Friday, April 29, 2005

Tiger != Longhorn, Lion == Longhorn

A lot of noise has been made this week that: - Apple Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" is unleashed today at 6 PM - Longhorn feature set looks a lot like Tiger - Longhorn won't be released until holiday 2006 MS is making noise that once Longhorn is released, they will have features that Tiger doesn't have. I haven't seen my point mentioned anywhere, but look at this release schedule for the history of Mac OS X in the Ars Technica exhaustive review. I have reproduced it for easy reading: * Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger 4/29/2005 * Mac OS X 10.3 Panther 11/09/2003 * Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar 09/05/2002 * Mac OS X 10.1 10/15/2001 * Mac OS X 10.0 4/02/2001 The time between Panther and Tiger is almost exactly 18-months. Longhorn is currently scheduled for delivery in the next 18 months. There is no indication that Apple is going to slow down to a 2-year OS dev cycle at this point, so it is entirely conceivable, and in fact highly possible, that Apple delivers Mac OS X 10.5 (projected to be code-named "Lion") before Longhorn ships!!! With Tiger already well out ahead of Windows XP and Longhorn playing catch-up to Tiger in terms of Security, Compositing Engine, Integrated Desktop Search, and more, I think it's a perfectly logic conclusion that Apple will maintain their OS edge with Tiger, and certainly Lion. At this point, even the Windows faithful are starting to voice votes of "no confidence" (See Paul Thurott's WinInfo on Why Longhorn is a trainwreck) in Microsoft's ability to land a successful Longhorn project. For everyone on the fence about the Mac, putting your faith, and that's all it is, in Microsoft to improve your computing experience, its ok, let it go. Apple has delivered and keeps on delivering. They have repeatedbly demonstrated in the last 4 years that they have a vision and understanding from what people want in a digital lifestyle. Go to your Apple Store todayand pick up any Mac with Tiger to start liking your computer again.