Hadley Stern of Apple Matters declares Vista good enough for most users, which strikes the Macalope as not particularly surprising since most users are already using Windows.
But Stern believes the operating system race is over. And the Internet has won!
What this means for Apple is that the edge with OS X will disappear. And what is left? Better hardware? Perhaps. More software selection? Certainly not. The so-called advantages of a closed hardware/software platform? Most assuredly not as iTunes availability and success on the Windows platform shows.
Not having to go through the technological equivalent of a proctologic exam when registering your products? Maybe. An operating system that doesn’t throw up a thousand modal warning screens every time you try to do something because that’s the only way they could think of to fix their security problem – by making everything so difficult that you don’t even want to use it anymore? Mmm, could be.
Stern seems to believe that the development of operating systems will cease after Vista is released and seems to not know about this “Leopard” of which we speak.
All signs in the future point to the end of the importance of the operating system. Or, maybe it is time for Apple to start thinking about what needs to come next.
Phew. All the pedanticism of Jef Raskin without any of the vision.
This is a familiar refrain from Stern – having recently argued that because most anyone would choose a Windows machine with an Internet connection over a Mac without one, the operating system doesn’t matter anymore. The Macalope is loath to get into this because it leads to endless analogies and absurd desert island scenarios, but this is the beat the Macalope chose so it’s a little late to complain about it now.
Reduced to their most basic purpose, operating systems are tools you use to accomplish something. When given the choice between accomplishing that thing and not accomplishing that thing, it should prove unsurprising that 99 out of 10 [sic] users are going to choose to accomplish that thing.
They are also likely to choose to not get stuffed in a duffle bag full of angry bees and beaten with sticks. Again, not surprising.
Stern wants to pretend that this is something new. It is not. This is the way it has been since tools were first invented. If you could have asked an australopithecus if he’d prefer a large bone to beat a boar to death with or a leafy frond, he’d have knocked you over, taken the bone and beaten both you and the boar to death with it. So, yes, the Macalope will happily stipulate the point that between a tool that gets the job done and one that doesn’t, the one that does is more useful.
This says nothing about how quickly and efficiently the job gets done, or how fricking awesome you look doing it.
Perhaps it’s that Microsoft has been out of the fight for five years that’s causing Stern to believe we’ll reach the end of history when Vista is released. But here in 2006, we’re still years away from an “always on” zero-latency Internet with applications that don’t look like “teh azz”.
So let’s not pretend otherwise.