Several years ago I read what I considered to be the ultimate description of the difference between Mac OS X and Windows. This really, really stuck with me, but the URL didn’t. I finally managed to stumble across it again today. The article was a comparison by Network Computing between Mac OS X and Windows Vista. It speaks clearly though to primary gripes I have with Windows whenever I have to use it for more than 45 seconds. Here’s the money quote that really stood out for me at the time:
“Operational philosophy” isn’t something that’s written anywhere on a whiteboard or an inspirational poster. It’s more of a “what does this remind me of” kind of thing. In other words, when I’m using an OS and I want to describe how I interact with it, what’s the description that best suits it?
For Mac OS X, it’s the classic English butler. This OS is designed to make the times you have to interact with it as quick and efficient as possible. It expects that things will work correctly and therefore sees no reason to bother you with correct operation confirmations. If you plug in a mouse, there aren’t going to be any messages to tell you “thatmouse you plugged in is now working.” It’s assumed you’ll know that because you’ll be able to instantly use the mouse. Plug in a USB orFireWire hard drive and the disk showing up on your desktop is all the information you need to see that the drive has correctly mounted. It is normally only when things are not working right that you see messages from Mac OS X.
Windows is … well, Windows is very eager to tell you what’s going on. Constantly. Plug something in and you get a message. Unplug something and you get a message. If you’re on a network that’s having problems staying up, you’ll get tons of messages telling you this. It’s rather like dealing with an overexcited Boy Scout … who has a lifetime supply of chocolate-covered espresso beans. This gets particularly bad when you factor in things like the user-level implementation of Microsoft’s new security features.
To put it simply, you can work on a Mac for hours, days even, and only minimally need to directly use the OS. With Vista? The OS demands your attention, constantly.
You can read the original article by following this link.