Mary Jo Foley's not-so-recently but nevertheless particularly annoying post on ZDNet detailing how Mac OS Leopard apparently derives many of its features from the oh-so-great Vista (*cough*) tickled a particular spot. I don't know how content creators get away with this level of utter drivel without retort, and actually get commenters claiming to find truth in the claims presented. So, for your reading pleasure, I give you my point-by-point reply to technology expert Mary Jo Foley, "an unblinking eye on Microsoft", and her article: "Leopard looks like ... Vista." (Reproduced here for your comical reading pleasure) By the way...this is a bit long. Original Article, by Mary Jo Foley: I just sat through my second Steve Jobs keynote ever. (My first was MacWorld in New York in 2002.) What struck me at the June 11 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) event wasn’t the glitzy demos, the rockstar-like worship of Apple CEO Steve Jobs or the “I’m Steve Jobs” parody video by the “I’m a PC” guy. Instead, it was the excitement by the 5,000 WWDC attendees about many technologies in the forthcoming Mac OS X “Leopard” release that already exist in Windows Vista. A few Mac-show regulars said they thought today’s WWDC audience wasn’t as engaged and enthused as Apple’s developers and customers normally are for a Jobs love-fest. Some said they thought developers were let down by Jobs’ failure to discuss the geekier bits, like Leopard’s use of the ZFS file system. others thought the crowd was subdued because they wanted more iPhone particulars and were let down by the lack of an iPhone software development kit. (Jobs told developers they could simply use existing Ajax and Web 2.0 development technologies to write to Safari, since the Safari engine inside the iPhone will be identical to the one for Mac OS X today.) To this Windows-show veteran, however, the WWDC developer audience seemed positvely effusive. I’ve sat through countless Microsoft demos of Vista at a variety of consumer and business events. I don’t remember ever hearing thunderous applause when Microsoft showed off Flip 3D or Vista’s ability to preview thumbnails of documents. The “wows” were few and far between. Yet when Jobs put almost identical versions of these features in Leopard through their paces, there were lots of oohs and ahhs. But if you’ve seen Vista, there’s no way you could help but compare the feature-complete Leopard beta Jobs showcased with Windows Vista. And — surprise — Vista looked pretty darn up-to-date in comparison. Jobs told WWDC keynoters that he would show ten of the best of the 300 new features coming in Leopard when it ships in October this year. Here’s what Jobs’ hit list looked like to this Windows user: 1. New Leopard Desktop: Not a whole lot different from Vista’s Aero and Sidebar. 2. New Finder: Many of the same capabilities as the integrated “Instant Search” in Vista (the subsystem that Google is trying to get the Department of Justice to rule as being anti-competitive). The new Leopard Coverflow viewing capability looked almost identical to Vista’s Flip 3D to me. 3. QuickLook: Live file previews — just like the thumbnail preview capability available in Vista. 4. 64-bitness: Leopard is the first 64-bit only version of a desktop client. Vista comes in 32-bit and 64-bit varieties. And most expect Windows Seven will still be available in 32-bit flavors. Until 32-bit machines go away, it seems like a good idea to offer 32-bit operating systems. 5. Core animation: Not sure what the Vista comparison is here. The demo reminded me of Microsoft Max photo-sharing application. The WWDC developers attending the Jobs keynote didn’t seem wowed with this functionality. 6. Boot Camp. You can run Vista on your Mac. Apple showed Vista running Solitaire in its WWDC demo. But I bet those downloading the 2.5 million copies of Boot Camp available since last year are running a lot of other Windows business apps and games. 7. Spaces: A feature allowing users to group applications into separate spaces. I haven’t seen anything like in in Vista, but the audience didn’t seem overly impressed by it. 8. Dashboard with widgets. Isn’t this like the Vista Sidebar with gadgets? 9. iChat gets a bunch of fun add-ons (photo-booth effects, backrops, etc.) to make it a more fully-featured videoconferencing product. The “iChat Theater” capability Jobs showed off reminded me of Vista’s Meeting Space and/or the new Microsoft “Shared View” (code-named “Tahiti”) document-sharing/conferencing subsystems. 10. Time Machine automatic backup. Vista has built-in automatic backup (Volume Shadow Copy). It doesn’t look anywhere near as cool as Time Machine. But it seems to provide a lot of the same functionality. Granted, I am not an Apple user. So I’m sure I’m glossing over some subtleties regarding what’s new and cool in Leopard. But given how often I hear the “Redmond, Start Your Photocopiers” message, I was thinking that Leopard would be light years ahead of Vista. So, Apple folks: What am I missing? I’m not trying to pull a Dvorak here and use this blog post for click bait. Why is Leopard so superior to Vista — other than the non-trivial fact that there will be just one version of Leopard that will be priced at $129 (as opposed to six-plus versions of Vista at a variety of price points well in excess of that amount)? Ok, here we go... 1. Yeah, she's right. They aren't a lot different in the sense that you use both the Finder and Explorer's fancy new Aero to find your files. Great comparison there...(that was sarcastic, if you're of the mind like the original author). 2. Spotlight is old, not new. If anything, Vista copied the idea of integrated search when it was added in Tiger in 2005 and announced even before then. I'm not sure how you can draw any comparison between between "Flip 3D" and Coverflow, not to mention that Coverflow is a feature introduced to Tiger in mid-cycle through iTunes. In other words...its another old feature that the original author fails to recognize. 3. These features, again, are not related. Maybe the only relation between these is the fact that it shows you a picture of the screen. Vista's Thumbnail Preview has to do with Windows' Taskbar, not the Explorer. Quicklook is a feature in the Finder category that shows full file previews without opening an application. Why is this person writing this? Has she used either OS...? *sigh* 4. Again the ignorance. All new Apple hardware is uses 64-bit processors, first of all. Not that it matters. Leopard is a full 64-bit OS...but its also a full 32-bit OS. Unlike Vista where you need separate versions and would need completely different installations between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions, Leopard fully supports 64-bit and 32-bit platforms. Thanks for highlighting one of Leopard's advantages, though. 5. There is no comparison you can draw from Vista for Core Animation. Core Animation has to do with developers, not the end-user. 6. I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Boot Camp really isn't a Leopard feature per se, more an expansion of the whole Mac hardware line to support BIOS emulation to boot Windows OSes. 7. If you don't think that the audience was impressed by Spaces, one of the most requested OSX features ever (multiple desktop emulation), then you've got another more problems than I can help to address. Not having multiple desktops in this day and age, when it has been standard on open-source Linux systems for YEARS, is unforgivable. Its taken Apple forever to add it, I admit, but Vista is even farther behind. I guess Windows users will be waiting another 3(-6) years for Windows 7 to maybe get this. That'll be, what, Mac OS 10.7? Ouch. 8. Dashboard was introduced in Tiger, not Leopard...sorry. Again this is a Vista copy of OSX, not the other way around. 9. I've never personally used Meeting Space nor Shared View, so rather than embarrass myself like the original author of this article did by talking about technology she has no background in or knowledge about...I'm not going to refute it. 10. Time Machine is aimed at making backing up effortless for the end user, which it does. While both support differential backup solutions, Time Machine's aim is not to be a simple backup solution thrown into the OS like a second thought but to increase the likelihood that a user will backup. I doubt most Vista users even know Volume Shadow Copy is there, given the general knowledge of most Windows users. Claiming that Time Machine is a copy of Volume Shadow Copy is ridiculous; if anything, Time Machine is more a copy of an open source UNIX tool like rdiff-backup instead. All it is on the backend is a simple backupd daemon; its the simple-to-use user interface that makes Time Machine a big feature. There's no way you can claim Volume Shadow Copy's interface is anywhere near Time Machine's ease of use or level of integration into the core OS. ----- So, what's your opinion? Was I too blind in my support of Apple, or are they valid rebuttals? Does Mary Jo Foley really qualify to be posting such comparisons that neglect basic truths? Or am I just a tid bit crazy and a tid bit more touchy?