“Yesterday, Apple Computer Inc. turned 30 years old. But an equally significant anniversary occurred two Fridays ago: March 24 marked Mac OS X’s fifth birthday. Four major updates later, that operating system ranks as one of Apple’s greatest successes,” Rob Pegoraro writes for The Washington Post. “OS X has shown that it’s possible to fix three of the worst parts of computing: adding programs, removing them and keeping everything in good working order… Mac OS X also looks great — its fluid, shimmering, translucent Aqua interface has been imitated many times, most prominently in Windows Vista’s Aero Glass graphics — but those nifty special effects aren’t the most important feature in OS X. Nor is it this operating system’s agile multitasking and nearly crash-free stability, or even the processor-independent architecture, that make it at home on both PowerPC and Intel chips.”
Instead, it’s the way Mac OS X lives by three basic principles, which together make it easier to live with than any competitor.
• The system is separate from everything else.
• Each user’s files are separate from everybody else’s.
• Each application acts as one, indivisible file.
“It would be hard to make installing an application simpler than it is under this system: After downloading the program, you drag its icon to the Applications folder. There is no step three,” Pegoraro writes. “Likewise, ‘uninstalling’ a program consists of dragging its icon to the trash. (Preference and cache files will be left behind, but they won’t harm the system and can be deleted easily enough if you want.) … This progress has come at a cost, though: To leap this far ahead, Apple had to ditch a lot of old baggage… Could Microsoft, with so many more customers to satisfy, have made the same trade-off with Vista? Probably not. But maybe it should have. In operating systems, a little revolution every now and then isn’t just a good thing, sometimes it may be the only way forward.”
Full article here.
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