Well, you already know my opinion about this, but here’s John C. Welch at Information Week with an in-depth comparison of Windows Vista and Apple OS X.
A few selected quotes:
Hidden behind all of this hoopla, however, is the fact that as much of an improvement Vista is over XP, its main competitor, Mac OS X, still stacks up really well — and even tops Vista in several important areas.
While Vista is indeed a major update to Windows, there’s a lot of it that is, quite frankly, just Microsoft making up for lost time. The last non-server release of Windows was in 2001 with Windows XP, with only a single major interim update in service pack 2. In the same time, Apple has been steadily releasing updates to Mac OS X on what was a yearly schedule, now around every 18 months.
In a nutshell, Vista vs. Mac OS X is Revolution vs. Evolution. It’s about a massive, long-delayed upgrade that has to account for almost 6 years of progress by its competitors, versus a well-executed strategy of regular updates. While updating an operating system is never something that can be called easy, Apple’s strategy has been the better one for keeping their OS on top of things, something Microsoft has admitted to in a roundabout way.
Windows is…well, Windows is very eager to tell you what’s going on. Constantly. Plug something in, and you get a message. Unplug something and you get a message. If you’re on a network that’s having problems staying up, you’ll get tons of messages telling you this. It’s rather like dealing with an overexcited Boy Scout…who has a lifetime supply of chocolate-covered espresso beans.
To put it simply, you can work on a Mac for hours, days even, and only minimally need to directly use the OS. With Vista? The OS demands your attention, constantly.
I’ve yet to see anything in Vista that blows away the Mac OS, even a version of the Mac OS that’s over a year old. Microsoft still can’t manage to make something simple and easy to use. Vista reeks of committee and design by massive consensus, while OS X shines from an intense focus on doing things in a simple, clear fashion and design for the user, not the programmer.