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Mac OS X Shines In Comparison With Windows Vista

OS X vs. Vista

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If you believe all the hype, installing the new Windows Vista operating system will solve world famine, end the AIDS crisis and bring about world peace. Well, maybe no one is saying it's that great, but the clamor and fuss have been pretty boisterous.

Hidden behind all of this hoopla, however, is the fact that as much of an improvement Vista is over XP, its main competitor, Mac OS X, still stacks up really well -- and even tops Vista in several important areas.

There are nearly an infinite number of ways to compare complex beasts like operating systems. I'm going to skip low-level issues, like comparing driver architectures. Most people just don't care about things like who has the superior kernel. People care far more about the parts they see and work with, so that is what I'm going to deal with here.

Steady Evolution
While Vista is indeed a major update to Windows, there's a lot of it that is, quite frankly, just Microsoft making up for lost time. The last non-server release of Windows was in 2001 with Windows XP, with only a single major interim update in Service Pack 2. In the same time, Apple has been steadily releasing updates to Mac OS X on what was a yearly schedule, now around every 18 months.

This means that while Mac OS X has been steadily evolving through 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4, and is now working toward 10.5, Microsoft was waiting on what would become Vista. When it was obvious the original Longhorn OS wasn't going to happen, it took the Windows Server 2003 code base and used that for the basis of Vista. It also chopped quite a few features out of Vista, most notably the WinFS object-based data storage and management system, which had been promised in various forms since the first blurbs about Cairo in the early 1990s.

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