New York Times
tech columnist and Mac pundit David Pogue turns his attention to Friday’s forthcoming release of Mac OS X v10.3, “Panther,” in a new article entitled
Apple’s Latest 0.1 Adds a Lot.
Microsoft Windows’ perennial virus and worm problems serves as an introduction to Panther for Pogue’s readers. He notes that “Mac OS X, is so far 100 percent virus-free” thanks to a lot “less of its plumbing exposed to the Internet than Windows.” With regards to Panther’s changes, Pogue said, “That decimal-point increase (from version 10.2 to 10.3) doesn’t give the upgrade’s 150 new features enough credit.”
He lists off many of the new version’s key security enhancements like FileVault, a new file encryption scheme, and something that casual Panther researchers might have missed the first time around — a feature called Secure Empty Trash, which overwrites the space left behind by deleted files to more securely get rid of them. Pogue also notes that Mail’s anti-spam measures have been improved.
After recounting some of the much-ballyhooed features of Panther — like the new Finder Sidebar, the window switching capability called Exposé, and Fast User Switching, Pogue also notes that TextEdit can open, edit and create Microsoft Word documents, while Safari and Preview also get improvements. “Apple’s homegrown versions of important programs like Internet Explorer and Acrobat Reader seem aimed at addressing a common criticism: “Boy, if [insert software company here] ever stops making a Mac version of [insert popular program here], Apple will go out of business,” said Pogue.
Pogue analyzes the US$129 price tag for the operating system upgrade. While he said that Microsoft at least “has the decency to wait a few years between upgrades,” he offers some justifications — including the $30 price tag for iChat AV that Jaguar users will soon have to pay, and “value in using an operating system that, well, isn’t Windows.” He also touts Mac OS X’s absence of “Activation,” pop-up messages and the like.
“When you use Mac OS X, you feel like it’s yours; when you use Windows, you feel as though you’re using someone else’s toys, and Mrs. Microsoft keeps peeking in on you,” he said.
“In Panther, Apple has taken an already sparkling, super-stable operating system and made it faster, better equipped and more secure,” Pogue concluded.