Dan Gillmor: ‘With Mac OS X Tiger, Apple is plainly in the lead today’

“Early last week, Bill Gates demonstrated Microsoft’s next Windows desktop computer operating system at a conference for manufacturers of computer hardware. Later in the week Apple started selling its latest version of the Macintosh operating system, known as Mac OS X Tiger,” Dan Gillmor writes for The Financial Times.

“How different, and how similar, the landscape looked a decade ago. While history rarely repeats itself in the fast-moving and frequently surprising technology sphere, it’s always worth looking back for perspective,” Gillmor writes. “I well recall the avalanche of hyperbole from Microsoft and a then-adoring media when Windows 95 hit the market. I also remember how a Macintosh enthusiast came up with a lapel button at the time. It read: ‘Windows ’95 = Macintosh ’89.’ The notion had a strong element of truth. After all, in 1995, Windows was only belatedly catching up with the ease-of-use advances that had long been integral to the Mac operating system. But the witty lapel button raised another question: If Windows 95 was just Mac 89, what had Apple done in the meantime? It was almost as fair to say that Mac 95 equalled Mac 89.”

Gillmor writes, “And as the 1990s progressed, Windows moved ahead of the pack in key ways [for example, a href=”http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci212823,00.html” target=”_blank”>preemptive multitasking]. Not until Apple released OS X did it catch up architecturally with newer versions of Windows, even though in most ways the Mac has always been friendlier for the user.

“One of the Mac’s biggest advantages in the new century has been the almost total absence of viruses and spyware on the platform in an era when the plague of malware has become a clear danger. Windows users surely wish they were so lucky. At the same time, Mac users, especially in corporate settings, often find themselves marginalised by software vendors and support personnel,” Gillmor writes. “With Tiger, Apple is plainly in the lead today. The built-in search function is getting rave reviews, among other performance boosts that keep the Mac ahead on ease of use. Mac loyalists should not get smug. Microsoft works hardest when it is lagging the competition.”

Full article, highly recommended, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Co-founder Steven P. Jobs was not with Apple Computer, Inc. during the “Dark Ages” between September 1985 and January 1997 (Advisor) / August 1997 (de facto CEO) / September 1997 (Interim CEO, “iCEO”). With Jobs at the helm, Apple Computer is certainly not standing still today and, as such, Microsoft has an awful lot of hard work to do to catch up. We would confidently argue that Windows has never “caught up” to the Mac OS when it comes to the user experience.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Chicago Sun-Times: Mac OS X Tiger shows ‘there’s never been a more compelling time to switch to Mac’ – May 05, 2005
Jupiter Research VP: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘runs rings around Microsoft Windows’ – May 04, 2005
The Independent: Apple’s ‘faster, smarter, simpler’ Mac OS X Tiger ‘a must-have’ – May 04, 2005
Mac OS X Tiger review for a Windows PC audience finds Tiger’s ‘far, far better than Windows XP’ – May 03, 2005
Longhorn mentioned in nearly every Apple Mac OS X Tiger review to assuage Windows masses – May 02, 2005
Boston Herald: Mac OS X Tiger should compel Windows PC users to think about switching to Apple Mac – May 02, 2005
Mac OS X Tiger will likely improve performance of your Macintosh – April 30, 2005
PC World review gives Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger 4.5 stars out of 5 – April 30, 2005
Forrester analysts: Apple should advertise Mac OS X Tiger on television and in movie theaters – April 29, 2005
Ars Technica: Mac OS X Tiger ‘at least twice as significant as any single past update’ – April 28, 2005
BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system around’ – April 28, 2005
Associated Press: Mac OS X Tiger ‘provides another excellent incentive to switch from Windows’ – April 28, 2005
Mossberg: Apple’s Tiger ‘the best, most advanced personal computer operating system on the market’ – April 28, 2005
InformationWeek columnist: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘a compelling upgrade’ – April 28, 2005
NY Times: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger is the most secure, stable and satisfying OS on earth – April 28, 2005
Wired News: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘full of welcome surprises’ – April 27, 2005
Apple posts QuickTime movies of Mac OS X Tiger features in action – April 13, 2005

19 Comments

  1. Enderle: It’s all lies. “Swindle XP” is the king! Long live “Long Yawn” ! The halo effect everyone talks about is nothing but Paris Hilton walking into Apple store!!!! I’m a gamer with an IQ of 39!!!! My Enderle Group, which consists of me, myself, I and my wang, will fight for Micros#@t till the end!!! Expect when M$’s pay check is late, of course!!!

  2. “One of the Mac’s biggest advantages in the new century has been the almost total absence of viruses and spyware”

    Almost total? Why is this one so hard for journalists to get straight?

  3. I like Windows. It’s good to have it around.

    I mean, you gotta have Windows around to see how bad something can be in order to see how good the Mac is.

  4. End-the-lie:
    Soon I’ll post some excepts of a very interesting email exchange I’ve been having the last 3 days with Rob Enderle. Very high karate.

    Preliminary conclusion: He truly does not have a clue.

  5. “Microsoft works hardest when it is lagging the competition.” ?
    From several articles Ive read there seems to be a very bad aura in Redmond, key people leaving for other companies, unhappy employees, rampant iPod use, Longhorn is chewing its cud ever so slowly.

  6. Metryq,

    There is spyware on the Mac. If you don’t believe me have a close look at your cookies. I addition the new Tiger OS phones home a la Windows XP. Now that is spyware.

  7. “From several articles Ive read there seems to be a very bad aura in Redmond, key people leaving for other companies, unhappy employees, rampant iPod use, Longhorn is chewing its cud ever so slowly.”

    Anger Monkey,
    I agree, all does not seem right with Redmond at the moment. Anecdotally, morale seems to be quite low, possibly because the aura of invincibility seems to have been somewhat lessened of late, but I do agree with the article that Microsoft is most dangerous when it views itself as “beleaguered”. Not unlike a cornered rat. Never, ever underestimate Gates & Co.

    “the new Tiger OS phones home a la Windows XP. Now that is spyware.

    Metryq,
    Not quite. Tiger “phones home” when you have your dotMac account set to synchronize automatically. If you don’t have autosync set, or don’t have a dotMac account, it doesn’t report to the mothership.

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