Better Solution to Windows

Even though Bill Gates is wealthy and has had a proven success with Microsoft Windows, Windows is not the best product on the market. Excellent marketing has made Microsoft more successful, more so than being a quality product. Windows users are willing to accept the flaws with Windows due to the ease of use. Many users do not know of alternatives to Microsoft Windows due to a lack of knowledge and by a lack of marketing from the other operating systems. There is one alternative that is easier to use than Windows and they do market their operating system. The users who have migrated over to using Apple’s OS X operating system prove to be loyal to Apple’s solid quality product. It is these loyal users who know that Apple computers are better structured, more stable, and they allow their users to be more productive.

In order to better understand what progression Apple’s different operating systems had to endure to attain its current status, it is best to look at the process of making each new operating system better in descending chronological order. The current version of the Macintosh operating system is OS X (Operating System Roman numeral ten). OS X has the Macintosh graphical user interface built onto the platform of UNIX. This provides an operating system that is stable, secure, multitasking, and compatible with specific hardware, making this version of the Macintosh operating system very reliable. Prior to OS X, OS 9 was release in 1999 in which Apple claimed to be the best internet operating system ever (Reference1). Within this version of Apple’s operating system there were features such as updating the OS over the internet and backwards compatibility for older products and applications. Taking a step back further in time, OS 8 was released in 1998 and some of the main differences from OS 8 and previous version were that OS 8 had better graphics with a completely reconstructed interface. Apple put 3d to use within OS 8 as well as including status bars, scrolling bars, icons, menu bars, and even use of Windows. OS 8 is when the Macintosh became more familiar to the mass majority of users because of the use of all these common features. As you can see, within the last 3 versions of Apple’s operating systems their focus has been stability, ease of use, great graphics, and making the use of the internet to benefit users. (Process)

Many people complain about Microsoft Windows without really supporting their arguments, here are some bad key points to Windows. Within recent releases of Microsoft Windows there has been a Product Activation. This product activation forces users to register that piece of software to a particular machine. Although this causes users to purchase additional software licenses, it effectively makes it considerably challenging for users who may have had to rebuild their computer and reload their operating system. The second bad point to Microsoft Windows is that it is not multi-tasking; it is a time slotted operating system. This means when the computer received multiple processes it handles the processes on a basis of first come first serve as opposed to being able to handle multiple processes at the same time. The next bad key point to Windows is the registry. The registry within Windows is a database that keeps track of all the settings within the operating system. The problem with the registry is that the database can get to big or corrupt, causing the operating system to work slow or crash (Reference2). Another big problem with Windows for both the common user and even for the system administrators is the file permissions. Windows tries to incorporate too many things into Windows permissions. Windows tries to integrate user permissions, file permissions, and group permissions (Reference3). This typically makes troubleshooting problems very troublesome for both beginning users and seasoned administrators. These are just a few key points with problems within the Windows operating system. There are many more you may be concerned with or want to research on your own. (Cause and effect)

Since we know there is an alternative to Microsoft Windows, we should know a little more about the structure of Apple’s OS X operating system and key points about it. Apple’s OS X is basically Apple’s graphical user interface (GUI) built onto a Free Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) foundation. Free BSD is an operating system that was based developed from the fundamentals of UNIX (Reference4). To the average user this does not mean much because most average users are not concerned with the inter workings of their operating system. The average user just wants it to function when they want it to. The nice thing about OS X being built off Free BSD is that it provides exactly this stability the user is looking for. One major problem with some of the different types of UNIX operating systems is that it can be rather challenging to know when newer versions or updates are available. This is where Apple embodied the remote updates that can be performed across the Internet. Another key feature about OS X is that when Apple developed this they had two major factors in mind: security and simplicity. By default all services are disabled within OS X until the user requests them by turning them on. This ultimately makes the operating system more secure by not running unnecessary services that can render a system vulnerable. The other key factor Apple had in mind was the simplicity. Apple has made it so easy for the user to install and uninstall programs. All the user has to do is simple double click to install a program and drag it to the trash can to uninstall a program. As you can see, Apple had all users in mind by making their operating system simple, secure, and stable.

In order to understand how good an operating system is, it is best to ask other’s opinions. Jupiter Kajiwara was courteous enough to answer some questions about what he thinks of Microsoft Windows operating systems. Jupiter has been using Windows operating systems for 15 years. He says he is pretty reliant on the Windows operating system as he uses if for personal and professional gain. He is a server administrator on over 80 different Windows 2003 advance servers and he does have experience with other operating systems. When asked if he was loyal to Microsoft Windows he replied, “I don’t think I have any loyalty to Microsoft or Windows. If there is something better for me for what I do out there, I will switch.” Jupiter went on to say he thinks with every new release of Windows, he feels they are progressively getting better. Jupiter then said that Windows can be unstable at times, but it really depends on how the computer is built and what it is being used for. Jupiter also mentioned that Windows really didn’t do a good job of keeping people’s computers secure and safe from vulnerabilities like viruses or spy ware until Windows XP service pack 2 was released (Reference5). As you can see, even experience professionals who extensively rely on the technology built into this operating system can find instabilities and vulnerabilities, but he was willing to endure that sacrifice due to the convenient ease of use Windows poses for him.

Michael Maeda, a network technician, who has been using Apple operating systems for 15 years, was willing to share his thoughts about Apple’s operating systems. Michael acknowledged he is a very loyal Apple enthusiast who believes Apple continuously improves the efficiency of their operating system with every release to include updates. He went on to say this is very important that Apple improves their efficiency with every release because as opposed to Windows, when Windows releases an update for their operating system it is merely a bug fix and they rarely add new features except with major releases. When asked what Michael liked best about Apple’s operating systems he replied, “The best feature of Apple operating systems is Apple’s attention to detail. Apple creates a complete solution with a stable operating system and hardware that looks and runs better than any competitors.” When asked about what he disliked most about Apple’s operating systems Michael replied, “Apple’s strength is also one of their greatest weaknesses.” Many argue that Apple should release their operating system for Intel processors and allow other hardware vendors to manufacture hardware compatible with the Macintosh operating system. This would create many compatibility problems with hardware and software. If Apple were to let other vendors build their hardware one of their greatest strengths is lost. The big question is whether the increased revenue would offset the loss of compatibility and stability.” Michael also noted that he is not reliant on Apple products, but he likes their operating systems because he believes Apple products allow their users to be more productive by providing a quality product. When asked if he believes Apple does a good job of keeping their computers safe and secure from vulnerabilities like viruses and spyware Michael admitted that there has not been any significant viruses or spyware created to attack the Macintosh operating systems, so it makes it easy for Apple to defend against (Reference 6). As you can see by this Apple enthusiast he relies on the company’s sacrifice and business decisions to make a quality product that keeps him loyal and more productive, setting him apart from his peers.

Apple’s OS X comes with apple script, iCal, iSync, and iChat AV preinstalled with the operating system to increase productivity of users. iCal is a handy calendar program that can help a user organize their life. iCal has some neat features about it that make it stand out amongst other calendar programs. The first unique feature is the alarm. The alarm will send an alarm to the user to remind them of a date or an event the user activated the alarm for. The next feature requires an activation of a .Mac account, but with it the user can then publish their calendar on the internet to allow them to share it with family or friends. Apple script takes advantage of OS X being built on a UNIX platform. Within Apple script users can perform tasks that could take up a lot of time if the user did not utilize the scripting. AppleScript can also perform fundamental image edits, such as cropping, scaling, rotation, and type conversion, without the need of other applications (Reference7). iChat AV is a messaging service that works with AOL Messenger to allow users to collaborate by sending and receiving files, messages, video, or voice chat. With using the streaming video features this allows a user to deliver a high quality video to the party or parties on the other end, making it easy to keep in touch with family, friends, or even colleagues. There can also be more than one person connected, making it easy to host a business videoconference.

For users who want to be more creative they can purchase an additional suite of applications called “iLife.” iLife consists of iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, and Garageband programs. The first program iPhoto is an excellent way for users to be able to import their photos and then they can organize them. Within iPhoto users have the ability to put their photos into a virtual album in which either the individual photos ore the photo album can actually purchase from Apple and it will be mailed to any address the user provides. A couple other features are the ability users have to e-mail their photos and also have them formatted to be displayed on an intranet or even the Internet. The second program iMovie gives the user the ability to import video in which it is converted into a digital format and then the user can create their own movies. iMovie makes developing movies easy, even for the most novice user by allowing a simple drag and drop so the user can choose the order of their sequence. Since iMovie provides an easy way for the user to plan the sequence of their movie, iDVD will actually help the user to format their DVD. The word “format” is being used loosely here because by formatting the DVD what is meant is the user can create their own menu or place music on the DVD if they choose. iDVD also supports many formats for DVD’s to include the newest technology of high definition and then the user can actually burn the disk. Garageband is a cool program for musicians by allowing them to actually record tracks of music and then mixing it by changing the speed or tone, all in one simple application. The last program of this suite is iTunes. iTunes is a program, which plays music either from a CD, DVD, MP3, MP4, or streaming format. Within iTunes there is iStore where a user can buy digital music as well. It is easy to see where a creative person can easily find these applications real attractive when they want to put their creative hat on (Reference8).

Much like programs within Microsoft office, Apple offers an incredible productivity suite called “iWork.” In contrast to Microsoft office having multiple applications in it, iWork includes only two applications; Keynote and Pages. PowerPoint is to Microsoft as Keynote is to Apple; however Keynote gives more themes for users to choose from and offers higher quality presentations. Keynote uses high “cinema” quality presentations to make even the most boring product look exciting while PowerPoint cannot offer as good of quality. Keynote is able to make any product look good by allowing for a variety of transitions, text effects, and animation controls. This in a sense puts the user in the director’s chair when they are putting their presentation together. Since Keynote aids the user with developing presentations, Pages aids the user with word processing. By any means do not underestimate this word processor. As opposed to Microsoft’s Word program, Pages includes different types of templates for different types of documents, anything ranging from newsletters, to envelopes, to resumes. Apple has already provided the layout, all the user has to provide is the text or images if they choose. If a user likes a certain template within Pages, but they do not like the layout, they have the freedom to change the layout as they see fit. Within Microsoft Word a user has to format documents manually and does not have the luxury as an Apple’s Pages user does. Pages is that is cross platform compatible where as Microsoft Word only works well with other Microsoft products. This means that documents created within pages can be opened with either Apple Works or even Microsoft Word (Reference9).