The news that Microsoft changed Longhorn’s name to Vista is no longer news. It’s desperation. The news that the latest version of Vista’s beta is being delayed until next year is no longer news. It’s modus operandi at Microsoft.
Mac OS X Tiger has received mostly rave reviews from anyone in the media who reviews such things as a complex operating system. Apple’s PR has been great for about three years.
On the other side of PR dreamland is the nightmare scenario taking place at Microsoft. The next version of Windows continues to get no PR to speak of and gets delayed again and again.
The next scheduled date for release is in the second half of 2006, coming on the heels of a near-complete rewrite of Windows Vista code.
Why? To make Windows more Mac-like and to get it to ship before Apple ships the next version of OS X, code-named Leopard, sometime around the beginning of 2007.
Windows Vista is now in beta and missing most of the features touted years ago for Longhorn.
As the beta appears, PC prognosticators have begun their comparisons of OS X, as currently shipping, and Windows Vista beta (remember, the real version won’t be seen until late next year).
As you may suspect with Microsoft’s previous history regarding Apple, Windows Vista carries with it lots of Mac OS X.
After all, Apple is really Microsoft’s research and development arm for Windows products.
Remarkably, virtually no one is comparing Windows XP to Mac OS X Tiger. Most reputable media writers are telling Windows users to switch if they’re fed up with Windows problems on their PCs.
Based on Apple’s soaring Mac sales, many former Windows users are switching.
What’s in the future for Windows Vista? How will Vista compare with Mac OS X Tiger today?
If you’ve used Tiger you’ve surely used Spotlight, the integrated search feature. Hard drives are so big we don’t throw files away anymore so there’s a need to integrate search into the operating system.
Tiger already has that. Vista might have it by late 2006.
User account protection is all rage these days. Partly because it’s built in to Mac OS X Tiger and creates a very secure ‘partition’ between computer users.
It’s also totally absent from Windows XP, but may show up in Windows Vista, because security is all the rage for Microsoft, too.
Well, rage is what Windows XP users do when they’re computer gets ‘zombied’ by hackers. That’s not to mention the spyware, malware, viruses, and the like.
Microsoft promises those things will be a thing of the past with Windows Vista, though there are already viruses reported for Vista nearly a year before it gets released.
Many computer users are sufficiently worried about security that they use Mac OS X’s FileVault (found in Security in System Preferences) to encrypt home directory files.
It’s fast, convenient, secure. Just as you’d expect with Mac OS X.
How about Windows Vista? Full Volume Encryption is planned by Microsoft. But not for everyone. Only the Enterprise Edition (read; ‘more money’) will receive that technology.
It seems as though it was just a few years ago that ‘firewall’ meant what firefighters did to keep a forrest fire from spreading.
Today, a Firewall prevents the outside world from getting into your computer. Mac OS X has a very good firewall. So does Windows XP and so will Windows Vista.
How about browsers? It seems as though there are more browsers available for the Mac than for Windows. Maybe not. But it seems that way.
Most of the computing world uses Microsoft’s aging Internet Explorer, though Firefox and Safari continue to increase marketshare.
For Windows Vista, Microsoft plans improved security in the next version of Internet Explorer. Why? There’s an odd need to reduce the ability of malicious software to use IE functions. You know, those built in to IE as it was ‘built in’ to the browser.
I suppose at this point you’re looking for some new features in Windows Vista that Mac OS X hasn’t already developed for Tiger, right?
You’re not the only one. Vista is already being labeled as nothing more than another Windows XP Service Pack, albeit and advanced version.
How advanced? So advanced that Vista looks like Mac OS X Tiger; similar shadows, similar colorful icons.
Microsoft will get away with a new OS that merely mimics Mac OS X and they’ll sell millions and millions.
Meanwhile, Apple is already working on Mac OS X Leopard. I wonder what it will do to differentiate the computer experience from Microsoft Vista.
Jack D. Miller
Stop wondering. At best, Vista will look like OS X but have more viruses, spyware, and malware, lets lickable goodness. A whole new OS that’s ultra stable? I don’t think so.
I’m not much on OS prognostication, but it looks to me that Apple will wait until Microsoft freezes Vista, announces it to the world, and then will spring Leopard, so the real comparisons will be a reversal of comparisons today.