Columnists choose Mac OS X over Windows XP

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Wow, who could have foreseen the day? New columns in the Orlando Sentinel and Los Angeles Times compare Windows XP and Mac OS X and they say that now may be the time to go Mac.

In a column that's appeared in both the Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel , writer James Coates writes, "with the arrival of Windows XP, Microsoft's superb new personal computer operating system, there rarely has been a more appropriate time to consider dumping Bill Gates' enormously popular world of Windows and moving over to the Macintosh minority."

Whoa. Coates continues by saying that "maybe you should whisk Windows into the recycle bin and get yourself one of the equally powerful computers based on the PowerPC chip line." And he uses Microsoft's own reasoning to recommend the move.

"The reasoning is as simple as second-grade show and tell, friends and neighbors," Coates writes. "Since Microsoft pitches the move from all other flavors of Windows to Windows XP as an elemental change that will alter our computing lives forever, why not go hog wild? How about a sea change that really will alter our computing lives forever? Why not move to Mac OS X?"

He said that Macs may cost more than Wintel systems, but they offer "beautiful designs" and will run Mac OS X, which he highly praises.

"The reason Mac OS X is so much fun for a digit head is that it is so completely different from using any other computer," Coates writes. "Even if you're not a digit head you're going to like this new way of computing. Getting a crack at Mac OS X reminds me of other PC discoveries, such as the first time I encountered a computer running IBM-DOS, the wonderment of discovering the first Amiga computers, the excitement of getting turned loose on a university workstation and experiencing the power of Unix."

And in the LA Times , writer Jim Heid, a professed Mac lover, writes of his week spent testing Windows XP and Office X for the Mac (due Nov. 19). His conclusion: the best computing platform is a Mac -- running Microsoft software.

Heid says that Windows XP is the best version of Windows yet and has the edge over Mac OS X when it comes to running older programs. But he doesn't like the way XP is "always reminding you of something or offering to help in ways that aren't necessarily helpful" as though "a precocious geek is watching over your shoulder." He also doesn't like the desktop background or the operating system's preference for the Windows Media format over the MP3 format. In fact, a perceived lack of choice pervades Windows XP, Heid says.

"It's as though a marketer also is watching over your shoulder, pitching various Microsoft services and herding you toward Microsoft's business partners," he explains. "There's a bit of this in Mac OS X and some Apple software, but it's far more subtle."

On the other hand, Microsoft's Office X for Mac OS X is a "thing of beauty," Heid says. When Office X ships next month, Mac OS X will become "not only a viable operating system for mainstream computing but a highly desirable one," he concludes.

This story, "Columnists choose Mac OS X over Windows XP" was originally published by PCWorld.

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