“If you believe all the hype, installing the new Windows Vista operating system will solve world famine, end the AIDS crisis and bring about world peace. Well, maybe no one is saying it’s that great, but the clamor and fuss have been pretty boisterous,” John C. Welch reports for InformationWeek.

Welch reports, “Hidden behind all of this hoopla, however, is the fact that as much of an improvement Vista is over XP, its main competitor, Mac OS X, still stacks up really well — and even tops Vista in several important areas.”

“While Mac OS X has been steadily evolving through 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 and 10.4, and is now working towards 10.5, Microsoft was waiting on what would become Vista. When it was obvious the original Longhorn OS wasn’t going to happen, they took the Windows Server 2003 code base and used that for the basis of Vista. They also chopped quite a few features out of Vista, most notably the WinFS object-based data storage and management system, which had been promised in various forms since the first blurbs about Cairo in the early 1990s,” Welch reports.

Welch reports, “Microsoft had two serious issues. First, they had to make this update of Windows revolutionary enough that it came close to justifying the delay. Second, they had to come up with something that would stand up well with its main competitor in the desktop OS market, Mac OS X. Have they succeeded at both? I’d argue that the former’s almost a non-issue: Vista will sell well, because the world won’t have a choice. As far as the latter, well, probably, but you’d be hard-pressed to say Vista’s better than Mac OS X.”

Welch reports, “For Mac OS X, it’s the classic English butler. This OS is designed to make the times you have to interact with it as quick and efficient as possible. It expects that things will work correctly, and therefore sees no reason to bother you with correct operation confirmations… Windows is…well, Windows is very eager to tell you what’s going on. Constantly. Plug something in, and you get a message. Unplug something and you get a message. If you’re on a network that’s having problems staying up, you’ll get tons of messages telling you this. It’s rather like dealing with an overexcited Boy Scout…who has a lifetime supply of chocolate-covered espresso beans… To put it simply, you can work on a Mac for hours, days even, and only minimally need to directly use the OS. With Vista? The OS demands your attention, constantly.”

Welch reports, “I’ve yet to see anything in Vista that blows away the Mac OS, even a version of the Mac OS that’s over a year old. Microsoft still can’t manage to make something simple and easy to use. Vista reeks of committee and design by massive consensus, while OS X shines from an intense focus on doing things in a simple, clear fashion and design for the user, not the programmer.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “π” for the heads up.]

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