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David Pogue Takes On Vista 533

Posted by kdawson
from the vista-with-an-X dept.
guruevi writes to let us know about a review of Microsoft Vista in the NY Times, in the form of an article and a video, by the known Mac-friendly David Pogue. In the article, Pogue recasts Microsoft's marketing mantra for Vista: "Clear, Confident, Connected" becomes "Looks, Locks, Lacks." Pogue writes that Vista is such a brazen rip-off of Mac OS X that "There must be enough steam coming out of Apple executives' ears to power the Polar Express." But the real fun is in the video, in which Pogue attempts to prove that Vista is not simply an OS X clone.
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David Pogue Takes On Vista

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  • by Zerikai (645450) on Monday December 18, 2006 @08:48AM (#17284670)
    Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

    Microsoft is just trying to express how much they love Apple.
    • by onion2k (203094) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:06AM (#17284774) Homepage
      The summary is basically saying "It's all looks, there's no substance, there's nothing good ... it's a copy of OSX". That's not especially flattering toward OSX.
      • by Greyfox (87712) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:27AM (#17285536) Homepage Journal
        Not really. Microsoft has been copying Apple badly since Windows 2.0. They built their house on the shaky foundation of their non-reentrant program loader and they've codified two decades of design mistakes. They've never had a better product than Apple has and they stubbornly continue to polish that turn of a system in the hopes that someday it'll be shiny. Meanwhile they copy the exact things that caused Apple to fail in the 90's -- the vendor lock-in and high prices that drove everyone to the cheap commodity PCs. Sure you could get an Apple if you wanted to pay twice as much for all your hardware. Meanwhile Apple's opening up and becoming a lot more competitive on that front.

        Microsoft arrogantly believes that they are the IT Industry but they've always made a product that's just good enough to be tolerable. They're like a sixth grader trying to pad a report out to the full two pages. Or a Bush administration that won't go away after 8 years in office. Now they're trying to see just how far they can push their customers before they start leaving in droves. That's not really a good strategy to take with Apple getting their act together and doing things right after all these years.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lymond01 (314120)
          They've never had a better product than Apple

          I worked pretty extensively with the Mac OS from 7.1 to 8.5. Anything from 7.3 to 8.5 was inferior to pretty much everything Microsoft has put out except for Windows Me and first edition Windows 95 in terms of stability and usability. The 10 series of Mac OS X is relatively stable as a UNIX operating system, but I daresay that because it's UNIX, certain tasks just aren't in the GUI and that's where MS is succeeding right now. The "Do this" Wizards of Windows O
    • by MECC (8478) *
      Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

      I wonder if they'll imitate the secure part in addition to the looks.

      Then there's User Account Control, an intrusive dialog box that pops up whenever you try to install a program or adjust a PC-wide setting, requesting that you confirm the change by entering your password. This will strike most people as an unnecessary nuisance, and you can turn it off.

      I guess not.

  • Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morboIV (1040044) on Monday December 18, 2006 @08:50AM (#17284680)
    Funny how the summary doesn't include things from the article like:

    Vista is infinitely more pleasant to use than its predecessors. There's more logic to its folder structure and naming scheme. Things are easier to find. Fewer steps are required to perform common tasks, especially when it comes to networking.
    It's almost like someone has an agenda or something.
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by morboIV (1040044) on Monday December 18, 2006 @08:52AM (#17284700)
      Or how about this one:

      Windows Vista is not, as the Web's chorus of caustic critics claim, little more than a warmed-over Windows XP.
      Funny how that quote didn't make it either.
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lisandro (799651) on Monday December 18, 2006 @08:54AM (#17284712)
      Well, yes, Slashdot was always renowed for their editorial objectiveness, specially regarding new Microsoft products :)

      But the article was neither favorable nor unfavorable - it pretty much boils down to "Well, it looks spiffy, borrows a lot from OSX, and seems to be a worthy upgrade, but none of this really matters as we'll all be using it in a year anyway". Sadly enough, i think that's more or less right.
      • Re:Article Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tim C (15259) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:22AM (#17284874)
        But the article was neither favorable nor unfavorable

        Which is precisely why the summary here (which let's face it is all a lot of people are going to read) being so unfavourable is so disappointing.

        I appreciate that this is essentially Taco and Malda's hobby writ large, but even just a passing nod towards reality in the headlong rush to rubbish Vista as much as possible would be nice once in a while.
      • >>Sadly enough, i think that's more or less right.

        Why are you sad? Sounds like you think Vista is a good thing. And BTW, nobody can make you upgrade your current computer to it, and probably for a year or more you'll still be able to buy XP systems from all the major vendors.
  • I Like It! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SSonnentag (203358) on Monday December 18, 2006 @08:54AM (#17284710) Homepage
    I've been testing Vista Business edition all weekend and so far I really like it. I'm also a Mac user, so I can compare the two firsthand. Vista takes a lot of the nice features of OS X and does them the right way in Vista. The gadgets are so much nicer in Vista than in OS X. They're easier to manage and they work more smoothly. The Vista user interface is absolutely beautiful from an eye candy point of view, and yet it doesn't seem to take any significant performance hit. My Mac Book Pro is not nearly as fluid in running OS X as my Dell laptop is with Vista. Both OS'es are 64-bit also. Even Photoshop CS3 runs much faster on Vista than on OS X.

    Microsoft may have copied a lot of features and look from Apple, but they left the bad, took the good and have a much better implementation in my opinion.

    Now if only Linux worked this well....
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mwilliamson (672411)
      At least I can still run my Oracle / PostgreSQL / MySQL databases on the last Linux, the current Linux, and confidently on the next Linux. Seems for now I'll have to keep that stupid Windows 2003 server box around to keep SQL server running for an app that requires it...
    • by kjart (941720)

      I think I see the problem. You should have started your post by saying you were a Mac user and you liked Linux. That would've thrown the mods off your scent - that is, the scent of someone who has actually tried Vista voicing an opinion about it :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by morboIV (1040044)
      I wonder if he would get modded flamebait if he was praising Ubuntu and concluded "Now if only XP worked this well...."?

      Wait, no I don't.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by _Hiro_ (151911)
      Two comments:

      I can put Tiger on a G4 and run with it... Last I heard anything below a P4 / Athlon XP would have issues with Vista. (My memory is a little fuzzy, but I seem to remember the G4 coming about a little after PIII / Athlon) Have you tested Vista on any older hardware (even without Aero) to see how it performs?

      And 2nd is that 10.4 isn't 64-bit yet.... 10.5 is.
  • Some... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Monday December 18, 2006 @08:55AM (#17284720)
    might remember that even before OS X was launched for its first version, the "vista" "road map" had been published clearly stating what major components would be part of Vista, on WinFS never made it while another, "Aero" has always been slated as part of the opertating system. Unlike apple Microsoft likes to get feedback from their customers before throwing something at them. So of course Mac users see 3d components, 3d windows and naturally assume that MS just ripped off the idea, however it's not fully the case - and the line isn't clear. The thing is: if you strip away the UI of vista and compare OS X and Vista based simply on their progamming models and underlying architecture - they are decidedly different. It would seem this author however is not qualified to make this evaluation.
    • by stubear (130454)
      not to mention that Windows had desktop search capabilities from Microsoft and Google long before OSX had the Steve Jobs blessed version. Vista's desktop search is simply refined and improved,
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kalidasa (577403)

      I'd suggest that you watch the video. It's not the 3D graphics that he's talking about.

      Also, I've had OS X on my laptop since July of 2001. Aqua was first released to the world in an OS X alpha build presented at MacWorld in January of 2000 [apple.com]. According to the Wikipedia article (if we can trust that), work on Vista started in May of 2001. And Aero (even if not by that name) has only been in Vista since build 4074 (according to the Wikipedia article on Aero); Paul Thurrott's images of that build are dated Ma

    • Neither Mac OS or Windows have, or have ever had, "3d windows" or a 3D desktop. Ever. All they have is transparency, provided by a hardware-accelerated UI, DirectX in Windows and OpenGL in Mac OS. The only OSes that have really had a true 3D desktop are UNIX flavors running Looking Glass.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Reverberant (303566)

      might [sic] remember that even before OS X was launched for its first version, the "vista" "road map" had been published clearly stating what major components would be part of Vista... "Aero" has always been slated as part of the opertating system.

      The earliest I can find of any discussion of Longhorn's "advanced user interface" as part of the roadmap appears to be about 2003 timeframe [winsupersite.com]. Aqua was publicly revealed at Macworld 2000 San Francisco [wikipedia.org].

  • According to TFA: If you have a spare U.S.B. flash drive, your PC can use it as extra main memory for a tiny speed boost.

    Would that really give you that much of a speed boost over using swap? Granted most USB sticks are pretty close to random access(a hell of a lot closer than hard drives at any rate), and have decent bandwidth, but wouldn't all of a sudden popping memory out of your system cause some serious system panicks? Also would you have to clear out the stick whenever you eject it? I am curiou
    • What??? (Score:3, Informative)

      by brunes69 (86786)
      Well, I wouldn't be surprised if that was either total bunk, or gross misrepresentation by the author.

      The idea of using a flash drive to supplement main memory is assenine for a number of reasons. Like the above, yanking it out would leave the OS in a totally assed up state. As well, flash only has ~ 1-2 million write cycles. Your thumb drive would be toast in just a week or two if you were using it as RAM.
      • Re:What??? (Score:5, Informative)

        by _xeno_ (155264) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:30AM (#17284934) Homepage Journal

        No, it's real. He's parroting Microsoft's selling of the feature. It's called Windows ReadyBoost [microsoft.com] (they helpfully don't offer an anchor to link directly to it, it's there, scroll down). Another poster [slashdot.org] offered a FAQ about ReadyBoost [msdn.com] on an MSDN blog, where the blogger assures his readers that Microsoft has worked out the issues involved with limited writes and removing the drive.

        To quote the linked Microsoft advertising page:

        Windows Vista introduces a new concept in adding memory to a system. Windows ReadyBoost lets users use a removable flash memory device, such as a USB thumb drive, to improve system performance without opening the box.

        They really are selling it as "add a USB drive to improve your system's memory."

      • I believe if you go read MS's FAQ on the ReadyBoost feature they state that today's flash drives should be good for 10 years or so for this duty. I guess in part because flash drives already randomize write locations to spread out the duty, and because MS uses some algorithm to ensure the cache is used for frequent pagefile contents.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by aauu (46157)

        You should investigate before babbling ignorantly. The usb stick is a mirror of the data paged to disk. Pulling the stick just means the system uses the disk for reads of the data. This only works when the memory sticks are faster than disk and have adequate space. The stick is tested for speed and capaciy before such usage. This is a significant benefit to those systems (laptops and older systems) that have limited expansion capability for ram. This is a capability that I could use daily as I routinely ove

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          You should investigate before babbling ignorantly.

          Windows and *nix are functionally equivalent, just minor syntax differences to access the semantics.

          Except for that whole thing about the registry. You know, that database portion of Windows that gets hosed once about every three seconds, and Windows constantly chokes on? That thing that is next to impossible to gracefully recover from without losing data or settings or creating other odd behavior? That thing that makes a regular workstation crawl to a halt after about 6 months of usage from a normal person.

          There are many other ways in which Windows and *nix differ, but this is the first one that po

        • Re:What??? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by drsmithy (35869) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (yhtimsrd)> on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:13AM (#17285344)

          Windows is a total mystery to those who only barely understand just enough *nix to run a live cd with kde/gnome.

          Windows is usually a total mystery even to those who have mastered unix to the point of, say, writing kernel-level code.

          Windows and *nix are functionally equivalent, just minor syntax differences to access the semantics.

          Maybe if your view is from the orbit occupied by people who get confused when two or more windows are on the screen at the same time...

          Except for those who use FreeBSD or Gentoo with complete source package installation by compiling everything including the kernel, you're just a binary whore beholden to Red Hat, Novell, etc. instead of Microsoft.

          If you're using ports (or portage) the difference is still just semantics.

          Heck, even if you're sucking files out of the developer's SVN repository and compiling it yourself, it's *still* just semantics. You're still just a "whore" beholden to whomever is writing the code.

    • by will_die (586523)
      It will give a performance boost if you don't have alot of physical memory, and even it you do a a few gigs of memory you might benifit from it because vista likes to grab all the memory it can.
      for a good overview of this feature read this old FAQ [msdn.com]
    • by drsmithy (35869)

      I am curious as to how microsoft did this.

      Basically, you put in a USB drive and it says something like "would you like to use this drive to supplement your virtual memory" (it's called ReadyBoost I think).

      I daresay they're assuming people doing this won't just rip the USB drive out randomly ;).

      I guess I will just have to wait to see some benchmarks to see how it performs.

      I would expect, faster than a hard disk but slower than real RAM.

      I imagine the theory is to offer people who are either unable or u

      • actually, it doesn't matter if you just rip out the USB drive at any random time. It is only a cache. Nothing in it is unique to it. Everything on it is already on your disk. Yanking the drive at any time is just fine and dandy, as is plugging it back in again at any random time. It happily begins using it for cache duty just as before, until you tell it you don't want it to do so.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Why not just buy real RAM, instead of using a flash drive. For a couple hundred dollars you can get yourself 2 Gigs [newegg.com] of real memory. That should be just about enough for any desktop user. If it's not, then you're probably need a lot of power, and are still better off buying real memory. Flash drives would die pretty fast if you tried to use them as swap space. They might offer some advantage if you had all the boot information on there, and booted from it, but I don't think you'd notice a significant inc
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by drsmithy (35869)

          Why not just buy real RAM, instead of using a flash drive.

          * Maybe your machine is maxed out with RAM.
          * Maybe you aren't comfortable with upgrading it yourself and can't afford to pay someone else.
          * Maybe you don't understand what RAM even is.
          * Maybe you want the performance benefits of both (ReadyBoost delivers improved performance, even to RAM-endowed systems).

          Flash drives would die pretty fast if you tried to use them as swap space.

          This isn't swap space (well, not literally) it's (effectively) a D

    • a recent typical USB thumbdrive is something like 10x faster at random access of 4KB chunks than even the fastest hard drives. So Vista can use one of these USB drives as a cache for the pagefile, speeding up a system quite a bit *IF* it is using the pagefile quite a bit. That is, if you're a bit low on RAM and the pagefile is getting hit pretty hard. Pop in a USB stick and allow it to use a portion for this feature and you should get a pretty decent boost. If, however, you already have tons of RAM you
    • by hey! (33014)
      I'm quite certain that it would give you a considerable speed boost over using disk based swap. Having no phyisical heads to move or drive sectors to wait to spin under them, flash is true random access. I wonder though whether the error detection and correction features of flash drives are up to the number of read/write cycles a heavily loaded system will demand.
  • To Be Fair .... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:00AM (#17284740) Journal
    Pogue writes that Vista is such a brazen rip-off of Mac OS X that "There must be enough steam coming out of Apple executives' ears to power the Polar Express."
    I haven't used Mac OS X or Vista on a regular basis but, to be fair, if one operating system does something right, should we really criticize another operating system for coding that feature into their own product?

    For instance, when I found out that Mac OS's had the Unix shell I was happy & enthusiastic at the same time. Not because I use Mac but because I like that shell over so many others & I hope to see every operating system standardize their shell. I would also like to see the same done with security schemes.

    Now, whether widgets came first or gadgets came first--I don't care. What I care about is that my job (and I'm sure a lot of people reading this are the same way) forces me to use Windows & sooner or later they'll get Vista. Should I really be bitching and making fun of Vista being an OS X clone? Or should I sit back and enjoy the fact that something is changing and--since they're mimicking an already successful operating system--it must be for the better.

    I guess this is some form of operating system snobbery I'm not accustomed to.
    • by NoTheory (580275)
      Well... no we shouldn't complain when someone incorporates good ideas into their product.

      I think that complaining might be warranted when someone only improves their product by incorporating other people's ideas. Thus far i really haven't seen anything that compels me to try vista. That's not true of when i switched from XP to OSX (and i'm still quite happy with the balance of unix-y-ness, and gui-y-ness, which i wasn't getting from linux [don't get me wrong, i like linux, and it's useful, but i didn't
    • Re:To Be Fair .... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by StormReaver (59959) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:56AM (#17285190)
      "...should we really criticize another operating system for coding that feature into their own product?"

      Not at all. But then the makers of that other operating system shouldn't be screaming from the rafters about how they're innovating. Everyone borrows from everyone, which is how it should be. The best features from the industry should be adopted throughout the industry.

      The reason that Microsoft takes so much flack for it is because its executives then refuse to admit that Microsoft didn't invent the borrowed features -- despite the obviousness of it all.
    • by hey! (33014)
      I don't think the article can be characterized as criticizing Microsoft for copying some good features from MacOS, so much as grudgingly admitting that the copying is a good thing.

      It falls, rather, into the category of "damning with faint praise".

      Soon, most of the world will be forced to upgrade to this operating system. In the course of being frog marched into adopting Vista, much money will be spent on computer upgrades, and existing systems which are perfectly good are going to be thrown out because it'
  • by glas_gow (961896) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:01AM (#17284744)

    Then there's User Account Control, an intrusive dialog box that pops up whenever you try to install a program or adjust a PC-wide setting, requesting that you confirm the change by entering your password. This will strike most people as an unnecessary nuisance, and you can turn it off.

    Guess which feature the majority of users will disable.

    Seriously, I hope there is some sort of privilege separation, only requiring password authentication for applications that need escalated privileges, otherwise this feature will be ignored left, right and centre.

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      Seriously, I hope there is some sort of privilege separation, only requiring password authentication for applications that need escalated privileges, [...]

      That's exactly what LUA _is_.

      LUA does the same thing as the graphical sudo prompts in OS X and some Linux distros, only without the need to type a password.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jp10558 (748604)
        Doesn't this totally break any security then? I mean, how hard is it to send a keypress from a program to a window? AutoIT can do that eaisly. I don't think that would even trigger any security stuff, as opposed to trying to hook a keylogger so you can programatically pass the password to sudo or whatever.

        Basically, I can't see this improving actual security much beyond the time it takes malware to incoporate AutoIT or the like.

        Finally, as it's just ANOTHER "Are you really sure?" box, with no real indicatio
  • Apple navel gazing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dave1791 (315728)
    "Some of the big-ticket Vista features and programs are eerily familiar, too. The biggest one is Instant Search, a text box at the bottom of the Start menu. As you type here, the Start menu turns into a list of every file, folder, program and e-mail message that contains your search phrase, regardless of names or folder locations. It's a powerful, routine-changing tool, especially when you seek a program that would otherwise require burrowing through nested folders in the All Programs menu.
    A similar Search
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:17AM (#17284832) Homepage
    It's a bloody pain in the ass to port UNIX/POSIX/Linux software to it, unlike OS X.
  • From the article
    There's now a keystroke (Alt+up arrow) to open the current folder's parent window, the one that contains it.


    Backspace opens the parent folder in XP & probably even in previous Windows version.
    • Backspace switches to the parent folder; it doesn't open a new window. It sounds like Windows Explorer may finally be settling with the "spatial" navigation paradigm of one window per folder, as used by Mac Finder (and Amiga Workbench, and recent versions of Nautilus).
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        Backspace switches to the parent folder; it doesn't open a new window.

        Actually backspace performs the equivalent of clicking on the "Back" button - takes you to whatever view you were last in. That may or may not be the parent folder of the current view.

        It sounds like Windows Explorer may finally be settling with the "spatial" navigation paradigm of one window per folder, as used by Mac Finder (and Amiga Workbench, and recent versions of Nautilus).

        As John Siracusa over at Ars likes to remind us, the c

  • News for Nerds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by value_added (719364) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:19AM (#17284848)

    A summary of the fine article:

    • Windows Vista is beautiful
    • The Start Menu has changed
    • New Programs include Sidebar, Photo Gallery, DVD Maker, Chess Titans and Flip 3-D
    • More logic to its folder structure and naming scheme
    • New Sleep mode for laptops
    • New Presentation Mode for PowerPoint
    • Internal fortifications blah blah Service Hardening blah blah blah
    • Includes IE7
    • Includes Windows Defender
    • Includes Parental Controls
    • Includes User Account Control
    • Includes a backup program
    • Netmeeting has been replaced by Meeting Space
    • Wordpad can't open .doc files

    Sigh.

    With a little effort, Microsoft could fit the David Pogue Takes On Vista review onto a sticker to put on the retail boxes. Until then, let's hope some enterprising Slashdot reader downloads a copy of Vista and offers something more substantive for discussion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kahei (466208)
      ...because a Slashdot reader's take on Vista would be completely unbiased!

      I don't find Pogue's take hard to believe. In 5 years of development, I'd expect them to be able to pretty things up and reorganize the directory structure. I mean, this is 5 whole _years_. The only thing in the list above that sounds like a real change is the sleep mode -- I hear good things about that. So, it's not like we're seeing hugely inflated claims here.

      All I want from it is for it to be a stable baseline for development
  • by klubar (591384) on Monday December 18, 2006 @09:58AM (#17285202) Homepage
    Most Vista reviewes (and the /. reactions) fail to consider the mission of Vista in most big corporations. Sure, there might be some comparisons to Macintosh for the look & feel, but in a corporate (> 500 employees) environment, the Windows platform really shines. From a robust permission scheme, remote control of group policies and really easy deployment there's nothing like Windows. (The macintosh really falls down in a controlled environment.

    Can any one of the Mac fanboys come up with one Fortune 500 company (other than Apple) that has deployed more than 50% Macs?)

    If you add Exchange to the mix, Windows really shines in the shared environment. Sure, for "grandma's" use and other special applications the Mac is a bright and shiny object, but it's just not a good team player.
    • by Tom (822) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:26AM (#17285514) Homepage Journal
      From a robust permission scheme, remote control of group policies and really easy deployment there's nothing like Windows.

      Except any of the many Unix versions.

      One of the first companies I worked for had a network of mostly Windos with some Solaris machines for the developers. Me and another guy managed the Solaris machines in addition to our regular jobs, and it was painless, smooth and easy. The windos dudes spent most of their days cussing at the inabilities of their OS.
    • by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday December 18, 2006 @11:11AM (#17286106) Homepage Journal

      Can any one of the Mac fanboys come up with one Fortune 500 company (other than Apple) that has deployed more than 50% Macs?

      I'm a Linux fanboy, not a Mac fanboy, but I can: Genentech. 90% Mac and pushing towards 100%. I'm familiar with Genentech because I did some consulting for them last year. The Windows dominance on corporate desktops has much less to do with suitability for the task and much more to do with inertia and culture.

  • by zoomba (227393) <mfc131@gmail. c o m> on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:00AM (#17285224) Homepage
    A common gripe I have with the Mac OS community is this seeming insistence that everything that is cool or nifty, or even useful, is somehow a rip-off of something Apple did first. If you look at articles like this one, you'd think Apple invented the on-desktop search bar (Google), or widgets/gadgets (DesktopX, Konfabulator).

    Apple often does things *better* than other companies (with the exception of Dashboard) but they usually don't do it FIRST. This makes the claim that everyone rips off their stuff from Apple pretty silly.

    Lets look at some of these claims in the article regarding what Microsoft is "stealing" from Apple:

    1. Glowing Min/Max/Close Buttons
    Ugh, I'm sorry, but this is not an Apple first thing. I've seen this in Windows custom UIs (WindowBlinds for example) for a good long while now, not to mention game UIs and a bunch of Flash applications. This is a very nice design element, and yes Apple did it well, but they didn't do it first.

    2. "Instant Search"
    Yes, I know... you're trying to compare it to Spotlight and the traditional Sherlock tool. Guess what though, well before Spotlight there was Google Desktop which gave you the in-frame search box. I like Spotlight a lot, it makes navigating files on my system a hell of a lot easier, but it's not new, and all similar search systems aren't instantly copycats of it.

    3. Sidebar and Gadgets/Widgets
    Like I said before, the Gadget/Widget thing has been around a LOT longer than Apple fans like to think. Dashboard was the first attempt to integrate them straight into the OS as a bundled feature, but it was pretty poorly implemented. Apple in this regard was several years late to the party. The MS Sidebar is also a fairly poor implementation... so I guess if anything you can accuse MS of stealing some of Apple's own bad design work.

    4. The bundled apps "Photo Library" "DVD Maker" "Chess Titans" etc...
    Umm... ok... I'll give you Apple folks this one. With the way MS broke apart the Outlook features into individual apps is a little too close to the iCal, Address Book, Mail.app scheme. This one is probably a straight-rip from the Apple playbook.

    5. Flip3D a poor man's Expose
    Bull. Flip3D is a cheesy way to show off the 3D capabilities in the desktop layer. It has nothing to do with Expose and the multiple ways to display everything currently running. I think Expose does things way better. Flip3D is a gimmick, nothing more. If MS wanted to ape the Expose design, they could have easily done it better.

    There are a lot of things Apple does well, and the article does admit that Apple borrows, often even from Windows, to get its feature set. However, the claim that these features were taken from Apple as opposed to being taken from wherever Apple themselves snagged them is presumptuous.
    • by Chrononium (925164) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:19AM (#17285412)
      A few notes: 1. Glowing buttons were completed in Mac OS X long before WindowBlinds came up with it (August 2005). 2. As a former Apple employee, I know that we sure had Spotlight figured out to a large extent by the time that GDS came out. 3. The widget thing is pretty old, at least as old as the original Mac OS (sure, the technology and capabilities were not the same, but widgets really are supposed to be mini/assistant apps). Linux has quite naturally taken a liking to it and has a better "widget" system than either company, though (IMHO) not as easy to use. 4. Yup. Although, how could they not stay competitive and not include these apps? 5. I think that Expose likely corrupted their imaginations into what was possible with a 3D windowserver. I honestly believe that they didn't have anything better than Flip3D that wasn't already too similar to Expose.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thatguywhoiam (524290)
      Good post - the only thing I would quibble with is, your examples don't go back nearly far enough. But that raises a new question - when is something newly 'invented' and not simply evolved?

      For example,

      1. Glowing Min/Max/Close Buttons - Ugh, I'm sorry, but this is not an Apple first thing. I've seen this in Windows custom UIs

      .. and before that in Bryce, and Kai's Power Tools. And I'm sure examples before that. But Apple popularized it. Which is where we (royal 'we') tend to draw the line at innovation,

  • I watched the video, which was actually some nice tongue-in-cheeck humor. Now I don't have much experiance with Mac OS, besides once getting frustrated because as a Windowised user I could find my way around and being too impatient to learn more about it.

    Now having played with Vista and finding my way around it, the video suggest that the move to OS-X would be easier then ever!
  • One more perspective (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nutznboltz2003 (832752) on Monday December 18, 2006 @10:24AM (#17285472) Homepage
    I have been running Vista on my laptop (HP nc6320) since it was released to business users. My laptop is a Core Duo 1.66Ghz with 512MB of ram. It was sold as "Vista ready" and even had that wonderful 100% Vista Compatible sticker on the side. Sadly, it was not.
    Vista failed to recognize almost all of the hardware. Thankfully, it did recognize the wireless card, so I was able to go to HP's site and download most of the hardware. It never did recognize the fingerprint reader (likely bad drivers) and there were two devices that came up as unknown device which I have yet to be able to track down. Also, since the video card is shared memory, I do not get all of the nice visual features on this laptop that I would on a more powerful desktop.
    That being said, I am very happy with the performance of this latop. The boot time is significantly nicer, and it runs Office 2007 perfectly. I also enjoy the menu structure so much more. Some of the layout reminds me of Mac/Linux, such as not having a "Documents and Settings" folder, but instead having a "Users" folder on the root drive. Things like this are not massive changes to the user experience, but for someone like me, who works on both Macs and PCs all day, it seems more natural, and I do feel I'm a little more productive during the day.
    I would actually like to replace Windows XP on my home machine with Vista, which can handle the special effects, but as I have a very old Brooktree tv tuner card, I will likely be stuck with XP until I can afford a new tuner card as well. The Beta releases of Vista did not recognize the card, so I don't have any hope for the final release.
    Also, for those wondering, Windows ReadyBoost has done wonders for my latop performance. I can actually tell a difference in the opening/closing time of office documents when I have my 1GB thumb drive attached. My older 256MB drives were not even offered the option of ReadyBoost, but they are not USB2.0 native, so that is likely the issue with those units.
  • You get the feeling that Microsoft's managers put Mac OS X on an easel and told the programmers, "Copy that."

    If you believe what Marlin Eller (a former Microsoft exec) wrote in his book, Microsoft has been doing this since Windows 1.0. Why did the first few versions of Windows use cooperative multitasking? Because the Macintosh didn't do multitasking at all, and because cooperative multitasking made running a single app seem faster and more responsive to Bill Gates as he shuffled between the team developing Windows and the team working on the Applications Apple was writing for the as-yet-unrevealed Macintosh.

    Bill Gates loved the Macintosh, and I suspect he still does... he sees Apple as Microsoft's unpaid unofficial brainstorming lab. He doesn't care if a few geeks think of Vista as an OS X clone, because he knows that 99.44% of the customer base simply don't care.
  • The much improved Internet Explorer 7 (also available for Windows XP) alerts you when you're visiting one of those fake bank or eBay Web sites (called phishing scams).

    Unfortunately Internet Explorer, Active X, and the Desktop are still the same incestuous codependant family, with he least competant member... the HTML control... left in charge of security.

    The level of integration in applications that use the HTML control is so great that it's inherently impossible to prevent cross-zone attacks. I can only categorize their continued use of this bankrupt approach ... unique among all browsers and other applications that display untrusted files ... a sign of improbable (and probably criminal) incompetance or mind-bogglingly callous cynicism.

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.

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