PC or “personal computer”, came into use in the early 1970s, referring to any microcomputer, as opposed to a mainframe. Early Apple products were called personal computers too. In 1980, 50 percent of PC sales were Apple computers, according a PBS documentary, “Triumph of the Nerds.” Eventually, due to the popularity of the original IBM PCs, the term personal computer came to mean only home computers that were compatible with the IBM PC specifications, unlike Apples and Macs. Since 2006, there are fewer differences between Macs and PCs, but they are still mostly incompatible.
Supported Operating Systems - You can install many different operating systems on a PC, including Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris. Apple computers historically only supported the Macintosh Operating System due to the use of the PowerPC processor, although other operating systems were ported to the Mac, with varying levels of success. When Apple began using an Intel processor, it became easier to install Windows and Linux on a Mac computer. Mac OS X is designed to work closely with Apple hardware. Although it is possible to install the Mac OS X operating system on a PC, it only works on a limited selection of PC hardware.
Supported Applications - Software applications are designed to run on specific operating systems, not specific hardware. There are applications that run solely on Windows, and others that run solely on Mac OS X. However, many mainstream software applications, like Apple iTunes and Microsoft Office, have versions for both Mac and Windows PCs.
Cost - Macs are typically more expensive than PCs. This is because Macs are only sold only by Apple and there is a limited number of hardware devices that are compatible with the computers. PCs are sold by multiple companies, such as Dell, HP and Toshiba. Consumers have the option to shop around for the best price, and PC manufacturers compete to keep the prices low. You can also build your own PC using various manufacturers' hardware. PCs, therefore, come in a wide range of prices from very low to very high.
Intended Audience - PCs are intended to be used by many types of consumers. The wide range of prices and operating systems supported allow them to be used by casual home users, programmers, gamers and businesses. Historically, Macs were used by a smaller subset of consumers. Due to their hardware capabilities and graphics-centric OS interface, they were popular in desktop publishing and with graphic artists and musicians. Again, this line has blurred since 2006. Recent Macs and PCs are used in a variety of applications.