“The highlight of opening night–OK, the only light–was the annual keynote presentation by Bill Gates and his team,” David Pogue writes for The New York Times. “The best part was a demonstration of Windows Vista, the next version of Windows, which Microsoft still says it will ship before the end of 2006. The audience in the standing-room-only auditorium was treated to a show of some features that hadn’t been previously demonstrated.”

Here’s an annotated blow-by-blow by Pogue:
• Transparent window edges. They’re cool, sure; but exactly how many times, in your work life, have you muttered, “Darn! If only I could see just the part of the background window that’s currently obscured by the 1/3-inch margin of the foreground window”?
• Widgets. It’s a lot like the Dashboard in Mac OS X (or the shareware Konfabulator that came before it), except that apparently, you can’t put the widgets anywhere on the screen you like.
• 3-D application switcher. It’s a lot like the Exposé feature in Mac OS X, except that you don’t get to see all of the windows simultaneously; you have to walk through them one at a time with the mouse or keyboard.
• Global, fast search. Vista can now find words in any of your files, quickly and easily, just like the Spotlight feature of Mac OS X.
• Photo organization. Vista’s couldn’t look more like Apple’s iPhoto program if you ran it through a copying machine.

“If I seem to be laying on the ‘stolen from Apple’ language a bit thick, you’re darned right. Ordinarily, I’m careful about making accusations like this, because I know I’ll get hammered by Apple bashers. But in this case, there’s not a shred of doubt: most of the features Microsoft demonstrated last night were pure, unadulterated ripoffs from Mac OS X. I could hear actual whispers of recognition from the audience around me,” Pogue writes. “Anyway, all of this will be nice to have, if it works and doesn’t require us all to buy new computers to run it. But I think that what most people want from the next Windows isn’t more stuff added, but rather stuff to be taken away–like crashes, lockups, viruses, error messages and security holes.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “Whit” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: The fact — which is plainly obvious to anyone who’s used a Mac and Windows at any time in history (Classic Mac OS and now with Mac OS X) — is that Bill Gates and Microsoft are frauds, of course. And more and more people are finding it out with each passing day. People who only use Windows are as happy as pigs in you-know-what, which is a perfectly appropriate analogy; and, no, we’re not calling Windows-only sufferers outside of RealNetworks’ corner office “pigs,” we’re referring to the what-Windows-is portion of the analogy. Windows-only users will swoon for Vista, unless Apple finally decides to properly educate them first. Everyone else will continue to disdain Gates and Microsoft for being such rampant charlatans.

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