“In recent years, I, like many other reviewers, have argued that Apple’s Mac OS X operating system is much better than Windows. That’s no longer true. I still give the Mac OS a slight edge because it has a much easier and cheaper upgrade path; more built-in software programs; and far less vulnerability to viruses and other malicious software, which are overwhelmingly built to run on Windows,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Now, however, it’s much more of a toss-up between the two rivals. Windows 7 beats the Mac OS in some areas, such as better previews and navigation right from the taskbar, easier organization of open windows on the desktop and touch-screen capabilities,” Mossberg reports. “So Apple will have to scramble now that the gift of a flawed Vista has been replaced with a reliable, elegant version of Windows.”

Mossberg reports, “Windows 7 is a very good, versatile operating system that should help Microsoft bury the memory of Vista and make PC users happy.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Mossberg seems so enamored of Windows 7′s upside-down and backwards copies of features that Apple’s Mac OS X began introducing 9 years ago, that he forgets it’s still Windows underneath. New installs are one thing, but Windows rots over time because it’s built on an ancient garbage dump of code. That lovely Registry is still there, for example; along with the same bloated, rickety foundation. A pig in lipstick is still a pig. And what’s ‘new’ on the surface of Microsoft’s Vista service pack, er… ‘Windows 7’ is old in Apple’s Mac OS X. And Windows still can’t run iLife, iWork, Final Cut, etc.

That said, perceptions often trump reality, so therefore Apple’s “Vista Window” is now officially closed. Selling a Mac to a Windows-only user just became a much more difficult proposition.

Some might say that Apple CEO Steve Jobs squandered the opportunity, at least partially, that Microsoft handed to Apple on a silver platter. We’d have to agree: Apple’s Mac made gains while Vista floundered, but more – we believe much more – could have been gained than was. What do you think, did Apple take all they could from the gift that was Windows Vista or did they leave a significant amount of would-be Mac users on the table?

UPDATE, Oct. 9, 11:35am EDT: Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune (crediting reader Jon T. of Cardiff, Wales) on two quotes from Mossberg’s Windows Vista and Windows 7 reviews:

“After months of testing Vista on multiple computers, new and old, I believe it is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has produced.” — Wall Street Journal, Jan. 18, 2007

“After using pre-release versions of Windows 7 for nine months, and intensively testing the final version for the past month on many different machines, I believe it is the best version of Windows Microsoft has produced.” — Wall Street Journal, Oct. 8, 2009

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Windows rots. And we don’t just mean that’s inferior to our Macs, but that also over time, in the hands of everyday users, it clogs up, slows down, and generally deteriorates. Let’s give Windows 7 the time it needs for its inherent issues to begin showing up.