New Hardware, New Compatibility
Just as there are the budget-minded Windows buyers who cannot appreciate the extensibility of the platform, there are the fashion-conscious Mac buyers who pick up the latest MacBook or iMac simply because it looks stylish. However, that is not to say that Macs lack any substance. I’ve been computing since 1984, and it’s only recently that Mac OS has become the superstar operating system that it is in 2008.
In the Mac OS9 era, there was no true preemptive multitasking support. That means that while you could open multiple applications at any given time, the operating system could not automatically allocate computing resources to each application. Holding the mouse button down, for example, stopped the entire system until you finished your selection. You can be Hiro and even stop time.
The transition to Mac OS X was a substantial one. OS X was essentially the next version of NEXTStep, with OS9 emulation and the support of PowerPC. With this new operating system design, attention to proper programming practices was held. Rather than tie the operating system to a single big endian platform, Apple engineers, from day one focused on code that was clean enough to run on x86 processors. Presumably, it wasn’t difficult to port to the ARM processor.
Although IBM’s Power architecture offered superb performance in its corporate line up, the PowerG5 CPUs failed to offer the same overall performance ratio that was available from AMD’s and Intel’s CPUs beyond floating point computation. More importantly, the G5 was unworkable as a mobile chip and this meant that the Mac notebook had no ability to compete against the rising talent from Intel’s Haifa design team.
We can start with the OS X. Like Nvidia during its rapid six-month product cycles, Apple has been exceptionally aggressive in pushing Mac OS further. Non-Mac users may not realize how different OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is in comparison to the original 10.0 (Cheetah). From the original proof-of-concept 10.0, Apple moved quickly, adding a GPU-based window manager/compositor, a journaled file system, and automated backup support, all the while improving overall system performance with each step forward.
The hardware has also improved dramatically. The visual effects introduced in OS X, which once made OS X one of the slowest operating systems on the market, are now accelerated by faster and faster GPUs. With the transition to Intel complete, today’s Macs offer the same hardware as a PC. In some cases, Apple is even ahead of the PC world—GeForce 9400M shipped first on Apple. This transition has also allowed better PC compatibility with virtualization.
Anonymous prediction for 2009 - 0.3%
So more stable? perhaps, but certainly not in my home.
It is getting better every version that launches, but still needs a lot of love. Wine use should be simple and stealthy. That is, put a x86 windows cd, and wine detects and pulls out a auto run. You get the idea.
when that happens Linux will check mate Win/OSX. Compiz/Fusion is already prettier than OSX (and with great promises) and the system is much safer. And faster.
Lets wait and see.
Mac is comparing itself to windows OS or rather they should be. The Apple community is content believing that PC(Personal Computer) means Windows. They simply don't know the difference. Note to mac users: Macs are PCs also. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_computer
Also, listen to the music in the background. It's lullaby nature appeals to the mentality of Mac users as does the original color pallet 'box of crayons' in the system settings. They didn't design it that way by accident.
That's why Mac users love to boast about the commercials and their computers. Basic - ignorance is bliss.
It's not your fault though. It's not like personal computers have been widely available since the late 1970's but you haven't bothered to take one class on them right? You haven't?! That's a pity and thank you.
It's people like you who keep the entire PC(yes you too) technical community employed.
Dunno about all below the wine, as I don't use linux for anything other than firewalls. But I don't think wine will ever get to a level that allows linux to replace windows. Mac OS has a chance - but only if they somehow can make game developers compile mainstream games for the mac.
Though the article in general is very well written, I still find it fails on one simple aspect. Gaming. Every single pc I've built in the past 5 years was expected to play pretty much any non-top-tier game. Ie. not crysis, but if hugo or pixeline, or any other childrens game, was shipped with some magazine or put on discount, the people I built the computers for, expect that the software will work. That can't be realized on a mac unless it runs windows - at which point there's no reason to buy the more expensive mac.
If we imagine a future version of flash, silverlight, java or any other internet based system could address the hardware in a pc via a standard interface - like directx or opengl etc but on the actaul hardware, instead of on the gui. And without the programmer needing expert knowledge of the limitations of the features, then virtualization won't even be needed. Stuff would just run directly on hardware. A bit like a seamless window on a citrix system, but with the hardware being used locally, and the drivers being a bunch of software embedded in the hardware burried beneath the gui.
But that probably won't happen for another 10 years, so windows is safe, even with a complete idiot at the wheel.