Hmm, so Paul Thurrott has somehow or other got his hands on a computer running Tiger, and even done an install. The review is over at http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/macosx_tiger.asp (I’m not going to hyperlink it, because it just feels scuzzy to do so).
OK, a few points about what’s written there. First, factual errors: Tiger is a minor software release, and it’s late: Originally expected in late 2004, Apple last year explained that it was slowing the development time of its operating systems.
No: that’s untrue. Avie Tevinian (Apple’s chief software guy) mentioned in a round-table interview in September 2003, when Panther hadn’t been released, that Apple was going to slow down its OS releases. The same theme was reiterated by Apple people who were demoing the then-new Panther (10.3) around its release in October 2003. Apple never committed to releasing 10.4 in late 2004. Perhaps some people thought that because it had produced 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3 in that timeframe that 10.4 should, but that’s not the same as making a public comment.
Secondly, and really demonstrating that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, this is a review on a Windows site. OK, fair enough. So you would expect that it would give good context – showing how this feature compares to that feature in Windows. Is the help system better than Windows now? (It certainly wasn’t, in terms of speed, in 10.3; though in terms of comprehensibility, Apple’s help stuff is light years ahead. If you’ve ever tried to understand a Windows “help” panel, you’ll know what I mean.) How about finding files? Or connecting hardware? Or just about anything? How does it compare to Windows XP SP2, which is what it’s now up against?
Is Spotlight better than the freebie things for Windows like Google Desktop Search? Is Dashboard and its widgets better than Konfabulator on Windows? We’ll not know, even though this is meant to be a review on a Windows site, where one presumes there will be Windows users browsing by. Hell, it’s got a top billing on the front page: you’d think it would be more incisive than noting, re Spotlight, that Microsoft is working on similar, if further-reaching, technology for Longhorn.
Well, colour me just a reader, but what“further-reaching technology”? Is it WinFS? That’s the search function that’s been trimmed off Longhorn, surely, to be made available separately. So what’s this mysterious “technology” that Microsoft is doing for Longhorn?
And just to show how crap this “review” is, it doesn’t even answer the most basic question that anyone will ask: is it faster? Well, is it? This post (on, apparently, a developer’s blog) suggests it is: +50% CPU, +25% UI.
As for his stuff about the price – $129 in the US, £89 in the UK – he says Tiger is a solid release. It’s just not a major upgrade that’s worth the $129 price tag. Surely if Apple can violate its “every other release is free” policy, it could charge $50 or less for Tiger. Oh, right, and what’s this “every other release is free” policy? Could you point me to the web page? No, because it doesn’t exist. (Update: Despite the comment below, this wrong claim is still in there. Who knows what was “updated” on the page. It wasn’t this error.)
This is the sort of hack journalism I really hate, because it’s so lazy. More than that, it’s premature and completely lacks context. Developers I’ve talked to are *very* excited about the possibilities that Spotlight (the search facility) and Dashboard offer.
The expectation, they say, is that Dashboard will excite people initially, because the widgets are fun and easy to do. They’ll be the ones that proliferate. But it’s Spotlight that will be the powerful thing, because it’s so deep underneath, and can link in to so much. Knowledge is power, they tell me, and search like this finds where the knowledge resides.
But when you’ve got someone so blinkered that all you want to do is crank out a “review” to get a little mileage for your Windows site by getting Apple fans to visit it, what do you expect?
Do yourselves a favour. Just don’t go there. Wait for something better.
Update: for an encapsulated not-quite-review, you can do a lot worse than read this ExtraBITS piece (from the TidBITS team) which gives you a helicopter view of Tiger, yet also the feel of what’s happening. Oh, and doesn’t contain any factual errors I could see.