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

33 Comments

  1. “After years of relative quiet, both Microsoft and Apple are frenetically working on major new upgrades to the base software…”

    Years of quiet? Apple puts out a major OS update once a year.

  2. You know, the problems MS is having with Longhorn – specifically their problems in making sure that the change is backwards compatible – make me realize how much the fact that the Mac had a small(er) user base at the time of the OS 9/X switch may have helped them make that jump.

    MS has such a huge installed user base – particularly companies – that if they “break” anything with Longhorn they are never going to hear the end of it. I don’t want to be working on the MS Support hotline when the CIO of a Wall Street firm calls to ask why their custom application that is central to their operations stops working…

    Apple basically said “Somethings are going to not work any more. Deal with it. Everything else OS X brings to the table makes it worthwhile…” And got away with it mostly.

  3. The ‘tipping point’ is here, or just about here and Tiger is ready. The last year has seen quite a long list of Enterprise and Pro Business software come to the forefront for the Mac OS. The next 18 months are going to tell the tale. If Apple is going to ‘break out’ of it’s ghetto in the commercial market you will begin to see movement during this period.

    If Apple has not started to make a significant move by the time Longhorn(+WinFS) ships, momentum will take over and things will stay much the same. Microsoft’s weapon to move Longhorn adoption will be the next major release of Windows Server Software. In order to get the full feature set, you will need to upgrade your desktop client. MS knows how to leverage their market position and will do everything they can get away with in order to ‘force the issue’.

    Tiger should be shipping shortly and I’ll see you in line at the Apple Store. The next 12-18 months is going to be an interesting time.

  4. “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.”

    I’m not so sure about that, I remember reading somewhere 6 months ago or so that Apple would be slowing down the anual new release schedule. It seems logical too, however, I don’t doubt for a second that Apple is already thinking about things that could come next, new ways to make everything better.

  5. We’ll pay for Tiger, but the price had better be reasonable. As for the next one, if it’s not a quantum leap….

    After years of relative quiet, Wetland discovered that it was the build up of ear wax that had been affecting his hearing.

    Unlike Microsoft, Apple is talking up Tiger’s more than 100 new features big-time, except to web journalists.

    M/W: next

  6. Everyone said the same thing about XP with its debut. Is it worth the upgrade? Well, appearantly it (XP) sold almost 70 million copies in the first month. So I dont think MS will have a problem getting customers to buy it. I’ll be getting it the day it comes out. Same with Tiger…I love it when people compare Apples to Oranges, and especially on products knowone has even seen before. Tiger will be a great addition to the fam. Judging from my usage of longhorn, it will be aswell..But we’ll see.

  7. “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 ? …)”

    Funny, I was thinking Sabertooth also.

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

    Has Windows ever been worth the hassle?

  8. Gack…

    Why not just stop whining.. Apple’s Halo effect is working, and yet you still won’t stop whining? Let them plug the music store, knowing 20% of iPod sales become Mac sales…

    Believe me.. there is nothing Apple could SAY in ITS OWN commercial that would impress people

    “No Viruses”
    “SMALL MARKETSHARE”

    “Worlds Most Advanced OS”
    “Rhetoric!”

    “Slick INterface”
    “yawn, HIPPY!”

    “Worlds Fastest Home Computer”
    “LIAR!”

  9. I love this in the article :

    “For all its early security faults, Windows XP has been greatly improved through patches and fixes and is now fairly stable and comfortable to consumers and corporate users, if not exciting and new.”

    EXCITING AND NEW? I’ve been using that POS since 2001.

  10. I can’t wait for Tiger, and it is going to be the release of OS X that keeps giving.

    Here’s how:

    Step 1: The new release, and all of the fun of seeing the amazing things Apple did.

    Step 2: A flood of widgets hit the market. Because widgets are a low effort/cost development platform, and the possibilities are endless, I think we are going to see some amazing things from developers

    Step 3: A flood of spotlight and Automator plug-ins. It will take OS X to the next level

    Step 4: In about a year, applications such as iLife 06, CS suite, Office, Macromedia, etc, will start taking advantage of CoreAudio and CoreVideo. If the vendors get serious about leveraging these technologies, it will take the Mac platform to the next level.

    Tiger is different than the other releases of OS X. The prior versions added more features. Tiger does that, but more importantly, it gives 3rd party developers new platforms to make our Macs 100x better than anything on the market.

    And that is where Longhorn is dead in the water. It’s the energy that Tiger will unleash that will make the Mac thrive.

    I simply can’t wait.

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