Why can't they just get along?

Microsoft's PC and Apple's Mac may collectively dominate the American computer market, but that doesn't mean their reign is collaborative. Those who use both models to regularly transfer information are aware of the compatibility problems that exist between the two platforms, but what these users may not know is that a computer repair expert is not necessarily needed to fix these problems.

Windows software is compatible with many hardware platforms, while Apple software is only compatible with its own hardware. A 2009 NPD Group study found that 12 percent of computer-owning households have a Mac, which suggests that compatibility issues are more likely to affect Mac users. Furthermore, 85 percent of Mac users also own a PC, so they need to be more vigilant in transferring information.

Some software, such as Microsoft Office, is available across both platforms, which helps to alleviate some of the headaches that result from compatibility issues. If compatibility is a problem, computer users should always save files in the oldest possible format before sending them. For example, a user with the most up-to-date version of Microsoft Word for PC should save files they wish to send as ".doc" in order to ensure maximum compatibility.

Most programs will give users the option to save in multiple formats, so users should find one that both they and their recipient can access. File types (i.e. .doc) can be found following the title of the file. Most files can also be saved in Portable Document Format (PDF), which can be viewed, but generally not edited, by any user with a PDF reader program. Adobe Reader, one such program, is also free to download.

Users still experiencing difficulties should contact a Virginia computer repair shop for assistance.