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. Sooner or later you will have to buy new hardware – sooner with Windows than with a Mac. You might as well buy a Mac when you update.

    Before I finally got rid of my last “Windows” laptop, a Dell, I installed Ubuntu and could not get a stable platform. It would freeze after about 1 – 3 minutes.

    I’m happy with my Macs.

  2. Let me add my voice to the opinion the article was poorly researched. They dissed Safari as a bad browser! Safari has grown on me to the point I am switching to it from FF.

    I mean IE7! Yak! I saw my 17 yr old nephew struggling with its abysmal GUI. What M$ lacks is the notion that human beings have to work with their gui. Safari is minimalist but soundly designed where IE7 is just straightforward baffling in its desire to withhold functionality from the user.

    M$ simply cannot get any worse at interface design than IE7.

  3. “For example, Mac OS X 10.5.2 would have at least tied Windows XP in the networking category.”

    Not for me. I still can’t network my Cube and PowerBook together to drag and drop files between the two (DropCopy was my favorite for this on Tiger) even though I am using an Airport Extreme.

    And, yes, I have file sharing allowed on each.

  4. I actually dual boot with Leopard and Ubuntu. Ubuntu is really easy to use once to get it up and running. Problem is getting it up and running isn’t always easy. Little stuff like setting up your wireless card using ndiswrapper can be a pain. So, it’s not for the average joe at the moment, but it’s getting there.

    So, Leopard is the winner atm. MS is seriously screwed. Windows 7 is probably going to suck as well. Momentum can only carry you so far. Eventually people are just going to start dumping Windows in very large numbers.

  5. Has SP1 for Shitsa been released yet?

    If so, I heard nothing about this, which to me is laughable, or are they talking about the beta?

    If SP1 is out there, is it even shittier than before?

  6. Best I could see they didn’t facilite comments on their articles and it’s probably just as well.
    They equate a Windows XP Service Pack with a Mac System upgrade like from Juguar to Tiger to Leopard when it probalby should be equted as being like 10.5.1 to 10.5.2.
    They also continue to insist that Unix is just as insecure as Windows – It’s just that poor Windows is picked on more than the Mac. If I was a hotshot hacker/virus writer, which would I rather do – write the 946,543rd virus for Windows or the First to write a comparable virus for the Mac? Don’t tell me it’s just that the Mac isn’t worth being a target.

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