UK newspaper, The Times, has pitted a Mac and a Windows PC in a head-to-head battle.

Reporters Nigel Kendall – a "Mac user who has been spoiled by simplicity for years", and PC user Stuart Miles – "a Windows-based PC man proud to say that my machine is always in pieces", swapped computers for a week, and the Mac was the clear favourite.

Kendall says his first encounter with the PC was a "heart-stopping experience" and that he had the feeling that "something nasty and utterly incomprehensible is lurking just below the surface."

He was also frustrated by the lack of functions: "Why do the applications always quit when you close a window? Why can’t the system display Japanese and Russian properly? Why do the bubble messages designed to help irritate me so much?"

"After a week with a Windows machine I get the feeling that this system is designed by people who know a lot about computers. Macs, on the other hand, seem to be designed by people who know a lot about people," he concluded.

Three hours into using the Mac, PC user Miles admits, "I started to wonder if I should have made the change years ago".

"The well-styled hardware has a wow factor out of the box (even the box has wow factor), while the oh-so pretty user interface, with its rounded corners, 3D rotating graphics and smooth dissolves, gives you a feeling of security."

As for compatibility, Miles found getting the Mac to talk to his home PC was "simple". This point is even more astounding when he notes that is something even his Windows laptop struggles with.

And even the Mac community gets the thumbs up: "Once logged on to the Internet the community seemed to be a lot friendlier, proud of their select little group, and I suppose to many this is what owning a Mac is all about."

His only criticism was the usual complaint that "the choice of games is extremely poor."