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Some were not impressed by Apple's WWDC presentation, cute hypocrisy

Leave it to the pesky bloggers to rain on Apple's parade.  Yesterday at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, it introduced a new iPhone, new Macs and several new software releases, including the Snow Leopard OS, set to beat Windows 7 to the market with a September release.  Apple was eager to fill users in with lots of facts about the new OS and how it outdid its competitors past (Windows Vista) and present (Windows 7).

How accurate were these facts really, though?  That's what several websites examined in the post WWDC keynote wind-down.  Leading the way was blog site NeoWin, which called Apple's hypocrisy "blinding".  The site points out that Apple's attempt to brand Windows 7 as Vista 2.0 seem glaringly inaccurate. 

True, Windows 7 shares much of Windows Vista's base code, but so have the last several iterations of OS X.  If Microsoft tried for a bigger revision, like it did with Vista or Apple did with OS X 10.0, it would risk delivering a shaky, maligned product -- like OS X 10.0 or Vista (at the start of its lifespan).  Instead, Microsoft wisely chose not to reinvent the wheel, but to improve on it and make it a bit shinier.

NeoWin also argues that Apple is doing its disservice dropping support for the PowerPC family, the source of Snow Leopard's install size savings.  While this may be practical for a company with such a high rate of hardware turnover and less than 10 percent of the market, it's something that Microsoft cannot and should not do, with over 90 percent of the market.  Surmises NeoWin cheekily, "So, to recap, Microsoft has increased support for lower end or older hardware with Windows 7, and Apple has dropped it all together with 'Snow Leopard'."

Paul Thurrott, a leading Windows blogger, also took issue with the remarks.  He pointed out that Apple's claim of 75 million OS X installs, only is true if you include 40 million iPhone and iPod Touches.  With Windows use at well over a billion installs, this places Apple at around 3.5 percent (or less) worldwide market share.

He also chimes in on the Windows 7 comments, stating:

Windows 7: "Even more complexity is present in Windows 7. The same old tech as Vista. Just another version of Vista."

Snow Leopard: "We come from such a different place. We love Leopard, we're so proud of it, we decided to build upon Leopard. We want to build a better Leopard, hence Snow Leopard."

Um. They sound the same to me. Jerk.

For the record, Snow Leopard looks just fine to me. It should, after three years of development on a point release.

While also impressed about MacBook pricing, Mr. Thurrott did lavish a bit of praise on Apple amid the admonishment.  He said that Apple's decision to price Snow Leopard at $29 was "exactly right".  He also comments that QuickTime X "actually... looks good."


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RE: Cost
By Totemic on 6/9/2009 1:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
"Windows 3: 1990
Windows 3.1: 1992
Windows 3.11: 1994
Windows 95: 1995
Windows NT4: 1996
Windows 98: 1998
Windows 98SE: 1999
Windows ME: 2000
Windows 2000: 2000
Windows XP: 2001
Windows Vista: 2006
Windows 7: 2009"

For accuracy sakes, you're missing several:

Windows for Workgroup 3.11 (which included peer networking but very few used since most networks at the time were based on Novell's Netware).
NT 3.1, NT 3.5 and NT 3.51 (both workstation and server of each).

A better way to look at it is that MS had two lines of OS: The DOS/Windows based systems and NT kernel based systems. The former went from Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, WfW 3.11, 95 (with OSRs), 98 and eventually ME. With ME being the final version for that kernel based.

NT kernel started at 3.1 (roughly around the time of Windows 3.1), 3.5, 3.51, 4.0, 2000 and then to XP. Since XP, all Windows have been NT kernel based.

As far as consumer OS is concerned, XP was the first one of the NT kernel based systems targetted to consumers (hence, XP Home). Prior versions of NT based systems were targetted specifically towards businesses (which is why they had only the Workstation and Server flavors--well, 2000 included a few more business versions: Advanced Server, and NT 4.0 also had the little known Terminal Server edition).

Yes, you could use Windows NT 4.0/2000 at home, but very few did. Largely due to the cost and the lack of driver support.

So the original comment is roughly accurate. For the consumer line, it really went from Windows (the non-NT kernel line) to XP and then Vista/7 (I'm skipping some of the specialized versions of the OS like XP Embedded).

As for the CE line, they are almost exclusively for hand held and set top devices and not for general purpose computing.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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