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Don’t believe the ‘Experts’

I’ve enjoyed some of the in depth guides on Techradar.com recently, so it was a surprise to read a couple of articles there today that are, while clearly opinions, rather short sighted. The first, Why Mac clones defeat the whole point of a Mac, misses the whole point of building a hackintosh. Here’s the section that gets it all wrong:

There are three major desktop operating systems available at the moment:

  • Linux – an open OS running on open hardware
  • Windows – a closed OS running on open hardware
  • OS X – a closed OS running on closed hardware

Minor feature quibbles aside, all three operating systems do much the same thing. The decision of which one to run is an idealogical one that balances your love of freedom against your love of stability.

I could almost believe this is designed to start a flame war and boost site hits. Since Linux offers the most freedom it’s the least stable? And OS X is the most stable because it offers the least freedom? Idealogical decisions play very little part in the choosing of an operating system. A lot of people use Windows because they don’t know there’s an alternative, or they are happy with it. Many of us use Mac’s because we prefer the way Mac OS works, not because of some idealogical statement.

From a technical point of view, Apple could build a version of Mac OS that runs on a range of generic hardware with no loss of stability. Windows XP supports a vast choice of hardware and ran stable for years on my computer before I switched. Its all down to good practice, using reliable hardware and drivers instead of cutting edge. Apple doesn’t release driver updates every week, just when they feel it’s necessary. A version of Mac OS supporting Intel Core 2 processors, ATI and Nvidia video cards and other common devices would not automatically become unstable or less reliable.

The decision to restrict Mac OS to Apple hardware is a business strategy, not a stability necessity. When opening up Mac OS to generic hardware makes business sense it will happen. Until then those that want to run Mac OS but aren’t prepared to pay for premium hardware will build their own systems.

The second article, ‘Thousands illegally downloading Windows 7‘ not only misses the point once again, but goes on to quote an eleven month old news piece for effect. Let’s start here with a fact. Windows Vista was severely damaged by it’s reputation. Many people will never try Vista because it’s been perceived as a failure, the OS that wasn’t very good. I don’t use it very often so I’m not qualified to comment on how accurate this opinion is, but the damage was done and will likely never change.

Windows 7 is a critical release for Microsoft. A well received and highly regarded OS will show Vista to have been a one off, but another badly reviewed OS will convince many that Microsoft is a company in decline. The fact that so many people want to get their hands on the Windows 7 beta early is nothing but good news for Microsoft. Quoting Digital Journal does nothing to improve the article:

‘For users, this means that Windows 7 will be a very well studied system when it comes out. This is in effect sabotage, on a huge scale. Any security flaws will be well known.’

What? We’re sabotaging Windows 7 security by downloading it a couple of weeks early? My favourite bit of scaremongering is this:

‘And while many (us included) are more than happy to wait for the ‘official’ launch of the new Windows 7 beta from Microsoft, which is rumoured to be announced at CES in Las Vegas next week, others are offering warnings that Windows 7 downloads via torrent sites might not be all that they claim.’

That warning was published on 29th January 2008, about Windows 7 Milestone 1. Eleven months ago. The original reasoning was that we are all ignoring common sense by downloading pre release software that might contain malware. It didn’t, but why not dredge up the FUD again, and get in another cheap shot at the bittorent sites.

Of course, it could have been Microsoft that leaked it……

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  1. January 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

    A very Nice Website Ive seen Uptill. Excellent post. Keep it up! Good day!

  2. February 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    this is nice post guy… help me alot… thanks

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