Mountain Lion: The Underwhelming Incremental Windows Rip-Off
By on July 26th, 2012

Back in 2011, I was looking for a light weight powerful laptop and the MacBook Air fit the bill. I could run Windows, live in the delusional Apple world, and not break my back. It came with Lion and the OS was smooth. I liked what I saw but it made feel less productive compared to Windows—somehow I am quicker on Windows. I spent hours in computer labs using PCs that ran on Windows while using the MacBook Air as  a media player.

Anyhow.

When Apple released Mountain Lion, everyone seemed to be hav ing nerdgasms at the fact of getting a new OS at just $20. Unfortunately, the delusional world of Apple, a couple of apps rolled into the OS becomes a full OS. Let’s take a look at what Apple says is new:

  • Gatekeeper
  • Notes
  • Reminder
  • iMessages
  • iCloud
  • Notification Center
  • Power Nap
  • Dictation
  • Facebook/Twitter integration
  • Game Center
  • Social Sharing

So here’s the thing… Notes and Reminder are apps, not only that, these apps are useless if you don’t own an iOS device. The rest:

Gatekeeper:

When Windows Vista came out, it had a feature called UAC. The Windows users didn’t mind it, the hipster Silicon Valley bloggers who don’t use Windows had a fun time making fun of it. Guess what happened in Mountain Lion?! Apple introduced UAC like protection in Mountain Lion. And it’s half-assed.

UAC did not allow random apps to start running unless the user explicitly gave them permission or the administration disabled UAC. Gatekeeper can be bypassed by simply right clicking and running the app.

iCloud:

It’s like SkyDrive. But for OS X. Without Office Web Apps.

Notification Center:

So far the only usefulness of Notification Center is the ability to tweet without going into the Twitter client.

Power Nap:

The hipster Valley bloggers and Apple advocates love to mock Windows Vista, but, Apple seems to be inspired by it. Power Nap is a combination of SideShow and Connected Standby in Windows.

Game Center:

Oh hi Xbox LIVE! And goodbye Windows Game Center.

Social Sharing:

Clearly Windows doesn’t have anything like that! Oh, wait. Windows 8 Share Charm!

My point is, Mountain Lion is not a full OS. It’s a refinement to a less refined Lion. You know how Microsoft refines their OS? By introducing Service Packs. And these are free. I don’t mind the $20 because Mountain Lion does add features and makes OS X snappy, but let’s not be irrational and say Apple is giving us a full OS at $20. Because Mountain Lion is not.

The truth is Mountain Lion is an underwhelming upgrade. For $20, OS X Lion users should upgrade since this incremental update makes Lion usable.

PS: Please don’t call Windows 7 a Service Pack because that will only make you look like someone who doesn’t know Windows Vista vs Windows 7.

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Author: Manan Kakkar Google Profile for Manan Kakkar
Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.

Manan Kakkar has written and can be contacted at manan@techie-buzz.com.
  • Jayesh

    U r so hi

  • Jesus

    More than happy to pay $20 for the apps included with Mountain Lion.

  • http://twitter.com/mbillow Marc Billow

    This article is like saying the iPhone copied any other phone that already had copy and paste. There was no need for Gate Keeper before so it simply wasn’t there. It isn’t a UAC rip-off, it is Apple helping users keep their computer safe. I also fail to see how it is “half-assed,” as if there aren’t ways to go around UAC.

    Here is the thing with problem with things like SideShow: nobody has any idea what they are more or less how to enable them. Bill Gates said not too long ago that though he had the idea for the tablet first he was just too early. Personally, I find this to be a load of crap. The first Microsoft tablets didn’t sell because they weren’t really anything more than a thick laptop without a keyboard. Poor execution was and still is their problem.

    When it comes down to social sharing you start to play the date game. Now Microsoft introduced the charm bar in May while Apple introduced Mountain Lion all the way back in February. Not to mention that if you don’t have a Twitter or Facebook client installed the only option you have is Mail.

    It seems far more reasonable to compare SkyDrive to a service like Dropbox, Box.net, or Google Drive rather than iCloud. iCloud encapsulates a lot more than just document storage. Then again I bet they also stole the idea of email from Hotmail too. Beyond that you have features like Find my iPhone that are unmatched by Windows Phone. While we are on the subject of proper comparisons lets talk about Game Center Vs. Xbox connect. REALLY?! You are going to compare a system I play COD on to a device I play Cut the Rope on? Are you going to say a race between a normal car and a Bugatti is fair? Get real.

    • http://twitter.com/AdrianJSClark Adrian Clark

      Marc, I’m a bit confused about some of your points here.

      Certainly “SideShow” does sound similar to the “PowerNap” features but I’ll agree that the success of SideShow was very limited. Hopefully PowerNap will do better. Not sure why you go into a rant about Tablet PCs there, but anyway.

      Regarding your “date game”, the charms were introduced with Windows 8 Developer Preview at the //BUILD/ conference in October 2011. Extensive attention was paid to the “Share” charm because it is a good, concrete example of the “Contracts” features that the WinRT framework provided.

      SkyDrive also includes a fair bit more than document storage in Windows 8. IE history and favourites, user preferences, wallpapers, and colour schemes are some of the things that Win8 syncs via SkyDrive.

      I’d be interested to hear what features “Find my iPhone” has that are, as you say, “unmatched by Windows Phone”. Not owning an iPhone I can’t do a direct comparison, but the ability to place it on a map and options to remotely lock the device, display a message, and (if necessary) wipe all data are all available via the http://www.windowsphone.com website. These have all been there since the launch of the Windows Phone platform. What extra does “Find my iPhone” provide?

      The original article here seems to be taking a bit of an extreme view, however from what I can tell I think the underlying point is fair. This seems to be a minor upgrade, so the minor price is not surprising and some of the coverage from other sites could be more measured.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/jmanes92 James Manes

    This article is full of butthurt rage. We know you want a mac but do not have the money it is ok.

    • http://beingmanan.com/ Manan

      The problem with commenters like you is replying feels inane. I already own a MacBook Air. Read the damn article.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/jmanes92 James Manes

        I did. UAC was terrible on Vista for users, they DID notice it. UAC is also just an adaptation to a UNIX paradigm that has been around forever pretty much. iCloud is a rip of SkyDrive? MobileMe? Hello? Powernap and notification center are awesome and MS has nothing to compete with those currently.

        Game center is just their game hub like Xbox Lives idea, but they had this shit on iOS before WP7 was even out.

        How about you just deal with it.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/jmanes92 James Manes

        Also, inb4 “HUR DUR JAMES IS A MAC FANBOY HUR.”

        Courtesy of my ThinkPad T420.

  • g3r0n1m0000

    Can we talk about the features Windows 7 and 8 ripped off from Mac? What about their nifty new phone that sells like hot cakes? Where’s that article? I was an MSFT developer for 10 years and a long time hater of mac fanboys. Then I bought a mac, used it for awhile and realized that I could have a computing experience free of constant freezes, app crashes and viruses. NEVER. LOOKED. BACK. It’s clear you have some self doubt/hate because you keep slurring mac users as “hipsters.” Just let it go dude, she left you for another girl, we all get it. Take comfort in windows 8, I bet those super cool windows tiles are going to be awesome… if your gay (not in the gay-gay sense just opposite of hipster). BTW How much did Ballmer pay you to write this article? It’s not working….

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