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The site compares competing operating systems Windows Vista and Mac OS X v10.5 through over 100 different topics. The site explicitly includes only the "out-of-the-box" experience of each OS, as well as any freely released updates from the manufacturer. A unique feature of the site over many other OS comparison sites is that it features a forum to encourage readers to voice any concerns or comments about the site, as well as any suggestions for additions.
The site was originally launched in March 2003 by Dan Pouliot, with the scope of the site explicit also to the concerns of the "creative professional". The site was originally intended to advocate OS X by virtue of a fair comparison to Windows XP. Pouliot acknowledged that such a fair comparison was difficult, and he relied on debates within the site's own online forum to refine and expand the site. A PDF version of the site was available, and Pouliot reports it was downloaded 250,000 times between the launch of the site and the time the PDF was removed in January 2005.
The site was almost closed down in January 2005, including a brief period when XvsXP was converted to a pay site. Pouliot at that time decided he needed to move on, so a change of ownership was negotiated.
In November 2005, the site officially changed hands to the current owners, James Scariati and Michael Moriarty, and a rewrite of the site began, with a renewed objective of an unbiased comparison. The point of view was changed away from first person. Content considered to be editorial in nature was removed.[a]
The site officially relaunched in March 2006, sporting a refreshed look and updated sections, as well as a format that was reportedly designed for ease of updating due to the upcoming releases of both operating systems, Windows Vista and Mac OS X v10.5.
On June 20, 2007, XvsXP.com owners announced they were moving to a new website, Mac vs. Windows (www.macvswindows.com). One of the main new features introduced with their new website was the transition to a wiki model.
The website does not take into account factors such as software availability, total cost of ownership, hardware interoperability and so forth. The owners contend that such topics fall outside of the site's scope as an operating system comparison and fall into a broader platform comparison. Both owners have stated that even the current comparison is a large amount of work, so a truly objective comparison of all aspects of each platform would require a team of full-time employees. In addition, the current "1 to 10" scoring system has been viewed as being too definitive for a subjective review. This is also compounded in the "Final Score" page where there is no option to weigh the scores based on the user's concerns. (e.g. security is given as much weight as icons).
Further criticism of XvsXP can be lodged for the continued delays in providing coverage of the Windows side of the comparison. As of June 10, 2007, the site still fails to show data on Windows Vista, over seven months after Vista’s Release to Manufacturing (RTM). This even though one of the XvsXP admins acknowledged (over four months ago) that Vista was released (their initial acknowledgement [February 8, 2007] of Vista came three months after it went RTM).
- One example that was removed can be seen in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:  where Pouliot discussed one particular XP dialog box at length.
- MacvsWindows Main Page
- http://www.apple.com/applescript/news/ and https://web.archive.org/web/20060327001640/http://www.apple.com/applescript/resources/ - XvsXP featured on Apple.com
- http://www.g4tv.com/screensavers/episodes/3495/Chewbacca_Speaks_the_EFF_Google_Darktips.html - XvsXP featured on TechTV show The Screen Savers.