Mossberg: ‘Apple’s Mac software and hardware are markedly superior to those of Windows PCs’

Apple Store“WHEN I STARTED WRITING this column back in 1992, the world of personal technology was positively primitive compared with where we stand today. So armed with the benefit of 15 years of hindsight, and in this final installment of the Mossberg Report, I’d like to take a look back on the distance we’ve traveled in personal technology over the past decade and a half, as well as make a few predictions about where things might be headed,” Walt Mossberg writes for SmartMoney (Feb. 1, don’t know how we missed it. By the way, the article’s date on the SmartMoney site is currently incorrect, Mr. Mossberg tells MacDailyNews. It should be 2007, not 2006).

MacDailyNews Note: This morning, we asked Mr. Mossberg why it was the final installment of the Mossberg Report and he told us that he has decided to drop this particular column due mainly to increasing demands on his time from his D Conference ( and a new web site launching next month which is an extension of the D Conference, called All Things Digital. See for a preview. Mr. Mossberg said, “I am still writing two WSJ columns weekly (Personal Technology and Mossberg’s Mailbox), and editing (and occasionally authoring) a third weekly WSJ column, The Mossberg Solution (where our Apple TV review ran yesterday). I am still co-producing my annual tech conference, and now will be co-producing a new tech web site. I just won’t be doing the magazine column.”

“In 1992 the Internet wasn’t available to the general public. There were no iPods or any other portable digital music players. Cellphones were big, bulky and analog, mainly used in cars in the U.S. The first consumer digital cameras had just arrived: crude models that cost $800, worked only in black and white, and held just 32 images,” Mossberg writes.

Mossberg writes, “Microsoft was offering the clumsy Windows 3.1, which seemed to crash if you sneezed, and many people were still using the geeky and limited DOS operating system on their ‘IBM-compatible’ PCs. Apple’s technology was way ahead of Windows, but the company would soon enter a period of management mediocrity and product paralysis.”

“By around 2001, when the current major operating systems, Windows XP and Apple’s Mac OS X, made their debuts, personal technology had vastly improved. Many of the rough edges had been sanded off. The Mac had long been ‘plug and play,’ and Windows was much closer to that goal. Both systems were fairly stable,” Mossberg writes.

Mossberg writes, “There had been viruses for many years, of course, including some big attacks in the 1990s. But over the past five years, the security problem has morphed into a major hassle for people who own and use Windows computers… Today, warding off the myriad threats online takes more and more time, money and effort than ever before. You have to run multiple security programs, interpret all their warnings and alerts, tell them what to do when they detect suspicious activity, and consistently update them. It’s a real hassle, one that seriously interferes with the productivity, and the pleasure, computers can and should provide.”

“In fact, the burden of using a Windows computer is higher now than it was in 2001. By contrast, Apple’s Macintosh is easier to use than ever, partly because it has so far remained free from viruses, spyware and adware — except for a few minor cases. After stagnating in the mid-’90s, Apple’s software and hardware are once again markedly superior to those of Windows PCs,” Mossberg writes.

Mossberg takes a look at what he thinks the future will bring in his full article here.

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  1. “management mediocrity and product paralysis”

    Sculley: Sold out to Bill Gates under pressure. Biggest blunder in personal computing history and the single biggest mistake for Apple Inc.
    Spindler: Couldn’t forecast rain even if he was standing knee deep in water under black skies with constant thunder and lightning.
    Amelio: Brilliant mind. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong company.

  2. Walt is pretty smart but he just does not listen to Bill Gates, or believes that he will be a non issue in a few years.

    Walt says”I believe that in the future the Internet will become more like the electrical grid, a behind-the-scenes platform to which all manner of gadgets will be directly connected, each taking some power and intelligence from the network to perform its task. While personal computers won’t go away, they won’t be the main way to get online, or even needed as intermediaries by many devices.”

    But recently Bill Gates talked about adding the number of personal computers to the home. Remember, he said that we should have a “HOME SERVER” to handle the electronic traffic around the home, so that way he can sell us multiple copies of Vista media center. LOL ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  3. You know, in those last few paragraphs in which he was talking about what was needed in smart phones, I kept checking off points against what we know about the iPhone. A modified Mac OS X will solve pretty much all of what he asked for. I’m glad he does keep the partisanship out of pieces sometimes. Not sure how he resisted saying, “iPhone, bitch!”

  4. Your microwave oven, for instance, will use the Internet to quietly download information that will allow it to recognize the bar codes or radio tags on packaged food products and cook them appropriately.

    Is that his best example of the future? Geeze, that’s pathetic. I’d have it do a multiple scan of the package, figure out what are the discreet contents, their size, weight, water content and structure, and figure out the best compromise of power and time according to a map of food types; not to mention warn of unsafe packaging, unsuitable food combinations or spoiled food, among other things.

    What I wouldn’t want is a microwave that goes online for any reason. That kind of thinking belongs to the idiots in Redmond.

  5. “Your microwave oven, for instance, will use the Internet to quietly download information that will allow it to recognize the bar codes or radio tags on packaged food products and cook them appropriately.”

    What the heck…. most people don’t have any concern whether or not their processed, pre-packaged food is healthy, just whether or not it TASTES GOOOD!

  6. Having done 2 days of Windows, I would say the burden of running Windows networks has become impossible. It’s a godawful mess out there…

    I wouldn’t switch to Windows even if Gates offered me his entire wealth… and I mean that too.

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