ZDNet has a vision problem: Sees Vista for Leopard.

It’s Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet, and this time she’s exceeded herself. How can any self-respecting Microsoft fan not cringe when reading this drivel? I’ve taken her to task before, but this one sets new records.

Mary, just because you’ve got “an unblinking eye on Microsoft” doesn’t mean you can’t, you know, at least glance at Apple now and then.

Here’s how Mary attempts to explain that Mac OS X Leopard looks just like Microsoft’s Vista:

“New Leopard Desktop: Not a whole lot different from Vista’s Aero and Sidebar.”

Aero borrowed from Apple’s Aqua interface (they even knocked-off the name!), there since the first version of OS X. The Sidebar and its Gadgets were a rip-off of Apple’s Dashboard and its Widgets, there since Tiger over two years ago.

“New Finder: Many of the same capabilities as the integrated “Instant Search” in Vista (the subsystem that Google is trying to get the Department of Justice to rule as being anti-competitive). The new Leopard Coverflow viewing capability looked almost identical to Vista’s Flip 3D to me.”

The Spotlight search engine debuted in Tiger over two years ago and, as the Iowa anti-trust trial proved, had Microsoft’s fecal matter hitting their underwear. So they ripped it off. Vista’s Flip 3D is an application switcher. It’s literally nothing more than a new look to the age-old alt-tab method of switching application. Cover flow is not related to app switching at all, it’s a way of scrolling through previews of files, folders, anything in a much larger format than a simple thumbnail could provide.

“QuickLook: Live file previews — just like the thumbnail preview capability available in Vista.”

Right. Mac OS X has had thumbnail views for ages. Quick Look is functionality that allows you to preview any file or movie (even full screen) without launching the application that created it. It works so well that reports are you forget you’re not actually in the application that created the file!

“64-bitness: Leopard is the first 64-bit only version of a desktop client. Vista comes in 32-bit and 64-bit varieties. And most expect Windows Seven will still be available in 32-bit flavors. Until 32-bit machines go away, it seems like a good idea to offer 32-bit operating systems.”

Mary, are you insane? Sorry, but I had to ask. Leopard supports simultaneous 32- and 64-bit. It will support both types of applications side by side. It’s a brilliant implementation. It’s too bad Microsoft has you thinking that an OS can support either 32-bit or 64-bit, but not both at the same time.

“Core animation: Not sure what the Vista comparison is here. The demo reminded me of Microsoft Max photo-sharing application. The WWDC developers attending the Jobs keynote didn’t seem wowed with this functionality.”

There is no Vista comparison here. Core animation allows for graphics, effects, animations, etc. with fewer lines of code and better performance than before. The iPhone relies on it. Time Machine works on it. The new Dock and Stacks use it. The Apple TV uses it, and so on.

“Dashboard with widgets. Isn’t this like the Vista Sidebar with gadgets?”

I covered this above. These came out over two years ago in Tiger.

“Time Machine automatic backup. Vista has built-in automatic backup (Volume Shadow Copy). It doesn’t look anywhere near as cool as Time Machine. But it seems to provide a lot of the same functionality.”

Time Machine is a new paradigm in backup, and so easy people can actually use it. Saying Vista already has backup is irrelevant, so does Tiger. This is a new and beautiful approach to backups. How can you not see that? Oh, that’s right, your eyes are too busy unblinking on Microsoft.

“Granted, I am not an Apple user.”

Ya think? And yet you had no problem comparing Leopard to a copy of Tiger with transparent windows and a 3D app flipper.

“So, Apple folks: What am I missing? I’m not trying to pull a Dvorak here and use this blog post for click bait.”

I told you what you’re missing, and I didn’t even cover some of your points, which were also wrong. As for not pulling a Dvorak, I believe you, even he has (incredibly low) standards about how dumb he will act.

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4 thoughts on “ZDNet has a vision problem: Sees Vista for Leopard.

  1. Regarding Konfabulator, Apple took a well-received third-party utility and added it to the base OS. They’ve done this for years, long before OS X. It improves the product.

    The article I decried was the implication that Leopard could have possibly got this feature from Vista, which is absurd.

  2. Ever heard of Konfabulator?

    You seem to have conveniently forgotten that Apple pretty much knocked it off.

    Selective amnesia seems to be spreading quite fast these days 😉

  3. Foley admitted to me and laughed about her “trick for clicks” in an email two nights ago. She actually ADMITTED pulling a Dvorak.

  4. Did you send her your replies? maybe her question about she missed was not rhetorical.

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