Smart person’s debate of OSX vs. Windows Vista

I’d like to get a group together to debate Windows Vista vs. Mac OSX sometime in January after MacWorld and CES (since Windows Vista ships on January 31st, that’ll be a good time to do it).

I don’t want religious jerks, but I do want advocates, especially ones who can effectively demo their favorite things.

Who is your OS debate “dream team?”

I’ll start the list of potential candidates with Gina Trapani of Life Hacker.

I’d like to end up with three people for each OS. No “Digg commenter attitude.” Just the facts, back and forth, to give people a good mental model of what’s up on each OS and what the strengths and weaknesses of each OS are.

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270 thoughts on “Smart person’s debate of OSX vs. Windows Vista

  1. Robert, why don’t you wait till 10.5 is out seen as they will be the OS’s of the next couple of years as apposed to comparing to 10.4 which is 20 months old now

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  2. Robert, why don’t you wait till 10.5 is out seen as they will be the OS’s of the next couple of years as apposed to comparing to 10.4 which is 20 months old now

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  3. Yes, because this silly debate must continue. I fear a world where people just chose a computing platform that works best for them and we can all be happy with that. Ohhh the funky horror. Once you get this debate done, maybe you can get some people to figure out if Miller Lite tastes great or is less filling.

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  4. Yes, because this silly debate must continue. I fear a world where people just chose a computing platform that works best for them and we can all be happy with that. Ohhh the funky horror. Once you get this debate done, maybe you can get some people to figure out if Miller Lite tastes great or is less filling.

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  5. Paul McFedries – knows em both to some extent but has written a lot of the Vista stuff (and XP/NT/2000/98/Win) stuff for the common man. Plus he knows a lot of words. Check him out.

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  6. Paul McFedries – knows em both to some extent but has written a lot of the Vista stuff (and XP/NT/2000/98/Win) stuff for the common man. Plus he knows a lot of words. Check him out.

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  7. Robert,

    I understand the impulse, but it’s really not going to have the effect you want. OS advocacy is a zero – sum game, because you can’t get a common set of criteria.

    However, if you were going to insist on doing this…on the Mac side:

    John Gruber, Daring Fireball. Best writer on the Mac Web, period. You can’t do this without him.

    Amit Singh, who can probably argue both Vista and OS X better than any single person. His “Mac OS X Internals” book is the best book you’ll ever have on the OS.

    Jason Snell, of Macworld. He’s been in the business on the Mac side as long as anyone.

    Andy Ihnatko, of the Chicago Sun – Times. He’s a geek, a writer, a comedian, and a damned good singer. Well-spoken, possessed of good opinions and funny as hell.

    Shawn King, of Your Mac Life. Shawn’s the least technical of this crowd, but also the best one to talk about things from the “Common” user POV, and I think that’s important. You can easily get lost blathering about low level technical details, and lose sight of the fact that the day to day usage of these OS’s and the hoops they make people jump through, or not, matters, and matters more than the rest.

    Oh what the hell, I’ll throw my own name in, i’m maso enough. IT has opinions on both too, and I live with both day in and day out, and am less impressed by PR “bright sparklies” than I am with something that just sits in a corner and works. I’m more of an elegance bigot than anything, which is why I have a soft spot for the AS/400.

    However, I’d see about what the leopard release data is. If it’s going to be within a few months, you may as well wait for it, otherwise, anything negative said about OS X is going to get drowned in cries of “THAT WILL BE PERFKT IN L30P@rDOMGWTFKHAAAAAAAN!!!!1111”

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  8. Robert,

    I understand the impulse, but it’s really not going to have the effect you want. OS advocacy is a zero – sum game, because you can’t get a common set of criteria.

    However, if you were going to insist on doing this…on the Mac side:

    John Gruber, Daring Fireball. Best writer on the Mac Web, period. You can’t do this without him.

    Amit Singh, who can probably argue both Vista and OS X better than any single person. His “Mac OS X Internals” book is the best book you’ll ever have on the OS.

    Jason Snell, of Macworld. He’s been in the business on the Mac side as long as anyone.

    Andy Ihnatko, of the Chicago Sun – Times. He’s a geek, a writer, a comedian, and a damned good singer. Well-spoken, possessed of good opinions and funny as hell.

    Shawn King, of Your Mac Life. Shawn’s the least technical of this crowd, but also the best one to talk about things from the “Common” user POV, and I think that’s important. You can easily get lost blathering about low level technical details, and lose sight of the fact that the day to day usage of these OS’s and the hoops they make people jump through, or not, matters, and matters more than the rest.

    Oh what the hell, I’ll throw my own name in, i’m maso enough. IT has opinions on both too, and I live with both day in and day out, and am less impressed by PR “bright sparklies” than I am with something that just sits in a corner and works. I’m more of an elegance bigot than anything, which is why I have a soft spot for the AS/400.

    However, I’d see about what the leopard release data is. If it’s going to be within a few months, you may as well wait for it, otherwise, anything negative said about OS X is going to get drowned in cries of “THAT WILL BE PERFKT IN L30P@rDOMGWTFKHAAAAAAAN!!!!1111”

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  9. Just curious. Why Vista and Mac OS X but no Ubuntu+XGL ?

    I don’t think there’s such a thing as an unbiased team of professionals. People come with a fully loaded set of assumptions and preferences genetically built into their firmware.

    Paul Graham’s recent post on “How art can be good” explores some avenues of thought related to this.
    http://paulgraham.com/goodart.html

    (replace “art” with “operating system”, and I believe the argument still stands pretty solidly)

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  10. Just curious. Why Vista and Mac OS X but no Ubuntu+XGL ?

    I don’t think there’s such a thing as an unbiased team of professionals. People come with a fully loaded set of assumptions and preferences genetically built into their firmware.

    Paul Graham’s recent post on “How art can be good” explores some avenues of thought related to this.
    http://paulgraham.com/goodart.html

    (replace “art” with “operating system”, and I believe the argument still stands pretty solidly)

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  11. Hi, I’d love to help, as I now have 3 MacOSX machines (sometimes running XP – not tried Vista ‘properly’). I had to rebuild a machine recently and thought I would try the Vista Beta we got at Gnomedex. It actually helped me get my XP install running for some reason, after some driver issues.

    But the one huge factor I thought I’d drop my tuppence on, is that immediately after intalling Vista (and sam goes for XP) is the first thing your brand-spanking new install of Windows ever tells you is:

    “Warning: Your computer may be at risk”!! WTF!? )

    MacOSX welcomes you and makes you feel at ease (even the animations are more similar 😉 )

    I’ll also say that I’m primarily a Windows user, but am now fairly platform agnostic. I just wanted to share that thought with you about the install ‘welcome’. eek!

    See you at CES! 🙂

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  12. Hi, I’d love to help, as I now have 3 MacOSX machines (sometimes running XP – not tried Vista ‘properly’). I had to rebuild a machine recently and thought I would try the Vista Beta we got at Gnomedex. It actually helped me get my XP install running for some reason, after some driver issues.

    But the one huge factor I thought I’d drop my tuppence on, is that immediately after intalling Vista (and sam goes for XP) is the first thing your brand-spanking new install of Windows ever tells you is:

    “Warning: Your computer may be at risk”!! WTF!? )

    MacOSX welcomes you and makes you feel at ease (even the animations are more similar 😉 )

    I’ll also say that I’m primarily a Windows user, but am now fairly platform agnostic. I just wanted to share that thought with you about the install ‘welcome’. eek!

    See you at CES! 🙂

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  13. On the Mac side;

    John Gruber of Daring Fireball
    John Siracusa of Ars Technica
    and Amit Singh authour of Mac OS Internals.

    No clue on the Windows side…

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  14. On the Mac side;

    John Gruber of Daring Fireball
    John Siracusa of Ars Technica
    and Amit Singh authour of Mac OS Internals.

    No clue on the Windows side…

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  15. I think you need to clarify a little what you mean, Robert. Namely, for who. Because these two platforms have different niches. Plus, I suspect it’s true that Microsoft has market interests (and therefore functionality) that Apple has no interest in implementing. One man’s killer feature will be another’s ‘I don’t care’.

    The only clarification I can think of that might lift this argument anything above ‘futile’ would be to restrict the target demographic to ‘Home Users’. And even then…

    The comments have assembled a nice A-list of commentators for sure, but I can’t help wondering if any of them would see any value in having this debate at all, however dedicated to ‘smart people’ it might be.

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  16. I think you need to clarify a little what you mean, Robert. Namely, for who. Because these two platforms have different niches. Plus, I suspect it’s true that Microsoft has market interests (and therefore functionality) that Apple has no interest in implementing. One man’s killer feature will be another’s ‘I don’t care’.

    The only clarification I can think of that might lift this argument anything above ‘futile’ would be to restrict the target demographic to ‘Home Users’. And even then…

    The comments have assembled a nice A-list of commentators for sure, but I can’t help wondering if any of them would see any value in having this debate at all, however dedicated to ‘smart people’ it might be.

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  17. you are kidding me right? “Smart person’s” ? I’m sure the members of the group will probably only include the “blogger clique” of which you are a member. What will actually come of this “smart person’s” debate? this endless palaver regarding the merits of OS X versus Vista/XP are old and worn out at this point. Should we be wasting our “smart” people’s cherished resources on this?

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  18. you are kidding me right? “Smart person’s” ? I’m sure the members of the group will probably only include the “blogger clique” of which you are a member. What will actually come of this “smart person’s” debate? this endless palaver regarding the merits of OS X versus Vista/XP are old and worn out at this point. Should we be wasting our “smart” people’s cherished resources on this?

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  19. I think it actually would be beneficial to have a civilized discussion/comparison/debate. There are plenty of people who are legitimately interested in the Mac but only encounter zealotry or FUD. I use OS X because I like I for *me*. I don’t care what you use, and I don’t try to convince people to change. But if someone expressed interest in learning about it I would like to be able to point them to a balanced examination of the merits of each. And I don’t think it matters if we are talking about the current or next versions. People are not basing a decision to switch platforms on the incremental features in Leopard vs. Vista.

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  20. I think it actually would be beneficial to have a civilized discussion/comparison/debate. There are plenty of people who are legitimately interested in the Mac but only encounter zealotry or FUD. I use OS X because I like I for *me*. I don’t care what you use, and I don’t try to convince people to change. But if someone expressed interest in learning about it I would like to be able to point them to a balanced examination of the merits of each. And I don’t think it matters if we are talking about the current or next versions. People are not basing a decision to switch platforms on the incremental features in Leopard vs. Vista.

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  21. Looks like Custa beat me to it, but I’ll throw my 2 cent in any, by the time Vista hits the general public Tiger will have been on sale for approaching 2 years. Which in essence means that Vista will be in a next generation timeline. It would only be fair to compare Vista with Leopard.

    Not that comparing has much point. It’s all apples and oranges, it’s pointless to compare features because as soon as one OS has a shiny feature it’s only a matter of time before the other does too. It’s all about taste, and or what you use your machine for. From my perspective windows still seems to be more useful to the Office set. With OS-X clear design being favourable to the designer set.

    Just a thought.

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  22. Looks like Custa beat me to it, but I’ll throw my 2 cent in any, by the time Vista hits the general public Tiger will have been on sale for approaching 2 years. Which in essence means that Vista will be in a next generation timeline. It would only be fair to compare Vista with Leopard.

    Not that comparing has much point. It’s all apples and oranges, it’s pointless to compare features because as soon as one OS has a shiny feature it’s only a matter of time before the other does too. It’s all about taste, and or what you use your machine for. From my perspective windows still seems to be more useful to the Office set. With OS-X clear design being favourable to the designer set.

    Just a thought.

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  23. You should get Alex Albrecht on the Windows side and Kevin Smith on the Mac side. They will bring the entertainment.

    You should also have one Linux advocate, for completeness’ sake.

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  24. You should get Alex Albrecht on the Windows side and Kevin Smith on the Mac side. They will bring the entertainment.

    You should also have one Linux advocate, for completeness’ sake.

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  25. I don’t really think it boils down to an issue of taste or preference or what OS is better. Most people use Windows because a Windows PC is cheaper. It’s more a discussion of what the average middle income family can afford these days. So while this discussion could be interesting from an “intellectual” perspective until Apple can compete with a $399 Dell machine is all useless.

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  26. I don’t really think it boils down to an issue of taste or preference or what OS is better. Most people use Windows because a Windows PC is cheaper. It’s more a discussion of what the average middle income family can afford these days. So while this discussion could be interesting from an “intellectual” perspective until Apple can compete with a $399 Dell machine is all useless.

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  27. Robert, I’m not very smart, but I have 2 OSX machines and a new XP SP2 machine on my home network.

    I’ve used Win machines since 3.1 and began using
    OSX about a year ago.

    In spite of my highly limited intellectual abilities, I’d be happy to participate and can bring the perspective of an everyday business-hack user to the discussion.

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  28. Robert, I’m not very smart, but I have 2 OSX machines and a new XP SP2 machine on my home network.

    I’ve used Win machines since 3.1 and began using
    OSX about a year ago.

    In spite of my highly limited intellectual abilities, I’d be happy to participate and can bring the perspective of an everyday business-hack user to the discussion.

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  29. Paul Thurrot is still a Microsoft shill, but he’s using a MacBook and his wife has a Mac Mini, so he’s obviously seen the light.

    Ed Bott has taken the mindless Microsoft zealot title in my opinion.

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  30. Paul Thurrot is still a Microsoft shill, but he’s using a MacBook and his wife has a Mac Mini, so he’s obviously seen the light.

    Ed Bott has taken the mindless Microsoft zealot title in my opinion.

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  31. My dream “OS X vs. Windows” debate is, let’s not beat this dead horse anymore than it already has been, and let’s go out and get beer and pizza instead.

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  32. My dream “OS X vs. Windows” debate is, let’s not beat this dead horse anymore than it already has been, and let’s go out and get beer and pizza instead.

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  33. I’m not necessarily the most qualified person in the world to compare the two operating systems, especially since I’ve never played with Vista. But that is one debate that I would love to sit around and listen to, and perhaps liveblog.

    If you’ll have me…

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  34. I’m not necessarily the most qualified person in the world to compare the two operating systems, especially since I’ve never played with Vista. But that is one debate that I would love to sit around and listen to, and perhaps liveblog.

    If you’ll have me…

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  35. A suggestion- someone who is not on either ‘side’ who has significant experience developing with both Mac & Windows SDKs. They can act as a disinterested third party who can call BS on FUD, misinformation and disinformation.

    Why is this important? There have been Windows developers that have done what look like little more than hit pieces on X-Code and some enlightened moderation on the issue would be appreciated. Adobe and MacBU at Microsoft have also posted on real issues with developing large apps (CS & Office) on X-Code. If the SDK sucks, the Mac starts off with a huge disadvantage.

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  36. A suggestion- someone who is not on either ‘side’ who has significant experience developing with both Mac & Windows SDKs. They can act as a disinterested third party who can call BS on FUD, misinformation and disinformation.

    Why is this important? There have been Windows developers that have done what look like little more than hit pieces on X-Code and some enlightened moderation on the issue would be appreciated. Adobe and MacBU at Microsoft have also posted on real issues with developing large apps (CS & Office) on X-Code. If the SDK sucks, the Mac starts off with a huge disadvantage.

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  37. I think you ought to have someone who takes a somewhat deeper look at the operating systems – usability and eye candy are great, but a lot of us are also interested in the core OS. I may be biased; I write Windows drivers but I do so largely from a VM or remote desktop account using a Mac.

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  38. I think you ought to have someone who takes a somewhat deeper look at the operating systems – usability and eye candy are great, but a lot of us are also interested in the core OS. I may be biased; I write Windows drivers but I do so largely from a VM or remote desktop account using a Mac.

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  39. Leo Laporte and his team are great at making fun of foreign names…especially Arabic names. Really mature…and of course Scott Bourne On Macbreak weekly…who most of the time sounds like a adolescent!

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  40. Leo Laporte and his team are great at making fun of foreign names…especially Arabic names. Really mature…and of course Scott Bourne On Macbreak weekly…who most of the time sounds like a adolescent!

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  41. “I’d like to get a group together to debate Windows Vista vs. Mac OSX ”

    Right off the bat, you’ve mis-framed your subject.

    It’s either “Windows vs. OSX” or it’s “Vista vs. Leopard”.

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  42. “I’d like to get a group together to debate Windows Vista vs. Mac OSX ”

    Right off the bat, you’ve mis-framed your subject.

    It’s either “Windows vs. OSX” or it’s “Vista vs. Leopard”.

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  43. As a Windows sysadmin and a fairly well known Mac blogger, this seems a little silly to me. Other OSes have their strengths and their weaknesses (and which version of Windows would the Windows folks be demoing? Vista? XP? Media Center? 2003? @003 64 bit?

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  44. As a Windows sysadmin and a fairly well known Mac blogger, this seems a little silly to me. Other OSes have their strengths and their weaknesses (and which version of Windows would the Windows folks be demoing? Vista? XP? Media Center? 2003? @003 64 bit?

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  45. It’s all techno-religion. Funny because I was just blogging about that as it pertains to processors and Oracle at kevinclosson.wordpress.com. How could Vista versus OS X matter? Moot topic. Heck, I’m still waiting for the GECOS versus VMS wars to settle.

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  46. It’s all techno-religion. Funny because I was just blogging about that as it pertains to processors and Oracle at kevinclosson.wordpress.com. How could Vista versus OS X matter? Moot topic. Heck, I’m still waiting for the GECOS versus VMS wars to settle.

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  47. I’ll add my voice to the chorus of people saying to wait until Leopard is out. It doesn’t really seem fair to compare the very latest from Microsoft with Apple’s previous version.

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  48. I’ll add my voice to the chorus of people saying to wait until Leopard is out. It doesn’t really seem fair to compare the very latest from Microsoft with Apple’s previous version.

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  49. How about Tina Fey, she was the head writer for Saturday Night Live, and I think they were all into Macs. And people in real life might care what she thinks.

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  50. How about Tina Fey, she was the head writer for Saturday Night Live, and I think they were all into Macs. And people in real life might care what she thinks.

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  51. How about Dave Cutler and Avie Tevanian? If you could then get Linus Torvalds involved, that would be one for the ages!

    I think it would also be interesting to incorporate some viewpoints from outside the US. This begins to involve more than three people, but it would be nice to hear perspectives from each of the continents.

    I would also like to suggest someone besides Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte for Windows. That side needs some fresh blood, and there are plenty of up-and-coming bloggers and techs that could use some exposure. Very few people seem to cover anything beyond consumer scenarios for either platform, so I’ll throw this suggestion out there: break it down as a deep-level technologist POV, a consumer/end-user POV, and a business (inclusive of IT) POV for each platform. Ideally, you would also include the developer POV separately, but that would probably be split between the technologist and business POVs in this case.

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  52. How about Dave Cutler and Avie Tevanian? If you could then get Linus Torvalds involved, that would be one for the ages!

    I think it would also be interesting to incorporate some viewpoints from outside the US. This begins to involve more than three people, but it would be nice to hear perspectives from each of the continents.

    I would also like to suggest someone besides Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte for Windows. That side needs some fresh blood, and there are plenty of up-and-coming bloggers and techs that could use some exposure. Very few people seem to cover anything beyond consumer scenarios for either platform, so I’ll throw this suggestion out there: break it down as a deep-level technologist POV, a consumer/end-user POV, and a business (inclusive of IT) POV for each platform. Ideally, you would also include the developer POV separately, but that would probably be split between the technologist and business POVs in this case.

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  53. How about a few top CS Operating System professors from Stanford, MIT, UW, CMU, UIUC? Of course odds are they use Linux or OS X. My pick Andrew Tanenbaum, author of Modern Operating Systems.

    We could wait till Leopard but does not really matter, Vista is better compared with Tiger, at least it has half a fighting chance. It may not even be a contest beyond that.. but to be fair Leopard is unlikely to be that much better than Tiger which was a really nice update to OS-X. I do love spotlight quite dearly. Really changed the way I use a computer, hope my new habits are sustainable!

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  54. How about a few top CS Operating System professors from Stanford, MIT, UW, CMU, UIUC? Of course odds are they use Linux or OS X. My pick Andrew Tanenbaum, author of Modern Operating Systems.

    We could wait till Leopard but does not really matter, Vista is better compared with Tiger, at least it has half a fighting chance. It may not even be a contest beyond that.. but to be fair Leopard is unlikely to be that much better than Tiger which was a really nice update to OS-X. I do love spotlight quite dearly. Really changed the way I use a computer, hope my new habits are sustainable!

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  55. Mac OS X – Adam (or Tonya) Engst, John Gruber, Merlin Mann, Avie Tevanian’s an AWESOME choice and if you’re doing the Soupy Sales version of this… Tim Bray for color. The first four will give you a great representation of what the platform can do. Dr. Bray will give you an honest assessment of what it could do with a little more thought and elbow grease.

    Leopard v. Vista most definitely.

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  56. Mac OS X – Adam (or Tonya) Engst, John Gruber, Merlin Mann, Avie Tevanian’s an AWESOME choice and if you’re doing the Soupy Sales version of this… Tim Bray for color. The first four will give you a great representation of what the platform can do. Dr. Bray will give you an honest assessment of what it could do with a little more thought and elbow grease.

    Leopard v. Vista most definitely.

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  57. I’m all into Leopard vs. Vista, when Leopard ships.

    Maybe we should do the debate twice. Once to set a Vista vs. OSX baseline, then again when Leopard ships to see how the debate changes.

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  58. I’m all into Leopard vs. Vista, when Leopard ships.

    Maybe we should do the debate twice. Once to set a Vista vs. OSX baseline, then again when Leopard ships to see how the debate changes.

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  59. To throw a few wrinkles in:

    – some people (myself included) work with multiple OS’s (currently Windows Mobile, Windows XP and Mac OS X – though with Parallels I’ll probably soon also be running one or more Linux distros, Windows Vista, and possibly FreeBSD and/or Solaris – depends how deep I want to get into cross platform stuff)

    – many of the smartest geeks I know run Linux (and one of the very smartest programmers I know runs FreeBSD as his desktop – a programmer at Google btw)

    – many of the best new apps now come in OS Neutral flavors – Azareus for example now has a true, universal binary – a Java app that runs on any modern OS without requiring an OS specific installation. Sure, as a bittorrent client it is a bit alpha geek. But it also highlights an important trend for desktop apps.

    Plus for most of what I do I no longer care much about my local OS. As I launch my mobile web app I’ll be caring a bit about Mobile Phone OS variations – and we’ll certainly be paying attention to the server OS’s that we use (though mostly just to keep them secure – we’re running Java on the server as well – so with the right server ocnfigurations the underlying OS there too has only a minimal impact.

    My basic point is that while there are indeed nice features of Vista and OS X (I for one can’t wait for Leopard – for the automatic backup/rollback features which may be the first OS feature I’m willing to pay for and am awaiting) for a large and growing number of people (end users at least) the OS has a rapidly diminishing role in our actual use. Even typically OS based features such as viewing multimedia content is definitely shifting the web with the rise of flash based players (i.e. shifted to the near universal platform of Flash – and with Adobe’s upcoming Apollo perhaps those can shift back to the desktop – but perhaps as well in a universal binary form).

    Still – if I’m at CES when you do this I’d love to watch (and heckle from the audiance).

    Shannon

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  60. To throw a few wrinkles in:

    – some people (myself included) work with multiple OS’s (currently Windows Mobile, Windows XP and Mac OS X – though with Parallels I’ll probably soon also be running one or more Linux distros, Windows Vista, and possibly FreeBSD and/or Solaris – depends how deep I want to get into cross platform stuff)

    – many of the smartest geeks I know run Linux (and one of the very smartest programmers I know runs FreeBSD as his desktop – a programmer at Google btw)

    – many of the best new apps now come in OS Neutral flavors – Azareus for example now has a true, universal binary – a Java app that runs on any modern OS without requiring an OS specific installation. Sure, as a bittorrent client it is a bit alpha geek. But it also highlights an important trend for desktop apps.

    Plus for most of what I do I no longer care much about my local OS. As I launch my mobile web app I’ll be caring a bit about Mobile Phone OS variations – and we’ll certainly be paying attention to the server OS’s that we use (though mostly just to keep them secure – we’re running Java on the server as well – so with the right server ocnfigurations the underlying OS there too has only a minimal impact.

    My basic point is that while there are indeed nice features of Vista and OS X (I for one can’t wait for Leopard – for the automatic backup/rollback features which may be the first OS feature I’m willing to pay for and am awaiting) for a large and growing number of people (end users at least) the OS has a rapidly diminishing role in our actual use. Even typically OS based features such as viewing multimedia content is definitely shifting the web with the rise of flash based players (i.e. shifted to the near universal platform of Flash – and with Adobe’s upcoming Apollo perhaps those can shift back to the desktop – but perhaps as well in a universal binary form).

    Still – if I’m at CES when you do this I’d love to watch (and heckle from the audiance).

    Shannon

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  61. @Jim

    If you’re against comparing Apple to a $399 machine then broaden the debate to include Linux. Obviously there are too many markets that compter architectures compete in to make have one simplistic one-winner-takes-all debate.

    This idea is rigged anyway. You’re propsing (I suppose to help Vista gain traction) to compare an operating system that’s been just released to an operating system that’s been evolving and in the public domain for going on six years? That’s a lot of hubris on the part of the Microsoft camp, if you ask me.

    Why don’t you wait until Vista has matured and is certified that its met its security clearance with the public first.

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  62. @Jim

    If you’re against comparing Apple to a $399 machine then broaden the debate to include Linux. Obviously there are too many markets that compter architectures compete in to make have one simplistic one-winner-takes-all debate.

    This idea is rigged anyway. You’re propsing (I suppose to help Vista gain traction) to compare an operating system that’s been just released to an operating system that’s been evolving and in the public domain for going on six years? That’s a lot of hubris on the part of the Microsoft camp, if you ask me.

    Why don’t you wait until Vista has matured and is certified that its met its security clearance with the public first.

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  63. HG: don’t be so sure. Since I left Microsoft I’ve bought two Macs, one for work and one for home. My son just got another one and Maryam got one too.

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  64. HG: don’t be so sure. Since I left Microsoft I’ve bought two Macs, one for work and one for home. My son just got another one and Maryam got one too.

    Like

  65. “Smart persons debate on OSX vs. Windows Vista”?? Please! Any ‘smart person’ would not even get involved with such an abstract ‘debate’… That would be like “Smart persons debate on fruit vs vegetables” (they both do the same thing after all – provide nutrients) or so many other convoluted topics that I’m sure anyone could dream up.

    If you truely do want to have a debate, you need a well defined scope… anything less will just be an insult to the people you nominate as ‘smart’ and simply result in jibber jabber.

    Like

  66. “Smart persons debate on OSX vs. Windows Vista”?? Please! Any ‘smart person’ would not even get involved with such an abstract ‘debate’… That would be like “Smart persons debate on fruit vs vegetables” (they both do the same thing after all – provide nutrients) or so many other convoluted topics that I’m sure anyone could dream up.

    If you truely do want to have a debate, you need a well defined scope… anything less will just be an insult to the people you nominate as ‘smart’ and simply result in jibber jabber.

    Like

  67. Some people are missing the point I think. If you wait until Leopard comes out, then, do you have to wait until the next version of Windows comes out? Why not? There are things you can discuss regardless of which OS is up-to date technologically, its not like Leopard, no matter what is changed, will be radically different. For example, there are certain elements of Macs and certain elements of Windows that are core concepts in the OS that are unchanged. Also, it can just be a forum for discussing what is good or bad in different incarnations of Windows or MacOS. To me, it isn’t important that the people involved are advocates, except that advocates will more likely have a clear vision of what an OS should be. But, still, it can be less of a win-or-lose debate and more of a discussion of the future of the OS and what can be learned by looking at different OSs. A forum where it can be discussed: what Apple should do next to improve MacOS, and what Microsoft should do next to improve Windows. There IS common ground. You can include Linux too, but there is a point between comparing MacOS and Windows exclusively; it just depends on what you want the terms of the discussion to be.

    Like

  68. Some people are missing the point I think. If you wait until Leopard comes out, then, do you have to wait until the next version of Windows comes out? Why not? There are things you can discuss regardless of which OS is up-to date technologically, its not like Leopard, no matter what is changed, will be radically different. For example, there are certain elements of Macs and certain elements of Windows that are core concepts in the OS that are unchanged. Also, it can just be a forum for discussing what is good or bad in different incarnations of Windows or MacOS. To me, it isn’t important that the people involved are advocates, except that advocates will more likely have a clear vision of what an OS should be. But, still, it can be less of a win-or-lose debate and more of a discussion of the future of the OS and what can be learned by looking at different OSs. A forum where it can be discussed: what Apple should do next to improve MacOS, and what Microsoft should do next to improve Windows. There IS common ground. You can include Linux too, but there is a point between comparing MacOS and Windows exclusively; it just depends on what you want the terms of the discussion to be.

    Like

  69. “If you wait until Leopard comes out, then, do you have to wait until the next version of Windows comes out?”

    No, because there’s good reason to believe that Leopard will be available within weeks or possible a few months at the most after Vista is FINALLY released for the Consumer.

    “Why not?”

    Because the next version of Windows may take years with no clear date as to its release.

    “There are things you can discuss regardless of which OS is up-to date technologically, its not like Leopard, no matter what is changed, will be radically different.”

    It could be. Radical changes may occur in terms of “media center” functionality, the Finder, and any number of undiscussed issues. The first two are areas that I’m certain would appear in a debate at the present.

    Like

  70. “If you wait until Leopard comes out, then, do you have to wait until the next version of Windows comes out?”

    No, because there’s good reason to believe that Leopard will be available within weeks or possible a few months at the most after Vista is FINALLY released for the Consumer.

    “Why not?”

    Because the next version of Windows may take years with no clear date as to its release.

    “There are things you can discuss regardless of which OS is up-to date technologically, its not like Leopard, no matter what is changed, will be radically different.”

    It could be. Radical changes may occur in terms of “media center” functionality, the Finder, and any number of undiscussed issues. The first two are areas that I’m certain would appear in a debate at the present.

    Like

  71. “Since I left Microsoft I’ve bought two Macs, one for work and one for home. My son just got another one and Maryam got one too.”

    Wow, buying stuff makes you unbiased and expert. Notice in your statement, Scobie, that YOU are not the USER of either machine, just the PURCHASER. I don’t see how the above statement qualifies you for squat… except asking you for the credit card.

    Like

  72. “Since I left Microsoft I’ve bought two Macs, one for work and one for home. My son just got another one and Maryam got one too.”

    Wow, buying stuff makes you unbiased and expert. Notice in your statement, Scobie, that YOU are not the USER of either machine, just the PURCHASER. I don’t see how the above statement qualifies you for squat… except asking you for the credit card.

    Like

  73. Goebbels,

    The reason I said its not important to wait for a new OS release (unless its completely rewritten) is because this type of debate shouldn’t be meant as a prizefight, with a duke out between different features, just as a type of discussion about how OSs should be made. The release of Leopard could open more points of discussion, but what I said is that I doubt they will have overriding importance.

    Like

  74. Goebbels,

    The reason I said its not important to wait for a new OS release (unless its completely rewritten) is because this type of debate shouldn’t be meant as a prizefight, with a duke out between different features, just as a type of discussion about how OSs should be made. The release of Leopard could open more points of discussion, but what I said is that I doubt they will have overriding importance.

    Like

  75. i completely agree with someone else whom has posted above, the dream team for mac users, John Gruber, John Siracusa, and Amit Singh. unfortunately, i expect no one would really be down for it.

    Like

  76. i completely agree with someone else whom has posted above, the dream team for mac users, John Gruber, John Siracusa, and Amit Singh. unfortunately, i expect no one would really be down for it.

    Like

  77. Scoble said :”Since I left Microsoft I’ve bought two Macs, one for work and one for home. My son just got another one and Maryam got one too.”

    Seriously I dont understand the significance and the reason why you mentioned this statement. Are you saying that windows is worthless or are you trying to consider yourself as the demigod of geeks and assume that all geeks and coders will/would have blindly followed you?? I am sure that this statement does not fit as an answer to HG. Looks like another indirect sledging against MS.

    btw you gotto read this post once again. Especially the para above update.

    http://scobleizer.com/2006/12/04/niall-sends-microsoft-team-a-porn-message/

    I am sure that ppl and recruiters will remember that you have been bitching after microsoft (your ex-employer) ever since you came out. Probably you might need to take a page of advice from your own book.

    Like

  78. Scoble said :”Since I left Microsoft I’ve bought two Macs, one for work and one for home. My son just got another one and Maryam got one too.”

    Seriously I dont understand the significance and the reason why you mentioned this statement. Are you saying that windows is worthless or are you trying to consider yourself as the demigod of geeks and assume that all geeks and coders will/would have blindly followed you?? I am sure that this statement does not fit as an answer to HG. Looks like another indirect sledging against MS.

    btw you gotto read this post once again. Especially the para above update.

    http://scobleizer.com/2006/12/04/niall-sends-microsoft-team-a-porn-message/

    I am sure that ppl and recruiters will remember that you have been bitching after microsoft (your ex-employer) ever since you came out. Probably you might need to take a page of advice from your own book.

    Like

  79. @ Bob Jones: “John Gruber from Daring Fireball and John Siracusa from Ars Technica”

    Perfect. Absolutely, positively perfect.

    Mac:
    John Gruber
    John Siracusa
    Jonathan Rentzsch

    Windows:
    Paul Thurrott
    Mary Jo Foley
    [Insert any of the Vista-related dudes from Channel 9 here]

    Each side will have a nice mix of general discussion (two ‘community-minded’ personalities a piece) and technical banter (one ‘tech dude’ a piece). Everyone mentioned has been critical of both OSX and Windows XP/Vista on numerous occasions. I’d love to see or here a panel discussion with those guys.

    Like

  80. @ Bob Jones: “John Gruber from Daring Fireball and John Siracusa from Ars Technica”

    Perfect. Absolutely, positively perfect.

    Mac:
    John Gruber
    John Siracusa
    Jonathan Rentzsch

    Windows:
    Paul Thurrott
    Mary Jo Foley
    [Insert any of the Vista-related dudes from Channel 9 here]

    Each side will have a nice mix of general discussion (two ‘community-minded’ personalities a piece) and technical banter (one ‘tech dude’ a piece). Everyone mentioned has been critical of both OSX and Windows XP/Vista on numerous occasions. I’d love to see or here a panel discussion with those guys.

    Like

  81. Not sure if this is possible or not – but would you consider enlisting one non-technical power user for either side of the debate? The geek in me loves listening to people debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of Vista memory management or the default networking protocols of either OS — but what would really make this interesting would be to have someone that just *uses* the computer and have them demonstrate the feature that they like, or dislike of either operating system.

    Sadly, I can provide names. However, I’m sure you could think of a few ‘everyday users’ that would be able to speak intelligently on either side.

    Like

  82. Not sure if this is possible or not – but would you consider enlisting one non-technical power user for either side of the debate? The geek in me loves listening to people debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of Vista memory management or the default networking protocols of either OS — but what would really make this interesting would be to have someone that just *uses* the computer and have them demonstrate the feature that they like, or dislike of either operating system.

    Sadly, I can provide names. However, I’m sure you could think of a few ‘everyday users’ that would be able to speak intelligently on either side.

    Like

  83. Pingback: The Cynosural Blog
  84. I highly recommend getting MaximumPC’s Will Smith in on the conversation, or anyone from the MaximumPC staff. They are all very intelligent and able users of the current Windows XP, and they are as much professionals at that operating system as they are with the scoop on Vista, because they have been Beta testing it in their office for ages now.

    Like

  85. I highly recommend getting MaximumPC’s Will Smith in on the conversation, or anyone from the MaximumPC staff. They are all very intelligent and able users of the current Windows XP, and they are as much professionals at that operating system as they are with the scoop on Vista, because they have been Beta testing it in their office for ages now.

    Like

  86. Just wanted to point out that the recently released Open Suse 10.2 (Linux) is as good a competitor as the acclaimed OSX and Vista; pls, don’t jump on me for just that 🙂

    Like

  87. Just wanted to point out that the recently released Open Suse 10.2 (Linux) is as good a competitor as the acclaimed OSX and Vista; pls, don’t jump on me for just that 🙂

    Like

  88. Both l
    Leopard and Vista will be officially released in ’07 to consumers – less than three months apart. So I’m with the wait for Leopard crowd. And some really good names have already been mentioned for the debate.

    Like

  89. Both l
    Leopard and Vista will be officially released in ’07 to consumers – less than three months apart. So I’m with the wait for Leopard crowd. And some really good names have already been mentioned for the debate.

    Like

  90. I don’t think the debate will ever occur. Nor do I believe any smart OS X adovcate would agree to participate in something set up up by Robert Scoble.

    Like

  91. I don’t think the debate will ever occur. Nor do I believe any smart OS X adovcate would agree to participate in something set up up by Robert Scoble.

    Like

  92. There is no comparison in my opinion. I choose Windows Vista for the most important reason: price.

    Apple overcharges for its machines, but its OS is reasonably priced. I don’t like non-commodity harware. I want to be able to buy what I need at any mom and pop store or at a national chain.

    Apple tries to project this false aura that if you use their machines, you are somehow better, smarter, or more in tune with class. It’s bunk.

    I used to have several Apples. I thought I’d try another one this year and bought a new MacBook. It was crap. The hardware was the cheapest I’ve ever seen. The white case started turning a dull yellow on the inside, and OS X itself was far and away worse than OS 9, despite 9’s faults.

    Apple screwed up when they based their OS on FreeBSD. They should have taken the now-defunct BeOS and ran with that. They would have had something more original, more elegant, and more useful. Windows is now the only mainstream OS that is not based on some form of *nix. Yes, yes, I know, Windows harkens back to VMS, etc. in it’s original iteration, but in no real meaningful way.

    I’m a guy who has experience with Apple, Linux, and Microsoft, and I can tell you one thing that makes the difference for me. Price. Windows machines are inexpensive, and they do for me what I need them to.

    Like

  93. There is no comparison in my opinion. I choose Windows Vista for the most important reason: price.

    Apple overcharges for its machines, but its OS is reasonably priced. I don’t like non-commodity harware. I want to be able to buy what I need at any mom and pop store or at a national chain.

    Apple tries to project this false aura that if you use their machines, you are somehow better, smarter, or more in tune with class. It’s bunk.

    I used to have several Apples. I thought I’d try another one this year and bought a new MacBook. It was crap. The hardware was the cheapest I’ve ever seen. The white case started turning a dull yellow on the inside, and OS X itself was far and away worse than OS 9, despite 9’s faults.

    Apple screwed up when they based their OS on FreeBSD. They should have taken the now-defunct BeOS and ran with that. They would have had something more original, more elegant, and more useful. Windows is now the only mainstream OS that is not based on some form of *nix. Yes, yes, I know, Windows harkens back to VMS, etc. in it’s original iteration, but in no real meaningful way.

    I’m a guy who has experience with Apple, Linux, and Microsoft, and I can tell you one thing that makes the difference for me. Price. Windows machines are inexpensive, and they do for me what I need them to.

    Like

  94. I assume such a debate would be about functionality, technical strengths and so forth.

    But the fact is for most of us the decision is made largely on criteria like: “I’ve been using Windows forever, why would I go to all the effort of learning something new? Plus I know that 99% of the places I might work will need me to know Windows.”

    I can’t speak for the OSX users, but I imagine likewise that the decision has little to do with functionality and more to do with views like: “Microsoft is corporate evil; Apple is hip”.

    Though of course the debate gets dressed up in more apparently rational terms – XYX consumes more memory or does some thing a millisecond faster – as if that really makes any differnce to the average user.

    In a nutshell, these debates are more revealing about subcultures than technology.

    Like

  95. I assume such a debate would be about functionality, technical strengths and so forth.

    But the fact is for most of us the decision is made largely on criteria like: “I’ve been using Windows forever, why would I go to all the effort of learning something new? Plus I know that 99% of the places I might work will need me to know Windows.”

    I can’t speak for the OSX users, but I imagine likewise that the decision has little to do with functionality and more to do with views like: “Microsoft is corporate evil; Apple is hip”.

    Though of course the debate gets dressed up in more apparently rational terms – XYX consumes more memory or does some thing a millisecond faster – as if that really makes any differnce to the average user.

    In a nutshell, these debates are more revealing about subcultures than technology.

    Like

  96. It’s a nice idea, but I’m not sure live in a world sane enough for this to take place. It’s simply impossible to not have any religious followers during the debate, and even without them, both sides have to know both operating systems quite well, which probably means that they know pros and cons of both, and the only thing that made them decide about a particular OS is their personal preference, rendering the whole debate dubious.

    Good luck with those Vista whores 😛 (do they even exist?!)

    Like

  97. It’s a nice idea, but I’m not sure live in a world sane enough for this to take place. It’s simply impossible to not have any religious followers during the debate, and even without them, both sides have to know both operating systems quite well, which probably means that they know pros and cons of both, and the only thing that made them decide about a particular OS is their personal preference, rendering the whole debate dubious.

    Good luck with those Vista whores 😛 (do they even exist?!)

    Like

  98. torchwolf writes: “In a nutshell, these debates are more revealing about subcultures than technology.”

    I agree.

    A much more fun and revealing (and possibly healing and profitable) exercise would be each side swap operating systems for three months. It could be a reality show ala “Frontier House”. Apple haters use Mac OS X on those god-awfully overpriced machines, and Microsoft haters use Vista on those cheapo commodity systems. Confessional cameras are everywhere. The entire gamut of human drama is on display.

    After the psychological debriefing, participants discuss the ordeal in a round-table talk. This would not only be entertaining, but also insightful about our tribal instincts and how we can come to terms with them.

    Like

  99. torchwolf writes: “In a nutshell, these debates are more revealing about subcultures than technology.”

    I agree.

    A much more fun and revealing (and possibly healing and profitable) exercise would be each side swap operating systems for three months. It could be a reality show ala “Frontier House”. Apple haters use Mac OS X on those god-awfully overpriced machines, and Microsoft haters use Vista on those cheapo commodity systems. Confessional cameras are everywhere. The entire gamut of human drama is on display.

    After the psychological debriefing, participants discuss the ordeal in a round-table talk. This would not only be entertaining, but also insightful about our tribal instincts and how we can come to terms with them.

    Like

  100. “There is no comparison in my opinion. I choose Windows Vista for the most important reason: price.”

    Mac OS X Leopard: $129
    Windows Vista: $199-$399

    “Apple overcharges for its machines, but its OS is reasonably priced.”

    Duh on the latter point, duh on the former:

    MacMini: Comparable to PC with similar configuration.
    iMac: Comparable to PC with similar configuration.
    Mac Pro: Less than similarly-configured PC.
    MacBook: Comparable to PC laptop with similar configuration.
    MacBook Pro: Less than similarly-configured PC laptop.

    Hell, the Mac Pro absolutely destroyed a similarly configured Dell in price: http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33576

    “I don’t like non-commodity harware.”

    Uh, okay. Provided that there is a modicum of driver support, Macs handle commodity hardware just fine. You can pick up any chip, hard drive, memory and on and on from those stores and they’ll work just fine. There aren’t any proprietary buses and haven’t been for, oh, a decade or so.

    “I want to be able to buy what I need at any mom and pop store or at a national chain.”

    That’s odd. I use a Mac and I buy computer parts at my local computer store and national chains all the time.

    “Apple tries to project this false aura that if you use their machines, you are somehow better, smarter, or more in tune with class.”

    Microsoft marketing campaign: “Do something vaguely magical, represented by all these squiggly white lines. We’re awesome.”

    Apple marketing campaign: “Make cute photo books and don’t worry about malware. Ignore that the PC dude is more likeable.”

    “It’s bunk.”

    It really seems like you’re projecting, to be honest. Mac dudes choose the platform because they genuinely like it, end of story. It might be the operating system that caught their eye, or the award-winning industrial design or the fantastic set of applications available on the platform. This whole ego conspiracy bullshit of yours is pretty laughable.

    “I used to have several Apples.”

    Uh, okay.

    “I thought I’d try another one this year and bought a new MacBook. It was crap.”

    I don’t know. I’m using one right now, and it’s pretty dang nice.

    “The hardware was the cheapest I’ve ever seen.”

    Yeah, this smokin’ Intel chipset, gorgeous screen, awesome camera, nice design, comfortable keyboard, remote and full compliment of ports really feels like bargain-basement rubbish.

    “The white case started turning a dull yellow on the inside”

    Oh, hey. You mean the manufacturing defect (it happens all the time, across the board with manufacturers) that Apple recognized and fully covered under warranty: http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/06/30/macbook.discoloration/

    That one? Really? Gosh.

    “and OS X itself was far and away worse than OS 9, despite 9’s faults.”

    How am I not supposed to double over with incredulous laughter at this?

    “Apple screwed up when they based their OS on FreeBSD.”

    Yeah, silly Apple for building its operating system on one of the most stable and secure platforms around.

    “They should have taken the now-defunct BeOS and ran with that.”

    I loved BeOS for its time, but all its great ideas have been stripped down and applied a thousand times over in MacOS, Windows and Linux.

    “They would have had something more original,”

    Another POSIX-compliant, UNIX-inspired operating system?

    “more elegant”

    Uh, I don’t know how elegant a kernel can get, but I think people care more about reliability and functionality.

    “and more useful.”

    Well, with a comment that vague and pointless, you sure one me over.

    “Windows is now the only mainstream OS that is not based on some form of *nix.”

    You say that like it’s a good thing.

    “Yes, yes, I know, Windows harkens back to VMS, etc. in it’s original iteration, but in no real meaningful way.”

    Yeah, its basically been a few decades of the NT core trying to replicate what UNIX had already perfected, then another decade of Microsoft trying to sort out the mess of spaghetti code they’d created. Don’t get me wrong. I like Windows from a user perspective. But, from design? There’s a reason why Vista had to rebuild and recreate stack after stack and jettison quite a bit of older code.

    “I’m a guy who has experience with Apple, Linux, and Microsoft, and I can tell you one thing that makes the difference for me. Price.”

    Huh, I’m surprised you got back to this. I guess the laughably stupid tangent on OS design didn’t really add up to all that much.

    “Windows machines are inexpensive, and they do for me what I need them to.”

    Make half-assed comments on your favorite blogs?

    Like

  101. “There is no comparison in my opinion. I choose Windows Vista for the most important reason: price.”

    Mac OS X Leopard: $129
    Windows Vista: $199-$399

    “Apple overcharges for its machines, but its OS is reasonably priced.”

    Duh on the latter point, duh on the former:

    MacMini: Comparable to PC with similar configuration.
    iMac: Comparable to PC with similar configuration.
    Mac Pro: Less than similarly-configured PC.
    MacBook: Comparable to PC laptop with similar configuration.
    MacBook Pro: Less than similarly-configured PC laptop.

    Hell, the Mac Pro absolutely destroyed a similarly configured Dell in price: http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33576

    “I don’t like non-commodity harware.”

    Uh, okay. Provided that there is a modicum of driver support, Macs handle commodity hardware just fine. You can pick up any chip, hard drive, memory and on and on from those stores and they’ll work just fine. There aren’t any proprietary buses and haven’t been for, oh, a decade or so.

    “I want to be able to buy what I need at any mom and pop store or at a national chain.”

    That’s odd. I use a Mac and I buy computer parts at my local computer store and national chains all the time.

    “Apple tries to project this false aura that if you use their machines, you are somehow better, smarter, or more in tune with class.”

    Microsoft marketing campaign: “Do something vaguely magical, represented by all these squiggly white lines. We’re awesome.”

    Apple marketing campaign: “Make cute photo books and don’t worry about malware. Ignore that the PC dude is more likeable.”

    “It’s bunk.”

    It really seems like you’re projecting, to be honest. Mac dudes choose the platform because they genuinely like it, end of story. It might be the operating system that caught their eye, or the award-winning industrial design or the fantastic set of applications available on the platform. This whole ego conspiracy bullshit of yours is pretty laughable.

    “I used to have several Apples.”

    Uh, okay.

    “I thought I’d try another one this year and bought a new MacBook. It was crap.”

    I don’t know. I’m using one right now, and it’s pretty dang nice.

    “The hardware was the cheapest I’ve ever seen.”

    Yeah, this smokin’ Intel chipset, gorgeous screen, awesome camera, nice design, comfortable keyboard, remote and full compliment of ports really feels like bargain-basement rubbish.

    “The white case started turning a dull yellow on the inside”

    Oh, hey. You mean the manufacturing defect (it happens all the time, across the board with manufacturers) that Apple recognized and fully covered under warranty: http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/06/30/macbook.discoloration/

    That one? Really? Gosh.

    “and OS X itself was far and away worse than OS 9, despite 9’s faults.”

    How am I not supposed to double over with incredulous laughter at this?

    “Apple screwed up when they based their OS on FreeBSD.”

    Yeah, silly Apple for building its operating system on one of the most stable and secure platforms around.

    “They should have taken the now-defunct BeOS and ran with that.”

    I loved BeOS for its time, but all its great ideas have been stripped down and applied a thousand times over in MacOS, Windows and Linux.

    “They would have had something more original,”

    Another POSIX-compliant, UNIX-inspired operating system?

    “more elegant”

    Uh, I don’t know how elegant a kernel can get, but I think people care more about reliability and functionality.

    “and more useful.”

    Well, with a comment that vague and pointless, you sure one me over.

    “Windows is now the only mainstream OS that is not based on some form of *nix.”

    You say that like it’s a good thing.

    “Yes, yes, I know, Windows harkens back to VMS, etc. in it’s original iteration, but in no real meaningful way.”

    Yeah, its basically been a few decades of the NT core trying to replicate what UNIX had already perfected, then another decade of Microsoft trying to sort out the mess of spaghetti code they’d created. Don’t get me wrong. I like Windows from a user perspective. But, from design? There’s a reason why Vista had to rebuild and recreate stack after stack and jettison quite a bit of older code.

    “I’m a guy who has experience with Apple, Linux, and Microsoft, and I can tell you one thing that makes the difference for me. Price.”

    Huh, I’m surprised you got back to this. I guess the laughably stupid tangent on OS design didn’t really add up to all that much.

    “Windows machines are inexpensive, and they do for me what I need them to.”

    Make half-assed comments on your favorite blogs?

    Like

  102. I think it’s a great thing to do — I think a discussion carried out in an open-minded, ‘unreligious,’ while clearly not unbiased, forum could be a very informative undertaking. I see in the comments so far 2 unfortunalte trends: 1) people who read the title of the post and could hardly hit the comments link fast enough to rant about Windows or Mac, and 2) the people who are so sick and tired of all the flame that they’ve developed an unfortunate (although somewhat understandable), knee-jerk negative reaction to the idea of even an honest, good-natured discussion about OS strengths and weaknesses. Although I takes JS’s point re: beer and pizza, I think the only reasonable solution is to hold the discussion over beer and pizza. And I know (I KNOW) there are all kinds of reasons RS suggests limiting it to a Mac and Windows panel, but I still think including one of the popular Linux distros (maybe Fedora or Ubuntu) would improve the discussion. I’d suggest Mark Pilgrim as an Ubuntu panelist.

    Like

  103. I think it’s a great thing to do — I think a discussion carried out in an open-minded, ‘unreligious,’ while clearly not unbiased, forum could be a very informative undertaking. I see in the comments so far 2 unfortunalte trends: 1) people who read the title of the post and could hardly hit the comments link fast enough to rant about Windows or Mac, and 2) the people who are so sick and tired of all the flame that they’ve developed an unfortunate (although somewhat understandable), knee-jerk negative reaction to the idea of even an honest, good-natured discussion about OS strengths and weaknesses. Although I takes JS’s point re: beer and pizza, I think the only reasonable solution is to hold the discussion over beer and pizza. And I know (I KNOW) there are all kinds of reasons RS suggests limiting it to a Mac and Windows panel, but I still think including one of the popular Linux distros (maybe Fedora or Ubuntu) would improve the discussion. I’d suggest Mark Pilgrim as an Ubuntu panelist.

    Like

  104. And let me add that I absolutely *love* HG’s idea of having people swap OSes. Have ’em use OS X, Vista, and Ubuntu each for a month or two. I agree that probing the cultural and tribal aspects of the debate could be as interesting and informative as analyzing the technological differences.

    Like

  105. And let me add that I absolutely *love* HG’s idea of having people swap OSes. Have ’em use OS X, Vista, and Ubuntu each for a month or two. I agree that probing the cultural and tribal aspects of the debate could be as interesting and informative as analyzing the technological differences.

    Like

  106. I do accept it might be like comparing apples and oranges … But it is still good have this debate … When someone wants to buy a(ny) fruit , Knowing the characteristics of the fruits available, would really help in deciding.
    Such a discussion would get the feature sets (if not the pros and cons) of both the platform to the end user ! And have it as a debate would really make it more interesting (can’t u not see that already from the number of comments to this post 😉 )

    Like

  107. I do accept it might be like comparing apples and oranges … But it is still good have this debate … When someone wants to buy a(ny) fruit , Knowing the characteristics of the fruits available, would really help in deciding.
    Such a discussion would get the feature sets (if not the pros and cons) of both the platform to the end user ! And have it as a debate would really make it more interesting (can’t u not see that already from the number of comments to this post 😉 )

    Like

  108. >I am sure that ppl and recruiters will remember that you have been bitching after microsoft (your ex-employer) ever since you came out.

    Anand: if you can’t understand the difference between criticism and unprofessionalism, maybe I really don’t want you to be a reader here. I expect my readers to be smart. Stupid readers can go read Digg or something else.

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  109. >I am sure that ppl and recruiters will remember that you have been bitching after microsoft (your ex-employer) ever since you came out.

    Anand: if you can’t understand the difference between criticism and unprofessionalism, maybe I really don’t want you to be a reader here. I expect my readers to be smart. Stupid readers can go read Digg or something else.

    Like

  110. Come on, be fair.

    Windows Vista VS Apple Leopard (when its released) otherwise your not showing any objectivity between
    “latest releases”. Saying Vista Vs OSX is like saying lets compare Tiger Vs Windows.

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  111. Come on, be fair.

    Windows Vista VS Apple Leopard (when its released) otherwise your not showing any objectivity between
    “latest releases”. Saying Vista Vs OSX is like saying lets compare Tiger Vs Windows.

    Like

  112. John Gruber
    John Siracusa
    Paul Thurrott
    David Pogue
    Mary Jo Foley
    Aaron Hillegass
    Dave Cutler
    Avie Tevannian

    As everyone has already said, the debate is Leopard vs. Vista.
    And the issue is moot for Mac users, I can buy a Mac and use whicheve OS I like, and run them simultaneously…

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  113. John Gruber
    John Siracusa
    Paul Thurrott
    David Pogue
    Mary Jo Foley
    Aaron Hillegass
    Dave Cutler
    Avie Tevannian

    As everyone has already said, the debate is Leopard vs. Vista.
    And the issue is moot for Mac users, I can buy a Mac and use whicheve OS I like, and run them simultaneously…

    Like

  114. If you’re looking for a debate among advocates, you’re not going to get anyone sharing weaknesses, and you’re going to see a lot of back-and-forth sniping about whether Apple or Microsoft came up with an idea first, or whether the tweaky implementation details of one feature are better or worse than another.

    And more to the point, the choice of an operating system seldom comes down to features. I certainly could use Windows and have done so, but I find its paradigms awkward and clumsy in comparison to what I’m accustomed to. They’re not necessarily wrong (though they may be and some certainly are), but they come from a different mindset and history, and have evolved under different stresses. As a result, I simply dislike using Windows, and find it less productive because of the constant friction between it and the ways I want to work. I’m sure the same can be true for died-in-the-wool Windows users attempting to use Mac OS X (though I’ve had tremendous fun helping a Windows-using friend who just bought an iMac; the answer to almost all of his questions is “it’s just built in”).

    I haven’t seen Vista yet, but I imagine I’ll take a look eventually, via Parallels Desktop, because if nothing else, Macs can run Windows just fine. And that, to my mind, answers the question once and for all. I’ll take the OS that can run both Mac and Windows applications, thank you.

    Like

  115. If you’re looking for a debate among advocates, you’re not going to get anyone sharing weaknesses, and you’re going to see a lot of back-and-forth sniping about whether Apple or Microsoft came up with an idea first, or whether the tweaky implementation details of one feature are better or worse than another.

    And more to the point, the choice of an operating system seldom comes down to features. I certainly could use Windows and have done so, but I find its paradigms awkward and clumsy in comparison to what I’m accustomed to. They’re not necessarily wrong (though they may be and some certainly are), but they come from a different mindset and history, and have evolved under different stresses. As a result, I simply dislike using Windows, and find it less productive because of the constant friction between it and the ways I want to work. I’m sure the same can be true for died-in-the-wool Windows users attempting to use Mac OS X (though I’ve had tremendous fun helping a Windows-using friend who just bought an iMac; the answer to almost all of his questions is “it’s just built in”).

    I haven’t seen Vista yet, but I imagine I’ll take a look eventually, via Parallels Desktop, because if nothing else, Macs can run Windows just fine. And that, to my mind, answers the question once and for all. I’ll take the OS that can run both Mac and Windows applications, thank you.

    Like

  116. Michael–you’re getting to the debate before the debate! 😉 You should volunteer yourself. 🙂

    I don’t want to stray from the point of this blog post, so I’ll attempt to avoid taking issue with some of your points. However, there seems to be a common thread of misunderstanding regarding what is NT kernel and what is userland Windows (Win32, etc., at which I think your valid complaints are better directed), and I think that’s relevant to the choice of who is included this debate (which is why I’d suggest Dave Cutler–though it’s exceedingly unlikely that he’d agree–or as someone else suggested, Mark Russinovich). Moreover, there is MUCH misunderstanding about the NT kernel itself (including–or perhaps especially–within academic circles), and I think it would be quite useful on the Windows side for someone to demonstrate the advantages it has over *NIX.

    It’s interesting that while many have associated Microsoft with “corporate” and Apple as “hip” and “think different,” on the kernel side, sort of the opposite is true. Cutler saw the UNIX side as being created by a bunch of academic egghead-sorts that designed an operating system around theory rather than real-world practice and needs, and there is certainly an element of VMS and NT being the ‘anti-UNIX’. While Cutler himself would probably never participate in such a debate, I think Russinovich would be absolutely fascinating to add to the discussion. Add Avie and Linus, and wow–you’ve made history.

    Robert–did you ever have an opportunity to interview Cutler at Microsoft? Or is that a silly question?

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  117. Michael–you’re getting to the debate before the debate! 😉 You should volunteer yourself. 🙂

    I don’t want to stray from the point of this blog post, so I’ll attempt to avoid taking issue with some of your points. However, there seems to be a common thread of misunderstanding regarding what is NT kernel and what is userland Windows (Win32, etc., at which I think your valid complaints are better directed), and I think that’s relevant to the choice of who is included this debate (which is why I’d suggest Dave Cutler–though it’s exceedingly unlikely that he’d agree–or as someone else suggested, Mark Russinovich). Moreover, there is MUCH misunderstanding about the NT kernel itself (including–or perhaps especially–within academic circles), and I think it would be quite useful on the Windows side for someone to demonstrate the advantages it has over *NIX.

    It’s interesting that while many have associated Microsoft with “corporate” and Apple as “hip” and “think different,” on the kernel side, sort of the opposite is true. Cutler saw the UNIX side as being created by a bunch of academic egghead-sorts that designed an operating system around theory rather than real-world practice and needs, and there is certainly an element of VMS and NT being the ‘anti-UNIX’. While Cutler himself would probably never participate in such a debate, I think Russinovich would be absolutely fascinating to add to the discussion. Add Avie and Linus, and wow–you’ve made history.

    Robert–did you ever have an opportunity to interview Cutler at Microsoft? Or is that a silly question?

    Like

  118. This sounds reasonable, but I’d like to point out the needs of creative users of the OS: musicians, artists, visualists. Particularly once you get into live performance and real-time music and visuals, details of the OS becomes very important. And our Windows vs. Mac shootout would look very different.

    I’m sure the same argument could be made for many other market segments. Now, naturally, those markets will do their own shootouts — but taken together, when you have everyone from architects to web designers to guitarists, what you see is that the OS really is about the tiny details, not just the oft-repeated banner arguments.

    On the musician/audio pro side in particular, we’re still trying to sort out exactly what will happen with Vista in terms of compatibility: to what extent Microsoft has fixed its plumbing for audio, MIDI, and USB device support, how the new audio API works and for what, what the impact of DRM restrictions will be on audio tasks, what new device driver signing requirements’ impact will be, what overall performance, latency, and reliability is like for the built-in and ASIO audio systems. And the Mac has an unusual edge in audio because of Core Audio and Core MIDI, and general USB and FireWire device implementation, that Windows doesn’t have.

    On the visual side, issues like OpenGL implementation, DirectX video support (including the grabber API for using live cameras), multiple monitor implementation (for VJs working with proejctors), and even Java support (for Java earlier than 6) becomes important.

    Sure, this may not be as sexy as a big Mac vs. Windows debate (we have Spotlight! we’ve got Windows Movie Maker! or whatever that would sound like), but this stuff matters. It matters a whole lot when you’re a musician plugging in your laptop and playing a gig, or a VJ hooking up to a projector.

    I think this debate would be a LOT more useful once we actually know more about the details of Vista in the real world.

    To me, it’s specific, subtle points that ultimately make the OS for serious people. The other arguments — all of them valid — we’ve just heard too many times before.

    Like

  119. This sounds reasonable, but I’d like to point out the needs of creative users of the OS: musicians, artists, visualists. Particularly once you get into live performance and real-time music and visuals, details of the OS becomes very important. And our Windows vs. Mac shootout would look very different.

    I’m sure the same argument could be made for many other market segments. Now, naturally, those markets will do their own shootouts — but taken together, when you have everyone from architects to web designers to guitarists, what you see is that the OS really is about the tiny details, not just the oft-repeated banner arguments.

    On the musician/audio pro side in particular, we’re still trying to sort out exactly what will happen with Vista in terms of compatibility: to what extent Microsoft has fixed its plumbing for audio, MIDI, and USB device support, how the new audio API works and for what, what the impact of DRM restrictions will be on audio tasks, what new device driver signing requirements’ impact will be, what overall performance, latency, and reliability is like for the built-in and ASIO audio systems. And the Mac has an unusual edge in audio because of Core Audio and Core MIDI, and general USB and FireWire device implementation, that Windows doesn’t have.

    On the visual side, issues like OpenGL implementation, DirectX video support (including the grabber API for using live cameras), multiple monitor implementation (for VJs working with proejctors), and even Java support (for Java earlier than 6) becomes important.

    Sure, this may not be as sexy as a big Mac vs. Windows debate (we have Spotlight! we’ve got Windows Movie Maker! or whatever that would sound like), but this stuff matters. It matters a whole lot when you’re a musician plugging in your laptop and playing a gig, or a VJ hooking up to a projector.

    I think this debate would be a LOT more useful once we actually know more about the details of Vista in the real world.

    To me, it’s specific, subtle points that ultimately make the OS for serious people. The other arguments — all of them valid — we’ve just heard too many times before.

    Like

  120. HG suggested the OS equivalent of Wife Swap…

    “A much more fun and revealing (and possibly healing and profitable) exercise would be each side swap operating systems for three months. It could be a reality show … Confessional cameras are everywhere. The entire gamut of human drama is on display.

    After the psychological debriefing, participants discuss the ordeal in a round-table talk. This would not only be entertaining, but also insightful about our tribal instincts and how we can come to terms with them.”

    That would be wonderful.

    Though I daresay the audience would be rather smaller than for most reality TV shows. 🙂

    Perhaps it’d be a hit on YouTube?

    We know one thing about humans, we are very good at splitting up into sects about anything. OSX v Vista? Python v Ruby? Bourne Shell v C Shell?

    “Death to the infidel!” we readily cry.

    Remember the Life of Brian when the Judean People’s Front loathed the People’s Front of Judea?

    Extremely common human behaviour, whose absurdity is only apparent to those not caught up in any given war.

    Like

  121. HG suggested the OS equivalent of Wife Swap…

    “A much more fun and revealing (and possibly healing and profitable) exercise would be each side swap operating systems for three months. It could be a reality show … Confessional cameras are everywhere. The entire gamut of human drama is on display.

    After the psychological debriefing, participants discuss the ordeal in a round-table talk. This would not only be entertaining, but also insightful about our tribal instincts and how we can come to terms with them.”

    That would be wonderful.

    Though I daresay the audience would be rather smaller than for most reality TV shows. 🙂

    Perhaps it’d be a hit on YouTube?

    We know one thing about humans, we are very good at splitting up into sects about anything. OSX v Vista? Python v Ruby? Bourne Shell v C Shell?

    “Death to the infidel!” we readily cry.

    Remember the Life of Brian when the Judean People’s Front loathed the People’s Front of Judea?

    Extremely common human behaviour, whose absurdity is only apparent to those not caught up in any given war.

    Like

  122. Adam C. Engst–one thing about Vista that you’ll miss in Parallels (as well as any other VM product currently on the market) is the Aero interface, including any GPU-acceleration of WPF apps. The Vista Basic interface is um, uninspiring at best from a look-and-feel perspective (in my opinion), so to give Vista a fair shake, you should really run it outside of a VM environment (perhaps in Boot Camp, though performance will be affected a bit by using a slower part of the hard drive–but not nearly to the degree that performance is affected by running it in a VM).

    Interestingly, if you’re running a Vista machine that supports Aero and have a Vista install running as a VM elsewhere, you can get the Aero UI for the VM if you use Remote Desktop to get into it.

    Like

  123. Adam C. Engst–one thing about Vista that you’ll miss in Parallels (as well as any other VM product currently on the market) is the Aero interface, including any GPU-acceleration of WPF apps. The Vista Basic interface is um, uninspiring at best from a look-and-feel perspective (in my opinion), so to give Vista a fair shake, you should really run it outside of a VM environment (perhaps in Boot Camp, though performance will be affected a bit by using a slower part of the hard drive–but not nearly to the degree that performance is affected by running it in a VM).

    Interestingly, if you’re running a Vista machine that supports Aero and have a Vista install running as a VM elsewhere, you can get the Aero UI for the VM if you use Remote Desktop to get into it.

    Like

  124. What No. 63 said: ‘Smart people’ would be too smart to waste their time debating something as stupid as this.

    But … that said … pondering a debate team like this is kinda fun. So, I’d nominate Ed Bott for the Vista side, because he’s a great combination of funny & smart, and no one knows the ins/out of Windows better.

    Like

  125. What No. 63 said: ‘Smart people’ would be too smart to waste their time debating something as stupid as this.

    But … that said … pondering a debate team like this is kinda fun. So, I’d nominate Ed Bott for the Vista side, because he’s a great combination of funny & smart, and no one knows the ins/out of Windows better.

    Like

  126. If you’re really going to go through with this farce that will generate 10 times more heat than light, be sure to at least get a developer for each side, that can look at things from the development angle.

    Like

  127. If you’re really going to go through with this farce that will generate 10 times more heat than light, be sure to at least get a developer for each side, that can look at things from the development angle.

    Like

  128. My name is Brian Boyko – I might be interested in joining up as a speaker (or perhaps even a moderator) in this conference.

    I was employed at HardOCP as a computer reviewer from 2005-2006, and I’m currently working on a long-term project for HardOCP, a series of articles where I use different 64-bit operating systems (I’m currently working on Ubuntu-AMD64) for 30 days, writing up my experiences. By the time the conference is available, I should hopefully complete my objective evaluation of Ubuntu-AMD64 and be mostly completed with my evaluation of Windows Vista. I may evaluate MacOSX 10.5, depending on whether 10.5 is out by the time I finish the Vista evaluation, but this will likely not happen until after January 31st.

    However, from 2002-2005, I used MacOSX as my primary home operating system. By the time the conference comes around, I should be very familiar with all three OSes from an end-user perspective.

    I can be contacted at brian.boyko@netqos.com.

    Like

  129. My name is Brian Boyko – I might be interested in joining up as a speaker (or perhaps even a moderator) in this conference.

    I was employed at HardOCP as a computer reviewer from 2005-2006, and I’m currently working on a long-term project for HardOCP, a series of articles where I use different 64-bit operating systems (I’m currently working on Ubuntu-AMD64) for 30 days, writing up my experiences. By the time the conference is available, I should hopefully complete my objective evaluation of Ubuntu-AMD64 and be mostly completed with my evaluation of Windows Vista. I may evaluate MacOSX 10.5, depending on whether 10.5 is out by the time I finish the Vista evaluation, but this will likely not happen until after January 31st.

    However, from 2002-2005, I used MacOSX as my primary home operating system. By the time the conference comes around, I should be very familiar with all three OSes from an end-user perspective.

    I can be contacted at brian.boyko@netqos.com.

    Like

  130. OK, so I know this might be a bit self-serving and off course for what you’re really asking, but…

    How about a non-Dream Team? Meaning, what about some fresh voices, with non-techie, non-traditional discussion?

    I love Leo Laporte, for instance, but he’s a hardcore techie, and he podcasts like a champ. We know where he’s coming from because he’s told us before.

    I’d love to volunteer, as the “I recently switched to Mac for work, but have been using both for years” guy.

    Like

  131. OK, so I know this might be a bit self-serving and off course for what you’re really asking, but…

    How about a non-Dream Team? Meaning, what about some fresh voices, with non-techie, non-traditional discussion?

    I love Leo Laporte, for instance, but he’s a hardcore techie, and he podcasts like a champ. We know where he’s coming from because he’s told us before.

    I’d love to volunteer, as the “I recently switched to Mac for work, but have been using both for years” guy.

    Like

  132. Jake: that’s an interesting idea.

    What might even be more fun is do it twice. Once with “famous pundits” and again with “everyday users” and see how the two panels differ in what they talk about.

    Like

  133. Jake: that’s an interesting idea.

    What might even be more fun is do it twice. Once with “famous pundits” and again with “everyday users” and see how the two panels differ in what they talk about.

    Like

  134. Out of curiosity what do you consider by saying OS X and windows. Are we talking kernel/API/programming/UI, or that + all the apps that come with it. For instance imovie is not a part of OS X but does come with the apple desktop. You might want to better define what you are debating.

    Like

  135. Out of curiosity what do you consider by saying OS X and windows. Are we talking kernel/API/programming/UI, or that + all the apps that come with it. For instance imovie is not a part of OS X but does come with the apple desktop. You might want to better define what you are debating.

    Like

  136. Choices for each team should include those who can speak and write to rank beginners. Such experts are relatively rare.

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  137. Don’t do it. I can’t install a simple bluetooth device on windows vista x64, therefore will make Windows very silly just like those Mac comercials.

    Like

  138. Don’t do it. I can’t install a simple bluetooth device on windows vista x64, therefore will make Windows very silly just like those Mac comercials.

    Like

  139. Hello!

    Smart person’s debate:

    Mac OS X:
    Donald Duck, Snow White, Sidney ‘Sid’ Phillips

    Windows Vista:
    C3PO, Cinderella, Slartibartfast

    Cheers, Roman

    Like

  140. Hello!

    Smart person’s debate:

    Mac OS X:
    Donald Duck, Snow White, Sidney ‘Sid’ Phillips

    Windows Vista:
    C3PO, Cinderella, Slartibartfast

    Cheers, Roman

    Like

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