When I read about these weather phenomena, I find that both of them depict the same thing, and have the same actions to avoid. So why are they differentiated?

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    $\begingroup$ Because the microburst shaft of air hits the ground and spreads out in all directions, if you are descending toward it close to the ground you will at some point hit the outflowing air and experience an "increasing performance" shear (airspeed rise) as you descend into the outflow. A sudden increase in airspeed while descending in the vicinity of a thunderstorm is a huge warning sign to get ready for fun as you fly into the shaft itself. This is one of the things that triggers windshear warning systems on airliners. $\endgroup$ – John K Oct 9 '18 at 18:55

A microburst is generally an intense down draft while wind shear can occur in any direction. It might be safe to say that a microburst is windshear but not all windshear is a microburst. From your linked pages

A microburst is intense small-scale downdraft produced by a thunderstorm or rain shower.


Windshear is any rapid change in wind direction and/or speed.

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  • $\begingroup$ ... and/or speed with altitude. $\endgroup$ – John K Oct 9 '18 at 18:51

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