Monday, May 02, 2005

some times you ride the bull...

This past week Apple released the Tiger version of OSX, and the response was as expected: rabid Mac fans foaming at the mouth, rabid Windows users stepping up to defend the OS they spend the rest of the time swearing at, and *nix users (who may or may not belong to one of the preceding groups) quickly pointing out that OSX is really just Unix behind a glittery facade. Personally the whole thing gives me a raging soft-on.

So what is Microsoft doing on the OS front? Longhorn, originally slated for last year, is due out "in the 2006 holiday season" minus some of the (rather fundamental) features the OS is supposed to be based on, like the WinFS file system. They could be using this time to revamp their bloated codebase, but they aren't. They're just going to keep writing crap code and expect you to buy a better machine to make it run at decent speeds. The fact that the recommended hardware doesn't exist yet is apparently a minor issue.

At last year's WinHEC, developer sources said that Microsoft was going to recommend the "average" Longhorn PC feature a dual-core CPU running at 4 to 6GHz; a minimum of 2 gigs of RAM; up to a terabyte of storage; a 1 Gbit built-in, Ethernet-wired port and an 802.11g wireless link; and a graphics processor that runs three times faster than those on the market.

It's a good thing that MS expects Longhorn to be so good that it will be the OS of choice for ten years; it will be that long before the 'average' computer meets those standards. In the meantime Longhorn users will have to contend with bloated slow-running code. But hey, at least MS is trying to make up for that by making Longhorn as difficult to use as it is ugly.