Tag Archives: Leopard

Apple Leopard OSX: Perfecting Perfection

Infoworld gives OS 10.5 a glowing review. No one is unhappy with Mac OS X Version 10.4, known as Tiger. OS X is not an application platform (I bristle at using the term “operating system” for OS X; I explain why below) that needed repair, speeding up, or exterior renovation. Motivations for major upgrades of competing system software — roll-ups of an unmanageable number of fixes, because the calendar says it’s time, or because users are perceived to have version fatigue — don’t apply to OS X. Apple wields no whip to force upgrades because Tiger stands no risk of being neglected by Apple or third-party developers as long as Leopard lives. Despite the absence of a stick that drives users into upgrades of competing OSes, or perhaps because of it, Apple enjoys an extraordinary rate of voluntary OS X upgrades among desktop and notebook users. Why? People buy Macs because the platform as a whole is perfect, full stop. Leopard is a rung above perfection. It’s taken as rote that the Mac blows away PC users’ expectations. Leopard blows away Mac users’ expectations, and that’s saying a great deal.

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OSX Tiger vs. Vista vs. Ubuntu Security: a 15 Point Report Card

When shopping for a new computer, your mind is probably spinning with considerations: price, reliability, speed, software capabilities, security, and other specs. Perhaps the hardest part is choosing an operating system on which everything will run. To get a good idea of what capabilities Apple’s OSX Tiger/Leopard, Windows Vista, and Ubuntu Linux have to offer, check out our 15 point report card that compares the levels of protection you’ll get with each of them.

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Is it time for Microsoft to abandon Vista and move on to something else, as soon as possible?

Is it time for Microsoft to abandon Vista and move on to something else? Maybe Microsoft should consider doing what Apple did and create an OS based on an existing UNIX based system (BSD, Linux, Amiga, etc…). Or maybe Microsoft should “move up the time table” of Windows 7, Min-Win or Microsoft Singularity and make a radical change? Or maybe they incorporate some of the forgotten features of Longhorn into a “new and glorious” Operating System? How about taking some of their experimental technologies, like “Singularity” and fusing it with a UNIX based OS? Or Microsoft just buyout Novell now and make a new Linux based OS (Microsoft SUSE)? Hey, I’m not saying that Vista is totally bad; however it is starting to look more and more like the “Windows ME” situation. My apologies to the Windows ME lovers still out there on planet “Wishful thinking”, but I digress! In some of the business sectors I work in, I.T/MIS departments and various individuals alike will not touch Microsoft Vista or even allow one connected to their network. There are still issues with legacy software and recently purchased hardware. You need to justify making the upgrade and unfortunately for many businesses, but not all, it just is not there. Now, maybe you home users can tolerate the incompatibilities and problems. One of my extended family members recently purchased an HP system with Vista Premium (they forgot to ask for my advice). Let’s just say “she is not a happy camper”! Too many problems and issues with hardware and software left her with no option but to return the “lemon”. She just did not have the time to deal with it and neither did I.

I use Microsoft Vista 64-bit business edition, at my place of work. It runs great, but I have 4 GB of RAM, a nice SATA drive and a supercharged video card (512MB); along with a whole host of goodies, however I imagine I am not the “average” person or small business. They say that “time is money” and many I’ve spoken with, who do not want to spend that amount of cash and time with Vista. In addition they are often saying, with an assumption, that they will wait until SP2 (Service Pack 2) before they make the dive into the Vista world; if that even happens. Recently Microsoft came out with their revenue and profit numbers, on Vista. I am sure it was meant to show a positive spin on Microsoft’s financial outlook. It also was probably more to do with the release of Apple’s new Operating System called Leopard. However, how are the OEM and retail figures broken down? How many OEMs are allowing downgrades to XP, just to ensure the sale? Acer, Dell and others have made recent changes and moves; allowing users to downgrade to XP or even get Linux distros like Canonical’s Ubuntu. Microsoft cannot simply bury their electronic heads in the sand and hope the issues go away. Sure Microsoft is large and they can “weather the storm”, however I just wonder how much time Microsoft has before it starts to impact on them as a company? Maybe they are planning something in secret and will take a page from Steve Jobs and say nothing. Maybe Bill Gates will come back and lead them to victory. Or better yet, maybe they should outsource it? Sorry, it was just an idea!

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

PC World – Vista Is Still Plagued by Incompatibilities

Vista Is Still Plagued by Incompatibilities. This is not good for the general “Microsoft PR” campaign. With Leopard being released and Linux looking better, Microsoft needs help fast. Albeit, some of the issues are directly Microsoft issues. Hardware and software manufacturers are just not up to speed. However regardless of the fact people are labeling this as a Vista issue. Slowly people are starting to see Vista as “Windows Millennium 2″ or “ME2″ reborn. Microsoft maybe saying that “it is not their fault, so don’t blame us”. This maybe true, but the fact remains that Vista’s perception of a rock-solid OS has been stained. They will have to either fix this perception or call it a loss and move on. For a company that depends on OS sales and software, they do not have time to fiddle with who’s to blame.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Read more from the PC World article below.

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Nine months since its release, lots of hardware and software products still don’t work with Microsoft’s operating system, including some that are certified as Vista compatible. If you’re running Vista and you need a multifunction printer, Brother’s MFC-5860CN might seem like a great choice. After all, it’s proudly sold as “Certified for Windows Vista.”

But don’t plan on scanning any documents to turn them into digital files. The 5860CN is capable of doing that, but the optical character recognition software that comes bundled with the printer, PaperPort 9 from Nuance, isn’t Vista compatible. (Brother recommends that Vista owners use Microsoft Office’s Document Imaging feature.) And the printer’s Internet fax option? Forget about that, too. It works with XP, but not Vista.

This kind of Vista support, says Jim McGregor, research director at market research firm In-Stat, is more like torture by small incompatibilities. And nine months after Vista’s commercial release, it’s not at all unusual. Major software publishers and hardware manufacturers are dragging their feet when it comes to supporting Vista, analysts say. While vendors have developed new products for Vista, many are leaving customers who purchased hardware and software before they upgraded to Vista with crippled or inoperative gear, says Chris Swenson, analyst with the NPD Group.
Photoshop Users Upset

Consider the plight of Adobe Photoshop CS2 users who have upgraded to Vista. That software still isn’t fully compatible with the new operating system. Adobe Photoshop CS2 customers have been asking Adobe for a software compatibility upgrade without much luck, Swenson says. “If you want Vista and you use Adobe CS, you are going to have to buy the new CS3 version,” Swenson says. Adobe CS3 ($649) is the only version fully compatible with Vista. Upgrading from CS2 to CS3 costs $200.

Adobe is developing free patches for some Adobe products (PDF) so they run smoothly. Still, the company lists over a dozen Adobe programs that it says either do not support Windows Vista or do not “officially” support Vista. Programs in either category may install on Vista, but don’t work completely. Some products Adobe recommends not trying on Vista at all.

At the release of the Windows XP operating system six years ago, incompatibility issues affected consumers to a much smaller extent, Swenson says. This time around, “vendors wish they could just forget about [XP-era products],” he says.

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Apple should start offering Windows-based Macs

Here’s a question that I received from yesterday’s mail bag:

Apple should start offering Windows-based Macs

Apple’s a lot easier to understand when you stop looking at it as a religion and instead see it for what it is – a multi-billion dollar consumer electronics company
Now, I have checked and I’m pretty sure that this email isn’t from Steve Jobs, but it’s an interesting question nonetheless.  Apple is, without a doubt, a successful company and is returning strong data quarter after quarter.  For years, the darling for investors was the iPod, the first of Apple’s products to hit critical mass and make it big (some might say that it was the first piece of branded consumer electronics to go critical mass, but personally I wouldn’t take it that far).  Now it seems that Apple has managed to put the Macs under the iPod’s halo and dramatically improved desktop and notebook sales.  Sales are strong, but you have to put this into perspective.  CNET’s Tom Krazit does a good job of crunching the numbers:

The numbers seem simple: Apple has sold more than 120 million iPods to date, and Mac shipments are growing much faster than the overall market.

But Hewlett-Packard’s worldwide shipments are growing twice as fast as the overall market. Acer’s worldwide shipments are growing at nearly four times the overall market. Even in the U.S., where Apple does the majority of its business and is the third-leading PC vendor, everyone but Dell is growing much faster than the overall market. HP might have a brand name in printers, but nobody, even HP, has a consumer product with nearly the cachet of the iPod.

But like Krazit, I’m not so convinced that there’s a correlation between iPod sales and Mac sales:

But I’m not convinced that you can draw a direct line between iPods and Macs. Are you more likely to buy an HP PC because you own (and like) your HP printer? Are you more likely to buy a Sony television because you’ve spent thousands of quality hours with your PlayStation 2? Maybe, maybe not.

OK, but let’s get back to the original question – What could/should Apple do to take sales and profits to the next level?  Simple.  Release an Apple branded Windows-based PC.  I know, I know, this kind of talk is bound to upset the hardened Apple fanatic, but it makes perfect sense.  One of the things that’s undoubtedly helped boost Mac sales is Boot Camp.  Now there’s no punishment for switching platforms because you can take your old platform with you, but just as some people got tired of paying the Microsoft tax when they wanted a PC to run Linux on it, people who want Apple hardware in order to run Windows on it will eventually see the Mac OS as an Apple tax.  Why doesn’t Jobs and the crew at Cupertino just skip that whole Apple tax step and offer customers a choice of operating systems.  Since Windows is the dominant OS at present, that’s a good place to start, but if Apple really wants to offer the customer real choice, Linux would also be great.

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Why I’ve moved from Vista to Ubuntu 7.10

“Have we reached the beginning of the tipping point? I think we may just have.” Since the late 90s I’ve dabbled with Linux, but there have always been compelling reasons to return to, or stick with, Windows. No more, for two reasons: Vista, and Ubuntu 7.10 (ala Gutsy Gibbon).

“Through all this time I have looked forward to each new version of Windows either because I expected it to be more stable, add better hardware support, or correct problems in some other way.”

And now onto Ubuntu.

I’ve been through dozens of Linux distros over the years and while I have wanted to like them, I’ve always found myself a little disappointed in some respect or other. No more.

Ubuntu has the slickest installation I have yet found in any OS.

Ubuntu makes it supremely easy to install extra software packages.

Ubuntu has a wonderfully useful and responsive 3D desktop, in the shape of Compiz Fusion. Ubuntu is fast, and is like a fresh breeze blowing through after my weeks of gazing at Vista, waiting for something to happen.

Ubuntu generally works just fine on my Santa Rosa laptop. I had to spend some time figuring out how to get Compiz Fusion working, but even that is relatively easy.

The other reason that Ubuntu does it for me is that over the past 12 months I’ve found myself increasingly using non-Microsoft products. Google Docs is usually open in a browser Window, OpenOffice.org has been on my home and work machines for some time now, and while I still use Outlook, I find Evolution quite useable. Even for those applications I use that are not available on Linux – such as Mindjet’s mind-mapping software – I find there are often quite suitable alternatives with some degree of file compatibility.

Of course this is just my experience, and this is just Ubuntu. Yet I have had a look at SuSE 10.3 which seems to be equally able, and this is not to even mention Apple’s Leopard OS which is due later this week and which can be relied upon to deliver a ‘wow’ factor that people have simply failed to see in Vista.

Have we reached the beginning of the tipping point? I think we may just have.

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OK, I admit it, Leopard has more “Wow!” than Vista … in theory anyway

OK, I admit it, Leopard has more “Wow!” than Vista … in theory anyway…

Now that I’ve given in and decided that the PC Doc HQ is to get at least one Mac (what exactly I’m going to do with it remains a mystery, but that’s not the point) I’ve been spending some time checking out what new features I can expect from Leopard. Apple has conveniently listed 300+ new Mac OS X Leopard features on a single page, and I have to say, Leopard sounds compelling … in theory anyway.

OK, I admit it, Leopard has more “Wow!” than Vista … in theory anyway. Browsing through the 300+ new feature (well, OK, let’s first admit that “new features” is marketing hyperbole, some of the features have just been re-tweaked and modified a little) I have to admit that I went “Wow!” more than once. In fact, I might as well come clean and admit that Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the “Wow!” department.

In case you missed that, let me repeat it again:

“Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the “Wow!” department.”

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It’s official: Apple to Ship Mac OS X Leopard on October 26

Apple confirmed that Mac OS X Leopard will go on sale Friday, October 26 at 6:00 p.m. at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers, and that Apple’s online store is now accepting pre-orders for the software. Apple posted a splashy update on their Web site this morning to announce that the next major upgrade to the operating system–Mac OS 10.5 (a.k.a. “Leopard“)–will be released on Friday 26 October 2007.Apple is taking pre-orders for the US$129 upgrade (US$199 family pack) with free shipping for delivery on 26 October.

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