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Apple vs Microsoft- Who's the Copycat? 683

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the does-it-really-matter dept.
torrensmith writes "Paul Thurrott attacks the Apple Mac OS X Leopard Preview. He does have a few kind words for Apple and its leader Steve Jobs ("They do good work. It's too bad they feel the need to exaggerate so much.", but overall, he rips apart Apple for mimicking Vista, even going so far as to call the Apple fascination with Vista "childish." Paul does include a healthy review of the latest Leopard features, but quickly returned to his bashing of Apple. "
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Apple vs Microsoft- Who's the Copycat?

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  • Mocking? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anjin-san 3 (983912) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @01:52PM (#15882728)
    I think the headline should say "mocking" instead of "mimicking"
  • by MankyD (567984) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @01:55PM (#15882762) Homepage
    I don't give a damn who's copying who. If the features are useful and functional, then kudos to any developer of any system, (not even limiting myself to software here,) who adds those features to their system.

    note: I am not a Mac user nor even a Windows user anymore.
  • Bashing? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sarusa (104047) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @01:56PM (#15882784)
    I didn't see any bashing in here. All his points are well taken as he swats Microsoft or Apple appropriately. They both steal whatever they think is best - the huge difference being that Apple can actually deliver something on a reasonable time schedule.

    Of course if you're one of Steve's Commandos type of Mac owners I can see where this article is Pearl Harbor all over again, especially where he alludes to the RDF.

    • Re:Bashing? (Score:5, Funny)

      by MrSquirrel (976630) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:01PM (#15882835)
      Apple hasn't stolen Clippy yet. Well, I'm sure they've taken him, but they can't perfect him... it's just so goddamn hard to make something THAT annoying.
    • Re:Bashing? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by apflwr3 (974301)
      The problem is using the word "steal." It implies illicit, underhanded or even criminal activity. Apple and MS (and Linux) don't steal from each other outright-- they're influenced by and react to each other's innovations. That's just good business, and it goes on everywhere-- for example when Buick first introduced turn signals to cars, don't you think Ford did the same one year later? And can you really call it "stealing" when they did so?

  • by chriss (26574) * <chriss@memomo.net> on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:00PM (#15882825) Homepage

    It's stupid to ask if Microsoft or Apple is the one stealing from the other. Most ideas we see successfully implemented today are taken from somewhere else and (hopefully) improved. Take e.g. Spaces. Yes, there have been virtual desktops for Linux for years (and I've been using Desktop Manageron OS X for this purpose for some), but spaces is neatly integrated into Expose and viewing all virtual desktops in miniature versions the way Spaces does might even be new, at least I haven't seen it before.

    So is it copied? Or is it invented? None of both, it is evolved. Yes, Windows can already make system snapshots like Time Machine. No, it cannot do it in a way that it can be easily managed by a normal user. Copied? Invented? If Vista brings a nicer interface similar to Time Machine, did they copy it back?

    The originator of an idea is less important in a world where evolution is as important as with operating systems and GUIs. So these comparisons try to artificially generate a difference where none exists. My personal reference will be which implementation works best for me, not who came up with the inspiration.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:33PM (#15883218)
      "... viewing all virtual desktops in miniature versions the way Spaces does might even be new, at least I haven't seen it before."

      Enlightenment's pager has provided a "live screen(s) snapshot" for a long, long time. Also, the old Gnome pager did the same thing (back when Sawmill/Sawfish was the default window manager) - but, as with some other Gnome eye candy, at some point they decided to get rid of it and make do with the rather clunky pager they have now.

      On OS X I'm currently using VirtueDesktops, since Desktop Manager has stagnated pretty badly - but I'm looking forward to an Apple-developed integerated system.
  • vista vapor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by redfood (471234) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:00PM (#15882828)
    Its hard not to copy features when according to Microsoft vista will do everything but slice bread. Until its released you really can't say its being copied.
  • Rebuttal (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:01PM (#15882836)
    Two of the new features--Time Machine and Spaces--are valuable additions to OS X and worth discussing, though both, interestingly, have been done before in other OSes.

    ...But not by Windows. Time Machine goes way beyond Windows' System Restore, and is more similar to VMS's versioning filesystem. Spaces is just virtual desktops, yes, but Windows never had them either [from Microsoft] except for a half-assed "PowerToy."

    Apple was inspired by Vista features like Spotlight (er, sorry, Windows Search) when creating its previous OS X version, Tiger

    Spotlight is not like Windows Search. Spotlight uses metadata much more extensively, and is actually more similar in concept to the database filesystem that BeOS had 10 years ago and that Microsoft has been trying (and failing) to implement since about the same time. So yes, Apple "copied" it -- but from BeOS, not Windows.

    By that measure, Microsoft has improved Windows by a far greater degree. In the same time frame, it has shipped [14 "different" Windows versions]. Heck, I might be missing some versions. No, they're not all major releases (The N Editions? Eh.) But XP x64, like Tiger on Intel, was a major engineering effort.

    In terms of actual new functionality, all those add up to less than the amount of new functionality Apple has added to Mac OS X in the same time frame. Yes, SP2 was major, Media Center was major, Tablet PC Edition was major, and I'll allow his assertion that x64 was major. But that's it. All those other editions only differed in which combination of preexisting features they included.

    And Apple has nothing--absolutely nothing--like the Media Center and Tablet PC functionality that Microsoft has been refining now for several years.

    False. Apple has Front Row, which has much less functionality than Media Center, but is certainly not "nothing like" it. And Apple has something like "Tablet PC functionality" too. It's called Inkwell [apple.com]. The only reason nobody knows about it is that, since Apple doesn't sell a Tablet Mac, you've got to have a Wacom tablet to use it.

    "They've been trying to ship a single release that's had many names [it's had one name, Vista, and one codename: Longhorn. --Paul]

    That's not true; they've been "trying" to ship the features that Vista was supposed to have since about 1995 (e.g. a metadata filesystem), and still haven't managed to do so. So really, they've used every codename from "Chicago" to "Blackcomb" to describe all the functionality that Vista is supposed to have.

    He said that Microsoft was ripping off Spotlight with Windows Search in Vista, which in fact, had been developed and publicly discussed long before Spotlight ever saw the light. (To be clear, Apple borrowed that one from Microsoft, but implemented it much more quickly.)

    As I said before, the idea originally came from BeOS. Aside from that, the shortcuts Apple took to make Spotlight (i.e. it isn't actually part of the filesystem) resemble the steps Microsoft took when going from WinFS to Windows Search.

    And then the rest of the article consists of Paul listing the things that he admits Microsoft copied. I'll omit those since I have no argument with them.

    • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:41PM (#15883282)
      ...But not by Windows. Time Machine goes way beyond Windows' System Restore, and is more similar to VMS's versioning filesystem. Spaces is just virtual desktops, yes, but Windows never had them either [from Microsoft] except for a half-assed "PowerToy."


      Yup, VMS had autoversioning of files way back when, but it was the Apple Lisa(tm) that had a GUI based file versioning system. When you created a document, an icon was created that looked like a page. When you editted the document, pages where added to the icon that looked stacked. You could easily go back to any prevision version. (This may have been copied from the Xerox Star system out of PARC that Apple copied.)
    • by LionMage (318500) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @08:12PM (#15885604) Homepage
      Spotlight is not like Windows Search. Spotlight uses metadata much more extensively, and is actually more similar in concept to the database filesystem that BeOS had 10 years ago and that Microsoft has been trying (and failing) to implement since about the same time. So yes, Apple "copied" it -- but from BeOS, not Windows.

      Actually, Apple did more than just copy BeFS and its "DB-like" filesystem metadata facility. They hired the former Be, Inc., engineer who designed BeFS and the cool system of "live queries" that would update in real time as the file system changed. The engineer's name is Dominic Giampolo. As I understand it, Dominic has contributed extensively to HFS+, including the journaling support. He's written a book on file system design too, so this guy can be fairly described as knowing the problem domain pretty well.

      Since BeOS is now defunct, I'm glad that Apple absorbed one of the cooler technologies from that OS (which I was an early developer for -- my BeBox is now living in Tucson with a friend). I hate to see good ideas wither and die for lack of a platform. The implementation might not be identical to that in BeOS, but it certainly behaves in much the same way for the end user. I should also point out that both BeFS and HFS+ with Spotlight do pretty much what WinFS promised to do -- except that WinFS now is no longer slated to be included in Vista, and in fact may only ever live in future releases of MS SQL Server.

      Even if Apple hadn't absorbed the engineering talent to make this feature possible, Paul Thurrott would still be off-base in claiming that Apple "stole" spotlight from Vista. After all, Vista is still unreleased software, and is still in a state of flux (e.g., features are still being adjusted and, just recently, some were dropped, such as WinFS). It takes a lot of chutzpah to claim that a shipping product "stole" features from a product that still isn't available for sale. (I guess there's room to argue here, but to me, it seems clear that Vista is still vapor for most rank-and-file users.)

      I'm writing this as someone who briefly worked for Metrowerks on their BeOS suite of compiler tools, and I met Dominic twice -- once while working for Metrowerks, and once at Comdex at Be's booth. He's a great guy.
  • Smashing Apples (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ExE122 (954104) * on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:02PM (#15882856) Homepage Journal
    In the very first paragraph, he establishes what a horrible person Jobs is for competing with Microsoft. And I suppose David was an asshole for standing up to Goliath? Needless to say, he doesn't even mention Bill Gates throughout the entire article.

    So then he goes on to attack the improvements over the past couple years:

    He claimed that Apple shipped five "major" updates to OS X, including Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger, though I'd argue that virtually none of those were major updates at all. (Unless you count the cost. At $129 for each version, that's about $750 on Mac OS X upgrades since 2001. That kind of puts the cost of Windows in perspective.) But he counted Tiger on Intel as a sixth major release, because of the effort in porting the OS X code to a new platform (which, actually, had been in the works for a long time and wasn't the 210 day project Jobs claimed).

    By that measure, Microsoft has improved Windows by a far greater degree. In the same time frame, it has shipped Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (and 2005 UR2), Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, Windows XP Home and Professional N Editions, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2, absolutely a big Windows upgrade), Windows XP Embedded, Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs, and Windows XP Starter Edition in various languages


    Am I missing something? XP, XP, XP, XP... the only differences between most being software bundles, hardware compatibility, and driver support. and he fails to mention that pretty much all of those also have a price tag well over $100.

    Thanks to the 64-bit Xeon chip that will be shipping in the new Mac Pro systems, Leopard will be fully 64-bit enabled (unlike Tiger, which is only partially 64-bit and then only on certain Power PC systems). That means that OS X will finally do what Windows XP x64 Edition did last year: Run 32-bit and 64-bit applications natively, side-by-side. Good for them.

    So Windows released a seperate 64-bit version (which you have to buy seperately as well) before Apple. Again, no big deal. Almost every product on the market is starting to move towards 64-bit support. Is Apple really "copying" Windows here?

    It seems to me that all these arguments are really week and that this guy just wants to complain about Apple. I really think he could've used his time more productively.

    It's important for you to understand, however, that I don't have Leopard. I'm basing this only on what Apple showed off at WWDC.

    Maybe you should try it before you knock it.

    --
    "A man is asked if he is wise or not. He replies that he is otherwise" ~Mao Zedong
    • by TPIRman (142895) * on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:22PM (#15883090)
      At $129 for each version, that's about $750 on Mac OS X upgrades since 2001.

      Paul's math is ... creative. 5 x $129 = $750?

      By that standard, it's also "about" $500 on Mac OS upgrades since 2001. I just saved him $250 (or "about" $400).
      • Re:Smashing Apples (Score:4, Insightful)

        by admactanium (670209) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:34PM (#15883220) Homepage
        At $129 for each version, that's about $750 on Mac OS X upgrades since 2001. Paul's math is ... creative. 5 x $129 = $750? By that standard, it's also "about" $500 on Mac OS upgrades since 2001. I just saved him $250 (or "about" $400).
        not to mention it's a stupid argument. not many people have done 5 system upgrades to a machine that shipped with os9. most of them bought a machine pre-loaded with a version of os x within that 5-product cycle.
    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:50PM (#15883406)
      "And I suppose David was an asshole for standing up to Goliath?"

      Well, speaking as a Philistine I do think peoples' view of that confrontation have been rather one-sided.

    • Re:Smashing Apples (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cyberllama (113628) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @04:02PM (#15884049)
      No offense, but the article was fairly even-handed. It went after Microsoft as much as Apple. If he went after Apple more, it was for claiming Microsoft copied from them (which they did) while they themselves borrow freely. And also for making fun of Microsoft for only releasing one OS in the last 5 years, while both OS's have had roughly the same level of feature changes in the past 5 years -- Apple has just charged for ugprades 5 times.

      It's not as if he tried to pretend that Microsoft wasn't equally guilty of these crimes -- merely slap Apple on the wrist for trying to pretend THEY WEREN'T.

      This isn't some frothing at the mouth anti-apple bashing lunatic raving his anti-apple rants just someone tired of Apple pretending that their farts smell like delicious fruit pie. On the one hand, its' a bit silly to be mad at Apple for that -- its' their whole marketting strategy. It's what appeals to the people who buy Apple. On the other hand, it is a bit tiresome.

  • by kusanagi374 (776658) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:03PM (#15882870)
    A site specialized on Windows and with a strong relationship with Micrsooft bashes a competitor OS to defend Vista and make it look like the one that is truly original... I'm shocked! SHOCKED!

    (yeah, I got the karma to burn)
  • Denial (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spykemail (983593) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:09PM (#15882942) Homepage
    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. While it's true that most features of either OS aren't completely new, there's a big difference between the way Microsoft and Apple incorporate them. Apple tends to create innovative new user interfaces (Time Machine) while Microsoft tends to copy features verbatim, even down to icon style and color schemes in some cases (some examples are given in the presentation).

    Another key thing to note is WHEN each company incorporates new features. Apple tends to get things first (first in the sense of before Microsoft) and do cool new things with them while Microsoft tends to get them months or years later and does absolutely nothing new or innovative.

    As for the Microsoft bashing during the WWDC it was well deserved. Microsoft deserves to be bashed for taking 5 years to develop a new OS and constantly delaying it while dropping many of its biggest features. And no matter how much you want to argue about Microsoft copying off Apple I hope you can at least agree that they're chasing after Apple's iPod and Google's web services like a little dog that got its bone stolen by a bigger one.

    Most of the Mac kiddies like myself aren't really claiming that Microsoft is ripping off Apple in the biblical sense, just that Apple is the leader - the one daring to go where Microsoft probably would never have gone otherwise. If you want the latest and the greatest you have to love Apple and wait for Microsoft.
  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:11PM (#15882963) Homepage Journal
    Back at the CES, wasn't an MS exec hyping a slew of new features in Vista, all of which already existed in commercially available versions of OS X for several years? Someone has even made a video displaying OS X's features in sync with the audio of the supposed new features of Vista which wasn't publically released at the time.

    I really don't want to humor the article by following the link because I suspect a Dvorak-ism going on here.

    It's possible that they were MS ideas which Apple managed to beat MS to the market on those features by several years, but frankly, many of those ideas are likely from somewhere else.

    The "spaces" feature is Apple catching up on the virtual desktop concept (was available as an XP PowerToy, but before then, was an X window feature), but none of the other introduced features seemed to be rips of Vista.
  • Virtual Desktops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 0xA (71424) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:13PM (#15882997)
    From the article:

    Another truly major new feature, Spaces lets you utilize multiple desktops, each of which can contain its own set of application. Multiple desktops have been around for decades, and even the earliest Linux versions had this feature. Microsoft even implemented it in NT-based versions of Windows, though the company curiously never made it easy to access this functionality until it shipped a free PowerToy for Windows, called Virtual Desktop Manager, in 2001. It works an awful lot like Spaces, frankly, though Apple's version is obviously more polished and, well, Apple-like.

    Well obviously this guy is either so biased he can't help it or he has a really terrible picture of what virtual desktops actually are. I tried Virtual Desktop Manager and it's bloody awful, I honestly can't think of enough bad words to say about it. That is the difference between OSX and other OSs IME, the Apple stuff just works. Microsoft stuff especially you have to screw around with for 10 minutes first.

  • Top Secret (Score:3, Informative)

    by vitaflo (20507) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:14PM (#15883004) Homepage
    The author may have wanted to pay attention to the part of the keynote where Steve says there are many things they would not show about Leopard because they didn't want MS to copy them (complete with a "Top Secret" slide). To assume these are the only new features of Leopard is rather foolish. Why would Steve show his hand early if he doesn't have to? Apple has been burned enough by MS the way it is.

    If he's going to compare features, wait until we get the full story of what's in Leopard.
  • by conigs (866121) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:17PM (#15883046) Homepage
    The end result is that Core Animation will not directly effect end users in Leopard until developers take advantage of it. Clearly, it was thrown out as a bone to the developer-heavy crowd.

    Funny how the World Wide Developers Conference was developer-heavy, huh?

    • A DEVELOPERS conference, with a 5-10 minute segment focused on bashing MS? Comments about all MS can do is "copy Apple and Google"? Snide remarks agains MS throughout the keynote? Why is that kind of stuff at a DEVELOPERS conference? You don't hear crap like that at MS dev conferences.
      • No, you just hear "developers! developers! developers! developers!" chanted for 5-10 minutes while Ballmer catches his breath after all that chair-throwing.
      • Relax. Take a deep breath. ...And another one. There. Do you feel better now?

        I was just pointing out that Paul seems to think any time Jobs speaks, the only people listening have to be consumers. He seemed utterly confused as to why Apple would show technologies/features that primarily affect developers.

        Of course, if Jobs gave speeches like the other Steve at that other company, Paul would've known it was a developers conference... "DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS!!!!!!!one!!!eleventy!"

      • by SteeldrivingJon (842919) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @04:19PM (#15884195) Homepage Journal
        "Snide remarks agains MS throughout the keynote? Why is that kind of stuff at a DEVELOPERS conference? You don't hear crap like that at MS dev conferences."

        MS dev conferences consist largely of MS trying to mollify developers who are pissed that the new OS has slipped again, and/or mad that they wasted a lot of time preparing to use a technology which has been dropped from the OS.

        Their audience probably isn't in the mood, and Microsoft wouldn't want to draw attention to a competitor which managed to ship OS'es.
  • by DiscWolf (976849) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:25PM (#15883134)
    Guys,

    Why blast Vista? It is going to full of technological
    breakthroughs and really is not that far behind schedule.
    I hear it's going to be shipped any day now.

    Sincerely,
    Duke Nukem Forever

  • by Skraut (545247) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:28PM (#15883164) Journal
    Some ideas are good and are adopted by both, some fall by the wayside. I don't look in my garage at my Ford and my Toyota and freak out; "OMG! Both Vehicles have 4 wheels, 4 doors, and a steering wheel! The Toyota must be copyng the Ford!" It's just natural evolution. That's the best way to do stuff. Cars have been around for over 100 years and are for lack of a better term, a mature product. Personal compuers roughly 30. There's still a lot of great ideas out there that Mac or Windows or KDE or Gnome, or XFCE, etc etc. will come up with that will end up in the other systems.

    That's how you build a product. Grab as many good ideas as you can and make them seamlessly work together.
  • I love this little preemptive strike from his conclusion...

    I get a lot of flak from the Mac community and no doubt this article will start another round of name-calling. (See how Apple's childish behavior rubs off on its fans?)

    Gee, you conclude your column with a passive-aggressive insult. Of course, there's going to be another round of name-calling, Paul! You started it! Yeah, zealots are a fact of life when discussing operating systems, but you don't take the high road by sneering at the other guy's lack of elevation.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:36PM (#15883240)

    It's just a little corporate trash talking. Lighten up.

    That's good, because Apple stole Sidebar idea wholeheartedly from Konfabulator and other widget environments that predated Dashboard.

    Christ... remember, kids, ideology is not just a point of view, it's a mental illness. Just say no. :)

    I get a lot of flak from the Mac community and no doubt this article will start another round of name-calling. (See how Apple's childish behavior rubs off on its fans?)

    Well, if you insist. How about "elitist, holier-than-thou prick who needs to be kicked in the nuts so hard he'll tea bag himself every time he sneezes." Howzat?

    Man, I just have NO patience for pundits anymore.

  • So what, Paul? (Score:4, Informative)

    by lewp (95638) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:39PM (#15883265) Journal
    That's a shame, because I'm actually a huge fan of both Apple and Mac OS X. I just want Leopard to be better--much better--than the OS that Steve Jobs and company described this week

    So what does he want? Apple seems to have pretty much everything Microsoft was planning to ship (and probably some of the stuff they ended up dropping) with Vista covered. He's long on criticism for Apple's mountains-out-of-molehills marketing, which is completely valid, but he doesn't say what they're missing at all.

    He explains right off why Apple has to be grandiose about their software. They're trying to get attention for their computer business. They're trying to increase that tiny sliver of market share they have, and if they just hop up on stage and say "Hey guys, we got a couple new features in here. Hope you buy our computers," nobody's going to go for it.

    Microsoft can afford to be more reserved and dismissive of Apple and their other competitors. They're the 800lb gorilla. Even admitting Apple exists is probably more than they'd like, because more people will hear that than all the Apple shouting from the rooftops in the world.

  • by Wise Dragon (71071) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:41PM (#15883285) Homepage
    When your product dominates the marketplace as Windows does, you can and should expect the underdog to take potshots at you. This is not considered bad behavior for an underdog. Microsoft doesn't publicly bash Apple because that would play in Apple's favor, not because of some odd sense of propriety. If Microsoft's people (Paul Thurrott) feel badly because their one desktop competitor bashes their product they seriously need to get a life and quit taking this personally.

    I seem to recall that Apple ripped off Karelia's Watson for their search capability, not Vista. Both companies have a penchant for stealing features from each other and their own third party developers to bundle with their operating system. Anyone remember the Stacker/Doublespace fiasco? Netscape/Internet Explorer. Konfabulator/Dashboard. Watson/Sherlock. And let us not forget the Apple vs. MS look and feel lawsuit of 1988. Surprise! Apple and MS both ripped off Xerox! I'm sure there are many many more I coud add to this list.

    In summary: It's perfectly acceptable to mock the incumbent; in addition, idea "theft" is practically a tradition in the operating system business.
  • by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:48PM (#15883376) Homepage
    First off, Jobs publically stated that there is a bunch of stuff that's still under wraps. This may very well be because it's not done, or because it's of no significance to developers, and doesn't need to be announced in advance. Imagine all the bad press Microsoft could have avoided by never announcing WinFS until they were *positive* that it would be done in time for Longhorn?

    With that out of the way, a bunch of other "less exciting" features [aeroxp.org] were announced, albeit not in the keynote.

    A few highlights:
    • Leopard will be resolution-independent -- This is a HUGE feature that the world has needed for the past 10 or so years. We can finially move twoard HD displays without having to squint our eyes because the text on a 4000x3000 monitor would be microscopic.
    • Carbon apps can now embed Cocoa components. Might breathe some more life into the old legacy apps, as well as making Photoshop and Office a little more tolerable, and a little more mac-like.
    • Apache 2.0, Ruby on Rails and Subversion are included in the end-user version as well as the server, which I think speaks for itself. How cool is that?
    • Complete support for 64-bit applications across the OS. Last time I used it, there were some (very noticiable) lingering 32-bit remnants in XP-64 that made it virtually unusable.
    • All sorts of new APIs that should allow every application take advantage of the cool new features announced in the keynote, as well as extensions to some older APIs (iCal specifically) -- anyone who's used the .Mac Backup application can attest to the wide range of software that builds in support for it.
  • by portwojc (201398) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @02:55PM (#15883455) Homepage
    Both are copy cats in my book cause of the Amiga.

    Yeah you thought it wouldn't be brought up.

  • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @03:13PM (#15883619)

    Back in 1997, Steve Jobs got on stage at MacWorld and told the Mac faithful to get over it, the desktop war is over and Microsoft won. So why does Apple seem to want to promote the idea that Windows is copying a lot of things from OS X?

    1. Perfection Required
    If anything in Windows isn't up to snuff when released, the pundits and reviewers will say that the Mac did it better. William Lloyd George said "The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps." People will be less likely to wait for Microsoft to wait for a Service Pack to fix their issues if they know what they want has been done before and done right.
    2. Provocation Means Attention
    If Apple provokes Microsoft in addressing their provocations, then Apple wins. Microsoft may point out that they have features that are better (windows you can write sticky notes on the back of) but the fact that they need to respond will drag Apple into the media spotlight that even though the features may differ slightly, Apple already has all of this. Some people ONLY pay attention to what Microsoft does; if Microsoft starts making messages that draw comparisons or attention to Leopard then Apple wins something. There's no such thing as bad publicity.
    3. Developer Motivation
    WWDC is the for the most elite of the Macintosh fan boys: the developers. Right now at least, no one is making any noise about Leopard in public media. The longer and louder people anticipate Windows, then the more Mac developers have to question if they really have chosen the right horse. If there's a selected venue to target the motivation of the developers, it's clearly WWDC. You won't see many articles or TV spots anticipating Leopard before it's close to release, but Mac developers are key to it's success so make sure they have a message they'll remember every time they see a Vista ad or promo.
    4. Justifying Reverse Copying
    Whether one considers the desktop search feature or window management to be copying from OS X is a bit subjective, but when one sees all of these things including the Aero bubble with Microsoft logo it really starts to seem that Microsoft is trying to borrow liberally from the Mac. If Windows is perceived as the one playing catchup through copying, then it does distract if there are any features that the Mac is copying from Windows. Off hand there are very few that fall into this basket (and they were pointed out by Paul), but if there are others it looks more like Microsoft is copying an unreleased Mac feature than Apple incorporating a good idea from Microsoft.
    5. The Next Wave
    If Apple waits until after Windows goes gold, and then release their "secret" features then they may have a compelling argument that Windows is "behind". When the public learned about windowed operating systems the Mac was the lagger. Now when Microsoft starts making big news about their release Apple is in a very nice position to steal their thunder. "Yeah, we've had all that debugged and working for a while, but here's the shimmering new features and candy on the Mac right now."
    All of these reasons add up to some very compelling reasons to do a little ribbing at Microsoft's expense. It's doubtful that any of this will stop before Leopard goes live, but it most certainly won't get worse. Apple isn't likely to venture into territories of slander or libel.
  • by XMLsucks (993781) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @03:29PM (#15883776) Journal
    New things are hard for most people to grasp, and so they don't see the innovation. Innovators have to spend a lot of time trying to demonstrate their innovation. In this matter, Apple has hardly done a good job explaining the innovations; they seem to have expected everyone else to look at the announcements and to put them into context. Obviously that hasn't happened, and everyone is saying that Apple made meager announcements, with nothing cool. Paul is one of the blind people, and most of Slashdot is blind too. Paul says that Time Machine was already implemented by Windows. That is balloney. Earlier, the Slashdot crowd claimed that Time Machine reimplements VMS's file system. That is balloney. Time Machine is too innovative for you guys to see why it is awesome, so here is my attempt at explaining it, to make it clear that innovation is hard to spot: http://slashdot.org/~XMLsucks/journal/141549 [slashdot.org]
  • by Jahz (831343) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @05:09PM (#15884569) Homepage Journal
    Paul Thurrott makes a good argument, but I think his point is just as childish as chastizing Jobs for poking fun at Microsoft.

    If this were a patent case, we would look at who had each idea first. This isnt about patents... it is about implementation. I don't care if Microsoft came up with the "Windows Search" idea in 2000... or 1995... or 1985. The bottom line is that while Microsoft has been talking about desktop search for years, Apple went and actually did it a few (two?) years ago.

    Lets look at another example. The Microsoft PowerToy for virtual desktop's dates back a decade (all the way to NT 4). I've used it a few times over the years and I have to say that it sucks. It works... but it sucks. If the MS people had just updated and integrated it into Windows with XP, Apple would not have been able to make such a big deal. What was stopping them? Its an excellent bussiness tool. Frankly I am annoyed that Apple too SO long to come out with virtual desktops. Linux has had them for what seems like forever, and there are already several (free) third-party virtual desktop solutions for the Mac.

    Aqua vs. Aero?? Who cares. Maybe Aero was "thought of" first... Aqua has been in production for half a decade (something like that). If Aero was first, them congradulation to Apple on a great preemptive marketing strike.

    Widgets and Gadgets. This is pure evil on both sides. Apple ripped the Widgets from Konfabulator. That program was GREAT, I even purchased a license. I was pretty annoyed that Apple did'nt even compensate the original innovator. Microsoft ripped it off of Apple... so I guess Apple deserved that.

    The point I am trying to make is that in the end it doesnt really matter who came up with what idea first. The credit goes to the first to market. Welcome to economics... companies release NEW products, or BETTER products. Anything else is just market saturation. On another note, maybe Microsoft will wise up and stop discussing new enchancements 5-10 years before they go to market. Any other company would go out of bussiness by laying their cards face up on the table like that!

  • by catwh0re (540371) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @06:25PM (#15885059)
    The problem in having someone like Paul talk about Mac features, is that it's like having a mac zealot talk about Windows features. Paul is too preoccupied with Windows to know the history behind many of apple's OS X features. For example things like Dashboard are not a direct rip off of Konfabulator. (A point which has been proven endlessly on /. and other forums.) Apple actually had a lot of the features they've REintroduced into OS X from prior Mac OS versions. Including what has now been transformed into Dashboard. The closest way it comes to Konfabulator is that they both use HTML+Javascript..which is hardly a stretch of the engineerings imagination to come to, it's a trivially obvious choice. I won't go into detail, but even b&w versions of Mac OS had bundles of desk tools.. and unsurprisingly these were the exact tools that were shipped in 10.3, plus a few others which were logical steps since then: weather, travel. etc.

    As for other items such as the search being stolen entirely from MS. Well I'm not sure how any one can own the idea of a "quick search" using methods that we're accustomed to on the internet. The difference being that MS has rattled on that they'll have the feature for 10 years now and never delivered it. So it's hardly "copying" MS on a feature that has not only never been delivered, but cancelled for the foreseeable future.

    Ideas like spaces have been around for a while, it's how it's implemented in OS X which is clever, you only need as much memory as to support the applications, the application windows move, not the desktop.

    As for other features like stationery, I wouldn't rattle on too much about the use of themes on internet mediums, as the concept of templating is hardly an original one.

    My point here is that a lot of the added features are obvious or a natural evolution of their existing products. It is easy to compare these to MS, but it's hardly copying. The keynote presentation held by apple which highlighted the similarities between vista and 10.3+10.4 etc took only the most blatant examples where MS has been a tad bit unoriginal and directly copied the visual interface, down to the colour scheme used and program nomenclature.

    Overall I think Paul just needs to be a bit more like MS and take it on the chin, everyone gets haggled in this industry, it's pointless trying to refute points which only show his lack of research and his genuinely blinded zeal for MS products. Paul only throws in the occassional lucid counter argument merely to appear less biased than what he is, unfortunately the giant scope difference between his pro-apple and pro-ms remarks show his lack of genuineness. That and his logo & style guide are a rip-off of Microsoft graphic design circa 1998.

  • by m874t232 (973431) on Friday August 11, 2006 @01:15AM (#15887070)
    There are few ideas that are original to either Microsoft's or Apple's products. Most of their software features have either been acquired, copied from other products, or are based on academic work. And that's perfectly OK, that's the way things are supposed to work.

    OS X, in particular, is, from the ground up, a copy of other people's ideas, technologies and software: the Mach kernel, the Cocoa GUI, Objective-C, gcc, vector graphics GUIs, hardware desktop graphics acceleration, the BSD userland, RSS, tabbing, smart folders, mouse sensitive corners, virtual desktops, translucency, shadows, desktop search, mail reader spam filtering, desktop widgets--you name it, it almost certainly was invented and implemented somewhere other than at Apple first. But that's OK: Apple makes good choices in what they copy and they implement it well.

    In some sense, part of Microsoft's problem is that they aren't copying enough. When Microsoft copies stuff from other people, they are usually successful with it. When Microsoft comes up with something original, they often fail. The reason why a lot of their "innovations" aren't widely used in the market is not because nobody thought of them before, it's because they didn't work well when other people tried them before.

    It doesn't bother me that Apple is not innovative; I think their focus on design and copying proven technologies actually makes their systems better. What bothers me is that Apple isn't doing their share to fund innovation. Microsoft is investing heavily in research, both in their own research labs and grants to universities. Those investments don't necessarily lead directly to Microsoft products, but they make sure that 10-20 years from now, there will still be innovations for people to use. Apple is a bunch of cheapskates; they don't have a research lab and they don't support research or education at universities. Apple should be ashamed when they try to pass themselves off as "innovative".

If this is timesharing, give me my share right now.

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