Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff!

Leopard.Vs.Vista.016
Daniel Eran Dilger
Myth 10 in the Ten Myths of Leopard.

Ten Myths of Leopard: 1 Graphics Must Be Slow!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 2 It’s Only a Service Pack!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 3 Nothing New for Developers!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 4 Java 6 Abandonment!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 5 “Back To My Mac” Security Panic!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 6 Time Machine Eats Hard Drives!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 7 Premature Death for Existing Macs!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 8 No Hidden New Features!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 9 Apple is Spying on Users!
Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff!

Ten Myths of Apple iPhone
Ten Myths of the Apple TV


Myth 10: Leopard Just Repackages Features from Vista. Back in 2005, Lisa DiCarlo declared “Apple was the new Microsoft” because the company had sued a variety of bloggers for posting trade secrets in an effort to find its inside leaks. Since then, Windows Enthusiasts have attempted to downplay and marginalize Apple’s success by reheating DiCarlo’s tar and using it to attach feathers plucked out of the back end of Microsoft.

Earlier this year, Mike Elgan of Computerworld rehashed the meme in a diatribe that complained that Apple was “arrogant” for having delivered better products than Microsoft, and suggested that Apple was hurting customers in the same manner as its larger competitor. Similarly, Dan Lyons of Forbes portrayed Apple as the new “Big Brother” and insisted it was taunting its customers in a way that had resulted in users arming themselves with “pitchforks and torches” to take out a monster perhaps more vile than even Microsoft.

Suddenly, rather than just being successful, Apple was made out to have the same anti-consumer, criminal ethics of Microsoft. “Apple is the new Microsoft” morphed into a perverse logic that subtly insisted that Microsoft would somehow be a good alternative for users fearful of worries about Apple instilled by the concern trolls. Imagine being warned that AA meetings might drive attendees to drink, and you have the basic strategy behind the Windows Enthusiast’s desire to stick Microsoft’s fluff on Apple.

Arrogance Unleashed: The Foul Stench of Computerworld’s Mike Elgan

Arrogance Unleashed: The Foul Stench of Computerworld’s Mike Elgan
Forbes’ Fake Steve Jobs Is Also Fake On Apple

A Tag Team Leopard Feathering.
Microsoft Watch blogger Joe Wilcox recently outlined the major complaints of Vista and tried to map them upon Leopard. Among his criticisms of Leopard compared to Tiger was that Leopard’s “Internet connection is sluggish and routes slowly,” and that Microsoft’s Outlook Web doesn’t work well in Safari, but is only usable in Firefox. The former issue has sanity problems that are hard to address, but as for the latter problem: Safari doesn’t render Microsoft’s HTML any differently on Leopard than in Tiger.

What was Wilcox trying to get across in all his paragraphs of transparent shilling? That Leopard suffers Vista’s problems, perhaps even more so than Vista itself. DiCarlo’s Apple is the New Microsoft meme was reborn in the form of Leopard is the New Vista.

Wrapping up his panicked desperation, Wilcox also complained that Leopard notified him when he attempted to open files downloaded from the Internet. He equated this to Vista’s much maligned “sad realization” UAC boondoggle. The problem in Vista is that UAC flags a user’s every move: plugging in a hard drive, configuring Software Update, or even changing UAC settings itself. Presumably, if you are configuring UAC, you know what UAC does without being warned. Being presented with a “cancel or allow box” doesn’t signal to the user that something important is happening when it happens all the time. Warning a user that they are opening a suspicious package is an entirely different animal.

Wilcox’ talking point title was “Leopard is no better than Vista.” The subtle message behind the title: Vista had lots of problems long ago, back in ancient history when Microsoft also had malware and security problems. Today, they’re all virtually gone. Leopard, however, now has all the problems you’ve associated with Vista! Run for your lives into the welcoming arms of Microsoft.

It is almost needless to say that Paul Thurrott subsequently jumped in to help Wilcox toss Vistas feathers at Apple’s new cat. He repeated Wilcox’ listing of the Vista sins Leopard now supposedly bears, including “diminished performance compared to the predecessor operating system,” (hoo-boy, funny stuff) and claims Leopard’s security is “more annoying than UAC,” something Thurrott described as “hypocrisy” given Apple’s taunting of Vista’s UAC problems for users.

Paul Thurrott's Merciless Attack on Artie MacStrawman

Paul Thurrott’s Merciless Attack on Artie MacStrawman

Bear My Sins.
The only problem is that Microsoft’s plumage doesn’t stick to Apple. Leopard isn’t suffering a Vista-pocalyptic fiasco. It isn’t Steve Jobs’ company that has been found guilty of repeatedly cheating customers in various states and in the EU, nor has Apple foisted increasing levels of DRM restrictions upon users as Microsoft has, as other flacks have tried to suggest.

Instead, Leopard is getting high marks, while Apple has been the only music provider with any market clout to pioneer DRM-free downloads. Further, the iPod has always made DRM entirely optional, unlike Microsoft’s PlaysForSure and Sony’s Connect, both of which primarily tried to peddle DRM-based music rentals.

For every false accusation neutralized, they present another. Recently, it’s been that Apple can’t maintain partnerships and doesn’t like open standards. Apple has a history of strong partnerships and has a decade long reputation of support for open standards. It’s Microsoft that has always treated partnerships like Kleenex; witness the recent PlaysForSure abandonment with Zune, or plowing ahead with Media Center without HP. Those also serve as examples of Microsoft’s affinity for closed standards.

The lesson: just because the wags are trying to cram the shoe on, doesn’t mean it actually fits. More often, they’re just trying to lose the trail of Microsoft’s scandalous footprints, and right now Apple is the most convenient target for them outside of Google.

The Other Shoe Drops.
The latest idea Windows Enthusiasts are trying to stick on Apple is that Mac OS X Leopard merely offers a slightly nicer-looking version of features originally delivered by Microsoft in Windows Vista. That idea has numerous problems, the greatest of which is that Tiger already competes well against Vista, and did so for two years prior to Vista’s arrival.

However, the popularity of bad ideas means some foolish things need to be taken apart slowly just to reveal how completely specious and absurd they really are. The idea of Leopard being a late clone of Vista appears to have been originally invented by Mary Jo Foley, a ZDNet blogger for CNET who keeps an “unblinking eye” on Microsoft.

If Foley instead kept her eyes open to the entire industry, she might not have launched into such foolishness, and the world might now be a smarter place. As it is, Foley is left to consider everything she is presented with outside of Microsoft as only being implementations of Microsoft ideas she has so intently focused her mind’s eye upon for so long.

This summer, Foley attended the keynote of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, apparently unaware that WWDC stretched on for another week after Steve Jobs’ introductory pony show for the press. That error prompted her to note that, “some said they thought developers were let down by Jobs’ failure to discuss the geekier bits, like Leopard’s use of the ZFS file system.”

Why would Jobs talk at length about the technical implementation of Sun’s file system during the opening keynote to a room full of press looking for exciting visuals? Using weaselly expressions like “some said they thought” also sounds suspiciously like a Fox News anchor trying to disguise political talking points as reporting. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from here.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley Says Apple's iPhone Needs ActiveSync

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley Says Apple’s iPhone Needs ActiveSync

Vista: So Up-To-Date It Hurts.
Sure enough, Foley has a clear and targeted message for readers to take away. “If you’ve seen Vista, there’s no way you could help but compare the feature-complete Leopard beta Jobs showcased with Windows Vista. And — surprise — Vista looked pretty darn up-to-date in comparison.”

One might expect Microsoft’s Vista to look “up-to-date,” since it just came out this spring. It’s too new for most people to even use, because Microsoft changed the driver architecture dramatically, leaving various things that one might naively expect to ‘just work’ to instead demand a driver that does not yet exist.

For example, I tried to use an iPod in disk mode yesterday, only to find that Vista insists that I download a driver for it. Why? It’s a basic USB hard drive. There are no iPod specific drivers for Vista. I gave up and tried copying the files I needed (I was trying to import a user’s music from their iPod to their new PC) directly from a hard drive backup, using a common USB to SATA enclosure. Vista didn’t like that either. It’s plug and play on Mac OS X, including Leopard. It also works on Windows XP–after “installing” at least four devices, including a SATA bridge and multiple generic volumes–but at least it eventually works. On Vista: nothing but headaches. The vendor had no Vista specific drivers to try either.

My client wanted to replace Vista right there and put XP on it, an expensive solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist. He complained that Vista presents so many things in ways that are different, but not really improvements.

 Wp-Content Uploads 2007 10 Wyewyg-Vista-Vs-Leopard.001

WYE, WYG: Windows Vista vs Mac OS X Leopard

Ten Features of Leopard That Mary Jo Foley Thinks Are From Vista.
Having set the stage for indoctrination of an idea to her willing readers, Foley then proceeded through ten features of Leopard, offering examples of how each is simply derived from Vista. To be sure, Windows Vista does offer a lot of changes. However, as my client observed, Vista simply changes things for the sake of change, without offering enough in terms of real improvements to users. That’s a key reason why Vista is selling so poorly at retail.

Even Windows Enthusiasts have to agree that the only factor that favors adoption of Vista is that consumers often have no choice in obtaining the operating system they want, and will subsequently be stuck with Vista preloaded on new PCs.

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

Unless, of course, you critically compare them. Vista’s Aero is quite obviously a clone of Mac OS X’s Aqua, even down to its Latin-esque, elemental marketing name. Microsoft didn’t just borrow the marketing; Aero is powered by a graphics engine architecture clearly based on the design of Apple’s Quartz, which was unveiled nearly a decade ago in 1999. One might expect the desktop of Vista and Leopard to look similar, because Vista is copying verbatim from Apple’s direction for Mac OS X in the area of graphics compositing.

This is fine; good ideas should be copied. That’s the idea behind progress. However, giving Vista credit for beating Leopard is a bit moronic, given that Mac OS X delivered it years ago, and has refined its look significantly since. Vista is as glaringly candied with egregiously saccharine elements as the first revisions to Mac OS X. The difference is that Apple didn’t know any better in 2000, and it seemed like a good idea to match its translucent iMacs and Cinema Displays. Over the last decade, all that excessive translucency has fallen out of fashion in areas where it doesn’t deliver any new functionality. If Microsoft wants to copy Mac OS X, it should copy 2005, not 1999. When Detroit copies BMW, it doesn’t clone the look of its cars from the 70s.

Leopard’s windows are now opaque, and its menu bar and Dock are translucent to highlight the user’s chosen desktop. The differences between Leopard and Vista aren’t just skin deep, however. Leopard’s Dock shows you representations of your minimized windows at a glance. Vista’s Start taskbar only shows you preview windows when you mouse over them, and there’s little configurability. The Dock makes it easy to adjust icons down to mini sizes or up to large previews, or even zoom dynamically using the magnify feature. Users can even hide the Dock entirely. Leopard gives users a range of choices.
Vista’s equivalent is clumsy and awkward, particularly since its Dock stand-in can’t display more than a single window preview at a time for the few items that can be crammed into the constrained real estate of its Start taskbar. It’s hard to argue that that Vista’s version doesn’t just stink, but its completely asinine to suggest that Leopard’s desktop is “not a whole lot different than Vista.”

Leopard.Vs.Vista.009-2

Leopard.Vs.Vista.010-1

Similarly, while I’ll withhold judgement on Vista’s implementation of its Sidebar, which works a lot like Tiger’s Dashboard from two years prior, it certainly isn’t a case of Leopard catching up to Vista. Shame on Foley for suggesting such an ignorant idea as if it were the truth.

AppleInsider | Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Dock 1.6
AppleInsider | Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Finder 10.5

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.

Foley manages to swing two for two in the idiot bullet point category. How is it that Leopard is trailing Vista’s Instant Search when Apple introduced Spotlight metadata-based searching as a feature of Tiger two years ago, and delivered V-Twin searching in the late 90s?

More intelligent pundits might bring up the fact that Microsoft’s inability to match Tiger’s search was publicly dragged through the coals by reporters after being unearthed in Microsoft emails from 2004. They were presented as evidence in the Iowa antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft.

“Tonight I got on corpnet, hooked up Mail.app to my Exchange server and then downloaded all of my mail into the local file store,’ wrote Microsoft’s Lenn Pryor, former Director of Platform Evangelism. ‘I did system wide queries against docs, contacts, apps, photos, music, and … my Microsoft email on a Mac. It was f***ing amazing. It is like I just got a free pass to Longhorn land today.’”

“Jim Allchin co-president of the company’s Platform Products and Services Group was just as impressed. ‘I don’t believe we will have search this fast,’ he wrote.”

PC Pro: News: Microsoft emails reveal Tiger envy

So Foley isn’t just being a shill, she’s being deeply disingenuous on the level of fraud. Even worse, her intentionally deceptive comparison of Leopard and Vista in search also tries to resurrect the DiCarlo meme that Apple is as evil as Microsoft. The difference, if it needs to be pointed out, is that Apple doesn’t control 95% of the desktop, and therefore there is no anti-competitive angle for the DoJ to investigate. Apple is also not trying to put Google out of business with Spotlight, while Microsoft very pointedly is trying to use its desktop monopoly to enter the Internet search business against Google.

As for Cover Flow, it is simply an animated way to browse items graphically, whether album art in iTunes or file icons in the Finder. It has absolutely nothing to do with Flip 3D, which is Vista’s animated way to present another “one at a time” view of windows the user can switch between using Alt-Tab. Flip 3D is closer to Mac OS X’s Exposé (from Panther in 2003), which presents all windows at once to be selected between.

Leopard.Vs.Vista.012

Leopard.Vs.Vista.011

Leopard.Vs.Vista.013

If Foley can’t tell the difference, perhaps she should be a librarian or flipping hamburgers rather than writing about technology. This is simply embarrassing.

3. Quick Look: Live file previews — just like the thumbnail preview capability available in Vista.
Vista did deliver live thumbnail icon previews before Apple. Prior to Leopard, you’d have to use a free third party utility to generate previews; they weren’t live, nor were they easy to apply to document types outside of graphics formats that supported custom icons. Apple invented the concept of custom icons generated by an application, which allowed programs to include a static preview image that represented their content. Windows didn’t match this feature until the last decade.

More recently however, Vista introduced the new idea of operating system generated, live previews of documents. Apple matched the feature in Leopard. I have earlier cited this example of Vista offering something new and interesting. Mac OS X has long offered mini window previews in the Dock which represent open files. So Vista deserves some credit, but live icon previews are not exactly an earth shattering innovation.

However, Quick Look isn’t a live icon preview. It’s a fully interactive document viewer. With Quick Look, you can page through a PDF, preview a Keynote presentation with all of its transitions, and view other supported documents scaled at various resolutions without having to launch the actual application. You can even use it to play audio files or watch video instantly without loading a standalone player.

It’s also not just a file system browser preview feature, but a system-wide utility that is extensible by developers. Using Time Machine, you can Quick Look an archived file before choosing to restore it. Quick Look also integrates into iChat Theater, so anything you can view with Quick Look you can beam as a shared document to another user as a video stream. It is absolutely nothing like live icon previews or mini preview windows.

Leopard.Vs.Vista.015

Leopard.Vs.Vista.014

That’s three out of three features Foley confused with Vista features that are either completely unrelated or have been offered for two or more years longer on the Mac. So far, the premise of her entire article looks awfully weak.

AppleInsider | Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Dashboard, Spotlight and the Desktop

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.

Foley here reveals she knows nothing about operating systems, choosing to believe that 32-bits must be a “good thing to keep around.” She’s unintentionally right in some ways. For most users, moving to 64-bit applications would only increase the amount of RAM their apps would need. The allure of 64-bit apps mainly applies to specialized computing and serving needs, as 64-bit apps can deliver far more efficient access to RAM for those types of applications using huge data sets. Desktop email and web browsing don’t really benefit from being 64-bit.

However, in order to make 64-bit applications available to high end users, today’s operating systems have to push it into the mainstream. The best way to do this is to make it ubiquitous in a way that doesn’t adversely impact users of existing 32-bit apps, but opens up the potential for developers to deliver 64-bit versions of their apps without much extra work. A tragic way to prevent adoption of 64-bit computing would be to create segregated, “separate but equal” schools for each, ensuring that 32-bit apps wouldn’t work on 64-bit systems, and vice versa.

Imagine the repercussions of such a stupid deployment: developers would have to ship unique 64-bit apps that could only be used by people who bought the 64-bit version of the OS, but those users would be unable to run mainstream 32-bit apps, ensuring that the 64-bit market would always be too little to ever matter and would lack any growth potential. Incidentally, that’s exactly what Microsoft did. Windows XP and Vista both come in standard 32-bit versions for all PCs which can run 32-bit apps, and special 64-bit versions for both IA-64 Itanium and standard AMD64 PCs.

This guarantees that most developers will never bother to deliver applications for 64-bit versions of Windows, which means that Itanium and AMD64 users will not be able to run many common applications and drivers written for standard Windows PCs. Conversely, it also means most AMD64 users (including 64-bit capable Intel Macs) will be forced to run the 32-bit version of Windows as a lowest common denominator, creating a catch-22 that kills any future for 64-bit Windows adoption.

It gets worse, however. Microsoft also compromised its 64-bit development model to deliver LLP64, which is really a 32-bit model that uses 64-bit addresses. Microsoft explained why it chose this model in The Old New Thing : Why did the Win64 team choose the LLP64 model?

However, there are clear advantages to the more standard LP64 model, which is what 64-bit Linux, SGI IRIX, Mac OS X Leopard, and other standard commercial Unix versions use. Representatives of groups with expertise in 64-bit computing, including Digital, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Novell, NCR, the original Santa Cruz Operation, Sunsoft, and X/Open delivered a joint explanation of why LP64 is a better model for the future of computing than the model Microsoft chose in 64-BIT PROGRAMMING MODELS.

The short answer: LP64 supports easier porting of existing code, interoperability between 32 and 64-bit computing environments, industry standard compliance for cross-platform interoperability, better performance, and a smoother transition from existing systems.

Ignoring all these details and simply running with the idea that “64-bits is 64-bits” leads many to think that Microsoft’s 64-bit implementation of Windows is probably as good any anyone else’s. That’s not true for developers who want to deliver actual 64-bit apps, or for users who need 64-bit apps. Apple has made it simple for developers to package their applications in Universal Binaries that support whatever architecture the user has, whether 32-bit or 64-bit, and whether its PowerPC or Intel. There is no “lowest common denominator” holding back progress on the Mac.

Additionally, that means developers won’t have to target a specific product at a minority who actually buy the 64-bit version of the OS; they can simply ship one version that takes advantage of whatever the user has. That also means users who buy a 64-bit Mac Pro will be able to run 64-bit versions of high end apps while also running their common 32-bit apps in the same environment without any hassle, and without buying a special version of Leopard or having to source 64-bit versions of every application, utility, and driver they need.

There is absolutely no advantage to “offering 32-bit operating systems,” as Foley tries to imply, because this only holds back users who need 64-bit applications. Outside of Windows, users won’t be impacted by the limitation. Recall that Apple has already handled a transition from 32-bits to 64-bits with PowerPC. Microsoft couldn’t manage to offer Windows NT on multiple platforms in the late 90s, and gave up altogether on that strategy with Windows 2000. Its inability to deliver a seamless transition to 64-bit platforms will only hold back Windows users and prompt users with serious needs to leave the platform.

Incidentally, Foley is now wrong in four out of four counts of why Leopard is just a pretty rehash of Vista.

AppleInsider | Road to Mac OS X Leopard Server: Collaborative Info Sharing Services

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.

Perhaps she shouldn’t have listed it then. Comparing a development framework that provides easy to use animation tools for user interface and data visualizations to a beta product demonstration of a user application is at the core of the reason why Foley needs to learn how to blink. Her fawning enrapturement to every shiny bead Microsoft holds up is embarrassing, but in this context, its just five out of five comparisons she got wrong.

AppleInsider | An Introductory Mac OS X Leopard Review: Developer Tools

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.

Apple offered seven free betas of Boot Camp over the last year, so the 2.5 million downloads likely represent less than a half million actual users. That’s not too spectacular considering that there are around ten million Intel Macs that have the potential of running Windows. Only about 5% are bothering to even attempt to install Windows in a dual boot configuration; that’s because Boot Camp is really only useful for two things: running PC games that need full access to hardware, and running Windows (or Linux) as the primary environment on Apple hardware. Clearly, Mac users aren’t in crisis mode, desperately needing to boot Windows, despite having the opportunity to now do so.

Most Windows users who switch to the Mac would instead be using a product like Fusion or Parallels, which mingle the Windows environment on the Mac desktop. In any event, Boot Camp has no equal on Windows, because Microsoft does not include any utilities to make it easy to run alternative operating systems including Linux. Microsoft instead tried to roll out Palladium, a hardware DRM system that would have made installing competitive operating systems completely impossible. So Foley is again wrong, now six out of six times.

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.

Actually Microsoft did release an unsupported, buggy “PowerToy” kludge for Windows XP users that attempted to hide applications in batches, spoofing the idea of virtual desktops familiar to Unix X11 users. The Windows architecture was not designed to support virtual desktops, and delivering an implementation useable by non-technical consumers on any platform is challenging. However, if Foley and her entourage weren’t impressed, it was probably because they can’t escape the hypnotic trance they’ve fallen into for everything Microsoft shows off.

Why Foley is helping me to point out how vacuous and ignorant her own thesis is is beyond me, but thanks anyway. It makes it that much easier to scratch off number seven.

AppleInsider | Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Spaces

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

Yes Foley, but Dashboard with widgets came out in 2005, two years ahead of Vista. That’s eight major errors in as many examples.

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.

Microsoft did deliver early video conferencing products with NetMeeting back in 1997 while Apple was in beleaguered mode. Apple’s QuickTime Conferencing product beat Microsoft to market the year before and was additionally offered cross platform, but Apple subsequently plunged into the flames of crisis, making it a pyrrhic victory.

Vista’s Meeting Spaces delivers document collaboration, but removes iChat-style audio or video conferencing features formerly offered by the old NetMeeting. While previous versions of NetMeeting can be run on Vista, it is now unsupported and based on obsolete standards. To replace it, Microsoft acquired PlaceWare and began marketing its software as Microsoft Office Live Meeting. It charges a 30 cent per minute use fee (or a $180 per user annual fee) on top of a $3000 annual subscription fee. It does not come with Vista.

Windows Live Messenger is Microsoft’s proprietary consumer service that compares with iChat, but it only does audio and video conferencing and does not support modern, open protocols such as Jabber XMPP or SIP-based video conferencing. There is also no iChat Theater-like document sharing, nor any of the “fun add-ons” in Leopard’s iChat. Vista also delivers “People Near Me,” a WS-Discovery service that works like Bonjour, which Apple delivered back in 2002 in Jaguar. Nine errors out of nine makes Foley look like she’s not even trying.

AppleInsider | Road to Mac OS X Leopard: iChat 4.0

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.

Except that Volume Shadow Copy isn’t really automated backup, and only backs up to the users’ primary drive. If you lose your drive, it does nothing to help you recover your files. If a Mac hard drive fails, Time Machine plugs into the reinstallation process and restores all the backed up files. Volume Shadow Copy requires an external backup system that Microsoft doesn’t supply in Vista. Vista also delivers a bare-bones conventional backup program, which no consumer ever uses because backups are tragically difficult to maintain and organize.

Leopard’s Time Machine is also unique in that it allows you to perform search queries of your backed up files from points in the past, so you can search for files meeting specific criteria in order to restore them. This feature is not matched in even higher-end, professional backup systems, but in Leopard it is extremely easy and intuitive to use, and brilliantly simple.

It also allows users to restore items from collections designed to support Time Machine, such as individual emails in Mail from a given date, or contact entries from Address Book, or photos from iPhoto. Developers can also add similar collection restoration to items in their own applications.

With any other backup service, you’d have to restore your entire email database file, plug it in to Outlook to see if your lost item was there (these files are hidden away in the bowels of invisible folders, making the task that much more impossible for non-technical users), and then figure out how to copy your recovered message back into your existing email. Hopefully, you’d do so without wiping out your mailbox. An expert would lose an afternoon figuring out how to do what Time Machine makes extremely simple for entry-level users.

So no, you are again wrong Foley, meaning all of your comparisons of Vista and Leopard features are shockingly bad to the point of embarrassment.

Mary Jo Foley thinks Leopard is a Photocopy of Vista – Film at 11 – The .NET Addict’s Blog
Why Leopard’s Time Machine Doesn’t Support AirPort Disks
AppleInsider | Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Time Machine

The Problem with Being Wrong.
Just like the “Apple is the New Microsoft” tar and feathers attack invented by DiCarlos and regurgitated by various Windows Enthusiast flacks since, the idea that Leopard’s features are somehow “all just like Vista features” has been copied around, too. Even Mac users have been infected with the virus. The insidious nature of spreading false information is that once planted, a false idea is hard to remove.

Windows Enthusiasts work very hard to plant lots of false ideas, commonly suggesting an idea backhandedly as if they don’t really believe it either, but thought they should point it out because “that’s what some people say they are thinking.” This type of fraud is difficult to clean up afterward–no matter how absurdly ridiculous the idea–because our brains weren’t really designed to deal with false information.

We are born into a world where everything we observe and absorb is treated by our brains as useful data. When we are lied to, we file away that false information and it chemically changes who we are. That’s why propaganda works so well, and why entire populations of otherwise rational and decent people can be whipped up into mindless conflict and hatred through misinformation campaigns orchestrated by scheming powers. The entire point of democracy and a free press is to water down political and propaganda power so that can’t happen as easily.

Efforts to present correct information are difficult because once we are exposed to false information, we are programmed to reject new data that conflicts with what we’ve already learned. If we contemplated the truth of every new fact we were exposed to, we’d never get anything done. In fact, smoking marijuana seems to do that very thing: it suppresses the brain’s predefined notion of judgement and “broadens consciousness” in the sense of causing the inhaler to question everything they know. For some, such a reexamination of the truth results in an unsettling paranoia.

It’s also prohibitively expensive and probably illegal to smoke out the entire Internet every time Windows Enthusiasts print one of their articles. So as a public service announcement, I’m going to simply ask Zoon Awardees Mary Jo Foley, Mike Elgan, Dan Lyons, Joe Wilcox, and Paul Thurrott, along with all the other members of the Zoon Awards Hall of Shame, to please stop spreading false information.

Go ahead and advocate whatever products make you the most money, and feel free to level criticism against Apple and Google and the various open source projects when they do things that you think are questionable, but don’t make up things that are false, don’t invent comparisons that are misleading, and stop making broad generalizations that you know are not true.

It will be slightly harder for you all to fill your columns with text if you make an effort to stop lying, but the world will be a better place. I hope you agree.

The Zoon Awards Hall of Shame

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

Like reading RoughlyDrafted? Share articles with your friends, link from your blog, and subscribe to my podcast! Submit to Reddit or Slashdot, or consider making a small donation supporting this site. Thanks!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

26 comments

1 Tilneys { 11.10.07 at 7:34 am }

One of the best exposees of the Microsoft propaganda machine that I have EVER read.

Thank you Dan.

2 Tilneys { 11.10.07 at 8:19 am }

And there is SO much more to Leopard in all these things. For example here’s a nice extra using Spaces and Expose..

F8 brings up your spaces, then press F9 and Expose works on the Windows in each desktop. Love it.

3 jeremy { 11.10.07 at 8:21 am }

The idea of having a live icon preview of files when browsing doesn’t even belong to Microsoft. The Nautilus (v1.0) file manager for GNOME had this feature way back in 2001, a whopping six years before Vista materialised. Clearly, Microsoft don’t deserve any credit for this at all, it’s not their innovation.

Interestingly this early version of Nautilus was made by the now defunct Eazel Inc. Who was the principal designer at Eazel? Nobody but Andy hertzfeld from the original Macintosh team. Not to mention that nearly all the key people (see wikipedia article) in Eazel came from Apple/NeXT and it is rumoured that most/all returned to Apple following the break-up of Eazel.

4 John Muir { 11.10.07 at 8:33 am }

Very interesting home run at the end of this one. You’re venturing into the realm of psychology, which you’ll be dismayed to know holds at least as much paranoia, propaganda and smears as technology! Don’t even get me started on the Freudians v Jungians; none of it is pretty…

Fortunately another idea you’ve recently covered in RoughlyDrafted is naturally coming into effect. Namely the internet’s rise and the tech press’s fall. Silly pundits used to have much more power, as the depths of the 80′s and 90′s showed. But now … despite so many a venomous screed and a piteous struggle, the tide has turned against them.

Enjoying every bit! Including your running commentary here at RDM.

5 Wilf Wilson { 11.10.07 at 9:29 am }

Hi Dan

Wow that was a great post, one the best of yours that I have ever read. I couldn’t agree with you more. Why is it that people do this? Is it for financial interests or some strange conpulsion or envy of apple’s success after supporting Microsoft for so long?

Whatever the reason is, this sort of ignorance and misinformation is really annoying me now. One of my best friends will not say a single good word about Apple, and it is this sort of information which is fueling his arguments, and, I believe, ultimately holding back the technology industry as a whole.

Also I’ve just seen the iPhone here in the UK… Wonderful. I’m sticking to my iPod touch for now (using it to type this), I have no need for a mobile phone. They seemed to be selling well though.
I look forward to tomorrow’s article. Wilf

6 elppa { 11.10.07 at 12:22 pm }

Unfortunately, Apple dropped live previews of QuickTime movies from the Dock (try it, it’s gone!), which has existed since at least version 1 of Mac OS X and was something Jobs used to demo. It may have been in the public beta.

I wonder if this was something to do with the Dock reflections.

7 lightstab { 11.10.07 at 4:05 pm }

Dan, I’m surprised you didn’t take on Mary Jo Foley a long, long time ago. This is one blogger who absolutely doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about. She has the crappiest comparisons in computer history.

How could anyone in the right mind, even a glorified power user, compare Flip3D to Coverflow and Core Animation (a developer tool) to a Photo sharing app. She really makes ZDNet look bad. Doesn’t anyone vet articles anymore?

8 danieleran { 11.10.07 at 7:50 pm }

@elppa: there really isn’t much practical purpose to having video play while minimized in the Dock. On the other hand, if you minimize a playing video and the OS continues rendering it in the Dock, you’d be trading away performance, which users might do inadvertently.

If you want to have video playing in a small window, you can do so without using the Dock. Can you think of a circumstance where video playing in the Dock would be desirable, apart from demonstrating that it could?

9 earth2kelly { 11.10.07 at 8:17 pm }

Dan: You really are turning into the Keith Olbermann of tech press. Your Zoon awards remind me of Olbermann’s worst persons in the world.

How long (if ever) until these so called journalists lose their jobs for incompetence? Probably about the same time O’reilly loses his for the same reason.

10 elppa { 11.10.07 at 9:51 pm }

@daniel Well, er, no. Other than it looks cool! I’m just a bit surprised it was there and got dropped, especially with all the other graphical flourishes across Leopard.

11 gus2000 { 11.10.07 at 11:40 pm }

Maybe we should call her “Mary Jane” Foley?…

“I hear Leopard is a ripoff of Vista.”
“Huh? What have you been smoking?!??”
“What else…Mary Jane!”

12 WYE, WYG: RoughlyDrafted Fact Checking — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 11.11.07 at 1:46 am }

[...] ← Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! [...]

13 qka { 11.12.07 at 3:56 pm }

A great piece, except for the insult against librarians.

A good librarian is a great resource, and most are very conversant with computers and technology.

Those are all the things Ms. Foley isn’t.

14 avocade { 11.12.07 at 4:08 pm }

Ouch. Impressive that such a person still has a job. Gives credence to the idea that these group members are supported higher up in the chain.

Also, good digression on the outcome of misinformation. A rarity in today’s press.

15 LunaticSX { 11.12.07 at 8:35 pm }

“Vista did deliver live thumbnail icon previews before Apple. Prior to Leopard, you’d have to use a free third party utility to generate previews; they weren’t live, nor were they easy to apply to document types outside of graphics formats that supported custom icons.”

Well, actually… In the Mac OS X Finder since 10.2 Jaguar while viewing a window in Icon view you could choose the “Show View Options” menu item, then click the checkbox next to “Show Icon Preview.” This gives you live previews of certain file types such as graphics files, in place of the files’ icons. While you’ve got the View Options open you could then crank the icon size up to “Large,” which makes the previews up to 128×128. Note that before doing that it’d be advisable to click the “This Window Only” radio button.

Voila! Built-in live icon previews up to 128×128 on a per-window basis (or global, if you really want it).

This seems to be a little known feature that has existed in Mac OS X for a long time. I’ve been using it extensively ever since I found out about it.

That Vista screen shot you show, BTW, looks a LOT like a Mac OS X Finder window in column view, with the default Preview pane showing. That’s existed forever in Mac OS X, letting you preview graphic, video, and audio files. Is that all there is to Vista’s Live Preview? Is there a better sceen shot somewhere that shows some capability beyond taking the Mac’s column view Preview pane and letting you preview more than just media files?

16 Soviet Microsoft: Stockholm Syndrome Among Unswitchable Windows Users — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 12.16.07 at 3:51 pm }

[...] Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! [...]

17 Symbiotic: What Apple Does for Open Source — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 12.18.07 at 8:27 pm }

[...] Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! [...]

18 Apple TV Promises to Take 2008 — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.21.08 at 4:57 am }

[...] Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! Zune vs. iPhone: Five Phases of Media Coverage [...]

19 The Unrealized Potential of Apple’s Hybrid Platform: Mac, iPod, iPhone, and TV — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.25.08 at 1:37 pm }

[...] Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff!: 64-bitness Readers Write About Symbian, OS X and the iPhone Off the Charts. Apple not only has a cohesive software strategy, but is rapidly expanding its unified platform. The company has transitioned from selling around 3 million Macs per year as it did between 2001 and 2004, to selling 11.6 million Mac-based devices in calendar year 2007: 7.6 million Macs and well more more than 4 million other Mac-based devices such as the iPhone, Touch, and Apple TV. [...]

20 Mike Elgan’s Moronic Tirade on the iPhone — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.27.08 at 12:05 am }

[...] Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! Why Microsoft’s Copy-Killing Has Reached a Dead End [...]

21 CanSecWest and Swiss Federal Institute of Tech Deliver Attacks on the Reality of Mac Security — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 03.28.08 at 11:40 pm }

[...] Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! [...]

22 Myths of Snow Leopard 2: 32-bit Support — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 06.17.08 at 1:40 am }

[...] serious, and wrote that in the context of an article insisting that Leopard looked like Vista. Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! The Windows 32/64-bit Conundrum. The problem for Microsoft is that its IA-64 and x64 versions of [...]

23 Myths of Snow Leopard 6: Apple is Out of Ideas! — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 07.09.08 at 4:20 pm }

[...] Unavoidable Malware Myth: Why Apple Won’t Inherit Microsoft’s Malware Crown Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! Windows Vista, 7, and Singularity: The New Copland, Gershwin & Taligent 1990-1995: [...]

24 A Product Transition: Giving MacBooks the iPhone Touch — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.01.08 at 7:04 am }

[...] Office Wars 3 – How Microsoft Got Its Office Monopoly Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff [...]

25 Gates, Seinfeld and the $300 Million Ad to Nowhere. — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 09.09.08 at 1:19 am }

[...] iPod vs Zune: Microsoft’s Slippery Astroturf Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff! [...]

26 Dan Lyons, Paul Thurrott: the Fake and the Phony — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.18.09 at 2:57 am }

[...] Forbes’ Fake Steve Jobs Is Also Fake On Apple Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff [...]

You must log in to post a comment.