From the rip-off desktop background to the white and translucent plastics to the rounded corners, Microsoft’s ‘Athens’ prototype PC shouts “I wish I were a Mac.” However, this slab of plastic is incapable of running Mac OS X and is merely a prototype that is shipping nowhere.
“The goal is to make Windows-based computers more consistent, easier to navigate and able to provide a better computing experience, Gates said in an e-mail interview,” reports The Seattle Times.
(MacDailyNews: you mean like Macintosh?)
“‘The PC industry has been incredibly successful over the years, but hardware and software development have sometimes been a little out of sync,’ he said. ‘The best way to advance the state of the art is to work together even more closely, always starting from the customer’s perspective and focusing on the combination of hardware and software that works best to create an innovative and compelling next-generation PC,'” reports The Seattle Times.
(MacDailyNews: you mean like Apple?)
“To demonstrate the potential of this approach, Gates plans to demonstrate an advanced prototype office computer, dubbed ‘Athens,’ that Microsoft developed with Hewlett-Packard… If the industry embraces this new approach, Microsoft could have an even bigger role in shaping the evolution of PCs. It may also help the company fend off competition from Apple and freely shared software.” writes The Seattle Times.
“Coordinating development of machines and software they’ll run may lead to better-designed machines with more consumer appeal. That’s the approach taken by Apple Computer, which develops both software and hardware in-house and is credited with numerous innovations to the ire of Gates and other leaders in the Windows PC industry,” writes Brier Dudley for The Seattle Times.
Dudley continues, “It may not be a coincidence that the Athens PC resembles an Apple machine, with rounded corners, a translucent case and a flat, wide display. HP executive Louis Kim acknowledged the similarities, noting, ‘Apple is on a similar track in that they’re designing with the end-user in mind and they’re integrating hardware and software.’ But he said the Athens was designed for functionality, not fashion. ‘There was no intent to try and mimic Apple here,’ said Kim, HP’s worldwide director of marketing for business desktop computers.”
See the ‘revolutionary’ new ‘Athens’ PC prototype here. Closeup of the machine here.
Lastly, you might want to tack the ‘Athens’ example to the list in this article, “Apple leads; Wintel follows as usual” written by SteveJack last November.
What a joke! Tell it like it is MDN!
Nevertheless, 95% of the world will be wowed by Microsoft’s “innovation.”
Once again the Macolytes focus on looks over functions. This PC uggle phone calls, faxes, cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging and videoconferencing. With a built-in camera, and phone headset, it senses what the user is doing and routes messages accordingly. Can your Mac do that? Uh, no.
Actually, Ken, add a cheap camera to a Mac and it can do all of the above and more. With Bluetooth and iSync, it would be a better experience and more useful on a Mac, as usual. You do need to get out more.
I think I liked it better the first time around … when it was called a GATEWAY PROFILE! LOL!!!
Silly fools, tricks are for kids. The E-machines iMac clones didn’t work either.
Ummm, Yeeaah, Ken… P R O T O T Y P E
Why did they have to use the name Athens? Microsoft is an American company so it can name its products after any one of the American cities. To use this name for a superficial imitation of Apple’s iMac is an insult to all us Greek Mac-heads.
They forgot the silver Apple logo on the front bottom bezel.
Ken is an example of the typical Microsoft brainwashed numbskull. He knows absolutely nothing about the capabilities of the Macintosh platform yet feels compelled to try and berate it. What’s even more idiotic, he tries comparing a no where near ready for primetime prototype to a deployed system. By the time the PC side gets any semblance of this thing out of the door, we’ll probably be miles ahead with OS 10.5!
I am a product designer and use Macs – as far as I can see there are so many opprtunities from a design perspective that HP/’Microshaft’ have missed – looks too top heavy and ‘brick like for my liking – very poor effort – I think this is a PR stunt to try and steal some limelight from Apple – to do so they will have to come up with something more innovative than this
If you are going to whore the Apple concept, at least fess up.
“Apple is on a similar track in that they’re designing with the end-user in mind and they’re integrating hardware and software.”
On a similar track? I think they layed the track that these unintuitive goons are now trying to build their trains to run on. Sad.
Isnt that a Mac desktop image they arte running on that monitor?
Otherwise all I see is a LCD monitor (with very fat cable and amateur alu stand) , wireless keyboard and mouse and two chino-clad 30 somethings (one with a sad attempt at designer stuble) What exactly is revoluntionary about this?
The best bit of design in the image is the tolomeo table lamp inn the background. Now there is a modern design classic. Looks right at home next to my 15″ SD!
I like the line about Microsoft being the innovator, “Microsoft has to show the leadership; who else is going to?” said Roger Kay. Let’s see… We innovate by being three years behind the leader? Do I have that right? Or how about this one… bill Gates reportedly said, “Our future success depends on our ability to stay focused on our customers.” Let’s see if i have this right. You focus on your customer using 3 year old hindsight, and usinng spyware to watch what they do? is that right?
“‘Apple is on a similar track in that they’re designing with the end-user in mind and they’re integrating hardware and software.’ But he said the Athens was designed for functionality, not fashion. ‘There was no intent to try and mimic Apple here,’ said Kim, HP’s worldwide director of marketing for business desktop computers.”
Don’t worry too much folks, every time the PC world mimics, they get screwed. I saw it this morning on TV from my local news channel and after I saw it (not knowing who made it), I just said, “Oh look, another computer…”
But let’s take a look at all the BS from the WinTel ‘tards:
Apple on a similar track?! Microsoft is on the “similar track”! Just because MS is bigger does not mean they own the track that someone else has already been on!
More functionality?! HA! Alright, iLife has gotten high reviews now and then. Sony, Microsoft, and the other WinTel clones could not bring together the proper suite in design software, they got screwed! So you can game on a PC, but it will always stay slow and stupid in every other category.
“There was no attempt to mimic Apple” Cut the crap. If you can say that, prove it. If you can’t say there aren’t similarities you are more than just mimicing.
Once again, MS blows away a billion dollars, but it won’t hurt them anyhow.
Man, I am so glad I bought a “real” mac last week (17″ 1Ghz iMac). Screw Microsoft.
aka Windows Network Engineer 🙁
1) Apple IS on the same track – 10 miles ahead!
2) If BG3 can see it, he WILL copy it.
3) Prototype = one year away.
4) Focused on customer = SpyScopeXP
5) BG3 ‘innovates’ thru mimicry. It makes him rich, with barely any effort.