“Microsoft had a surprise visitor at its WinHEC trade show this week in Seattle. Several representatives from Apple Computer were on hand to blatantly copy, er, see what Microsoft is up to. ‘I am attending WinHEC to keep tabs on what is happening in the industry and what Microsoft is looking to do over the next year,’ David Harrington, the manager of Apple’s hardware technology group admitted when asked. He declined to make any further comment, however. I will say this. I do know that Microsoft employees also attend Apple’s shows, including the World Wide Developer events. So clearly there’s some cross-pollination going on here,” Paul Thurrott writes for WindowsITPro.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Thurrott’s turning into quite the comedy writer lately. In case he’s actually serious, according to Microsoft, the following groups should attend WinHEC 2006:
• All hardware engineers and designers who want more technical information about changes in hardware and Windows architecture and features: See Apple iPod.
• All driver developers and testers who want more technical information about Windows Driver Foundation, other driver architectures, and tools: See Apple iPod, iTunes for Windows, QuickTime for Windows, Bonjour for Windows, etc.

Apple develops products that work with Windows. Of course they would be at WinHEC.

And what exactly is there for Apple to copy? Bad copies of their own work? That would be weirdly derivative, huh? Perhaps Apple could copy constantly missed and perpetually slipping shipping dates? Or a poorly-thought-out “parade” effect so they can make Exposé less productive? How about ways to constantly annoy the end user with never-ending “User Account Protection” dialog boxes? How to gin up apathy over vaporware? Maybe how to make windows that are too translucent (even though they already toned that down years ago in Mac OS X)? Maybe, Apple could steal some general tips for creating confusing, unproductive and ugly user interfaces? Or how to pacify mutinous employees with free towels?

Let’s face it, the only companies whose products would benefit from copying Microsoft are Hoover, Dyson, Electrolux, Oreck, etc.

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