Home > Rumors > Vista vs. Mac OS X Comparison – Part II Vista vs. Mac OS X Comparison – Part II Submitted by Aparan 2005-11-29 Rumors 38 Comments The second part of the comparison of Windows Vista beta and Mac OS X “Tiger” continues with an examination of the security, networking, and power management features in each system. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 38 Comments 2005-11-29 8:47 am Anonymous yeah well why not compare vapourware with an existing OS which will be updated as soon as the vaporware becomes reality? 2005-11-29 8:58 am CaptainPinko I hate MS with the best of them and recommend i/Power booksto all my family and friends and and drooling over a G5… and I must admit that this article is rubbish and biased towards Mac. I mean there are a few good lines here and there but on the whole and pretty bad article. Also, the comparison doesn’t make sense. It’d be like comparing Windows 98b with a preview of OsX 10.0. One is a mature member of a long branh, and the other a demo for a completely new OS. In summary… if you’ve read this comment you’ve wasted too much time on this article. 2005-11-29 9:17 am Bryan Agreed. While it’s good to see Paul branch out from was has in the past seemed like a consistently Microsoft-biased approach, this article seems utterly confused and self-contradicting. In fact, what makes OSX so much more secure largely stems from the fact applications in OSX are designed to work on a multiuser system with necessary access controls. Windows NT had these exact same mechanisms from the begining, but most software developers simply ignored that since the volume client, Windows 9x, wasn’t built with those mechanisms. Many have continued to expect full admin rights even with XP since most users run as admin because doing otherwise breaks too many apps–it’s a self-perpetuating cycle, which Microsoft is aiming to curb with Vista. To a large extent, even though the transition from MacOS classic to OSX wasn’t as “smooth” as the transition from Win9x to NT, it seems to have resulted in a more secure ecosystem. The fact that OSX introduced such a sudden change in architecture forced many software vendors to do significant rearchitecting / rewriting in order to feel “Aquafied”. Security was an unintended benefactor. With Vista, if Microsoft does an adequate enough job with limited accounts, as well as locking down services and applications (*cough*Internet Explorer*cough*), I see little reason why Windows couldn’t be considered a secure, modern operating system. There are lots of other points worth mentioning, but frankly given this article it doesn’t feel like it’s worth going in to. 2005-11-29 9:14 am Varg Vikernes I didn’t even read the article, because I’m sick and tired of the same bullshit “Linux vs Windows”, “Mac vs Windows”. Who the f–k cares? Use whatever you feel like and stop shoving your damn ‘facts’ down our throats. Btw, this is how this post will eveolve; A Linux fanboy will start commenting about how their favorite Linux distro already has all those features planned out in their next release and paste 20 SourceForge links. Then a Mac fanboy will jump in to start raving about how OS X already has this. Then a Windows fanboy will start writing long comments trying to prove that Vista has a different/better feature than the one mentioned. And finally a BeOS fanboy will come by to tell everybody BeOS had this in 1996. Thank you. 2005-11-29 9:46 am Anonymous LOL It’s 1:45 AM right now, and that actually made me laugh out loud. How entirely true. However, let’s go back even further … This guy is comparing an OS that is a year away from completion with the mature “4th iteration” of an advanced OS that Apple introduced around 5 years ago. Does anyone else see anything wrong with that? This would be like me comparing some early Linux distro betas to Windows 95 C — you just don’t do it. 2005-11-29 11:40 am thavith_osn Yes and no, Vista is the next version of Windows, XP being the last. It’s not a new OS and Mac is the “4th iteration”, Vista is also a “nth iteration”, in fact, much older than OS X in that reguard (unless you take into account NeXT). The article is comparing Vista (-1 years old) with 10.4 (+0.5 years old), so there is a 1.5 year gap here (minus the latest patches to 10.4. They should really be comparing it with 10.5 (which of course they can’t right now), so the point that they shouldn’t compare them is very true, but your reasoning is a little off imho… Also, the BeOS dude will say it had those features in 1996, followed by some Mac guying saying Apple was going to do that in 84 or NeXT had it in 89 🙂 Then someone else will say that Xerox had it first anyway… 2005-11-29 4:53 pm Anonymous Yeah, but while Vista may be more or less complete underneath, I’m sure that most of the UI elements have not been completed. You still don’t have access to some of Vista’s advanced features through the UI because that simply hasn’t been finished, whereas it’s all spit-and-polished over in Tiger. In either case, they shouldn’t be comparing Vista to anything — period. It’s just not done. 2005-11-29 6:31 pm Tuishimi Well, I am a Mac user… but the comment I did not agree with was the comment about NT NOT being designed with security in mind. He is wrong to say that it was not. NT 3.1 (or whatever it was) had all the underpinnings (fs, network, etc) to be secure. Now, whether or not they implemented them to their fullest extent is another story. But NT could be just as secure as any system out there with a few tweaks. Unfortunately Microsoft has simply hacked this, hacked that and opened some holes because of it, and they also want to make the computing experience as simple to the user as they can (modeled after Win 95 which has obviously been a smashing success (whether due to illegal practices by MS or not – said design has become ubiquitous)) – doing this can often lead to potential security holes. 2005-11-29 8:37 pm Anonymous Yeah, agreed. Any network/system security person will tell you that the finding the proper level of security is difficult, because you have to balance ease of use vs. inconvenience. On one hand, you can have a system that from power on to usable state asks for no passwords, does not do any security checks, and lets you access anything. That would be maximal ease of use, minimal inconvenience. On the other hand, you could have a system that asks you to authenticate through three methods at every stage of boot, and before running programs, reading files, saving files, changing settings etc. That kind of system would be pretty secure, but it would *suck* using it. 2005-11-29 6:26 pm Tuishimi 😛 It’s true. BeOS had it all in 1996! Heh heh! 2005-11-29 9:41 am proforma Skipped the article because of three big reasons. 1) Vista isn’t anywhere near finished yet compared to an already shipping product, which is unfair to begin with. 2) Mac OS X has had better security as the technology is new every so often so you have to keep up with new platforms. A few years ago it was the Power PC, then OS X and now Intel OS X. Three huge breaks in providing software for a platform will reduce security issues, duh. 3) Because Windows has had less of a break of a platform than the mac platform and it’s used by billions more people and less people are going to be less dedicated by the platform since everyone uses it, it’s going to be easy to write harmfull things for the platform. Windows platform by nature is going to be an easy target. If Televisions had an OS… If all TV’s in the world were ran by any OS and was standard, there would be a large numbers of hackers hacking it. It’s the largest stage in the world to make yourself a name. When you combine the PC with Windows and then the Internet, there is your world wide stage. 2005-11-29 10:09 am Anonymous all true. and despite predicting it, it will happen anyway. LOL @”And finally a BeOS fanboy will come by to tell everybody BeOS had this in 1996. “!!! 2005-11-29 10:44 am Anonymous “If Televisions had an OS… If all TV’s in the world were ran by any OS and was standard, there would be a large numbers of hackers hacking it. It’s the largest stage in the world to make yourself a name.” There is 16 Millions Mac Users and ZERO Mac OS X Virus/Trojan/Spyware/… 2 days were enough to release the first Vista virus, and Vista beta was given to 10 Millions of Beta testers. If the lack of Virus on Mac OS X was only related to the difference in the number of users, there would be a least one or two viruses on Mac OS X, but there’s 0 (ZERO). It’s a fact. 2005-11-29 9:57 pm Anonymous Because Windows xxx is so common and heavily used, more people are looking for ways to exploit it. In a symmetrical relationship, more people are looking for the malware/viruses/trojans/etc. that take advantage of it, thus making it much more of a mindshare issue. Just because not as many people are looking for the malware of any type on a system that supposedly is less likely to have it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist somewhere. Overconfidence on the part of intended victims is the first and greatest weapon that some unscrupulous malware author uses to their advantage: pride goeth before the fall, or the exploit. Now, that’s a fact. Jonathan Thompson 2005-11-30 6:39 pm protagonist Don’t post such heresy on a Mac forum. 🙂 You will get hammered for even suggesting that you need to pay attention to security in OS X. I know because I have been there. The only secure system is one that can’t be turned on and the case can’t be opened. And someone will figure out a way around that given enough incentive. Bill 2005-11-29 11:21 am Anonymous I think the article was spot on in regards to security. Vista will probably still have security problems from its NT legacy. Most will fixed or at least alleviated. OSX has its fair share of vulnerabilities, however hijacking the system completely is far more difficult largely because the ordinary user is not nearly always an administrator. While I applaud MS for its record with backwards compatibility, they should perhaps be thinking of encouraging developers to fix applications that require administration privileges. 2005-11-29 12:20 pm superstoned imho the article isn’t bad – it acknoledges vista isn’t finnished, but still manages to give a decent comparison. and remember, WinXP would come out much worse, even when compared to the first iterations of mac OS X… 2005-11-29 1:20 pm Bobmeister Yeah. Geez, just use what you like. If you like Windows, use Windows. Mac, use mac. Linux, use Linux. Solaris, use that. BSD, use that. Geez, boot up DOS and use that. Who cares…. 2005-11-29 1:23 pm Anonymous To some posters: Why even bothering posting if you haven’t even read the article? Is osnews slashdot now? (disclaimer: I am currently not using win nor osx, though I am thinking of buying a mac which is why the comparisons are important to me. Nor am I native english which will explain the odd wording and/or spelling.) These articles are needed. For everyones sake, MS need to know how to improve Vista before its release, because it will be difficult to implement serious/radical changes after its release. The article show clear and objective comparisons, which are easily verified by the reader with screenshots. The most striking difference I noted is this; It (the article) show pretty clearly that OsX has clear gui guidelines and that Vista has not. For example; most functions on the notification icons in OsX can be reached in one click while Vista show different (but related) dialogs if an icon is clicked once, double clicked, right clicked or right clicked plus chosing a menu option. It is also clear that OsX (and some Linux variants such as Ubuntu which I use atm) security system, such as using sudo, is so good that MS have replicated it to Vista. Here are what I would have done if I were in charge for Vista with the unlimited funding that MS has got: The system: 1. Rid Vista of the backward compatability. Cut away the fat. 2. Redesigned the OS from the core up with multi user security in mind. 3. Ditto for network security. 4. Remove application tie-ins from the kernel (to improve security). 5. Minimise the number of daemons running at startup. 6. GUI need to be usable and snappy first, transparent and flashy second (yes BeOS 5 is a very good example of this). General stuff: 1. Using Svg for icons will greatly increase future backward compatability in future releases. 2. Mp3, Ogg, Flac support in addition to the other formats. 3. Remove as many right-clicks as possible. Applications: 1. All native applications should use same gui guidelines (MediaPlayer I am looking at you). 2. The browser should be used for browsing only, let external application handle the rest (non lethal plugins allowed, see firefox). 3. Simple Text editor included that can read/write .doc but save is default to ODT or .txt format. Let the commercial apps have the spellcheck and complex formatting. 4. We’re almost in 2006, my Vista would have a usable wav editor. 5. Feeling very generous, I will include ftp and ssh servers. What would you do? Any other ideas? 2005-11-29 3:06 pm Zan Lynx 1. Rid Vista of the backward compatability. Cut away the fat. Can’t do that. Backward compatibility is probably the #1 reason for Microsoft and Windows’ success. Losing that would be a sure way to kill Vista. Customers would keep their old versions of Windows, or start using Wine. Just imagine how upset everyone would be if they needed to buy all new software every time Windows was updated. 2005-11-29 3:36 pm Anonymous “Can’t do that. Backward compatibility is probably the #1 reason for Microsoft and Windows’ success. Losing that would be a sure way to kill Vista. Customers would keep their old versions of Windows, or start using Wine.” With virtualization at the door, I expect that finally MS will get rid of old crap and wrong security paradigms that now are so tightly bounded in the system to allow retrocompatibility and to allow to run bad old software written with monouser in mind. If not in a future Vista Service Pack, I expect the future Blackcomb to be something totally incompatible, as system, to the “old” dos/win16/win32/.net word, running smoothly apps of each of those words in sandboxed complete virtual machine that would try to securely keep at bait nearly any security abuse possible in bad software they are running, while old *x style security will be progressively become obsolete letting bad apps to do disasters like the millions of codes of credit cards stolen from hipersecure *x server due to bogus application software… 2005-11-29 3:51 pm Tyr. With virtualization at the door, I expect that finally MS will get rid of old crap and wrong security paradigms that now are so tightly bounded in the system to allow retrocompatibility and to allow to run bad old software written with monouser in mind. Considering MS only recently “discovered” virtualisation as a knee-jerk reaction too the fact new processor technologies will alow virtualisation of Windows wether MS likes it or not that’s one hell of a prediction. I certainly won’t place much faith in software quickly cobbled together in Redmond now they have decided Xen and others, without the need for special support built into the kernel, are suddenly a threat. 2005-11-30 6:07 pm protagonist “Just imagine how upset everyone would be if they needed to buy all new software every time Windows was updated.” Uhh, you just about have to do that anyway when a major new Windows release comes around. I have been there and done that which is one of the big reasons I stopped using Windows. Bill 2005-11-29 3:07 pm Anonymous > Here are what I would have done if I were in charge for Vista with the unlimited funding that MS has got: > > The system: > 1. Rid Vista of the backward compatability. Cut away the fat. They are cleaning the code but backwards compatibility must be there that’s why Windows is so successful. > 2. Redesigned the OS from the core up wi th multi user security in mind. They redesigned Vista but it’s pointless to redesign it “from the core up”. The NT line was designed as a multi-user OS. > 3. Ditto for network security. You should read about the changes in their TCP/IP stack. Search for it on their blog (wndp) and on channel9. > 4. Remove application tie-ins from the kernel (to improve security). I’m sure they improved the kernel a lot and removed a lot of “tie-ins” but you can’t be sure if these things are real security risks. > 5. Minimise the number of daemons running at startup. What kind of daemons? Anyway startup will be improved a lot. Their goal is to decrease startup time a lot. > 6. GUI need to be usable and snappy first, transparent and flashy second (yes BeOS 5 is a very good example of this). Well, you can’t try the GUI on the screenshots but Vista is very useable. Transparency is only there for showing off the capabilities. > General stuff: > 1. Using Svg for icons will greatly increase future backward compatability in future releases. It’s true for anything else. But i know it’s a good idea. They stated that png is the new icon format but i think there will be more advanced possibilities for icons using Avalon. > 2. Mp3, Ogg, Flac support in addition to the other formats. Ogg and Flac support is not really important from a business perspective. You will be able to play Ogg and Flac by 3rd party software. > 3. Remove as many right-clicks as possible. It seems a good idea but i don’t know what do you mean. > Applications: > 1. All native applications should use same gui guidelines (MediaPlayer I am looking at you). I think they do it. Just check WMP11 screenshots. The direction is good imho. > 2. The browser should be used for browsing only, let external application handle the rest > (non lethal plugins allowed, see firefox). I think IE is a very basic browser and isn’t good for anything else right now. > 3. Simple Text editor included that can read/write .doc but save is default to ODT or .txt format. > Let the commercial apps have the spellcheck and complex formatting. I agree but then nobody would buy MS Word. I asked them hundred times… they released an updated Word, Excel, PPoint Viewer – at least. > 4. We’re almost in 2006, my Vista would have a usable wav editor. You haven’t seen the video about the new Audio stack in Vista. Check it on Channel9. > 5. Feeling very generous, I will include ftp and ssh servers. They are included in some version of Windows and will be included in Vista. But it’s a trade-off. If they integrate everything they will be sued. Why do you want to kill 3rd parties? They make software for ftp, ssh, etc… 2005-11-30 6:11 pm protagonist “To some posters: Why even bothering posting if you haven’t even read the article? Is osnews slashdot now?” I have to agree with you on this. I enjoy reading reviews even when the author appears to be a bit biased. I mean how good could an OS be if none of its users were biased in its favor? I read the article and enjoyed it. I hope the writer doesn’t get turned off by all the negative comments. What I find more amusing is the amount of time wasted posting comments about an article that people do not read. Oh well, it is their time. Bill 2005-11-29 1:26 pm Anonymous Hi It would be a better idea to wait till 2006 and do a comparison between Vista & Leopard. If you really want to be fair then compare Tiger with XP ;-). Maybe then you’ll realise what crap comes out of Redmond! Another useless read… 2005-11-29 3:42 pm bogomipz Agreed, compare Leopard to Vista after both are released. I don’t think we need to worry though, I can assure you there will be 1K+ articles doing just that when the time comes 2005-11-29 2:02 pm Anonymous Thurrot repeats the same old tired BS that there are no viruses for Mac OS X because it is not widely used. Anyone who used Macs prior to OS X knows that there were plenty of viruses. OS X is just much more secure. 2005-11-29 2:29 pm Anonymous I have been using Macs since 1985. The only virus that I experienced was a Word Macro virus. There were probably a few more that I don’t know-but nowhere near the scale that Windows has suffered. Regarding the article: He is a MS shill and he always gives MS the benefit of the doubt. For instance, he said, in Part I, that MS proposed a system wide search at a meeting and Apple was quick to bring it to the market before MS could. That is nonsense, Apple had both local and internet search in Sherlock in Mac Os 8.0! Aand the search feature in Os 7.1 was so good and fast, that it puts the Spotlight to shame. Nothing original has come out of Redmond and it is a total waste of time to try and fix an old and bloated OS. Unix or Unix variant (Linux) is the way to go to build modern Oses for security. 2005-11-29 2:42 pm Anonymous Lol yea and then they brought out Microsoft Gadgets! Microsoft will always copy others say “we were first”. And to all those ‘newbs’ who want to say that Apple stole Widgets from Konfabulator please go read these: http://daringfireball.net/2004/06/dashboard_vs_konfabulator http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Desk_O… 2005-11-29 3:06 pm Tyr. Anyone who used Macs prior to OS X knows that there were plenty of viruses. OS X is just much more secure. So true. There would be plenty of virusses around by now, but the well thought out (and well implemented!) architecture makes it more difficult. A point the article also rightly makes. Macs aren’t invulnerable though. The recent high profile Sony rootkit has an OsX version too ( http://www.eriksmartt.com/blog/archives/192 .) And I’m sure there already are some undetected virusses in the wild but the situation will never reach the truly sad depths Windows is in. 2005-11-29 4:10 pm Anonymous Take any Mac and reinstall the OS fresh from original disks and connect to the Internet. See what happens. Thats right nothing, it all still works fine. Now take a fresh install of Windows and do the same thing, see if you can get the patches loaded before it falls over. 2005-11-29 3:16 pm Anonymous I am the computer guru to the novices i work with on a daily basis. i am comfortable using all three of major OS’s. (Win,Mac,*nix). There are things I love about each of the operating systems, and there are things i don’t like or even hate in some cases. in regards of this article, i agree with the security problems. microsoft is forced to add these features because of their larger userbase, and therefore more nefarious users around. because of apples and *nixes small, or different userbase you see less problems, or at least it gets less attention because everyone loves to bash the big guy. me too! when i was young, it was my goal to get a programming job with Microsoft (though now Google is my goal) and i still use Windows XP as my primary OS, it wont be for much longer. i am forced to use it at work, so at home i want to relax and use mac. as for linux, i use it as my server. i tried using linux for primary and though i loved it, it was those things where u forced urself to like it. so i left it. 2005-11-29 3:34 pm Anonymous I agree with the posts from people saying how lame these articles are that have the subject – Windows VS Mac, Mac VS Linux etc. I can remember years ago having an Apple II and having friends who had TI-99, Atari 800, TRS-80. With the exception of calling the TRS-80, “Trash 80”, I can not recall all of these adversarial nonsense between computer users. Perhaps you had to be a different breed of user to even have one at that time. Play with all the systems and pick one YOU like the most and STFU! Remember Computer technologies are supposed to be interesting to you. Arguing who has the fastest CPU, OS etc is in many cases like comparing who has the fastest car. How often do you go over 200 mph? I always feel its more marketing/manager types that worry about this than people who truly love computers. 2005-11-29 4:15 pm Anonymous Comparing an existing product to a yet-to-be released product so heavily delayed that it borders on vaporware doesn’t make the slightest sense. Come back if and when Vista is out and then compare it to whatever version (Leopard perhaps) of Mac OS X that is available at that point. 2005-11-29 5:49 pm Anonymous Because Windows has had less of a break of a platform than the mac platform and it’s used by billions more people and less people are going to be less dedicated by the platform since everyone uses it, it’s going to be easy to write harmfull things for the platform. Windows platform by nature is going to be an easy target. By this logic, Linux should be more insecure now that it is used all over the world, than it was 10 years ago when it was just the hobby project of a handful of hackers. 2005-11-29 7:20 pm Anonymous The MAC OS (the old one) was more secure than Windows will ever be ON A NETWORK because the TCP/IP stack operated with almost nothing open. In contrast Windows listens on a long list of ports, associated with those ports have been dozens and dozens of vulnerabilities due to badly written code. On an old MAC there was no need for a firewall at all. In other respects there was nothing secure about Mac OS. 2005-11-29 7:50 pm amon ra comparing an operating system that has been out for haft a year with one that won’t be released for a year. Vista (nee Longhorn) might have supposed to have been released in 2003 but really this should be comparing vista against MacOS X 10.5, any still in development product should be more capable than one that has already been out for haft a year that it is supposed to compete with. But Vista isn’t, even according to him 10.4 beats in in most of the areas that he is talking about.