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Windows 11 vs macOS Monterey — 6 ways Microsoft already wins

Windows 11 vs macOS Monterey
(Image credit: Microsoft/Apple)

As a Mac user it’s hard for me to look at Windows 11 and not be jealous. Just look at what Microsoft has unveiled here. The multitasking runs circles around macOS Monterey, and I prefer the new Start menu and taskbar to the macOS dock. 

The docking features of Windows 11 also looks superior to macOS, and I like Microsoft’s more flexible approach to widgets. And while the Windows Store has been a mess up until now, the addition of Android apps in Windows 11 looks like a big deal.

Here are 5 ways Windows 11 beats the latest macOS Monterey based on the features announced thus far.

Windows 11 Snap Layouts beats macOS multitasking

Windows 11 Snap Layouts

(Image credit: Microsoft)

With macOS you can work with two apps side by side — and that’s it. Windows 11 introduces a new Snap Layouts feature that lets you run up to three apps side by side and choose from a bunch of other layouts, such as a 2x2 grid for four apps or on on the left and two on the right.

You can also create Snap Groups in Windows 11 that you can park right in the taskbar, so you can pick up right where you left off after you answer that notification. 

Windows 11 touch support gets better

windows 11 widgets

(Image credit: Microsoft)

While Apple refuses to bring touch to the Mac and keeps pushing the iPad Pro, the best 2-in-1 laptops running Windows 11 will get improved touch support. You’ll see more space between the icons, larger touch targets and visual cues for sizing and moving windows. The onscreen keyboard is getting better, too. 

Windows 11 gaming wipes the floor with Macs

windows 11 games

(Image credit: Microsoft)

In addition to having easy access to the awesome Xbox Game Pass, Windows 11 is offering a few key gaming upgrades that will take the best titles to the next level. DirectX 12 support brings better high-frame rate gaming, while Auto HDR will deliver better visuals in a wide range of games.

In addition, if you have a PC that supports DirectStorage, you should enjoy much faster game load times. (Think Xbox Series X in PC form.) macOS is still miles behind on gaming, with so many fewer titles than Windows.

Windows 11 offers a smarter way to dock

windows 11 docking

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Whether you’re working from home and you move from room to room or you’re in an office setting, many of us are constantly docking and undocking. But it can take a bit to spring back into action. Windows 11 has a new docking experience that I wish macOS had. 

If you unplug a laptop from a dock to move rooms, the windows that were on your monitor will minimize in Windows 11. When you come back and then re-connect to a dock, all of your Windows will re-appear the way they were before.

Windows 11 has a more open App Store

Windows 11 android apps

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Store has not been the best during the Windows 10 years, but it’s getting a lot better with Windows 11, with a store that’s a lot more open than macOS’ walled garden. For example, Microsoft is letting developers use their own commerce engines, like Adobe, so it’s not going to force devs into giving Microsoft a cut.

In addition, Android apps are coming to the Windows Store, which on paper is good. However, you’ll be limited to the options in the Amazon App Store. You may be able to sideload apps in Windows 11, but we wouldn't recommend it. We’ll have to see how good the selection is come this fall, and how good the implementation is.

Chat from Microsoft Teams vs FaceTime

windows 11 teams

(Image credit: Microsoft)

FaceTime on macOS Monterey looks a lot cooler than the new Chat from Microsoft Teams, which is built into Windows 11. That’s because FaceTime has a new SharePlay feature that lets you watch moves and shows with friends or listen to music. But if you’re on Android or Windows, you can only be seen and heard through a web link, as there’s no dedicated FaceTime app for those platforms — which means they won't get SharePlay. Chat with Microsoft Teams will be available on Windows, Android and iOS. 

Bottom line

There's lots of things that I like about macOS better than Windows. AirDrop continues to be one of my favorite features, and I like that my messages from iPhone automatically appear on the desktop (something only Android owners could do on Windows). In addition, macOS updates are generally much smoother, whereas Windows 10 has had all kinds of problems, several of which have resulted in severe bugs or blue screens of death. Microsoft says Windows Updates will improve in Windows 11, and we'll wait to se that when it happens.

macOS Monterey, launching this fall, promises several other welcome upgrades. These include a much improved FaceTime, a redesigned Safari with handy Tab groups, Quick Notes and more seamless integration with the iPad with Universal Control. But if you're in the Windows camp — or you're thinking about switching — Windows 11 has macOS beat in several ways at this early stage.

Correction: The app store section of this article incorrectly stated the Apple store. It should have said Microsoft's Windows store. We regret the error. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • Erichowe
    This is total click bait and contains so many inaccuracies. It's amazing that a respectable site has stooped to these kinds of practices to get web traffic.

    I'm now blocking this site from my newsfeed. I suggest you do the same!
    Reply
  • ŽEĐ-PV
    Admittedly very clickbaity, yes.. but inaccurate I wouldn't say so.

    Can you point out the inaccuracies for me please?

    The one things I do see however is the absolute horrendous spell checking.

    It's like the guy wrote this in a coke fueled rush 5 minutes after its deadline.
    Reply
  • aarnott
    One inaccuracy is an obvious mistake:

    Apple is letting developers use their own commerce engines, like Adobe, so it’s not going to force devs into giving Microsoft a cut.

    The author has that backwards. It's Apple that forces app developers to give Apple a cut. It's Microsoft that allows apps/games to use their own commerce engine and give Microsoft 0%.
    Reply
  • Skaldebane
    You said it, it's a mistake. It's clearly not intended, and pointing it out to the author respectfully would be much better than shouting at them.
    Reply
  • Skaldebane
    admin said:
    Windows 11 looks so good that it make Mac users jealous. Here's where Microsoft wins.

    Windows 11 — here’s 6 ways it beats macOS : Read more

    In this paragraph,

    The Microsoft Store has been not been the best during the Windows 10 year, but it’s getting a lot better with Windows 11, with a store that’s a lot more open than macOS’ walled garden. For example, Apple is letting developers use their own commerce engines, like Adobe, so it’s not going to force devs into giving Microsoft a cut.

    There are two errors. "During the Windows 10 year" should be "years", and "Apple is letting..." should be "Microsoft is letting...".
    Otherwise, great article. I still use all of macOS, Windows, and Linux, and they all shine in different ways.
    Reply
  • Mark Spoonauer
    ŽEĐ-PV said:
    Admittedly very clickbaity, yes.. but inaccurate I wouldn't say so.

    Can you point out the inaccuracies for me please?

    The one things I do see however is the absolute horrendous spell checking.

    It's like the guy wrote this in a coke fueled rush 5 minutes after its deadline.
    Apologies here for the typos and errors. I have fixed and thanks for pointing those out.
    Reply
  • Mark Spoonauer
    Skaldebane said:
    You said it, it's a mistake. It's clearly not intended, and pointing it out to the author respectfully would be much better than shouting at them.
    Thank you. This has been fixed
    Reply
  • A_P
    With macOS you can work with two apps side by side — and that’s it.

    Really? You can open any number of windows and arrange them any way you want.

    You can also create Snap Groups in Windows 11 that you can park right in the taskbar

    Does it beat having a separate desktops for different tasks that you can switch with 4-finger swipe?

    Windows 11 touch support gets better

    So something macOS never had became better. Sure, if touch is your thing you must be frustrated with macOS. But not because of Win11. If you need it, you had to jump ship a long time ago, but if you still on macOS any improvement to touch ion Windows are irrelevant.

    Windows 11 gaming wipes the floor with Macs

    Again, Mac was never a game computer, everybody knows that. It's like complaining that that Prius is dead because Jeep became even more powerful.

    If you unplug a laptop from a dock to move rooms

    Docking station ($300) with a monitor ($200), keyboard ($50), mouse ($50) in a study, bedroom, dining room, porch? Come on. Besides, what if monitors are of different resolution? I do dock my Mac Book to two different monitors (UW and HD), BTW, don't experience any problems with finding my windows.

    Windows 11 has a more open App Store

    i would understand if you were complaining about iOS app store. But didn't it ever occurred to you you don't need ANY app store on Mac at all?

    Chat from Microsoft Teams vs FaceTime

    Frankly, I have to use Teams for work. And it's a terrible thing. But in any case, if you want Teams, you have it on Mac right now. So what to be jealous about, that in Win11 it comes preinstalled? That's it?
    Reply