Development approaches of Mac OS X Leopard vs. Windows Vista yield very different results

“Two months ago, at least seven months before its scheduled release, Microsoft opened up its new operating system Windows Vista, in the form of Beta 2, for public scrutiny, inviting the public to download, test it and provide feedback to the software company,” Stan Beer writes for iTWire.

Beer writes, “So many millions took up the offer, that Microsoft eventually decided to charge a nominal fee of US$1.50 for downloads.”

“Yesterday, reports started appearing about how a preview version of Mac OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard) is circulating on internet file sharing networks,” Beer writes. “No doubt, some applications developer who was provided with a copy of the Leopard preview for development purposes at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference has been naughty. Also no doubt, if Apple finds out who was responsible, the company will sue, as is its right, given that all the developers reportedly signed non-disclosure agreements.”

Beer writes, “Regardless of the merits or otherwise of Leopard and Vista, the contrast of the approach to development between the two companies could not be more stark.”

“The results of the two differing processes is in fact quite surprising,” Beer writes. “One would think that the collaborative approach taken by Microsoft would produce a more stable, secure, and bug free product. After all, it has been tested by millions, while the Apple product would have only undergone a fraction of the testing.”

“Without prejudging Vista, it is fairly obvious that Windows XP is not exactly the epitome of stability and security. It would be kind to say that it is no more stable and certainly not more secure than Mac OS X 10.4,” Beer writes. Apple never makes compromises. Its operating system is designed under dictatorial rule. You can either take or leave it but it works and it works well.”

Beer writes, “Unfortunately for Apple, most people seem to prefer to live under the open and imperfect system developed by Microsoft than the rule of dictatorship. Perhaps, Apple’s move to the Intel platform will change that.”

More in the full article here.\

MacDailyNews Take: Mmmmmm, Beer… Most people don’t “prefer” Microsoft Windows; they just don’t know any better. That’s starting to change dramatically right now.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft Windows five times more expensive for users than Apple’s Mac OS X – August 15, 2006
How will Apple deal with astounding success? – August 14, 2006
Oxymoron: Microsoft security – August 12, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006


  1. If Microsoft offered me $10,000 to switch from OSX to Windows, the answer would be an easy ‘no thanks’.

    Even a life-changing number wouldn’t do it for me, if you assume I wasn’t allowed to cheat!

  2. The only thing that would make me switch to Windows would be if Microsoft started putting OS X discs in the box and calling that windows. They’d also have to charge less for it to justify me having the crappy box.

  3. If Microsoft offered me $10,000 to switch from OSX to Windows, the answer would be…

    For as long as there is no time limit I would say YES!!

    So, what would it take for you to switch back

    uhhhhmmm, half an hour after I cashed the check?

  4. I don’t know if it a conscious effort, but Beer almost tries to equate Microsoft’s ‘open-house’ approach to testing (btw, paying $1.50 to MSFT to download a copy of a beta just proves that MSFT have no shame and many MSFT junkies have no sense, but anyhoo…) to open-source development.

    However, the real difference between the companies is that Apple manages to release a new version of OS X every two years based on a development team of around 400, whereas Microsoft does everything it can to prove The Myth Of The Man-Month by throwing several thousand developers at seven different versions of Vista.

    It could be argued that Microsoft’s cluttered, over-engineered, contradictory operating systems are, in some way, a reflection of their cluttered, over-manned, under-managed development teams pursuing contradictory visions – corporate dominance or personal ease-of-use.

    Ignoring who invented what, any company that can burn several billion dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-days on the development of a product that contains so little original imagination has to ask itself whether it is employing the right people either as architects or as developers.

  5. Stan’s argument is weak. He’s dead-on when it comes to the “Mythical Man-Month” aspects of Windows development.

    While I’m definitely of the “You can have my Mac when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers” crowd, portraying Apple as a closed development process and MS as an open one is largely wrong.

    The underlying OS to OS X, BSD Unix, was arguably the first Open Source Unix (though the original Unix from ATT labs was initially distributed as source code, free of charge, soon thereafter ATT started charging exhorbitantly for source code licenses)

    It’s been tested, tweaked, and bulletproofed since the early 80’s. Today BSD and it’s derivatives FreeBSD and NetBSD are widely recognized as very secure unix distributions.

    Apple’s code, on top of the Unix core, is developed in-house, but there are a horde of developers banging on it; Apple has always given pre-release versions of it’s OS software to paid ADC members.

  6. I work in an International community and the amount of people I see everyday who do not know a thing about Mac’s is staggering.

    They see my 17″ PB and want to know, so I show them and still they are not convinced. I cannot get them to change from IE to Firefox on the PC without a fight. They are just stuck in the last century and their own little comfort zones.

    People resist change and the average windoze user is a pretty unexciting individual and it would take a second coming to get most of them off their collective fat arses to even listen to the enlightened, yet alone actually do anything about it.


  7. Sheesh, Leo. You invented the helicopter and the submarine and both several hundred years before their time. You would think that people would take your advice.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. I have used a variety of computers/OS’s over the years including VAX/VMS and multiple flavors of UNIX, Windows and MacOS, and I like the current MacOS that provides a user-friendly interface on top of a solid UNIX base. So, yes, I am a Mac user and advocate.

    But I would appreciate it if MDN and MDN forum contributors would please stop pushing the Mac elistist attitude. I have met many Mac fans who have next to no clue about the technical aspects of the Mac – they just appreciate it for what it is and what is dows for them. That’s fine by me and I applaud them for finding their way to the Mac. Stop belittling them and equating MS Windows use with ignorance, low-income, and other such aspects.

    A little respect and tolerance would go a long way.

  9. A guy I work with is going to get a new desktop and laptop and asked me for recommendations. I had him convinced that Mac was the way to go and he was really excited about it. That is, until he talked to his wife. She uses Windows at work and decided she didn’t want to learn something new. The majority of people out there are fools who don’t deserve a Mac. They’ll keep buying the cheapest Dell and then come crying to people like me to bail them out. I just ordered a PC from HP for my brother-in-law because that’s what he wants. He won’t spend more for a Mac. It’s frustrating, but I’ll keep on trying to convince these poor misguided souls.

  10. I agree with king mel, a little respect would be nice.

    ” Most people don’t “prefer” Microsoft Windows; they just don’t know any better.” is so arrogant and snobby, if I were a window’s user it wouldn’t want me to look at mac os x at all.

    MDN needs to start leaving their opinions in an opinion section, lest they change their name from MacDailyNews to MacDailyOpinions.

  11. As consumers, the least we could do gather all info on the products we want to buy and them make an informed decision. But this is the problem I’m having with people who ask me about what desktop or laptop to buy. I advise them and even without actually doing any research into what I’m saying, except for a few, they come back the next day and tell me that their cousin Vinny told them about a $50 computer and that’s what they want to go with.

    This is why we sometimes reffer to PC users as lemmings.

  12. LorD 1776,

    I would always run into the same problem, having to support my PC-having friends and family, that is. Until, I decided: No more! I told all of them that I would not support their systems anymore and that I would not even help them buy a new system unless it was a Mac. You can imagine that it did not necessarily go over very well. Yet, I was liberated because now I did not have to deal with Windows crap.

    And guess what?

    After having purcahsed many emachines, Dells, HPs and Joe Blow PCs, all of them have switched (some of them more reluctantly than others) to the Mac.

    My guess is that they liked their PCs, but they liked me helping them through their problems more.

    So, go ahead, be an a-hole, when your friends/family ask you for help with their Wintel system tell them that you don’t support those systems anymore, that if they want your support you will gladly provide it as long as it is on a Mac.

    Then sit back and watch them eventually buy a Mac. And if they don’t? Then, good riddance, you won’t have to deal with Windows problems anymore.

  13. Sure, MS releases their alphas and betas for testing by the masses. They’ve got nothing to lose by doing so since MS copies everyone else and they’ve got no proprietary secrets to keep hidden. Plus, since their software is normally more buggy to begin with, they need a lot more eyes checkin things out before they expose the general public.

  14. I think many of you miss the point of why MS releases the software for such broad consumer testing. Apple only delivers and supports their OS on their machines. The variations in hardware are limited to non essential system components, the base of applications is not as large and the backwards compatibility is not a priority. For Windows it’s the opposite on all these points. It wold not only be impractical, it would be impossible for MS to test the software on even a fraction of the possible combinations of motherboards-CPU-graphic cards-NICs. Likewise with all the apps in various versions.
    When Apple will support more hardware platforms and give at least some consideration to backwards compatibility issues, I’m sure they will have many more users than they have today. But then they will likely start to run into some of the same problems as Windows…..

  15. I agree with MDN Take… Most Windows users never made a conscious choice to use Windows. And it may take a while, but in the reasonably-near future, those same users will finally be confronted with what they perceive as a choice.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.