Tech Thursday – Windows 8, iOS 6, and Mountain Lion

So, I know its been a while since I’ve done a Tech Thursday post, but I will try to keep this one short, even though it has a lot of info.

So as we all know it is the height of tech industry conference time right now.  All the big names are putting on shows in Southern California, showcasing their newest ideas and products.  Among the ones I’m most interested in was the Apple Keynote that happened on Monday.  I was one of many I’m sure that was watching the bootleg out of focus feed live to see what Tim Cook had up his sleeve.  And we got updated MBPs, a Retina Display MBP, a new iOS and a new OS X coming soon.

Now I have already been able to spend some time with Mountain Lion and Windows 8, but I have only been using iOS 6 for about 24 hours.  And now I am going to say something that some people will eat me alive about… I like Windows 8, I am a Mac fan, and it is my go to system, but Windows 8 has potential.

Windows 8

Windows 8 Start Screen
Windows 8 Start Screen

So I tested the two different previews of Windows 8.  One was on my HP 2710p Tablet pc and the other was in a VM.  I like the moves that Widows has made to make the system more interactive, but unless you have a full touchscreen system, the pretty stuff is just in the way.  The system also ran well being on an older core 2 duo system with 3GB of ram.  Actually ran better than Windows 7 did on it however, it wasn’t a true test as many of my main applications would not install on it.  This was the major downside, and what I see as a downside in most of MS’s releases; the OS gets released and then you have issues with software compatibility for atleast 6 months  or more, as everyone tries to redevelop their code and make it work.

The other thing that many people that I have talked to have complained about is the lack of a start button.  This honestly is going to give IT and Helpdesk guys an ulcer.  For years we have done support by telling people to click start then do this or that, and many of your legacy users, yes there are still people out there with Windows 98 and ME, they will be totally lost when this system comes up, especially if they still have the old roller ball mouse.

I think this is a great effort from Microsoft to make everyday computing more like, using a Windows phone even though it has a very low market share.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming months when this finally gets fully released.

OS X – Mountain Lion

OSX Mountain Lion
OSX Mountain Lion

Now I have been a mainly Mac user for the last 8 years.  I say mainly Mac because my work issued systems have always been Windows systems.

The great thing that I have noticed about this release is that all of my stuff, unlike Windows 8, works as it should.  I have ML installed on an external 40GB PATA drive that came from one of my old systems, and is hooked into my 13″ MBP with 8GB of RAM.  While the drive speed is slow, and it is pulling most of its info over USB, ML runs very smoothly.  Again I can access my normal boot drive and actually run programs from there, I am able to install older versions of iWork and iLife, Photoshop, etc.  This over all is one of the most highly functional Beta’s I have ever worked with.

Like MS, Apple has built in features of iOS into their main OS, but did not try to mirror the experience.  The built in features of messages, facetime, notifications, all have the same look and feel as on iOS, but are designed to be used on the system.  One thing that I would like to see out of messages is for it to work more as a sms client, so that I can message non iOS/Apple devices.

Overall this is a great solid build, with the additional features that were added Monday, we should have a very solid good running OS when released next month.


iOS 6 info page
iOS 6 info page

So the other big annoucement from Monday’s Keynote was iOS6.  Which, from the looks of things has integrated many well used apps into default Apple Apps.  Siri, has been updated – if you use it, Maps is no longer google maps but is now very Tom-Tom esque, and facebook is now integrated into the phone.  And now there is Passbook, that will allow you to keep gift cards tickets, and boarding passes all in one spot.

Like I said at the beginning of this post I have been using iOS6 for maybe 24 hours now on my Verizon 4S.  I have both ATT and Verizon 4S iPhones, but decided to put it on my least used device, just in case.  This like ML is one of the most highly fuctioning beta installs I have ever touched.  It actually seems to run better than 5.1.1 was on the same phone with the same apps.  Battery life has actually seemed to improve and the DND feature is great.  There have also been some new visual improvements to the top bar and also to the dial pad, along with the enhanced app/music store and music player.

There are a few things that I haven’t been able to do, but they are just minor settings that I wasn’t able to get into, messages and Facetime settings.

Again, overall a good build.  I will most likely go ahead and update my primary device and iPad of the next few days and do some more testing.

Please feel free to comment on any testing of the 3 OS options that you have done and how you feel about them.