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Faculty of Mechanical Engineering English for Professional Communication (EPC)

Recommendation Report of an Ideal Operating System between Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard for Personal Computers


Name Class

: Muhammad Ali Imran Bin Abd Hamid : 3BMCA/FKM


Lecturer :

Pn. Noor Azlin Binti Bidin

Title: To determine the ideal operating system between Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard for personal computers.

1.0 Executive summary The purpose of this report is to determine the ideal operating system for personal computer among two operating systems, Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. Operating system is the software component of a computer system which acts as a host for application programs that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of the computer. Windows Seven is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft while Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard is developed by Apple. Four criteria which take into consideration to determine the ideal operating system for personal computers are the internet security, local security, design and usability, and availability and compatibility for hardware and software. Internet security consists of open ports, internet browser and updates while local security consists of data encryption and back-up. Design and usability consists of file manager, software installation and software design. Windows Seven is recommended as the ideal operating system for personal computers as it meets most of the criteria.

1.1 Introduction The purpose of this report is to determine the ideal operating system for personal computer among two operating systems, Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. The information on both operating systems has been gathered from various sources such as internet, books and magazines. Operating system is the software component of a computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of the computer. The operating system acts as a host for application programs that are run on the machine. One of the purposes of an operating system is to handle the details of the operation of the hardware. This relieves application programs from having to manage these details and makes it easier to write applications.

Users may interact with the operating system by typing commands or using a graphical user interface (GUI). For hand-held and desktop computers, the GUI is generally considered part of the operating system. For large multiuser systems, the GUI is generally implemented as an application program that runs outside the operating system. Operating systems also offer a number of services to application programs and users. Applications access these services through application programming interfaces. By invoking these interfaces, the application can request a service from the operating system, pass parameters, and receive the results of the operation.

1.2 Background

Windows Seven is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on personal computers. Development was completed on 22 July 2009, and it was made available for purchase and downloading from Microsoft's web site and released worldwide to the general public on 22 October 2009. The release of Windows Seven take the shortest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows where it comes more than three years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows Vista. Windows Seven contains many changes and new features, including an updated graphical user interface and visual style dubbed Windows Aero, improved searching features, new

multimedia creation tools, redesigned networking, audio, print, and display sub-systems. Windows Seven also increases the level of communication between machines on a home network, using peer-to-peer technology to simplify sharing files and digital media between computers and devices. Windows Seven includes version 3.0 of the .NET Framework, which aims to make it significantly easier for software developers to write applications. Windows Seven has also been the target of much criticism and negative press although the new features and security improvements have garnered positive reviews. Criticism of Windows Seven has targeted high system requirements, the inclusion of a number of new digital rights management technologies aimed at restricting the copying of protected digital media, more restrictive licensing terms, lack of compatibility with certain pre-Seven hardware and software, and the number of authorization prompts for User Account Control. Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard, the successor to Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger, is the sixth major release of the Mac OS X operating system for Apples Mac line of personal computers. Leopard was released on 26th October 2007, and is available in two variants: a desktop version suitable for personal computers, and a server version, Mac OS X Server. According to Apple, Leopard contains over 300 changes and enhancements, covering the core operating system components, applications and developer tools. Leopard introduces a significantly revised desktop, with a redesigned Dock, Stacks, a semitransparent menu bar, and an updated Finder that incorporates the Cover Flow visual navigation interface first seen in iTunes. Other notable features include support for writing 64-bit graphical user interface applications, an automated backup utility called Time Machine, support for Spotlight searches across multiple machines, and the inclusion of Front Row and Photo Booth, which were previously only included with some Mac models.

Table 1: General requirements for Windows Seven Windows Seven Home Basic Windows Vista Home Premium/Business/Ultimate 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor 512 MB of system memory 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory DVD-ROM drive Audio Output Internet access (fees may apply) 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor 1 GB of system memory 40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space Support for DirectX 9 graphics with: o WDDM Driver o 128MB of graphics memory (minimum) o Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware o 32 bits per pixel DVD-ROM drive Audio Output Internet access (fees may apply)

Table 2: General requirement for Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard Mac computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor 512 MB of system memory DVD-ROM drive 9GB of available disk space Some features require a compatible internet service provider (fees may apply) Some features require Apples Mac service (fees may apply)

2.0 Discussion

2.1 Internet security

The main concern of the operating systems is their internet security. These ease with which hackers or malicious software find access to the system depends on the number of open ports and how secured the software protecting the point-of-entry.

2.2 Open ports

Open port is a TCP/IP port number that is configured to accept packets. The operating systems should be protected on the internet immediately after the installation. For Windows Seven, it categorically safe as it automatically activates an integrated firewall although it will diverse internet services after installation. As a result, Windows Seven is unlikely to be vulnerable to outsider attacks from hackers. Mac OS X v10.5 has not loaded a single internet service from the beginning and thus does not provide any loopholes for hackers. Although a firewall does not run, there are no any open ports to the internet found.

2.3 Internet browser

Since operating systems hardly provide security externally, the attentions of hackers shift to unsecured applications, undoubtedly Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Seven and Safari 3 for Mac OS X v10.5, the internet browser which comes together with the operating systems. An attack usually takes place when an ignorant user visiting a website that is designed to exploit the inevitable security loopholes of Internet Explorer and its plug-ins. Although loopholes also exist in Safari, the hackers do not target them as over 85% to 90% of users surf with Internet explorer. It is always easier and logical to take aim at the biggest target, Internet Explorer. This proven with the number and size of the security loopholes found

on the browser. Besides, Microsofts products have buffer overflow problems due to its poor memory management technique. So, some of the people may use the weaknesses of Microsofts product including Internet Explorer to launch attacks on other peoples platform.

2.4 Updates

The frequency of updates released to protect the operating systems is taken into the consideration. According to the test done by HWM Malaysia, the attacks werent successful when they allow the latest proof-of-concept-virus to run on both of the operating systems. This is because as long as the update function brings about patches automatically, the viruses are distinguished accordingly. According to the users for both operating systems, Microsoft needs only an average of 18 days to close a loophole on Windows Seven, while an average of 43 days for Apple to do so on Mac OS X v10.5. Due to Internet Explorer running with restricted authorization, the operating system is protected. If a malicious code enters the system through the browser, Windows Seven probably refuses permit for it, so the potential to do damage is reduced. The longer duration required to research the update for Mac OS X v10.5 does not mean that the operating system is often unsecured. It is secure due to its lack of popularity. Its popularity is rather limited for hackers to have serious interest in hacking it

2.5 Local security Professional hackers intent on destroying or stealing data would not be concerned about Firewalls or ports. The operating system needs to have other ways to stop the hackers from hacking any sensitive data belonging of the personal computers owner. A password protection would probably not secure enough and it can be cracked easily with some downloadable applications from the Internet. Protection should definitely be more extensive than just password-protection. Sensitive information such as company presentations, accounts or credit card numbers have to be encrypted. The operating system needs to fulfill this requirement without incurring any additional expenses.

2.5 Data encryption

Both Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 come with an encoding system for personal folders that is easy to use. EFS (Encrypted File System) is used to handle data security for Windows Seven. The users simply need to choose which folders they wish to encode and protect. Besides, the users can conveniently encode the entire hard disk by a few simple steps. Under Mac OS X v10.5, the File Vault is used to handle this task. But the Mac OS earns additional points because after File Vault is activated, it automatically encrypts a preset file folder and its documents.

2.7 Back-up

Most of the users dislike performing back-ups. But if the hard disk corrupts, the users are not able to recover the data. Therefore, the operating systems must have the back-up function where it must not slow and complicated. For Windows Vista, it will automatically create a mirror copy if a file is modified. This way, an accidentally deleted filed can be recovered with a simple right-click. But this function is available only on Seven Home Business, Enterprise and Ultimate, and not for Home Basic and Premium. This certainly a disadvantage as we believe that even home users need to protect and back-up their data. The Mac OS X v10.5 fulfils this requirement precisely. The system queries if it should be used as a back-up device if an external hard disk is connected through its ingenious service application called Time Machine. If you click on Yes, it immediately secures all files. If an older file version is required, the user can go through all the different saved versions like a flip book. The only problem here is that an external hard disk must be connected to perform back-up. Even thought there are Mac OS packages there, the back-up still can be done even as home users.

2.8 Design and usability

The design of operating systems should be user friendly, attractive and not look dodgy. Most importantly, it should allow easy access to its functions.

2.9 File manager It is hardly sufficient to determine the content of a file or folder by just looking at its name. Therefore, a preview for this purpose is available nowadays and it is not limited to picture preview only. For Windows Seven, almost every file type has a preview. The same goes to Mac OS X v10.5. Mac OS X v10.5 can even display it in the familiar iTunes interface complete with Cover Flow-a kind of flip book that can be browsed-through impressively fast.


Software installation

Major differences exist between operating systems in the aspect of administrating programs. Windows Seven users may individually purchase or download an application and run the setup program. The installation process includes inverting entries in the start menu and usually saves an uninstallation routine. Mac OS X v10.5 users find themselves having to trudge through few more extra steps. Most of the programs come as ZIP-like folders which the users need to extract and then add to Docks first before using them. But, the uninstallation is not required and any traces of the program hiding in the registry database will not be found if a program being removed from the system. The users just need to delete the program from the folder.


Software design

Both Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 are using graphical user interface (GUI), but both have introduce different ideas in terms of graphical interface. One of the Windows Seven strength is the compatibility. Windows Seven users have flexibility in choosing the software they would like to use without the limitation from the operating system and the hardware where Windows Seven try to custom meet all of the features, even the Internet Explorer can be use to surf the internet and file browser. But in order to have compatibility, the coding needs to detect different environments and hardware, the software would run slower. In the issue of multimedia, certain hardware is required to make sure the multimedia run in really nice and clear condition. Mac OS X v10.5 users find out that Mac OS X v10.5 support almost all of the multimedia. The software is built into the hardware; it has its own graphic processor and memory. So it is more fast and secure.


Availability and compatibility for hardware and software

Good programs and dependable drivers turn the personal computer into a personal indispensable work-and-fun device. Mac OS X v10.5 users often find themselves facing compatibility problems when looking for hardware. They usually have to use devices that are marked as Apple-compatible to function properly under Mac OS X v10.5. But to get a good Mac machine, it will cost around RM10,000. Windows Vista offers about 20,000 drivers. If a desired driver is not already pre-loaded into Windows Seven, users can easily download the drivers from web and install them manually. So, upgrading hardware may not be a bit frustrating at times. The main disadvantages of Windows Seven are that sometimes the Plug-and-play function in Windows Seven does not work smoothly and the older hardware such as graphics or sound cards may not be recognized and thus forces the users to either purchase a newer model, or revert back to Windows Vista. Even so, it only cost around RM2,000 to get a simple personal computer with all software. Even a good platform just cost around RM5,000.

3.0 Conclusion

In determine the ideal operating system between Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard for personal computers, four features which are the internet security, local security, design and usability, and the support of hardware and software are taking into consideration. Security comes to focus where internet protection, password protection, authorization of rights and encryption must be available to reject at least simple attacks. Besides, the automatic back-ups are mandatory. The systems should also support the users in their day-to-day tasks. How difficult is the software installation, how many programs are offered on the web and how well is hardware support carried out are taking into consideration too.

Both operating systems have their own strengths and weaknesses. For Mac OS X v10.5, the design is trendy and the system is secure. Mac OS X v10.5 has advantages in data encryption with File Vault. But an external hard disk is required to do the back-up. It also does not offer much of a choice in hardware and software, the software installation are more complex and it is quite pricy for a Mac machine. Mac OS X v10.5 mostly target the multimedia industry users because the operating system is custom fit into the hardware which has separate graphic processor and memory, causing the multimedia to run more nice and clear.

For Windows Seven, the system is protected from attacks whether from inside or outside and it is more secure than its predecessor, Windows Vista. With EFS, the personal computers are secure enough. Windows Seven earns additional point where it automatically creates a mirror copy and an external hard disk does not required. Users of Windows Seven also find themselves easier in installing the software. Besides, a platform based on Windows Seven also cheaper and has wide range of flexibility and compatibility where the users have various choice on selecting the hardware and software. But due to lack of memory management and the compatibility issue, Windows Seven is running slower and unable to custom fit into some special features.


4.0 Recommendation

Windows Seven, which meets most of the criteria, is recommended as the ideal operating system for personal computers. The most important criteria is the price of the personal computers where most of the users have limited budget, so Windows Seven is a better deal. In terms of security, both Windows Seven and Mac OS X v10.5 have same strength, just how the users use and configure the environment. But Windows Seven earn additional point where it does not require any external hard disk in doing the back-up and this will cut the cost of getting a personal computer. Besides, the back-up system of Windows Seven will automatically create the mirror copy and an accidentally deleted file can be recovered with a few simple steps. The users will use the personal computers in a different environment and Windows Seven is better than Mac OS X v10.5 in term of flexibility. Windows Seven users also find that they are easier in installing the software into their personal computers by simply run the setup. Finally, Windows Seven comes with more drivers which are pre-loaded into the Windows or can be download from the website. This cause the Windows Seven is more ease of use compare to Mac OS X v10.5 which has limited driver and hardware compatibility.



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