Microsoft or Apple for Productivity?

Choosing Microsoft or Apple Products

For a number of reasons, you may have chosen one company over the other. They both have a lot to offer regarding productivity with Microsoft’s extensive office suite, or Apple’s multiple devices. Both companies have made great strides in the world of technology in different ways. But which one is better for productivity? Microsoft or Apple products?

Apple’s Choice to Focus on Devices

You could argue that Microsoft also focuses on devices such as their Surface tablets, but Apple is the one winning in this area. The iPhone is simply more popular and has a longer history of success. Apple also accomplished a lot with their software, often competing against Android. They are definitely no stranger to new technologies and taking that first step. Devices such as the Apple Watch, Airpods, iPhones, iPads and even their Mac computers are proof of this. They also have software that makes connectivity between these devices convenient for productivity. They have a decent offering of business or consumer solutions overall.

Microsoft’s Focus on Popularity

Choosing Microsoft or Apple products can all come down to compatibility. It might not be an option to use Apple products if you are working with other companies. Microsoft has succeeded by gaining the market share using MS Office and many other products. They offer solutions like Azure, Project and even their Visual Studio is popular. However, beyond computers Microsoft lacks devices. Google hasn’t always been the most compatible with Microsoft, but they own most of the smartphone market with Android. This forces Microsoft to do well in software and service offerings which they definitely do. Most other companies are compatible with your own files because most of them use Microsoft solutions.

A Clash Between Competitors

With Microsoft offering so many software solutions, you would think that Apple would work to deliver hardware with Microsoft. But they both have problems with each other, since a lot of their inspiration comes from one another. Apple has tried to sue Microsoft for supposedly stealing GUI designs from them in the past for multiple Windows versions. It’s simply the fact that they don’t get along very well. This is also a good thing because it encourages innovation and strong competition. Microsoft or Apple products are simply not that compatible because of their software design. Apple’s OS for computers can be purchased and you can technically use Microsoft or Apple products on the same computer. To do this you must use separate partitions or hard drives, and there will still be compatibility issues between them.

When to Choose Apple

While choosing Microsoft or Apple might seem easy, there are situations when one is better than the other. It’s easy to argue that Apple has improved security over Microsoft. After all, less people use their Macs. But this is also true regarding the iPhone since Apple has focused on security there as well. Google is much less focused in this area which is obvious regarding their app stores! But that doesn’t mean Apple is immune to viruses, it just means they are less common. Here are some reasons to pick Apple…

  • You are working mostly internally (not relying on outside compatibility).
  • All your partners have solutions for Apple software.
  • You or your co-workers/employees are more familiar with Apple products.
  • You have the money for Apple solutions and it makes sense.

When to Pick Microsoft

Since Microsoft is all about compatibility, that’s when you should use their products. Windows is the largest operating system for computers. It’s an obvious choice if partners don’t have solutions for Apple products. It can also be an obvious choice if you require the use of MS Office Suite or related products. There are alternatives to Visual Studio on Apple, known as Xcode, but it requires some additional steps. If you want to skip Apple’s available solutions then just stick with Microsoft’s Visual Studio. Pick Microsoft when the following applies…

  • Your partners don’t have the ability to open Microsoft documents or files.
  • You or your company already have everything on Microsoft’s products.
  • There is an absolute need to use Their products over Apples.
  • You require cheaper solutions (computers etc.).

The Downsides of Both Companies

Apple is an excellent company but they cost much more. In fact, they are outrageously more expensive to a point that makes no sense! So then you should probably just choose Microsoft, right? Not always, and definitely not by default. Microsoft has a great offering of products but when they drop one they leave you sitting out on your own. This is exactly what happened with Windows Phone. Microsoft also has a tendency to force their customers into updates on Windows. This is why many people are using Apple solutions when Microsoft starts to act like a bully. But the problem with Apple is that they view themselves as a luxury. Because they see themselves this way, their products are often overpriced. Basically, you have to choose your poison.

A Quick Note on Alternatives

In case you were wondering, yes you are not limited to Apple or Microsoft, but they are two major tech giants. However, you may choose to use alternatives out there. Even computers you can try to use Linux instead but they all have compatibility struggles to deal with, so be careful what you choose! Now getting back to the subject at hand…

Productivity is Achievable by Both

Apple is a great company if you can afford their products. Given their increased security and simplicity on their operating systems, they are a great choice. I recommend them for companies that are already established with their products. As long as you are willing to find compatible solutions, Apple products are can be great. Microsoft on the other hand is more popular, which makes them better in their own way. Compatibility in a world where most people want solutions now, is important. This is slowly changing though, as Microsoft alienates their own users with forced updates and dropped products. In the end, stick with the company that makes “YOU” the most productive. Hopefully this helps to show the differences between Microsoft and Apple products. Thanks for reading and please drop any comments below!

Originally published at on March 23, 2019.



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