OS deathmatch: Snow Leopard vs Windows 7

I’M A BLIGHT ON HUMANITY, Get Me Out Of Here, Saturday (NNGadget) — It’s August, the best of times when you’re a space-filler generator in IT journalism, as every other media outlet turns into a gaping void at least as bad as ourselves. This leads to the inevitable debate: which is the best operating system, Windows 7 or Snow Leopard?

Windows 1.0 screen shotOperating system name: Windows 7 gets lots of page hits and comments from individual Microsoft fans who, it’s true, just happen to be employed by Microsoft’s PR company, but are completely independent in their thinking. Snow Leopard attracts Apple cultists, freshly charged from reading a novel-length apologia at RoughlyDrafted and all set to refute perceived calumnies and smite the unbeliever. Either is great for the ad banner exposure. Tie.

Upgrading: Windows 7 has an insanely complicated upgrade graph, whereas Snow Leopard’s is: “put the disk in the computer.” The former is way better for extended articles on how it’s even easier to do a complicated Windows upgrade process by hand than it was going from XP to Vista and saves us lots of work thinking of things to write. Apple just fail to provide us material. Advantage: Windows 7.

Presentation: Windows 7 has the thoroughly reworked taskbar and the beautiful fonts and polish of Vista. Mac OS X has minor variations on the same interface it’s had for eight years. Windows 7 looks just way more exciting in screenshots in tech press articles. Advantage: Windows 7.

Improvements: Microsoft made Windows 7 as backwards-compatible with Vista as possible, down to application performance and memory usage. They did dazzling things with the presentation of all this functionality, putting everything you use every day into exciting new places, with helpful new names. Apple, on the other hand, focused largely on internal plumbing and security. It’s just dull, boys. How are we supposed to puff this up? C’mon, meet us half way here. Advantage: Windows 7.

Price: The Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade is $120 on Amazon, whereas Snow Leopard is $29. Apple just aren’t putting enough value on their products. Do you want people thinking it’s just cheap garbage? Advantage: Windows 7.

Enterprise readiness: No-one ever got fired for buying Microsoft. If you get a Mac, however, your co-workers will conspire against you and probably steal it. With Windows 7, you can be sure no-one else will ever want to touch your computer. Advantage: Windows 7.

System configuration: Microsoft gave me this laptop with only eight CPU cores and 16 gigabytes of memory to show just how good Windows 7 was on such low-end hardware. We had to buy a Mac to do this test on, because Apple just didn’t understand the promotional advantages of giving me a shiny new 17″ MacBook just because I wanted one. So I got a second-hand Mac Mini for a fair comparison. It’s clear that Microsoft understand the needs of modern information technology journalism perfectly. They also sent over their PR people Candy, Brandi and Bimbi to help me with my Windows setup all last night. Apple just completely don’t get it. Advantage: Windows 7.

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