Vista's Real Competition is Leopard

Much has been made of the comparison between Windows Vista and Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger," which already incorporates many of the technologies, such as system-wide searches, that Microsoft promises are coming when its next-generation OS ships in late 2006. By then, however, its main competition will be Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard," which Apple has said it will ship at the same time. A new article at eWeek compares Tiger and Vista and then speculates on what Leopard will have in store.

Apple has said very little about Leopard, beyond its ship date, but writer John Rizzo notes that it "will need to be a compelling alternative to Vista," if the company wants to maintain the momentum of its recent market share wins. Among the things Mr. Rizzo believes Apple needs to do are add "some of Vistais user interface features, such as thumbnails in document and folder icons," and "increase [the] use of RSS and Internet access within the OS."

In addition, he thinks Apple "will need a further move away from the desktop and folder metaphor with further development of Spotlight and possibly new file management techniques. Leopard will also need to continue Mac OS Xis trend of increasingly better compatibility with Windows networks."