Windows 11 vs macOS: Which is faster and more secure?

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
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  • Windows 11 vs macOS, which is a better operating system? Join us for an in-depth comparison to find out a precise answer to this question. 
  • Microsoft recently announced Windows 11 that comes with a fresh and streamlined user interface.
  • macOS has been known for years for its minimalistic interface and security, so it’s an operating system of choice for many.
  • Today we’ll compare Windows 11 vs Big Sur and try to find out which one ticks most boxes in terms of security and performance.
windows 11 vs macos
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Windows 11 was announced recently, and many are looking forward to it. We already compared Windows 10 and Windows 11, and we can say with certainty that Windows 11 is a major step forward.

Judging by Windows 11 build 22000.65, the new Windows looks pretty enticing with its interesting design and features, but is it better than its main competitor, macOS?

In today’s guide, we’re going to compare Windows 11 and macOS and see which is the better operating system for you.

How does Windows 11 compare to macOS?

Windows 11 vs Big Sur

User interface

Windows 11 and macOS do have many similarities, and with a new design that features rounded corners, the Windows 11 user interface resembles macOS more than ever.

However, that’s not all, the Taskbar on Windows 11 is moved to the center, similarly to the Dock on macOS, so it seems that Microsoft is taking notes from Apple when it comes to the design.

Source: Apple

Not all users like this change, and fortunately, you can move Start Menu to the left on Windows 11 if you don’t like how it looks while it’s centered.

However, the Taskbar is locked at the bottom position on Windows 11, so you won’t be able to move it to the side like in the previous versions of Windows.

The Start Menu has been decluttered and now it features your pinned apps, as well as recommended files, folders, and apps. This mostly includes any recently opened files or applications for quick access.

As you can see, no more will you see all installed apps or Live Tiles, so you can focus only on the most important tasks. However, you can still access all installed applications using the All apps button in the Start Menu.

Unlike Windows, macOS uses Launchpad that allows you to see all your installed applications and organize them into groups simply by clicking your Dock.

Source: Apple

As for customization, these options on macOS are fairly limited, while you can completely change the look of Windows 11 with free Windows 11 themes and skins.

Windows 11 brings a fresh and sleek user interface that was supposed to be a part of the canceled Windows 10X project for touchscreen devices, and we’re glad that it has made its way to desktop computers.

When it comes to Windows 11 vs Apple OS in terms of visual appearance, it all comes down to personal preference, but some users think that macOS looks more minimalistic.

Security and encryption

These are not the only similarities that Windows 11 has with macOS. Microsoft is also trying to enhance security with the use of a TPM chip, which is now a hardware requirement for Windows 11.

If you’re not familiar with TPM, we suggest that you check our TPM and Windows 11 guide for more information. Basically, the TPM chip is quite similar to Apple’s T2 chip that newer models have.

Both chips have similar features and are used for file encryption, boot protection, and storing your credentials.

macOS uses runtime protection as well as the state-of-the-art protection built-in antivirus software with execute disable features, address space layout randomization, and system integrity protection.

Lastly, macOS uses Mac App Store for downloading and installing software, thus ensuring that the software is 100% secure and that it complies with Apple’s rigorous security standards.

There’s also a Gatekeeper feature for applications downloaded from the Internet. With this feature, the applications downloaded from the Internet are scanned by Apple for any malicious code.

As you can see, macOS is a pretty closed platform, which makes it quite secure, so it’s unlikely that you’ll install any malicious applications. On top of that, macOS is a UNIX-based system, so it’s more secure in general.

On the other hand, Windows is a more open platform, and you can install third-party apps without any restrictions, which can be a security risk.

In addition, Windows has a larger userbase than macOS with 73% of the market share, resulting in more potentially malicious software and more malicious users.

On the other hand, note that macOS holds about 15.5% of the world’s market share.

Source: Statista

Windows 10 comes with built-in Windows Defender that is solid antivirus software, and we expect that Windows 11 will follow suit.

If you’re not a fan of Windows Defender, there is other antivirus software compatible with Windows 11 that you can use.

Microsoft is also changing how Microsoft Store works, which should tighten the security and make sure that you’re downloading genuine and secure apps.

Although Microsoft is making some changes to improve the security of Windows 11, most notably by adding the TPM chip requirement, we still feel like the macOS is a more secure operating system.

It’s not that Windows 11 is insecure, it’s perfectly secure as long as you have good antivirus software and you remain vigilant while browsing the web.

In regards to security and the whole Windows 11 vs Apple OS debate, macOS is a much more closed system that relies heavily on App Store for application distribution, we feel that it’s more secure at the moment.

Multitasking and window snapping

Windows 11 also brings new multitasking options in form of Snap Layouts and Snap Groups. The first feature allows you to easily arrange windows on your screen using one of six available layouts.

Snap Groups memorizes your snap layouts, allowing you to easily go back to the applications that you have available in your Snap layout.

On the other hand, macOS is limited just to two apps side by side, so there are no different layouts to choose from.

Source: Apple

Windows 11 brings improvements in terms of docking, which makes it better when using multiple monitors. The system will now minimize windows that were on the second display once you disconnect it.

However, the windows will be automatically restored as soon as you connect an additional display, allowing you to continue exactly where you left off.

When comparing Windows 11 vs Big Sur in terms of multitasking, we feel that Windows 11 is far superior with its snap layouts and snap groups features.

Android/iOS integration

Starting from macOS Big Sur, Macs can run iOS apps natively. This means that you can run almost any iOS app on your Mac alongside your regular apps.

However, there’s a caveat, and in order to run iOS apps natively, you’ll need to have a Mac with an Apple M1 chip. We wrote in-depth about iOS apps on Mac in our how to install iOS apps on the macOS guide, so be sure to check it out.

With Windows 11 users will be able to finally run Android apps natively in Windows. To achieve this, Microsoft is using Intel Bridge technology, but Android apps should work with AMD processors as well.

Source: Microsoft

This leads many uses to ask the question what will happen to Android emulators on Windows 11, but we’re certain that Android emulators will continue to exist on Windows 11 without too many problems.

Android apps will be available for download from using the Microsoft Store, but Microsoft is using Amazon App Store to bring them to PC.

Many users aren’t fans of this choice, since Amazon App Store has less app variety when compared to Google Play, so it’s possible that you won’t be able to find some of your favorite apps.

In addition, Google is introducing Android App Bundles that could change the way how we run Android apps, and this can lead to compatibility issues with Android apps on Windows 11 in the future.

Nevertheless, this is an exciting feature, and we can’t wait to try it out, but at the moment, macOS integration with iOS apps seems more streamlined with better compatibility.

App Store

Windows 11 Store also went through some changes and now it brings a more streamlined interface allowing you to easily access games, apps, and movies from the sidebar.

Another big change is that Microsoft Store will now be able to host any type of app including Win32, Android, .NET, Universal apps, Xamarin, Electron, React Native, Java, and Progressive Web Apps.

Moreover, the new store should be able to handle installing the applications from the browser, meaning that the Microsoft Store will download and install your applications automatically in the background.

This is a huge improvement that makes the Microsoft Store more consistent and closer to the Apple Store. For more information, be sure to check our first look at the Microsoft Store in Windows 11.

App Store on macOS has been an integral part of Apple’s ecosystem, and it’s used to distribute apps across both macOS and iOS platforms.

It has around 1.8 million apps currently, and Apple is working constantly to ensure that 100% of the apps on their store and secure and malware-free.

In addition, each app needs to be authorized by you to access certain data, so you can always make sure that apps have only the necessary permissions.

Apple enforces strict security standards and millions of apps have been rejected because they aren’t adhering to privacy, content, or compatibly policy that is enforced by Apple.

In the Windows 11 vs Big Sur app distribution debate, we have to admit that Apple has created a universal and highly secure method for application distribution.

Microsoft is doing the same with the revamp of Microsoft Store, and we’re still looking to see how this will work in practice, but we’re certain that Microsoft will enforce the highest security standards for its app store.

Gaming

When it comes to gaming, Windows is an absolute champion compared to macOS, without a doubt. Macs aren’t optimized for gaming, so they can’t compete with Windows PCs.

However, Macs can run certain games, but the performance and compatibility are far superior on the PC platform.

Windows 11 brings many new features for gaming, including DirectX 12 support, Auto HDR, and the DirectStorage feature for faster game loading.

As for gaming improvements, users can now purchase Xbox Game Pass for Windows 11. This will give them access to various games and games developed by Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda on the launch day.

There’s also an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, allowing you to enjoy Xbox Cloud Gaming from your browser, even on low-end PCs.

Microsoft has proven once again that Windows is a supreme gaming platform, and comparing Windows 11 vs Apple OS in terms of gaming wouldn’t even be fair.

Touchscreen functionality

Mac devices offer no support for touchscreen functionality, and instead, they are utilizing only touchpad gestures.

On the other hand, the Windows platform had support for touchscreens since Windows 8, and this is going to be the case with Windows 11 as well.

The new interface is optimized for touchscreen devices, and Windows 11 brings a couple of new touchscreen gestures, an improved touchscreen keyboard, and haptic feedback for pens in near future.

Microsoft is focusing heavily on improving the touchscreen functionality, and Windows 11 will continue that trend.

Widgets

Widgets are a new addition to Windows 11, and they are intended as a replacement for Live Tiles. The widgets have their panel and they can be accessed from the Taskbar or with a keyboard shortcut.

Of course, you can arrange, move or disable Windows 11 widgets, any way you want. In our opinion, widgets work better than Live Tiles since they won’t be cluttering the Start Menu anymore.

In macOS, widgets are grouped with notifications, which can sometimes create clutter. On the other hand, Windows 11 keeps widgets and notifications separate, with each having its own pane.

Source: Apple

Overall, macOS widgets look sleek and work great, and there’s a wide array of third-party widgets to choose from allowing you to see all sorts of useful information at a glance.

If we had to pin Windows 11 vs Big Sur and compare the widgets we’d say that both systems have a lot of offer in terms of widgets, and the widgets on both Windows and macOS are useful and simple to use.

Communication

Windows 11 will come with Microsoft Teams built-an allowing the users to easily communicate and collaborate.

Microsoft Teams allows users to chat, and make video or audio calls with ease. Of course, group calls are fully supported.

Source: Microsoft

Collaboration is another huge component of Microsoft Teams, and it allows users to work on files together using Microsoft Office.

macOS relies on FaceTime as the primary means of communication with a focus on group calls. The software works alongside various apps, so you can make video calls right from Safari or Calendar.

Source: Apple

Sadly, FaceTime isn’t focused on collaboration, so besides video chat, there’s no option to collaborate on files, which makes Microsoft Teams a better choice in our opinion.

Windows 11 vs macOS Monterey

macOS Monterey will bring improved focus mode, so you can choose to see notifications only from the allowed apps.

Windows already has such a feature, and we expect it to make its way onto Windows 11 as well. However, Focus mode on macOS Monterey will have presets, so you can switch between them easily.

Source: Apple

To top it off, the Focus mode will sync with all devices, which is something that’s not available for Windows.

macOS Monterey will also bring a Quick Note feature that will allow you to make short notes and save them. Of course, you’ll be able to collaborate on your notes with others and tag your notes accordingly.

Source: Apple

The new version of macOS will allow you to seamlessly pair and work between devices, so you’ll be able to control your iOS device from your Mac computer.

Another great feature is the Live Text that will allow recognize text from images and allow you to copy it seamlessly.

macOS Monterey also plans to bring some changes to FaceTime such as the ability to enjoy multimedia together or share their screens with the SharePlay feature.

The call quality will be improved thanks to the spatial audio and improved voice isolation. FaceTime will also allow you to schedule and share calls with a web link in macOS Monterey.

Lastly, you’ll be able to use FaceTime to communicate with Windows and Android users as long as they have a supported web browser.

Safari went through some changes, and it now comes with a streamlined look with floating tabs that take less space. In addition, you’ll be able to create tab groups and access them on any Apple device.

Source: Apple

In terms of looks, Windows 11 is similar to macOS Monterey, and it has a couple of features that work better than the macOS Monterey counterparts.

On the other hand, Monterey brings a lot of new features that will work great across Apple’s ecosystem and in sync with iOS devices.

We can’t really compare Windows 11 vs macOS Monterey because there are many similarities with Big Sur, so everything we said about Big Sur applies to macOS Monterey.

Windows 11 vs iOS

Microsoft has no plans to bring Windows 11 to smartphones, but it seems that the developers managed to get Windows 11 running on mobile phones.

It seems that Windows 11 works better on mobile phones than expected, even though it’s designed only for tablets and hybrid devices.

Overall, it’s pretty exciting to see that developers managed to get Windows 11 to run on the old Microsoft Lumia 950 XL phone.

However, comparing Windows 11 vs iOS wouldn’t be fair, since this is just a project of a single Windows enthusiast and not intended for everyday use, and Microsoft has no plans to bring Windows 11 to mobile phones.

What are the best Windows 11 ready laptops?

As long as your device has a compatible CPU and a TPM chip, you should be able to run Windows 11 without any problems.

However, if you’re looking for a laptop that can run Windows 11 out of the box, be sure to consider these Windows 11-ready laptops.

Why is macOS better than Windows?

Many users prefer macOS because it’s more secure than Windows, and Apple is pretty rigid with its software policy, so chances of downloading malicious software from the Apple App Store are slim to none.

Some users prefer the interface since it feels more streamlined than on Windows. However, you can make Windows look like macOS with some tweaking if you want.

macOS is also better optimized since Apple is using only specific hardware, so each software is thoroughly tested and optimized for maximum performance on macOS.

Can I run Windows 11 on macOS?

Yes, you can run Windows on macOS, and we already wrote a guide on how to install Windows on macOS using the Boot Camp feature on macOS.

If you’re not a fan of Boot Camp, you can always use PC emulation software on your Mac, but you might not get the same performance as with Boot Camp.

Closing thoughts on Windows 11 and macOS

Which one is better, Windows 11 or macOS? The two systems are beginning to look quite similar with the interface revamp that Windows 11 will bring.

In terms of functionality, window snapping is far better on Windows 11, and the widget section is separated from notifications, which we liked. And as for gaming, there’s no doubt, Windows 11 is far superior to macOS in that regard.

On the other hand, macOS has seamless integration with other Apple devices and it has a fair share of unique features that we would like to see in Windows someday.

In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference and what do you plan to use your computer for, and if you plan to use it alongside iOS devices.

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