Recently, Microsoft opened a store in the Danbury Fair mall, in close proximity to the Apple store (I guess that is marketing 101 as fast food, furniture stores and auto dealers all seem to do the same thing!) A dear friend of mine was in the market to replace her 10-year-old Windows machine, so this was the perfect opportunity to check out both the new Macs and PC’s!

We started at the Apple store. As usual it was buzzing with people. We started by looking at the Macbook Pro’s. Interestingly enough, they are starting to phase out the CD/DVD drive. I guess this makes sense, as more and more we are moving to the cloud, and many programs are Internet downloads. The sales associate, was knowledgeable and gave my friend several options, including buying a desktop and iPad. We briefly looked at the new retina display Macs, I’m not sure it is worth several hundred more in price.

With her head spinning, we went to the Microsoft store. There were significantly fewer people, but the store was also larger. There were ample number of laptops, desktops and tablets. They had stools at the display machines – so you didn’t have to stand! I was surprised that they did not have any machines demoing Windows 8, since there has been a beta version available for a while now.

The sales associate did inform us that all machines sold at the store have already been “decrapified.” Yes, that is a real term! Most PC’s come bloated with trial programs and other nonsense that there is actually a program called “Decrapify” that techs use to streamline the running of PC’s.

The baseline price for the PC’s was lower, but you have to make sure you are getting all the features you need, including camera, usb ports etc.

After trying both, my friend was leaning toward the Mac because of the receptiveness of the track pad, ease of use and built in features. As an aside – both have new operating systems being released – if you buy a Mac, you can upgrade for free, if you buy a PC, you need to pay $14.99.

If you are in the market for a new computer – I would be interested to know which way you are leaning!