll discover that programming comfort frequently results from experience and understanding rather than specific hardware. When deciding between Mac and Windows for your programming needs, take in mind the kind of programming you want to be performing as well as your personal preferences.

All the best in your pursuit!

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