Mossberg on Mac OS X

Walt Mossberg rips Windows, yet again. I would assume that the P.R. people at Microsoft are wondering how to get him fired from the WSJ. But then the creatives at MS probably are allowed to use a Mac as well. - Personal Technology:
A big reason for this slide backward is the failure of Microsoft to cope adequately with the security crisis. The software giant, which has reaped tens of billions of dollars from its Windows monopoly, first designed the operating system with too little attention to security. Then, it failed to move quickly enough or comprehensively enough to respond to the security problem. As a result, most of the gains in ease of use that the company delivered to users in 2001 with the sleek, stable Windows XP operating system have been reversed.....

But [Microsoft's] dominant Internet Explorer Web browser has fallen way behind smaller rivals in features and functionality. Its free Outlook Express e-mail program hasn't had a major upgrade in years. And it won't have an all-new version of Windows until 2006.

Meanwhile, the company's historic rival, Apple Computer, has been making giant strides in ease of use. The Macintosh, with its OS X operating system, is rock solid. It is elegant, and -- when you do a feature-by-feature price comparison with Windows competitors -- it's surprisingly affordable.

The Mac is also packed with extras that Windows lacks. It has a suite of easy, free, multimedia programs that can't be matched on Windows at any price. It has a better free browser and e-mail program than Windows. It can read and create PDF files without requiring the purchase of any extra software.

Apple upgrades its operating system far more often than Microsoft does. The company's new iMac G5 model is the single best desktop computer I have ever reviewed. And Apple is the only computer company whose business is focused on consumers and small businesses.

Best of all, the current Mac operating system has never been attacked by a successful virus, and almost no spyware can run on it. This is largely because the Mac's small market share presents an unattractive target for digital criminals. But it's partly because the Mac operating system is harder to penetrate. I'm sure there will eventually be viruses that afflict Mac users, but nowhere near the 5,000 new Windows viruses that appeared in just the first six months of this year.

In terms of ease of use, Apple has opened a greater lead over Microsoft than at any time since the late 1980s, when the Mac was pioneering the graphical user interface and Microsoft users were stuck with crude, early versions of Windows.

Microsoft and the PC hardware companies that use Windows need to do much, much more to solve the security crisis and rescue the gains in ease of use they made in the 1990s.

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on December 9, 2004 8:32 AM.

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