PC Magazine Likes Jaguar, 17" iMacs, New York Times Reviews Jaguar

We often bring you word when mainstream media outlets sing the praises of, or pile on the criticism upon, Apple, but itis probably the PC-centric outlets whose mentions we enjoy the most. Observer Ed M. pointed us to a review/mention of Jaguar in our oli friend PC Magazine. From the article:

Upgrades from Apple Computer are coming at a fast and furious pace. The top-of-the-line iMac now boasts a luxurious 17-inch LCD screen, and the operating system takes a giant leap forward with OS X 10.2, code-named Jaguar. While the new iMacis cinema-friendly, extra-wide screen makes it an enviable home computer, OS X 10.2 has more to offer corporate clients.

The 17-inch flat-panel iMac sells for [US]$1,999 (list), which is $200 more than the top configuration of the 15-inch iMac. We think anyone viewing the two side by side would happily pay the extra money. The screen has a maximum resolution of 1,440-by-900 (a big improvement over the 15-inch iMacis 1,024-by-768) and is extra wide, so DVD movies look great played in letterbox format. The 17-inch iMac comes in just one configuration: an 800-MHz PowerPC processor, 256MB of SDRAM, a hefty 80GB hard drive, and an nVidia [sic] GeForce4 MX graphics accelerator.

But the bigger news from Apple is the release of OS X 10.2 ($129, or $199 for a five-license family pack). Apple is clearly serious about enticing Windows PC users to switch. This release has far more essential improvements for professionals working in multiplatform environments than for home users.

For the first time, linking a Macintosh to your companyis network doesnit require a raft of third-party applications, and the procedure is now appealingly simple. OS X 10.2 has built-in PPTP-based VPN support. (PPTP is the same protocol that Windows VPN servers use.) OS X 10.2 also supports Windows Active Directory and comes with a new directory services architecture of its own: Open Directory, which is LDAP-based. The upshot: Your Mac can easily share information on Windows networks.

What follows is more praise for the rest of the major new features in Mac OS X. You can read the full article at PC Magazine.

The New York Timesi David Pogue has also reviewed Jaguar, and sings many of the same praises as does the above article. He goes much further, however, by pointing out some of the very non-Microsoft-like aspects of Jaguar. From the Timesi article:

Furthermore, Apple is not Microsoft — thatis the understatement of the year — and isnit nearly so Big Brotherish. Thereis no 25-digit serial number to type into a new Mac before you can use it, as on a new PC. Mac OS X imposes no copy protection, no Windows XP-style activation process and no risk of being locked out of your own PC if you upgrade too many of its components. Nor does Mac OS X ever interrupt you with little balloons that nag you to sign up for Passport, .NET or some other Microsoft database. Mac people rarely feel like theyire living in the persistent, lurking shadow of a software company.

Jaguar isnit perfect. The online help is abysmal, a few minor bugs remain, and Mac loyalists who already paid $129 for Mac OS X 10.0 or 10.1 may resent having to pay another $129 to stay current. Even so, Mac OS X 10.2 is the best-looking, least-intrusive and most thoughtfully designed operating system walking the earth today. No, you donit want to lick it. But youire delighted that you installed it — and for a hunk of software in this day and age, even thatis quite an achievement.

You can find the full article at the New York Times Web site, which requires a free registration account to access.