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Microsoft™: Cheap 'n' Stupid
Also outrageously expensive. And above all endemically unsafe and unfit for use.
Now in these days of the Vista rollout it's time to finally take a look. Normally nothing like this can produce more than a big yawn but the KLoWnZ of Redmond now claim they have a final product. So it's time to take a peek.
There's a lot of criticism of Apple for faulty hardware, for compromises in the underbelly of their not really open source operating system, and for security support bloopers the likes of which even Microsoft would be hard put to match - but at the end of the day what are things like on the other side of the fence?
Is the grass really greener there?
Actually no. Actually there's no grass at all. From this side of the fence it looks more like an overgrown briar patch sound stage prop from a cheap B-movie remake of Count Dracula with Vincent Price Jr. With a lot of weeds.
Cheap and stupid copycat weeds.
The casual OS X user will of course gawk at Vista. Not only is it a confusing mess as far as the various editions go but it's also the very same interface used nine years ago for Windows 98SE if you don't want to fork over the exorbitant $400 or whatever to get the likes of Apple's graphics.
And let's remember that Apple have a single version of their OS and that OS costs a fraction of what Microsoft charge. Bill's never been good at keeping prices down. He needs a lot of money so he can give things away to charities and hang out with Bozo the U2 Klown. You as the consumer are left in pain.
How bad is Vista actually? Don't think about it. Don't even think about it. At its very best it looks terrible. Like vomit. It's only going to look interesting to the uneducated inexperienced ignorant peons - people who've never seen better.
Apple themselves sum it up best. If you click the first graphic in this article you'll be transported to a clip at YouTube where Bertrand Serlet demonstrates the most striking similarities. And listening to Bertrand can be a real treat: as many of the original NeXTSTEP team he's French and he keeps an accent reminiscent of Peter Sellers' Clouseau or the Swedish chef. But he's good - he's hilarious.
And if you click the other YouTube graphics in this article you'll be transported to parts 1, 2, and 3 of Steve Jobs' original presentation of OS X almost seven years ago. Take a look - this is what you'll almost get in Redmond's OS in a few months, albeit in watered down third rate cheap copycat form.
And with all the bugs and security holes Redmond are today renowned for.
Finally there are a few things worth noticing about Jobs' presentation. Details of the OS X interface that Redmond cannot copy.
The Vista lineup. You don't get any of Microsoft's cheap graphics unless you pick the box on the right. But that box costs $399 and won't run on your present computer hardware. You'll need to invest about double what an Apple computer costs. You get corrupted data, crashes, hangs, and security issues for free.
As a single example, Microsoft might someday try implementing OS X's sheets but they'd fall flat on their faces if they did. For sheets are document modal, and to achieve document modal you have to have an object oriented interface.
Not many enterprises have an object oriented interface. Alan Kay had it; NeXT had it; and now Apple have it - but no one else does. No one. GNOME doesn't have it; KDE doesn't have it; and consequently no Linux has it either - not even Mark Shuttleworth's Ubuntus. Once upon a time they might have had it, but they've been too busy copying the copycat and GNUstep, the first ever desktop for Linux, still fourteen years later can't get out the door.
And if you've ever run Firefox for OS X then you know just how 'out of it' these Windows copycat developers really are: they've never run OS X, they've never run an object oriented system, but they see the sheets and coo 'OH! IDDN'T DAT COOL!' and then implement them in all the embarrassingly wrong places. It's a mess.
The bottom of the Vista line. This is what will be shown in computer stores. From here you can upgrade to better graphics for only $259. For this look you might as well stick with Windows 95.
Is the object oriented interface really that much better? Why ask? Try it! You'll never turn back. The object oriented interface is what all these companies should have but none today but Apple have. Does it really make that much of a difference? To say it's like day and night won't help much - you have to try it.
It does make that much of a difference. And more. It makes all the difference in the world.
Try as they may, Microsoft and their sycophants can copy appearances only. To achieve object orientation Bill Gates would have to gut the entire user interface of Windows. He'd have to gut all those thousands of APIs. Zillions of lines of code. And start afresh. Totally afresh. From the very freaking beginning.
And he can't do that. Just as when it comes to security, he's in the proverbial corner. He supervised a really cheap and stupid attempt to copy the Mac interface way back when, missing all the essentials because the lot of them are so cheap and stupid, and now - now when the ante's been upped, there's no way he can go back.
Subtract Apple's hardware issues and the beige box artifacts and OS X is still the royalty of the heap.
And Microsoft Windows Vista is still the biggest non-event thud-clunk of the new millennium.