# Monday, 22 May 2006

Microsoft stupid, Apple stupid!!

Those avid readers of this blog (hello) will eagerly remember the New Mac entry, where I mentioned that I bought an Apple Mac. Well, after a few teething problems with the wrong operating system, I finally got hold of a copy of OSX, the latest and greatest version of the Mac OS. I looked forward to an installation and usage free from the stupid usability issues that bug Windows users. Boy was I wrong!!

Stage One - Installation time
A few years ago, when Windows NT was the buzz, I reckoned that it took about 20-25 minutes to do a full installation from scratch. XP takes a little longer, but not significantly. I was expected OSX to be about the same... I inserted the CDs and started the machine, to be greeted with the "Installing OSX" screen. I was a little, erm, surprised when it told me that the instalaltion was expected to take two and a half hours!!! Yup, about four times as long as it takes to install Windows!! Strike One.

Current score, Microsoft one, Apple nil.

Stage Two - Registering the OS
Practically as soon as the install had begun, it asked me for loads of personal information so that it could register my details with Apple. Wait a sec, I don't want Apple to have my personal details, they're personal. It seems that Apple don't care about this and insist that you supply them. You can't click the "Next" button to go onto the next stage on installation unless you fill out all of those boxes. The only consolation here was that it assured me that my country would be used later to localise the installation.

Being the awkward type, I decided not to give them any real information, and entered useful tings like "a" for my name. I gave my real country as I was looking forward to having it do all my regional setting for me. I clicked "Next" to continue, not impressed that I had basically been forced into supplying info that they don't really have any right to demand. By contrast, Microsoft make registering an option, and they don't ask you until the operating system is fully installed. Strike Two.

Current score, Microsoft two, Apple nil.

Stage Three - Localisation
Computers are very sophisticated nowadays, and they will recognise your locale and modify the interface accordingly. Thus, a French person, even when living in the UK, with the time zone set to Uk can still have the interface in French. Jolly clever eh?

Whilst watching the OSX installation out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that it was preparing the Traditonal Chinese localisation for me. How super!! Whilst wondering about this, I noticed that it then prepared a Spanish localistion as well. To my amazement, it spent over 30 minutes preparing loads of localisations for languages that I cannot speak. Apart fomr the gross waste of time, this was after it had assured me that my choice of country (see above) would be used to set localisation for me!! Needless to say, when the installation was finally complete, I still had to set some of the localisation stuff myself. Strike Three and out.

Current score, Microsoft three, Apple nil.

Conclusion
Windows may have its faults, but Mac OSX isn't so brilliant either!! Shame that neither of them seems to have bothered watching real people use their installation procedures. They might have picked up a few tips!! Maybe I'll send them this entry... or maybe not!!

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