# Windows 7 versus Snow Leopard — The poison taste test

Apple's Snow Leopard arrived during the twilight zone between the completion of Microsoft's Windows 7 and its general release. The Snow Leopard media was built in early August and shrink-wrapped and on sale late the same month. Windows 7 went gold in late July, but will not appear on the high street until October 22nd. The …

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1. #### Makes a change ...

.. to see a balanced article on this thorny subject.

Having used both fairly extensively I reckon that I pretty much concur with the article wholesale.

Windows 7 is a massive improvement on that abortion that is Vista. But I cannot help feel that Microsoft is missing something by making the new OS as mixed up and muddled a configuration to buy as possible. OS X by contrast comes in one single flavour and does everything that Windows 7 in its most expensive incarnation can. And then the price difference of the OS is huge.

That said, the migration from Vista to Windows 7 should be a snip for any sysadmins who are currently looking after that bastard OS. The leap from XP to Windows 7 is not too extreme either, given that even in its first Beta form that OS was already streets ahead of Vista in too many ways to mention in a comment.

Meanwhile, I lovin the new Snow Leopard experience. All of the improvements and tidy-ups are superbly engineered, as can be expected.

I suspect that either way the two new OS are #win and #win alike.

Deserving of a nice tall cold pint

2. #### Nicely done...

Of the two, I definitely prefer LOLcat. I'll probably upgrade my one Windows box to Win7 (after seeign what sort of hellish DRM bites early adopters in the ass), but the betas have been pretty decent.

For work, I'll stick with my workhorse linux desktop, of course. Ain't choice a grand thing?

Anyway, nice article, surprisingly sane and bordering on balanced. I'm sure the angry old gits whose masculinity is threatened by using anything Cupertino-flavoured or penguiny will be in here Clarksonning it up by the time I submit this- but at least the article is a good start.

3. #### > Microsoft's Open XML is best avoided in mixed environments.

!! Enough irony in that that I shan'thave to press a shirt for a week...

4. #### Oops!

That would never have made it past the Mac design tyrants. Thats a Microsoftish fanboi comment isn't it? ;)

Regarding multiple workspaces; well, duh. *nix systems have had this for years.... There are third party apps that can do this with Windows, but I have never been that into using them when on *nix or windows.

5. #### far too reasoned!

Amiga OS4.1 rulez....because it was necessary

6. #### Well rounded

Nice to see a well rounded article, seems like everyone goes bat-shit insane these days when you bring up Windows 7 / Snow Leopard.

7. #### *sigh*

Whichever OS you choose, you can only run them both 100% native, 100% reliable and 100% legally on a Mac.

Either way Apple wins hands down. Beige box crapware manufacturers be damned.

8. #### nice

How refreshing to read such an unbiased article.

9. #### </title>

I agree that those who moved from Vista to OS X are unlikely to return but I believe Windows 7 may be able to move a few that got sick of Vista back to Windows. If they gave it a chance they may like it.

That said... all fanboy arguments are about not giving the other one a chance so we have learnt a lesson of love here. Play nice.

10. #### Once, just once in a while...

Could you do an OS comparison without mentioning any business applications?

Lets face it, if you want a business OS then you go for the dull clunky Windows platform and pay an array of tech support guys to keep the old banger going.

If you want to do anything creative, render 3D, edit video, write music, author a DVD or website then you will have less pain on a Mac.

If you could at least compare say Cubase on Windows 7 with Logic Studio on Snow Leopard then you might have a more useful comparison of how the OSes truly compare.

I'm pretty sure the out of box experience with Cubase on Windows 7 will be fun, lots of feature disabling, disabling services and tweaking the OS to make it run stable.

I've never had to tweak a single OS setting on OSX to use Logic. I even forgot I had a Linux install running in a VM in the background once.

11. #### Hm, what about normal users?

> "Press F8 and you get four desktops to play with. Why can't Windows do that?"

well, er, who wants four desktops? only you tech loons.

why dont you try running an article where normal people review the two platforms? cos, like, that's a thousand times more important than what you tech loons worry about. isn't it?

12. #### Overall a reasonable review

Experience with MacOS obviously lacking - the magnification of the dock used to be on by default but I guess it got disabled as it's distracting eye candy. Shadows and highlighting are much more effective. In fact the only eye candy that Apple refuses to tone down are the fruit pastile traffic lights on the window bar. The rest of the magic mushroom trip that was Mac OS X has fortunately gone as it reaches maturity.

For office compatability use either OpenOffice.org or the real deal. I don't know anyone who bothers with iWork - despite it's undoubted merits. Either you want "free and good enough" (I routinely exchange MS Office documents that I've worked on in OO.org) or "expensive but perfect", paying for "okay" doesn't fit inbetween.

I'd agree with you that Windows 7 is looking pretty good even if font rendering in Mac OS is still superior. Fortunately 7 runs fine as a guest OS.

13. #### Bravo - Fair and Balanced

Finally, someone who just gets it and refuses to drink the cool aid. It is incredibly refreshing to read cogent analysis that compares apples with apples - ;) - inb an attempt to provide real information and not some fanboi wet dream rant.

I use both OS's even though I don't require or use an enterprise-bound computing environment. I do not need Exchange support, nor am I am dependent of Microsoft's Java-wannabe .Net environment. That said, there are compelling reasons to maintain a Windows VM or partition if you enjoy more than casual gaming or if you have a particularly compelling piece of Windows-only software. I prefer to run my instances of Windows in a nice big sandbox (in my case Parallels Desktop for Mac) with no network connectivity, that way I don't have to worry nearly as much about viruses, worms or malware. I use Mac OS for all my everyday computing because OS X + iLife + iWork (and MS Office 2008), gives me not only everything I need, but with tight integration. It's as close as one can get to promise of polymorphic computing predicted years ago where one opens a single application that magically mutates with preferences and options as one changes tasks. If ever a company successfully pulls this off, it's more likely to come from Apple.

Although I love my cats, I will readily admit that windows se7en is an attractive and responsive operating system. It is essentially what Windows Vista should have been. Also, I have to admit that Snow Leopard isn't necessarily as polished and refined as the Jobs propaganda leads one to believe. Although it is a rock solid, smooth-as-glass, speed demon on my MacBook Unibody early 2009 model, SL still has some rough edges when running on older Intel hardware (sporadically dodgy display adapter issues along with the tendency for the OS to lock up briefly for no apparent reason that can be gleaned from either the activity monitor, or the Console. I hope this is cleared up with the release of 10.6.1. Until then I had to roll back to Leopard on my 24" iMac.

Finally, there is one distinct advantage that Apple has over Microsoft. Both operating systems can be run legally and simultaneously on the same Intel-based Apple hardware. This is not the case with PCs, unless one disregards the Mac EULA, and works hard at modifying the OS and even then one is likely to encounter PC hardware that won't function properly or at all with SL installed. Interestingly enough, Apple hardware is often the platform that shows of Windows at its best. Many of the latest MacBook Pros, iMacs and MacPros run Windows faster and more efficiently than the bog-standard OEM PCs. This is no doubt due to (1) the absence of OEM "customization" (i.e., malware and bloatware) combined with (2) Apple customized hardware along with custom built Windows hardware drivers designed to squeeze the last bit of performance. In fact, one can simply wipe the Mac OS from the hard drive and install Windows se7en directly. In this case, the advantage must go to Apple.

14. #### Hmm

Just wondering ..

Jump Lists - er, you mean like the contextual menu that pops up when you right click something on the Dock? (e.g. on Mail you can choose things like "compose new message") AFAIK jump lists are also static, ie they don't change according to the state of the application.

Libraries - you mean like OS X's "Smart Folders" which have been around for many years? And can I mount a partition into a directory, say something equivalent to:

mount /dev/disk0s1 /music/samples

mount /dev/disk1s1 /music/recordings

Seems like these Win 7 "advantages" are really just MS playing catch up.

15. #### Program Launcher

Having both a Mac and a PC, I agree that the Dock is definitely superior as task switcher. The problem is that it's designed as a program launcher as well, and Windows' start menu is far superior in that department once you load up your machine with a load of small apps (as I inevitably do). There are clunky ways around the Dock's limitations by dropping your Apps folder on it, but I still end up launching apps by typing the name into Spotlight far too often. The Dock is very slick and elegant for those who use only a small number of apps, but just can't handle the range of stuff I like to have installed in case I need it.

I was a long devotee of the classic win2k style on XP, but Win7 has won me over to the new style.

16. #### OpenOffice 3.1.1 is available for Mac OSX x86

Surely it would be advantageous to include OpenOffice on the Mac when attempting to open the latest Office 2007 files.

17. #### 10 out of 10

...for the article. Sadly I think most anti-the other rhetoric comes from the two companies themselves, and is mostly repeated by people spoiling for a fight. I'm sure somesuch children will pile in momentarily to spout straw men concerning the other lot. It'd be interesting to find out if the proportion of people shouting from either side varies over time with marketshare, but if anyone does work that out then please don't post the results. It won't end happily.

18. #### I'm the only one who thinks

That Win7 is the same dog with a different collar, Win7 sure had 2 long Vista years to make sure the manufacturers build computers that can run it.

So yes, it does run better on recent hardware, but have you guys check what happens if you try it on any of those Pentium 2.4mhz 512mb most business run on (Or those Semprons 1.x/2x) XP is here to stay for a long time on those.

I do not think the new taskbar is that great, I think is not and improvement but just different. Like the ribbon.

My impression is that Vista/7 are copying the worst bits of environments like Gnome/MacOS and forgetting what makes windows great.

Also Explorer.exe is as buggy and neglected as it always has been, they just coated it with a new layer of aero paint, and made it different enough as to make regular people (those that do not care about IT) even less productive.

But anyway no one cares and the press has decided it is the new king... long life to the king.

I do not like MacOS, never did but I have to admit that most of the time they get things right.

I just hope that they fix bloody X.org one of these decades so I can leave the windows ship behind once and for all.

And yes, I work on the field.

19. #### @Charles King

Try Quicksilver. It's a brilliant app launcher and more. I couldn't live without it on a Mac.

http://blacktree.com

20. #### Re: AC - 4 desktops

4 desktops are great when you are busy watching some girl on girl action streaming from youporn.com and the missus walks in - "No, I'm not doing anything dear - just a bit of work - see".

Not that I would know of course ...

(AC, and Paris, - obviously)

21. #### RE Press F8 and you get four desktops to play with. Why can't Windows do that?

Erm,

Windoze has done that since XP in 2002, it is called the Virtual Desktop Manager PowerToy for Windoze XP.

I use it with Multimon taskbar and they play together quite nicely.

That said, I am still slipping down the slope of buying a Mac laptop to replace my Dingly Dell, the only thing holding me back is offline file functionality which I use extensively and I don't fancy having to maintain an RSYNC script on a real O/S to do that against my Windows Server.

22. #### Is Windows 7 faster then XP?

Just curious. I know Windows 7 is faster then Vista. I get it. But since no one I know upgraded to Vista, the answer I want to know is Windows 7 faster then XP? If so, I just might upgrade.

23. #### Office - just as necessary on either OS!

Good article on the whole, but I don't get the point of the office comparison. Just to put that part straight, to get good office support:

On PC, you need to buy office.

On Mac, you need to buy office.

Both also have various other packages with various levels of office compatibility.

I've installed snow leopard on my mac tonight - first impression is that it's FAST. Apart from that my xcode build in it didn't behave quite as expected so I'm back with leopard for now (imminent deadline says I haven't got time to figure it out)

24. #### twix intel chip and 3rd party app.

@ty Why would anyone buy a mac to run windows on it? Unless you're tacitly saying that OSX has limitations?

@Gilles You're "pretty sure" about the installation process of an application onto an as yet unreleased o/s? Is it that you think "creative sorts" are that thick or that you find windows *that* difficult?

@all

So an early adopter, of the kind who has switched operating systems twice in the last couple of years ->vista->OSX is unlikely to be lured by anther OS? I disagree. They sound exactly the group who'd be likely lured away by the next big thang, be it from M$or anyone else. 25. #### Dock Magnification is a pain I click and drag an icon down to the Dock to perform a task, but no, the target icon wanders all over the place as I scrub around trying to find it, muscle memory wasted. No magnification is the way to go, but the scaling as one seeks The One True Dock Size matches all the praise in the article. It rather seems this is how Apple flags up neat stuff these days: make it over the top and irritating just to draw the user's attention to the existence of this cool stuff, then leave it to work unobtrusively. 26. #### 4 desktops it's called deskwin.exe gives you 4 desktops on windows. s been around since i can not remember when...... google it, and you will find it..... here, for example..... http://www.yipton.net/deskwin/latest/deskwinbin.zip 27. #### "In the end you have to choose your poison." I have, and it didn't come from Cupertino or Redmond. 28. #### xcode? You're joking right ? XCode is a toy compared to developer studio, its mostly just a front end that most programmers editor can match, its closer to VC 6 than 2008. Way better plugins, tools, support for many more languages, xcode just drives makefiles of a sort with a few property pages. Still at least its not PWB. 29. #### Looking forward to Boot Camp'ing Windows 7 I'm pretty excited for Windows 7, and see it 'completing' my Summer 2009 MacBook Pro with both OS'es available at boot time, I'm already running XP with VMWare for various things, but would like to play some DX10 games too. I have a question for the more informed PC'ers here - should I go with 32bit or 64bit? 30. #### Re: Program Launcher @ Charles King: I suppose that this is also a workaround, but I keep my apps sorted in folders within the Applications folder: Communications Apps, Graphics Apps, Media Apps System Utilities, Time Wasters, etc. Drag THOSE folders to the dock and I've got everything quickly available and alphabetically sorted. (I'm still on 10.4 on PPC hardware, FWIW.) In other news -- my compliments, as well, on a well-balanced article. I won't be using either OS any time soon, but the article was interesting, even-handed, and contained just the teensiest touch of mild snark, El Reg's favorite spice! Well done. Give that man a raise! 31. #### @ Ty "Whichever OS you choose, you can only run them both 100% native, 100% reliable and 100% legally on a Mac. Either way Apple wins hands down. Beige box crapware manufacturers be damned." Are ou tlling me after spending all that money on a mac you then go out and spend another £100ish on new LEGAL copy of windows I think not. 32. #### @charlie wallace I develop daily with raw GCC on Linux, VS on Windows, and XCode wrapping GCC on OSX, and yeah, VS is always my preferred IDE. That said, XCode is moving away from GCC. LLVM and Clamp allow for much better interactive functionality. I think XCode will probably catch up with VS on many fronts over the next few years. 33. #### Yes but no.. Sadly (for the legions of Microsoft bashers), even Mac grandees need to have at least a working knowledge of Windows and it's host of software titles. 90% of computer users use Microsoft, and that will probably not change as quickly as some would like, especially as Windows 7 apparently is a good package. (Windows Vista was an XP refudge, a bit like Windows Millennium was a 98 refudge). I'd buy a Mac because they're nice. But that's like saying that I'd buy a particular calculator because it's nice. If I wasn't a retard I wouldn't need one. 34. #### Give me a kiss ..and I'll bring a little reality into your cozy IT bubble. Most people don't give an Android what operating system they use as long as it does as much of their lifestyle stuff as possible. I'd use an operating system designed by insect hive minds if it complemented my lifestyle sufficiently. If the iPhone had a better battery AND a plug-in keyboard, AND support for Windows & Mac programs, AND some serious plugin storage, AND was properly networkable.. Well, I wouldn't need one of your damn computers at all. Come on, it's not like computers are THAT good. They're for people who don't get out enough. 35. #### (untitled) "!! Enough irony in that that I shan'thave to press a shirt for a week..." I was gonna say more irony than a bucket of slag, but same idea :-) 36. #### RE: Is Windows 7 faster then XP? On a more modern PC where you have more ram, multiple cores and potentially a SSD as your boot hard drive, I would say that Windows 7 is faster than XP. On low-spec machines? No idea, and I would reason that XP is faster simply because it's more trimmed-down. I have heard of friends using the Win7 RC on several year old laptops and PCs and it runs like a dream. XP of course would've been just as fast as well. Nice article, cheers. 37. #### Would it be too much to ask For a nod in the article to the fact that both operating systems are guilder cages? gosh, closed source stuff, all technical, not practical. 38. #### @magnetik you also mean like: net use \\<your IP here>\X\music which has existed since NT was called NT ok im off before the flames get lit 39. #### Win 7 I'm not an Apple fan and while historically I've used Windows on pretty much everything, I'm no MS fan either. That said,I upgraded my wife's laptop (which was with Vista on it was only useful as a paperweight), and it's now quit stable, and does everything asked of it. However even with the Win7 install, the interface still sucks (there interface really isn't much different from Vista) - especially the task bar. So while Win7 is more stable than Vista, other than that there is nothing compelling about it. I'm on the verge of installing Ubuntu on my home and work machines, and even though her laptop is now usable with Win7, my wife is adamant that her next machine will be a Mac. So in my household at least, Win7 hasn't done anything to convinced us to stay with Microsoft. 40. #### Nice article The problem stems from passion, we all get passionate about things. I moved from XP to OSX, which is obviously a big jump, XP is very old and clunky. I almost always root for the underdog so I have become a bit of a fanboi, but I gave Win7 a try in an attempt to ensure I had made the right decision and I have to admit that I waivered, genuinely waivered for a while, Windows 7 is pretty damn good and will give the MS camp a reason to feel great about their latest offering. It has some genuine pizazz that MS has had a hard time getting into their platform, but Apple put in, sometimes at the expense of the usability. MS will learn from Apple mistakes and in this cutthroat world, as Vista proved, you cannot be complacent, the backlash with come swift and fast before you know it. MS has found form with Win7, unless you have already jumped ship, I have a strong feeling that Win7 will probably make you seriously think before you do jump. When I was young I had plenty of time to mess about with my O/S, spend 4 days trying to get something to work, I don't have time now. I spend all day at work fighting to make Oracle and Unix sing and dance and quite frankly I'm too old to fight with my home computer, especially with kids about breaking it every two minutes. So like any sad and tired old timer, I use something that I simply turn on and use, no fuss and I can let someone else worry about fixing it, hence Lord Jobs won out this time. When the iMac goes to heaven, looking at Win7, MS could well get a look in next time around. 41. #### Mounting disks in Windows @magnetik: While I generally agree with your posts, Windows has been able to mount a drive into a directory since 2000, and possibly NT4 if memory serves me right so a poor example there. 42. #### Some misled comments as usual... Good although not too indepth article. Felt a bit like the author was walking on egg-shells at times though (didn't want to rock the boat or fan the flaming?) :-) @By Ty Check the fanboi-ism at the door please. :-) @Giles Jones Cubase on Windows imho is garbage, however. I've been doing audio/video for over two decades and I've never had issues with any of the Windows audio packages or hardware. Currently 94-channel fully-digital fully-automated console connected to multiple PCs running audio/video with unlimited tracks and hardware/software samplers and effects. Used to do it pro part-time, now its just a [expensive] hobby. @Raymond Cranfill "Apple hardware is often the platform that shows of Windows at its best" But if I assemble the same hardware as what a Mac has, Windows will run equally as well, and at half the cost. Most computer stores other than the few big "brand-name" ones will custom your kit with whatever hardware you want, all pre-installed and tested. @John Sanders Win7 isn't just a "rebranded" Vista. And it doesn't require "high end" hardware. FYI: I'm running W7RC x86 right now on an Atom 330 system with 2GB RAM and it runs fast and smooth (even better than Ubuntu and Kubuntu). @ AC "4 desktops" In W7 simply use the "Show Desktop" button on the taskbar right. Or as mentioned by others, use the available desktop managers. @ Mad Hacker Is W7 faster than XP at what? :-) The systems I have are: XP Pro, 2x Server 2003, Vista x86, Vista x64, W7RC/Kubuntu. W7RC is on my slowest system (Atom 330), and I honestly have to say that I like it the most of all OS's I use (other than the non-customizable Windows Explorer toolbar!). Dual-booting Kubuntu and W7, and W7 noticeably outperforms it. FYI: for the Mac Fanbois... I have been looking at getting myself a Mac for a few years, but because it will just be a secondary system to me I haven't wanted to spend that much. And yes it will be secondary because of the software I run. @Simon 81 "32 or 64" Depends on your hardware. The current MacBook Pro supports up to 8GB RAM. If you have less than 4GB of RAM I would go with 32-bit. The memory footprint will be slightly smaller. If you have 4GB+ or are upgrading later then x64 for sure. I've ran both W7 x86 and x64 and you won't see any real speed difference, just more memory available for 64-bit apps and 32-bit apps that are compiled LargeAddressAware or C# apps with "any platform", etc. 43. #### @mad hacker I am using Windows 7 on many pcs I own, especially on my netbook. it is much faster than windows xp and more responsive. I like it... ;-) 44. #### IOW... So basically, 2 pages of text to tell us that things are pretty much the same as they've been for the last decade or so? 45. #### Magnetik Mounting re: "And can I mount a partition into a directory, say something equivalent to: mount /dev/disk0s1 /music/samples mount /dev/disk1s1 /music/recordings" AFAIK you've always been able to do this in Windows on an NTFS partition (at least since Windows 2000), using the Disk Management utility. I use it extensively, saves having drives to Z: when running those card readers :) Oddly enough though, this feature isn't used very much. 46. #### What about ubuntu 9.10? Seriously why didn't you include ubuntu 9.10? 47. #### @ Simon Go 64bit, might as well make use of it. Besides, it's time we killed off 32bit entirely >:| One of my biggest Windows gripes, even as a distinctly anti-Apple person. Anti-apple as though I am, I do love MacOSX. Windows 7 though? Lovely - it's a mile ahead of Vista, but that's not difficult. XP? Set up properly, and on any modern machine it's certainly quicker than XP. Is it faster than XP on older machines? Depends how lucky you get with drivers, many of them (ATI noteably) have cut support off at the neck for some older hardware. This is where the downsides to PC's come in thick and fast, having to support all these types of hardware, and Windows is still doing a ruddy fantastic job of managing it. I know, I can hear Linux in the background making lots of shouting noises "Me! Me! Look over here!". Long given up trying to compare them as an OS vs OS scenario - two different systems in use in different places, they do cross often and usually play well. Few important things to note and/or summarise: 1. All Hail VMWare. 2. I'm all out of cookies. Someone pop over to Asda for me please :) 3. Re the "can run Windows on a Mac but not MacOSX on a PC" - is the typical strictness of an Apple "use me and die licence" or EULA as they like to call it, a feature or a problem. It's only ever going to be a problem to PC users wanting to run MacOSX without having to run a Mac. Legally. We (PC users) can only really hope, a choice is never bad and it would be nice to have one other than Windows or Linux. 48. #### The Most Important Difference Of course the most important difference of all is not the functionality or usability of the interface, it's that (hardware-wise) Windows is a more open environment than Snow Leopard. Of course that brings both strengths and weaknesses, but I figure that plays a considerable part in many people's decision making. 49. #### Bothered? As the years go on the OS debate will become less and less important. I'm not blarting about "all our stuff will be in the cloud" and all that tosh... I just mean the software people will be using will and should run on anything! There's an increasing number of open source projects that are gradually reaching maturity. I use GIMP and Inkscape now for loads of graphics stuff and only really need Photoslop to convert to/from CMYK. OpenOffice still has a bit to go to compete with Office but it will get there (I still use Office XP because its rapid) Unlike most people it seems, I'm not a big fan of all this Fisher Price bouncing icons rounded buttons stuff that seem to be everywhere in a modern OS. Using up clock cycles and battery life for no gain in productivity. What I am a big fan of though is checking out alternative shells! I've not used Windows explorer.exe as default for years thanks to the choice of alternative shells and file browsers that's out there. And I can see this happening in the future for Macs as well. 50. #### Not Convinced... Not convinced that you can compare the two. I'd find a comparison interesting when it came to 2 equal spec machines running OS-X and Win7, and then comparing speeds between applications. For example should I buy off-the-shelf hardware and Win7, or a Mac to run Premier? Which renders faster? If I am Photoshopping some things together, which platform would I be better investing in? I need to run Audition to stick together some mixes, is it faster on the Intel Mac or the Intel Windows box? Also, I'd like to know the speeds 6 months down the line. Does Windows 7 have the same 'cruft' factor of it's predecessors? If so, can I expect Windows to gently slow down as it gets older. Will OS-X do the same? I used to have to expect to reinstall Windows approx. every 6 months to keep the speed, is this new generation the same? Will there be a long term test? I hope so, because at least 7 is useable on a daily basis, unlike Vista. Finally, I admit I am an Ubuntu user. I would like to see Reg compare the 2 big ones against Ubuntu, Fedora, Open Suse, and for fun, Open Solaris. For my work I find Ubuntu handy, and if I need a dedicated Windows app, I run it in Virtual Box. I tested 7 against bare hardware and in a VB. I'm of the opinion I'll stick with 9.10 Ubuntu and XP in a Virtual Box for my Windows apps. My Ubuntu is running the OS-X 'hack' to give me the OS-X experience on Ubuntu, and integrated Windows Apps in Virtual Box. What am I missing? You asked about virtualisation, and that is my solution for work and home. Stick with a 'free' OS, patch it to give the the OS-X experience, and Virtual Box in Windows Apps that I need. The best of 3 Worlds. 51. #### An exercise in redundancy >There is no clear winner, as the two platforms address different needs. Gee, didn't see that one coming. 52. #### Hmm... "Here's another pro-Mac detail. Spaces. Press F8 and you get four desktops to play with. Why can't Windows do that?" . . .sounds a lot like the workspaces you get on Linux (gnome anyway, haven't tried any of the other desktop environments). The thing I love about windows (especially XP) is that for every feature that windows doesn't have, there are always 3 more applications that will give you it. Want a dock? Objectdock. Want a better Alt + Tab? TaskSwitchXP. Want a better theme? WindowBlinds/XPize/Anything else google will throw at you. . . .and the list goes on. Sidenote: Right now I'm using Debian Linux. I'm finding it much nicer than either of them. (Although I miss my Adobe software) 53. #### Also... Don't forget. Whatever M$ funded FUD you may read in the tech press...

Every iteration of Mac OS X gets FASTER...

Every Iteration of Windows gets SLOWER...

54. #### Office...

@Chris 19 Exactly my thoughts, if you wanted Office compatibility you wouldn't buy iWork you'd buy Office 2008, which I have and works fine...

@magnetik Quicksilver is a fantastic app indeed! One of the first I saw with a 10.6 specific build too

55. #### Xcode a fantastic IDE?!

Even the VC Express editions without a resource compiler or profiler urinate all over Xcode from a great height.

It is buggy, often needing a restart to update settings. It has a terrible GUI, taking a scroll and two clicks to see the reason why your build just failed, the icon metaphors are all broken, not something you'd expect from apple; it's as ugly a monster as Borland Builder. It has a naff editor which doesn't recognise preprocessor macros and sticks Mac line endings all over the place, wrecking your diffs. The debugger GUI is terrible, the documentation is fragmented, code completion is lacking and frustrating, the project tree is unintuitive. Its only saving grace is the multi-level, searchable settings dialog.

I agree with Charlie, it's on par with VC6 or Dev-C++, it's a decade behind VC9 or Eclipse, and a long way behind CodeBlocks.

56. #### Microsoft keeping everyone happy?

Apple are allowed to keep control of all apps/hardware and they have the final say on how their products are used. Imagine Microsoft decided to produce their own PCs which were the only machines allowed to run Windows. These same machines come with a version of Visual Studio and Office as well as with the usual MS addins they get anti-trust haammerings for (IE and WMP).

Lets see how many Manufacturers of software and Hardware take MS to court (most likely backed by various governments) if that were to happen.

Windows 7 is a good job. I'd compare the experience of it on my 5 year old AMD box to that of using Linux with KDE (and i like KDE).

Yes apple gear is nice and all, but the price ain't worth paying. Why would someone buy an overpriced mac for email internet, photo management and word processing when a cheap windows PC does excatly what is says on the tin?

Fanbois can go fuck themselves. There isn't enough of them to be important in grand schemee of things.....

57. #### Sigh...

A good article ruined by dipshit commentators...

"

So yes, it does run better on recent hardware, but have you guys check what happens if you try it on any of those Pentium 2.4mhz 512mb most business run on (Or those Semprons 1.x/2x) XP is here to stay for a long time on those."

And how well does Snow leopard run on a 5 year old Mac. Oh it doesn't?

Mac OS runs well and is reliable, but then when they only have to supports a couple of configs, it's hardly suprising. Windows does an amazing job considering the millions of different configs out they. Most problems with Windows are not the software, but the crap drivers and buggy software that users stick on top. If you put NT4 on a box and left it running, I'm pretty sure it would still be up and running 2 decades later. However this is not always the software writers fault, someone mentioned Cubase etc...

On my Atari Falcon many years ago, neither the Mac or the PC could even come close to it's performance. But it's easier to right a bit of software that supported one processor* with limited add on, Mac are in a similar position now. However Cubase on Windows has to support, diffeernet makes of processor, sound cards (hundreds), hard drive confids (RAID, Non Raid), so it's a far more complex beast.

As a rule if you want software RELIABILITY go with a Mac.

If you want software FLEXABILITY go with Windows.

* I actually butchered my Atari to have an 040 processor & Maths Coprocessor. Some took it much further.

58. #### @John Sanders "am I the only one..."

Well I'm not thinking the same. Mind you, I'm actually using Windows 7 Enterprise right now.

Plus points:

a) It's far faster on the same hardware (and I never found Vista bad on this machine)

b) It sleeps and resumes significantly faster (this matters to me)

c) It found almost every bit of my hardware out of the box (something Mac hasn't gotta do)

d) The thumbnail (aero mode) or app lists (basic mode) make switching faster

e) Securtiy controls are more useful and less pedantic

f) It runs just as happily on my 800Mhz netbook as it does on my dual core laptop

g) All of my apps (which include some bespoke and specialist) work just fine

and @Simon81 - 64-bit. 32-bit is soooooo outdated and needs to die.

59. #### @Simon 81

Personally I'll be going 32 bit*, even though my machine has 4 gigs of memory so the O/S won't be able to see it all. I still have too much 16 bit stuff knocking around (not to mention 32 bit stuff with a 16 bit installer). Also, I really don't like the WHQL approved drivers only thing. With XP, I've seen much kit over the years from third parties where the shipped driver has the WHQL stamp of approval but the updated ones on the mfrs website (which actually bloody work) don't.

Having said that, you can suck it and see. One of the things about WIn 7 is that every copy comes with both 64 and 32 bit versions included and it's an install time choice as to which way to jump.

*I'm also considering the possibility of 64 bit with my old copy of XP running under VirtualBox. That would be taking the piss a bit in your case though.

60. #### Loving all the Apple fanbois comments...

I use both OS's every single day and I find Windows more intuitive that OSX.

Example 1: Stick an mp3 laden USB stick in a Mac and it asks if you want to import into iTunes. No? Fine....it does nothing.

Example 2: Stick an mp3 laden USB stick in a Win7 PC and it asks if you want to play it, burn it import into library or open the folder to view the files.

Same with photo's.

@Ty: Yes you can only run both OS's on a legally on Apple hardware, but this isn't about hardware is it, it's about the OS. Beige boxes? Clearly you got left behind around 1994....

Which is the only OS you can install on ANY intel computer legally? Windows victory there.

Also, why on earth do the Macbois insist you can do *everything* on a Mac that you can do in Windows? Try burning a data DVD on a vanilla OSX machine without installing a third party burning application. MacFAIL.

I love my MacBook Pro which runs Win7 and OSX quite happily....but I despise the arrogant oh-so-superior Mac fanbois that still use arguments from the 1990's to insist "Windoze" (yawn) is buggy crap and MacOS is a utopia of flowery technical wonderfulness.

You guys make it impossible for me to praise Apple in pubic and only repel people from the brand....because you give the impression that ALL apple users are arrogant gits with superiority complexes.

61. #### @magnetik

Seeings as you are trying to balance everything out, I think it only fair to point out that NTFS has allowed you to mount block level devices onto directories since, oooh, ages ago...

62. #### @magnetik

You have been able to mount filesystems into mount points in Windows since NT4 (when it was a pig to use) and since W2k it has been heavily used in business on servers. There isn't really much point for your average user at home or on a workstation, indeed most Linux distros just stick everything into one filesystem plus boot and swap, except in business where mout points are heavily used.

63. #### Windows multiple desktops

Yes Windows has had multiple desktops for ages with the installation of PowerToys. It's not very well done though. I've used many different implementations of virtual desktops on Windows, Linux (in different window managers), various BSDs, Solaris and commercial apps for OS X pre-Leopard. None of them were as slick as the way Apple have done it.

I would never have recommended virtual desktops to the average Joe but have have no trouble recommending the use of Spaces to a Mac user.

64. #### @AC 2/9/2009 22:29

You must be new here.

65. #### @DT

I run XP on my Mac, but only because my wife who has had nasty experiences with pre OS X Macs at the research labs where she worked. She just prefers to use Windows as it's something that she knows well, and isn't willing to change or actively learn a new slightly different way to use a computer.

It's worth noting that XP is much snappier on my Mac Mini than it is on my work PC.

Mind you; she's grown very fond of the iLife bundle that came with the Mac for video and photo editing. And has even grown accustomed the odd menu/window behavior when compared to Windows, in Leopard.

As a programmer; I use Windows for some coding related things but for day to day stuff, I prefer using OS X. Spaces might not be a new concept, but it works bloody well and is something I miss when having to work in Windows.

T'was a good, well balanced article on the merits of both OS's but not enough to justify my buying a copy of Windows 7. Microsoft have screwed the pooch as far as I'm concerned with the whole Vista debacle, and I'm really more than happy using OSX for all my home needs.

66. #### tl;dr

Not really.. but seriously...

I will not pay the apple tax ever, I dont own an ipod or an iphone so I don't need a matching (h)iprice.

As for Windows 7? The only way I will ever use it is if/when XP no longer does everything I need it to, or if I have to replace either my laptop or desktop and have to pay the microsoft tax on the new box.

Even then I'll take another good look at free alternatives first.

67. #### @32/64 bit, Openoffice and naughtiness on alternate desktops

32 vs 64 bit on Windows 7/Vista. 64 bit - almost every time. If you're running Vista x64 get 4GB RAM, memory is cheap.

I've had practically no applications I cannot run on Vista x64, excepting old 16 bit ones. Driver compatibility was a bit worse but is now pretty much up to date.

64 bit will be faster due to the increased number of registers available. Many people still do produce 64 bit versions of their apps, though, and 64 bit browsers are an issue - there's no 64 bit flash. Additionally, whilst 64 bit Java exists you end up needing to run both 64 and 32 bit JVMs. Some java code expects to call 32 bit DLLs which fails under a 64 bit JVM.

The one exception I would highlight if the machine is *only* being used for games. In that case 32 bit might be the better option until games support 64 bit natively. Anything else? 64 bit for sure.

Openoffice? You've got to be kidding, right? Much though I'm impressed it exists at all and acknowledge that earlier versions of Word suck especially when working with large documents, Openoffice is not exactly stable on all platforms or possessing of a decent interface.

I recently tried to use it on Vista x64. Crash crash crashity crash.. Wasn't doing anything unusual either - several simultaneously open documents using very large fonts.

As to putting naughty videos on alternate desktops, whilst I suppose that's an interesting solution it rather falls foul of the real time Vista/Windows 7 application preview.. Far better just to admit it to your other half.

68. #### As good as each other

There's a lot right and a lot wrong with both operating systems. I dual-boot them on my Macbook Pro, and tend to switch between them. For gamers, Windows is still the better option (I've had no luck getting the Mac version of Wine to work), but I tend to use OS X a lot for day-to-day stuff (mainly because the Macbook runs a lot cooler in OS X, the multi-touch touchpad works fully, and the OS X drivers don't completely suck).

The Dock has actually had a lot of scorn heaped upon it (I don't really understand why, since I have no problems with it), and I find the Windows 7 taskbar to be superior to it (being able to mouse-over to switch between windows is fantastic - I haven't installed Snow Leopard yet, but AFAIK you have to click-and-hold and the icon for the same functionality).

Spotlight works a lot better than the quick search in the Start menu, but the quick search also functions as a run box, which seems to a bit buried in OS X. Freezes also occur on both Windows 7 and Leopard (and, I'm assuming, still in Snow Leopard), and on neither more often than the other.

As for Exchange support, this is a big plus for Snow Leopard. To be fair to Apple, I'm assuming they use the autoconfiguration available only from Exchange 2007, and public folders are only there so that Outlook 2003 and earlier clients can access the Exchange server - they're not supposed to be used in Outlook 2007 and up.

69. #### OPEN XML

I loved the line ...

'Microsoft's Open XML is best avoided in mixed environments.'

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of an 'open standard'

Be damned Microsoft and embrace the ODF

70. #### RE:Hmm #

"Jump Lists - er, you mean like the contextual menu that pops up when you right click something on the Dock? (e.g. on Mail you can choose things like "compose new message") AFAIK jump lists are also static, ie they don't change according to the state of the application."

They are dynamic, and what is shown is dependent upon the application. Example, iternet explorer shows you frequently viewed websites on there, ie dynamically changes depending upon what you look at.

"Libraries - you mean like OS X's "Smart Folders" which have been around for many years? And can I mount a partition into a directory"

Smart folders are dynamic folders, based upon queres. Also mounting partitions as directories has been in windows for a very long time, just very few people use it.

Like with many features which are seen as new (or none existant), have been usually hidden away in windows (usually due to their bad interface), and have a revamped interface recently and put more upfront to the user, so then they are then seen as playing catch up with everyone else, as it appears to be something new (not talking about these feature by the way).

71. #### @Bravo - Fair and Balanced

To all the people who say that Apple has the advantage because the only machine both os's run legaly on is a mac... I don't really understand. Surely the fact that you can't choose what hardware to run your os on isn't an advantage? If windows can run on custom boxes AND macs, but sl can't. Surely that's a win for windows?

Another thing I have to say is regarding all the "spit and polish" that mac has, along with all the magic new folders windows has introduced. If the functionality is the same then after a month does anyone even remember that the "cool" bits the ui introduced? All these libraries, smart folders, and all the other marketing gadgets seem to be so much fluff too. Having tried similar things to everything mentioned I can safely say I'll stick with the least intrusive, simple configuration that gives me the functionality I need. I suppose this is why we have articles taking into account end users as oppose to just nerds like us though.

Tux 'cos I don't mind too much either way, I won't be using either of these.

72. #### A good review

I shall be buying both, though I have to say I much prefer .net studio to xcode as it is far more intuitive. Having said that as I don't do much c# any more, I find myself using eclipse on both my machines.

I wish though that apple would just say sod it and implement quicsilver into the OS, as it is light years ahead of spotlight. Also, it would be great if someone could port it to windows, as launchy is far to buggy on my xp system.

The one thing M$realy need to impement is spaces. As it works much better than the 6 or 7 windows equivilents that I have tried. 73. #### RE:Looking forward to Boot Camp'ing Windows 7 Go for 64 bit, if you have 3GB or more of RAM (or intend to at some point). 74. #### Public Folders Not being able to access public folders is, to be fair, going to be less of an issue as time goes on. Exchange 2007 has 'de-emphasised' Public Folders and won't offer them at all in future versions. It may be more relevant to look at how well Safari deals with Sharepoint... Anyway, thanks for a well-balanced article. 75. #### OS/2 for the Win! Runs all my most critical apps... (Ok, I play X-wing on it, and a session of OMF2097, now and then) Demands very little of the HW. (Pentium CPU/64MB RAM or better is recommended, but you can get it to run on a 486, if you have lots of RAM. ) And yes, there's a new version about to appear. (eComStaion V2 went to 'RC7 Silver' a week ago) 76. #### Just a small point.. I found it a very good article, but it might have made sense to also mention that VS Express is free, and is all you really need for coding at home.. 77. #### Not hard "I click and drag an icon down to the Dock to perform a task, but no, the target icon wanders all over the place as I scrub around trying to find it, muscle memory wasted. No magnification is the way to go, but the scaling as one seeks The One True Dock Size matches all the praise in the article." Eh? What you're trying to do is a piece of piss. 78. #### Please differentiate between the OS and paid for apps. Why are you comparing Word and Pages, in an OS comparison? Why would you do this anyway, when Word is available on both systems? The same goes for mail clients. Outlook isn't cheap, and most people who buy Office for Word and Excel buy the home/student version, which doesn't even include it. OK, it's a great app, but for comparison purposes it might be fairer to mention that out of the box, Mac OS X includes a mail and calendar client with Exchange support that matches maybe (number from out of my ass here) 80% of the functionality of Outlook, whereas Windows 7 doesn't include a mail or calendar client at all, not even a pop3 client. I look forward to a more indepth comparison later, presume you will do one. 79. #### Re: John Sanders > have you guys check what happens if you try it on any of those Pentium 2.4mhz 512mb most > business run on (Or those Semprons 1.x/2x) XP is here to stay for a long time on those. Actually, yes. Ran Win7 on a Sempron (1.5Ghz - I think) we had lying around at work to test compatibility with a piece of software we're about to release. Now, it was absolutely vanilla. No AV, no browser plugins, no office. It wasn't even on the network (it's as if they don't trust my software!). But it absolutely flew. Booted in 15-20s and was generally fast and responsive. People were genuinely stood around watching in amazement. And it was a HP for fooks sake! Of course, that would probably be the case with most machines that didn't have the (all too necessary) crap that slows them to a crawl. But that's just one example. I've run most of the Win7 builds on lots of different hardware and it just IS a lot quicker than Vista. I actually liked Vista, but on my Core2Duo 2.4GHz with 2GB RAM it sucked - until I removed Office 2007. Then it was fine. 80. #### Windows 2000 users For those of us forced to like XP having found Windows 2000 perfectly sufficent, Windows Vista is just pointless and broken. Windows 7 has had the glazier in and everything is now mended and clean. New users are probably better off with a Mac but if you need Windows then Windows 7 is good news. I stuck the beta on a P4 with 512 RAM and it was fine, faster than XP SP2. So if you can switch from Windows you should, but you don't have to any more. 81. #### @Simon 81 I don't play games much, but off the top of my head, I would ask: How physical memory you have? Only 4GB+ will take advantage of 64-bit. There are some studies that have shown that 64-bit incurs a performance overhead in terms of extra work to address a 64-bit virtual address space. Think of it as a business upgrading to a bigger office: If you don't have enough people to fill/make use of all the space, the main difference will be that you pay more for the upkeep/maintenance/bills for the bigger property, without realising the benefits. Also, how much of what you use is available as 64-bit? That includes, drivers, plugins, games etc. Good luck. 82. #### @Ty Who the fuck needs to waste money on Apple hardware!!!?? All made in the same sweat shops as the rest and it is only a PC clone now. If you need to suffer OS X then use a Hack and forget the over-priced and over-rated apple hardware. As usual, Macturds been sniffing Jobs underwear again to get high. 83. #### why is it always the Microsoft fanbois who go bat sh!t crazy over things like this? nice report, I shall be duel booting this laptop on the basis the report above shows me what I need from both O/S. thank you. 84. #### @Ty Just out of curiosity; when whas the last time you saw a beige computer. The last one I can remember seeing had a pentium II in it. It's just a shame that such specious emotive crap should be spouted in the first comment on an article. That amazing Mac you are talking about is the same generic hardware you'd find in any 'beige box'. You know Apple don't make their own hardware any more, right? Disclaimer - before anyone rants at me and accuses me of being some sort of Microsoft shill, I'd like to make it clear that I have no love for zealots from either the Redmond or Cupertino camps. Both are large, soulless corporations and as bad as each other. That's capitalism for you, so get over it. 85. #### Voice of experience @ John Sanders - Funnily enough I write this comment on a Dell Latitude D620; Intel Centrino Duo 1.86GHz (x86), 2GB DRR2 RAM and an 80GB HDD, running the Win RC in the office. It's about 4 years old and runs like a dream, it surprised even me! @ Mad Hacker - IMO Win7 IS faster than XP or at the very least as fast as XP. I'm very impressed with Win7 but I'm well aware that statement is a bit of a contradiction as all Win7 is merely Vista but working! Nevertheless a good result from MS, I'm just waiting for the day mainstreaming gaming comes to the Mac so I can see how the other half live! Good atricle, as others have said it's good to get one like this that isn't dripping in fanboy goo 86. #### dock vs. taskbar gnome-do 87. #### I'm glad.. ..the dockbar zooming thing can be turned off - it's always made me feel a bit dizzy and sick. And at paul brain I thought exactly the same when I saw the openXML comment - not that any of us could've predicted that we'd be in exactly that situation. ECMA deserve one big slap!! Also nice to hear apple have gone with the F8 thing - been using ctrl-alt-fkeys in linux forever to get extra logins - always handy if X decides to have one of its moments. 88. #### re: Loving all the Apple fanbois comments... "Also, why on earth do the Macbois insist you can do *everything* on a Mac that you can do in Windows? Try burning a data DVD on a vanilla OSX machine without installing a third party burning application. MacFAIL." So I take it, you're ignoring OS X's built-in Disk Utility (on my Mac, it's the only thing I use to burn data discs) or don't know quite as much as you like to think you do.... 89. #### @Mounting disks onto directories etc MS-DOS used to do this as far back as 3.2, maybe even 3.1 (1985). But then, MSDOS (and NT) were developed on Xenix, so you would expect Unix-like behaviour. ;-) Well-balanced article. I use Mac at home, Linux/Solaris at work. Used Windows up to XP. 90. #### Why do I get this horrible feeling... That I want to spend about £1000, on a tablet Macbook that can run Windows 7.... It needs at least 2 USB ports and VGA out, and I think I'm sold. Sucks to be me. 91. #### @Tim Anderson - network management and policies in OS X Server [quote]That said, Microsoft has an array of network management and group policy tools that make Windows standardisation attractive to admins, and this is unlikely to change soon.[/quote] You wanna install [Snow] Leopard Server and see what it has to offer, both for Wndows and the Mac when it comes to policies and network management. 92. #### Multiple desktops on Windows Multiple Desktops have been available since XP, using the PowerToy. http://www.snapfiles.com/get/msvdm.html 93. #### Win 7# To Win 7 # "By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 3rd September 2009 04:35 GMT I'm on the verge of installing Ubuntu on my home and work machines, and even though her laptop is now usable with Win7, my wife is adamant that her next machine will be a Mac." Verily so, in thine household thine Vixen hath chosen, 'Her Pussy' OS? Nicely done! Not based on ye poofed-up 'LongHorn?' How great marketing from MS! 'LongHorn' attracteth males, nay? Yet, Thine wifey, preferreth a good, silken, 'Pussy OS,' nay ye Long of Horn?? be, methinks, ye hath some placating to perform, nay?? :+++> 94. #### Nice! Great article, well balanced, and a refreshing change from the normal fanboy-baiting stuff. Well done. 95. #### RE: re: Loving all the Apple fanbois comments I tried Disk Utility...but it was so unintuitive neither I (nor another long time Mac user) could figure out how to do anything other than burn an ISO image... If you put a blank disc in a computer the following happens: Windows: Dialogue asks "Would you like to burn a data, music or DVD?" OSX: Disc icon appears on desktop....nothing else happens. So much for "It just works". 96. #### MacDock? Pah! The RISCOS icon bar is a far superior implementation of the dock concept. Sure, it doesn't have the sophisticated graphics and the fancy animations, but it is possible to add stuff to it with the icons becoming so small you can barely make out what they are thanks to its virtual infinite length. Also... Bundles is just a copy of !Boot 97. #### discs well I'd prefer it if my OS doesn't hassle me every time I put a disc in, but if you like that level of irritation you can turn it on in the CD & DVD preferences in OSX. Or you just drag what you want onto the disc and right click and select burn. Yes, that does just work 98. #### Speed "Windows Vista machine actually runs faster once upgraded" Wow! (sarcasm intended) - In other words, changing from the World's Worst Operating System to the World's Second-Worst Operating System is an improvement. Who'd have thunk it...? I know it seems churlish after all your effort, but what most of us want to know is whether it is an improvement on XP, and will it be as fast on the original hardware (as opposed to some glossy, just-unwrapped sextuple-core box with a Terabyte of RAM)? 99. #### blame the OEMs\end users for W7 dis-experience? Is the delay with Windows 7 anything to do with it being a buggy first version ? The whole tone of this advert er .. article smacks of nothing but me-too-ism. The not-out-yet Windows 7 is as good-as Snow Leopard and if W7 doesn't impress then blame the OEMs .. there ... didn't take as long to say ... "Windows works better when properly managed, which is why a skilled business user gets a better experience than the hapless crapware-laden consumer" Yet more blame the OEMs/endusers waffle .. shame on you elREG "Malware is also a factor, since Windows is by far the most popular target" translation: Malware isn't caused by any intrinsic defects in the Operating System Could have been piped in directly from Redmond ... Why not just label this whole thing ADVERTISING ... 100. #### @Dave 142 Was switched off in Windows some time ago. 101. #### @ Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 3rd September 2009 07:51 GMT "Try burning a data DVD on a vanilla OSX machine without installing a third party burning application. MacFAIL." You haven't used a Mac much, have you? That's a simple matter of clicking "File > New Burn Folder" and filling said folder with the items you wish to burn and then clicking the "Burn" button. Disk Utility can burn images (including ISOs and DMGs to a disc). Try mounting an ISO in Windows without third party software. Oh, that's right, WINFAIL. "Which is the only OS you can install on ANY intel computer legally? Windows victory there." Or... Linux. 102. #### re: Re: AC - 4 desktops > girl on girl action That is what VM boxes are for. No worries with browser history as the box can go bye bye in a second. 103. #### @ Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 3rd September 2009 11:40 GMT "By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 3rd September 2009 11:40 GMT" That's actually not the default behaviour and can be configured in System Preferences: http://localhostr.com/files/e61653/Screen%20shot%202009-09-03%20at%2013.45.50.png 104. #### Sum ups and downs On the up SL seems to require less maintenance work and one can proceed within minutes of starting a machine. On the down: printer drivers or more correctly: scanner drivers and softwares (especially HP all-in-ones) On the up: SL is slick n quick On the down: 3rd party stuff (SL probably requires you to move, delete, remove, unable or disable Flip4Mac WMV On the level: its probably the same for both OS's? 105. #### A different perspective >>Whichever OS you choose, you can only run them both 100% native, 100% reliable and 100% legally on a Mac. >>Either way Apple wins hands down. Beige box crapware manufacturers be damned. Silly Ty - There is a couple of things wrong with this; 1) Being able to run windows on both pc and apple hardware is a big advantage to MS (and presumably nix too) as this is what we call a 'barrier to entry'. If apple want to convert windows users (and they do) then they need to convince them that OSX is not only 10x better than windows to justify the pita of learning something new, but they have to convince them to shell out for new hardware. Whereas MS 'just' have to convince apple users that windows is 10x better than OSX but they can still use their hardware (and if you don't like it they can go back - if windows to OSX users dont like it, well then you have a shiny paperweight!) 2) Beige boxes!?! Are we back in the 90s? Next you'll be going on about 'only use windows if you like blue screens' (The only blue screens i've seen since XP were due to hardware failures - not sure I can blame XP for that!) >>That would never have made it past the Mac design tyrants. Thats a Microsoftish fanboi comment isn't it? ;) Funny I read that and thought it was an apple fanboi dig at MS quality control! Depends on your perspective I guess. >> Microsoft's Open XML is best avoided in mixed environments. Yeah that line made me laugh too! (Because I'm guessing its true) >>Don't forget. >>Whatever M$ funded FUD you may read in the tech press...

>>Every iteration of Mac OS X gets FASTER...

>>Every Iteration of Windows gets SLOWER...

Ty again! seeing a pattern:

1) Surely that should be 'windoze' not Windows

2) M$- Is the dollar to signify they are a company - it shouldn't be surpising they want to make some cash! (Almost as greedy as apple?) Either way as soon as I see someone typing M$ I know I can safely assume you are a 14yr old boy with nothing sensible to say - and you didn't let me down!

3) Didn't you read all the reports saying this one is faster!?! Idiot

Don't get me wrong MS get plenty wrong, and suck at plenty of things (which I often critisise them for) but I can help respond where I read some of these f'ing stupid / plain wrong comments. Grr.

106. #### re: Loving all the Apple fanbois comments

Actually it's a doddle to burn a folder or files to a disk in Finder. Just right click on a folder and choose "burn to disk". Alternatively click File -> Burn to Disk, or add the burn button to the toolbar.

As already pointed out, you can also change OS X's default behaviour when you insert a blank disk in the "CDs and DVDs" control panel. You even have the choice for different behaviours for CDs and DVDs.

Yes it does "just work". I'm amazed your "long time Mac user" didn't know these basics! Next time try typing "burn dvd" into OS X's help ..

107. #### @Mark76

I mgiht have to nostalgically crack out my Risc PC 700 later, and remind myself what a real OS looks like...

Risc OS 3.7 FTW :-)

108. #### Nicely balanced

Seeing as we have approximately equal numbers of outraged MS/Apple fangirl commentards I guess the author of the article got it about right.

(With apologies to the non-outraged MS/Apple fangirl commentards amongst you)

109. #### @ magnetik

Yeah, you can do exactly the same on any Linux installation -- it also "just works". And I've noticed that you end up with fewer dead disks and faulty burns from Linux that I do from my Mac.

Fanbois, eh? Never cease to amaze.

110. #### The cost is a really important factor...

...that often gets overlooked in discussions on The Reg, presumably in part because this is geek world and hence people are happy - indeed very willing - to shell out for tech kit. In the real world meanwhile, the price disparity between Windows boxes - produced by multiple competing manufacturers - and the rather more costly Macs is *very* significant. And open out that issue beyond the western world and one soon realises that Apple kit is really pretty pricey.

I'm not a fanboy of any sort, and I certainly rate the simplicity and ease-of-use of Apple Macs, but they are expensive.

flameon!!!

:-)

112. #### Windows

Lets see, the Libraries function is brilliant, you are not mounting one folder into it, you are mounting every folder you want. For instance, the music folder you can open that up and see 100 folders which link to 100 different folders on different hard drives, even on a network drive, removable drive, the internet (most likely), its not a case of mounting a hard drive and linking it to a folder, its a case of linking lots of folders into one location.

Hardware though, how easy is it to upgrade a Mac? I mean, we have the i7 out and the i5's on the way, so how many Mac users can pull out their motherboard and stick in a new one, with the fastest CPU and a ton of RAM to have the latest bleeding edge system? Whats that? None? If you take out the generic Intel motherboard from a Mac and stick in another generic Intel motherboard it won't work anymore? You mean you actually have to buy a new computer to upgrade rather than, you know, purchase upgrades? That's so 1990's.

Why would anyone buy a Mac to install Windows on though? The beauty of Windows is that it works on a practically infinite number of hardware variations, how many people who posted in this comments section has the same hardware as another poster, probably none, except of course the Mac owners, the Windows poster above me, different CPU (Intel instead of AMD) less ram (4GB instead of 6) different video (8600GT instead of 8800GTS) etc. etc. etc. PC's have variations, PC's that are slow now, can have bits removed and, look here, new bits put in to make it faster! Latest game comes out that needs a WTF? system? A PC you can just upgrade, a Mac, you can sit there and degrade.

At the end of the day though, PC's and over-priced-PC's... sorry Mac's, serve different purposes, Windows PC's are for people who want to get things done, Mac's are for people who want to think they can get things done as good as a Windows machine.

The best bit about this, every Mac user going "omg, SL is so fast now!" which really means "omg, Leopard is so frikken slow"

113. #### @ups and downs

"one can proceed within minutes of starting a machine"

Gosh, as quick as that? Twenty years ago, I had a PC that was ready to use in around 15 seconds. Progress, eh?

114. #### @AC 7:51

"Try mounting an ISO in Windows without third party software. Oh, that's right, WINFAIL."

uh... you better check again... Microsoft has a Windows tool for mounting ISO. So you DON'T require anything "third-party". So I guess that's YOUFAIL. :-)

I'm always surprised at so much Mac fanboi false information posted here...

115. #### @Mark76

From what I can see, both RISC OS and NextStep arrived with similar bundles and similar docks (amongst other similarities) in 1988, having both been through several years of semi-public development. If one ripped off the other, it doesn't seem to be clear which it was. And it's probably just coincidence.

116. #### And SL ...

Seeing SL do stuff so slick n quick and at the same time with very little cpu activity is good.

Now for W7 ...

117. #### @David Webb

"its a case of linking lots of folders into one location"

Yeah it's a good feature. OS X could do the same if Apple just added a means of choosing a specific folder when you create a smart folder. I hope they add that to 10.7

"pull out their motherboard and stick in a new one, with the fastest CPU and a ton of RAM to have the latest bleeding edge system"

True enough, mobos can't be upgraded. Doesn't bother most Mac users though, since most people just want to get stuff done, not play around with system internals, just as most car owners won't ever bother changing their shocks or installing a freeflow exhaust.

"The best bit about this, every Mac user going "omg, SL is so fast now!" which really means "omg, Leopard is so frikken slow"

Somehow I doubt you'll apply the same logic to those that praise Windows 7's better boot and shutdown times.

118. #### Hmm...

Interesting article.

I would really like to see some figures for real-world migrations between each major small-system OS family - Linux / Mac / Windows though. I wonder if anyone keeps such data and how reliable it is?

Comments about "people swapping" from whatever to whatever generally meet solid skepticism from me since I lived through twenty-five years of "Oh yeah, we're actively migrating off the mainframe" studies and "Cobol - dead in our enterprise" quiz results. We all know how that turned out. Not only that but I've got some personal experience in how the Mac/PC thing has played out in a couple of large arenas.

But it would be instructive to study how people change their computing habits over time on a large geographic scale.

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120. #### @ Anonymous Coward 14:38

Yeah, because that officially UNSUPPORTED hack is really intuitive... In a Mac all you need to is double-click on the ISO.

Is there a way to mount ISOs in Vista or Vis7a?

121. #### David Webb

"The beauty of Windows is that it works on a practically infinite number of hardware variations"

Except when it doesn't, of course. Driver conflicts? I've heard of them.

As far as gaming goes, who cares? If you really must play games, buy a console.

122. #### @magnetik

"True enough, mobos can't be upgraded. Doesn't bother most Mac users though, since most people just want to get stuff done, not play around with system internals, just as most car owners won't ever bother changing their shocks or installing a freeflow exhaust."

Maybe, but for those that have a car and want to change their shocks or install a freeflow exhaust, the option is there for them to do it, they are not limited and prevented from purchasing 3rd party parts for their car to get better performance. If you want to take it to the highest degree, with a car you can rip out the engine, upgrade suspension, add nitros if you so desire, you can make the car perform a lot better, some car companies have a wing with just that in mind, taking the stock car (PC) and upgrading it to the Nth degree (Gaming PC).

With a Mac you don't get these options, you're stuck with what you are given and are thankful for it. With a PC you can have a cutting edge system *now* that through upgrades was a P1 133Mhz a few years ago, simply by swapping out parts here and there, a quick case upgrade, a new motherboard with CPU, using the same RAM, later on a new motherboard and CPU combo with DDR2 RAM, a few years later, a new CPU, later on, another motherboard and CPU keeping the same RAM and with the ultimate choice of controlling the price *you* want to pay for the upgrades.

Got a £300 budget, you can upgrade based on that, a £150, you can upgrade on that. I can upgrade my AMD X2 on the same motherboard to a AMD X3 as long as it uses the same pins, my upgrade potential has no limits at all, very few PC's have limited upgrade potential.

That in itself does cause an issue, with an almost infinite number of ways to upgrade a PC, you need an operating system which can cope with an almost infinite number of drivers for the hardware, and for driver support for an almost infinite number of hardware combinations? That'll be Windows.

123. #### Sorry, I know you said fanboys go home, but...

The Mac gets praise for having WORKSPACES?

Why does Ubuntu not get to join the fray?

- "fast, elegant, and powerful"

- free

- runs on any hardware

- "benefits from countless applications"

- "performs well"

124. #### Nether Outlook nor Word are part of Win7

So the Exchange compatibility is better in Snow Leopard, isn't it?

125. #### Meanwhile Unix turns 40 in the background

Windows and OSX are as bad and as good as each other sometimes they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. The pople I feel most sorry for are they legions of users who can barely use an OS of any description.

Windows (the design from PARC) is 30 odd years old as is the mouse and in that time nobody has managed to improve on the clunky, counter-intutive, windowed desktop design. The Open Source community have to the power and abilty to really show the "Pretenders" to the throne how it should be done, only they seem hell bent on making a "BaskIn Robbins" job of getting there with more flavours of x-windows icing then I thought could be possible. Clive Sinclair where are you now!!

126. #### A thread full of geeks!

Excellent balanced article.

And guys,

I'm an average hobbyist user. Not a tweak geek or a 3rd party start up application user/idiot...

I want an Operating System to carry out everyday tasks, I DO NOT want to download 3rd party apps to help with these tasks unless they are important tools like Creative Suite, or Logic.

I want to open my laptop and begin instantly, no hassle, no tweaking, no startup apps.

Just work.

This is the reason I switched to OSX

I still have a PC with Windows 7 for playing games, I call it the big ugly Xbox, it really feels like Vista 2. Unfortunately vista buried every ounce of faith I had in Microsoft.

I used MS for 14 YEARS until Xmas past. I even uninstalled Vista for XP, then Win7.

I've been using Snow Leopard since yesterday, it's reinstalled faith, made subtle yet useful tweaks, it's 6gb less. It's fast as hell, it's almost flawless, It's all I need.

127. #### Finder in OSX

Did they redesign finder in SL ? I heard something about a rewrite. It was by far the worse file manager on any OS i have ever seen. I was always perplexed how they could claim good gui design, and keep that monstrosity around.

128. #### @David Webb

Do you know what's worse than a smug Mac fanboi? An even smugger Windows fanboi...

The only people that care about upgrading motherboards etc. are geeks. In my experience, most average users take the machine down to PC World (10p in the swear box) or ask a geeky friend to do minor upgrades, for major stuff they buy a new computer; that includes OS upgrades. Most will not upgrade to Windows 7 not because it's bad or even too difficult, but because the majority don't understand the concept, and the only real point of reference that they have is either geeky colleagues at work or PC World (another 10p). Those that do upgrade will probably pay someone else to do it for them. Nothing against Windows PC's or self building or upgrading, but the majority just don't seem to care. We see the "Mac's are over-priced" jibe all the time and it is always followed by "I could build...". I've heard the same argument from boy-racers time and time again. A Nova still is and always will be a Nova...

Windows 7 is a fantastic improvement over XP, but it does seem to have some foibles in the RC, so like any sensible person I'll reserve judgement until I've got my hands on the final release, but SL *at the moment* wins for me. It just feels a little bit snappier.

129. #### @James Pickett

15 seconds? Pah! My Atari ST would boot into GEM from its hard drive in less than 5!

And as for my ZX Spectrum... try a *one second* boot time!

(Kids these days... don't know they're born... whippersnappers... etc.)

@Everyone else: there is no "best" OS, any more than there's a "best" car. It depends on what you want to do with it. Deal with it and—to the fantards—get the hell over yourselves.

130. #### For me, it's the contempt

I use windows 7 a lot, I have to for my job.

I've used Windows in all it's versions since Win386, through WfW, W95, XP and so on.

I have also used Mac OS X since Tiger (10.3).

What strikes me is the difference in attitude towards the end user from both Apple and MS.

I just get that feeling that the MS developers put code first, and user experience last, whereas with Apple, the user experience is EVERYTHING it's even written into (for example) the iPhone SDK agreement.

I was using windows 7 the other day and was trying to do something simple like copy a file off of my memory stick onto the desktop. The explorer window was just cluttered, poorly laid out and confusing - even for an experienced computer user like me.

The Apple finder isn't perfect - but it is leap years ahead of it's rival when it comes to user friendliness.

Anyway, each to their own.

Bye for now.

131. #### @Simon Banyard

"Do you know what's worse than a smug Mac fanboi? An even smugger Windows fanboi..."

I prefer OpenSuSE myself, the only reason it's not on my laptop it because my videocard isn't supported at all, and the Linux drivers for it are quite rubbish. I can however install OSX onto my laptop and have done, its a testament to how bad OSX is that my laptop now has XP running on it, yep, I chose Windows XP over OSX and Vista.

Thing is though, this is The Register, the average reader is not going to be the average user, far from it, the average user of PC's here will have stripped down a PC many times, be it for work or fun, true if this was the Hello Kitty forums you may have a valid point there, but this is a tech site for, you know, geeks!

@AC "As far as gaming goes, who cares? If you really must play games, buy a console."

I own a PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP and a DS, I won't buy a 360 however, so my console needs are already met. I'll happily play console centric games on my consoles, if however I want to play a FPS, I'll use a PC, if I want to play a strategy game like DOW2 I'll use a PC if I want to play a myriad of games I'll play it on my PC, and if my PC is unable to run it because the CPU isn't up to spec, I'll get a new CPU, or a new video card, I won't be required to purchase a whole new computer.

132. #### Nice...

But as (surprisingly few) others mentioned before:

"Here's another pro-Mac detail. Spaces."

Been there, done that, almost a decade ago or so...

(I don't know the details of the OS X implementation of this, but the basic functionality can't be much different from "workspaces", "virtual desktops", "whatever your DE/distro decided to call it")

133. #### slowly getting there

another few years and they'll have caught up with most of the contextual ideas

and facilities offered by AmigaOS a decade ago

134. #### @ThomH

!Boot files first appeared on the BBC Micro.

As far as NexTStep and RISCOS's respective "docks" go, the implementation of each is so different as to dispel any notion of one copying the other. In some ways the early ROS icon bar resembles the Windows Taskbar (which didn't appear until 95) as running applications are represented by icons on one side of the panel, with drives and application directories on the other.

Shill

136. #### @David Webb

And smug Linux fans are even worse than that...

Why do you think OS X performs badly on your non Apple laptop? Perhaps you should switch to Ubuntu, that seems to work on hardware that OpenSuSE struggles with - Arch seems to as well. Or, do as RMS suggests, and write you own if they are "quite rubbish". I get the whole "tech" website thing, fair point, so who are you trying to convince?

137. #### @ all the passionate commentards:

You all are lusers.

That is all.

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139. #### boring

This is like listening to kids arguing about ps3 v xbox360..

140. #### PC Swapping parts?

Reminds me of Arkwright on Open All Hours.

"G-G-Granville, th-there's nothing wrong with that broom! It's only had 6 new handles and 7 new heads!"

You bang on about Mac's being expensive, but how much have you spent on maintaining that gaming rig over the last 3 years? Get a console, save the planet!

XBOX ( £160) + HDTV cheap 40" one ( £500 ) + 6 games ( £200 ) + Dolby 5:1 cheap one (£250) = £1100.

Gaming rig: dual 24" screen, quad core, dolby 5:1, plus misc, coolers and disks ( £1200 ).

Each to their own, never the twain and all that old toss!

141. #### Ubuntu

Nice to see Ubuntu users screaming for attention as usual....

Cakes anyone?

142. #### Unbaised and fair! Maybe you will go to the WWWDC

As an Apple Fanboy for 20 years anything I say will be biased......

Well done for making a direct comparison and giving both OS a fair report. I sincerely hope all your views are proven right and both platforms perform admirably. I'm upgrading to 10.6 soon and hope all the Vista sufferers get the OS they deserve to make up for it.

Why Paris? Cos sometimes getting a new stuffing does her a world of good too.

143. #### fanboys

I cannot believe apple fanboys claim it as a plus for Apple that you can run both systems legally only on Apple hardware!!?!?!?!

Windows is engineered to run on whatever hardware the user decides. Mac OSX is designed to run on whatever hardware Steve Jobs decides, which (hardly coincidentally) means his own. Kerrrrchiiiiing!!!!!!! And Apple will try to put you in prison if you dare attempt to use the software on another computer.

This is a plus point for Apple in what way!!??!?!

144. #### @ cap'n (just to keep the controversy alive)

"Windows is engineered to run on whatever hardware the user decides. Mac OSX is designed to run on whatever hardware Steve Jobs decides, which (hardly coincidentally) means his own. Kerrrrchiiiiing!!!!!!!"

I guess this should read "WIndows in engineered to run (even poorly) on whatever hardware the OEM decides, with the forced sale and huge cashback to MS that this implies. Kerrrrchiiiiing!!!!!!!. Mac OSX is designed to run (mostly smoothly) on whatever hardware Steve Jobs decides, which means his own. Kerrrrchiiiiing!!!!!!!"

Task-wise, both OSes are designed to run on overspec'd hardware. Apple is more "open" about it (by selling you very expensive machines) while MS hides behind "This machine will run the latest Windows (although you might die of old age waiting for notepad to open)" stickers. That's just a difference in the marketting strategy, not in the quality of the OS. For those willing to invest a bit of time, Linux or BSDs are hugely more efficient (it doesn't even compare), though it must be said that, from a purely technical point of view, out-of-the box fancy Linux distros like Ubuntu or Mandriva are only marginally better than Windows or OSX if you're not willing to bother with what roars under the hood (openness and cost issues notwithstanding).

145. #### @Ty

So what if Microsoft prevented Windows from installing on a Mac? There would be no point of buying a Mac!

All the Mac guys out there know they need Windows so it is fortunate for you Mac owners that you can install Windows on a Mac *Legally*. Don't forget to send Redmond a letter of your appreciation.

I was really looking to cross over to the dark side with a purchase of a 13" Macbook Pro. But if I got it, I'm afraid my attitude may change and I'll become a smug, arrogant Mac owner like the ones I see on this board.

146. #### I use both

Visual Studio is a much better IDE than XCode for C++ development. I use both for a cross platform game I'm working on and compiling and linking is much faster. The debugger is also light years ahead. That said XCode certainly isn't bad.

Outlook is far better than Apple Mail.

MS Office (PC) is far better than the Mac version.

Windows explorer is far better than Finder.

My Mac crashes probably more than than my Windows.

That said as I've been working on an iPhone game for a year now and I mostly run in Mac OS I also still "prefer" to work on the Mac. It seems less cluttered or something, go figure. Or maybe I just drunk the cool-aid by mistake.

147. #### @wrenchy

That was the inverted snobbery that I was alluding too, which is just as bad and possibly worse as the smug mac users. Why were you considering the MBP 13"? Just so you could use that throw away line? Poor. All you have done is made an attempt at trolling someone and it's a poor attempt too! Well done.

148. #### @Simon Banyard

I apologize for my trolling. Whatever was I thinking???

I was considering a Macbook Pro 13" because hardware alone. If I could buy a similarly made notebook without an OS, you can be sure I would buy that instead. But I have no choice in the fact that it comes pre-installed with OSX. I did however consider trying the platform to see what all the fuss is all about and where the animosity towards Windows comes from. Somehow, I get the feeling that I will see improvements in some areas and faults in others. I will admit that I admire the attention to detail and build quality Apple puts into their products. Credit where credit is due. But as far as how Apple acts as a company, I think they are no better, if not worse than Microsoft.

In all honesty, I have no allegiances to either Redmond or Cupertino. I use Linux primarily and on occasion, Windows when I have to run windows only programs that don't work well in WINE. I use whatever works and if that means booting Lin, Win or OSX, so be it.

My comments are not an attempt to 'troll'. I speak my mind and if you construe this as trolling, you know where you can shove it.

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