Apple's Snow Leopard beats Windows 7 on price, ship date
Exec calls Windows 7 'same old Vista,' but analysts doubt Apple's lower price, earlier launch matter
Computerworld - Apple executives took potshots at Microsoft's Windows 7 today as they trumpeted the September release of the company's own Snow Leopard operating system and its $29 upgrade price.
"What a big hole Microsoft has dug," Bertrand Serlet, Apple's head of software engineering, said during the keynote of the company's annual WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC), which opened today in San Francisco. "They're trying to get out of it with Windows 7 [but] it's the same old technology as Vista. Fundamentally, it's just another version of Vista."
But the more Serlet talked up Snow Leopard, the more he sounded like a Microsoft executive outlining Windows 7. Both Apple and Microsoft, for example, have described their next operating systems as less about new features and more about building on the foundation of their respective predecessors, with special emphasis on performance, stability and usability.
Serlet made that crystal clear. "We love Leopard, so we decided to build upon Leopard," he said. "We want to build a better Leopard."
That's not much different than what Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said last October as he defended Vista while also claiming that Windows 7 would be a major release, something most analysts dispute. "[Windows 7], it's Windows Vista, a lot better," said Ballmer at the time.
Analysts noticed the similarities today. "People aren't interested in bigger and heavier, loading in all these features," said Allen Krans of Technology Business Research. "They want something that works, that's simple and intuitive to use."
"This just addresses the reality," added Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft. "In both cases, we are dealing with companies offering updates to fundamentally mature products. There will be some additions due to new hardware support -- Blu-Ray, for example -- but to a large extent, what is going to matter more and more is security, stability and performance."
But Apple did highlight two differences between Snow Leopard and Windows 7 today: The former will beat the latter to store shelves, and Apple's OS will cost considerably less than Microsoft's.
Although Apple didn't pin the release of Snow Leopard to a specific day in September, if it meets its schedule, Mac OS X 10.6 will appear weeks before Windows 7. Last week, Microsoft announced Windows 7 would go on sale Oct. 22.
But does it matter? Cherry didn't think so. "I don't envision that anyone is really saying to themselves: 'I need a new computer, and whoever ships first gets my business,'" he said.
Michael Silver, an analyst at Gartner, agreed. "I don't think Apple beating Microsoft to release by a few weeks matters," he said. "They will both miss back-to-school and one could say that this may even be more important for Apple and thus a bigger miss."
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
- Apple signals end to OS X Snow Leopard support
- Apple sneaks Safari update into Snow Leopard
- OS X Snow Leopard stubbornly rejects retirement
- Snow Leopard users: Just try to pry this from my cold, dead hands
- Apple goes against grain, extends support for Snow Leopard
- Mac users left wondering if OS X Snow Leopard's retired
- Opinion: In depth with Apple's Snow Leopard Server
- Apple fixes data deletion bug in Snow Leopard, blocks Atom 'hackintoshes'
- Smackdown: Windows 7 takes on Apple's Snow Leopard
- Snow Leopard sales roar out the gate
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Taking Windows Mobile on Any Device Taking Windows applications mobile has many advantages, but the process of identifying a solution is complex. Learn how to solve this complex problem...
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts