A recent article on The Register by Andrew Orlowski is the first article written about Tiger (or Mac OS X 10.4 to give its full name) I’ve read that’s hit the nail right on the head.
Firstly, I haven’t used Tiger, though I first started using Mac’s back in the early 90’s as my dad did all his work on one, but the Windows-based PC then took over and I’ve only used Mac OS X on and off depending on where I’ve worked and what I’ve had to do. Performance wise I’ve always loved them as they knock the socks of Windows-based systems, and graphics wise they do look so much prettier. I could sit running the mouse across the dock all day! But my laptop still runs Windows XP and my desktop still runs either Debian or SuSE Linux, and there’s nothing that makes me want to switch.
I don’t have any problems with viruses. I never have. I’ve always had good virus software installed and had the latest definitions applied as soon as they became available. I’ve never had problems with spyware other than those caused by other people, as, again, I’ve always had good anti-spyware tools installed and updated, with regular scans ran. I’ve always had the latest Windows updates applied, ran Mozilla / Firefox for almost 4 years, never really used Outlook Express, tried to avoid MSN Messenger, and never download attachments from e-mails with unknown senders or clicked on links claiming to be from my bank or eBay. In truth, as with any system – Windows, Linux, Mac – if you keep things maintained, by and large it will work. I read my e-mail, browse the net, download + listen to music, and do some basic word processing and spreadsheet work. For me, there are no gripes with Windows doing that. All of the problems by and large I have ever had have come from messing around and installing a load of shite.
Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of people that have a shit load of problems. I get plenty of machines brought in to be fixed or have people call up asking for help, but in 99.9% of these cases they’re self-caused. The latest release of Mac OS X, Tiger, is designed to grab the attention of those swayed by iPod ads to buy a Mac as Windows is evil. Great, nothing wrong with that. But all those people that ignore warnings about installing virus software, never run Windows update, download anything + everything through e-mail, click on every phishing scam aren’t going suddenly wise-up by switching to a Mac.
A lot of people are commenting on how Mac’s are about to come under scrutiny in the next 18 months or so from security vulnerabilites and viruses aimed at these. Malicious code that infected the dashboard came out pretty much as Tiger was being released and msot people are of the opinion this will increase.
Basically, going back to Andrew’s article, Tiger looks good, everyone seems to agree on that, and Tiger has brought some cool new ideas to the market and is giving people a much more viable option in the home compute market. But, there’s not really anything that seems earth shatteringly different that screams “buy me”. I’ll still probably end up getting a Mac Mini or something just as a toy more than anything else, but I just wish people would stop harping on about how everyone should switch to a Mac.
For Joe Public, buying a Mac is simply going to end up annoying the Mac community by slowly erroding the confidence in running what was previously a fairly untouchable and rarely-attacked system. Joe will complain he can’t do this or that, exactly the same as I see with so many when they make a move to Linux. Unfortunately, most people don’t seem to realise that a Mac is a completely different systems – you can’t install a lot of your favourite programs straight from your existing CD’s, you will have to spend time moving all your documents, photos, e-mails and contacts across, and don’t realise even basic things like lack of an additional mouse button and different layout of the file systems. This is not their fault, but the marketing guys from all areas should make this more clear.
Computer nirvana – turn a computer on, do what you want without any fuss, and turn if off.