It was a fine day, so InfoWorld’s Randall C. Kennedy decided to take a nice stroll through the tech neighborhood. I’d say the resulting piece is destined for the link bait Hall of Fame, but I know it’s just the beginning. The launch of new Operating Systems by Microsoft and Apple is too good an event to pass up.
I think analysis of each OS is great, and that an inflammatory headline (“Is Snow Leopard just a cheap Windows 7 knockoff?“) in and of itself does not make for a bad article. However, when you read the thing, and see the outlandish and silly claims made, you know its true purpose. No matter the headline, I’d like thought and reasoning to back it up. The IW piece lacks that.
InfoWorld’s Reasons For The Headline
“Yippee,! Apple finally goes 64-bit — BFD! As a Windows user, I’ve been livin’ la vida 64-bit for more than three years. Vista was the first mainstream desktop OS to deliver a viable 64-bit experience”
Oh please. You mean Microsoft should be rewarded for being unable to bring 64-bit in any manner other than a separate OS? One that requires you to purchase a new license, blow away your existing setup, and start over? This is why there’s a small percentage of people running 64-bit Windows. Microsoft’s 64-bit strategy is so overwhelmingly hostile and user unfriendly that no one bothers.
As for Apple’s implementation not being “fully” 64-bit, spare me. I have an icon in 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate for a 32-bit Internet Explorer, and I run it because some sites don’t play with the 64-bit version. So what’s all this nonsense about a “full” 64-bit system?
That Apple’s 64-bit strategy is vastly superior to Microsoft’s is obvious to anyone who bothers to think it through. The idea that separate OSs make more sense for this is ludicrous.
“This one’s [Exposé in the Dock] a joke, right? Am I to understand that Apple is just getting around to adding this? Microsoft has been offering this type of functionality (aka thumbnail preview)”
Nice of Kennedy to ask if this is a joke, because his argument certainly is. Exposé has been around for years, including the ability to see all of one app’s open windows. Snow Leopard simply adds yet another way to invoke it, in addition to the configurable keyboard, mouse, and gesture options already available. Options that Windows 7 lacks.
Mac OS X also includes Spaces, a higher-level method of organizing windows. In short, Mac OS X Leopard, all by itself, blows Windows 7 away in this regard. Snow Leopard simply increases Apple’s lead.
“So while I’m glad to see Apple finally getting on the ball with its PDF handling (I hear the updated viewer lets you basically do away with the piggish Adobe Reader for most common tasks), I’m still utterly stunned by the fact that this is even an issue.”
Kennedy is bent out of shape about Apple’s Preview enhancements for PDFs. But Preview allowed most Mac users to “do away” with Acrobat the day it was first delivered, that ability is not new to Snow Leopard.
In any case, Leopard allowed for previews of multiple pages in a PDF file (via Quick Look), and enhances that capability in Snow Leopard. Further, it allows for “smart” text selection that I’m looking forward to. Finally, it will be sped up considerably. Given that it already blows past Acrobat, the new speed will truly leave Adobe behind.
“Can you believe the Apple folks used to charge for this thing [QuickTime Pro]? I guess they saw the writing on the wall, what with Microsoft releasing yet another excellent iteration of its free Movie Maker application.”
Comparing QuickTime Pro to Windows Live Movie Maker is nothing more than proof of either ignorance or link baiting. The real comparison (and it’s no contest) is between Movie Maker and iMovie. The latter blows the former away. It’s not even close.
“I’ve often referred to Windows 7 as “Vista R2,” an incremental follow-up release that was mostly about righting the wrongs of its predecessor.”
So have lots of people, which is why Microsoft began their campaign to say the same thing about Snow Leopard. Isn’t it odd they can’t think of a decent reason for Windows 7 except that “It’s better than Vista” (how could it be worse?) and “Apple does it, too” (wrong).
“Viewed in these terms, Mac OS X Snow Leopard is more like a service pack: a collection of bug fixes and minor functional enhancements that, quite frankly, should have been in the original release. As such, Snow Leopard is nothing to get all excited about; it’s not worth even the modest “upgrade” price Apple is asking.”
The “service pack” line is right out of Redmond’s talking points memo. I guess since many people think that’s what Windows 7 is, Microsoft put all their big brains together and came up with the “I know you are, but what am I” defense. Brilliant.
Microsoft displays a certain disdain for what Apple accomplished with Snow Leopard. Their supporters have whined about it for months, and the heat is really on now. As if Microsoft wouldn’t love to refine Windows under the hood. As if Windows doesn’t need refinement under the hood! Get rid of the antiquated registry, get a handle on DLL issues we’ve had for years, remove the bloat, add better security, and don’t require separate versions for 32- and 64-bit. But they can’t. They don’t have the vision, they don’t have the priority, and they don’t have the desire to make things better for their user base.
Finally, though Kennedy’s article is link bait, and doesn’t deserve one, here’s a link. Expect more like this as the Microsoft FUD machine rolls onward. In fact, Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows has a “Quick Take” on Snow Leopard that’s almost as bad as Kennedy’s. And then there’s Ed Bott’s cherry-picked data that uses the “service pack” meme from the Microsoft playbook. All these articles posted on the same day (8/25); these folks are well-schooled.
Can Mary Jo Foley and the rest of Microsoft’s tech press friends be far behind? More of this is undoubtedly on the way; brace yourselves for some pretty foul stuff.