Leopard vs. Vista: Take two

Summary:Let me try this again.Seeing that so many readers misunderstood my blog post from earlier this week about my take on Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote, I'd like to try to clarify what I was trying to say.

Let me try this again.

Seeing that so many readers misunderstood my blog post from earlier this week about my take on Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote, I'd like to try to clarify what I was trying to say.

But first, let me say thanks for the many interesting e-mail messages and comments on the original post. And special thanks for the unsolicited advice, which ranged from "find a new career," to "see a doctor about your time/space problem you seem to have," to "you should be running a car wash in Frezno." I have been trying to respond to all of my e-mail correspondents, but unfortunately many of you seem to be using fake e-mail addresses and names that aren't your own.

I heard from some interesting corners. I heard from Windows users who think the Mac OS X is far superior to Vista. I heard from Apple users who said they thought Leopard would be a weak Mac OS X release. And I heard from quite a few Mac folks who thought Jobs' keynote was too much of a rehash from January and was a lame representation of what Apple has coming on the operating system front.

My original post was not an attempt at a Vista vs. Leopard product review (in response to the reader who said s/he'd contact my managers to make sure this ZDNet reviewer was fired!). Nor was it a news story. It was my plain, old, biased opinion, as most blog posts tend to be.

Admittedly, my headline choice ("Leopard looks like … Vista") for my original blog posting was poor. A lot of folks immediately assumed I was asserting that Leopard -- the version of Mac OS X coming this October, which Jobs demonstrated at the Worldwide Developers Conference on July 11 -- was copied from Vista. And seemingly read no further.

That isn't what I was saying at all. In fact, I consciously stayed away from the whole "who copied whom" discussion, which has been debated for years now. I had nothing new to observe there and didn't intend for this blog post to be a timeline. (I also didn't expect it to be a forum for Linux users, yet still heard from a reader who told me that I was a fool not to mention Linux, since it was obvious Apple and Microsoft both had stolen their interface ideas from Linux. I'm not kidding.)

Instead, what I was attempting to ask was whether users out there, especially those who've had a chance to play with the closed Leopard betas, believe there are features and functionality in Leopard that will leapfrog what's available in Vista. I was curious because I often hear Apple officials and users assert that Leopard will be light years ahead of Vista once Leopard ships. Yet in the demonstration I saw on Monday, I didn't see much of anything -- other than the beautiful eye candy, as noted by LifeHacker -- that seemed to go beyond what Microsoft is doing with Vista.

As I noted in my original post, I am not a Mac user. Please excuse any Mac OS X subsystem names I bungled in my post; I simply used the terms Jobs used. For a better use of correct Apple terminology in comparing Leopard to Vista, I'd suggest readers check out Microsoft Watch's follow-up post from July 12.)

A number of readers said they thought the Top 10 Leopard features list I cited was weak and chose to make Leopard look bad. Just a reminder: This wasn't my list. This was the list of features that Jobs chose to highlight.

Yes, I have seen Mac OS X Tiger and, thanks to the kind loan of an iMac from Apple a year ago, had a chance to dabble with it. It wasn't my cup of tea. I am too set in my Windows ways to switch. (At the same time, I seriously doubt anyone at Microsoft would call me a "Vista fan girl.".)

At the risk of having my inbox flooded again with more love mail and thoughtful career suggestions from all you enthusiastic Mac users out there, I'd like to re-ask my original question. What features coming in Leopard do you think will leapfrog Vista? (Not in terms of what they look like, but in terms of what they will do.) I am asking because I want fodder for my next interview with the Windows team and -- as so many of you suggested I do -- to educate myself.

Topics: Windows, Apple, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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