Review: Mac OS X Shines In Comparison With Windows Vista - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
1/3/2007
10:48 AM
50%
50%

Review: Mac OS X Shines In Comparison With Windows Vista

Amid the hype surrounding the release of Windows Vista, Mac users are taking solace from the fact that OS X is still a champ on many fronts. Here are some reasons our reviewer John C. Welch opts for Apple.


OS X vs. Vista


•  Image Gallery

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.

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.

There are nearly an infinite number of ways to compare complex beasts like operating systems. I'm going to skip low-level issues, like comparing driver architectures. Most people just don't care about things like who has the superior kernel. People care far more about the parts they see and work with, so that is what I'm going to deal with here.

Steady Evolution
While Vista is indeed a major update to Windows, there's a lot of it that is, quite frankly, just Microsoft making up for lost time. The last non-server release of Windows was in 2001 with Windows XP, with only a single major interim update in Service Pack 2. In the same time, Apple has been steadily releasing updates to Mac OS X on what was a yearly schedule, now around every 18 months.

This means that while Mac OS X has been steadily evolving through 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4, and is now working toward 10.5, Microsoft was waiting on what would become Vista. When it was obvious the original Longhorn OS wasn't going to happen, it took the Windows Server 2003 code base and used that for the basis of Vista. It 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.

Microsoft had two serious issues. First, it had to make this update of Windows revolutionary enough that it came close to justifying the delay. Second, it had to come up with something that would stand up well with its main competitor in the desktop OS market, Mac OS X. Has it succeeded at both? I'd argue that the former's almost a nonissue: 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.

In a nutshell, Vista vs. Mac OS X is Revolution vs. Evolution. It's about a massive, long-delayed upgrade that has to account for almost six years of progress by its competitors, versus a well-executed strategy of regular updates. While updating an operating system is never something that can be called easy, Apple's strategy has been the better one for keeping its OS on top of things, something Microsoft has admitted to in a roundabout way.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 5
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
9 Steps Toward Ethical AI
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/15/2019
Commentary
How to Assess Digital Transformation Efforts
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  5/14/2019
Commentary
Is AutoML the Answer to the Data Science Skills Shortage?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/10/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
Slideshows
Flash Poll