The Mercury News writer Jon Fortt used his column this week to clarify some misunderstandings from an earlier article entitled “Mac platform good to a point.” His clarifications come in a new article called
Mac vs. Windows: Point, counterpoint.
In Fortt’s earlier article, he asserted that Macs were encumbered by a lack of software compatibility with Windows, limited choices in file sharing options, networking challenges, and a lack of parity with an instant messaging features to be introduced in Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system.
Responding to often heated criticism he received from Mac users, Fortt clarified — he said that third party software like LimeWire and Aimster don’t operate as well on the Mac as they do on Windows (though he gives LimeWire a thumbs up on OS X). He also said that Windows XP’s system-wide instant messaging technology doesn’t have a Mac parallel.
Fortt also talks about the difficulty in networking Macs and PCs for the average consumer, but he does say that OS X should “make it a breeze” to incorporate Macs and PCs on the same network.
His final assertion is that it’s risky to buy a Mac, since Apple’s not done tuning Mac OS X’s performance and feature set, and the “almost-done status” makes him wary. It’s hard to figure out what sort of system to buy when the operating system itself is a moving target for features and performance, suggested Fortt. “If you buy a system now expecting it to run like a dream next April, you’re taking a risk,” said Fortt.
Windows XP isn’t out yet, but Fortt suggests that regardless, it’ll be installed as the default operating system on PCs this fall. And Apple isn’t going to take that step until next year, probably April, according to Fortt. Fortt said that the April date was given to him by none other than Apple vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller — “what Jobs referred to as “midnight” during his Macworld [Expo New York] keynote speech,” said Fortt.