postheadericon Smack Down: Win8 vs. Mountain Lion


For those of you that follow the battle between the reigning champion of the PC World, Microsoft, and the forever contender for that title, Apple - then this Smackdown is for you. These two mega stars have been having at it for decades, and in all the many Operating System bouts they have fought – with me watching ringside and home and in the office, I've always favored the David of this Goliath matchup.     

You see, I've been using both normal PCs and Apple computers for decades, and have witnessed the winners and losers firsthand and in my face. For example, clear losers every time are any "point O" release of Mac cats: Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, etc.. For Microsoft, an example of a bloody face-in-the-mat knockdown was Windows Vista.

The record shows, however, that after the Microsoft Vista loss, the folks in Redmond replaced Vista quickly with Windows 7. Windows 7 is a winner for any heavyweight title, and is ruling over both home and office today. But during this reign, for those purchasing new sleek shiny Apple machines, wild cats have ruled over the Mac landscape (Lions and Leopards).

Of this writing, there are two new contestants  in the ring: Windows 8 and Mac OSX 10.8, otherwise known as Mountain Lion. These two new operating systems are different characters in many ways, yet both operate dutifully and well. 

The new Windows 8 interface is a beauty. And as you have probably already heard, you can walk up and "swipe it" with a touch-enabled display. And what you wind up pinching and sliding and poking looks very colorful, bright, and very smartphone-like – only bigger! Finally, a fresh, new and innovative interface from the Goliath of the industry. Even Microsoft's new tablet, the Surface, uses a scaled down version of Windows 8 to get you were want to go. 

In comparison, Apple's new Mountain Lion is a mere upgrade from the previous Mac OS, plain ol' Lion. The ML interface here is even more colorless than it was before, and is just an inner and indiscreet aluminum frame on your otherwise beautiful Apple world. Elegant, Steve Job's-like, but after so many years of personal use, down-right boring! And as predicted by the experts – buggy - in this early stage of the new release.

Ira Karki of Bagdol, a student who just got a new HP laptop running Win8 in Bangkok, has this to say about her new machine: "This laptop is fantastic, easy to use, and only cost me 33,000 NRs."

Even for me, the clear winner is Windows 8 - this time around. Oh how the tables have turned, since it's been a long time since I've seen something come out of Microsoft that actually shocked me, in a good way. Win8 is just as socially connective as your smartphone, and it's a great OS for kids, students, and anyone using the Internet to consume content like peanuts and popcorn. In an additional twist, Apple's Mountain Lion is more business like... and very formal, when compared to the new Windows. It wasn't like that in the olden days, but that's a grumpy old man story. Instead of listening to that, look to the corners for a blow-by-blow of the latest OS war.

Windows 8 Clearly Wins With New Moves
Touchscreen users will be delighted, assuming of course one pairs up Windows 8 with a touchscreen machine like any of Dell's new LED screens, laptops, and All-in-ones. New machines like the Inspiron One 23 and 27 have large touchscreens that are both fun and practical to use. I'm sure both kids and serious professionals alike will be glad they can now move things around on their screen - using fingers or toes – you choose. 

Too Close to Call on Technicalities
The technical winner here is not so clear, as both systems are rock solid and at worst, have some annoying early-release bugs. On one hand, the genetic differences between Mountain Lion and the previous release are tiny, whereas the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is huge in comparison, and may cause a bit of confusion (or consternation) for those die-hard window's users out there. Both new OS's have annoying little bugs, but those are expected to be exterminated later on.

Judges Choice Award
If there was such a thing in my virtual world, I would give an award to Microsoft for finally doing something original for PC users, just as Google has done for phone users. It's high time that these Goliaths (and the David's too) of the industry give the people what they want: something fun, bright, and full of new stuff to play around with. Yet at the same time, work fast and efficient, especially when using the OS to get a job done. But here is my secret: when it comes time for me to work, I always turn to my trusty Apple iMac (circa 2008) and run Mountain Lion - I just wish now that I could fold it flat and use in a Windows 8 way. But if I decide to buy that Dell Inspiron, I could... and I just might.


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Jiggy Gaton
lives in Kathmandu and is an aging technologist - has been since the days of Woodstock - so in the words of Roland The Gunslinger "he is from a world now gone by." However, Jigs is extremely up-to-date on all things tech and is also available for hire.
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