Apple’s Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ vs. Microsoft’s Windows ‘Longhorn’

“After years of relative quiet, both Microsoft and Apple are frenetically working on major new upgrades to the base software that run the personal computers of tens of millions of business and consumer users. Microsoft is using the code name Longhorn to refer to its next upgrade to the Windows operating system. Apple, keeping the theme of naming its operating system software after big and fast cats, calls its next release Tiger,” Mike Wendland writes for The Detroit Free Press. “We’ll see Tiger in stores this year — perhaps within a few weeks. Longhorn, as is typical of Microsoft, has been delayed a couple of times and is now not expected until mid-2006.”

“Apple won’t confirm reports that Tiger is now pretty much complete. But its worldwide developers conference June 1-10 in San Francisco is expected to focus almost entirely on Tiger. And with Chairman Steve Jobs doing the keynote speech, speculation is strong that he will announce its public release at that time,” Wendland writes. “Analysts are predicting a halo effect for Tiger, with the system basking in the stunning popularity of the iPod and the slew of new products Apple has been releasing, like its $499 Mac mini.”

“Unlike Microsoft, Apple is talking up Tiger’s more than 100 new features big-time. The new operating system will come with something called Spotlight, which will allow any file or document on the hard drive to be instantly found, much as a user does a Web search,” Wendland writes. “Tiger has speed improvements, networking enhancements and new video display and editing features, too. With around 5 percent of the personal computer marketplace, Apple has nowhere to go but up, and Tiger — capitalizing on the company’s new hip status — is going to generate a lot of buzz. Longhorn, meanwhile, will hit a marketplace already dominated by Windows. Microsoft is going to have to dig into its very deep pockets to convince people that it’s worth the hassle.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Windows XP, not Longhorn, is the “competition” to Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger, which is due in a couple of months, if not in a couple of weeks. Microsoft’s Longhorn, if it does indeed ship in mid-2006 – over a year from now – will be competing with a Tiger OS that will be several point releases along in its development and the next version of Apple’s Mac OS X will already be well along its development track, too.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft to use Apple’s ‘Piles’ in Longhorn? – March 22, 2005
New Microsoft Longhorn chief was former Pepto-Bismol brand manager – March 18, 2005
Report: Early Microsoft Longhorn beta slips – February 18, 2005
Report: Microsoft to release ‘Longhorn beta 1’ by June 2005 – February 07, 2005
Bill Gates: Microsoft ‘working hard’ on Longhorn – ‘won’t be a radical shift’ just ‘an improvement’ – January 29, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ will ship ‘long before Longhorn’ – January 11, 2005
Thurrott: Apple copying Microsoft’s Longhorn search features with Mac OS X ‘Spotlight’ – December 15, 2004
Microsoft’s Longhorn fantasy vs. Apple’s Mac OS X reality – September 14, 2004
Is Microsoft’s stripped-down ‘Longhorn’ worth waiting for? – September 10, 2004
Microsoft to gut ‘Longhorn’ in attempt to ship in 2006; Avalon faces knife – August 27, 2004
Analyst: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘going to have quite a lead on Longhorn’ in search technology – July 02, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004


  1. like this quote the best:

    “Tiger…. is going to generate a lot of buzz”

    “Microsoft is going to have to dig into its very deep pockets to convince people that it’s worth the hassle”


  2. “With around 5 percent of the personal computer marketplace, Apple has nowhere to go but up”

    And a new magic number for Apple presence is already surfacing in the specialized press. Not the first time the “5%” has substituted the old “3%”.

    MDN magic word “figures”.

  3. Am I the only one who thinks that picture is the Tiger have a bit of Longhorn for dinner??

    Of course with the feature cuts longhorn is getting it was a pretty lean longhorn.

  4. The best investment I ever made was buying a copy of Windows 2000 for $130 in 2001. It has probably serviced a hundred computers by now (and of course takes half a day to get updated off MS’s site when installed). Wifey’s mac mini is nice, and she likes osx better than windows (now), but of course she is a noob. I don’t get the big deal AND I don’t know why anyone would think it is necessary to “upgrade” an os yearly, unless just to give Apple some much needed revenue. If tiger is so cool, does that mean that the previous version of osx was junk?

    Oh yeah spyware and viruses……..they don’t have to happen on wintels, and don’t on mine, so blah blah that line to someone who cares.

  5. so you freely admit to loading a single copy of Windows 2000 on ‘hundreds of computers’, in violation of Microsoft’s EULA?

    Yeah, I can see why you don’t see the value in periodic upgrades…

  6. Any OS upgrade should be reviewed for features before you purchase it. Going from 10.1 to 10.2 was a massive upgrade for speed, stability and even usability, it was necessary. Whereas 10.2 to 10.3 upgrade was more of a Productivity upgrade with increased speed and great extra features like Exposè (Plus Apple did a whole lot of under the hood stuff that made its apps not compatible with Jaguar which I dont understand but Im sure was for a good reason)

    Tiger seems to be the real advanced technology upgrade, instituting the new “Core” stuff and H.264 and Im sure alot of other great things that MS will not be able to touch for 2 years.

    Its not that Jaguar or Panther were junk, its that Apple is working hard to make great strides in a relativly young OS. I believe after Tiger, they said that they are gonna slow development time to a 1.5 year cycle instead of 1 year. I think they believe that Tiger will be SO FAR AHEAD of anything else that they can now be confident enoght to slow down a little (but not stop)

  7. With a lot of windozers being the type that is satisfied with “good enough” why would they upgrade? As for the percentage of windoze users who are of the type that want “something better”, I think a lot of them will have already switched to OS X by the time Longwait hits the scene. Especially now that Apple is back on their radar screens again.

  8. RE: Another os upgrade? Save your money.

    The latest version of OS X Panther (10.3.8) is NOT Junk.

    What you have to realise is that Apple is continuallyt adding new features to OSX.

    For example, with the new mpeg 4 built into Tiger if your into using your mac for any form of creative content you will need the new version of OSX!

    Tiger will also be the 1st version of OSX that is totally 64bit – this alone means the OS is gonna be fast!

    Especially if you have a G5 mac!

    My rule is buy the uprade, wait a couple of months for the early adopters to find all the bugs in it, wait for Apple to release 10.4.1 via software update – THEN install Tiger 10.4 on your Mac.

    What you have to understand is that Apple will have an Update to itunes which will be mpeg 4 only compatible and therefor you will have to install Tiger to use Itunes etc.

    Apple has a history of reliable upgrades and fast bug fixes – unlike a certain Redmond company who release beta versions of it’s OS to it’s drone customers, and sell it to them as a final release even though all the features are not included or finished.

    Mark my words, when Longhorn is finally released, half the stuff they originally promised won’t be in the OS until 3 years later!

    AND you will have to pay again for the upgrade to get the original features that M$ promised in the 1st release!!

  9. A few months back when Microsoft was chopping features out of Longhorn in order to fix its schedule Ballmer publicly stated that Microsoft would do whatever it had to do in order to ship Longhorn absolutely no later than 31 December 2006. (I can’t find a link to the quotation at the moment.) While I am sure Microsoft will put forth a great effort to get it to ship mid-2006, I suspect Ballmer to hold every programmer in Microsoft hostage in order to make his commitment to an on or before 31 December 2006 ship date.

    Tiger will ship within the next 90 days (with many rumor sites claiming within the next 30 days). Apple will also very likely follow on with OS X 10.5 (Sabertooth ? The most ferocious cat ever? or Lion? King of the jungle?) with an announcement of its shipping at the January 2007 MWSF. Thus Longhorn will really compete with Mac OS X 10.5.

  10. For those of you questioning Tiger etc. It is well worth the upgrade, not going to break my NDA but Tiger is pretty much ready to roll and is a fantastic upgrade.

  11. And let’s not forget that Longhorn as shipped won’t even be the Longhorn that MS promised when they started promoting the project what seems like several years ago.

    Much of what was truly “interesting” in the roadmap/vaporware pipedream of Longhorn has been “postponed”, and the “actual” version (in as much as you can use the word ‘actual’ for something that is still probably 12-18 months away) will largely consist of the Avalon eye-candy that Mac users have been used to now since 2001, a new driver model and (allegedly) a greater focus on security.

    So, whilst Apple charges $129 for quite a reasonable number of “real” enhancements, MS is going to charge people between $150 and $300 (my guess) for making their system look pretty and giving them the security they should always have had in the first place. So I guess the first question the potential Longhorn upgrader needs to ask is “Where’s the beef ?”

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