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Why is Windows Vista so similar to Mac OS X?

January 7th, 2006
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The last Consumer’s Electronic Show in Las Vegas featured a presentation by Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates, presenting features of the Windows Vista operating system, planned to debut on the end of this year.

The most remarkable feature of Window Vista for Apple Mac users is how similar it is to what we already have with Apple Mac OS X. Consider the following list of “new features”

* Widgets: the new version of Windows has little applications that are almost the same as a Mac OS widget. They have similar transparency and floating options.
* Task bar update: Mac OS X has a task bar that updates its content automatically.
* Search: The new windows will have a search facility similar to what Mac users have with spotlight. However, this is not new even to Win users: you just need to install Google desktop search.
* Image view and retouch software is incredibly similar to iPhoto, in its main view, in the way toolbar are layed, etc.
* Finally, the new music service announced with MTV is a copy of what iTunes is providing for more than three years.

Conclusion: by the end of the year, windows users will have a system that has features similar to Mac OS X Tiger. Of course, by that time the new version of Mac OS X (Leopard) will be arriving and what else will MS be able to copy?

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New Windows Vista features are really new?

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New Windows Vista features are really new?

January 7th, 2006
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Bill Gates gave his talk on the Las Vegas Consummer Electronics Show to demonstrate the new features of the new version of MS’s operating system (dubbed Windows Vista). He looked pretty excited showing stuff that any Apple customer is able to do buy now…

This post of maclive shows a movie created by a user demonstrating the “new” features of Windows Vista in Mac OS X. It is pretty funny to see that Apple Mac OS X already has everything that Windows users are still dreaming of.

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Google video store and Apple

January 7th, 2006
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Yesterday, along with the Google pack, Google announced a new service that will sell video over the Internet for interested viewers. The service, which is an extension of the Google video offer, presents an interesting new competitor for the iTunes service of Apple.

Apple has since last year presented a long list of video sources for its iTunes and iPod video. It seems that they are in good shape to fight for the first place as the online video store and video watching gadget.

However, with the introduction of the new Google video store there are several things that must be considered by Apple.

First, is its approach for pricing of web video. While they have been successfull with the flat fee of 99 cents per music on iTunes, this doesn’t mean that they can do the same for video. Video is clearly a different thing in the sense that you don’t watch it repeatedly; there are videos of different lengths, from the 30 seconds commercial to the 3 hour King-Kong-style movie.

The Google video store has a much flexible method for video pricing: the producer can ask any price they want, even given the video for free. This makes it much easier to reach an initial audience with low prices and make changes progressivelly.

The second thing is the new format that Google video is introducing. This is bad news because there is the potential of much confusion among the different types of videos with competing formats. Google and Apple could well collaborate to try to avoid this kind of confusion.

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Apple and the Mac Mini console revisited

January 7th, 2006
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It seems that my post on the Mac mini as a game plataform attracted a lot of interest from Apple fans and video game fans. Most of them, however, said that the idea of the Mac mini as a game machine is hard to believe. While I am not claiming to be true about this (only Jobs knows what is going on in Apple), I believe this would be a strong selling point for the Mac mini.

The guys at cathodetan put together a nice argumentation for the Mac console. It goes like this:

1. I spent all this money and it won’t even play games
2. Living rooms are multi-function areas
3. OS X attracts a younger demographic

Thus, not having games is just a disadvantage for Apple, which they need to address in their products. Hence, it is very reasonable that Apple looks for this new area, not as a main feature, but as a value added proposition.

Read the whole post here.

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New iWeb application found on Apple’s web site

January 6th, 2006
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Somebody in digg found a web page from the Apple web site that describes iLife, with a link to a new application called iWeb. The Apple web page has changed, but you can see the old one using Google cache.

It is not known for sure what this is about, but it looks certainly that it is a piece of the new software to be announced next week in the Mac world expo.

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