If Mountain Lion is a service pack, then what is Windows 8?
It really makes me laugh when all the Microsoft fanboys write off Mac OS X because they have never used it, nor understand why it is a good OS. Recently, I really got a kick out of the torrent of comments and posts about how Mountain Lion is a service pack. I believe that they are just angry that ML is so cheap so they have to justify the upgrade price of Windows by saying ML is just a service pack.
Well, what is the definition of a service pack? Wikipedia defines it as, "A service pack (in short SP) is a collection of updates, fixes or enhancements to a software program delivered in the form of a single installable package." In that definition, any OS could be a SP. In my opinion, a service pack is just a small incremental bug fix update, that at most adds 2-3 features and is often denoted by numbers following the 2nd period in Mac releases (I.E. 10.x.x). For example, 10.6.6 brought minor bug fixes and added the Mac App Store feature over 10.6.5. I believe a larger release with many features, many bug fixes, and a new underlying software/kernel version can be called a major new OS.
Mac OS X does get service packs, and they are marked with the 10.x.x moniker, such that 10.6.1 is a "service pack" to 10.6.0. So if 10.8.0 is a service pack, what does that make 10.8.1? A micro-service pack? I guess people can wrap their heads around the idea that Apple updates their software as well.
ML fixes many bugs/performance issues, adds many great features like speech-to-text, Airplay, Notification Center, etc, and updates to the Darwin 12 kernel from Darwin 11. On the opposite hand, Windows 8 adds a lot of bug fixes, improvements, changes to a new NT kernel and adds many features, mainly Metro. Really, both operating systems are just getting new mobile features tossed in with performance and bug fixes.
If you don't use/don't want to use Metro, Windows 8 is actually a downgrade in a usability, whereas Apple just tacks the features on and you can use them if you want to, but if you don't, they are transparent. But increase performance considerably, and both add security features. Both add small features like a new task manager in 8, or a new reminders app in ML.
So why is one a service pack? Which OS do you think adds better features and which OS do you think deserves the moniker "service pack" more. I think neither do.
I suggest that everyone calls Windows 8 a service pack, until people stop calling ML a service pack. Or just attack the trolls declaring ML a service pack in the first place. What do you think?