Windows SuperSite: Microsoft Debates, Apple Lies.

A pair of articles on the SuperSite clarify just what a Microsoft bias this site carries, as well as highlighting its love of Apple-bashing.

Microsoft Debates.

First, there’s the small matter of emails from Microsoft uncovered in the trial regarding the Vista Capable certification program. These make for fascinating (though occasionally boring) reading, and make it clear that the more technically and customer-inclined at MS felt this was likely a disaster in the making (and just flat wrong), but the powers that be went ahead anyway.

Numerous outlets have reported on this — and will continue to do so despite the SuperSite — but Paul Thurott blows it all off like it’s nothing:

No offense, guys. But “yawn.”

C’mon, Paul! That’s all you’ve got to say? Wow. I’m glad the court takes it a little more seriously than you do. Not every email is damning, of course, and there’s definitely some back and forth, but surely there’s more to it than just “debate”.

As for the emails, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but below is one of mine. When a concern was expressed that even the Intel 865 chip set would qualify as Vista Capable, and would there be any help in not allowing this to happen, this reply was received (quoted in full):

“Based on the objective criteria that exist today for capable even a piece of junk will qualify. :-) So based on that yes 865 will qualify.

For the sake of Vista customers, it will be a complete tragedy if we allow it. I don’t know how to help you prevent it.”

Turns out it didn’t require 865 certification after all; 915 certification was more than enough.

There are a lot of emails to go through, but it’s worth a read to see just how all the dissent from people concerned about the customer or Independent Hardware Vendors was brushed aside as they pushed through a choice anyone with a little rational thinking could see would be a mistake.

No, ultimately this was not “debate”. Had they honestly debated the issue they wouldn’t be being dragged into a class action suit now for doing something so obviously stupid and short-sighted. Perhaps it passes for “debate” at Paul’s table, but reasonable people would have to disagree.

Heck, even Joe Wilcox from Microsoft Watch is taking a proper stance on these emails, but Paul “see no evil” Thurrott spins it as simply nothing to see here, move along. Debate, indeed.

Apple Lies.

Meanwhile, the hard-hitting Apple reporting that Paul is so famous for is brought to bear. It’s been reported movies for rental (100 in HD) by the end of February that Apple promised is well short of that goal.

There are barely over 350 (91 in HD).

Had there been, say, 850 or more I might not be that critical. However, I’ll be the first to admit that 350+ is way off the mark, and likely even an indicator that something’s wrong. This is especially true since those 350 have been there for weeks. It’s almost as if they got that many up, and then stopped. Was there a tech issue? A licensing issue? One has to wonder.

Paul, of course, thinks it’s just Apple lying. After all, they had plenty to gain by offering a new feature and then falling so far short of a stated number in such a small timeframe… er, wait a minute, no they didn’t.

What had Apple to gain by “lying” about the number of movies they’d provide? If they knew they only had 350, did they believe more people would rent from that pool if they thought more were coming? Of course not. It’s not like suckering someone into recurring revenue.

Personally, I think something went wrong, and if Apple doesn’t see it getting fixed soon they had better say something. But I don’t see any reason why Apple would have lied about this at the outset. There was simply nothing to be gained by lying about this particular figure when it was so easily verified in such a short amount of time.

Windows SuperSite: Yesterday the MacBook Air is Great, Today It Sucks.

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It’s no secret I’m not enamored with the new MacBook Air. In fact, I chose to purchase a MacBook instead. While I think it’s a beautiful design, I also think it’s less a sub-notebook than it claims to be given its footprint.

Paul Thurrott of Windows SuperSite was just fine with it the day it was announced, but is now blasting it to high heaven. Why the reversal? I’m assuming it takes a while for him to get his marching orders from Redmond.

Anyway, in his initial comments about the Air he gave it a grade ‘B’. Not bad at all.

Today, however, he can’t stand the thing, and his critique starts with the most ridiculous line of all:

While it’s easy to get caught up in Steve Jobs’ patented “reality distortion” field as I did yesterday, at least with regards to the MacBook Air, sometimes it’s wise to sit back and really mull over what it is that he’s offering.

If someone who’s been around tech as long as you, Paul, and who bashes Apple as much as you do, still gets caught in the alleged “reality distortion field”, then you have no business posting on Apple at all. I’m serious.

And what do you mean “sometime it’s wise… to mull over”? When is it not wise to mull things over? All you’ve copped to here is that you posted without thinking, an admission perhaps a little embarrassing for you.

Take heart, though. A fellow Apple-basher, Joe Wilcox, had to admit yesterday that he needed to avoid Macworld to not get caught up in the RDF.

Anyway, having made an excuse for posting his own opinion yesterday, we now get the talking points memo from the Apple-bashers. Pay attention, because this will be the battle cry for all of them on the MacBook Air going forward:

It’s too expensive. No surprise there: Apple technology is generally quite expensive at launch. The SSD version of the MacBook Air, however, is particularly expensive: It starts at over $3000

I think the $1,799 is just in the acceptable range. I would like to have seen a hundred less, but it’s not egregious compared to other sub-notebooks. As for the SSD, give me a break! Apple charges $999 for it. Find it substantially less from any other vendor offering the option, Paul.

It doesn’t utilize next-generation Intel chip technology. Though Jobs brought his new lap dog, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, out on stage yet again this year, talking up how the two companies worked together to pull off yet another technological miracle, the chip in the MacBook Air is just a smaller version of last year’s less efficient 65nm chips, and not this year’s 45nm design.

Paul, it’s a fine line between bashing Apple and just being ridiculous. So now Intel’s CEO is an Apple lap dog? Intel’s CEO? Why is it anybody who does business with Apple is a lap dog, Paul? Intel’s CEO. Heh. You crack me up.

As for the “next-generation” technology, the MacBooks and MacBook Pros don’t use that technology either. Neither do the iMacs or the Mac mini. In fact, until one week ago neither did the Mac Pros! Are you seriously recommending to your Windows readers they should avoid all PCs not using the new 45nm technology? No, just Apple’s. Pathetic.

The battery isn’t removable… As Steven Parker notes over at Neowin, what’s going to happen to MacBook Air users when they run out of power less than half-way across the Atlantic?

Do you and Steven know the battery times of a typical sub-notebook? I hope you both bring two to four batteries with you.

There’s no Ethernet… While you can purchase a USB-based Ethernet adapter for $29

Well, then I guess there is Ethernet, isn’t there? And for just $29 for those that need it, like big-talking tech bloggers who want 45nm technology and 10-hour battery life, but then insist the machine be tethered to a cable. Sheesh.

Yet another power adapter.

WTF? This is an issue? Not once did I ever buy a laptop and expect to use the power adapter from a previous laptop. I expect to use the one that comes with it. The MBA is small, so is the adapter. This is the most non non-issue I’ve ever seen.

It’s thin to no good end. While there are already a number of ultra-portable machines in the MacBook Air’s weight class (3 pounds), most of them exceed Apple’s device in ways that are meaningful. They have Ethernet ports, for example. More than one USB port. A docking station for a hardware “slice” that adds more battery and an optical drive.

This is where Apple’s philosophy differs from the other sub-notebooks. Jobs made that clear in his keynote, but you ignored all of it. The other machines may have more ports and connectors, but in order to make room for those things you get a smaller screen (11 inches, maybe less), a mini-keyboard and weak processors.

Apple’s compromises were to jettison the extra connectors and ports, and instead go with a big screen, full-size keyboard, relatively fast processors for this class of machine, and good battery life to begin with (so an extra battery isn’t a requirement).

You can debate this approach, but Jobs was up-front about it. Besides, since all the ports and connectors in the world won’t make a sub-notebook an acceptable desktop substitute (especially as slow as they typically are), it’s not unreasonable to think that trading them for a bigger screen and keyboard might make sense.

Overall, what this says to me is that the MacBook Air is a must-miss

Whatever. The market will decide. What your article says to me is that you simply ignored Apple’s approach, chose not to even debate it, and then slammed the machine by tossing out unoriginal features gathered from who knows how many machines.

I don’t rave about the MBA, and have my gripes with it, but at least I can debate the design philosophy. Paul and some others cannot see it that way, and apparently assume that every sub-notebook must be made in the same way. As usual, Apple tries to look ahead, while other PC manufacturers try not to look at all.

Personally, I’m OK with Jobs’ compromises except for the screen, which makes for too large a footprint in an alleged sub-notebook. Still, I think it leans less to the “bad” side than other sub-notebooks, which I consider more like a “My First Sony” toy PC. And I have no issue defending the MBA against Paul because his “arguments” are silly.

I’ve brought up my beefs here, and commenters have added to the discussion. They’ve presented both pro and con to my opinions in a pretty reasoned manner. And none of us ever needed to argue against the MBA simply because it doesn’t follow the lead of every two-bit PC hardware manufacturer, or because it has a new power adapter, or because there’s no Ethernet even though there is, etc. That should tell you something, Paul, but I’m sure it won’t.

DRM-Free Music: NYT Gives Steve Jobs Credit, Win SuperSite Does Not.

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Paul Thurrott attempts to set the record strait on DRM-free music. And in Paul’s world, the move to DRM-free tunes had nothing to do with Apple or Steve Jobs. You see, Paul’s been re-writing Microsoft history for so long he’s not above trying to re-write Apple’s as well.

So, on his completely unbiased (*cough, cough*) Super Site for Windows, Paul comments on a New York Times article that gives some credit to Apple and Jobs for the recent moves by the big labels to DRM-free music distribution. Paul, of course, cannot allow this, so he accuses the NYT of “pro-Apple history re-writing” and provides his corrections.

Before I even go any further, doesn’t this already make your ears perk up? I mean, why would the NYT be “pro-Apple”? And even if they were, there are so many good stories to publish about them why would they need to “re-write” their history? Further, why in the Hell would I think the NYT has it wrong, but a shill running a Windows Super Site would somehow get it right? OK, as all that sinks in let’s go on…

After mentioning that Jobs is the one who called on the industry to stop its DRM practices back in February, Paul steps in and gives us this:

“No it wasn’t. Anyone who believes that Jobs somehow led the charge in DRM-free music is living in a fantasy world.”

Mmm, yes. For the CEO of the company running the largest (by far) online music store to call for this halt was pretty trivial. Mind you, most people were accusing Apple of not wanting to ever get rid of DRM because of the alleged (and false) “lock-in” it provided Apple. So for Jobs to take this stance showed at once that those accusations were ridiculous, and those making them (and some still do) pretty much automatically disqualify themselves from intelligently discussing this topic.

“The outcry against DRM had been going on for years.”

Of course. And all those peons were critically listened to by the labels, making this sea change out of the goodness of their hearts. Hmmm, but isn’t there a huge outcry about all the lawsuits being filed by the labels as well? I wonder why we don’t see the labels stop that. Or what about the various pricing in Europe? The labels don’t seem to care there, either (though Apple is now calling them on it).

Why would the labels listen to the DRM outcry, as Paul is suggesting, but not other customer complaints? Could it be because the CEO of the largest online music store joined in the battle? Yes, I do believe so, even if Paul isn’t bright enough to see it.

Oh, and where was Microsoft’s CEO (or any other prominent media CEO) in all this, Paul? I can answer that. They were all in bed together with DRM schemes to strangle as much fair use rights out of the consumer as possible. Gates or Ballmer would never have called for the removal of DRM because they’ve been trying to sucker users into theirs (which was written solely to placate the content providers) for years.

“Jobs only jumped in when it became obvious which direction things were moving. This is a great example of Apple marketing winning out over reality.”

I wouldn’t believe this if I hadn’t read it, but Paul really is towing a new Redmond line that says the labels would have done this anyway. That’s a crock. Just as they haven’t stopped their other offensive practices against their own customers, they would never have even considered removing DRM had a major figure as important as Jobs called them on their BS.

Further, there’s plenty of proof that Jobs was against DRM long before his Thoughts on Music. The idea that he went where the wind was blowing is the real fantasy, Paul. I have no doubt you’re aware of this, but you increasing need to live in a fantasy world to avoid providing any credit to Apple, don’t you?

What I’m seeing here is nothing more than an Apple-bashing MS apologist and shill refusing to give any credit to Jobs/Apple even when it’s clearly due. In the process, he pretty much invalidates most of what he may have to say on this topic.

After refusing to give credit where it’s due, Paul (as is so often the case) simply plows forward. When the NYT article mentions that Apple insists on “selling all single tracks for 99 cents”, Paul is there to spew this garbage:

“Another bit of commonly-repeated fantasy. Contrary to Apple’s claims, tracks on iTunes are not consistently a single price (i.e. 99 cents). The company regularly offers sales and prices movies, especially, at a range of prices.”

Aside form when iTunes Plus was announced — tracks of which were initially $1.29 — I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a music track on iTunes for other than $0.99. And now, all tracks, including iTunes Plus, are at that price. Further, I’m not sure a “sale” necessarily qualifies calling the NYT quote “fantasy” anyway. Isn’t the definition of sale somehow selling for less than usual?

Besides, in Paul’s ridiculous quote he mentions movies — “especially” — at a range of prices. Thanks Paul, but the NYT was talking about music tracks. I hope you didn’t hurt your back moving those goalposts.

Ironically, Paul then goes on to quote what may be the only real myth in his entire post:

“But seriously, folks. Apple makes no money from iTunes anyway.”

It seems Apple pulls in around 30 cents a tune. From that, they need to support the infrastructure of the online store. I don’t think that’s 30 cents a song. The rest is profit. For a store that’s sold over 3 billion songs I think there’s some money in it for them, and I wouldn’t exactly call it insignificant. Yes, hardware sales are much, much more important, but it’s hard to believe there’s little or no net to Apple’s bottom line from music sales.

Finally, Paul closes the post as silly as it began:

“In fact, Apple would probably love to back off from the content distribution angle anyway: It’s a lot of work for no direct return at all.”

No, Apple wants to back off from DRM because it’s a resource-sucking hog for no gain to Apple, consumers, or anyone except content providers and companies like Microsoft who want to build their next monopoly upon it. If DRM were out of the way, there’d be nothing but basic ongoing maintenance and Apple could make even more money from the store.

Seriously, Paul, do you think Amazon is in this business to not make money? How is it they can make money from this (you do believe Amazon is making money, right?) and Apple cannot?

I hope your head doesn’t explode when you realize you can’t answer that question without a whole lot of history re-writing and/or fact juggling. Still, I’m sure you’ll try. And when you do, I’ll be here writing about it. See you then.

Windows IT Pro Thurrott Fixes the iPhone.

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I don’t know what Paul Thurrott’s New Year’s resolutions were, but apparently being objective about reporting anything Apple was not one of them. On his Windows IT Pro site he’s posted an article on how Apple can fix the iPhone. Forget about the fact that as a huge success the iPhone can hardly be said to need “fixing”, when you look at his actual “fixes” you see this is a ridiculous article even by Paul’s standards.

The article uses the same Microsoft/Verizon/Nokia/Motorola talking points we’ve been hearing for a year. Indeed, the article could just as easily have been written right after the iPhone was introduced at last year’s Macworld.

Of course, this kind of nonsense reporting is what you’d expect from a guy who posted an eight-part review on a phone when all other smartphones have garnered about 5% of the same coverage from him. Does Paul obsess much?

So let’s cover the iPhone’s “issues”, and how Paul says Apple should fix them…

Pricing

What is this, 2007? He’s still griping about price? What about the $200 price drop? According to Paul that’s nothing:

While Apple did drop the price of the iPhone by a whopping $200 to $399 in August 2007 (and lose the “low-end” 4 GB model in the process), the price of this device is still extravagant.

No, it’s not. Paul suggests the killer is that AT&T requires a data plan, and that if only it were allowed to be purchased without one then the poor and destitute who want a data phone without a data plan could have one. However, he makes no case for why anyone would want a smartphone (any smartphone) and then not use the things that make it “smart” — which of course require a data plan.

In this instance, Apple’s no-choice policies really bite consumers where it hurts, in the wallet. The real-world cost of an iPhone right now is $2000 to $3000 for two years of use

This just shows Paul’s ignorance (or disingenuousness). The lowest data plan is $60 per month. That’s $1,840 over two years, including the cost of the phone, and right in line (in fact, in some cases less expensive) than any of the alleged “cheaper” smartphones out there, which typically require $80/month or more.

Paul says Apple and AT&T should lower the plan rate, ignoring the fact that for unlimited data and generous minutes the plans were the lowest in the industry when introduced.

EDGE Network

it can’t be stressed enough: EDGE is a joke and this “2.5G” network is clearly the iPhone’s Achilles Heel. In my own admittedly unscientific tests, EDGE was less than one-third the speed of Verizon’s EV-DO network

EDGE works great for email and most mobile browsing. Further, it’s everywhere, and easy on the battery. Paul’s 3G tests differ from others who found that the speed of loading web pages was not dramatically (or even noticeably) enhanced on another phone using 3G. And when battery is taken into consideration 3G loses there as well.

As for EV-DO, it’s a proprietary 3G network. Verizon uses it in the US, but most of the world utilizes UMTS (the WCDMA standard) for 3G. Why would Apple offer an EV-DO phone in the states that couldn’t be used elsewhere, and only on a network that already turned Apple down because their management couldn’t see the future?

When a 3G iPhone becomes available, it will have at least acceptable battery life and utilize the 3G networks available in most of the world. You and Verizon may be short-sighted, Paul, but Apple is not.

No high-speed modem for your PC

Paul brings this up only for the purpose of slamming the EDGE network again.

No hardware or software expansion options

Paul’s upset that you can’t expand memory, and then says this:

This isn’t necessarily a huge problem given that the iPhone comes with 8 GB of flash storage, but the option would be nice.

Translation: Forget what I just said because it was stupid, but the talking points listed it anyway.

The iPhone is also a closed box. You can’t install new applications or uninstall the built-in apps you don’t want.

The SDK is coming Paul, as you well know. Heck, even without one there are probably more apps written for the iPhone than other smartphones. That’s gotta be killing the Windows Mobile bosses in Redmond; too bad for them.

The rotating screen that doesn’t

Paul is apparently trying to save us from the unpredictability of the iPhone’s rotating screen:

While Apple touts the iPhone’s amazing rotating screen as a key feature, the reality is that the screen rotates in only a few of the available applications, and then in an unpredictable and haphazard fashion.

Apple touted the screen rotation for the iPod functionality (photos, cover flow, movies, TV shows), for YouTube, and for web browsing (Safari). During last year’s demo they never showed it rotating for anything else. Media and web browsing, Paul. That’s what they touted, and that’s what it does.

Since then, they’ve added rotation to email attachments, which is useful. Will they add it elsewhere? It’s a useful feature, so probably. But did it “under-deliver in a huge way”? Only if you didn’t pay attention to what was touted.

Virtual keyboard

Price, EDGE, no expansion, and now the keyboard? Do you see what I mean when I say this article is just the talking points from Apple’s competitors?

While Apple fanatics were quick to hop all over complaints about the iPhone’s virtual keyboard, a simple truth emerged after all the tests were completed: Physical keyboards are simply better than virtual keyboards.

Ah yes, “Apple fanatics”. It just wouldn’t be a Thurrott article unless he slung a name or two at Apple’s supporters, or even those who simply like the iPhone.

As for the keyboard, there’s no question that no two keyboards — whether on desktops, laptops, or smartphones — are alike. Some are better than others. But Paul’s painting all other keyboards with a superior brush to Apple’s is nonsense. There are some smartphone keyboards the iPhone outperforms, and others it may not. And people will never agree on which is which.

Since the iPhone’s keyboard works quite well, I’ll gladly take it because of the advantages it allows (i.e., it’s not there when I don’t need it, leaving room for more important things).

Buttons, buttons, buttons

Basically, this section falls in line with old school thinking that the more buttons you have on a device the cooler you’ll be perceived as a technologist for knowing how to use it. Apparently Paul can’t impress too many people with his knowledge of the iPhone because everyone knows how to use it. This is actually a triumph of design, but since it doesn’t allow Paul to impress anybody he doesn’t like it.

Battery

Oh please. I told you this was a talking points article, didn’t I? The “argument” about the battery is no better than the same argument made about the iPod. Next.

Lackluster camera

It’s not like 2MP is bad for a mobile phone, especially considering that so many still use 1.3MP. No flash, or zoom, etc. are maybe the first legitimate issues Paul’s raised. Still, for quick pictures it’s not bad, and that’s all the majority of people expect from a cell camera anyway.

The iPhone had undergone several firmware releases with features being added since it was released. Not once was I disappointed, or did I expect, that the camera would be updated. It’s simply not anywhere in the priority list for most users.

PIM synchronization that doesn’t work

Paul’s harped on Outlook syncing before, but I have a hard time buying it.

While the vast majority of iPhone users are also Windows users, Apple seems to have done very little to enable universal PC-to-iPhone sync…. that sync feature is so horribly broken that it actually doesn’t work for many people

How many people is “many”, Paul? Not that Paul may not have had problems (I’m not saying he made them up), but if there were rampant syncing issues with Outlook it would be well known by now. It certainly worked great for me on my Windows XP box.

Then Paul just starts babbling. Since Apple covers the big hitters in email, contacts, and web browsers, he simply pisses and moans about what it doesn’t support. Yeah, Paul, go ahead and hook your other smartphones up and sync to all those apps. Good luck with that.

Apple supports their own products and the biggest hitters in other categories. They may add support for others in the future, but only a talking points drone would argue that the iPhone has sync that doesn’t work. Does Paul believe the 1.25 million (as of last quarter, probably over twice that now) iPhone users can’t sync, and didn’t say anything?

I hate to point this out to Paul, but iTunes was syncing with Outlook long before the iPhone; it’s not new, so any major issues that may have existed were likely addressed long ago.

iPod issues

I love how Paul sneaks in some garbage matter-of-factly in the hope that you’ll just believe it. For example:

And when you add to that the fact that the iPhone’s iPod application is notoriously buggy and crashes a lot

“Notoriously buggy”? Um, no. Much like with Paul’s alleged rampant sync issues with Outlook, now he’d have you believe the iPod application is notoriously buggy. How can anyone doubt this is a shill-based talking point article when BS like that is flung around?

Non-configurable applications, home screen

No doubt the powers that be at Microsoft/Verizon didn’t think the list was long enough, so they started repeating themselves and hoped no one would notice:

The iPhone doesn’t offer any way to install or uninstall applications…

Um, this was already mentioned in the section on “no hardware or software expansion”. Was the article written so blindly Paul didn’t even notice? Did he just copy and paste the talking points received without reviewing them? Whatever. As I said before, there are a lot of apps for the iPhone and it’s not even “sanctioned” yet. Imagine what will happen when the SDK hits the streets in February!

Actually, I’m sure Microsoft has imagined what will happen with the SDK, hence this hit piece, and many others I’m sure we’ll see.

As for the home screen, the forthcoming 1.1.3 firmware update will allow it to be customized.

No cut/copy and paste

Paul and I agree on something. I’d like to see this as well.

Weak Google Maps application

While the Google Maps application that comes on the iPhone is attractive, it’s actually quite limited. There’s no GPS hardware in the iPhone and no way to legally add it

Since when did GPS have anything to do with Google Maps? Paul’s just being ridiculous, and he continues:

so you have to know where you are to begin with, making the notion of a map somewhat superfluous.

Wow. Just wow. Are you kidding me? Forget Google Maps, Paul. Forget smartphones as well. In fact, forget computers. Are you telling me that if you were lost in a city and got a map you couldn’t use it? You can find out where you are, you know. Really. Even you.

Getting back to the present, the Google Maps application on the iPhone is a great implementation, with additional features such as Hybrid Maps, Locate Me, and Drop Pin support coming very soon.

Weak Notes application

This is true. The consensus was that notes wouldn’t blossom until sometime after Leopard was out because notes was a new function within email. It will be interesting to see what Apple does with this in the coming year.

Wi-Fi iTunes Store limitations

Leave it to Paul to take the cool WiFi Store and slam it. He bemoans that it only works over WiFi, and then gets in a classic Thurrott dig:

(I’m guessing Apple knew its fans would freak if they saw how long it took to download even a single song over EDGE.)

Paul, you wouldn’t want to wait for a song to load over your precious EV-DO either. You do know 3G pales in comparison to WiFi, right?

Paul decries that you can’t use it for things like audiobooks, podcasts, etc. These may be coming, but music was first and foremost (by a wide margin) the priority. It works beautifully. Then Paul says this:

and you can’t wirelessly sync the iPhone to your PC.

What does this have to do with the WiFi Store? Absolutely nothing; it’s just Paul getting jabs in whenever he can whether it makes sense or not. (Remember, he’s writing this for Windows IT Pros).

Pathetic ringtone support

Apple hammered out better deals through the labels than anyone else. Paul won’t write about that because it doesn’t help his case, so he just… makes stuff up.

Most consumers don’t want to edit their own MP3s or purchased songs. They want to pay a couple of bucks for a professionally made ringtone. This is a no-brainer and could easily be implemented.

Really? I’d rather pay 99 cents (for a song I already own) and pick the best part as my ringtone than have some “professional” pick a part for me. And I’d rather pay a “couple of bucks” (if I don’t own the song) and get my own ringtone and the song to keep.

Oh, and if you’re a Mac user ringtone support is even better because the latest GarageBand lets you make your own.

Final thoughts

Heh. “Final” thoughts? I read the whole article and didn’t even see any first thoughts. Certainly not any original ones. This article was just a re-hash of every BS complaint from last year.

What Went Wrong With Vista? Two Apple-Bashers Take a Look.

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Joe Wilcox of Microsoft Watch took time off from his recent Apple-bashing to reflect on Vista. Joe previously stated that Vista is fine now; the problems you read about were early issues that have been fixed. But he provides no details for this assertion, and given the continued flow of negative Vista press it seems no one else received the “fixes” Joe imagined. Still, Mary Jo Foley, Paul Thurrott, and others jumped on the bandwagon to declare Leopard the new Vista, though few actually believed the story.

But now, even with Vista supposedly fixed, Joe wrote this article to tell us the 10 things that went wrong with it.

Um, what? How did Vista go from being just fine, thank you, and better than Leopard, to requiring a list of what went wrong? What’s funny is that Joe can’t write this piece without acknowledging that Vista is at least disappointing, so just ignore all the BS he’s written the last six weeks about Vista being fixed and better than Leopard.

You can read Joe’s article, which isn’t without a valid point or two, but I’m skipping right to Paul Thurrott’s analysis of it. In this manner I can address both authors at once…

10. Too many versions.

They both agree there are too many version of Vista. Duh! A no-brainer.

9. DOJ and the EU.

They both agree that the EU and DOJ are a big problem. Bzzzzzzt! The DOJ didn’t even put a dent in Microsoft’s monopoly, which is why they still have it. Paul writes:

“Again, as I’ve written again and again, Microsoft has been too eager to meet its competitor’s needs in Vista in order to keep the antitrust watchdogs at bay. They’ve appeased various security companies, Google, and others, and the result is a watered down OS that could have, and should have, been more cohesive.”

The idea that Vista is “watered down” in order to satisfy the DOJ watchdogs is silly. Windows is — by necessity — a lowest-common-denominator OS because Microsoft can’t keep its monopoly propped up by introducing a product that will leave too many older PCs and peripherals behind. MS extends support as far back as it can claim to, and always has.

It’s funny; this backward compatibility is what the MS shills used to always brag about, but now it’s suddenly resulting in a “watered down” OS. Even funnier that they blame it on the DOJ, who MS repeatedly stuck their tongue out at, failing to meet documentation deliverables time and again.

8. Office 2007 missing link.

Joe believes that not equating Office 2007 with Vista is an issue. Paul disagrees. I kind of side with Paul on this. I think Joe is looking for an Office “halo effect”, but making too much of Office 2007 Vista-specific would have just infuriated a user base who thinks Vista is crap, but wants the new Office. By making Office equal on XP, I believe they increased Office sales.

7. WOW went away.

The next point is where Paul gets all worked up. I can just see him now, hunched over his keyboard, mumbling to himself, nervously trying to control his shaking hands as he types out beauties like this:

“Apple’s absolutely BS-tacular “300+ new features” claim for Leopard.”

“I’m sure Microsoft could come up with 1000+ “features” in Vista if it just used Apple Math ™.”

Paul, “Apple Math” simply lists the new features and then counts them. Guess what? It comes to over 300, which some would express as “300+”. So the only real question is: Can you count? Sure, you don’t think some of them are “features”, but Apple had the balls to list every one of them and let consumers judge for themselves. How radical. Meanwhile, where’s Microsoft’s list?

“the Apple “Get a Mac” ads, which are almost criminally untrue, should be fought.”

“most consumers don’t know that those ads are mostly just outright lies.”

The “Get a Mac” ads win awards for a reason. They’re not even remotely “criminally untrue”. Save that BS rhetoric for Microsoft when their representatives quote alleged Zune market share, or claim channel-stuffed XBOX units as “sold”, or claim a percent of the mobile market they do not possess, or claim 295 patents against open source but won’t reveal them, or hack together a vapor demo of a big ass table with touch controls and a shipping date that‘s already been pushed back. The list is endless.

If Microsoft ever told the truth it was purely by mistake. For Paul to point a finger at Apple while at the same time adapting a “see no evil” monkey stance with Microsoft is just further proof (not that any were needed) that he’s a major shill for them.

6. The ecosystem wasn’t ready.

Joe thinks the ecosystem wasn’t ready, and Paul counters that it never is. Had Paul been a bit milder in his disagreement, I might have understood, but instead we get this:

“This is the company that, by the way, delayed Vista past Holiday 2006 (see #4 below) so that the ecosystem would have even more time to prepare.”

Yeah, that’s why MS delayed Vista. Not because it wasn’t ready or anything. Heck, now we know it wasn’t even ready when they did release it, yet Paul is claiming it was ready months earlier? Whatever. Paul’s lost.

“As if the five+ year development time wasn’t already enough. Screw the ecosystem. These guys never show up. And everyone just blames Microsoft.”

The number of peripherals and video cards that worked properly with Vista on upgraded systems upon release could be counted on one hand — even a hand that’s been through an industrial accident. So Paul’s theory is that every third-party vendor fell down on the job? Bullshit. It’s clear Vista was a moving target for its entire development timeline. It’s equally clear the embedded DRM to appease content providers is wreaking havoc on getting drivers to work properly. Microsoft is blamed because it’s primarily their fault.

5. Design by committee.

Joe and Paul agree that the “design by committee” approach is an issue. but Paul has to whine about the antitrust groups as well. No one’s buying it. That was #9 Paul, let it go. Besides, the DOJ wants to wash its hands of Microsoft, and yet nothing has changed in terms of their monopoly.

4. Bad timing.

Joe and Paul agree on bad timing, but Paul also gets a dig at Apple (because he must):

“But then we can also point to Apple’s decision to rush Leopard out the door in October (after delaying the product several times) in order to make this year’s holiday selling season. “

Leopard was delayed once Paul. Just once. 1. That would be one time. One. You might have more lies in just one column than all the alleged “lies” in all the “Get a Mac” ads combined.

“And it’s not clear this was the right choice: Leopard was clearly not ready for prime time when it shipped and is arguably still not ready. “

Another big, fat, glaring lie. And no one’s buying it, Paul. Joe began it, then you piled on, but you’re both already changing tack as witnessed by the very articles on which I’m commenting. Reviews of Leopard are overwhelmingly positive, comparisons with Vista favor Leopard, and negative press about Vista continues almost daily.

Funny how Paul turned “bad timing” for Vista into a tirade against Apple.

“I will say this: Credit Microsoft a bit for being mature enough to miss Holiday 2006. It’s sales suffered as a result, but the OS was also in better shape when it did ship.”

BWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I countered the Holiday 2006 argument in #6, and since MS doled out coupons for free Vista with every PC sold during that holiday season sales didn’t suffer anyway. Just another falsehood. In fact, MS used those coupons when proclaiming Vista’s first 30-day sales numbers! They claimed 20M “sold” in the first 30 days, but the coupons went back an additional 60 days. It was a dishonest act by a dishonest company, but Paul “see no evil” Thurrott doesn’t care; apparently too busy being outraged about “Get a Mac” ad “lies” like saying there are too many versions of Vista (despite item #10, apparently).

As for the “better shape” Vista was in when it finally shipped, I addressed that in #6 as well.

3. Complexity is a killer.

Joe bemoans Vista’s complexity. Paul blows it off, saying that Vista is no more complex then XP:

“You can get up and running on Vista quite quickly. Ultimately, that’s as simple as anything else.”

OK. But then he says this:

“I think we’re misunderstanding how huge this was in Vista. …the underpinnings were replaced with something brand new. It made image-based deployment and Server Core in Windows 2008 possible. It’s going to make Windows 7 possible too. It’s a big deal. A really big deal.”

Um, then didn’t you just agree with Joe? I mean, which is it? Oh, I get it. Vista is simple when it serves Microsoft’s purpose, but it’s incredibly complex when that argument makes sense. It’s complex. It’s simple. It’s complimple!!

(Yes, kids, you too can shill for Microsoft in the privacy of your own home. We’ll provide the talking points, you provide the blindfold, ear plugs, thesaurus and imagination.)

2. The “good enough” problem.

1. The Windows XP ecosystem.

Paul combines these as the same point, and he’s not far off. Bottom line is this is a bunch of whining about how XP is just too darn “good enough” for Microsoft’s own good. This was a silly argument when first posited; I commented on it then so I won’t waste time on it again, but look at this beauty from Paul:

“I don’t appreciate the complaints about XP SP2 either. That release could very well have been sold as Windows XP Second Edition… But instead, Microsoft gave it away by calling it a service pack because it felt strongly that all users should just get those improvements.”

Paul misspelled “Microsoft gave it away because XP was under constant attack due to horrid security, with Internet Explorer acting as a malware magnet openly inviting remote application installations without user intervention.”

0. Conclusions.

So we have two prominent Microsoft bloggers admitting that Vista was a disappointment, albeit under the guise of a simple “10 things wrong” article. Now we get to the best part. Here’s how Paul concludes his post:

“As of today, Microsoft has sold maybe 100 million Vista licenses a year into the OS’s release. Given that over 250 million PCs will be sold in 2007, that’s pretty unimpressive: I figured it would have been closer–much closer–to 200 million licenses by now.”

Paul’s admitting Vista’s sold little more than half what he expected! Still, even that’s not what I’m amazed about. Rather, it’s these last three sentences:

“So what really did go wrong with Windows Vista? These 10 points address some of the issues. But there’s gottta be more to it.”

grinch.pngPoor Paul! He knows Vista’s a dud. He also knows the 10 points are just cover and excuses, so there’s “gotta be more to it”. Was he scratching his head as he wrote that? Remember the expression on the Grinch’s face when he’s puzzled about the Whos having a great Christmas even though he took everything? (“And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.”) Well, that was the expression on Paul’s face when he wrote those last lines.

Sadly, unlike the Grinch Paul doesn’t have a sudden realization of the underlying issue. I know what the problem is, Paul. So do most reviewers, tech bloggers, high-end power users, Microsoft’s hardware partners, and independent software vendors. It’s been written about for 10 months, and the articles keep coming. The “more to it”, Paul, is simply that Vista is not very good. Really. Truly. It’s that simple. If Vista was a good OS, none of the other stuff (much of which applied when XP was introduced) would matter. No need for a top 10 list.

2007 has not been kind to Vista, and I predict 2008 will not start much better. Yes, sooner or later the issues will be addressed in the real world (not just Joe Wilcox’s imagination), and businesses will adopt it by attrition. But that’s another 6+ months before any real momentum is built. Meanwhile, Microsoft will definitely lose more ground to OS X, Linux, and others.

Tech Headlines From The Last Week.

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More tech headlines to chew over, with my comments.

Nokia and Universal Give Away Music. Not!

So today Nokia announced a new service that allows those who purchase certain Nokia phones will be able to download music “free” for an entire year.

What kind of music? Well, it should come as no surprise that Universal is all over this, which makes it all the more clear that this music will hardly be free. This is simply the first fruit borne of Universal’s Total Music initiative, which I wrote about here.

This music is heavily DRM’ed — no subscription model can function without it. I suspect the idea that you still “own” it after the year is dependent upon one’s definition of the word “own”. I don’t think I’ll like Nokia/Universal’s definition.

When the full details come out, I bet we’ll discover that unless you continue a Nokia “Comes With Music” contract on a phone (in which case you’re still paying for the subscription), or never change the PC you’re using when the phone terms expire, you will lose the music. And good luck burning a CD.

There is simply no way Universal is going to let you download tunes for a year and keep them forever.

Sales of iWork do impact Microsoft.

There’s plenty of proof that iWorks 08 has been a hit. But some claim that even though it’s taken 16% of the Mac market it won’t effect sales of Microsoft’s Office come their new version in January (or whenever they ship it).

I don’t necessarily disagree that the number of copies sold won’t be impacted much. However, the profit on those sold will be impacted. Look at the deals MS has felt compelled to make on Office lately (e.g., Pro edition to students for only $69; buy Office low now and get Office 2008 for only $7.95).

Bottom line is iWorks doesn’t need to impact Office sales so much as profits. Office is a major cash cow for MS, and taking a bite out of that begins to reduce the free money MS gets to print.

Thurrott Loves the Kindle.

Paul Thurrott wrote a glowing review of the Amazon Kindle.

What bothers me about the review is that he glosses over the real vendor lock-in represented by the device, yet howls frequently about Apple’s alleged (but non-existant) “lock-in” with the iPod.

Another Apple-basher says Leopard’s just like Vista (*yawn*).

This is getting old. It started with the usual MS apologists (Wilcox, Thurrott, Foley), and now we have PC Magazine’s hit piece.

The article is ludicrous, and like most of them simply mentions a personal experience and what was found on various message message boards as “proof” that Leopard’s just as bad as Vista.

But what about all the great reviews of Leopard (even from non-Apple-friendly sources)? He simply doesn’t mention those. Well, I’ll correct his oversight. In fact, I already did so when calling other MS apologists on this silly argument (see the link for numerous links to great Leopard reviews).

And what about all the horrendous news about Vista (from the day it was released up to right now)? Well, he doesn’t mention those either. I’ll correct that as well; there’ve been so many I’ll just pick a few:

I picked the last three because they were written in the last four weeks. I did this in case an MS apologist wants to use the “Joe Wilcox” Vista defense. This is the claim that somehow all of Vista’s problems were early, and have since been cured (though Joe never specifies how they were cured). Well, he’s wrong. It still sucks.

It wouldn’t be hard to bring up another 40 or so articles praising Leopard or denouncing Vista or talking about them both where Leopard is judged superior.

Jermaine Dupri tells us what a good album is.

I’m a music lover, and I like albums, so reading this drivel was especially painful to me. A few thoughts on Mr. Dupri’s screed:

  • You do not get to define what a good or great album is. I would like to think that most artists who create an album at least think it’s good anyway, don’t they? Don’t they?
  • Only history can truly decide what albums are great, but good ones to the general public are noticed pretty readily. It’s already clear American Gangsta is not in that category.
  • So it sold 425,000 units? What’s your point? If singles were allowed it would have sold, what, 250,000 of those? That’s the equivalent of 25,000 more albums whose money you left on the table. And much more importantly, it’s as many as a quarter-million potential new fans to enjoy Jay Z’s music, perhaps attend a concert, buy more of his work, etc., all because they got to buy one song and then wanted more. Do you get it now? You didn’t just shutoff immediate sales, but people who could become actual fans.
  • To drive the above bullet point home, in case you didn’t get it: You need exposure. Selling a single song is a great way to gain that. What will you use instead, radio?
  • You cannot tell your customer how to consume your product. Not in this day and age. You’re as out of touch as the record labels whose credo you’ve adopted.

As for all the crap about how you guys created iTunes, blah, blah, blah, you’re delusional. Sure, iTunes (and Amazon, Walmart, etc.) have nothing to sell if you don’t produce, but without them who’s going to sell the stuff? You? Um, no. You need an outlet for sales, and you need to connect with your fans. Crapping all over iTunes while telling me it’s all or nothing for an album is not the way to do it.

Thurrott Can’t Stand That Apple Makes Great Hardware, Too.

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It’s not easy being a Microsoft supporter these days, or even just a run-of-the-mill Apple basher.

For example, it’s bad enough for Paul Thurrott that the reviews on Mac OS X Leopard say it beats Vista without even breathing heavy (seems only Paul, Joe Wilcox, and a handful of others dispute this). Or that Apple’s iLife suite blows past anything Microsoft currently offers (and is capable of producing). Or that the iWork suite is such a great deal that Microsoft has been compelled to make offers (Ultimate Office to students for $69; buy Mac Office 2004 now and get 2008 for $7) that will cut into profits on one of their two cash cows.

Now, aside from denial about Apple coding rings around his meal ticket, Paul must also come to terms with Apple’s hardware being excellent. PC World proclaimed the MacBook Pro the fastest Windows Vista system. This is killing Paul. There’s no denying it, and no way to spin it bad for Apple and good for other hardware vendors, though it doesn’t stop Paul from making a few ridiculous attempts at doing so:

“of course they’re not telling the whole story: In addition to being far more expensive than the competition, the MacBook Pro also doesn’t come with Windows, which is an expensive retail purchase”

Nothing to support the “far more expensive” claim. It’s the old argument always made by Apple-bashers (some of which don’t know better, but Paul does) so he offers it without proof. Maybe he thinks PC World only compared it with cheap PC laptops? Maybe he thinks PC World only measures cheap PC laptops? Or maybe he just thinks most of his readers (after all, it’s the Windows SuperSite) will accept what he writes and nod knowingly at yet another myth. Why not just compare the MBP’s price with a PC laptop that runs Windows Vista as fast? Oh wait, there isn’t one.

At least Paul admitted Vista is “an expensive retail purchase”. I guess Leopard “ultimate” going for $109 has convinced him of the foolishness (and highway robbery) of Vista Ultimate going for $326 (both prices from Amazon.com).

“it does come with a non-standard Apple keyboard that will prove vexing to Windows users.”

Oh please. Is Paul saying Windows users are idiots? It’s hard to read that any other way. Yes, there are some keyboard differences that may initially prove vexing (then again, they may not) but, really, you think this is going to prevent anyone from buying superior hardware? No. At least, it will not prevent anyone who’s serious about it. Especially when that hardware includes the huge advantage of running a bona-fide Unix OS, all those great Mac applications, and even X11 apps.

I guess I should be happy Paul didn’t bring up the old “no two-button mouse” thing. I’m sure it was just a slip, he’ll probably dutifully remind his readers about that myth later. No doubt they’ll be vexed.

“I suppose the “fastest” label must be accepted in isolation.”

Huh? In isolation of what? Isn’t running Windows natively the panacea in Paul’s world? Doesn’t it mean you’re among the “97%” he and other MS shills keep yapping about? Doesn’t it mean you get to run all those alleged great applications — like Rutabaga Farming & Inventory 2004 — not available on the Mac?

The MacBook Pro uses Intel, the lack of which was a big argument in the Microsoft shill handbook. The MacBook Pro runs Windows natively, the inability to do so was another big argument. It has both these things now, but according to Paul if someone uses it for that purpose they’re still in “isolation”! Why? Apparently because of Microsoft’s outrageous Vista pricing and the keyboard doesn’t have a forward-delete key. Wow. Paul’s outdone himself. In only a few sentences he’s taken shilldom to a whole new level.

I congratulated Paul once on an obvious promotion to Sr. Shill. He’s gotta be at least an honorary Über Shill by now, so I suppose I should send him a card or something…

What A Shock: Windows IT Pro Is Unimpressed With Leopard.

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Paul Thurrott weighed in with his thoughts about Leopard on his clearly unbiased (cough) Windows IT Pro site. As usual, Microso–, er, Paul, figures there’s no sense beating around the bush so it starts with blatant lying right off the bat:

“Plagued by delays…”

Beautiful. Only three words into the article and it’s already a steaming pile of characters. Leopard had one delay, Paul. One. From Spring of this year to October. He continues:

“Leopard is the fifth minor revision to the company’s OS X system, and it is shipping almost exactly a year after Windows Vista, an OS that Apple incessantly ridiculed for its tardiness.”

Notice how he used the word “minor”? Cute. Truth is, when he only gets his OS releases every five years I suppose anything else looks “minor”. He may even believe it, but it’s still a bit pathetic.

Paul, Vista did not “ship” a year ago. The “business” release last November to meet their 47th announced ship date to Enterprise clients hardly counts. Honestly, can’t you ever go back to Microsoft and have them review the manure they ask you to shovel? Anyway, Vista was released to the public three months later. (FYI, there’s still no ship date for a working version, but since beta testing began less than two months ago it won’t be for quite a while.)

“Yep, reality really is distorted in Cupertino. And if you’re looking for even more proof, consider the way that Apple hawks this system. “Leopard is packed with more than 300 new features and introduces a brand new desktop,””

You can see all the features on this web page at Apple’s site.

“Many of these 300 new features are, of course, comical. 10 of them exist in Xcode, a developer tool (in total, over 40 of the new features are only for developers).”

When Microsoft gives love to developers Paul drools and claims it’s one way Microsoft is superior to Apple in treating their partners. But when Apple provides tools for developers it’s “comical”. Gotcha. What would it take to convince Paul this is not comical? Maybe if Steve Jobs screamed “developers, developers, developers, developers” over and over while running around on stage? I understand that as a Microsoft fan words speak louder to him than actions, or results.

“Fully 24 of them exist in iChat, Apple’s instant messaging application. “

And they’re a mix of home and work features. I know Paul didn’t read them all, so let me highlight a few: screen sharing allows remote individuals to work on a single document together; the new AAC-LD codec improves sound quality while lowering delay; iChat theatre is for providing presentations to remote parties; and others. Paul can dismiss them all with the wave of Microsoft’s hand — just like dismissing iChat as simply an “instant messaging” application — but that’s a mistake.

“…and 12 new UNIX features.”

This bugs Microsoft, doesn’t it? Leopard is UNIX-certified. Detractors can’t even toss out lines about OS X not being a “real” UNIX anymore. A quick dismissal won’t work here; installations requiring UNIX certification now have Mac OS X as an option.

Paul continues to whine about various “features”, but one person’s junk is another person’s feature. For example, the 40 development features might mean little to a non-developer, but I appreciate their existence even if Paul doesn’t. Likewise, Cover Flow in the Finder causes some to yawn, but I like the idea of it in conjunction with Quick Look. You have to realize that many (most?) of the features won’t trip your personal trigger, but they’ll trip someone else’s. Several interest me that others might not even consider, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I think it’s notable that Apple didn’t hide behind the marketing line of 300+ new features, and instead listed every one of them! I give them credit for this. Where is Microsoft’s page with every feature in Vista? In their case they’d rather you not know, even the features they touted aren’t working well.

Besides, what else would you call them? 300 Improvements? No, Paul would still bitch. 300 Differences? No, there are more differences between Tiger and Leopard than just these. 300 Attributes? 300 Elements? Nah, these are just different words for “feature”. 300 Items That Paul Will Hump Microsoft’s Leg Over? Well, sure, that’s the most accurate description, but its kind of lengthy. No, “features” it is.

“Leopard does include a few minor but notable improvements. A new feature called Time Machine, a prettier version of the Previous Versions feature Microsoft first shipped in 2003, allows users to resuscitate previous versions of files. “

I see Paul’s used “minor” again. Time Machine is not like Previous Versions and he knows it. Previous Versions is activated via right-click on the file. But what if the file’s gone (a primary reason for having backed it up in the first place)? Well, without the file to right-click it’s a little more complicated. No big deal, Microsoft just ran it through their SOP: Ship it, brag about it, have their shills rave about it, and then forget it.

Time Machine makes proper backups (i.e., regularly, to a second disk) easier for everyone. More importantly, when you need to restore it’s like an extension of the application you’re in. You can remain where you noticed the missing data, and go back in time to when it was there! It’s a brilliant implementation of the restore process. It blows away Previous Versions and any other consumer backup application (I’m not talking enterprise backups). Tell me, Paul, do you proofread what Microsoft writes for you, or just post it verbatim?

“Apple is pushing other minor improvements like a slightly-updated shell and desktop, minor revisions to the system’s email and Web browsing applications…”

There’s that word again. Twice in one sentence, no less. Geez, Paul, did Microsoft give you a keyboard with a “minor” key? XP was desperate for “major” work; did you believe Tiger was as well? And tell me, who gets to define these improvements as “minor” anyway? You? No, you’re a shill, so let me explain it to you:

  • When you’ve enhanced your product numerous times in five years, the assumption (rightfully so) is that you don’t have to re-write the front-end from the ground up.
  • When you have a secure, rock-solid OS that’s already kicking the crap out of Windows in review after review, the assumption (rightfully so) is that there’s no need to design new windows and 3-D “flips” to try to impress people with what’s on the surface.
  • When your competitor has cried uncle and packaged separate mail, calendar, and address book apps in their latest OS, the assumption (rightfully so) is that you need only work to continue refinement of yours.
  • When you’ve been implementing an interface with windows having a useful sidebar and common views that have earned your applications plaudits and improve on anything your competition has, the assumption (rightfully so) is that it would also be useful in other applications.

Does that help? I could list more. The bottom line is that you don’t have to look as if you’ve overhauled the entire OS when you didn’t let it wither on the vine for nearly six years in the first place.

“In short, Leopard appears to seriously under-deliver compared to both the competition to what [sic] CEO Steve Jobs promised would be major secret new features. None of these have ever materialized.”

The competition? Are you serious? Paul, read something (anything) beyond Microsoft’s press releases and your own web sites. You must be the only person in the tech world who doesn’t know that Tiger already beat up Vista and took its lunch money. Leopard could take Vista out with one processor tied behind its back.

Heck, ZFS and UNIX certification alone should cause Microsoft concern. They’re losing their grip on the home market, and Apple is moving in directions to cut into their server business.

“In related news, Apple also announced the Leopard version of Mac OS X Server. This one boasts only 250 new features, so it’s presumably 17 percent less interesting than the client OS.”

ICal server, Paul. Just a little something to loosen Microsoft’s grip with their proprietary scheduling. A true UNIX server offering true standards for mail and calendar at a cost of $999 for unlimited users! Did you just feel Exchange’s walls rattling? At the very least, the price of that cash cow will come down to compete. It will take a while, as IT managers believe that Microsoft’s outrageous licensing fees are “normal”, but the word will get out. Expect Exchange to be a lot cheaper a year from now.

Since Microsoft can’t make money on anything else, Apple’s vastly superior OS and competitive Server and Office offerings will lower Microsoft’s cash cow profits. Who knows, Paul, at this rate Microsoft may not even be able to afford you next year. Perhaps you could get a job with Verizon, I hear they need help bashing the iPhone.