With Windows 7
and Snow leopard each nearing their respective release dates, the hype for the two operating systems
is reaching its peak. Let’s go over what each OS is bringing to the table in terms of features, market, and performance.
I’ll start with a short description of what both operating systems mean for each company.
Windows 7: A product that’s turned a lot of heads, especially those who believed that Microsoft was dead and done after the lackluster reception that Vista received. The product has received quite a positive welcoming by the internet community with the leaked betas, and MS can only hope that attitude towards Windows 7 remains steady through October 22nd. OS 10.6
: The refinement of an operating system that many believe is already the most advanced OS on the market. Apple is looking towards the 64-bit processing world with this release with x64 optimization being its leading feature. This OS is meant not only to add more speed and utility to the everyday user’s experience, but it also takes a big step towards using Macs in the business
world with its Microsoft Exchange
support. With the Mac community growing every day, Apple hopes to refine and revise its technology to allow simplicity of use more and more each day.
Now for the comparison of features.
Windows 7: A brand new taskbar that is reminiscent of the Dock present in OS X. It allows you to drag and drop programs to the taskbar so that you can launch from anywhere at anytime, without having to dig through explorer. That being said, even Explorer, the name for the Windows file catalog, has been updated for search speeds. The indexed-searches are much faster than those indexed in Windows Vista, allowing for a more convenient and easy to use Explorer. Along with these two features, Windows 7 also receives enhanced performance with multi-core processors, advanced touch/handwriting recognition, a new version of Windows Media Center, support for virtual HDDs and more.
OS 10.6: Almost all programs have been rewritten to include full 64-bit optimization, providing a more streamlined experience throughout the entire operating system. Grand Central Dispatch is a new technology
in 10.6 that follows suit with the “theme
” of 64-bit improvement. This is what allocates the tasks across the multiple cores as well as what allows programmers to finally optimize their Mac programs for the 64-bit computer. Another new technology, OpenCL, allows developers to open up the use of the graphics card to much more than just Photoshop and Aperture. It strengthens the current use of the card and also makes way for more many more usages down the road. Along with these features also come Quicktime X (an enhnanced, streamlined Quicktime client), a more speedy Finder, new looks for Exposé and Stacks, faster backup/bootup time and more.
Both operating systems show a movement towards each others target market. Windows 7 features more user-centric capabilities that allow the operating system
to be more customizable (the ability to disable multiple features is a great example of this) than any other Windows release to date. I see Windows 7 as what Vista could and should have been – I believe it’s finally a legitimate successor to Windows XP. OS 10.6 seems to be just what Apple needs to reach out to businesses, which is a great move. Snow Leopard should keep the Mac market growing, as its new technology will allow more gaming capabilities through OpenCL and hopefully garner more third-party developers for the growing Macintosh userbase.
Apple’s looking towards the future and Microsoft’s fixing its past. Both operating systems appear to be on an even playing field, and I for one am anxious to see how both of these milestone releases are received