Windows tech writer Thurrott: ‘In many ways, Mac OS X Tiger is simply better than Windows’

“Late last month, Microsoft finally issued its first public build of Longhorn, build 5048… some features, like the Sidebar and the new system-wide Contacts utility, are missing in action in 5048. There are reasons for these omissions. None of them are particularly good… Between WinHEC 2004 and WinHEC 2005, and while Longhorn was silently being re-engineered, Microsoft publicly revealed that Longhorn was changing somewhat. First, the WinFS data storage engine would be delayed until after Longhorn shipped, though Microsoft promised a beta version of WinFS around the same time that Longhorn was completed and vowed to include most of the instant desktop search functionality in Longhorn regardless. Second, key Longhorn technologies, such as Avalon and Indigo, would be ported to Windows XP with SP2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, and the x64 versions of XP and 2003, to ensure developers that they would have a big enough market to target. Microsoft also vowed to ship Longhorn in 2006,” Paul Thurrott writes for Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows.

“I have to be honest here. After a year without a single new Longhorn build and very little concrete information about what was going on with the project, I had high expectations for build 5048. And a pre-WinHEC briefing with the software giant did nothing to assuage those hopes. Plus, I’ve seen advanced Longhorn UI work and I knew how cool this thing was going to be,” Thurrott writes. “Build 5048 communicates none of that. And that’s a shame, because Microsoft had a chance to ramp up the momentum of a product that, quite frankly, could use a little momentum. On the one hand, we have Windows XP with SP2, which many people describe as ‘good enough,’ a phrase that will haunt Microsoft for years to come as it tries to foist new Windows and Microsoft Office versions on them with decreasing success. On the other hand, I present the competition, Linux and Mac OS X. The Linux market may be convoluted and disjointed, but Linux, too, is ‘good enough,’ and it’s free, along with ‘good enough’ applications like and better Web browsers, like Firefox.”

Thurrott writes, “It gets worse. Apple’s Mac OS X, recently upgraded to version 10.4 Tiger, is more than ‘good enough.’ In many ways, OS X is simply better than Windows, especially for experienced computer users, and Tiger rubs Microsoft’s nose in the embarrassment of shipping a key Longhorn feature–instant desktop search–a full year ahead of the software giant. That’s right folks. We already knew that Microsoft was facing smaller, nimbler competitors. But those competitors are now starting to outperform Microsoft in the feature department too. It’s time for Redmond to stop pretending Linux and OS X don’t exist… Anyway, Longhorn build 5048 is pretty boring… Here’s what I found out about this build during a busy week of testing.”

Thurrott glumly covers the state of Longhorn in his full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sometimes waking up can be painful and Thurrott seems to be doing it in print for everyone to read. Hopefully, the honesty keeps flowing and, while it does, Thurrott’s articles provide good insights, information, and are interesting reads. Kudos to Thurrott for calling it like it is for all to see.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
EarthWeb: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger is a ‘serious enterprise operating system, a pivotal release’ – May 06, 2005
RUMOR: Apple to release Mac OS X 10.4.1 Tiger Update by mid to late-May – May 06, 2005
BusinessWeek: ‘Tiger bolsters Mac OS X’s edge as the best personal-computer operating system’ – May 06, 2005
The Guardian: Mac OS X Tiger a powerful solution while Microsoft’s Longhorn remains on drawing board – May 06, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times: Mac OS X Tiger shows ‘there’s never been a more compelling time to switch to Mac’ – May 05, 2005
Dan Gillmor: ‘With Mac OS X Tiger, Apple is plainly in the lead today’ – 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
Windows is weak, Longhorn will be cosmetic upgrade; Apple can deliver killer blow to Microsoft – April 27, 2005
Thurrott: ‘Longhorn is in complete disarray and in danger of collapsing under its own weight’ – April 27, 2005
Wired News: Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger ‘full of welcome surprises’ – April 27, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn ‘has the makings of a train wreck’ – April 26, 2005
Thurrott: Longhorn demos ‘unimpressive, fall short of graphical excellence found today in Mac OS X’ – April 26, 2005
Apple posts QuickTime movies of Mac OS X Tiger features in action – April 13, 2005


  1. Well, folks can trash Mac all they want. The truth is out now and everybody knows it. If anything, it’s most enlightening to be observing the curious hush that’s currently occuring in some PC dominated communities. They can see. They are not only holding their breath … they’re thinking about joining. It’s happening. Me? I’ll be glad to have them as friends when they arrive.

  2. Enderle: Paul you turd head!!! Just because Bill’s paycheck is late for a month, you don’t have to prostitute for the Mac!!!! Just make sure you check comes from the Ballmerman instead!! Sometime Steve’s check could be late too but I, myself, me and my wang still ho for MicroS@#t! Long live ” LongYawn”!

  3. Um – not that I’m a windows fan, but…
    Am I the only one that thinks it’s absolutely stupid that the address bar in IE sits above the File menu? Oh wait, it is Windows after all. Nevermind.

    The positions are dynamic and configurable. You can put the toolbars and menubars wherever you want. If the address bar is above the filemenu, it’s because you (or someone who uses your computer) put it there.

  4. All PC users are welcome here. Especially those who have purchased their first Mac. They will always find an unlimited number of people here more than happy to assist with any problems they might encounter. The Mac community is a wonderful group of highly intelligent people that welcomes one and all to the Mac family.

  5. — “Guys, you can’t start a sentence with ‘and’.”

    Sure you can. And I’d show you how if I wanted to make a point.

    Meanwhile, PT has done this before, gone ga-ga over Macs only to return to his strange world view that Microsoft is dominant because it’s better. So I suspect this is just another minor lapse, the exception he needs to prove “fair and balanced.”

  6. We want to support Thurrott when he advertises for Apple.

    No, I’m a fraid we do not.

    We shouldn’t be supporting any analyst, tech writer, product reviewer, etc. that is advertising for a company. Thurott can post pro-Mac articles from here to eterninty, but the fact will always remain he’s a hack and a shill. He’d just be a Mac hack, nothing more.

    Posting a bunch of stuff you approve of does not gain him any credibility, it simply means you’re the one he’s currently making dumber.

    We need to support objective and honest comparison testers, not guys like this.

  7. Paul Thurrot: “Expectations were high that Microsoft would hit a home run with this build”

    And instead it has been a big SWOOSH in the air for all to see. This time Microsoft PRs have not been able to fake the noise of a bat hitting the ball for all the blind Windozer to believe in a home-run.

    The only home run you’ll do is to home under an avalanche of BOOOOHHHHs

  8. If they rebuilt Longhorn from the ground up on a unix base, they did give SCO a whole piss pot full of money, then they would have a good excuse. All they really did was attempt to make XP more secure and almost completely stop working on Longhorn for a year.

    Obviously, Longhorn will be built upon the repaired XP carcass.

    Good luck with that.

  9. The only conclusion all these MS analysts apologists should reach is that they have dumbed for years their readers, should apologize and raise potatoes.

    Do not even think now that you may come and write praises of OS X and believe you found a new audience. A tool is a tool is a tool.
    Spreading FUD for years and bashing Apple and its innovation: time to change job now.

  10. To Bob C.
    >Sure you can. And I’d show you how if I wanted to make a point.>

    Should read–“Sure you can, and I’d show you how if I wanted to make a point.
    It’s also ‘i’ before ‘e’, except after ‘c’, unless you’re talking weights and measures.

    I get my new iMac next week—-luverly!

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