Windows XP vs. Mac OS X Architecture
May 29th 2006
When looking at the interface of the Mac OS X Operating System and the Microsoft Windows XP operating system many similarities can be seen. The most obvious is the use of blue in the interface. In the core of the systems they both have a micro kernel which addresses thread management, space management and other communications at the system level and is more resistant to attacks from a virus. Mac OS X is a powerful development platform; it supports multiple development technologies like UNIX, Java, Cocoa and Carbon. It also is host to many open source, web, scripting, database and development technologies. It was build around the integrated stack of graphics and media technologies such as QuickTime, Quartz, Core Image and Core Audio. Mac OS X is based on the Mach Kernel and the BSD implementation of UNIX which were originally incorporated into the NEXTSTEP operating system. Many aspects of the Mac OS X architecture are derived from OPENSTEP / NEXTSTEP which was designed to be an easy transition from one platform to another. At the core of this system is Darwin, an open source UNIX like operating system built around the XNU kernel with standard UNIX facilities available from a command line interface. Running on top of this core is several proprietary closed source software such as Aqua (the User Interface) and the Finder application. The Aqua interface is the graphical user interface, it uses soft edges, translucent colors, more color and texture to the windows and it controls most of the systems overall appearance. Apple made this decision during a time that most user interfaces were seen as dull and boring. The Finder is a subset of the user interface as it helps navigate through the system and the finder isn't required to be running for other applications to run. The finder helps the user find programs and visually organize data on the computer.
Among the Aqua...
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