What makes Mac OS X a great operating system is Apple’s attention to detail

“A couple of weeks ago I found time to install Dapper Drake, the latest Ubuntu Linux release. In the same week my wife bought a brand new MacBook. The inevitable comparison got me thinking about what makes an otherwise good operating system great,” Alastair Otter writes for TECTONIC.

“I am extremely happy with Dapper. It is noticeably quicker in many tasks and has a number of enhancements that significantly elevate the day-to-day experience. Mac OS X Tiger on the other hand is every bit as good looking, fast and extremely well rounded and without a doubt the simplest OS to use,” Otter writes. “Is it better than Ubuntu? In many ways the two are on a par (sorry Windows – you don’t even feature) but Mac OS X does have something that Ubuntu does not (yet) have: a sense of attention to detail.”

“Whose fault it is doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, though. When a brand new Linux user is frustrated by not being able to set up an Internet connection he doesn’t care that the Gnome people should have worked this out, he just blames Ubuntu and probably all of Linux,” Otter writes. “This is where Mac OS X has the upper hand, for now. The Mac developers could also have decided to just leave the network tools incomplete and expect users to read up online how to use the command line to start and stop their connections. That would go down like a ton of bricks, I bet.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Linux dream springs eternal. He’s right about the attention to detail, but Mac OS X already offers all that Linux hopes and dreams of offering to desktop/notebook personal computer users and more (iTunes, Office, and about 15,000+ etceteras). Why some of our Linux brethren still can’t or won’t admit to themselves the obvious conclusion that Mac OS X is the best choice for the vast majority of personal computer users is beyond us. Yes, Mac OS X isn’t free, but, as usual, you get what you pay for – US$129 for Mac OS X Tiger is the best software bargain you’ll ever find. Imagine how much faster we’d get to where we all want to go if the Linux proponents jumped aboard and helped us Mac users shovel fuel into the Mac OS X locomotive? There’s no need to build several of your own trains from spare parts when our shiny new bullet train is ready and waiting for you.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
How to triple-boot Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows XP on an Apple Mac – June 21, 2006
Linux advocate calls for Apple to destroy Microsoft by selling Mac OS X for all PCs – November 20, 2005
University of Melbourne’s Trinity college replaces Linux penguins with Apple Mac Tigers – May 24, 2005
Microsoft’s Longhorn mess opens window of opportunity; time for Linux users switch to Mac OS X – September 02, 2004
Mercury News columnist: ‘best way for average person to run Unix is Mac OS X’ not Linux – April 04, 2004
Linux Magazine: ‘Linux interfaces pale besides the glory that is Mac OS X’s Aqua’ – March 08, 2004
Unix/Linux guru Simon Cozen defects to Mac OS X – September 21, 2002


  1. US$129 for Mac OS X Tiger is the best software bargain you’ll ever find.

    MDN is absolutely right about that, and that got me to thinking. How many would object to a price of $159? That’s still considerably less than buying a new copy of XP, and the extra $30 would generate another $450,0000,000 to Apple.

    As an investor (everyone should be at some level), I would be very pleased to see Apple do this.

    Even at today’s low Invester Sentiment Multipliers, that $450,000,000 would increase the value of AAPL by almost $10.00.

    First? Who cares?

  2. pat the ex

    Go to http://www.steamlocomotive.com and expand your knowledge.


    Box builders are box builders. They’re cntemptuous of Macs because they like doing things with their own hands. Me? I like the Mac experience. I laugh at box builders because I think they’re wasting their time.

    It’s all in whatever your perspective is, I suppose.

  3. Don’t count on the Linux geeks to jump to Mac OS X, they are savvy enough and enjoy hacking on their OS and don’t see the sense in paying for it or switching to something they can no longer have control over.

    Since there are more Linux servers than Mac OS X servers, and that even Pixar uses Linux for their renderfarms, goes to show there is some validity for Linux in the marketplace.

    However when it comes to a desktop OS, nothing beats Mac OS X. But Linux can copy it.

    I doubt Linux will make any serious inroads in the desktop market because there is no centralized control over it.

    Three’s a crowd anyway.

  4. I like Linux. I have Linux. I use Linux. I’ve used it since 1998. Linux is a great operating system, which gives the power user what Windows will never provide. I switched from Windows to Linux in 1998, and never looked back…

    … until I got my first Mac, with OS X. How can things get any better? An outstanding operating system, easy to use, ready from the box, but at the same time, with all the power Linux and UNIX provides for power users.

    I still love Linux. But even looking as a heretic one in front of my good old Linux buddies, if you ask me, which will be my next OS, I’ll say, without any doubt, Mac OS X Leopard.

    I still believe Linux has a lot to offer, though.

  5. Biting the bullet and buying a Mac to get the job done is fine – if the Mac is configured as you wish. But what if one of the few offerings doesn’t have what you want? I’d love an iMac but need a much beefier graphics card than the 1600. What choice do I have today? None. So I can either change what I need from my computer and live limited offerings from Apple or look elsewhere (or in my case wait for the new Mac Pros to come out since I don’t need to upgrade my computer today).

  6. Let’s do some math:

    An extra $450,000,000 for a $30 price increase on OS X Leopard?

    Sure, that works. Assuming Apple sells 150-million copies of Leopard over a few years.

    Perhaps you meant that at $159 per copy, Apple would gain $450-million in revenue. That’s doubtful, too, as Apple would need to sell about 30-million copies of Leopard at retail.

    What’s the Mac’s installed base? According to Apple, it’s about 16-million users for OS X. According to MDN, it’s about 10-percent of all computers in the world.


    The real answer is probably somewhere between those numbers, though closer to the former than the latter.

    Let’s face it. Macs account for less than five-percent of US market share, less for world wide market share. How many Mac users there are is a different number, but arguably, not much higher. Mac OS X users would be lower in number than the total.

    Charging $159 for Mac OS X Leopard will not increase market share as much as charging $99.

    How about this idea– how about if Apple puts a copy of Windows and Parallels on each new Mac starting with Mac OS X Leopard. If the user wants to run Windows, they buy both online through the Apple Store.

    Mac customers who depend on Windows will be happy, Apple will be happy, Microsoft will be happy, Parallels, too.

  7. Re: MDN take – It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Let people use Linux if they like, or let people use OS X if they like.

    I even say let people use Windows if they like – except if Windows is the monopoly then we suffer because of the Microsoft extend and extinguish philosophy of business. Ideally, it would be 33% OSX, 33% Linux, 30% Windows and 3% everything else. Then MS has to play nice with others and so does everyone else.

  8. Yes, Linux definitely lacks the style and simplicity of OS X. But it has its place. Its stable, its secure, and its not Windows. I believe it also has some performance benefits over OS X too, so there are going to be some tasks its better at.

    I’m OK with that.

    Because at the end of the day, Linux and OS X have more in common than different. And what’s good for one is likely good for both. And most importantly…

    its not Windows.

    If you want to play, if you’re a power user, if you’re setting up some kind of server perhaps, then go for Linux. Its free. If you want simple yet powerful, go for OS X. Its awesome.

  9. “Why some of our Linux brethren still can’t or won’t admit to themselves the obvious conclusion that Mac OS X is the best choice for the vast majority of personal computer users is beyond us.”

    Linux and other Unix type users like it (in many cases) because it runs on their cheap or old computers.

    Life is short, you get what you pay for.

  10. See what happens when you fall asleep during your Business 101 class. From that $450M, subtract the people and businesses that would NOT upgrade due to those increases. You cannot nickel and dime the general public, regardless how wealthy and out of touch with the rest of society you may be. You cannot generalize the populous based on your own lifestyle. There is a point when the $100+ upgrades are coming too fast for many people and as such they will hold off 1 or 2 upgrade cycles due to price alone.

    The ultimate result is that increasing the price will spread the actual profit over a much longer time and some of it may never be recovered if the time span exceeds the next upgrade cycle. Also don’t forget to factor in the bad publicity from such a move, and that resulting impact. There is much more to business and human psychology than using your calculator widget.

    The best Apple can do is keep the price the same and tout its additional features.

  11. ok this is my reason why i like osx. ive used windoze and linux and when i use pc’s w/ those os’s all day and read, i feel brain dead and exhausted. on the other hand … when i use a mac w/ osx i read all day and still feel good. i am not mentally exhausted, my eyes arent tired etc… think about it ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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