MacOS : Thou art a piece of beauty (So are you, Win 10)

I suppose the article should be self evident. But for those who still didn’t get it, I am seriously impressed by MacOS as well as Windows 10. Never thought I would be saying this, though. For me, desktop OSes were always a quagmire of never ending issues : Windows with it’s viruses and blue screen of deaths and Mac which I used to find complicated and ugly. Only a  few years later, now I am in serious love with both the Operating Systems. The only loser out here seems to be Linux which is great for coding and stuff but pretty pointless otherwise.

Also, don’t get the security debate started. I can assure you from my experience that Linux in the hands of the average user would either be completely useless or quite vulnerable to viruses. All those touting about Linux’s security are mainly devs and power users who really know how things work. For any normal user looking to use Linux, they would be able to get nothing done without installing stuff using the terminal. In such cases, they resort to searching the web to find out how to install any software. In these cases, users anyway use superuser privileges (sudo). Even if the program was a virus, it could get installed this way. Same goes for bypassing a Mac. Not as easy to do as on Windows, though. Point being, no one has really tested the mettle of Linux to face viruses. For all you know, Linux might be the weakest of all and easiest to break. Anyway, let’s not digress.

This post was just something I felt using macOS and Windows 10 for some days. Gestures are an awesome tool and ramp up productivity like nothing else. Widespread 3rd party application support is superb as well. Also, both the operating systems have their own design schema and while I personally found the Windows 10 Fluent design language to be more colorful and vivid, I would have to say the macOS’s simplistic approach to design simply blew me away. Add that to the UNIX capabilities on macOS. Perfection !

While Windows has definitely improved by leaps and bounds (been using it since XP. Even used 95/98), I just feel it isn’t there yet. The design language is beautiful and it runs fluidly on capable hardware. However, there are a few things that genuinely irk me –

  • Privacy : This one is a no-brainer. You are effectively sold to everyone in the world if you use MS, Google or Facebook products. What’s frightening about the Windows 10 telemetry is that it usually can’t be turned off, it at all and is embedded much deeper than anything else possible.
  • Multi-Finger Gestures : I do appreciate MS copying the multi touch gestures of macOS and adding them to Win 10. However, they are a bit inconsistent and choppy at times. Some polishing is definitely needed to make the user experience fast, fluid and seamless.
  • Lack of a serious shell : I don’t have to say much here. Powershell and CMD are hardly as powerful as Terminal of Mac or Linux. Also, Windows Subsystem for Linux doesn’t feel fully baked.

But that is about it. You can really see how MS has improved. Gone are the days of XP and Vista. I feel quite satisfied with Win 10 in it’s current state. Win 7 was the only other Windows offering that quite satisfied me.

Now, coming over to macOS. While the design language is simplistic and the dock is insanely useful, there are still a few things that irk me a bit –

  • Vividness : For what it’s worth, mac is a beautiful piece of software. However, it’s just not as vivid as Windows. The transparency effects and animations so beautifully embedded into iOS would have been a welcome addition to the design language of macOS.
  • Maximize/Minimize : The maximize and minimize feature is kind of awkward for me (maybe because I am a Windows user from a long time). I still don’t get why maximizing an app should take me to a new desktop all over. Sure the gestures are awesome and make it less painful but I still don’t get why.

And that is about it. Everything else about macOS seems just so mature, polished and perfect. All it needs is some more work and I feel it might be a much better OS than it is now. However, it feels really satisfactory to use a Mac. The experience is insanely good once you get used to all the gestures and stuff.

Dear Linux distros, I feel I shouldn’t even be comparing you to these giants. After all, you look ugly, have hardly any third party app support and don’t work right out of the box. The only demographic you are good for are hardcore developers or new students of computer sciences. Or maybe those who are broke/miserly.

 

MacOS and Windows 10… Both have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Eventually, the two seem to have reached a level of perfection that is unmatched by all other operating systems. All I can say is… “Great job growing up”

 

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Cheers ! 

Aakash

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