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Leopard Isn't V*STA

No way.

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Oliver Rist says Leopard is the new V*STA and it's pissing him off. Half of that is true.

Something's pissing Oliver Rist off and that we can take at face value. But a broad sweeping statement that 'Leoptard' is a new anything is way off the mark.

And then there are the ten second YouTube clips showing beta Leopard screen savers that don't work right with the subtitle 'Leopard sucks'. How erudite.

You don't sum up two and one half years work with a test of a screen saver. And you don't come out and say 'this system sucks' because it won't run so-and-so program. What you say is 'the screen saver isn't working right' or 'it won't run so-and-so program'. That's all you've got a right to say.

It's a different matter if someone wants to talk operating systems but none of these people are talking operating systems - they find a screen saver that doesn't work or they find (this was really posted) that Photoshop Elements 2.0 won't run under Leopard and so Leopard must suck. That's just bloody ridiculous.

And you can't compare Leopard or anything non-M$ with M$ period. Last anyone saw there were a number of qualitative differences between Leopard and V*STA in matters that really count. Start counting - this will be the short list.

  1. Leopard still doesn't have 'cancel or allow' dialogs. Not that it doesn't have as many as V*STA - it doesn't have any at all.
  2. Apple didn't spend the past five years negotiating contracts with media companies and peripheral OEMs to find ways to degrade your audio and video quality.
  3. Apple don't charge thousands of dollars for basic development tools. They give you ALL their development tools FOR FREE.
  4. Developers on Apple platforms don't have to deal with crappy substandard things like C# (which should be C flat) and .NET.
  5. Phil Schiller doesn't call developer meetings, dance around like a monkey hopped up on crack, and shout 'Leopard! Leopard! Leopard!' for an hour.
  6. He might love his company but he doesn't stand at a podium and tell people something dumb like 'I GOT FOUR WORDS FOR YOU!'
  7. Apple actually update their graphic interfaces - they don't dish out the same old slop warmed over and then expect people to embrace 'the new changes'.
  8. Apple might make the menu bar translucent but they don't make the menus disappear altogether.
  9. Apple have a truly object oriented user experience to offer; what M$ offer no one's been able to put a name on yet.
  10. Apple have a thing called 'security'. Now and again they get hacked. All commercial companies are going to get hacked. But they don't have the incessant issues with security breaches M$ have and they never will.

Now and again you hear some supposed security talking head say M$ are good (or improving) at security. That's like getting an invitation from an old friend to come visit, finding out he lives in the absolute worst possible neighbourhood, asking him why the F he lives there, and hearing him say 'but the police here are very good - they make lots of arrests'.

Who cares? Wouldn't you rather live in a good neighbourhood?

Now and again we get letters from people who are still on Windows. They turn on their Acers once a month tops and log in to AOL. They read something we write so they write back and ask 'I read you're critical of something Apple did - so you think I should stay on Windows?'

Seriously, folks. [And yes it's true we get letters like that.]

If there's a feature you're missing on Leopard; or if your favourite application from 1898 simply doesn't want to run anymore; or if a screen saver doesn't seem to be working right: that's too bad. Gee whiz but it really is.

But for serious IT pundits - for anyone - to dismiss an OS because of some silly stupid features or lack thereof - that's just silly. And stupid.

Apple don't really need to do that much more with Leopard. Saying this is '10.5' isn't really getting at the gist of it anyway. This is more like '11'. Or '100'. More like an entirely new operating system.

People expect continuity and they get it. They take it for granted. And right there is something to think about, something in itself that's an achievement, considering what's going on under the bonnet. But they're too numb in the cerebral department to realise it.

Nary a one really gets what '64-bit' really means. All they see is a screen saver doesn't work right (it's probably PEBKAC anyway). Or a fossilised Photoshop which RAN PERFECTLY on an ENIAC and now it burps on this new platform and they've had it - they get pissed off.

But let's not fool anybody. Being able to determine that your old software no longer runs does not make you an expert on operating systems. Yet even these people are capable of properly identifying operating systems should they really think about it.

For the logic is unassailable: Leopard can namely not be a new V*STA because if it were everybody would be running for their lives to Apple.

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