Yes, yes, we all heard. Apple released Leopard.
- Mac OS X Leopard. What Else is New?
Honestly. I already posted a rant about this, but how is this, and I quote, “the biggest system update in Mac history”?
Sure, the competition isn’t doing much better. From what I hear, Windows Vista is rough around the edges, and while Linux has been making tremendous improvements in the desktop department, it’s, at best, struggling to keep up, and definitely not innovating.
But where does Apple, Inc. get off convincing people that Leopard is an update of the same magnitude as Vista? Shoddy as it may be, Windows Vista is a full version bump—they went from version 5.1 to 6.0—whereas Leopard is just another branch in version 10 of the Macintosh OS. Vista was in development for years and thoroughly overhauls the whole concept of Windows for the desktop, whereas Leopard just polishes OS X’s UI for the umphteenth time.
Of course, it helps if you tout a seemingly impressive 300 new features. Talk about distorted perspectives. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that some creative writing might as well have lead to 3,000 new “features”, and that Microsoft might well have taken the same approach with Vista and listed 30,000 new features.
Moreover, the 10 top features they list aren’t that impressive to begin with, which leaves little to the imagination regarding the other 290. Let’s review.
New look? Yes, well, the transparent menu bar is an even bigger eyesore than the glass Dock. Stacks? You patented it, what, 5 years ago, and your current implementation is exactly like toolbars for Windows’s taskbar, but with some fancy schmancy 3D effect. Déjà vu.
Cover Flow for file browsing? Yes, flipping through files like you’re flipping through vinyl records is far more revolutionary than vertically scrolling through a list of decently sized previews. And I’m sure all the extra space and I/O operations that come with the previews are music to hard drive manufacturers’ ears.
- Quick Look
So, basically, it’s another preview, but larger. Well, la-de-fucking-da.
- Time Machine
Now, this is actually a substantial improvement. Unfortunately, journaling filesystems and Windows’s System Restore feature have existed for ages, so, again, you’re just playing catch-up and obscuring that fact by adding obnoxious visual effects. Moving on.
Stationary. I can’t believe you went there. I absolutely loathe rich text e-mail, let alone rich text e-mail based on stationary. What are you, twelve?
Effects and backdrops? My god, you are twelve, aren’t you? Granted, the collaborative editing thing looks nice, but let’s face it, not even fanboys use iChat longer than a day before they switch to a more decent client.
Hey, calling them “Spaces” instead of “desktops” isn’t going to fool anyone: ancient feature in Linux, available on Windows XP via a PowerToy published by Microsoft.
Even if it were true, being faster than any other browser on OS X is hardly an achievement. But kudos on adding inline find, even though coding the visual effect must have taken you at least twice as long as the actual finding.
- Parental Controls
I’ll be frank here: I’ll never be a parent and I’ve never been subject to parental controls on a computer, so I have no idea if this feature is at all decent. I hear it’s convoluted in Vista, so if Apple managed to make it usable, good for them, but it’s not going to make me switch.
- Boot Camp
Goodness, it’s a boot loader capable of starting Windows on an x86 PC. Remarkable.
So, in my opinion, the only reason to get Leopard—by which I mean pay over $100 for it—is its native support for 64-bit computing, if applicable. But they already played the 64-bit card when they introduced the Mac Pro, so it’d be a bit silly to admit they didn’t really support their own (closed) hardware properly until now.
But people don’t care. The smoke and mirrors are just too prevalent.