Only two weeks until Apple releases the fourth major release of their operating system in 3 years, Panther. This update to Mac OS X brings along a bunch of shiny new features, and, it is reported, some nice speed boosts. I like it when I pay for an upgrade and it makes my computer faster. This shouldn’t be a shocking or strange business move on Apple’s part, but to Microsoft it is.
I’ve noticed that our 300Mhz Dell at home works just fine with Windows 2000, perfectly adequate. At the same time, our 1.1Ghz systems in the Student Union, running Windows XP, take just as long, if not longer then the Dell, to do super-simple things like open the Start menu or a load a web page. It’s really pretty shocking. Basically Microsoft’s newer versions of Windows add more features, more shiny interface stuff, and more special effects (everything you do makes a noise and fades or shimmers or glows!) while at the same time making the user experience just as slow as it was before. This is quite astonishing when you realize that most times people upgrade Windows it is because they have bought newer, faster computers. The Windows “feature” bloat basically leads to people upgrading to a faster computer that runs just as slowly as before at most common tasks! So think about it that way when you go to buy a new PC: you’re paying $500 or $1000, not for the newest best technology, but so that you can run the newest version of Windows.
Meanwhile, I’m gonna pay $69 to get a new version of th Mac OS with over a hundred new features and a speed increase for a laptop I already bought, over a year ago!