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

Summary: Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the "Wow!" department. Yes, you read that right, I said that Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the "Wow!" department.

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Follow-up post: Yeah, but where are the "Top Secret" Leopard features that Steve Jobs promised?

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 anywayBrowsing 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."

There, I said it again.

Here are just some of the features from the listing that caught my eye:

  • Google Map Addresses View a detailed map of any address in Address Book. Just hold down the Control key while clicking any address and select “Map of” and Safari will show you its location in Google Maps. [Note that this is one of those re-tweaked features - I believe that this is already in OS X Address Book but uses MapQuest instead of Google Maps. But yeah, it's cool. Why can't Outlook Express/Windows Mail have this?]
  • Scriptable System Preferences & Applications Do more with AppleScript. A number of system preferences in Leopard are now scriptable, including the Dock, Security, Exposé, Accounts, and Networking — as well as a number of features in iChat.
  • Updated Folder Action Support Enjoy greater reliability with folder actions, which are triggered by the file system instead of the Finder. Folder actions now have their own server, and each folder action now runs its own copy of the new Folder Actions Dispatcher application. [This sounds like a really awesome and highly useful feature.]
  • UI Recording and Playback Add even more capabilities to your workflows. Use a new action called Watch Me Do that lets you record a user action (like pressing a button or controlling an application without built-in Automator support) and replay as an action in a workflow.
  • Copy Files Between Mac OS X and Windows Copy, open, modify, or delete files in Mac OS X that you saved to your Windows partition. Leopard understands the Windows FAT32 disk format. [I was hoping that this feature would appear because otherwise having two OSes was pretty useless.]
  • Microsoft WHCL-Certified Windows Drivers Enjoy the unique hardware features of your Mac including the iSight camera, trackpad scrolling, keyboard backlighting, and volume keys using fully compatible Windows drivers. [When I last used Boot Camp, the Windows drivers for the Mac hardware were, well, putting it kindly, execrable. Also, as ShadeTree points out, Apple has made a mistake here - the drivers are WHQL-certified, not WHCL. Hey, don't blame me, I didn't write the marketing material! ;-)]
  • Improved Full-Screen Interface Enjoy DVD Player’s dramatic new full-screen interface, which puts all your DVD’s features right at your fingertips. Mouse over the top or bottom regions to access onscreen semitransparent displays for a wealth of controls and settings. [Sounds like this hands-down beats Vista.]
  • Time Skip Skip ahead or skip back five seconds to replay that moment you missed or just see something one more time. [Nice, very nice!]
  • Scratched Disc Recovery Smoothly play back even DVDs that may be damaged. New technology in Leopard can locate and avoid scratched areas of the disc. [Another cool feature.]
  • Icon Preview See files for what they really are. Leopard displays icons that are actual thumbnail previews of the documents themselves. [Believe it or not, this sounds like a really useful feature, especially if you're like me and don't always give files meaningful names.]

I've limited myself to ten features here but I could have easily picked a couple of dozen more features that sound interesting and useful and that made me utter a low "Wow!" It seems that being in a distant second place in the OS market is actually making Apple work hard to come up with new ideas and innovative features.

Sure, I'm reading a web page here and I've been exposed to enough marketing material to know that there can be a huge gulf between what something says it will do in theory and how it behaves in practice and that there's a good chance that while these features will exist in Leopard that not all will operate or behave the way I expect them to. I'd be a total bozo if I didn't expect some level of compromise or disappointment (*cough* ... Safari ... *cough*). But at least these features are there and I feel that Apple is trying to build an all-inclusive OS and that in order to get what I want I don't have to choose from a bouquet of OS options.

Thoughts?

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

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424 comments
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  • Yawn...

    Nice features but not a reason to jump ship from Windows if you ask me. Can it play my kids PC games ? No... then I cannot even think about getting one. Tons of people don't see a need to go from XP to Vista and I tend to agree... this is kind of like that too. The operating systems have become so advanced what else can they do to make them drastically better than the last one.
    redtrain65
    • RE: Yawn

      [b]"The operating systems have become so advanced what else can they do to make them drastically better than the last one."[/b]

      What about stopping all the *wares: Malware,Spyware,Adware and Viruses. Just one improvement will be nice, don't ya think? I guess you don't need an AntiVirus any more, this is 2007... What about protecting itself from itself?

      @redtrain65
      You are using an OS that dates back to Y2K. You just hang on to it, in 3 years it be in the Smithsonian Institute with all it's predecessor.

      FYI: The only reason I drive Linux, cause it don't crash. I don't play games, it's not in my DNA.

      PS. Stop hating
      n0neXn0ne
      • Wrong again

        "You are using an OS that dates back to Y2K." Windows XP launched in September of 2001. That was almost two full years after Y2K. Furthermore it has had two service packs since then and the third is in development. Your peferred OS, linux does date back to well before Y2K. I wonder when the Smithsonean will be picking up those bits?
        ShadeTree
        • And yet

          it's on par or surpasses Windows for modern tech advances. Aero? Compared to Beryl, it's a joke. And there are other features that Linux has had for a while that Windows is getting in Vista.

          Sorry age or "birthtime" of an OS really doesn't matter. What matters is that while Linux may be long in the tooth compared to Mac and Windows, it still doesn't need the props to operate safely that Windows does, and for "WOW" eye candy has surpassed the Mac. ]:) Not bad for an "old" system.
          Linux User 147560
          • Linux > Windows XP

            LOL. I still can't get Linux drivers for a 2001 notebook. To me that is not running at all. If I have to dumb down my hardware to run a OS that's not a choice, which is what I think Linux was originally about.

            Yeah, Linux doesn't crash- sure.
            Yeah, Linux is better performance- Yeah, right, nice Kernel...
            Yeah, Linux is cheap. Ok you win.
            crypt2121
          • 6 year old notebook

            Unless your 6 year old notebook computer has some really odd hardware I would bet you could get Linux drivers to run it. I use Linux and the only thing my husbands notebook has that Linux has trouble supporting is the Wi-Fi and his notebook is only 2 years old.
            I would bet that Linux will run fine on your notebook and a LOT better and faster than Windows. All you have to do is a little bit of research.

            Oops, there is the rub, if you want great rather than just mediocre, you have to do some work!
            alicia@...
          • Tell Mom she needs to do research

            There is nothing medicore about that box running XP, VISTA Beta 2 installed without a glitch. It's a DELL precision notebook.

            I've run Red Hat and the last 4 versions of SUSE on it. The NVIDIA graphics are unaccellerated, the Intel wireless doesn't work, and it hangs at odd moments.

            Maybe we should tell that Mom who butted heads with Ballmer that she should do some research?

            Just to be clear, I build HPC solutions across Windows, Solaris, and Linux. The Linux kernel is the slowest of the three, has the worst latencey curve under load, and will break first. Solaris tops reliability and latencey. Windows has the fastest, raw performance. Linux is free, but so is Open Solaris.
            crypt2121
          • The REAL rub

            "Oops, there is the rub, if you want great rather than just mediocre, you have to
            do some work!"

            No, here's the real rub, 80% of users either don't have the know-how or the desire
            to "work" that hard for their operating system.

            You want the stability and security of a *nix system and the ease-of-use and
            hardware compatibility people have come to expect from their OS right out-of-
            the-box? Choose Apple. Trust me, you'll thank me later.

            I'm sorry for all of you Linux users out there, but Linux just isn't ready for the
            typical, mainstream, home user who is used to being coddled by their OS. Smirk
            and sneer at these people if you will, but they are the ones who make up the
            largest section of the pc demographic today.

            And as far as Linux being comparable to Apple eye-candy-wise. If you're talking
            about something like Expose then that to me is not simply yet another bit of
            superflous eye-candy, it really increases my productivity.
            Rodney Blevins
          • Yeah, if you want third party drivers that MAY work..

            Linux is great.. if you can find the drivers.. (and all the necessary dependencies).. if its not built by some guy who had that laptop, and stored the driver one a server, and the dependencies on a server that doesn't exist anymore.. etc.. etc..

            Or just the fact that some random guy builds these things half the time.. they are in no way guarantee'd to work..a nd 99% of the time not supported in any way other than a 'forum'..

            Linux may be faster, until some hardware problem comes along because your video drivers for linux are crap and your computer locks up all the time..

            This is after a 'lot of work'.. Linux is getting better.. but in the end, as far as being user friendly, it completely sucks.
            reclaim25
          • WiFi - Why Linux is not ready 4 primetime

            WiFi - 4 letters that say it all. I can live without a lot of things but i CANNOT live without WiFi support on my laptop. Hardcore Linux users who never get up from their desk because they are so busy compiling the latest kernel may not understand this but the rest of the world could care less what Linux can do and is only interested in what it CAN'T do.

            BTW - Don't reply to this message bragging about Wifi support in Linux. WPA with roaming capabilities is not natively supported. Ubuntu 7.10 will supposedly have it, but it will be interesting to see how functional it is for the true road warrior who must also connect to hot spots in airports, hotels, etc.
            Cornhead
          • Re: The Real RUB

            But Compiz-Fusion can do Expose too.....
            minori_aoi
          • What people want...

            ... is an OS that will run all of the programs from all of the other OS's without dual booting. Along with that support and access to all of the various file structures (NTFS, Fat 32, etc.) is required.

            Even if the OS was huge todays dual processors could handle the job, possibly with a little more RAM. This would push hardware and software sales. Sounds simple, eh?

            A version of Linux that runs XP/Vista and/or OSX/Leopard in a separate window (but can still copy and paste between OS's) would fix the problem and attract interest. The internet has solved some compatibility issues with Java, etc. How hard should it be to make a virtual window containing the other OS and using internet protocol send and receive text, pictures, graphs, etc. seemlessly from one OS to the others clipboard?

            I am surprixed that this option hasn't appeared yet. I am not as interested in having three computers (Linux, Windows and Apple) all hooked up to the internet in order to send information from one OS to another. One computer should be capable of running all three OS's and speaking to each other. This would allow people to use programs from all three systems with no compromise.
            Information_z
          • Cluless much?

            I've got a Compaq Armada 7400 (that I rarely admit to) running Puppy and a Gateway Solo5400 running Mepis. The Compaq is a P2, the Gateway a P3......both distros came native with the right drivers.....including ath_pci for my D-Link wireless pci card.

            I'm sorry you would rather spread FUD rather than actually build/buy/salvage a machine to study.....check up on it......I dare you.
            nwoodson@...
          • LOL, you didn't get it

            But did it come with drivers for MY CHOICE of hardware???? Who has less choices here? That's not FUD.

            Right now I'm using VISTA on an Alienware notebook. Nice box, fast as hell and full of gizmos. It don't run Linux. No drivers.

            Good luck with that Compaq...
            crypt2121
          • You notice that . . .

            He won't tell you WHAT brand of notebook it is, since that little tidbit of knowledge might take away his ability to gripe, especially after someone then tells him what Distro will work best with it. . .
            JLHenry
          • re: nVidia and Intel drivers

            Did you bother to look for them. I have nVidia accelerated and running Compiz Fusion. Distros don't include the accelrated driver because it isn't GPL'ed or open source, it's binary only driver. This is old news BTW. SuSE has an option during install to add the nVidia repository and install the driver and config it for accelrated. Ubuntu has something similar. But somehow it's the fault of the OS because you didn't read the README or manual before installing. And I seriously doubt that Vista included a driver for your nVidia card. more likely the manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.) of your box rolled it into the DVD or on the harddrive.

            Intel has Linux drivers for their wireless out, including Centrino, so offer up the chipset that supposedly doesn't work.
            rapt0r
          • I'm not a Windows troll

            I'm just a computer expert that prefers to spend all of his time fighting viruses and spyware. I spent 10 hours getting some nonsense to work, but give me a non-Windows box and I have no idea about anything so I prefer to decry it to make myself appear hard. I'm so good at computers, that I only need to know one operating system, at least MY operating system appears on the telly. I'm only a 24 year old male, but you lot know nothing. Me and Steve and Bill, we're gonna take over the world.
            fr0thy
          • RE: Linux > Windows XP

            <b>LOL. I still can't get Linux drivers for a 2001 notebook.</b>
            <p>My Fujitsu laptop purchased in 1998 runs Linux just fine. All I had to do was load the Linux distro. Didn't have to search for any third party drivers.
            hmcm@...
          • Linux copies OS X!

            Beryl etc. are all inspired from OS X! They started copying OS X since only last year,
            and trying to add a few dazzling 'eye candy' but it is mostly over done. I use all
            three OS's and Linux is better than Windows by far, but the 'eye candy' be it with
            animation, cubes, Expose, etc., well, we know were Linux got the inspiration. Hint...
            it wasn't Windows. Even Linux World stated that both Microsoft had a year or two
            to get their act together or OS X would finish them off. Well, I don't know about
            that, but Leopard is not 'just like Unix' because it was just certified as 100% Unix 3.
            Only a few ever achieved such a milestone! ZDF is in Leopard, but only partially.
            One quick OS update and the full-benefits of ZDF will be realize, most likely early
            08.
            netzd
          • BSD Unix

            OS/X is not 'just like' Unix, as you said, it IS Unix, specifically BSD Unix with the Mac interface.
            alicia@...