Slate Magazine: Leopard Devours Vista

Leopard demolishes Vista in a classy, coherent upgrade according to Slate Magazine on Wednesday. Apple has underpromised and overdelivered while Vistais techincal improvements remain difficult for users to appreciate and utilize.

Appleis OS update approach stands in sharp contrast to Microsoftis. While Apple remains modest in its numbering system and includes lots of new features in periodic releases, Microsoft "trumpets each new version of Windows as an epochal breakthrough, thereby raising expectations so high that it canit possibly meet them," Harry McCracken wrote.

As a result, Microsoftis "The Wow Starts Now" campaign, intended to create wonder has simply resulted in users being speechless and full of desire to cling to a six year-old XP. The reason is that while Vista has real improvements, they are presented in such a confusing manner that users become dismayed.

"On the security front, a feature called User Access Control can help keep you safe from hackers ... but its in-your-face nag notes are so irritating that itis tempting to turn the whole thing off and take your chances," Mr. McCracken noted. "Vista offers better technical underpinnings than XP for sophisticated applications yet to come ... but many existing programs and add-ons wonit ever work with it."

Most notable is Appleis implementation of Time Machine. While Vistais backup system may be technically superior, the user interface itself is confusing. Worse, many customers will never even get to use it; itis available only with Windows Vista Ultimate priced at US$399.

In time, the author noted, these monster upgrades in a box may become a thing of the past. The Internet moves too fast these days, and those shrink wrap boxes might be dinosaurs at some point. Even so, the author concluded, "Leopard may be as much dinosaur as feline. Itis an extremely likable dinosaur, however, and one that was worth the wait. If only Microsoftis creation were so highly evolved."