Mac OS X Tiger
Though I’ve been aware of the features in the next iteration of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system dubbed “Tiger” for some time, I am still anticipating it’s arrival on April 29th.
As a daily user of Windows XP (both at home and work) and SuSe Linux (on my home PC), I’m perhaps in a unique position to compare-n-contrast the use of each of these operating systems (disclaimer: we own several Mac’s and only one PC at home).
With both Windows XP and the first version of Mac OS X released in 2001, I decided the time had come to either upgrade *all* my apps to this new operating system (and upgrade all apps *and* machines in my wife’s office) or toss them all out and roll to Windows XP (Linux wasn’t an option due to lack of apps for graphics and publishing).
So I did a test. Bought a Sony laptop running WinXP and obtained Mac OS X and upgraded one machine. I “lived” with them both for November/December of 2001 and January of 2002. The outcome? Experientially the difference was like driving a 1995 Olds Cutlass Ciera vs. a Lexus ES300: both would get you to the destination, but one was a *much* more pleasant experience (and contrary to the car analogy, roughly the same price and I’d be happy to argue this point). Since then — between home use and her office — we’ve purchased a dozen machines, many applications and peripherals.
I’ve experienced this new Tiger version of Mac OS X since the company I work for is an Apple Developer (we support Safari). It is a major upleveling of the already delightful operating environment and I’m eagerly awaiting it. I know a lot of pundits talk about how Spotlight (the WinFS search competitor in Tiger) is really cool and going to ship MUCH sooner than Microsoft’s Longhorn, but that’s only part of the story.
In my view the REAL story is the seamless, intuitive to use, pleasing to view, application integrated and machine optimized operating system that Microsoft simply will be unable to compete with as the iterations of OS X accelerate. The punchline to the story is the ease (relatively speaking) of supporting Linux and Unix apps in Mac OS X and how — since Microsoft’s enterprise direction is with .Net and the rest of the universe is Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and supporting open standards — Apple is in a unique position to end up as a strong personal computing alternative to Microsoft.
Even if enterprise success doesn’t occur, it’s inherently more interesting to make something that millions upon millions of people lust after (think iPod and Mac Mini) than a few hundred CIO’s want to have you build.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.