Mossberg: Apple's Leopard evolutionary, not revolutionary

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
"I've been testing Leopard, and while it is an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, release, I believe it builds on Apple's quality advantage over Windows," writes the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg in a review to be published in Thursday's edition of the financial paper.



The renowned technology columnist claims that Leopard is better and faster than Vista, with a set of new features that make Macs even easier to use.



"I did notice a few drawbacks, but they were minor," he says. "The menu bar is now translucent, which can make it hard to see the items it contains if your desktop picture has dark areas at the top. The new folder icons are dull and flat and less attractive than Vista's or their predecessors on the Mac. While Time Machine can perform backups over a network, the backup destination can only be a hard disk connected to a Mac running Leopard. And, on the Web, I ran into one site where the fonts on part of the page were illegible, a problem Apple says is known and rare and that I expect it will fix."



Apple claims the new system includes more than 300 new features, but Mossberg observes that there "is nothing on the list that could be considered startling or a major breakthrough." While some of Leopard's features are unique, many others have been available on both Windows and the Mac via third-party programs or hard-to-find geeky methods buried in the operating systems, he explains.



In his tests, Mossberg said Leopard felt about as fast as Tiger and that it started up much faster than Vista. "I compared a MacBook Pro laptop with Leopard preinstalled to a Sony Vaio laptop with Vista preinstalled," he says. "Even though I had cleared out all of the useless trial software Sony had placed on the Vaio, it still started up painfully slowly compared with the Leopard laptop."



According to his tests, it took Vista nearly two minutes to perform a cold start and be ready to run. "The Leopard laptop was up, running and connected to the network in 38 seconds," he adds. "In a test of restarting the two laptops after they had been running an email program, a Web browser and a word processor, the Sony with Vista took three minutes and 29 seconds, while the Apple running Leopard took one minute and five seconds."



Mossberg's review was available online to the general public at press time. However, the Journal sometimes restrict access to such features within a few hours. Readers who are unable to access the content online may want to pick a copy of tomorrow's print edition.



Meanwhile, the New York Times' David Pogue and USA Today's Edward Baig have also published early reviews of Leopard. AppleInsider will of course provide its own in-depth Leopard review following the software's release on Friday.



In the meantime, you can check out our ongoing Road to Leopard Series: System Preferences, Parental Controls and Directory Services, What's new in Mac OS X Leopard Server, Dashboard, Spotlight and the Desktop, Safari 3.0, iCal 3.0, iChat 4.0, Mail 3.0, Time Machine; Spaces, Dock 1.6, Finder 10.5, Dictionary 2.0, and Preview 4.0.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    Tiger wasn't revolutionary either. Revolutions don't come along all that often in computerdom. What I like to see is constant evolution of product and features that work. I"m not into throwing my accumlated knowledge out because there's some whizzbang new feature. Sometimes the things you need are just basic but for whatever reason getting them in software has been tough (iCal write access for instance).



    I'm pleased with what Apple's done. They're going to deliver Leopard with a 4 month delay which isn't bad. Leopard is chalk full of goodies that will appeal to most of the crowd most of the time.



    If there's a revolution it will be in how I use some of the enhanced tools to make my computing life easier. Hello flat files..hello Spotlight. No more will I create nested folder after nested folder.
  • Reply 2 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Tiger wasn't revolutionary either. Revolutions don't come along all that often in computerdom. What I like to see is constant evolution of product and features that work. I"m not into throwing my accumlated knowledge out because there's some whizzbang new feature. Sometimes the things you need are just basic but for whatever reason getting them in software has been tough (iCal write access for instance).



    I'm pleased with what Apple's done. They're going to deliver Leopard with a 4 month delay which isn't bad. Leopard is chalk full of goodies that will appeal to most of the crowd most of the time.



    If there's a revolution it will be in how I use some of the enhanced tools to make my computing life easier. Hello flat files..hello Spotlight. No more will I create nested folder after nested folder.



    I completely agree, however I really did believe that there were 'secret features' that Jobs was talking about that just fizzled out and never ended up being included. I'm seriously considering whether this is worth my $70 (edu discount).
  • Reply 3 of 85
    He's upset because you can't use Time Machine for backups from a computer that doesn't run leopard? Is he serious?
  • Reply 4 of 85
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I'm pleased with what Apple's done. They're going to deliver Leopard with a 4 month delay which isn't bad. Leopard is chalk full of goodies that will appeal to most of the crowd most of the time.



    I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.
  • Reply 5 of 85
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,569member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd051572 View Post


    He's upset because you can't use Time Machine for backups from a computer that doesn't run leopard? Is he serious?



    I think he is upset because you can't back up to a drive that isn't on a leopard machine. Example, my network HDD cannot store a back up of my Leopard machine because the network drive is not hosted on a Leopard machine itself.
  • Reply 6 of 85
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    While I think I'll wait for a .1 or .2 release before upgrading, I'm looking forward to Leopard. Evolutionary progress is good if the underlying product is good and I think OSX is very good already.
  • Reply 7 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.





    Yes--- the real revolution was from command line prompts to the GUI. The mouse less so but still very important. Does anyone recall the DOS users of the day rubbishing the Mac because of the GUI and mouse? Real computer users didn't use those childish Apple things--- haha



    There may not be an OS revolution anytime soon since the components that are likely to be introduced we can all imagine: voice activated and interactive systems with multitouch, because those components already exist.



    Now when you wear a special headset that reads your thoughts and creates and sends mail to the right person, shows movies in your mind in 3D--- now that will be revolutionary.
  • Reply 8 of 85
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post


    I completely agree, however I really did believe that there were 'secret features' that Jobs was talking about that just fizzled out and never ended up being included. I'm seriously considering whether this is worth my $70 (edu discount).



    "Way beyond the rumor sites" I lost my taste for Steve Jobs hyperbole from that momen on. Frankly in my eyes the last revolution was the Internet. I can't imagine a life where I don't have internet access. It has become such an ingrained tool. I'd gladly give up my cable TV connection and keep my internet if times got tough.



    The next revolution to me is not necessarily multi touch but voice control of computer functions and text. I really don't want to touch my computer more than I have to. It's far easier to me to use what I've spent a lifetime perfecting...language.



    I think the next mini revolution will center around media. Computers will get faster, screens will get larger and resolutions will improve. The concept of the TV Monitor may go by the wayside in 10-15yrs. Replaced by computes masquerading as TVs yet all we have today as for as social networking and collaboration will be present. Convergence is such an overused word but that's what's going to happen.
  • Reply 9 of 85
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rjwill246 View Post


    There may not be an OS revolution anytime soon since the components that are likely to be introduced we can all imagine: voice activated and interactive systems with multitouch, because those components already exist.



    Still, we're a long way away from a Minority Report style UI-- and also a long way away from determining whether that's even preferable. It seems like the way we navigate a computer user interface is *so* well entrenched at this point that anything revolutionary in terms of UI design will be on devices like the iPhone (with its multitouch interface and because the uniqueness of the device itself allows (requires) UI designers to break with established ways of doing things)
  • Reply 10 of 85
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    The first version of OSX was revolutionary, all the rest of the cats have been evolutionary.. There's nothing wrong with that.
  • Reply 11 of 85
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I think the next mini revolution will center around media. Computers will get faster, screens will get larger and resolutions will improve. The concept of the TV Monitor may go by the wayside in 10-15yrs. Replaced by computes masquerading as TVs yet all we have today as for as social networking and collaboration will be present. Convergence is such an overused word but that's what's going to happen.





    I agree. I think Apple is prepping us by making the iMac look more and more like a HDTV set.



    I think it'll happen sooner than you predict though.
  • Reply 12 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "I did notice a few drawbacks, but they were minor," he says. "The menu bar is now translucent, which can make it hard to see the items it contains if your desktop picture has dark areas at the top.



    Tiger has semi-translucent menus as well, and I've found them irritating (e.g., in the menu bar). I have been disappointed ever since I heard Apple has decided to make the menus even more translucent in Leopard.



    With the thousands of hours of testing Leopard has undergone, you would think this complaint would have been addressed before. Now, in the days prior to its release, two major reviewers (David Pogue of the NY Times being the other) bring this up as a drawback in what are otherwise glowing reports.



    I can't think of a good reason to have translucent menus. It isn't as if there is typically lots of action going on behind my menu that causes me to feel like I've missed something when I return.



    Does anybody else agree with me?
  • Reply 13 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.



    1) I don't see how multi-touch on a desktop makes any sense to Apple's customer base.

    2) The "spit and polish" UI is the least appealing and remarkable aspects to Leopard. If you need some examples just ask; there are plenty here who will inform you of these features.
  • Reply 14 of 85
    mimicmimic Posts: 72member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd051572 View Post


    He's upset because you can't use Time Machine for backups from a computer that doesn't run leopard? Is he serious?



    I don't understand you post! I was planning on buying Leopard for my home Mac and running iLife on all the office PC's?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    Still, we're a long way away from a Minority Report style UI-- and also a long way away from determining whether that's even preferable. It seems like the way we navigate a computer user interface is *so* well entrenched at this point that anything revolutionary in terms of UI design will be on devices like the iPhone (with its multitouch interface and because the uniqueness of the device itself allows (requires) UI designers to break with established ways of doing things)



    Excellent post! The New input must not first be inhibited by current standards. Such devices as the iPod Touch and iPhone will get the next Gen ready for touch. But even before that, speech is more important. I hope Apple's secret sauce is the ability to run apps and within apps better with speech. I mean, i talk to my computer now, why not have it the ability to talk back?



    Yes Lisa dear, i'm coming to bed.....
  • Reply 15 of 85
    gambitgambit Posts: 475member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    1) I don't see how multi-touch on a desktop makes any sense to Apple's customer base.



    It doesn't. But it'd sell a shit-load of computers.
  • Reply 16 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CoolHandPete View Post


    Tiger has semi-translucent menus as well, and I've found them irritating (e.g., in the menu bar). I have been disappointed ever since I heard Apple has decided to make the menus even more translucent in Leopard.



    With the thousands of hours of testing Leopard has undergone, you would think this complaint would have been addressed before. Now, in the days prior to its release, two major reviewers (David Pogue of the NY Times being the other) bring this up as a drawback in what are otherwise glowing reports.



    I can't think of a good reason to have translucent menus. It isn't as if there is typically lots of action going on behind my menu that causes me to feel like I've missed something when I return.



    Does anybody else agree with me?



    Apple has listened. The most recent Leopard build (9A559) to developers has removed that feature.
  • Reply 17 of 85
    From the Apple website regarding Time Machine:



    Set it, then forget it.



    To start using Time Machine, all you have to do is connect an external drive (sold separately) to your Mac. You’re asked if you want it to be your backup drive, and if you say yes, Time Machine takes care of everything else. Automatically. In the background. You’ll never have to worry about backing up again.



    Clearly, Mossberg's issue is with network backups. Doesn't apply in my little office, so his observation means nothing to me.
  • Reply 18 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    I think he is upset because you can't back up to a drive that isn't on a leopard machine. Example, my network HDD cannot store a back up of my Leopard machine because the network drive is not hosted on a Leopard machine itself.



    Imagine that! Your drive doesn't have an HFS+ formatted drive specific to Leopard. What a shock that it won't be available for backup!
  • Reply 19 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post


    I agree. At this point it's all spit and polish, but familiar. They haven't come across a real breakthrough with the UI, but I suspect we'll see something more revolutionary if the company begins to incorporate multi-touch into the commercial version of Mac OS X. Keep on evolving, I say.



    I totally agree. It is an evolution not revolution. I also agree with hmurchison's post (2nd post), I've been using leopard (as a dev. member) for a few months now... and as a programmer all I can say is wow! they did a great job and made a many of simple yet convoluted tasks work, as they should. Screen sharing (back to my mac) as it may not be new to PCs or macs, works without a hitch (even through complex routing situations), which is a feat in itself! Leopard is FULL of these little niceties, along with being a more refined and (finally full-on UNIX) faster OS. Most of the complaints I've seen thus far are UI related. I had some of the same issues when first using the OS but after a few months you become familiar and actually come to realize the usefulness of most of the UI reformats. IE: I hated the mirrored dock at first, but as I've been using the system it's helped a lot with productivity. At a glance I can see what windows are layered behind the current and I don't have to waste time or processor resources to switch apps. Another smart method put out by apple that people are slow or unwilling to grasp.



    We'll see an OS revolution (mostly an evolution of iPod touch/iPhone) when we see the macbook touch.



    I just hope, with all their latest success they don't go all BORG and forget about all of these little things that make apple what it is and not just a company pushing products to meet quotas.
  • Reply 20 of 85
    mimicmimic Posts: 72member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    1) I don't see how multi-touch on a desktop makes any sense to Apple's customer base.

    2) The "spit and polish" UI is the least appealing and remarkable aspects to Leopard. If you need some examples just ask; there are plenty here who will inform you of these features.



    I would love if my Mac had better printing options like Windoz and great viewing from within Finder; something i think we are going to see.



    Voice to pull up mail, search the internet, maneuver through apps, and such abilities as cut, copy, paste, move, enlarge, open with, find whatever, new message, and the like. Just to freak the guys out at work!!



    Quote:

    "Lisa, please run Daily and Monthly Reports."



    "Yes Mr. Getz. Reports ran and now printing..."



    Quote:

    Lisa, will you Find October Mid Month Ad?"



    Quote:

    Two ads found, one in QuickTime, the other in MP3"



    Quote:

    Lisa, please Copy the QuickTime ad and Open Dreamweaver.



    Edit CurrentAd.php.



    Paste Media into Layer ID 3"



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