“Given the timing of Mac OS X’s release, the somewhat lukewarm response to Microsoft’s Windows Vista by many IT shops, and even the similarity in the areas of concentration pursued by Apple and Microsoft — a comparison between Leopard and Vista is inescapable. Both companies emphasized efforts to improve usability and add features to their bundled software,” Scot Finnie reports for Computerworld.

“Throughout the four years of the Vista development process, I tested and evaluated at least 15 different alphas and betas of the operating system, spending hundreds of hours evaluating the late prereleases and the final editions. Likewise, I spent countless hours testing Leopard, both in prerelease form and the final version now available to the public. What I found after all that testing is that despite their similarities on paper, Leopard and Vista are nothing alike,” Finnie reports.

“Vista has a cover-Microsoft’s-butt, designed-by-corporate-committee feel, while Leopard tightly adheres to Apple’s well-honed user-interface design principles. In numerous small ways, Apple has improved its OS, while Microsoft has, in a plethora of ways, changed Windows — not always for the better,” Finnie reports. “With OS X 10.5, Apple is clearly going head to head with Microsoft and Vista. With the smoke clearing, it’s also apparent that Apple still has a lead on Microsoft when it comes to user interface and functionality.”

“It’s impossible to miss the refinement infused throughout Apple’s new operating system, whereas there are compromises in Vista that impinge upon the user experience without giving something back in return. Apple is focused on the user experience, while Microsoft appears to be focused on antipiracy, overengineered security protections, and digital rights management aimed at serving its prospective third-party partners,” Finnie reports. “There’s really no contest. Tiger is a better OS than Vista, and there are no long-term downsides to Leopard. Vista doesn’t measure up.”

Full article here.

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