I’ll start by saying that I don’t hate microsoft or vista. I like a lot of the new features they have in there but when you look at the upcoming release of Leopard you have to think vista is going to get blown away in a similar way to how XP did features wise, but probably not as badly because windows measures up to mac a lot better this time around.
Vista is about on-par with Tiger and I hope that Apple will really step it up another notch with Leopard. I’m hoping for full windows virtualisation built into the OS so I can play windows games etc plus a few other nice features including time machine and a really nice stylish new UI (I’ve heard black cherry floating around). A black update to the current brushed metal, silver and blue aqua style would be well recieved I’m sure. Especially if they kept aqua in there too allowing a choice for some personalisation.
I know a couple of posts ago I said I’m past the stage of accusing Microsoft of simply copying apple and not innovating. I’m trying not to, but whenever I see demo’s of vista features (like at the CES keynote) I can’t help but think “almost everything they’re showing here is a complete copy of panther / tiger”. I mean windows calender (iCal), windows mail (Apple Mail), windows photo gallery (iPhoto), windows dvd maker (iDVD), windows search (spotlight) and windows gadgets (dashboard widgets) and maybe some other things. I didn’t mention iMovie HD because Windows Movie Maker has been in it for a while. Although saying that I think HD is only available from Vista onwards, but that was to be expected anyway with the HD revolution well and truly underway.
The only things I can think of that havn’t been copied from osx other than Movie Maker are the ultimate edition features. These include iptv for sports and things which I don’t think that many people will be able to use anyway because of the bandwidth requirements, plus it’s not that useful anyway. Then there’s the ability to make you desktop a movie which doesn’t appeal to me and probably not many others because it’s so distracting and a waste of resources just like windows aero. Groupshot isn’t in osx but I doubt I would really use that either, nevermind paying for ultimate edition to use it. I do like the idea of better security and improved networking in Vista but when you think about it these things are really more of an afterthought these days, you just expect them to be there and be better than before. So you can’t really count these. Plus I think the networking in xp is pretty passable although it doesn’t handle wi-fi as well as it could do and changing the name of the pc can be a little confusing.
That brings me onto the main difference between OSX and Vista, Media Center. Media Center is a good feature and does offer more than OSX currently does with front row. I don’t think I would use media center’s iptv or other features really because to take advantage of them you need to be using the computer with your home cinema setup which I don’t have or really want. As far as OSX goes with those type of features, they are offering a similar thing with Apple TV and it’s not beyond possibility that they could make some significant changes to front row in leopard but we’ll find out pretty soon.
You know what the thing I hate about vista more than anything is? All the versions. Why do they have to complicate things so much with the versions they have. I understand that mac can do just one version because they don’t have to make a cheaper version geared directly towards education or business, but to be honest the single version isn’t that expensive at all anyway.
I’m sure Microsoft could have just offered Vista basic and Vista premium, the basic being the version that goes to early education and developing countries (who want a slightly more comprehensive solution than the OLPC). I love the idea of OLPC but this would be more aimed towards the people in the bigger cities in the third world where they have more money to purchase computers, but not enough where they can run the more graphically intensive versions of vista. The premium offering would do what each mac version does and give business and home users alike what they need and more.
Like I said, I don’t hate windows and I do like vista. But for me personally I prefer the mac experience and I don’t want to switch back now or in the forseable future unless Apple really take their eyes off the ball big time and screw up in a major way, but I can’t see that happening.