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Leopard Vs. Vista 420

Rockgod writes to point us to an ongoing series of articles, "Leopard vs. Vista," by Daniel Eran. The latest is part 4, Naked Sales, and it's a meditation on hardware without Windows, Apple's strategy of hardware-software integration, and the dissatisfactions that arise from the creative tension between Microsoft and hardware manufacturers. (The earlier articles in the series are linked form this one.) From the article: "The vast majority of PCs come with Windows pre-installed, and actually can't be sold without it. Leading PC hardware makers can't freely advertise PCs sold without Windows, or with an alternative OS such as Linux, without having to pay Microsoft significantly more for every other OEM license they ship. That's why all name brand PCs prominently repeat their own version of the cult-like phrase 'Dell recommends Windows XP Professional,' as if there were a choice in the matter and they thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance... Apple's current Get a Mac advertising campaign doesn't compare Mac OS X to Windows, it compares the complete experience of a Mac with that of a PC. After all, Windows is only half of what's wrong with the PC as a product."

UnBox Calls Home, A Lot 252

SachiCALaw writes "It turns out that to use UnBox, the user has to download software from Amazon that contains a Windows service (ADVWindowsClientService.exe). Tom Merritt over at C|Net reports that the service tries to connect to the internet quite frequently. Even tweaking msconfig could not prevent it." From the article: "So, in summary, to be allowed the privilege of purchasing a video that I can't burn to DVD and can't watch on my iPod, I have to allow a program to hijack my start-up and force me to login to uninstall it? No way. Sorry, Amazon. I love a lot of what you do, but I will absolutely not recommend this service. Try again."

AMD Launches Counterstrike Against Core 2 Duo 277

DigitalDame2 writes to mention a PC Magazine article about the AMD 4x4 enthusiast platform, which is meant to counter Core 2 Duo. The article observes that AMD is now facing many of the same business practices it used in its war against Intel. From the article: "While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, improvement can often be a slap in the face. Intel's C2D was designed with both low power and performance per watt in mind, two key design metrics that helped AMD cut into Intel's market share with the Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2. And, as preliminary numbers have indicated and final performance reviews now show, the C2D has learned its lesson well: its performance now tops AMD's Athlon 64 architecture by a substantial margin."

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.