“Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates took the wraps off its next-generation operating system known as Windows Vista on Wednesday, displaying features aimed at positioning the software giant as the entertainment hub for a future of digitally connected homes,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for Reuters. “The much anticipated upgrade to Microsoft’s flagship operating system displayed a new interface with 3-D scrolling between different windows, which can appear translucent to allow users to see the information beneath.”
“Some of the elements of Vista featured in Gates’ speech took aim at Microsoft’s various competitors, such as Google Inc. and Apple Computer Inc.,” Wakabayashi reports. “Microsoft unveiled a search function within Vista that cuts across the content within the PC and its network, aimed at not conceding search on the desktop or the Internet to Google. ‘People tend to get overfocused on one of our competitors. We’ve always seen that,’ said Gates. ‘The biggest company in the computer industry by far is IBM. They have the four times the employees that I have, way more revenues than I have. IBM has always been our biggest competitor. The press just doesn’t like to write about IBM.'”
“Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft also unveiled MTV Network’s Urge Music Service, which will be built into Vista’s new Windows Media Center and offer users instant access to 2 million songs and videos in MTV’s library,” Wakabayashi reports. “In a show of pizzazz usually reserved for Apple, Gates was joined on stage by pop idol Justin Timberlake to introduce the new service. The enormous popularity of Apple’s iPod portable music player has made the accompanying iTunes music and video service the defining entertainment media delivery service.”
Full article here.
If Gates was referring to Apple with his “people tend to get overfocused on one of our competitors” comment, the reason is because most people are interested in the future, not in seeing things called “innovations” that Mac users have had for half a decade or more. Photo organization app with red eye removal? Translucent windows? Some rudimentary Exposé feature? Justin Effing Timberlake?! Puleeze, will the rest of the world actually fall for Gates’ and Microsoft’s B.S. again? What would the world’s PC users have to be excited about exactly, that they can finally do it, if they buy a new computer to run Vista? What’ll stop them from buying a Mac instead (especially if Intel-based Macs can run their Windows software at acceptable speed)? Their iPods will thank them for it, that’s for sure; so will their sanity. This isn’t 1995, many people can see Microsoft for what they are: a mediocre application coder that has grown bloated beyond recognition and is already in decline, past its prime; desperate to leverage its monopoly to hold onto its position. Rolling out a fake, badly-executed copy of Mac OS X, 6+ years after Apple’s original debut, is just plain sad – almost as sad as the 11 years it took them to do it the first time (1984 vs. 1995).
Don’t misunderstand, millions upon millions will lap up Bill’s pabulum and excitedly and ignorantly line up at midnight for another box full of Windows dreck. After all, half of the people in the world are below average. Still, many will be forced to upgrade to a new computer to run Vista and, if Apple would finally advertise correctly, regularly, and heavily, the Mac platform could see significant and rapid growth in 2006 and beyond.
And don’t believe a word that the great samaritan/monopoly abuser says about which competitors he’s most worried. He has to be worried about Apple. If he’s not, Microsoft’s in for even more trouble than anyone can imagine. People like to say that the “OS Wars” are over. They’re not.
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