Of interest: NetworkWorld with 5 Reasons Macs Can’t Claim They’re Better than Windows 7: the debates will continue

j0438655 As I noted on Twitter today, writer Mitchell Ashley says that he didn’t realize he’d ruffle so many Mac user feathers with his article 5 Reasons Macs Can’t Claim They’re Better than Windows 7 (also available via…

I regularly use both Windows and Mac PCs, so any comments that I’ve never used a Mac are bunk. I’ve been using Windows 7 since before its public beta release at the first of this year. I use my Mac for video editing, iPhone development, etc. I love all of my computers equally — my Windows PC, my Mac and my Linux servers. They all do what I ask them to do very well, and I have things about each that I like and things I don’t.

But frankly, the differences in the Windows 7 and Mac OS X platforms from a usability standpoint are pretty much nil. Windows 7 has simplified much of the complexity introduced in Vista and made Windows a very clean and easy-to-use OS. I would even go so far as to predict that the days of Apple trampling all over Windows in the "I’m a Mac" commercials are pretty much over. Not to say Apple won’t go after Windows 7 as soon as Windows 7 has some vulnerability or issue Apple can exploit in a TV commercial. I’ll grant, too, that Apple still has its "cool" factor and Windows isn’t like to encroach on that. But Windows 7 is not only a "good enough" operating system, it is so much better an OS and user experience that Apple will have to think hard before using the same advertising tactics that worked so well on Vista.

He notes a few key points, namely the clean and simple user experience in Windows 7, frequency of Mac crashes, the flexibility and lower cost of PCs overall, PC performance and considerations on computer security.

Coming out with such views, he’s likely set himself up for a few swipes.

I’ll add the rich ecosystem of devices from which to choose – whether you’re looking for a new home desktop PC, a small notebook or a versatile kitchen model or high-end gaming rig with powerful graphics – you can choose the PC that best fits your need. I found that it’s beneficial to consider what Mitchell looks at as a whole. As note here, I use Macs and PCs at home, and Windows 7 is my most often used OS at home and (obviously 😉 at work.

Click thru here to read his five reasons Apple fears Windows 7.

Also, see my previous post which includes a look at the Mac vs. Windows PC debate:

You’ve no doubt seen the latest Microsoft Windows commercials. Well, BusinessWeek’s Arik Hesseldahl has a bone to pick with the math in his article, Mac vs. PC: What You Don’t Get for $699 – BusinessWeek (Byte of the Apple April 15, 2009: "A 17-in. PC may cost a lot less than a 17-in. Mac. But you get less, too, including security, multimedia tools, and, some say, satisfaction."

"Now Microsoft is fighting back with its own advertising campaign. I’ve enjoyed some of its elements. The Seinfeld spots were weird. I was intrigued by some of the "I’m a PC" spots that aired last fall, depicting PC users engaged in a variety of jobs—teaching law, protecting endangered species, blogging for Barack Obama. The message: You can use a Windows PC and still do cool and interesting things. Not bad. Then came the adorable little girls: Kylie, age 4, and Alexa, age 7, e-mailing pictures of fish and stitching together pictures of a fort into one. Microsoft, it seemed, had finally found its advertising voice.

"Yes, $699 beats the $2,800 you’d pay for a Mac with a 17-in. screen. But when it comes to PCs, there’s still a great deal more to buy.

"Add it all up and it’s not hard to imagine Lauren’s $699 computer costing something closer to $1,500."

I’m sure that you’ll see plenty of analysis on his analysis and opinions in the nearly 60 pages of comments, as John Byrne Editor-in-Chief of, noted in his Tweet: "A raging Mac vs. PC debate at today. Perspectives from readers take up 56 pages on our site for a 2-page story."

I’m reminded of Harry McCracken’s earlier post Microsoft’s New Windows Ads: They’re a Trap! Bwahahahahahahah! (April 5, 2009) in which he muses…

"Can we all agree that it’s always a bad idea to mistake advertising for rational discourse? Axe deodorant won’t cause armies of gorgeous women to throw themselves at your feet. I know of no evidence that cows who live in California are any happier than those in other states, nor that their mood impacts the quality of their milk. Cigarette companies would still be claiming that their products were good for your throat if they could get away with it. After thirty years, I’m still unclear about the benefits of being a Pepper. That’s all fine. (Okay, not the part about the cigarette ads.)

"So I haven’t taken Microsoft’s new ads with shoppers spurning Macs for HP laptops too seriously. Mostly I’ve mused about why they seem to ignore Microsoft’s own contribution to the PC and used them as a springboard for PC-Mac price comparisons of my own. (I’m happy to say that these posts have prompted dozens of comments by members of the Technologizer community cogently taking both pro-Windows and pro-Mac stances–they make for great reading.)

Tags: articles, what I read, twitter, blogs, reviews, Windows 7.

Clubhouse Tags: Clubhouse, reviews, Windows 7, Challenge-Windows 7

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David Pogue delivers his review of the new Zune

A quick update before I head off to deliver a presentation…

David Pogue delivers his review of the new Zune in his review Microsoft gets better at carrying a Zune (International Herald Tribune).  He said that “the Zune has come a long way, with built-in FM radio and wireless autosyncing.”

“Microsoft might finally be getting the hang of hardware. The company’s overall track record for designing gadgets is pretty awful. Remember the Smart Display? The Spot Watch? The Ultra-Mobile PC? The original Zune?

Me neither.

But Microsoft’s new, second-generation Zune music/photo/video player is a pleasure to use. It fixes a long list of things that made the original Zune such a pathetic wannabe…

The Zune store is missing a lot of iPod features, too: TV shows, movies, audio books, monthly allowances and comprehensible pricing.

The bottom line: the iPod is still a more versatile, compact and beautiful machine, but the Zune has come a long way in very little time. Already, its potential audience is no longer limited to a sect of irrational Apple haters. It’s now a candidate for anyone who values its unique powers – excellent built-in FM radio, scratch-proof case and wireless autosyncing – more than they value the richness and choice of the iPod universe.

Origami Experience™ allows you to easily navigate with large customizable icons.And hey, David, Windows UMPCs are still available: see this link for the latest Windows UMPCs… 😉


HP MediaSmart EX475 Windows Home Server review

Per my poster yesterday on the new Windows Home Server, there is a good, initial review of the HP MediaSmart Home Server model EX475 from Terry Walsh on the UK site (the self affirmed Windows Home Server Site).

As noted by Philip Churchill on in his post on, “this is one of the most comprehensive reviews that I have seen on the EX475 unit and is a definite must read if you are thinking about purchasing one.”

Terry concludes his review by saying…

The Verdict

Well, I said that HP was a great hardware company and the HP MediaSmart Server has reinforced my belief – it’s small, powerful and looks fantastic. A beautiful pin-up model for the new Windows Home Server category. Sure, there are a couple of niggles I have with its build quality, and the price could be more competitive over here in Europe. But put it up against all of the other hardware options for Windows Home Server right now, and you’d have to have a hard heart not to fall for it.

The big surprise is the thought that HP have put into their software. No bloatware. No terrible drivers. Just a small selection of add-ins which have sympathetically extended Windows Home Server’s media handling capabilities, to maximise the MediaSmart’s usefulness at the centre of the digital home. HP not killing me with terrible software? Must be a dream Smile

But what you’re really purchasing when you buy the HP MediaSmart Server is the stage for a perfect partnership to blossom. The HP MediaSmart Server combined with the Windows Home Server operating system is a fabulous combination of hardware and software. A simple, easy to use home server platform running effortlessly on a simple, easy to use home server – power, simplicity and flexibility in one small package. Oh yeah, and one day, it may just save your digital life. Truly the best of both worlds.


The “Great HD Shoot Out” review picks the Canon HV20 as top HD camcorder

Just as I was comparing specs online and the ‘feel’ of camcorders in person at the few stores that carry the latest hardware, I received a link to on to the the Great HD Shoot Out which compares some of the latest and greatest prosumer HD camcorders, including the Canon HV20, Sony HDR-HC7, Panasonic HDC-SD1 and the JVC GZ-HD7. I had already selected the DV tape-based Canon HV20 and the new hard-disc Sony HDR-HC7, but added the (more expenisive) JVC GZ-HD7 to the mix.

Going into my evaluation, I had already decided on the Canon HV20 given the very reasonable price, HDV MPEG-2 video compression and 24P mode, with comprehensive manual controls. I have heard from other owners that as the camcorder supports HD as well as lower quality SD (standard definition), it’s said that the SD quality is comparable to the Canon XL1.

And being an old audio nut, the Canon offers rich audio capabilities: choose from the mini microphone input or the hot Advanced Accessory Shoe (AAS) which I have paired with a Canon DM-50 stereo mic on my current Canon DV camcorder. This plus a headphone jack and manual audio level controls.

The reviewers selected the Canon as the preferred camcorder out of this bunch, with the Canon and Sony with comparable video quality over the JVC

“The crispness of the HV20’s image was most notable in close-up shots of our model, where we could literally count every hair on our model’s face…  The Canon also turned in a stellar low light score, thanks to a 24p mode that more than doubles the light gathering ability of its imager.  In low light, it beat out the others in the same order as above.  The 24p capability in and of itself is a great extra feature on the HV20, yet another reason to consider it.” 

There is a LANC connection on the Sony, but missing from the new Canon HV20: I use the LANC (aka Control-L) connector on my Optura, for tripod control of the zoom. But this is a small price to pay and a gap that the HV20’s wireless remote would likely fill.

I may have to bend the budget and go for the Canon — especially tempting as it’s on sale this weekend — and put my old tried and true Canon Optura100mc camcorder up on eBay. I agree with the review of the Optura 100MC: it’s “a great camcorder… [and]  produces a great picture and gives you tons of manual control. It’s a great deal and a good camcorder for anyone who would like to learn how to maximize the performance of their camcorder and get the best results.”

For more info on the Canon HV20, visit Canon’s consumer page on the camcorder.