General Question

guywithanaccountnow's avatar

Is most software designed for Windows? Is it hard for Mac users to find what they need?

Asked by guywithanaccountnow (313 points ) July 31st, 2012

How hard is it, generally, to find a Mac alternative to a program written for Windows? Is it very uncommon for a program to be designed for both Mac and PC? Are mac users ever stuck with the fact that they just can’t do things that require certain software on their computer because it’s not a PC? And if so, how often are they stuck like that?
These could be totally inaccurate impressions. I don’t know, because I’ve never had a mac. I’m thinking about getting one, though, so I need to know these things.

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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Not hard at all.

I use Word, Excel, VLC, Firefox, and Cinema4D and tons of other software on my Mac. I have never missed a piece of Windows only software.

_Whitetigress's avatar

For school I use Microsoft Word for Mac. In the studio dept. In SDSU most graphic design/multi media related editing software is run through Mac and generally over all with Apple products. I can’t use Internet Explorer however.

“Are mac users ever stuck with the fact that they just can’t do things that require certain software on their computer because it’s not a PC?”

My answer would be yes. I can’t run Fruity Loops a Digital Audio Workstation. But I can flash Windows OS on my MacBookPro but I choose not to. I probably should though. I feel there are more powerful drummachines available for non Apple OS.

FrankStitt's avatar

I agree, very easy. There are times when apps can be found for mac, but no alternatives are available for Windows. I have never been unable to find necessary software for my mac. Ableton is a powerful alternative for fruity loops (btw.)

Mariah's avatar

Increasingly, programs are being made for both Windows and Mac. My only warning would be if you’re going into a STEM field. My college provides a lot of technical software for free on their website, and the vast majority are for Windows only. Though I’m not positive whether that’s because of the way my college distributes it or if it’s because the software itself is only designed for Windows.

I have also heard that you shouldn’t get a Mac if you’re a gamer, although that may be changing in recent years.

Patton's avatar

I’ve never had a problem finding the same or comparable (or even better) software for Mac.

@_Whitetigress Digital Audio is a company, digital audio is a format. Capitalization is important. In any case, a quick Google search suggests that Fruity Loops is available for Mac or has Mac solutions, though I can’t vouch for that. The only person I know who is into recording has his entire studio run through a Mac, though, and he’s got the money to buy whatever he wants plus the education to know what to get. So there must be comparable or superior recording software available for Mac if that’s what he bought.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@Patton Digital Audio Workstation also known as (DAW). And no Fruity Loops doesn’t run on any Apple OS. However like I mentioned I could run windows on my MacBookPro but I don’t want to run two Operating Systems on the same machine. I’ve touched, Fruity Loops, Ableton, Hydrogen, Logic Pro, GarageBand, Reason, Audacity & Pro Tools. Of them, the smoothness and playability of the drummachine on Fruity Loops was 10/10.

Patton's avatar

@_Whitetigress It’s still not a proper noun. And like I said, I was just doing a Google search and saw some videos giving workarounds for Fruity Loops on Mac. I said quite specifically that I couldn’t vouch for them. I was just letting you know if you wanted to look them up. Anyway, you’re never going to get 10/10 across the board. If the drum machine is really that important to you, stick with what you’ve got, I guess. But one instance doesn’t justify the statement “there are more powerful drummachines [notice the plural] available for non Apple OS.”

Crashsequence2012's avatar

Apple is the most profitable company in the world now.

Just give them time.

phaedryx's avatar

What are things you do now with a PC? I’m sure we could find you the same or equivalent software for a mac. The only drawback is there are more games that are windows only, but you can always dual-boot windows or use parallels or fusion, so not a big deal.

serenityNOW's avatar

I’ve been running Windows alongside Macs for quite a long while. Funny enough, my “work” PC is my iMac. I usually keep it booted into Windows 7, about half the time, and that’s just to check compatibility of web pages I design. I think with Mac (and I’ll probably get some flack for this), it’s definitely quality versus quantity. Although I use mainstream programs like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, which are the same (albeit with different keyboard commands) on both platforms, I find a lot of the Mac programs are designed nicely, and with more care than most Windows applications. That’s entirely subjective though.
Apple’s built-in apps are going more in a skeuomorphic direction, which I personally like very much, but some people find it appalling. Think of an address book that looks like an old paper Address Book. Neat. Yes, I’d add a picture, but it took me long enough just figuring out how to do the link above.
Getting back to your question, though, depending on you needs, there is most definitely alternatives on the Mac. If you need suggestions/alternatives, I can help you out.

SU_ZANN's avatar

Go into an Apple store and talk to their staff. They are not on commission there and are usually very helpful. In the last year or so Apple added an “APP” store. It’s pretty cool. More and more new software daily.

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