The longstanding debate of whether to choose a Windows or Mac computer to run Adobe Creative Cloud is less important than it used to be. With advances in technology, what matters most when choosing a computer is that it has the right specifications and hardware, not what brand it is.

But, as with most things, there’s history in play for the Windows vs. Mac debate. Both have their own strengths, and these days, both can run the Adobe programs well if they meet or exceed the requirements set out by Adobe.

A Short History on the Windows or Mac Debate

When Adobe Illustrator, then called Illustrator 88, was released in 1986, it was designed on and for a Mac computer. At the time, the Mac was the only computer with a good enough color display and strong enough operating system to run the new program.

Photoshop soon followed in 1990 as an Adobe program available exclusively for Mac. It wasn’t until 1993 that it became available for Windows, and even then, the quality wasn’t as high as it was on Macs. Designers were using Mac with Adobe programs long before they were using them on Windows, and many people continued to prefer it because of the quality.

In the years since, technology has grown and evolved. The quality has become much closer between the operating systems. These days, you can build or customize a Windows computer that’s equally as or even more powerful than what comes standard in a Mac.

Adobe has also gone through different packaging for its products. Although its programs were initially designed on and for Macs, Adobe transitioned to developing programs for both operating systems fairly early on. Since the late 90s, Adobe has been developing the apps for Windows and Mac side-by-side.

Both Have Strengths

Because of the longstanding Mac tradition, some designers prefer to work exclusively with Apple products. Some like the user-friendly interface and are used to it, and some like the seamless integration between Apple technology.

One advantage with Mac computers is that they typically use high-end hardware right out of the box, which means you don’t necessarily have to worry about knowing how to troubleshoot. You can simply install the programs and begin work.

With the tight integration between Apple technology, it’s easy to move from one device to another within the Adobe Creative Cloud. There are even some apps and features designed specifically for Apple products such as iPads.

On the other hand, many feel Windows is more affordable for the same quality goods. You have the ability to customize the hardware and generally have more choices to pick from with Windows products, often for less than you might pay for a Mac.

Some designers also find it beneficial to use Windows computers because there are more storage options. For photographers or designers who need consistently top-of-the-line graphics and significant amounts of storage, it’s easier to switch graphics cards and hard drives on Windows than it is on a Mac because they’re more customizable to begin with.

Within the Adobe programs, the interface is virtually the same, and as long as your hardware meets or exceeds the specs Adobe puts out for their programs, it’s not likely you’d be able to tell a significant difference simply because you’re using a Windows PC. Some designers even use both in their workflows.


For a long time, Mac was the computer of choice for designers and Adobe users because it was the only choice. Even when Windows was introduced as a contender, the quality wasn’t as strong for quite some time. Macs have been consistently producing high-quality work since the Adobe software was first released in the 80s.

However, technology has come a long way since then. Windows now produces excellent quality products that rival Mac capabilities. As long as you know what you need, the brand of computer you buy to use Adobe Creative Cloud products doesn’t really matter anymore.

The biggest differences are the user experience and how comfortable you are using the operating system, as well as some cosmetic features. Some people prefer Macs because they produce sleek and beautiful technology that’s full of powerful, high-end hardware. Others prefer Windows because they find you can get more “bang for your buck” and connect more easily with other Windows users, who make up a majority of the business world.

The moral of the story is that it’s your choice. Whatever makes you comfortable and has the hardware to support the Adobe Creative Cloud programs, which are pretty hefty, is the one you should pick.