Walt Mossberg: Windows 7 vs. Mac OS X is a toss-up

At many Apple keynotes, Steve Jobs triumphantly pulls up quotes from Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg, who often extols the virtues of Apple products and slams Microsoft software, most recently Vista.

Well, Jobs should probably start looking for another reviewer from which to get admiring quotations. Mossberg has written a surprisingly positive review of Windows 7, and he's gone as far as to claim Apple has largely lost its software edge. The reviewer sums up his opinion in the following two paragraphs:

In recent years, I, like many other reviewers, have argued that Apple's Mac OS X operating system is much better than Windows. That's no longer true. I still give the Mac OS a slight edge because it has a much easier and cheaper upgrade path; more built-in software programs; and far less vulnerability to viruses and other malicious software, which are overwhelmingly built to run on Windows.

Now, however, it's much more of a toss-up between the two rivals. Windows 7 beats the Mac OS in some areas, such as better previews and navigation right from the taskbar, easier organization of open windows on the desktopand [sic] touch-screen capabilities. So Apple will have to scramble now that the gift of aflawed [sic] Vista has been replaced with a reliable, elegant version of Windows.

Mossberg's review isn't all praise, of course. The columnist criticizes Microsoft for getting rid of bundled mail, photo, address book, calendar, and video editing apps, which are now part of the downloadable Windows Live Essentials suite. He also finds the number of Windows 7 editions too confusing and their prices too onerous (fair enough, considering OS X 10.6 is a single, $29 upgrade). Finally, he laments the lack of an in-place upgrade process from Windows XP, which many Windows users are still using.

Mossberg concludes his review with, "Bottom line: Windows 7 is a very good, versatile operating system that should help Microsoft bury the memory of Vista and make PC users happy." That's pretty much what we concluded in our own Windows 7 review, too.

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