June 12, 2007
Leopard is Like Vista?

I found a story over on Digg entitled Leopard looks like … Vista from ZDNet. Assuming the entire article isn't a blatant troll, please excuse me while I rant a bit about so-called tech writers. Or maybe it's all satire, not sure... if it is please ignore this :)

1. New Leopard Desktop: Not a whole lot different from Vista’s Aero and Sidebar.

... or conversely, not much different than the original OS/X desktop from 2001. The Leopard desktop is (sadly) not all that revolutionary and more a nice evolution from the original.

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.

Well, the 'instant search' in Vista could be said to be snatched from spotlight which was introduced in 2006 in OS/X 10.4. The new coverflow is fairly different from Flip 3D from what I can see, and is actually a modification of coverflow from iTunes which was introduced in September 2006. Flip 3D could also be argued to be Microsoft's interpretation of Expose from OS/X.

More below....

3. QuickLook: Live file previews — just like the thumbnail preview capability available in Vista.

Kinda sorta but different. Looks almost more like the 'quickview' that was in windows 95 or the 'preview' app from OS/X. Thumbnailing open windows is IMHO nothing like viewing files without opening an app.

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.

I think this is correct, but this doesn't seem very much of a "Leopard is Vista" argument.

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.

They probably weren't wowed because core animation isn't all that differnet from the offscreen video that OS/X and vista use already, giving things like Expose and Flip3D. Or it could be there's no Vista comparison because there is no Vista comparison.

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.

Probably. And?

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.

Not sure about vista, but there is a similar powertoy called virtual desktop manager. Sadly it sucks :) Oh, and people weren't impressed by this because things like the Unix desktop have had multiple desktops since the '70s or so.

8. Dashboard with widgets. Isn’t this like the Vista Sidebar with gadgets?

Vista sidebar and gagets, aren't those like the OS/X's Dashboard (introduced in 10.4) or Gdesklets or SuperKaramba (2003)?

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.

Not sure if adding silly effects makes something more fully featured :) File sharing / viewing does though. I have no experiences with Meeting Spaces and minimal with iChat, so I won't comment on how similar they are.

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.

This was a critique when Time Machine was first introduced (it ripping off VSC). However, I think that since OS/X is built on a Unix core there aren't the file locking issues that VSC allows you to get around (I think anyway, not sure if it does just that or does other stuff as well). I don't think that the idea of automated backup is new (or a copy from Vista by any means), but the presentation of it is something new, and if that gives users more inclination to use or be aware of backups, great. I'd be interested in comparing the numbers of people doing backups though. I think that windows 95/98/xp had the ability to do backups built in as well (might be wrong about that) and how many people used that? Again, so how is time-machine (a backup application) a copy of Volume Shadow Copy (a file conversioning system/service)?

Anyway, that's my response to the IMHO quite bogus article.

Posted by Arcterex at June 12, 2007 12:23 PM