John Topley’s Weblog

Paul Thurrott’s Hallucinating Again

I just don’t understand Paul Thurrott. Although I now prefer Apple’s products, I occasionally visit his site because I’m still vaguely interested in the latest news from Microsoft. Much of what Paul writes is balanced and fair, but sometimes he comes out with some complete tosh! The latest being this gem from his preview of Apple’s new MobileMe service:

“I’m not interested in covering every single product that comes out of Redmond, and I am not a Microsoft fan-boy. What I’m interested is products and technologies that affect you, the Windows user. You’ve made a decision to use the world’s best operating system as the center of your computing experience, and I endorse and support that decision.”

—Does anybody seriously think that Windows is the world’s best operating system? It’s the world’s most commercially successful OS, certainly. It has the most number of applications available for it, granted. But the best? Get real, Paul! Mac OS X Leopard wipes the floor with Windows Vista or Windows XP, as more and more people are discovering. Sure, it doesn’t have the shear glut of software that Windows has, but the software is does have covers all the bases and is of a uniformly high quality.

I can only think of one version of Windows that might have been a contender for the title of the world’s best operating system and that was Windows 2000. It was mature and stable and its Windows NT architecture was far in advance of the tired old classic MacOS that was Apple’s offering at the time. I really liked it, even though it had a tendency of switching the focus away from the active window which sometimes drove me nuts.

Sadly Windows 2000 was so late that it barely had time to take off before its successor was announced. Windows XP was too rough around the edges for my liking. Although there was much to like, it did feel unfinished to me; it felt like it was rushed out of the door. Now here we are seven years later and Windows Vista is much the same. That’s quite an achievement considering that over five years elapsed between the two versions.

Going back to Windows after using Leopard is like a Windows 2000 user stepping back in time to Windows 95 or even Windows 3.1. It just doesn’t work as well and feels less polished. Perhaps Windows 7 will be a contender for the title of the world’s best operating system, but I doubt it somehow given Microsoft’s recent track record. Windows is crippled by the burden of its own past, whereas Apple are free to keep moving forward. Sorry Paul.

Comments

There are 13 comments on this post. Comments are closed.

  • avatar Steve
    15 June 2008 at 15:05

    It has a couple typos in it which have been corrected. The corrected statement reads:

    “I’m not interested in covering every single product that comes out of Cupertino, and I am not a Apple fan-boy. What I’m interested is products and technologies that affect you, the OSX user. You’ve made a decision to use the world’s best operating system as the center of your computing experience, and I endorse and support that decision.”

  • avatar Jeffsters
    15 June 2008 at 15:45

    gawd, will the mac "fanboy" press get over Thurrott!!?!?!?! He's a Windows guy and dare I say most of the time a hell of a lot more balanced than the likes of George Ou etc., that want to kill the Mac and anything Apple. The guy has an iPhone, bought his wife a Mac Mini, uses an iPod. Gawd just get over it already! So he likes Windows! OMG! So does 98% of the rest of the world just fine. I on the other hand have 8 Macs and one PC...but that's my preference Paul has a different one, though he uses iLife a lot on his MacBook. How many of you Mac site guys use any PC or Microsoft product at all!?!?! At least he actually tries to use the Apple stuff he writes about. Sorry....had to vent...

  • avatar mark
    15 June 2008 at 18:31

    I use XP on a regular basis at work, and it still has "a tendency of switching the focus away from the active window, which sometimes drives me nuts (like when I'm entering a password!).

    And not being a "fanboy", I'd say Windows and Linux have advantages in some areas, but overall, Mac OS X is clearly the best OS (at least, for me.)

  • avatar John Topley
    15 June 2008 at 18:58

    Hi Jeffsters,

    First of all, I'm not press, I'm just some random blogger!

    Secondly, I'd be surprised if 98% of the rest of the world actually like Windows. I think it's more a case of people putting up with it because they aren't necessarily aware that there are better alternatives.

    Finally, I use a PC and Microsoft products five days a week at work and I often run Windows XP in a virtual machine on my Mac. I've been using Windows for fifteen years. If you look at my old blog archives then you'll discover that I've often blogged about Microsoft and Windows over the past five years. So I think I'm actually quite qualified to make comparisons between the two worlds.

  • avatar John Davis
    15 June 2008 at 21:09

    Further to what John Topley writes:

    I would say that better than 50% of the 90% or so who use Windows wouldn't have a clue what operating system they are using. They are not computer users. The girl at the front desk in a hospital has a database that's all she uses. Someone in accounts only uses Excel. Computers in libraries are locked in to Internet Explorer.

    I would be very interested to know what the market share is for those who actually chose and paid for the computer platform they are using. It's certainly a lot more than 90%.

    Back in the old MacOS 7 and 8 days, I crammed my system with all kinds of extensions and control panels in an attempt to get it running the way I wanted it. With OSX I don't feel the need. I can see that cleaning up Leopard would be more than a .1 upgrade and would be much too large to download, and this is why Apple's brilliant marketing is calling it Snow Leopard - a whole new name. But, as it is, with quirks and all, Leopard is snappy, reliable and very useable. Compared to Windows it integrates together very nicely, it's more consistent and the outcome is that I just get a lot more work done on a Mac.

    John Davis

  • avatar Melangell
    15 June 2008 at 21:43

    "Secondly, I’d be surprised if 98% of the rest of the world actually like Windows. I think it’s more a case of people putting up with it because they aren’t necessarily aware that there are better alternatives."

    I agree 100%! The are still too many Windows users who think that Internet Explorer IS the internet. Sheep.

  • avatar JS
    15 June 2008 at 22:15

    An interesting read:

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/06/14/cocoa-for-windows-flash-killer-sproutcore/#more-1936

  • avatar Art
    15 June 2008 at 23:45

    Had Thurrott said "Whoopie Goldberg is better looking than Shania Twain," we'd all shrug our shoulders and accept his strange delusion.

    For whatever reason, he believes the stuff he posts. Or at least he claims he does.

  • avatar Tim
    16 June 2008 at 03:21

    I rarely read Paul, but I do regularly listen to his podcast with Leo Laporte. Sometimes he really irritates me, but then still, when you listen to him talk about the "best operating system" he's never really all *that* enthused.

    It's almost like he has a Jimmy Carter malaise going-on about Windows, but perhaps that's just his personality.

    Either way, living in a Windows world is what pays his bills, so I never expect anything but the worst from him.

  • avatar Partners in Grime
    16 June 2008 at 03:52

    I used to think Exposé was the cat's meow, but QuickLook in Leopard is awesome! Sure miss it when I'm using Windows at work.

  • avatar John Topley
    16 June 2008 at 09:58

    Re. QuickLook in Leopard - the funny thing is that Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 featured a similar technology called QuickView. It was a cut-down implementation of a third-party product that integrated into the shell and let you view various file types without having to open the application that created them. It was quite a big deal at the time but not as slick as the Leopard implementation.

  • avatar Jeffsters
    16 June 2008 at 11:04

    John, you entirely missed my point but that's fine.

  • avatar John Topley
    16 June 2008 at 13:58

    Jeffsters, which point did I miss?

Windows is crippled by the burden of its own past, whereas Apple are free to keep moving forward.


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