What is Leopard Up Against in Vista?

by Chris Howard Nov 01, 2006

Before too long, Vista will be released upon the world. Will it be a match for Leopard which will follow a few months later? What will Leopard be up against? What will it take for Apple to convince people a Mac running Leopard is better than a PC running Windows? Can Apple do that?

Let me present an email I got from a techie friend in the Windows world:

Well, I can actually say, I really like Vista.
Really fast, prompts with security crap all over the place which I like too.
Hmm, MS have released some good software finally

Of course, Mac users will be gagging on the coffee and it’ll be spluttering out their nose all over their pristine white/black/silver (or white & black) Macs. Especially that line about liking all those security prompts.

I wonder what those prompts say? Maybe:

Hi. Whoops. Hang on, don’t panic. I’m not a virus, this is Vista talking to you. Just a friendly reminder that I might look pretty hot but I’ve actually got more holes in me than Albert Hall. So I’ll pop up every now and again just to reassure you that installing every security program on the planet is a good thing. See you soon!

A few minutes later:

Hi, me again. Am I still running? Huh!! That’s pretty good! You must know something about computers. Anyway, just popped up to say I’ll leave you alone for a bit.

Another few minutes later:

Hi! Guess who? I hope you don’t get sick of me, coz it’s really important I keep popping up and reminding you about all the risks of using me. Next time I’ll tell you a few. Bye-ee!

Just when you’re taking a sip of coffee:

Panic! Panic! Abandon ship! BWARRP! BWARRP! BWARRP! Hey I hope I didn’t scare you. Just testing the ol’ warning system. All part of the security. I am here to serve.

And much too soon:

Hey dude. Can I call you dude? We are old friends now. What you need to know is, basically, I’m totally crap. Looks can be deceiving. But hey - you’re the one using me. Chortle, chortle.  Oops, back soon, gotta give some resources to Aero - he needs all the resources he can get. Between you and me, he’s a . . .

Not much later at all:

Smart alec Aero cutting me off before. Anyway, what’s he know? Security’s what’s important. And the best prevention is lots of messages. Me popping up. Lot’s of reminders. That’s the way to go. Coz you gotta be really careful. There’s lots of viruses, infections, spyware, trojans & adware out there - let’s just call it VISTA for short, eh? I kinda like that name. Catchy, eh? Well, better go. See ya soon.

And so on.

It’s funny you know, after installing Windows on my Mac, the thing that struck me most was the pop ups. The little bubbles reminding me to do stuff. They started to drive me nuts. And it seems Vista is going to have more because Windows users like them - and even need them.

I use Growl on the Mac and it’s wonderful. Apple should buy it and integrate it. Growl tells me something has happened that I want to know about.

Windows just nags. The messages in Windows all seem to be reminders. “Don’t forget to get a virus checker” “Don’t forget to activate” “Did you put the cat out?” “Have you got that huge pimple between your shoulders checked out yet?”

So what is Leopard up against?
So okay, we had a bit of fun, but now to the main question.

The other part of that email is that he likes Vista and is impressed. Sorry Leopard. Game over. This scenario is going to be repeated all over the place. Every magazine that reviews Vista, every IT manager that sees it, everywhere you are going to hear how great Vista is. Why? Because it is better and looks much better. (Ironically, it’s better because MS cut so much out of it.)

That’ll be enough for them. I tried telling him it was all copied from OS X but it was as if I hadn’t spoken. No acknowledgment of all. To Windows users, the copying OS X issue is irrelevant. Vista users aren’t going to give a rat’s brass monkey (no I don’t know what that is but it sounds good). They don’t care who invented things first. All that matters is that their system, Windows, does it now.

It’s a good thing that Leopard is coming out after Vista, after the gushing has abated. Otherwise Leopard will be lost in Vista’s adulation.

Lastly, I got an email from him a few days later that simply said:

First bug found. Hard disk corruption for no apparent reason.

The casual acceptance is what strikes me about that. No cursing, no name calling, just an acceptance. Hey, it’s only a hard disk corruption.

Although this is just one guy, it’s a reasonably safe generalization to say it’s fairly reflective of Windows users. We know Mac users stick to Mac because of a sometimes blind devotion, but Windows users are just plain apathetic. Whether it’s a plethora of messages or a behind the times OS or bugs that crash the system or even all the possible infections, it just doesn’t bother them enough. They’ll switch when it hurts enough. And Vista is not going to hurt enough.

And that’s what Leopard is up against.


  • RWU, I was being facetious.  I completely agree with you about beta software; I was simply pointing out that Apple partisans don’t care if it’s beta, pre-alpha, or if a Microsoft product has simply been announced, they are going to ridicule it as junk that will never work.  They did so with Longhorn, the Zune, you name it.

    I was parodying the Apple partisan response.  I know it’s sometimes hard to tell reality from parody, but no harm no foul, dude.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Nov 07, 2006 Posts: 2220
  • Hey RWU. You know now I was just using what you said as a generalization of what Windows users would say. But I understand you taking it personally. I did stretch the friendship. And I did apologize privately and will again, publicly, I am sorry. I should have explained in the article that your responses weren’t a reflection on you (as we both know, you’re one very smart dude), but rather the effect Windows has had on you and the whole population.

    As for the hard drive corruption, yes I did come across wrong. Sorry again.

    It was really good to hear a Windows user say they want OS X on a PC and wouldn’t switch until. No one listens when a Mac user (like me and Beeb) say it. There’s prob squillions of Windows that think the same.

    So, what you said about OS X on PCs is spot on, but something many Mac zealots can’t cope with. They want OS X to take over the world but provided they can choose who gets to use it. They have a fear that if it runs on any PC, it’ll have all the driver issues of Windows. And so it will. But does that mean it will be reduced to the level of Windows? No way. There’s so many reasons OS X would still be better than Windows.

    Get a Mac though, so you can find out everything Apple releases as v1.0 is actually beta. smile (oooh! that’s gunna get me flamed!)

    Chris Howard had this to say on Nov 07, 2006 Posts: 1209
  • They’re called WIDGETS for fuck’s sake.  They LOOK IDENTICAL.  They FUNCTION identically.  To say that it’s giving the “benefit of the doubt” to Apple that they just happened to create them at the same time, while releasing them over a year later, is absolutely absurd.  That’s not the benefit of the doubt, that’s sticking your head in the fucking sand.

    Bollocks if you consider the basic idea behind widgets obvious - or even anything other than totally original.

    I think it is a fact that Apple ripped off Konfabulator in some ways. The “fact” that apple actually stole konfabulator is not a fact, it is speculation. Did the idea of little uni-functional applications originate with the konfabulator team? I don’t know. I doubt it.

    You’re taking my view as an absolute when I’ve made it fairly clear it isn’t. The dictum “apple stole konfabulator” is not a very enlightening thing to say if you don’t define “stole”. Stole the UI? I say probably. Stole the idea? I say perhaps not.

    This isn’t a simple issue and won’t be resolved by a dogmatic proclamation from our tyrannical Lord Beeby.

    Benji had this to say on Nov 07, 2006 Posts: 927
  • There’s so many reasons OS X would still be better than Windows.

    Given the prevailing wind, *this* comment is more likely to get you flamed… oh no, you’re Chris Howard, sorry - you’re In Favour. Forgot how much whose opinion it is matters to its correctness for a moment there.

    Benji had this to say on Nov 07, 2006 Posts: 927
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