At least one seasoned analyst agrees with Steve Ballmer's admission Microsoft has "lost a generation" of users — but from this number-cruncher's point of view, the situation is worse than Microsoft's CEO concedes. "Our research is indicating that Microsoft is unable to connect with the new generation of users," wrote Global …
A lot of people don't need a "real" computer
A lot of people don't need a "real" computer to do computing things, they just need to browse the web do other consumer things.
MS should also worry about the segments they are alienating by become more Apple-like. If I wanted MS Windows to be like Apple computers, I never would have switched to MS Windows.
They might lose a lot of the Windows XP generation if they don't cater to them a little bit more in the next versions.
My GF said she would never have bought the Office home edition if she had realized that it was a version with the ribbon. Before she bought it she was very insistent that she needed it on her home laptop but now she doesn't like MS Office anymore.
Windows != real computer
I've said this before and I expect I'll say it again but I never thought I would see the day when a Windows PC was declared to be a real computer when compared with a bonafide UNIX box (Mac OS X is certified UNIX, based on NextStep which was in turn based on BSD, so no, not repackaged Linux).
A sad sad day. The simple fact that on a Mac, I can open Terminal.app and have all the glory of a full bash environment negates any comment about Macs not being real computers. In bioinformatics (my field) Macs are the overwhelming choice of platform.
"Real Computer" noun. Whatever I like and am using, despite any facts otherwise.
"MS should also worry about the segments they are alienating by become more Apple-like."
Sigh. I was going to have my usual flame comparing various UI elements, of Windows copying the Mac, but really, it gets old fast. It's a shame that people these days have never used an Xerox Alto, Canon Cat, Squeak environment, or any other UI that shows just how different a UI can be. Maybe then they won't consider 'we have the close box on the right and the system-level menu button on the lower right' as totally different and innovative.
As a Mac owner...
... I'd like to ask why you think UNIX is a key requirement for a machine to be called a "real" computer. It's just a bloody OS, not a cure for cancer, for f*ck's sake. Grow up already.
Claiming that an OS designed in the days of punched cards, teletypes and magnetic tape is a "real" OS instead of an anachronism is just pathetic. Do you *really* believe UNIX is the pinnacle of computing in the 21st Century? CLIs with ridiculously terse instructions and abstruse, inconsistent interfaces and all?
It's idiots like you who've ensured programming computers is still done with the equivalent of flint axes.
As opposed to the Windows approach?
Programming with crayons?
Unix can be locked down, is a very light weight kernel and is highly configurable. Also, it doesn't use that abortion called the registry. Apple has thrown a very nice GUI on top of it to obfuscate the "hard" parts. It has an ez mode, and a highly configurable "nuts and bolts" mode. It also has the power of the majority of FOSS behind it, including the most prominent mail, web and dns servers there are. It is also highly scalable. Because it's been in production since the early 70s, it's very well refined. The core is relatively bug free. The workstations can also be used as servers without changing the core OS (unlike Windows). There are many other things I like about unix. IMO, it's the pinnacle of computing in this century. We'd be much further along if it was adopted in the 80s instead of DOS, me thinks.
"Do you *really* believe UNIX is the pinnacle of computing in the 21st Century?"
While I see your point, it is sadly true that OSX is pretty much the epitome of current OS design because of it's merge between traditional POSIX and modern tools.
Strong underlying tools. Easy to use and intuitive front end. Compatible with almost all industry standards. Wide choice of free and premium software. Above normal security. Just as good as a server or client. No imaginary limits (was it XP Home that only let you have 4 concurrent connections?)
Also, your little strop about CLIs is silly. Terse is exactly what you need when automating complex tasks hence 99.999% of programmers and administrators using said format.
Re:"I can open Terminal.app"
Well I'll be happy to leave you to your delusions and your keyboard-only environment, gramps.
Meanwhile, I'll be loitering on MMORPGS, FPSes and RTSes in various GUI environments including Windows, Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu and a few others.
On the same hardware.
Because I'm intelligent enough to know the difference between hardware and OS, and I do not confuse the OS I use, much less one single app on said OS, with "the computer".
Oh my god. I find myself in agreement with you. Must find some valium!
You do know you are using a Unix OS on your Mac, yeah? And be thankful to sweet zombie jeebus that you are!
As for flint axes...they (well, bladed weapons in general) score over more modern equivalents in many ways. 1. They are cheap. 2. They are silent. 3. They don't need reloading. 4. One can draw a knife and complete an attack faster than one can use a gun (just ask the Thai army...).
Unix may be old, but that does not make unfit for purpose. In fact, one could take the view that Unix (and Unix-a-likes to an extent) have most of their mistakes in the past.
Bash is not a good OS differentiator
Bash? Well, you could use that, but I suspect sh and ksh are a lot more common overall.
In any case Windows has powershell, the Unix subsystem SUA (Server, Pro and Ultimate editions only) and the free cygwin utilities from a third party.
If you're going to look at advantages of Unix over Windows you'll have to do better than bash. Both systems have advantages over the other, and it's also important not to confuse OS capabilities with the defaults chosen for the system. XP allowed for quite a secure system, and includes runas (su alternative). Unfortunately the default of a user being root was abused. Unix isn't perfect here either - it took years for Nero to allow running their CD burning software as anything other than administrator, but they did manage it. Various Unixes still run cd burning suid root, and haven't caught up to capability bits offered in old systems like Irix for example.
CLIs work well for some tasks
I probably use these for about an hour a day compared to 3 in GUI mode. Different interface styles are useful for different tasks. CLIs continue to improve, e.g. by being able to launch a GUI application by pressing enter on a highlighted filename or URL causing the GUI app associated with the resource to open it. Languages involving verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, wildcards, made parseable using spelling and punctuation are not about to become obsolete any time soon.
You may be able to do all the tasks you want to do with computers without using CLIs, but I certainly can't. Also if you choose to use computers entirely without CLIs the learning ladder you might otherwise have had between using and programming computers has most of the lower rungs kicked out.
"MS should also worry about the segments they are alienating by become more Apple-like. If I wanted MS Windows to be like Apple computers, I never would have switched to MS Windows"
Indeed, this is why I've vowed never to buy a windows phone again after seeing the joke that is the next windows mobile.
If I wanted somebody to decide for me what I could and couldn't install I'd buy an iPhone and read <insert Rupert Murdoch owned paper here> and bring on the fascism.
The catastrophe that is the default windows 7 taskbar is more of the same, if I wanted a bad UI experience I'd go OSX on a mac and not get so much abuse from the fanboys in my office. The only thing that saves Microsoft on this count is the fact you can get it reasonably close to perfection (how it was). The whole deal is just exacerbated by the fact for some reason all laptops (annoyingly) are 16:9 now, with no vertical space, please don't make a high taskbar, for the love of all that's holy.
"The simple fact that on a Mac, I can open Terminal.app and have all the glory of a full bash environment negates any comment about Macs not being real computers"
Cept they screwed up all the libs so that bash term is no use to you. Go figure.
Re: As a Mac owner...
Good point, good question. Compared to micros~1, yes, absolutely. Even dos started out with sad inept just-missed-the-point aping and later mixed more aping with half-baked ideas and doing things clearly gratuitously differently than unix.
Unix has a couple major points on the more widely used competition. There's an admirable simplicity underlying the whole thing, it has a good-enough and actually functional security model, it has some semblance of overall design in the whole, and, oh, reasonable quality code, stability, that sort of thing. It also permits replacement of even deep kernel level subsystems for better ones. In short, it has lots of things that windows just doesn't.
Of course, we could do better. And I'd welcome serious attempts to do better, sure. Even if that means a break with fourty years of unix history. And sure, some of that history shows. The mac you're using doesn't break with it but builds on it to bring things that clearly weren't there before--at least not in a commercial OS.
Though I don't agree that CLIs are necessairily a bad thing -- no server or router or switch can be taken seriously if it requires more than a dumb terminal on a serial to be configured, and that leaves you little else. Even today with many other interfaces available --nothing wrong with that-- the CLI is still the mainstay, it's still there if you really need it, it's easy and unprecedently fast to use if you know what you're doing. Knowing what you're doing is not an anathema, it's a valid requirement to be called an expert.
Of course you could try and come up with a better CLI. More, and more interesting interfaces, also, like the aqua thing built on top of a unix-y core instead of the more usual X with the familiarly bewildering choice of window managers and desktop environments. But so far, unix is indeed the best we have, for servers and professional desktop computing alike.
Still and all, the 21st century is young. Instead of casting stone axes, come up with a different design and see if you can make it last for more than the 40+ and counting years that unix has lasted. I could dare you, but I'd also love to see something truly new, actually.
advantages of Unix over Windows
> If you're going to look at advantages of Unix over Windows you'll have to do better than bash ..
Yea, it doesn't even come with AntiVirus .. :)
Re: Windows != real computer
perception is everything...
I started work using VAX/VMS when Unix was a backward little 1960's, 16bit OS that was no match for even the PDP OS's it was run alongside.
I still look at ?nix OS platforms as the ancient and unfriendly, lacking the most basic features that a REAL operating system should have.
You know little things like:-
A single mechanism/API to access and control print and batch jobs/queues. No forking off and running command shells of hopeing the right print manager was installed.
A file system that is totally reliable, allows guaranteed record and file level locking, and provides more than a simple stream of bytes (ISAM functionality from any language including DCL). Plus a feature that is missing from every other OS; file versions numbers.
An integrated lock manager that works locally and across nodes in a cluster environment.
Networking integrated so that you don't have to use funny little applications.
A standard command language interpreter that allows all application to use a common command line interface, and provides parameter and qualifier parsing BEFORE the application even sees it saving time developing code.
A standard backup system that allows full disk image and/or directory backup and restore, so when disaster does strike a system restore is easy!
These along with many more features missing from Win_D!Ohs and the nixes are the reason it is still used today and has system availability records the others cannot even come close to. One example being 14+ years for the Irish railways, with zero system down time, yet 100's of system software and hardware upgrades, including going from Vax to Alpha.
Unfortunately I have to spen my days developing software for MS kit, as decades of neglect and the worst sales team to crawl across the earth have made this wonderful OS a small niche market, for those who simple cannot afford down time.
If only Compac had ignored Intel's lies about the wonderous Merced (itanium) and kept Alpha while porting VMS to the AMD64 platform. Hell on x86-64 kit it would probably still make a mint, the best ever selling VAX was the MicroVAX used by smaller business to run just about everything.
need to do better?
Well here's one nice thing. Whether I choose Linux, BSD or MacOS I don't have to struggle to get a "real" OS.
With windows I have to make sure that the version I purchase isn't some funny joke version without any tools or systems required for real work.
For a regular user (not us nerds who hang around here) who just need to be able to complete tasks X, Y and Z this is a major issue. I was a computer retailer when Vista came out and saw the utter confusion of most customers, some of whom opted to buy a Mac instead.
As a usability expert I feel comfortable in saying that MacOS X is by far the least shitty OS on the market with stuff like Ubuntu coming in a distant second place. Win7 is less awful than Vista but still suffers from incredible problems just in the configuration of the computer itself (which is the OS part which I've conducted usability studies on).
For expert users CLI's are fastest, most efficient and most flexible. A good CLI is a big issue, which gives Unix based OS's a huge leg up on windows. Not just the quality of the CLI, but also the ubiquity. Someone who has used BASH on the free Ubuntu can use it on MacOS and all the other Linux, Unix and BSD systems (as your CLI of choice can be used on most of those systems). Importing those CLI's onto Windows is not a natural thing to do as Windows handles directories, mount points, networks and other things differently to everyone else.
Let's hear it for VMS
DCL, the VMS CLI uses meaningful commands with comprehensible options instead of the alphabetti spaghetti of Unix CLIs. Too much to type? You can abbreviate commands and options to the shortest unique string, e.g. "dir/sin" for "directory/since=today". Unlike the equivalent "find" command I don't have to consult the manual for this, even 10 years since I last used VMS.
And commands, options and filenames aren't case-sensitive. I challenge anyone to describe a situation in which it is useful to have names that differ only in case.
Logical names - a fantastic indirection mechanism where names are resolved by the operating system. Unix links have the capability to do about 5% of what you can do with logical names.
Dude, I love the term Micros~1. That's hysterical. Gogo long file names!
As a Mac owner
Greetings - Sean Timarco Baggeley ,
Slightly off topic,- I saw on the TV last night a shot of a factory in Russia.
Weaving fabric of some sort, and it was using punch cards.
If it works why, spent money on some new expensive thing?
I must admit that most of this thread has followed the normal Windows/UNIX path, leading to name calling.
It is interesting to be reminded of another OS that in it's own way has shaped what we have today.
VAX/VMS is an interesting OS, and in many ways my second favorite OS to UNIX. What you have said of VMS is quite true, but some of the assertions you have made about UNIX are wrong.
As someone who learned UNIX back in the late '70's and then took a spell of sysadmin'ing RSX/11M and eventually some VAX/VMS, I agree that the batch and spooling systems on VMS were much better, because DEC had Tops 10 and Tops 20 as a good model to work from. But RSX/11M's batch system was not as good as the UNIX at/batch commands, but that is because RSX/11 was not really a general purpose OS. In the UK RSTS/E was the main commercial PDP/11 OS, and very little of that mad it into VMS. If you remember that far back, you will find that VMS version 1 was really just a 32 bit port of RSX/11M, complete with non-hierarchical file system, and limited Files/11 support.
The backup and restore, I'm not so sure that BRU and Backup/Restore was hugely better that Fbackup, Frestore, Finc and Frec on generic AT&T UNIX systems, but these fell by the wayside.
It is quite clear that Files/11 (which was a layered product on RSX/11) and the VAX filesystem (I know it had a name, but I can't remember it at the moment) suited commercial use for VAX, including file and record locking, but that does not mean that there was nothing similar in UNIX. UNIX version 7 included a thing called the "Multiplexed file system". This allowed you to add all sorts of functionality to the standard file system. But the standard byte addresses file interface allowed you to implement pretty much any functionality anyway, including arbitrary sized record structure, and there were add-ons like C-isam, which was available as a library on most UNIX variants (OK 3rd party software), which was for a time a near industry standard for UNIX.
AT&T's UNIX from System 3 also had mandatory file and region locking for files in a filesystem. This was not carried into the BSD variants as far as I remember, until the SVR4 merged system that provided cross-fertilization between major UNIX variants.
It is interesting that people also overlook the RFS filesystem that came as part of SVR3.2 and later. This was a highly stateful distributed filesystem that implemented 100% of UNIX filesystem semantics, including the mandatory locking protocols. I'm fairly certain that if you came across UNIX from a BSD/SUN route, that you almost certainly never came across this advanced filesystem which again, fell by the wayside.
It is not directly comparable with VAX Cluster, which was a groundbreaking way of making your environment more that the sum of the machines in it, but this was an add-on to VMS, and if I remember correctly, quite expensive for commercial use.
VMS was good. It's DCL CLI was very helpful to novice users, utilities like EVE and TPU were very good for University work, and the wide variety of vendor provided applications. It had the demand paging system that other vendors aspired to. But DCL had it's own limits. If I remember correctly, in order to get the argument processing working for your application, you had to produce a prototype file so DCL could parse the arguments for you, whereas letting the application manage it's own arguments
But I would contend that although it was very suitable for many types of work, ultimately it was not as flexible or as widely deployed as UNIX. Although you could say that the WorldBox MicroVax II was a microprocessor based system (I was at the UK site of the World launch event in Harrogate), that there were personal VAX Stations, and there were some very large VAX systems, UNIX appeared on everything from desktop PC's (like the AT&T 3B1 and even PC/ATs if you count Xenix/286 as a UNIX) through to the largest mainframes of the time from the likes of IBM and Amdahl. And I haven't seen a HPC cluster running VMS, as I have with COS (at one time Cray's UNIX) and AIX (IBM's UNIX variant).
Don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing VMS. As I said, it is one of my favorite OS's. But it is like comparing apples with pears. They are similar, but there are significant differences which mean some people like apples, and some pears. I would say that there is probably still a place for VMS, but it has become niche, in the same way that genetic UNIX is going. But UNIX has a direct successor that will keep the line going in Linux.
Maybe you ought to be pressing HP to license VMS with an open license. I think that that is the only way to stop it dying a slow and lingering death.
Ever used AIX...?
The ODM is exactly that, a registry that corrupts on odd occasions. Of course I always hold the AIX is an acronym for AIX Isn't uniX. That said, IBM and MS have a penchant of doing things the wrong way or making ridiculous assumptions (only 7 computers needed in the world, 640kb enough for anyone, who needs colour etc...)
If it works...
... then you may still want to replace it with something better. For example, if the extra requirements aren't too onerous for the new capabilities, and of course you can do something useful with the new capabilities. Or if the current requirements have grown onerous, like, oh, suppose it ran off of magtape instead and there was not a single magtape plant in the world left to supply you with spools to put new designs on. Or because maintenance has become too expensive and the new one will be cheaper to run. Something like that.
Of course, lots of change only occurs "because we can", or "because it's new", or whatever. So yes, if that plant is happy with that setup, more power to them. It's neat, too, since the first application of punched cards, and of automation, really, was exactly this: Weaving. Somewhere back around 1725, says wikipedia.
"As a Mac user... ... I'd like to ask why you think UNIX is a key requirement for a machine to be called a "real" computer."
It's tradition. Ever since the early 80s, real computers ran UNIX and the PCs were toy computers. Now, of course, PC hardware has plenty of power for regular tasks, but UNIX is still once of the best OSes around. As for the rest of your statement, you're being very short-sighted, and intentionally confusing user interface, peripherals, and OS, in a ridiculous fashion. The beauty of UNIX is the simplicity, flexibility, and scalability of the basic design, the paradigm of treating almost everything as a file (files, pipes, network sockets, and so on all can use regular read and write calls); it scales from very small to the largest systems. And what you consider a sign of antiquation is a long tradition and history that most OSes don't have (and this includes Windows, really, since Microsoft changes the recommend APIs so often).
Interesting to see so much mention of VMS here.
Chief architect of VMS? Dave Cutler. Chief architect of Windows NT? Dave Cutler. Go figure....
RE: Real OS
"Cept they screwed up all the libs so that bash term is no use to you. Go figure."
It seems to work fine here...
I can run Windows on my iMac (if I wanted to).
You could run Mac OSX on a PC (Hackintosh) if you wanted to.
The OS and computer are different beasts, you claim you're intelligent enough to know the difference but then make it plain you don't know that a unix shell indicates a unix based OS...
The VMS filesystem was called Files/11, too. On top of that lived RMS, which managed the records.
I think you underestimate DCL. The transparency of the commands and their options don't only help novice users, they result in command procedures that are self-documenting.
Argument processing in DCL procedures is much like all script languages; you get the command-line parameters in a set of predefined symbols. If you want to process command arguments in a compiled program you have two choices. You can define the program as something called a "foreign command" and parse the command line yourself - this is the quick-and-dirty method. Or you can provide the program with a command-line definition, which amounts to a definition of the command syntax. If you do that the CLI will parse and validate the command line before you even see it.
College student choice
Choice of OS by college freshmen is highly dependent on the school, what type of curriculum, and the recommendations from the school to incoming students.
I had a kid start college last year, and she said laptops in classes that allowed them were overwhelmingly PCs - with only perhaps 2 or 3 Macs in a lecture hall with 100 laptops. Her school said either one was acceptable, though individual departments within the school may prefer one or the other.
At other schools, freshman are encouraged (if not required) to get Macs or PCs.
College requirement if PC type
''At other schools, freshman are encouraged (if not required) to get Macs or PCs.At other schools, freshman are encouraged (if not required) to get Macs or PCs.''
Quite: if the school just adopted 100% standards based software it would not matter what sort of PC a student had: MS Windows, Mac, Linux ...
Oh: PC means Personal Computer, it has no implied meaning on what operating system it runs.
PC means Personal Computer
Yes, it does, but you knew what was implied, and since nobody has used the term "IBM Compatible" in about 20 years, I think it's safe to say that "PC" has become the generally accepted "brand name" of sorts for an entire grouping of machines that never really had one.
It can be argued that the acronym PC came from the IBM PC and PC, Jr. series of computers (the first mass market microcomputers they came out with) in the early 80s running Intel chips. They ran PC-DOS which was just a re-branded MS-DOS (and CPM? briefly). All IBM PCs came with a Microsoft OS. Fast forward 30 years (where'd that time go?) and the origin of the term PC can still apply to Intel based computers running a Microsoft OS. It stood for 'personal computer" but it was IBM's branding of an Intel computer running a MS OS.
Not intending to split hairs, just sharing a bit of history in the discussion.
the acronym PC
The first use of the term 'personal computer' was in adverts for the Apple ][ in the late 70s. I have a Byte magazine with such an advert.
By the time that IBM announced _its_ PC it was a generally used term.
Initially the IBM PC was sold with a choice of 3 IBM branded operating systems: PC-DOS, CP/M-86 (which MS-DOS was a clone of), or UCSD. Other OSes were also available such as Venix, Xenix, or MP/M-86.
> All IBM PCs came with a Microsoft OS
No. That is not true, IBM had 3 branded OSes to choose from or to not choose, there was no need to purchase an OS from IBM. They did all come with BASIC in BIOS though.
> IBM's branding of an Intel computer running a MS OS.
The branding was 'IBM PC' not 'PC'. It is shear laziness that has conflated the two.
Choose your own PC?
I don't think I've ever heard of companies where you can choose between a PC or a Mac - may be a few very lucky or senior people can, but everyone else will get what ever is standard.
I had both at a former workplace...
It was wonderful. Initially it was a Mac IIci with MacOS 7.01 and a 20" screen, then I was given a PC running Windows NT 4. The IT department supported Windows only, so I used terminal emulators (Rumba, UTS Express) on the PC, but my internal customers had their own little spin-off IT department and were running Macs on the desktop with Solaris servers so I got to use Mac versions of everything as well as their little hypercard apps and such. Very slick.
Best of both worlds at the time. :-) The IIci was eventually upgraded to a G3 minitower running MacOS 8.5. And then I left. Not by choice ... 9/11 hit airlines hard...
Choose a Mac only if ...
... the business is silk screening T-shirts or some such artsy-fartsy thing. The business world is still overwhelmingly Windows. Institutions of "higher" learning are not the business world since even the business office is still within the great womb of the universtty.
The 1980s called: they want their unfounded myth back.
Oh really, Doug?
Let's see. The company I work for employs a few thousand people and has an annual budget in the several hundred million dollars. We are not in an artsy-fartsy industry and I can guarantee that there are no silk screens to be found. Funny how I've just been allowed to get a MacBookPro and an HP WinXP tower (Win 7 not supported here yet!). And my admin assistant has just got a MacBook to complement her ACER Windows box. I would say people here opt for Mac 50% and Win 50%, but the proportion of Macs does seem to be growing steadily over time.
IIRC it was the other way around!
"And then I left. Not by choice ... 9/11 hit airlines hard..."
Many SME's will let you do this
Where I work you can choose. For sure in the enterprise everything is locked down (to Windows presumably), but in smaller companies it's not so hard to offer employees a choice. Usually the network is windows and you can have Mac, but then you are on your own with respect to support and you need to make sure you can read the required document formats etc. Not a problem usually.
@ Doug Arse - seriously, dude
if you want to bait the trolls, you have to try harder than that
try talking the truth for starters, instead of sucking turds of regurgitated MS poo out your crusty ol' starfish using your porcine snout
RE: Choose a Mac only if ...
"The business world is still overwhelmingly Windows. Institutions of "higher" learning are not the business world since even the business office is still within the great womb of the universtty."
Umm. Are you implying that unis all use windows?
When I was at uni, we had two rooms of PCs. Three rooms of SunOS and Solaris machines, two of HPUX and one very large room full of Dec Alphas.
Managed to learn to program using them and not windows. Some of us went on to become windows programmers...
MS or Apple ?
Ms has lost a generation of users ?
Well to be fair their current windows licencing agreement is a joke (you can only run windows on 2 processors, how's that work with a core 4 ?), they consistantly over price their product, completely missed potential new markets (mobile phones), and have the usual idoit suits trying to front the company.
Apple, are run by a meglomaniac with his head so far up his ass he can see daylight through his own ears!. They rebrand linux and try to sell it as their own product and until recently thought that nobody needed to multitask their mobilephone/gps/media player.
The one win that Apple has is they know how to design functional, beautiful and reliable hardware. Im a pc person with a 17' macbook pro on its way in the post.
I plan to install windows 7 on it.
Cos its a bloody good if expensive and stupidly licensed operating system that runs rock solid on a mac, and offers the best of both worlds.
Microsoft need to find people that can design decent hardware, not cheap dell crap, not well made if bulky toughbooks.
These days everybody would like to drive a ferrari, a porche or a lambo. They don't care what fuel is in the tank, as long as it runs well and looks bloody good the punter will be happy.
Apple does do "look good" REALLY well..
The current Windows EULA states two PHYSICAL processors. Effectively, two SOCKETS. Now, that's the desktop client license, also.
It has nothing to do with how many cores are in the chip. So, as of right now, you can run a dual-socket quad-core machine for a total of eight cores with no problems.
What an ignoramus
Mac OS X is based on some flavour of UNIX but it is NOT Linux.
And as for Win7 being bloody good, another piece of BS, I am sick of my netbook with Win7 pre-installed and all updates freezing, losing WiFi signal and all sorts of crap.
Processors != Cores
The license may limit you to two processors, but each processor can have as many cores as you like. So, 8-12 cores total is probably quite feasible with current tech.
So many words...
...but just this handful:
"They rebrand linux and try to sell it as their own product and until recently thought that nobody needed to multitask their mobilephone/gps/media player"
...is enough to tell me I won't find anything intelligent in the rest of your post either.
"OSX is rebranded Linux"
What are you talking about Willis?
OS X != Linux
OS X is built on a BSD core with a considerable amount of NextStep thrown in, it has nothing to do with Linux.