FUD Award of the Week 3-9

This week’s FUD award winner is ComputerWorld for their Top 10 Features Apple Stole from Microsoft.

The article is brilliant mix of half truths, non truths, pure ignorance on how the Mac OS works and was developed, and absurdities.

For example, the first feature is the Navigation Sidebar in the Finder. Computerworld claims this appeared in the Mac OS two years after XP was launched. However, sidebar navigation is nothing more than a left side locked hierarchical navigation system that appeared in NeXT OS, KDE, and other Linux builds throughout the mid to late 90s. This wasn’t a new Windows XP thing.

Another feature “stolen” is that Leopard’s Finder shows the directory path in the window. These crumbs appeared in Vista before Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, this path feature was again built into NeXT Step OS and has been part of Finder add-ons like PathFinder well before Vista was ever launched.

Time Machine is allegedly a Windows feature. Apparently, the backup feature of Windows Vista means that any backup software written after that is copying Windows. Computerworld seems to understand how weak their own argument even is “Time Machine is far easier to use and than the Backup and Restore utility in Windows 7, and some would say, more flexible.” The applications are radically different with different implementations and capabilities.

DOS or a command line interface is one of the final features that OS X copied from Windows. This is so laughable it’s not really even worth discussing. OS X built off a Unix core, the guts of OS X provide access to a very powerful CLI interface. The writer might as well have said that Unix copied DOS. That’s how stupid this argument is.

OS X System Preferences is allegedly copied from the Win 95 concept of Control Panels.This is really pretty funny since the whole concept of Control Panels was lifted by MS from the original Mac OS. Ignoring that “theft”. The writer seems oblivious to the fact that OS X eliminated the previous Control Panels/Extensions/System Preferences¬† folder trio that Mac Users previously used. Apple changed from Control Panels menu from the Apple Menu to a new System Preferences application. This was all OS X development. Apple was hiding all of the new Unix guts of the OS inside this new application.

The writer also included Exchange and ActiveSync as features that Apple stole from Microsoft. This is just ridiculous and an outright lie. Apple paid MS good money to license Exchange and ActiveSync technology. Unlike MS basically stealing Quicktime in the 90s, Apple recognized an MS technology and paid money to build in OS level capability for that technology. By the way, MS still doesn’t have a desktop OS that supports Exchange email natively. You have to buy MS Office to get that capability.

Out of the 10, there’s only really one actual OS feature that Apple stole. Something MS came up with first that Apple copied. Alt-Tab to cycle through applications. That’s it.

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