The Macalope Daily: Cats reviewing dogs

Windows enthusiasts. We don’t like to talk about them—we don’t even like to think about them, frankly—but they exist and not thinking about them isn’t going to make them go away. Or make them stop pretending to write objective pieces about Apple products.

You wouldn’t go to a cat for an objective review of the new 2011 dogs, would you? “Meh. Seen better. Tails? We’ve had those for years!”

So, when a few people suggest the Macalope tackle Paul Thurrott’s “analysis” of iOS 5 and Lion he demurred at first. He wasn’t sure he had too much more to offer than John Gruber did.

Thurrott’s actually lower on the Macalope’s list of targets than you might think. He’s a Windows enthusiast. He’s got his perspective. His weird, twisted, incomprehensible perspective. We might not understand it, but at least his biases are readily apparent and he’s even capable of rising above them.

But it’s Friday and the Macalope’s had a long week. He needs some low-hanging fruit. Like shank-level fruit.

Now, you have to realize that Thurrott’s condescending tone in this piece is deliberately crafted. It starts in the title, for crying out loud, where he puts Lion in quotes. Pro tip, Paul: when in doubt you can always check the company’s Website. Unless you’re just being a jerk. It couldn’t be that, could it? (See “analysis” above for how that works.)

Thurrott helpfully goes so far as to rate both operating systems “three out of five stars”. That’s the jerktastic sweet spot, a positive review while still being dismissive.

Like Gruber, the Macalope has no quarrel with Thurrott’s contention that iOS 5 borrows from the competition. It’s true and it’s a good thing.

What this means is that iOS is maturing, and for those using this platform, these are all welcome changes. For the rest of the world, however, it’s been-there-done-that—not exactly the innovation message Apple likes to project.

Thurrott’s not stupid. Weird, but not stupid. He knows what a product lifecycle is. He just likes to pretend he doesn’t so he can slam Apple. Here we’re supposed to think the fact that Microsoft finally introduced a decent smartphone OS years after the competition is a good thing. Sure, Paul.

Since making the transition from its buggy Mac OS past to the more durable and reliable Mac OS X, Apple has delivered a decade’s worth of minor, purely evolutionary updates, and Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” is just the latest.

Maybe this is splitting hairs, but the Macalope would contend it wasn’t so much the Classic Mac OS that was buggy. It was third-party extensions that were buggy and continually caused conflicts. Still, late in its lifecycle, the overall experience was a buggy one.

People buy Macs for the beautiful hardware, not the lackluster OS X user experience.

There’s the Windows enthusiast shining through. Well, more like glistening through. Like a banana slug.

Thurrott’s implication is apparently that it’s better to leave users on an operating system that’s a security nightmare for six years, then give them a piss-poor update before finally shipping something usable after eight years even if it means an incredibly painful upgrade process.

Seems a little weird to the Macalope, but…

The point is, while Paul may consider Windows 7 “revolutionary,” it’s still comparable to Snow Leopard. We just didn’t have to wait 8 years to enjoy all of our revolution.

By the way, has anyone ever noticed you never see Thurrott and the Winotaur at the same time? Curious.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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