Head to Head: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion vs Windows 7

The eternal question: which is better, Windows or Mac OS? With the release of a new Mac OS, 10.7 Lion, David Ludlow takes another look at this age-old debate.

Windows Management

One of Windows 7's strengths is its clever windows management and support for multiple monitors. With the latest graphics cards, you can even run up to six monitors from a single computer.

Aero Snap - Windows 7's windows management is fantastic and well suited to multiple monitors.

Aero Snap - Windows 7's windows management is fantastic and well suited to multiple monitors.

As Windows 7's applications have their title bars integrated into each window, working on multiple monitors is easy and natural; by comparison, with OS X Lion, each application's title bar appears on the main display. Working on a second monitor means frequent trips back to the primary display to access menus.

Windows 7 also has the advantage when it comes to managing open windows. Apple may have finally added the option to resize a window by dragging any side, rather than the bottom right, but Windows has had this for ages. In addition, in Windows 7 you can maximise a window to any monitor and use Aero Snap to resize windows automatically. Using the keyboard shortcuts or dragging a window to either side of the monitor you can make it fill half the screen; dragging to the top maximises it. The result is that it's easy to compare two windows side-by-side, which becomes extremely useful for some tasks, such as copying files from one window to another.

With OS X Lion, arranging windows is still a laborious manual job, although with Lion it's now possible to resize a window from any edge, rather than just the bottom-right corner. There is now the option for full-screen applications, but these work on just a single monitor and aren't as easy to manage as applications in Windows.

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