Writing in SmartMoney.com’s
column, Tiernan Ray said that he believes Mac OS X will “be a blessing for consumers,” though he said that Apple has a lot of hard work to do to convince developers and consumers alike. His comments come in a new article entitled
Two Cheers for Mac OS X.
Ray notes that neither Mac OS X nor Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows XP take users very far into the future, like the first GUI revolution did, but he does think that Mac OS X is the winner.
“Between the two, though, I think the balance of the account falls squarely in favor of Apple’s OS X. I’ve been using OS X on a daily basis for the last month, running on Apple’s spiffy G4 PowerBook laptop, and I believe it will be a blessing for consumers,” said Ray.
Despite some limitations and idiosyncrasies, said Ray, Mac OS X is better than any of the consumer desktop operating systems now on the market — including various flavors of Windows. It’s also more user-friendly than desktop Linux systems the author has tried. A veteran Windows user, he’s forgiving of a few crashes he’s had with Mac OS X and some serious bugs.
“They’re nothing worse than what I’ve encountered with Windows on a daily basis,” wrote Ray.
Ray thinks that Apple has a strong opportunity to win the hearts and minds of open-source developers, if it plays its cards right, signaling an opportunity to turn around its reputation as being close-minded to outside ideas. When push comes to shove, though, Ray said it’s imperative that Apple does more to attract developers by creating more robust development tools and easing the learning curve associated with Mac OS X.
Now’s a good time for Apple to strike at the corporate market, said Ray. He believes that with Linux on the rise, the Justice department’s suit against Microsoft still fresh in people’s minds and the continuing rise of the Internet, people are ready for something other than Microsoft.
“Despite many bugs, and despite some of its warmed-over hacks, Mac OS X is a fine consumer product. It will appeal to experienced users, and it’s a good place for neophytes to start surfing the Web, do some desktop publishing and send email,” said Ray.