PC Magazine conducts OS battle: Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard wins easily

“Everyone likes a good ‘I’m a Mac/I’m a PC’ commercial, but how do you really decide between today’s operating systems? All the major OSs run on Intel chips, so the playing field has leveled quite a bit. Running multiple operating systems on each computer you own, be it a Mac or a PC, is no big deal these days,” Eric Griffith reports for PC Magazine. “Why choose just one?”

Griffith reports,” The field may have leveled, but it’s not flat. The OSs still differ in many ways, not all of which are on the surface. We help average users—people with enough tech savvy to install and an own OS and serve as tech support to friends and family, even if they don’t consider themselves tech gurus. How do they choose between Mac ‘Leopard’ (Mac OS 10.5.1 after the first automatic update), Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista (pre-Service Pack 1), and Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (Linux)?”

The full article explains the scores given below:

Price (on scale of 0-5; 0 is worst, 5 is best):
4.5 – Ubuntu
4.0 – Mac OS 10.5.1
3.0 – Windows XP
2.0 – Windows Vista

Installation:
5.0 – Mac OS 10.5.1
3.5 – Windows Vista
3.0 – Windows XP
3.0 – Ubuntu

Interface:
5.0 – Mac OS 10.5.1
4.0 – Windows Vista
3.0 – Windows XP
2.5 – Ubuntu

Bundled Software:
4.5 – Mac OS 10.5.1
4.0 – Ubuntu
3.5 – Windows Vista
2.5 – Windows XP

Third-Party Software (Quantity, not Quality):
5.0 – Windows XP
4.5 – Windows Vista
4.0 – Ubuntu
3.5 – Mac OS 10.5.1

Drivers/Hardware (Quantity, not Quality):
4.5 – Windows XP
3.5 – Mac OS 10.5.1
3.5 – Windows Vista
2.5 – Ubuntu

Networking:
4.5 – Windows XP
4.0 – Mac OS 10.5.1
4.0 – Windows Vista
2.5 – Ubuntu

Security:
4.0 – Mac OS 10.5.1
4.0 – Ubuntu
3.5 – Windows Vista
3.0 – Windows XP

The Victor: Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.1)

MacDailyNews Take: All this before the massive Mac OS X 10.5.2 Update which brought about countless improvements over the version that PC Magazine has declared the OS winner. For example, Mac OS X 10.5.2 would have at least tied Windows XP in the networking category.

Griffith reports, “Mac OS 10.5.1 is the product to pick for our mythical average user who wants something secure, easy to install, and easy to master. That you can also run Windows and Ubuntu on today’s Intel-based Macs—enabling you to use all these OSs on the same PC—is just gravy.”

Griffith reports, “We’re under no illusions that our choice of a top operating system is going to change how most of our readers do their computing… If the OS you have already works for you, don’t rush to change. Sure, we like the Mac OS, but switching to it from Windows means buying new hardware.”

MacDailyNews Take: Translation: Keep on advertising in our pages Window-centric product peddlers!

There’s much more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brian” and “Corinne” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Only OS-unlimited Apple Macs can run all of the OSes discussed above, from the best, Mac OS X, to the worst, Windows. That’s why it’s a no-brainer that your next computer should be a Mac. You get two or more computers for the price of one!

38 Comments

  1. I don’t quite get the security scores. I guess I might have gone with: Mac 5.0, Ubuntu 4.5, Vista 2.0, XP 1.0.

    How can they even argue otherwise?

    I mean, when OS X gets its first real virus in the wild, then drop that a little. Until then, seems to me a 5.0 is the only way to go . . .

  2. wow… a complete waste of time reading that article. Totally unscientific, purely subjective, and poorly researched. I am surprised that Leopard 10.5.1 even won the competition, given how poor the analysis was.

    And of course, I disagree with many of the statements made in the article.

    10.5.2 – running strong.

  3. I wonder what the market share of Ubuntu is?

    Linux geeks are constantly saying how wonderful it is. Seriously, are there any decent apps available, aside from server tweaking utilities?

    I guess if you want to run Photoshop on your generic Ubuntu DOSBox™ you’re still stuck with Windows.

  4. also means buying new hardware. Eventually, you WILL buy a new machine.

    Make it a Mac, and if you still need Windows (hint, you probably won’t) then run Windows on it too. Which means software quantity (not quality) always favors the Mac.

    (To Bone Machine: yes there are old G5s out there still, but they’re not in stores to buy so it’s not a buying decision people have to worry about.)

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