01 September 2002

The New, Improved Holy War!

While chatting amiably with some friends last night about how much technology has changed in the last couple of years (yes, just the last couple of years!), I brought them up to speed on the whole Mac vs. PC thing. As I was making the analogy, a light bulb I had lit before but not really considered suddenly came back on: there are now only two operating systems: Windows-based, and UNIX-based. Moreover, we can now finally let go of that tired old Mac versus PC thing, and focus on the new Holy War: open-source-based versus closed-source-based.

Apple is, of course, again on the side of the good guys, and is now the leader in Open Source both in terms of units installed (far outnumbering UNIX and Linux desktops combined) and in terms of leading the OS industry with the Open Source release of Rendezvous (more on that another time, but if you want to learn more have a look at this), and their previous OS contributions including Quicktime Streaming Server and Darwin, the Intel-compatible core of Mac OS X.

So, the Mac versus PC war is over, let the Open Source versus Closed Source war begin. :)

(and if you're asking yourself "can't we all just get along?", remember this: it is these kinds of debates that fuel the drive to make technology in the first place.)

By the way, if you're at all interested in being a soldier on either side of this war, have a look at an objective study that finally shows Mac OS versus Windows in a light that is (for once) actually relevant to everybody: a useability shootout. You can find it here. It's a bit long, but very fair, very in-depth, and brutally honest about each platform's strengths and weaknesses where it really counts: the user experience.

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