An Independent Look at Leopard

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Thom Holwerda, who came late to Mac OS S X scene, took an independent, studied look at Leopard for OS News on Thursday in his review of Mac OS X 10.5.

The keenest insights in OS reviews come from someone who has been exposed to a lot of different OSes and used them for a long time. "I came from a BeOS, Windows, and Linux world, and back then, I had the feeling that OS X truly was the end-all-be-all of operating systems," Mr. Holwerda wrote. "I could not help but think, if people can get this, than why on earth are they still chugging along on their Windows and Linux boxes? What is wrong with these people?"

In time, however, the blemishes in Mac OS X were evident. "Of course, it did not take me long to realise that the Mac OS was far from the end-all-be-all operating system I thought it to be during the first few days of using it," Mr. Holwerda observed. "It had its fair share of flaws, limitations, and oddities that made me understand that OS X was ijust like everybody elsei; it is good at some things, it sucks at a whole lot of other things."

The long and detailed review has five chapters:

  1. Introduction; The appearance
  2. The Finder, Quick Look, Stacks, Spaces, and Spotlight
  3. Time Machine
  4. Safari, Mail.app, iChat; Misc.
  5. A few notes on the MacBook; Conclusion

The author digs deep and finds oddities and nuances that many reviewers, too accustomed to Mac OS X, or not experienced enough with OSes overlook. The final verdict, however, is that Leopard carries a serious punch and QuickLook was rated as Leopardis killer app -- with Time Machine a close second.

After beating up Leopard for its bugs and UI oddities, the author was nevertheless balanced and gave Leopard a positive rating. "Leopard is a great release, despite its bugs and annoyances. It certainly is not as big an improvement as Tiger or Panther, but definitely worth your money," he concluded.

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