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Snow Leopard and Windows 7 Put the Focus on Optimization, Not Feature Bloat

- 2009.03.09 - Tip Jar

One event that everyone in the Mac community is anticipating this year is the release of Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard".

I am just as excited as everyone else, but perhaps not for the most obvious reasons. Though the smaller size and code optimizations are certainly attractive, I am more intrigued by the new precedent set by both Apple and Microsoft in operating system design. Both Snow Leopard and Windows 7 are taking the intense concentration away from having tons of new features introduced with each new OS version.

A Better OS

While there are some advances, the major focus for each new version centers on code optimization and other architectural improvements. Snow Leopard will introduce the ability to run fully in 64-bit mode, as well as other technological enhancements, while Windows 7 will attempt to fix issues that have unfortunately hampered Vista's dominance as successor to XP.

This attitudinal shift in the development of both companies' major operating systems signals that the computer industry as a whole might be shifting from an emphasis on new gadgets and gizmos used to market the OS to technological advances for the sake of a better and brighter future.

This is most definitely a step in the right direction. By demonstrating that they have a commitment to excellence and quality, both Microsoft and Apple are laying the foundation for more cooperation. Someday, perhaps even in the near future, we may witness these two putting aside their bitter rivalry and ongoing fight for platform dominance in favor of a synergistic cooperation for the benefit of all.

Utopian Dreams

If these words sound utopian and futuristic, that is because they are utopian and futuristic.

In order for computing technology as a whole to meet its full potential, the attitudes of everyone involved in the industry - from journalists to engineers to the CEOs of the corporate giants - must change to reflect a spirit of cooperation and focus on the fulfillment of technological promise, not the bottom line.

Rather than having the greatest minds of our generation pitted against each other through inter-corporate competition, why can't we allow them to work together, creating a win-win situation for everyone?

One of my greatest wishes is for technology to continue developing to the point that space elevators, microscopic robots, and sentient computers, concepts once firmly planted in the realm of science fiction, will become commonplace. Perhaps this will happen in my lifetime; technology certainly seems to have come far in the last century.

For now, the best we can hope for is a continuing trend of technological advancement from not only Apple and Microsoft, but also from the entire industry. LEM

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