What Is the Difference Between Apple and Microsoft?

Apple makes Macintosh computers that run on its own operating system, the Mac OS, while Microsoft makes the Windows OS that runs on PC computers. Beyond these OS differences, Apple is both a software and a hardware company, whereas Microsoft, while making a few hardware products through the years, is a software-driven company with notable exceptions.

The Windows OS share of the computer market was more than 89 percent in 2014, according to both NetMarketShare and StatCounter. By comparison, Mac OS was more than 8 percent, so Windows still heavily dominates as the OS of choice in many professional and personal settings.

In regards security, Apple computers have a reputation for being more stable and less prone to attacks from hackers and malware than Windows PCs. One reason for this may be that Windows computers far outnumber Apple computers, thus making them more susceptible to viruses and other security risks. Attackers generally want to go after the lowest-hanging fruit that has the greatest impact. Moreover, those Windows PC computers, unlike Apple computers, come preloaded with tons of extra software from many manufacturers, which can negatively affect the computers. In terms of hardware, Microsoft produces the Xbox line of video gaming consoles, which is one of the most popular gaming systems in the world.