“There were any number of iPod Nano clones on display at the [Consumer Electronics Show], each with the same price-point as Apple and with worse industrial and interface design,” Wil Harris writes for bit-tech.net. “Really, do you need the choice of a million sub-par Nano competitors? Why wouldn’t you just buy the Nano? It’s the utter stupidity of the ‘me-too’ ethic that drives much of the computer industry. A company sees the success of the Nano and thinks, ‘Right. I’ll create a small and light MP3 player, put a wierd interface on the front, and I’ll charge a premium for it to give it the impression that it’s a Nano competitor.’ But wait… Hasn’t the company just created a product that copies the Nano without bettering it in any way, but at the same price point and without the brand cachet? Where is the appeal?”

Harris writes, “One of the worst offenders has to be Creative Labs. It’s insistent that it can take down the iPod, but it doesn’t show any signs of coming close yet. I was surprised that its iPod Video clone won the Best of CES award. It’s got a worse interface, the same size screen, as well as being double the thickness of the iPod Video and without offering a 60GB model to compete with Apple. Sure, there’s a little more battery life in there – but that’s only down to the bulky size. Coming in at the same price as the iPod video, what’s the point?”

Harris writes, “I’d like to talk about Windows Vista here, as demonstrated by Bill Gates at this keynote at the show. I would like to go on about how similar Windows Vista is to Apple OSX, but if I do, I’ll get blasted by the rest of the guys for being such a blatant Apple fanboy, having already spent half this column talking about iPods. But let me put it this way, succinctly: Vista delivers the same functionality as Tiger. But 12 months later. And less sexily.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “DreamTheEndless” for the link.]
Yeah, we’ll see if Vista actually delivers the “same functionality” as Tiger. It’s impossible to compare a vaporous beta to a shipping OS with already on its fourth point release. Is Microsoft planning to deliver an iLife knock-off bundled on Windows PCs, too? No? Too bad for Windows users. Another not-so-minor problem for Microsoft’s copiers: by the time Vista debuts, Apple will most likely be shipping Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, not Tiger.

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