A great operating system is about details
A couple of weeks ago I found time to install Dapper Drake, the latest Ubuntu Linux release. In the same week my wife bought a brand new MacBook. The inevitable comparison got me thinking about what makes an otherwise good operating system great.
Linux is clearly on the right track to greatness. Dapper Drake is good looking, fast, and extremely well rounded. I know Jason Norwood-Young had a lot of complaints about Dapper when it was released, but my experience has been a far more favourable one. Perhaps installing from scratch instead of upgrading was the critical difference.
Either way I am extremely happy with Dapper. It is noticeably quicker in many tasks and has a number of enhancements that significantly elevate the day-to-day experience.
Mac OS X Tiger on the other hand is every bit as good looking, fast and extremely well rounded and without a doubt the simplest OS to use.