The positive reviews continue to roll in for Mac OS X.
MIT Technology Review, columnist Simson Garfinkel says that Mac OS X “marks the death of one of the world’s great operating systems.” However, he says this is a good thing.
“Since its birth, the Macintosh has always had an excellent user interface but a crummy underlying operating system,” Garfinkel writes. “Those problems date back to 1984, when Apple shipped the first Macintosh with Motorola’s 68000 microprocessor rather than waiting for the more able-bodied 68010. That choice prevented Apple from incorporating technologies like memory protection and preemptive multitasking into the original Mac. The legacy of that mistake was nearly two decades of system crashes. But all of this history is about to be rendered moot. With OS X, Apple is making a dramatic departure from the past. OS X (the X means 10) is a fundamentally new operating system that is merely pretending to be a Macintosh of old.”
Interestingly, he says the advent of Mac OS X may be bigger news for Windows users than for Mac fans. Mac OS X “freshens the Mac OS bloodline,” overcomes the Mac’s “inbred disorders,” and provides a new base for future expansion, Garfinkel says.
“It’s a big gamble,” he writes. “If Apple succeeds, the impact will extend far beyond the current world of Mac users. For starters, OS X could dramatically expand Apple’s current user base. More importantly, Apple’s increasing relevance will ensure that its innovations will show up in software from Microsoft and in hardware from top PC vendors like Compaq Computer, Dell Computer and Gateway.”
column for the Los Angeles Times, Jim Heid says that with version 10.1, Mac OS X has “reached its stride.”
He praises its enhanced performance, added support for CD burning and (“sort of”) DVD burning. (As he points out, Mac OS 10.1 won’t let you create DVD videodiscs until iDVD 2 ships next month.)
Heid also likes the Aqua and Dock enhancements. And he’s pleased with the “slow-but-sure progress” on the software scene.
“Some popular programs, such as Quicken, Apple’s FileMaker Pro and AppleWorks, Corel’s Painter and Macromedia’s FreeHand, are available now,” Heid writes. “Microsoft will ship the OS X version of Office in November … Adobe Systems last week announced OS X versions of its Illustrator drawing package and InDesign publishing programs. Illustrator ships later this year; InDesign, early next year.”
a ZDNet critique, John Rizzo said that Mac OS X is “now ready for the masses.”
“The March Mac OS X release opened lots of possibilities for the Mac platform, but it simply wasn’t finished,” he writes. “Mac OS X 10.1, the long-awaited update, fills the cracks.”
Rizzo likes Mac OS X 10.1’s improved performance with new keyboard shortcuts, movable Dock, support for digital cameras, excellent DVD and CD burning, and built-in Windows file server client and support for Windows network drives. On the downside, he doesn’t like the cluttered Dock and the lack of native applications.