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Windows Operating Systems Software IT

Comparing Tiger and Vista Beta 1 678

UltimaGuy writes "This article is an excellent comparison between the features of Apple Tiger and Windows Vista Beta 1. The point it raises - 'Windows Vista Beta 1 is a much-needed demonstration that Microsoft can still churn out valuable Windows releases, after years of doubt. For Mac OS X users, however, Windows Vista Beta 1 engenders a sense of déjà vu."
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Comparing Tiger and Vista Beta 1

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:06AM (#13445756)
    ...except for the Vista games-playing ability.
    • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ecirpdrahcir)> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:31AM (#13446011)
      The thing is, until I can install OSX on my current Windows system IN PLACE OF windows, comparisons between Windows and OSX have no meaning precisely because I am required to buy new hardware to use OSX. Vista is a rip off of Tiger? Maybe, but until OSX appears on generic x86 platforms, OSX is not a competitor to Windows despite coming out with the features first.
      • What makes you think you won't need to buy new hardware for Vista?
        • Well, maybe the fact that most of the reviews are saying that it runs as fast as windows XP on comparable machines. Of course, that would mean that you'd have to RTFA.

          On a side note - you can do a comparison of Tiger and Vista on the same hardware now. Apple just doesn't want this to become too well known...
        • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ecirpdrahcir)> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:06AM (#13446321)
          • I didnt *have* to buy new hardware for Windows XP, despite people saying I would
          • I didnt *have* to buy new hardware for Windows 2000, despite people saying I would
          • I didnt *have* to buy new hardware for Windows 98, despite people saying I would
          • I didnt *have* to buy new hardware for Windows 95, despite people saying I would
          In short, everytime someone has said I would require new hardware for a Microsoft operating system release, I have had a perfectly usable system after upgrading to the new OS without buying hardware. Thats what makes me think I won't need to buy new hardware for Vista.

          And no, Im not running XP on the same hardware I ran Windows 95 on :) My upgrades were not forced by Windows versions tho.
          • by john82 ( 68332 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:29AM (#13446541)
            Right. You won't *have* to buy new hardware for Vista either, provided you don't intend to use many of Vista's features. This has been documented [] several [] times [] already [].
          • by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:44AM (#13446670) Journal
            Well, good for you.

            I remember upgrading from Win3.11 to Win95. It was a 100 MHz computer with some 32 MB RAM.
            The slowdown was immense, although I cannot really claim the system was unusable - only irritating.
            A 386 with 8 MB of RAM (IIRC the stated minimum was 4) was disastrous; the woman who worked on that computer literally came to work, started the computer and went for a coffee - by the time she was back, the computer was just about ready for work.
            It was a 15-floppy version of Windows, too... By all the Greek Pantheon, that was a slow and tedious install...

            When i bought a new computer, a Duron 600 (it is the one I'm presently working on) with 128 MB of RAM (now upgraded to 256), Win98SE worked OK. A re-install here and a re-install there, but it worked. I guess it still does; haven't booted into Windows for almost a year.
            When XP came around, I went to see how it worked. Then I compared the computer it was installed on with my computer (pun alert) and decided it was not worth it - it would take way too much disk space and memory. It's not quite the same as the 386 and Win95, but it is nevertheless a big deal - I work on a computer similar to mine in college - it has Win2k and is much slower than my computer running Gnome with quite a lot of bells and whistles. Now imagine XP... Gods know I did.

            So no, I never *had* to buy new hardware for any of the new Windows versions, but all - except maybe Win98SE - have shown a steady increase in resource hogging compared to the previous version.

            Not all of us can afford computers new enough to run the upgrades to our operating systems... Hell, if push came to shove, I couldn't even afford Windows (no, I don't own the copy on my computer - it's one of the reasons I run Linux, although practically no-one in Croatia really buys Windows they use at home. *Way* too expensive.) - when I bought this computer, although new, it was already a not-so-good middle-class model - a month or so later, the weakest processor widely available was Duron 700.

            My next upgrade (coming soon, thanks to a quiz show a while ago) will not be forced by Windows, but my upgrade of Windows (should I choose to waste some disk space only for a few games and troubleshooting service for my friends) will undoubtedly coincide with my hardware upgrade. Care to guess why?

          • I didn't have to buy new hardware for Tiger either, it runs fine on my 'old' G4. Windows doesn't.
          • "And no, Im not running XP on the same hardware I ran Windows 95 on :) My upgrades were not forced by Windows versions tho."

            Yes, but you didn't tell everyone what they were really forced by: Office versions.
        • Even if you had to buy new hardware it would be upgrading, not getting entirely new computer.
  • by scovetta ( 632629 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:06AM (#13445761) Homepage
    I'm going to hold off until GoogleOS comes out.
  • by d'oh89 ( 859382 ) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:08AM (#13445777)
    Well I admit it's a fairly well balanced article, it is glaringly pro-microsoft. I wonder if some company in Washington paid the author to write positive fews of the up and coming software.
    • by Rosyna ( 80334 )
      The author is a "known" MS Shill. He'll often post "Screenshots" that are either complete mockups of features or given to him by MS employees to post and passes them off as his own experience.

      How can you review mockups that don't actually exist?

      But he gets paid because even though his articles are usually horribly inaccurate, they bring in a *lot* of readers. After all, this one was /.'ed.Sigh.
      • I'm not saying you're wrong, about this, but if you have some evidence i'd sure like to see it... Otherwise this just looks like an anti-windows rant... (not that that's a bad thing to everyone...)
      • by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:29AM (#13445992)
        The author is a "known" MS Shill. He'll often post "Screenshots" that are either complete mockups of features or given to him by MS employees to post and passes them off as his own experience.

        In case you hadn't noticed, in the past few months this "MS Shill" has been singing the praises of Tiger far more than Longhorn.

        In addition, his review actually points out a lot of things that Apple does well that Longhorn tries to copy and gets wrong but, in addition, he points out some other stuff which they do better.

        The news here is that Microsoft's biggest fan is slowly backing away from them. If they can't keep the loyal ones, then they need to realise that there could be a problem.

      • by Ingolfke ( 515826 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:18AM (#13446444) Journal
        Disregard the parent post. The author is a "known" Linux shill. She'll often post comments bashing MS and anything that paints Linux in a bad light. She'll frequently use ad hominem attacks to attempt to discredit articles posted by those who don't agree with her viewpoints.

        How can you debate a point when you must rely on ad hominem?

        Despite the fact that her posts are horribly inaccurate she whores for a lot of karma by pandering to the Linux zealots on /. And who is to blame her... after all her post was modded "Informative".
    • What gave it away? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:50AM (#13446164) Journal
      Well I admit it's a fairly well balanced article, it is glaringly pro-microsoft.

      What gave it away? The fact the site is named "Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows"?

      I actually had my questions about the unbiasedness of the site while I waited for the page to load and noticed the .asp suffix...
  • Comparable (Score:4, Funny)

    by Drew Curtis ( 904851 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:08AM (#13445779) Homepage
    The fact that you can even compare a beta version of Windows Vista to a final release of Apple's operating systems speaks volumes about their qualities. Microsoft truly trumps the hacker shop that is Apple.
    • by rwven ( 663186 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:22AM (#13445925)
      lol i'm not entirely sure he meant this to be funny. It could very well be he was serious... That's the impression i got anyway... :-P
    • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:40AM (#13446094)
      The fact that you can even compare a beta version of Windows Vista to a final release of Apple's operating systems speaks volumes about their qualities. Microsoft truly trumps the hacker shop that is Apple.

      Too true!

      Here is another example that beautifully illustrates your point: Apple's Mac OS X vs a Pomegranate.

      With OS X, I can perform instant desktop searches, organize my music and photos very easily, and it has a hardware accelerated desktop.

      With the pomegranate, I cannot do those things. However! The pomegranate is aesthetically pleasing, tastes pretty good, is high in antioxidants and has a certain odour.

      The fact that I can compare Apple's OS to an actual piece of fruit speaks volumes about their qualities. Apple truly trumps the hacker shop that is... uh... God.

  • 64-bit? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Is Vista going to be a pure 64-bit OS?
    • Re:64-bit? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Vorondil28 ( 864578 )
      Will every desktop have a 64-bit chip in it?

      There's your answer.
    • Re:64-bit? (Score:5, Informative)

      by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:20AM (#13445907) Journal
      Vista for x64 will release at the same time as Vista x86 32 bit. Like Windows XP x64, Vista x64 will be fully 64-bit capable with a compatibility layer for 32-bit stuff.

      There will probably be some stipulations for driver signing on Vista that the vendors must support both platforms. Which is good, because it really doesn't take too much for fix drivers to work on x86-64. Most Linux distributions for AMD64 have had the full compliment of drivers for years.
  • by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:11AM (#13445809)
    The problem isn't whether or not Apple's operating system beats Windows at features A, B, and C. The problem is that Macintosh has never been accepted on corporate desktops, and that's where Microsoft's next version of Windows will be unstoppable. Outside of certain very specific industries, MacOS has never had a presence in the office setting.

    The home computer market is the same story. MacOS has its fans and that gives it something like 10% of the home market, but Windows (in any incarnation) has always been more popular. It's never been simply about "OS xyz has feature abc while the competition doesn't". It's always been about getting the operating systems preinstalled on hardware. Now MacOS will be delivered on x86, and that ought to be interesting. But if customers can only buy MacOS from one vendor, that means that they won't have very much choice in hardware selection.

    In the grand scheme of things, though, Apple is the largest single hardware vendor, and that's where they excel. Their software is excellent, but it's always been the hardware that keeps them financially viable.
    • [...]Apple is the largest single hardware vendor[...]

      Where did you get that idea from. They are certainly in the top 5 but they are way behind dell in terms of sales.
    • I wouldn't say MacOS has never had a presence in the office setting. It might be true to say it never had a presence in the office setting for MacOS X, but I believe Monsanto (back before all the mergers/spinoffs) they used MacOS. I know because my father would bring home his computer (a color Macintosh II!) every now and then just to let me play on it... and I even remember his old computer, the Mac SE (which we still have somewhere). They didn't switch to MS Windows until around MacOS 7/8.

    • by FirienFirien ( 857374 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:42AM (#13446106) Homepage
      Macintosh has never been accepted on corporate desktops

      It hasn't?

      *looks around the office*

      Then what are all these white computers with apple logos on them?

      Seriously - this is complete and utter rubbish. Try using 'Machines running windows are still significantly ahead in numbers compared to Apple computers'. A large number of graphics/film companies work on Apple computers, because that was the industry standard ten, five, years ago - and in a way this is a mirror of the home environment, where the evening-out of platforms and their performances fail to have significant effect on the number of X Y or Z machines, because of the status quo.
    • It's never been simply about "OS xyz has feature abc while the competition doesn't".

      I don't know if you can label "Spyware and Viruses" as a feature. ;)

      But seriously most non-tech people don't really care about how much ram, hard drive space, or ghz a computer runs at beyond what the sales person tells them they need at the store.

      Most of their experience is how bad the computer treats them after they buy it... As you are well aware of many of these same people will not even bother to try to fix it and then
    • I wouldn't be so sure about Vista being unstoppable on corporate desktops.

      We are a small shop, (500 PCs) and we just this summer upgraded to XP. (Once the SP2 was released.)

      After all the work we've put into cleaning up spyware, a couple of virus infections, updating and configuring patches, there's no thinking about switching to anything from a (relatively) stable XP SP2.

      I would imagine there are other shops like us out there.

  • desktop search (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Councilor Hart ( 673770 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:11AM (#13445810)
    However, you should also realize that, for Microsoft, size of market is a competitive advantage. Features like instant desktop search are great for any operating system, but they only truly "matter" when the mainstream market is using them. And today, that only happens with Windows and its user base of several hundred million active users.

    What do I care how many users are out there with some kind of desktop search. A million, a hundred million or just two. I don't care. I don't care if you use it or how you use it.
    The only thing that matters with regard to desktop search is if I can use it and if it finds my stuff.

    • how is this insightful? under what circumstances?

      Poster's point is valid whether you "care" about it or not.

      Consumer software is an amalgam of relatively incompatible data types and proprietary platforms. Critical mass in the user base is thus very important to the success of a company's software, again, whether you "care" about it or not.

      A poor analogy: I'm posting in english, (and I could be wrong) but you'll probably reply in english in order to ensure that your data is properly conveyed. Thus you're adh
      • by Watts Martin ( 3616 ) <layotl&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @12:34PM (#13447120) Homepage
        The poster is insightful by simply pointing out that for an individual user, a desktop search feature is useful it if finds things he's looking for. The "critical mass" aspect of the ability to search for and index, say, Word documents is the mass of Word documents, not the number of people using the search technology.

        Microsoft's real threat is google.

        This gets said a lot, but I'm not convinced it's true, and the fact that Microsoft is paranoid about it doesn't change my skepticism -- Microsoft is paranoid about everyone. Google does not have a desktop platform, they have an advertising service.

        As John Gruber put it recently [], "What makes something a platform is that you can't take it away without the stuff that's built on it falling down." You can port programs from Windows, but you can't just move them onto another platform. They need Windows. What has Google produced that meets that litmus test? Changing your web site from using Google Search or Google Maps to Yahoo's equivalents is changing a few lines of code somewhere; Google Mail and Google Talk rely on the fact that moving to/from them is trivial; Google's few actual software products are for Windows.

        Google makes virtually all of their money from advertising, either by driving you to their web site or by getting their ads in front of you on other web sites. They're really good at what they do, they've got a bunch of best-in-class web applications, but for the foreseeable future, they're competing with Yahoo! and other portal/search providers. They may be competing with Microsoft's MSN and Hotmail divisions, but not on the desktop.
  • by BubbleSparkxx ( 879715 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:12AM (#13445818)
    Like this is the first time MS has "borrowed" from Apple.

    Anyone remember the claims against Windows 3.1?
  • by Zo0ok ( 209803 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:13AM (#13445824) Homepage
    I found no graph! No simplified rating system! Just text! Am I supposed to RTFA in order to complain about it? Is this really slashdot?
  • Comments (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:13AM (#13445826)
    Having read it just before it was posted on Slashdot, I do also believe that it is a very good review from someone who once was the poster boy for Microsoft.

    It would appear that after looking at Tiger, Paul's faith in Microsoft has been shaken and these-days he is more critical of what they do and how they implement things.

    Hopefully Slashdot will post part 2 as it does make interesting reading.

    On a side note: Apple is now offering a Mac Mini [] testdrive via its online store, allowing prospective customers to purchase a mini and then return it for a full refund within thirty days if they don't like it.

    Good news is that they're not charging a restocking fee. Bad news is that you'll have to pay for the shipping if you send it back, the offer only applies to stock minis (not custom jobs) and it's not available outside of the USA.

    Can't get everything I suppose. However still might be worth a look, especially since it gives people the opportunity of a risk free (in terms of your credit card) chance to try a completely different operating system.

  • Quick Notes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mgahs ( 686653 ) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:14AM (#13445833) Homepage
    Why are we comparing a Beta 1 to a shipping product? We all know Microsoft still has stuff to shelve before they ship.

    "They never would have been announced during 2004 had Microsoft not first revealed that it was making the feature a standard feature of the next Windows."

    Riiight. Because we all know that Spotlight was bolted onto Tiger in response to Longhorn. Don't these things take months (maybe years) to create and fine-tune?

    "In short, though there are some bizarre inconsistencies in the Tiger UI, it is far more elegant looking than Aero in Windows Vista Beta 1."

    What inconsistencies? He doesn't list them in the previous paragraphs, he simply concludes "Hey, Tiger's a little messed up, but it's still better!"

    "Tiger does however have a hard-to-find "Spotlight Comments" section the Get Info box for any document in which you can add keywords or phrases as desired."

    It's not that hidden, it's right at the top of the Get Info window; and it's not just for documents, it's for *any* file or folder.

    I give up.
    • Re:Quick Notes... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by igb ( 28052 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:32AM (#13446019)
      After 20 years of SunOS/Solaris on my desktop I'm having a little explore of OSX. Found a flimsy excuse for a Mac Mini and a 1G stick of RAM, bought a couple of wallpaper strippers to open the case and off I go. So I'm unusual in being a motivated Mac switcher whose background is not Windows. Three days, and I'm enjoying it at lot (although I got frustrated with the limitations of the Date and Time dialogue and hacked /etc/ntp.conf by hand...)

      Inconsistencies in the Mac UI? The most obvious one is that you double click to launch applications from the finder but single click them from the dock. Double click isn't always safe, because sometimes it'll launch two copies.

      Another is that some configuration dialogs have `OK' or similar buttons, while others take effect immediately, while others take effect when they are dismissed.

      These are hardly earth-shattering, and as a long-term GUI-distruster I'm very impressed (hell, I'm using `Mail' while since 1988 I've used MH or mutt). But it's not perfect: it's just very, very good.


      • Re:Quick Notes... (Score:5, Informative)

        by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:38AM (#13446079)
        Icons generally are double clicked whereas toolbar buttons are not. The dock is a toolbar/launcher rather than a collection of icons. The same thing goes for the "sidebar" which is also a toolbar/shelf.

        That convention is generally accepted on most OSes throughout history.

      • Re:Quick Notes... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Graff ( 532189 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:03AM (#13446295)
        Inconsistencies in the Mac UI? The most obvious one is that you double click to launch applications from the finder but single click them from the dock. Double click isn't always safe, because sometimes it'll launch two copies.

        Under the Mac OS Finder you can't launch 2 copies of anything, no matter how many times you click on the Dock. Every click just keeps activating the same single instance of the application. Give it a try, you can click once, twice, ten times. You'll never get more than one instance of an application to launch.

        The only easy way to launch an application multiple times under the Mac OS Finder is to make a separate copy of the application on your hard drive and launch that. If you don't want to do that then there are ways through the terminal that you can launch multiple instances of an application from one copy on the disk but honestly it's almost never needed. This is a feature of Mac OS by the way, not a limitation. Mac OS is set up for one instance of an application being able to handle the jobs of multiple instances of applications, to simplify the launching and handling of apps.

        Another is that some configuration dialogs have `OK' or similar buttons, while others take effect immediately, while others take effect when they are dismissed.

        One of the main ideas of the Mac OS UI is that there are hardly any buttons that say "OK". They are pretty much all verbs that describe what is going to happen when you press the button. For example in save dialogs the buttons are usually "Cancel" and "Save". For the most part you always know what action will be taken when you press a button. This is true of all the programs written by Apple and most third party developers follow this UI convention also. I'm willing to bet any confusion in buttons that you see is a third party application, not an Apple one.
    • Re:Quick Notes... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FireFlie ( 850716 ) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:34AM (#13446042)
      One thing that really caught me off guard (other than the bizarre inconsistencies in tiger that I havn't noticed) is the comment reguarding spotlight's searching as you type being counter-productive? I have a Powerbook G4 (so obviously not the most powerful mac available currently), and I have noticed absolutely no lag in performance when typing in a spotlight search. Actually you can often see the document you need in spotlight as you type, so by finding it before you even finish typing your search query wouldn't you actually be slightly (although unnoticably) more productive? Unless of course the moving text in the spotlight box is just so confusing and hypnotizing that he cannot continue typing.

      "It's not that hidden, it's right at the top of the Get Info window; and it's not just for documents, it's for *any* file or folder."

      I saw a few comments similar to the one you were answering here, and my take is that all of the features he considers hard to find may only be so if one has only ever used Windows, and cannot get out of the windows mindset. I have had my notebook for about a year (and I have used many oses including dos, every version of windows to date, linux, irix, etc), and I find most features and ways of organization in os x to be more intuitive than any other os I have used.

      Oh yea, I also agree about the origin of spotlight. He clearly says that he has no clue wether features like spotlight were originally intended, or came from microsoft? First of all, has apple historically ever worried about microsofts features validating their own ideas before including them? He certainly leaves the possibility open that apple somehow copied the idea for spotlight from microsoft, but it doesn't seem logical. For spotlight to work so well, and be so bug free (I have not noticed problems anyway) I doubt that they said "hey that sounds cool, we'll do it too".

      Perhaps in another article he will talk about microsoft adding a new dashboard-like feature, so apple must have stolen it from microsoft. Give me a break.

  • BoBW: Dual Booting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Windsinger ( 889841 ) <phox@opton l i n e .net> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:15AM (#13445850) Homepage
    I look foward to dual-booting both OS's off the same intel/amd system for the Best of Both Worlds.

    If the gaming on OSX ever gets up to par with the windows systems, then it would be my OS of choice. It's no where near as fast as the Windows system is for this. And that's assuming the game you want to play is even ported to OSX.

    Though the drawback to this is of course siding with Steve Jobs. *cries*
  • Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dragoon412 ( 648209 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:17AM (#13445867)
    The point it raises - 'Windows Vista Beta 1 is a much-needed demonstration that Microsoft can still churn out valuable Windows releases, after years of doubt.

    Really? I thought XP was fairly useful, if only an incremental upgrade to 2k.

    Meanwhile, Vista is panning out to be nothing but XP with alpha transparency and a lot more DRM. As a network admin, I see no reason at all to upgrade. As a gamer, I see no reason at all to upgrade; Avalon/WGF are being ported to XP. As a user, there's incentive not to upgrade, because it costs more, it's more of a hassle, and it doesn't allow me to do anything I can't do on XP, already.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RzUpAnmsCwrds ( 262647 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:21AM (#13446476)
      As a network admin, you will appreciate these features of Vista:

      - Users don't run as Administrator by default in Vista (and the OS handles installers / setting changes gracefully)
      - Active Directory now works with Fast User Switching.
      - Better error logging (fortified with XML!)
      - Integrated memory diagnostics & SMART monitoring
      - Fewer Images because hardware changes don't require a new image
      - Windows Imaging for system imaging
      - Firewall integrated with Group Policy
      - Publically available WinPE for recovery that boots from USB drives
      - Hybrid suspend/hibernate prevents data loss in suspend from power loss
      - More advanced managment console
      - Monad shell (better scripting)
      - More advanced task scheduler
      - Management web-services for remote management
      - Windows Resource Protection (like Windows File Protection but also protects the registry)
      - Windows Deployment Services

      All of these are major useful features that help in a corporate environment. If don't think there's anything worthwhile in Vista, you need to look again.
      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

        by bushidocoder ( 550265 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @12:18PM (#13446977) Homepage
        You forgot my favorite feature of Vista, transactional NTFS. NTFS has always been atomic, but the ability to group changes to a group of multiple files into a transaction that can be rolled back or commited as a single atomic unit will make software deployments and patching infinitely easier. Start installing a piece of software and an error occurs? Just rollback the entire install and not a trace of the install attempt will remain.

        I don't know if transactional NTFS will require the WinFS service pack yet, but I know it will be an absolute godsend to IT departments.

  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:21AM (#13445921) Homepage Journal
    I have been running Tiger since the day it came out, and I must say that I am not all that impressed by it.

    Spotlight is really slow on my G4 Powerbook (1GB RAM), it can take 8 seconds to find what I am looking for. I don't see why it should take so long if everything is pre-indexed.

    Dashboard isn't terribly useful either, its a nice gimmick, but I find myself using it very infrequently. The selection of Widgets is symptomatic of this, I mean, who really needs a countdown timer to the next episode of Battlestar Galactica just one keypress away at any moment?

    Both Spotlight and Dashboard have gained reputations for slowing overall machine performance too.

    I have yet to find a use for Automator, and from what I can see from the rather uninspiring selection of Automator Actions people have created, neither has anyone else. Its a nice idea, but in practice not a very useful one.

    • by ezweave ( 584517 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:53AM (#13446199) Homepage

      I don't know that I agree. My sisters both use the dashboard alot. They are not super tech saavy (or any more than girls growing up in an engineer family would be), but they find it useful.

      I still like Tiger better than XP, even if work and research dictated that I use XP and Cygwin (it is my last IBM-comp... I am convinced of that now). Features that I love having in Tiger and wish were in XP:

      • F9 -> this is better than the way XP/Windows sorts your open windows... much better
      • Networking. Aside from some glitches in the built in FTP stuff, Mac networking is alot easier. Hell, if my little sisters can figure out how to set up a network, it is easy.
      • Darwin console. Ok I am a unix nerd at heart and Cygwin doesn't always do it for me.
      • Sharing the top bar. That makes software more standard. You always know where to go for stuff.
      • Did i mention the F9 view... stupid windows.
      • ...

      This guy is a fan boy for MS and I will give him credit: he gives Tiger something of a fair shake... kind of. Some of his claims are a bit crazy. Does he actually expect us to believe that MS had the idea for desktop search before Google, etc? I call shenanigans! He claims that the screenshot in here [] and a 30 second Bill Gates clip Bill Gates clip [] serve as evidence of MS and desktop search. Yeah right!

      Windows had a search, and a crappy one at that. Search is not a new idea, exactly. But Google and others did it differently because the MS way was broken. And despite his review, Windows desktop search is NOT as good as Google (it builds a bigger cache and you can't pick where it goes...grumble). WinFS is/sounds like XML based meta data for files and database related ideas for searching on that meta data. This does not imply "building an index" as much as it implies a hashing schema for file structures. I.e. certain meta data allowing lookups based on hash values for the file.

      WinFS is going to be slower... precaching is what makes Google Desktop fast.

      But like I said, because Longhorn is so far from release and OS X is four gens deep, these are not even good comparos. Also consider that Darwin runs on multiple CPUs well. With the multi-core processors on the horizon, this is really the future of computing. I think/hope Longhorn/Vista is a disaster and helps to break the MS stranglehold a bit.

    • by Rocketship Underpant ( 804162 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:35AM (#13446597)
      Mac users are picky, and that's good; but I think your assessment is inaccurate.

      Spotlight is really slow on my G4 Powerbook (1GB RAM), it can take 8 seconds to find what I am looking for. I don't see why it should take so long if everything is pre-indexed.

      Are you actually counting out 8 seconds? That seems awfully long. I have two 80 GB drives, and I usually get complete results in 2-3 seconds. I'm using it more and more to find invoices, contact information, and email.

      Oh, and the Spotlight search box in "open" dialog boxes is just the greatest thing ever. It saves me so much time just to search for the file I want and have it appear instantly!

      Dashboard isn't terribly useful either, its a nice gimmick, but I find myself using it very infrequently.

      It's finding its uses. It's very good as a data aggregator, sort of an analog for raw information to what RSS is for news. Using the stupidest examples of user-made widgets to represent the essence of the technology is silly.

      Both Spotlight and Dashboard have gained reputations for slowing overall machine performance too.

      Sure, among the fools-who-make-crap-up demographic. Spotlight indexing is a kernel call that takes virtually no resources and doesn't slow the machine at all.

      I have yet to find a use for Automator, and from what I can see from the rather uninspiring selection of Automator Actions people have created, neither has anyone else.

      Sure, uncreative people won't think of using it when they should, and they'll say it has no use.

      I find I use it quite frequently. It can take care of almost any repetitive task. Today, I set up an Automator applet that grabs photos from iPhoto, renames them sequentially, resizes them, and puts them in another photo for uploading to eBay. A tedious process that would take 10 minutes on Windows takes about 10 seconds with OS X and Automator. In my humble opinion, it's one of the most remarkable technologies ever added to an OS, and it's almost infinitely extendible with Applescript and custom actions.

      Honestly, Vista isn't going to come close to any of this; but I expect Leopard to bring wonderful improvements.

    • I use Dashboard for 4 important (to me) uses:

      1. Instant Calculator. I don't want to add the Calculator to my dock. I can simply hit F12.

      2. I hate auto-spell checkers. So I usually have them off. Thus, when I want to check the spelling of a word, I love popping open the Dictionary widget. Quick. Easy. And faster than opening up Word or enabling spell check.

      3. I regularly work with a distributor in another time zone. I keep my world clock set to their time zone. For me, it's faster to press
  • by shawnce ( 146129 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:23AM (#13445939) Homepage
    Paul missed the fact that Tiger supports 256 x 256 icons as an extension to the existing icon data format.

    Icon Services in Tiger has been extended to support icons that are 256 x 256 pixel in size. To support these larger icons, a new icon type selector has been added for you to use in calls to SetIconFamilyData and GetIconFamilyData. The selector is kIconServices256PixelDataARGB and is defined in IconStorage.h.

    With SetIconFamilyData, a non-premultiplied 256x256 ARGB bitmap should be provided as input and IconServices will compress it before storing it in the ICNS container.

    With GetIconFamilyData an uncompressed raw 256x256 ARGB bitmap is returned. The only difference is that the returned image contains the alpha channel where for the previously supported icon sizes there are 2 separate selectors: one for the mask and one for the data.

    (reference [], look at the bottom)

  • by instantkarma1 ( 234104 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:26AM (#13445961)
    or Leopard to Vista.

    Comparing Tiger to a beta OS is hardly fair. And even so, Tiger comes out on top.
  • by pair-a-noyd ( 594371 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:27AM (#13445967)
    (well, actually skeptical minds)

    Just what does Windows Vista do, Out Of the Box??

    I mean, as it comes, without having to PURCHASE additional software such as MS Office, Word, etc..

    As distributed, what can you do with it?
    Word processing?
    Financial stuff?
    Photo & image manipulation (Paint prog?)
    Desktop publishing?
    Multimedia editing / DVD authoring & burning?
    Webpage authoring / editing?

    I'm curious. Can Vista do any of these things as it comes or do you have to dish out more cash separately for each desired application, on top of the price to purchase the OS??

  • Search not instant? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:28AM (#13445981)
    Unlike with Spotlight, Vista Beta 1's searches are not instantaneous, but this is by design and is arguably a better choice.

    Quite arguably. Say I'm looking for "Programming in C", which may or may not actually be named that on my disc (although I know it'll have program-something in its name).

    Pro... Final cut pro shows ... progressive Programming in C! There it is. This is all at one constant typing speed and watching the results, no waiting or stopping, instant feedback.

    You have two options:
    Pro + enter
    too many results, try again
    Program + enter
    program files.... look down the list.. there it is!


    Programming + enter
    hmmm... I don't see it... try
    Program + enter ... look through the list...
    oh! the name was mispelled in the filename and was actually "programing" of course

    And at this point I've made how many searches to equal the instant feedback of Tiger? Instant feedback is the whole point of having desktop search! Otherwise it's only a slight improvement over what they've had for ages.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:30AM (#13446001)
    Too, I'd like to remind you that Windows Vista is only in Beta 1. Lots of things are going to change, and many, many features will be added by Beta 2 and beyond. This stands in sharp contrast to Apple's approach with Tiger. If you go back and look at the WWDC 2004 keynote video, you'll see Steve Jobs demo virtually every single major new feature in Tiger. A year later, when the product actually shipped, little had changed and nothing major was added. This isn't how Microsoft works. Beta 1 is a minor subset of the overall functionality we're going to see in the final Windows Vista product.

    So what he's saying here is that Apple figured out what features they wanted, then took years to refine them.

    Vs. Microsoft, which has a beta out now but will cram a lot of stuff in over the next several months and let users test it in early releases.
    • by crimethinker ( 721591 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:00AM (#13446263)
      I read something similar into that statement: Apple decided on their features, implemented them, TESTED them, and released a fairly stable product. MS, however, throws all kinds of shit in at the last minute, and for that we get Zotob and friends.

      I thought the whole point of calling something BETA was that this is what you'll release once the major bugs are fixed. In this case, they're treating it like a "feature beta," which from a security standpoint is a nightmare. What ever happened to "test what you fly and fly what you test"?


  • by xWakawaka ( 187814 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:33AM (#13446029)
    Unfortunate Comparison

    I'm sort of amazed that every mention of Vista or Mac OS in the press focuses entirely on GUI widgets and desktop search (the feature of the month, apparently)- and in comparing these two things between Windows and Mac OS X.

    Frankly, I am a fan of both of these OSes (and others), but comparing the two in this way is silly, because their target audiences and development focuses are wildly different.

    Sure Vista is going to include some updated UI elements, and this will inevitably generate comparisons with Mac OS, but I believe that for the Windows folks updating the UI is a tiny frilly prize at the end of a much more substantial journey. (I think) Most of the work going into Vista is not related to wow-ing an individual user with the splashy out of box experience (though there will be some of this). Instead, most of the work going on is targeted at corporate IT installations of tens of thousands of machines and the associated management costs. Things like new deployment options, services hardening, re-engineering to provide functionality while reducing attack surface, expanding on multiple layers of management frameworks, expanding on policy enforcement, network access protection, using AES for more and more crypto functions, etc, etc, etc... In some cases Vista will represent a radical advance in the plumbing of the Windows platform.

    I guess it is understandable that a reviewer wouldn't be interested in these more important things, focusing entirely on UI widgets, but it is unfortunate that a project as substantial as Vista, one which will likely affect all of us, is only represented in the press with the thought "Now includes desktop search! Sort of like Mac OS!"
  • by Vile Slime ( 638816 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:38AM (#13446071)

    I'm neither impressed by this Vista or Tiger thing.

    MS takes how many years to produce a windowing system that has animated icons?

    Or N number of years to come up with a manner of searching your files that quite frankly doesn't sound any better to me than what already exists.

    I mean quite honestly, how many grandmothers are going to build what is essentially an SQL where clause to find their great-grandbabies photos.

    If those grannys are like my mother they will be lucky to remember where the friggin power switch is from day-to-day.

    The author states:

    > For Windows enthusiasts, Windows Vista Beta 1 is a much-needed demonstration that Microsoft can still churn out valuable Windows releases

    I guess he is right assuming your expectations are incredibly low.
  • Vista Development (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SteveX ( 5640 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @10:47AM (#13446143) Homepage
    Vista, to the end user, will probably look a lot like Windows XP with a bit of a UI refresh, but there's a whole lot going on under the scenes that only developers will appreciate.

    Win32 has been how you write Windows software since Windows 95 (and that was based on Win16) - from the very first version of Windows to today, you're creating HWNDs and sending messages to them, and calling CreateFile when you want a file and so on.

    But now Vista is delivering on a whole lot of strategies at the same time.

    Avalon / Xaml replaces how you create user interfaces.

    Indigo replaces how you do communications.

    WinFS (which will probably get rolled into Vista at some point, now that it's gone from vaporware to betaware) replaces a lot of how you manage your data.

    The rest of the .NET Framework (which will finally come with the OS so you can depend on it being there, assuming you're targetting Vista) replaces just about everything else.

    It probably won't be for another 5 years or so, when developers can start thinking about depending on this stuff, that things will really change, but for Windows developers, it is a pretty big change.

    The Mac of course has made these kinds of "forget everything you know and start over with this new technology" changes many times. It's the courage to do this that has kept the Mac alive, and I think shows that Microsoft is on the right track.

    The really annoying thing is that both companies are radically changing how you develop software for their platforms, and they're completely different.

    As a developer, will I ever get to use Avalon in a real app? I'd guess not. Making a portability abstraction for Avalon and Xaml is a lot different than wrapping a button or a listbox with a generic API. Every platform has buttons and listboxes; no other platform has a Xaml equivalent yet (XUL is a bit of Xaml but they're not really directly comparable).
  • by laird ( 2705 ) <lairdp&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @11:49AM (#13446717) Journal
    I can't believe that I got tricked into reading another lame Paul Thurrott article. He's got a real knack for picking interesting subjects, writing weak articles, then getting them widely promoted via Slashdot, etc. It's gotten to the point where when I see his name I wish that I could reach into my web browser and take back the nickle that the banner ad view made him.
  • by aduzik ( 705453 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @12:02PM (#13446831) Homepage
    From TFA:
    And though Tiger lets you create Smart Folders (saved searches), this feature is neither easily discoverable nor particularly integrated into the system. Specifically, Tiger doesn't ship with pre-made Smart Folders for commonly-accessed searches.

    OK, so the argument here is that one of Vista's big advantages over Tiger is that it ships with pre-made Virtual Folders. I can think of lots of reasons why Apple didn't do that.

    Apple's fervently pursuing switchers, users who are new to the Mac. Try explaining the difference between folders and smart folders to someone who's not, as people often say, "good with computers." Tell them something like, "well, OK, you see, the file's there, but it's not really there. It's actually in a real folder somewhere else." You're likely to get a glazed expression from that one, and possibly an existential argument about "is anything really where it is?"

    The moral: smart folders are an advanced feature. People who want them will know how to find them. People who don't understand them won't have to worry about them.

    Again, from TFA:

    In Tiger, there is no easy or obvious way to edit meta data for the documents and other data files you create, and you typically have to rely on document processing applications (such as Microsoft Word) to add and edit this information.

    Spotlight relies on Spotlight Importers, little bundles of code that know how to read files and return metadata about them. More often than not, the importers are written by the original application designer, who should know better than anyone what bits of data are most important in a document. Apple's implicit position is that metadata should be either derived from the document on its own, or that metadata should be provided in some manner by the creating application (which the importer can then retrieve).

    Again, should people have to care what "metadata" is? There are lots of ways the programs themselves can gather all the metadata you'd care about. Standard info, such as the file's author and what-not, can easily be provided automatically by the program. That's the way it should be, because programs can automatically add relevant metadata that improves searches without the user ever having to do a thing. Plus, there's a matter of confidence. If Vista's got a great big box for me to enter metadata, should I take that to mean that there's a good chance Vista doesn't really know how to index my files? If that's the case, then forget about it. I'm not going to add metadata to every document I've ever written just so I can find it.

    The moral of the story is this: having a wide arsenal of tools is great. But many users don't know how to use them, don't need them, and don't much care to learn. Vista seems to favor forcing users to learn how to use these new features. A forcing function is a good idea sometimes, but forcing users to use features that just complicate their experience is foolishness. The crux of Thurott's complaints against Tiger is that it's not complicated enough. There aren't enough exposed features. I've learned that in UI design, the more buttons you give someone to push, the better the chance is that they'll pick the wrong one, and the better the chance they'll blame you for it. And they'll be right.

  • by Matthew Weigel ( 888 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @12:14PM (#13446935) Homepage Journal

    "They never would have been announced during 2004 had Microsoft not first revealed that it was making the feature a standard feature of the next Windows."

    This is patently false; Apple hired Dominic Giampaolo [], developer of BeFS (which was specifically developed to have the sort of 'fast search' that is finally showing up in mainstream operating systems), in February of 2002. The intent was clear, back in 2002, that it was Apple's intent to bring the innovations of BeFS to OS X, a year before Microsoft announced the feature.

    Phrasing the chain of events as "When Microsoft announced [it] in October 2003, the race began." is ridiculous. Apple effectively announced the plan 18 months prior, and even then it was clear that it was too late to make it into 10.2, the 10.3 release was unlikely, and that therefore... it would show up in 10.4. Just like it did.

    More damning, though, is that Microsoft has announced this feature a number of times, every time they've announced that a future OS (starting with NT 5, IIRC) would feature a database-driven filesystem. Why didn't anyone else jump on getting the feature first then, rather than this time? I'll tell you why: it's a hard feature that took a lot of time to work on, and every one had been working on it the whole time.

    The real problem here, though, is that I bet Paul Thurrott doesn't know any of this. All he knows is, Spotlight Search was announced when 10.4 was announced, which was after Microsoft announced it. And without looking at it any closer, he decided he knew the whole story and that he could speak authoritatively on the subject. I can't be bothered to read the rest of the article if it has the same empty authoritative voice.

  • by Been on TV ( 886187 ) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:40PM (#13447780) Homepage

    This guy --Paul Thurrott, is pretty awesome, yeah? :-)

    He claims that the race for development was on after Microsoft announced integrated desktop search functionality in Longhorn in October 2003. Then he goes on to say about these products "They would never have been announced in 2004 had Microsoft not first revealed that it was making the feature a standard feature of the next Windows."
    And then he goes on to say "If you go back and look at the WWDC 2004 keynote video, you'll see Steve Jobs demo virtually every single major new feature in Tiger, A year later, when the product actually shipped, little had changed and nothing major was added."

    What an interesting claim!
    Let's say for the sake of argument that he is right. OK?

    What he actually says is that in the time from October 2003 till May 2004 - basically 6 months, and I guess Apple did not get the sourcecode from Microsoft; Apple did not only figure out the more or less complete UI of Spotlight, but also implemented a kernel level, system wide search engine almost to perfection. 6 months!

    What did Microsoft do in these 6 months? - and I guess they must have had some code and prototypes for this great idea since they'd decided to make it an integral part of their OS? Dunno!

    Mr Paul Thurrott writer, the only thing we have seen from Microsoft, and it is soon 18 months since WWDC 2004, is a half baked beta. According to yourself Apple did the job almost to perfection in 6 months. Go figure!

    Nah, the way Microsoft does system development kinda resembles this:

    1. Give an announcement of some feature we want implemented
    2. See if Apple or others thinks it is a good idea
    3. Wait for Apple's successful implementation
    4. Copy implementation design, logic and UI from Apple
    5. Add some odd twist to claim own, unique feature (normally makes implementation inferior)
    6. Announce feature as own to Microsoft customer base

    Optional point: Slip in a patent filing, just before Apple gets around to do it. Or better on Apple announcement day.

    Wicked tongues said some time ago that the reason why WinFS was pulled from Vista, was because Microsoft did not have anyone they could copy the implementation from. Now that they are about to figure out the combination of HFS+ and Spotlight, it is safe to put it back on the table again. But not in Vista, in case they have not quite figured out the logic by ship in November 2006.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.