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lil 04-20-2006 01:29 PM

Vista is "a warmed over copy of Mac OS X Tiger"

Paul Thurott, an excellent balanced writer in my book, not one to exactly praise Apple all the time either (and justifiably so in some instances) has concluded his 5 part review on MS Windows Vista Feb 2006 CTP.

Describing it as:

"We expect you to copy Apple, just as Apple (and Linux) in its turn copies you. But we do not and should not expect to be promised the world, only to be given a warmed over copy of Mac OS X Tiger in return. Windows Vista is a disappointment. There is no way to sugarcoat that very real truth."

(Trying not to quote in a biassed sense)

I admit when I first saw OS X in 2000 in that Public Beta 2; I though jee that's pretty... but also thought "OS 8.1 is so much more usable though..." (as I was using that on my IIfx and 7200/90 at the time...) Sure enough I stuck with OS 9.1 (I upgraded in 2001) until August last year and jumped onto OS X Tiger for good with the computers in my sig. My reason was that OS X to me now bar a few glitches represents a fancy modern user interface that is very usable and slick.

I cannot say the same for Windows Vista, it looks hideously cluttered and confusing—as if I must use Windows, the old look (NewShell look) we had until XP was at least usable and manageable. Now it really has gone Pete Tong...

You can read his final report here:


techster82 04-20-2006 01:46 PM

Very interesting. With all the speculation out there I am preparing myself for Vista to turn out as bad as that hideous thing that ended in ME. As for looks go, ever since I started using XP 5 years ago, I have always used the classic theme so that it looks like 98 and 2000.

Game2954 04-20-2006 01:51 PM

insightful, it really doesn't seem like three years since Gates gave info on Longhorn, my how time flies!! Not to show my noobness, but isn't the average life cycle of an Operating System 4-5 years?

lil 04-20-2006 02:19 PM

It would depend on which manufacturer you are asking. In Apple's case it was almost every year until recently—more than likely because there was so much of Mac OS X that needed fixing and Tiger seems to have finally got there; and updates will now slow.

Microsoft (not wishing to be preachy) took three years to go from '95 to '98 and 2 years from '98 to ME. For NT they release 3.51 in 1995, NT4 in 1996, and Windows 2000 in 1999—again three years. XP took 2 years from 2000's release. Averaged out—MS tends to release an OS every 2 1/2 years.

I think the point is for what was promised, Vista fails to live up to most of things promised. I think the other thing is the frustrations that it will have taken nigh on five years for MS to update the OS which has amounted to not the huge revolutionary step once promised—I think that is where the disappointing factor arises from; not the fact that Vista is inherrently broken or bad.

The other factors is that much of Vista's capability debuted in April 2005 with OS X Tiger—and that Mac users have had that capability for a year and a half by the time Vista is released; by which time Leopard will not be far away at all—which will if all reports are correct, will further widen the gap between OS'.

Also—it is contradictory, as MS said that tne NT4 to Nt5/2000 debacle (ie: time taken to develop) would not happen again—and it has to an even worse extent. Windows XP took 2 years and was a *very* successful update to Windows.

So yes, some OS updates do take 4-5 years for updates, but generally the updates should be much more exciting for that development time than what Vista has apparently turned out as being.

The bottom line seems to be that at present if you Mac OS X Tiger + iLife, you have an OS and set of apps either mostly on par with Vista or a million miles better (in respect to iLife alike apps).


dan828 04-20-2006 02:21 PM


OK, let's not get silly here. I don't hate Windows Vista, and I certainly don't hate Microsoft for disappointing me and countless other customers with a product that doesn't even come close to meeting its original promises. I'm sure the company learned something from this debacle, and hopefully it will be more open and honest about what it can and cannot do in the future. But you'd have to be special kind of stupid to look at Windows Vista and see it as the be-all, end-all of operating systems. It [sic] some ways, Windows Vista actually will exceed Mac OS X and Linux, but not to the depth we were promised. Instead, Windows Vista will do what so many other Windows releases have done, and simply offer consumers and business users a few major changes and many subtle or minor updates. That's not horrible. It's just not what was promised.
Sounds like he's mostly irked that they weren't able to follow through with many of their grandiose promises from when longhorn was first announced. But realize that this is only one part of a multi-part Vista review, and that this particular article is dedicated to the problems and failures. The other 4 articles he's done of the series discuss all of the improvements, new features, and the state of the current builds. It's a bit unfair to read this outside of the context of the other 4 articles.

That said, I've played with some of the newer Vista builds and it runs fine, but it seems like XP some nice added features and a lot of eye candy, not the monumental upgrade that was promised and everyone was expecting. The biggest new feature that I liked was the ability to upgrade drivers on the fly, without a reboot. Some of the other stuff just seems different then XP, not necessarily better or worse. Anyways, Vista is still going to be a bigger upgrade than was OS X 10.3 to 10.4 (or from 10.2 for that matter). You might want to wait a few months for SP1 to come out-- good advice for most MS products (most any product these days actually, remember OS X 10.0?).

lil 04-20-2006 02:26 PM

Like I mentioned in my reply just made, it's not because Vista is a bad product, it's just taken longer than it should have done for what is present.

And also you are right 10.2->10.3 and 10.3->10.4 are smaller updates although the changes under the hood to Tiger are massive from a developer standpoint and to those who dig into the terminal a lot.

Also, yes you must read the 4 previous parts as this explains the whole picture a lot better.

That said, I have also recently played with Vista for a few days and just found myself thinking "Ok, so I can do all this on Windows XP—and I have had all this capability now for some months with Mac OS X". Vista as you say works and runs fine, I just would have thought five years would have yielded better results.

From a personal standpoint though I stick by my judgement of Aero being much like early Aqua—pretty but impractical.


dan828 04-20-2006 02:39 PM


Originally Posted by lil
From a personal standpoint though I stick by my judgement of Aero being much like early Aqua—pretty but impractical.


Definitely. The general feeling I have when using it is "this seems half done and not completely thought out." I've been writing it off to the beta status of the OS (still something like 6 or 7 months to gold status yet), but I guess we'll see. I sure hope that Aero doesn't ship with Vista in it's current form.

Left Face Down 04-20-2006 04:55 PM

I believe that it's pointless to really bash, or praise for that matter, something before it is out. Nothing is final until it starts shipping pretty much. This goes with everything and over the years I've just learned you can't say this will have such and such before it ships, nor can you say it wont.

Microsoft keeps slowly but surelly adding things to Vista, and with the amount of time they have left they could possibly pull off the things that they're lacking. The one major dissapointment I have with Vista is that they're not using EFI. I was really happy about that movement, and then they suddenly just announced that they were not going to do it. After a good half a year, that I knew, of them saying they would. Such a major part of the OS you can believe it when they say they wontbe using EFI, but with other such things you can't say anything about until it's out.

Personally, I want a Mac and I'm fed up with Windows. However, I'm a gamer. I'll be building a desktop that will have Vista on it just for that, but I'm seriously waiting for Apple to "perfect" Boot Camp so I can just get myself an Apple laptop (MBP) and run XP/Vista for games. However once again, the Beta product has flaws and I'll look at the flaws more than what is already working. I would have a MPB right now if not for that fact. The same is going for Vista here, it's not done and every one is sad because it isn't what they said it would be so people bash it.

MJGUK 04-20-2006 06:15 PM

Well as far as I am aware, many of the criticisms he makes in his article/review are issues that have been raised many, many times before during the Vista development cycle. In other words, A) I think he's correct in much of what he says and B) A lot of his fears around Vista have been around for a pretty long time now.

I haven't tested a Vista BETA yet and due to my pretty slim interest in the Windows world now, I doubt I'll get to play with until it is actually realised, at which point I will most likely upgrade my few Windows boxes in due course.
With this in mind I don't want to be seem to make a conclusive judgement here....But in my humble opinion, from what I've seen so far I believe Vista is very much 'XP Improved'. I mean I see valid improvements and enhancements. I see the fairly obvious development of certain areas of the OS, but in terms of 'groundbreaking' developments or a huge redevelopment of the OS, I see little that catches my eye.

Like many have said before, if this is the case it's not as if this will render Windows Vista a bad OS.....It will merely disappoint in the sense that it's not all it was originally suggested to be.
A valid improvement on the Windows Operating System.....But hardly a 'breakthrough' and to be honest, there is a pretty critical difference.

macreamer 04-21-2006 04:32 AM

So to sum up, the more windows gets like OSX the worse it is??

Makes no sense.

lil 04-21-2006 05:28 AM

No, that osn't the point--the point is so much more was promised for Vista, genuinely technological advancements that would have put it quite far in front, slowly a lot of these features have been dropped or watered down, meaning that in terms of what it offers, is no real different to OS X Tiger which will have been out for 18 months by the time Vista lands.

The disappointment is how much Vista was meant to be a huge leap forward, and the reality is that it is an incremental upgrade--not the fac that now Windows resembles OS X Tiger it has become bad.

It is not a bad OS--it is bad because so much was promised but nothing fulfilled.


MJGUK 04-21-2006 08:39 AM

Exactly, Vicky.

macreamer 04-21-2006 09:30 AM

I don’t see how Windows can be approved apart from a coat of paint (better looking UI) which is not really necessary as I use My Xp in windows 2000 graphic style and many millions of companies PC's do also.

I don’t think most people apart from Mac users care what the OS looks like as long as it does everything they want and XP does.

One thing Windows could improve on is security, but if you have all the updates done, anti virus and a spyware App. I don’t think you will have a security problem. You can download all this stuff for free.

People say windows need a better search like Spotlight; well you can get a free MSN desktop search which I find better them spotlight for what it's worth.

I think Microsoft’s biggest problem is it’s a victim of its own success.
I think apart from some security problems XP has had (which have been fixed) it's pretty much a perfect robust OS. I thinks it does all I require and I have had no problems with it.

As a friend told me, he is not fussed about Vista because as he sees it "what are they going to do but make it look better" Well Not much I suppose apart from security.

Although I think OSX rules I would love a better installation process and a uninstall process as well as better maintenance tools and utilities

Game2954 04-21-2006 10:27 AM

I guess this is what happens when you promise platinum and might, just might deliver silver...

macreamer 04-21-2006 10:36 AM

The funniest thing is every Mac Podcast or forum you go to, the biggest thing since sliced bread is running XP on a Mac.

Seriously i have not seen so much hysteria over anything else in the Mac world.

This from people who always hate and bag MS and Windows.

You keep on hearing from Mac fans how much better OSX is then XP but as soon as XP can work on the Mac the same people go bonkers

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