Will Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard get buried by Microsoft’s Windows Vista buzz?

“If you were counting on Leopard gaining an advantage from shipping before Vista, it looks like you’re out of luck. Vista is in its last test release before shipment, and historically, the final release candidate becomes the supported RTM (ready to market) product. OEMs and volume licensees are expecting November delivery of the finished Vista, and the onesie twosie, shrink-wrap buyers will see Vista early next year. Subscribers to MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network, Microsoft’s counterpart to the paid flavor of Apple Developer Connection) will probably get the RTM code sometime between those two dates,” Tom Yager writes for InfoWorld.

“To the dismay of so many observers, when Vista goes RTM, it’ll explode. It’ll shatter every standing record for software units and revenue in a given period of time. It’ll bury everything else in a mudslide of press coverage, and it’ll even make story #4 or #5 in non-technical publications and network news. I predict a BusinessWeek cover,” Yager writes. “One could say that Vista’s got a greased track to record sales: PC models that currently ship with Windows XP will begin shipping with Vista.”

Yager writes, “So Winter will be all about Vista. Where, oh where does this leave Apple? When Vista reviews start running, we’ll see the professional and lay media pile on with the predictions of doom for OS X and the “too little, too late” Leopard that journalists have never seen outside apple.com. Vista is it, and Macs are at a disadvantage for not shipping with Vista. Journalists of that ilk will null the value of OS X and insist that the true cost of a Mac is the machine plus the copy of Vista that really makes it work. There will be plenty of reasons for the Mac faithful to sound a call to arms.”

“It’s interesting that although Microsoft borrowed heavily from Tiger’s look and feel, Microsoft didn’t capture the human-factored behavior that spawned Tiger’s visual elements. At its heart, Vista is Windows, plus a collection of modernized UI widgets for developers and a bucket for the marketable ideas that emerged from Microsoft Research. Tiger and Leopard bake consistent behavior, look and feel and integration into everything from its dev tools to its Web browser. Vista can’t go there: Windows will always be an operating system. Don’t get me wrong; Vista is a huge step for Windows, a real godsend for those stuck in the Windows XP rut. But Apple will retain the state-of-the-art title, and applications will still rank it #1 in their compendium of best places to live,” Yager writes.

Full article, in which Yager also writes, The media wags and flame-baiters will have a nice run through early January until MacWorld shuts them up. Steve Jobs had a wink in his voice when he projected Leopard’s Spring delivery during his WWDC keynotehere.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jimbo von Winskinheimer” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Apple would get the most PR bang by releasing Leopard after Vista, not before. Let the media compare Mac OS X Tiger to Windows Vista, Apple has nothing to fear there. Let Tiger have it’s well-deserved kudos. Then when it dies down a bit, drop Leopard and let the media do their head-to-heads all over again. Apple wins twice instead of just once.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Pirillo: Microsoft’s Windows Vista will double Apple’s market share – October 13, 2006
What if Microsoft held a Windows Vista party and nobody came? – October 13, 2006
CNET: Microsoft’s Windows Vista still not ready for prime time – October 12, 2006
Thurrott: ‘You don’t need Windows Vista’ – October 11, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista spyware may prompt users to upgrade to Apple Mac – October 09, 2006
Windows Vista gaming will be 10-15 percent slower than XP – October 09, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft’s new activation scheme will give users another reason not to upgrade to Vista – October 05, 2006
IT Managers: Do you need Windows Vista or should you ‘Get a Mac?” – September 11, 2006
Infoworld: Microsoft’s WIndows Vista not so revolutionary after all – September 11, 2006
Pirillo: Windows Vista RC1 disappointing, schizophrenic, disordered, inconsistent, and sad – September 07, 2006
Key Microsoft exec exits as clock ticks down on oft-delayed, much pared-down Windows Vista release – September 06, 2006
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
Development approaches of Mac OS X Leopard vs. Windows Vista yield very different results – August 15, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006

Computerworld: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard’s ‘Time Machine’ is truly remarkable – October 05, 2006
InfoWorld’s Yager: Apple will take computing to the next level with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – September 06, 2006
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard is 64-bit done right, unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista kludge – August 14, 2006
Mac OS X Leopard sneak peek highlights – August 09, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Inside Apple Mac OS X Leopard’s ‘Spaces’ – August 07, 2006
Take a ride in Apple Mac OS X Leopard’s ‘Time Machine’ – August 07, 2006
Apple previews Mac OS X Leopard featuring Time Machine, Spaces, enhanced Mail & iChat, and more – August 07, 2006
Apple previews Mac OS X Server Leopard; to ship in spring 2007 – August 07, 2006

65 Comments

  1. HOW I GOT VISTA FREE

    I already got Windows Vista. Somebody tracked it in off the road, caked in the treads of their shoes, on my clean carpet. I had to get the house professionally cleaned. It was hard to get rid of, but now I am Vista free.

  2. Yeah but it’s not like comparing say an xbox to playstation. If you have a mac who cares if Vista is released first, you’ll still hang out for Leopard. As for Vista ‘buzz’, you mean ‘complaints’ don’t you?

  3. As long as you’re wearing your thigh high rubber boots the Vista BS shouldn’t soil your Levis too badly.

    After all the BS crowing about Vista beating Tiger, a Leopard release will be lots of fun.

  4. Compare Vista to Tiger? I think Vista might stand a chance comparing it to OS 9.1.

    Also, why does everyone ALWAYS compare an UPCOMING MS release of everything to an EXISTING Apple product.

    Vista/OS X
    Zune/iPod

  5. This guy is a moron. If Vista gets released in any form by year-end, other than to a few corporate customers (guinea pigs) just to say it shipped “on time,” I would be very surprised. When the reviews come out, they will no doubt be negative, because they will come from corporate users and IT, who are more jaded than consumers. The holiday buying season would have passed without Vista pre-installed on new PCs, so where’s the “buzz” going to come from. From Apple, because Apple will probably announce a “free upgrade to Leopard for any new Mac purchased during the holidays” promotion. I think Apple is working to surpass expectations again and Leopard will be released at MacWorld Expo.

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