by Jim Lynch

Windows 10 is no threat to OS X

Jul 29, 2015
MacOSSmall and Medium BusinessWindows

Microsoft's desperate attempt to fix its Windows 8 mistakes is not going win many users over from OS X

The upcoming release of Windows 10 has some journalists chattering on about how it can do things that OS X can’t and how it makes Apple’s operating system look bad by comparison. Yes folks, it’s time to bash Apple again and make it appear as though the company is lagging behind Microsoft.

Ugh, I really hate to wade into this mess but here’s my reaction to all of the blather about Windows 10: I don’t care about it and I’ll tell you why in this post as I examine a recent article that compare Windows 10 to OS X.

Things Windows 10 can do that OS X can’t

A recent article appeared on Yahoo Tech that touts “Five things Windows 10 can do that OS X can’t” as a big deal. I’ll take each item one at a time and tell you why they don’t matter to me.

Daniel Howley reports for Yahoo Tech:

But regardless of how much better Windows 10 is than its predecessor — which, again, was awful — the big question on many minds will be: How does Windows 10 compare to Apple’s OS X?

And, sure, while there are plenty of things that Windows 10 seems to have “borrowed” from OS X — the new notification panel is just like the Notification Center in OS X, and Windows’ Task View is a dead ringer for Apple’s Mission Control — there are a bunch of features in Windows 10 that OS X can’t match. Here are five of the most notable.

1. Scribble on Web pages

2. Switch between desktop and tablet

3. Search by voice

4. Stream Xbox One games

5. Play the hottest games

More at Yahoo Tech

Who wants to write on Web pages in OS X?

Okay, let’s start with the ability to annotate Web pages. This is the number one new feature mentioned by Dan Howley in his list. While scribbling on a Web page might seem like a cool feature, how often are people going to actually do it? I read tons of Web pages everyday and I’ve never, ever had the urge to actually annotate one.

What I usually do if it’s something that interests me is to just save it to my Reading List in Safari. If it’s something I can use in a blog post here on Eye On Apple, I’ll refer back to it and then incorporate it into a new post when I want to use it. But that’s about it. Writing on a Web page itself is just not something I’m going to do because it serves no useful purpose to me.

No, I don’t want a hybrid tablet and laptop

The next feature that Howley touts is the ability to switch between a desktop computer and a tablet. I’ve had some folks ask me about this and I usually just let them know that I prefer my desktop and mobile operating systems to be separate devices. I really don’t want a laptop that is also a tablet and vice versa.

For example, I own a Macbook Pro and an iPad Air 2. I love both devices, and I use them regularly. But I have no desire to have them blended into one device. Each of them serves a particular purpose for me and I don’t want one device that is a half-assed hybrid that tries to glom both devices into one unit.

Tim Cook summed up the problems with hybrid devices in a quote from a few years ago:

“Anything can be forced to converge, but the problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make tradeoffs to the point where what you have left doesn’t please anyone,” Cook said. “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user.”

I suppose that some folks might want one device that can be used both ways: as a tablet and as a laptop or desktop machine. But I sure don’t and I’m glad that Apple has wisely decided to keep its tablets and laptops completely separate, right down to their operating systems.

Apple will add Siri to OS X eventually

The third feature mentioned by Howley is voice search on Windows 10 PCs. Here is the one thing that I agree with him that needs to be added to OS X. I think Apple must bring Siri to OS X at some point since voice search could work very well for many users on laptops and desktops, and it’s something I’d probably use on a daily basis.

But I suspect that Apple has had its hands full with the launch of the Apple Watch and other initiatives that have kept Siri out of OS X. Ultimately though I think Apple will include Siri in a future release of OS X. When will that happen? I don’t know but if Windows 10 lights a fire under Apple’s ass then Microsoft will have my thanks.

I don’t own an XBox One so why would I care about streaming games?

The fourth feature Howley mentions is the ability to stream XBox One games. This is rather a dumb thing to even bring up since there’s no way Microsoft would allow Apple to stream XBox One games even if Apple wanted to do it. And Apple doesn’t want to do it.

I don’t own an XBox One, so obviously streaming games from it in OS X is not something I care about one way or the other. It’s utterly irrelevant to me and I suspect the same applies to the vast majority of other OS X users.

OS X has always lagged behind Windows in gaming

The last feature that Howley mentions is that ability to “play the hottest games.” Well that’s fair enough since Windows has always had more games than OS X. But that has nothing to do with Windows 10. It’s something that has been true for many years, so it seems a bit odd to mention it as a comparison between Windows 10 and OS X.

It’s not like Windows 10 has suddenly made Windows-based gaming more appealing to developers. It’s just a continuation of what has gone before. Gaming in OS X has historically never really been a priority for Apple, but that has nothing to do with Windows 10.

Windows 10 is simply no threat to OS X

So to conclude here, the only thing that is even mildy interesting to me in Windows 10 is the voice search. And, as I noted above, Apple will bring it to OS X via Siri at one point or another. So voice search is certainly not something that is probably going to get people to switch from OS X to Windows.

Howley’s article ultimately doesn’t offer much in the way of a real comparison between OS X and Windows 10 since it doesn’t even get into all of the new features and fine-tuning that Apple has done in OS X Yosemite. The next version of OS X is currently in beta (I’m running it right now on this iMac as I type this post) and will be available for free in the fall.

I understand that some folks prefer Windows over OS X, and I’m fine with that. More power to them if Windows 10 is what they want to use, but its not something that even comes close to making me want to dump OS X. Windows 10 to me instead seems more like a very desperate attempt by Microsoft to fix all of its screw ups in Windows 8.

Thanks Microsoft, but I’ll pass on Windows 10.

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