Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X

“I have certain misgivings about Vista resembling Mac OS X. With its translucent windows, such comparisons are going to be hard to avoid. But Vista’s similarity with OS X goes well beyond window dressing. Certain applications, such as Calendar, Sidebar, and Photo Gallery, appear to be directly, ahem, influenced by similar applications in OS X. Microsoft has a response to that claim, which I’ll reveal in part 3 of this review, but suffice to say they’re going to get eaten alive for these similarities,” Thurrott writes.

Thurrott also claims, “Of course, Windows Vista is still Windows, and that means you can be far more productive with Vista than is possible with OS X, especially if you’re a heavy keyboard user like me. Virtually all of the familiar Windows keyboard shortcuts work just fine in Vista, and since the system is basically laid out just like XP–with a familiar Start menu, taskbar, desktop, and folder structure, most users will be able to get right to work.”

MacDailyNews Take: That assumes you’re a Windows user for life and you’re incapable of ever unlearning keyboard commands for the bad copy of the old classic Mac OS that is Windows and learning the more productive Mac OS X way. That’s way too big an assumption for us. Familiarity doesn’t breed productivity; it helps, but it doesn’t trump a thoughtfully-designed UI in the hands of a power user. That way-too-big finger stretch from the command key in Windows to any letter key is just one example. On a Mac, it’s done right, with the command key more centrally-located, right next to the spacebar. On WIndows, you have to perform feats that would make Stretch Armstrong proud. Multiply that by thousands of other Windows UI mistakes and the end result doesn’t equal “far more productive.” Windows wasn’t designed to be more productive for the user, it was designed like an upside down and backwards Mac in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid triggering a lawsuit from Apple.

Talking about the 6-8 new Windows Vista versions, Thurrott continues, “it’s too confusing. One thing Apple gets right is that you get OS X, and you’re done. There’s only one version of the OS (well, there’s a version for servers too, of course) and Apple doesn’t try to bifurcate the market with a bunch of silly versions, most of which offers certain features not found in other product editions. It’s inane.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anyone who claims Microsoft is an innovator with Windows only need look at Apple’s OS release dates versus Microsoft’s throughout history. On every single day of the last twenty-two years (Macintosh debuted on January 24, 1984), Apple’s operating system UI was first, ahead, and leading the way and Microsoft copied it later – usually poorly. But, hey, there’s always one exception, so thanks to Microsoft (or whoever thought it up first) for that Mac OS X Command-Tab thing that we never use.

[UPDATE: 10:27am EST: Revised first “Take” description of Mac command key location on keyboard.]

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  1. abqMac beat me to it – I like the command-tab deal as well, and the OS X version seems better implemented (from my limited windoze experience)…

    MDN word – extent – as in “to What Extent will Windows copy OS X’s [insert app name here]”

  2. NO they won’t…know why…Microsoft’s core audience doesn’t care were M$ appropriates it’s intellectual property from. It won’t matter a hill a beans. Of course you know it’s done deliberately to throw tar in the roadway to Apple’s possible encroachment into the corporate world. But unless they change their default security configuration this desperate act will only delay eventual loss of OS market share.

  3. Do not discount the help that Command-Tab is to Windows users, like myself, that depend on that functionality for application switching.

    Expose is great, but slower and solves a different problem, than Command (nee Alt) Tab.

  4. Most Mac applications could improve efficiency with a few more shortcuts. I know I would use them. However, research has shown that keyboard shortcuts are very rarely used by even very experienced users (other than journalists perhaps) for anything other than cut, copy, and paste. That makes it a non-issue for most. The vast majority use icons just about all the time.

  5. What I don’t understand is why Microsoft has a need to release all of those incomplete builds of their OS each month. That would drive me crazy. You can’t install it on your “real” computer, and you know there are going to be flaws so why bother? Apple just releases a new version, complete, beautiful, innovative and ready to be loaded onto your grandmother’s Mac will full confidence. There are no crippled versions forcing the consumer to struggle with trying to predict the future of their computing needs. On a Mac, it’s the same OS on the minis and laptops as it is on the Quad towers.

    Even with Mac’s fractional market share, I expect there to be a much faster adoption of Leopard than with Vista, not to mention a much better user experience after the installation.

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