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OS showdown: OS X 10.11 El Capitan vs Windows 10

Microsoft's Windows 10 is coming at the end of next month and brings with it a whole new set of features, many of them iterations on Windows 8.1.

Techradar|
Updated: Jun 22, 2015, 02.47 PM IST
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Microsoft's Windows 10 is coming at the end of next month and brings with it a whole new set of features, many of them iterations on Windows 8.1.
Microsoft's Windows 10 is coming at the end of next month and brings with it a whole new set of features, many of them iterations on Windows 8.1.
By Max Slater-Robins

Apple showed off its latest computer operating system, OS X 10.11 "El Capitan," at WWDC and as predicted it was an iterative upgrade, based around improving the core features of OS X and providing a better experience to users. Just like iOS 9, El Capitan takes the essentials of OS X - Safari, desktop management, Spotlight - and makes them better, tweaking the interface or reworking it slightly.

Microsoft's Windows 10 is coming at the end of next month and brings with it a whole new set of features, many of them iterations on Windows 8.1. Both new operating systems will be available for free to those who have already got OS X 10.10 or Windows 8 (both have support that extends even further back from this) and the general theme of improvement runs through both.

In this article, we are going to gauge how El Capitan's new features stack up against Windows 10.

Pin tabs in Safari

Apple's WWDC keynote spent a fair amount of time talking about improvements to Safari. While many users have switched over to Chrome, the Mac client is traditionally a battery killer and the redesign that OS X 10.10 Yosemite introduced won back support.

One of the key features that Apple introduced with El Capitan is the ability to "pin" tabs, making for quick and easy access. The bookmark system of the current incarnation of Safari (version 8) is a little lacklustre and so it's good to see Apple is thinking this through.

Windows 10 introduces a much needed change, ousting Internet Explorer and replacing it with Microsoft Edge, a new and fresh browser that attempts to shake off the reputation of IE. We know relatively little about Edge as it is still in the development stage but it doesn't seem to have any way to pin a tab.

Apple is a development cycle ahead of Microsoft in terms of releasing a new browser and so it wouldn't be unreasonable to see pinned tabs being "borrowed" by Redmond and implemented in a later version of the software.

Split screen desktop

One of the main updates to OS X comes in the form of windows management, an area that Microsoft has traditionally been strong in. Many of those watching the show noted the similarity between Windows' "snap" window mode and Apple's new Split View. Dragging a window to one side of the screen can split space down the middle in El Capitan, showing two applications side by side.

With every update there is a back and forth between Windows fans and Apple fans about who has implemented the others' features - Microsoft introduced a new multi-desktop mode recently, reminiscent of Apple's Mission Control - and it's pleasant to see that each company respects the other enough to borrow ideas, especially as the net gain is for the user.

Apple also unveiled a cleaner Mission Control which makes it easier to manage windows and apps, especially with multiple applications open at once.

Better Notes app

Note taking is one of Microsoft's fortes, especially with the announcement of the Surface and its pen accessory. OneNote has taken a far bigger role in the makeup of Windows, becoming almost a "mini Word" in terms of its abilities. Meanwhile, Evernote has attracted millions of users across multiple platforms by offering well designed, easy to use apps and services for free, with more available if you pay a subscription.

Apple has evidently seen this and has chosen to beef up its note taking offerings, offering a revamp of Notes in El Capitan. Notes can now contain images, videos, links, checklists and so on, and can sync across all Apple devices seamlessly (or so the theory goes) via iCloud.

Unlike OneNote and Evernote, Notes is still very much aimed at a consumer audience who don't want to write a book on the service (as Nicolas Carlson of Business Insider did with Evernote). The new checklists feature will be incredibly useful, if not damning for smaller apps, such as Clear.

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