Tiger Pulls Ahead with
Simpler Steps"> Since its first version, Mac OS X has enabled the user to preview graphics files without opening them; the user clicks on a graphics file while in the column view. Windows XP does not preview the contents of files, but Longhorn will. Longhorn will offer previews of documents instead of file icons. These are more than the thumbnails that Photoshop creates, as they update when the files change. The Longhorn previews are also bigger than those in Tiger, at 128x128 pixels vs. Tigers 64x64.These niceties aside, the main advantage Tiger has over Windows XP is that it generally takes fewer steps to accomplish a task or locate information. In Windows XP, the Start menus submenus can be filled with so many entries that its often easier to access applications through the folder structure. The Start menu in Longhorn adds a scrolling area so you dont have to use the hierarchical menu. However, it still requires more mouse clicks than using the Applications icon in Tigers sidebar. Networking Both Windows XP and Longhorn are superior to Tiger in terms of networking, mostly because they are better clients for Microsoft servers. Part of this is Microsofts fault, as with the lack of support of the MAPI (Messaging API) protocol in Exchange Server. But Apple has been slow to include Microsoft authentication protocols and support for Active Directory, which showed up in Panther and then Tiger. Tiger also doesnt have Longhorns built-in support for social networking technologies, which include Weblogs, RSS and Wikis. Longhorn incorporates these technologies into the operating system, enabling the user to access them internally. At this point, Longhorns strengths in the areas of networking and security look to be superior to Tigers, while Tiger seems to excel in the area of data retrieval. However, Longhorn is still in development and is some 18 months or more away from launch. A lot can change in that much time. Microsoft has said that Longhorn will be the Windows platform for the next ten years. During that time, Apple could release another five versions of Mac OS X. And at the end of that period, Longhorn could be as dated as Windows XP is now. Editors Note: This story was updated to include the code name of Apples next operating system announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
While Mac OS has long reported the amount of free hard disk space, Longhorn presents this information in bars in the My Computer view.