Windows vs Mac

Olivier Prud’homme decided to respond, at length, to my post on five ways Windows Vista is better than Mac OS X. The operating system wars will never subside, but if we could just stop talking in circles for one moment – maybe we could learn a thing or two about the OSes we choose not to use? Instead of basing opinions on assumptions or second-hand experiences, perhaps we’d be better served in trying different operating systems ourselves. No matter, the following message is completely unedited – so any mistakes made are that of the original author, Olivier. What are your thoughts?

I’ve been watching a few of your videos here and there on YouTube (ever since you talked about going BACK to XP from Vista, actually… a long time ago) and the one where you reply to the article of “Five Ways Vista is better than OS X” really got my attention.

I guess you could classify me as one of those Mac users that you despise. “Fanboys”, I suppose… heck, my email address is a @mac address for crying out loud. But please, hear me out. I’ve actually got a few points where I believe Vista is better than OS X (near the end).

I’ve been a Mac user for as long as I can remember and I’ve been using PCs for almost just as long. My blood boils every single time there’s a discussion about Windows. Considering that this is the information age, it happens quite often. Why am I angry? Why am I so agitated?

It’s mainly because throughout all my life, day after day, I have to deal with people that refuse to believe that a Macintosh might actually be a decent machine. I’m talking about since 5th grade, here. Being ridiculed merely because of the computer I was using at home. It may sound ridiculous, but think about it for a second. When you’re growing up as a kid, being accepted is a huge deal. Some people just have to brag about their stuff and they do it by making fun of other people. I remember asking one of the PC geeks in my school about why that is and I’ll never forget his answer: “Windows is great. I can fix almost any issues and that makes me feel smart.”

I’ve grown into the man that I am today, constantly fighting this STUPID operating system war that never seems to end.

I deal with this kind of stuff every day; even today. A friend of mine just got a new iMac a couple of months ago and he acts like it’s new and amazing… I’ve known him for almost 15 years and he was one of the many that ridiculed me all these years ago. He just wouldn’t accept the Mac as a serious computer… a lot of people don’t. I suppose they associate it with the fact that Macs are easy to use and therefore aren’t as complex as “real” computers should.

We’re in the year 2009 and people still tolerate computers breaking down.

As a computing experience, the Mac hasn’t changed ONE BIT. However, now the Mac is suddenly popular and “acceptable”. I’m tired of saying “I’ve told you so”.

Thinking back, I guess I’m not pompous… I’m just really, extremely bitter. I’m sure others feel the same way too.

I am a power user… and just like you’ve said in previous videos, power users need to open their minds and use all sorts of computing technology.

I’ve shown my interest in the Xbox 360. A gaming system that I have yet to own and most likely never will due to the un-fixable “red ring of death” issue plaguing the console. Typical of Microsoft, if you ask me but I digress.

When Windows Vista was announced, I was genuinely excited. People would talk about all that techno mumbo jumbo that was “new” (I say it in quotes because half the time, they’re features that I’ve seen two to even ten years ago on the mac – another thing that annoys me to no end) and I’ve only retained two key features: “Windows Live” and “the colour system”.

The colour system was something I found interesting as a consumer. I don’t know if the feature actually has a name or not, but it was something that Microsoft announced where Windows Vista would scan your computer and give you a colour based on your hardware. Whenever you would buy a software, instead of looking through a list of system requirements on the box, all you’d have to do is check the colour code and see if it’s supported on your machine. For me, it was a sign that Microsoft actually tried to make things easier for the average consumer… yet, I’ve never seen the colour code on any box.

The Windows Live was a huge disappointed as well. To me, it was a sign that Microsoft was taking care of PC gamers by intertwining XBox Live with Windows. How awesome would that be? I mean, for the general consumer that might not mean much but gaming has always been something mentioned during Mac vs Windows arguments. Having more software (or games) doesn’t make one operating system better than the other, but features like Windows Live and XBox Live would’ve been a nudge in the right direction to build a very strong and UNIQUE community.

None of the features that I thought were important in making the system unique or remotely appealing ever got to fruition.

Anyways, I want to go back to your video discussing about the “five ways Vista is better than OS X” and I actually have an answer for you… coming from an avid Mac user.

This applies to Windows XP as well as Vista: DirectX. I absolutely HATE DirectX but I know performance when I see it. I’ve seen 3D software where a Windows and Mac version would be built simultaneously and even in those circumstances (rare as they might be), the Windows version runs faster even on the same hardware (bootcamp). Yes, it is just a matter of getting the programmers to write more optimized code for the mac so you can’t really blame the OS for that but between OpenGL and DirectX, DirectX seems easier to code and, therefore, is a much more appealing feature that is Windows exclusive.

As a 3D artist and gamer, this is a big deal.

I’d write more, but it’s 5am here and I doubt that I would be any coherent (assuming that I am to begin with). If you want to share any thoughts, ideas or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a shout.