Mere paas Mac hai

  • Rajiv Arora, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 26, 2009 00:55 IST

The Windows-versus-Mac debate is meaningless for those who have worked on both platforms at least once. It’s because while Mac is the good egg, Windows is the same chick that’s been trying to break out of its shell since 1985. Even its latest version, Windows 7 (W7) appears a few steps behind the robust (Apple’s) Mac operating system (OS). It may be glitzy and boast of novel features, but what W7 offers in 2009, Mac OS users have taken it for granted for a long time.

It might surprise those who swear by market trends where Windows is the clear winner (the Windows to Mac market share ratio is about 8:2). But we — Mac users — have no qualms about it. We are a small, happy family, which takes pride in quality and doesn’t shout from the rooftops about innovations.

Why, how many of you know that OS X 10.6 (aka Snow Leopard), the latest from Mac, was launched on August 28, 2009, without making any noise or tall claims? Maybe because it’s not so much about new wallpapers, interface, colour themes, security options and desktop gadgets. Instead, Snow Leopard is all about the ‘routine’ changes that your system and mine need: increased speed and more space (maybe Microsoft will consider it in W17, probably 10 years later).

Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-Microsoft; I spend almost the same time fretting over both OSs. That’s what helps me understand the difference better. My conclusion is that it isn’t Apple’s extraordinariness that gives it an edge over Windows; Mac is better because Windows’ instability gives it the reference point.

The latter learns from its mistakes and comes out with a less-erratic product each time; the former creates new errors in its laboratories, solves them and makes innovation available for public use. Windows 7, then, is a face-saver for a company that failed in its pioneering effort with Vista; Snow Leopard, like its predecessor Leopard, continues the tradition of surging towards an improved future.

Not that Apple is the best there is. It nags you with its own set of problems — less hardware compatibility, sleep-inducing games, animosity towards third-party software and the FairPlay policy. Which is why when it comes to downloading pirated songs, movies and running unregistered software, Windows is the apple of my eye!

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