The Greatest Compliment is Imitation

Mac users have long felt that Microsoft copies most of its best ideas from Apple. That opinion isn’t likely to change if Bill Gates’ sneak peek at a new computer and upcoming version of Windows is any indication of the future.

At last week’s Winhec computer hardware conference in New Orleans, Gates showed a prototype of an office computer called the Athens PC that Microsoft designed with Hewlett-Packard. It’s supposed to be a “futuristic prototype,” but the snow-white system looks familiar.

Futuristic, that is, except to a number of computer industry veterans who said that Microsoft and Hewlett were leaning too heavily on industrial design ideas that had originated with Apple

The story also notes that Apple executives “took obvious glee” last week in noting that the new graphics software that is scheduled to appear in “Longhorn,” Microsoft’s 2005 version of its Windows operating system, copies features that have been in Mac OS X since 2001.

“You don’t have to look too far to see that this is almost a direct copy of Quartz,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of marketing, is quoted as saying.

Maybe someday Bill will figure something original out on his own.

Windows May Leave the Stone Age

Microsoft has announced that they are retooling Windows XP to allow more than one person to run a program on a machine at a time.

Microsoft plans to retool its Windows XP operating system so that two people can run applications on the same machine concurrently, an important step toward the company’s goal of transforming the PC into a home entertainment center.

You mean, they’re finally getting it to do something that UNIX has been able to do for 30 years? Wow!

One Million Downloads and Counting

The iTunes music store is doing huge business!

Apple Computer’s new online music service sold more than 1 million songs during its first week of operation, the company said Monday.

The early sales success suggests that people will pay for music downloads if given the chance, analysts say. “It clearly shows there was some pent-up demand in the Mac community for a legal way to buy and download digital music,” Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg said.

On Tuesday, Apple plans to add 3,200 new tracks to the music store, including Michelle Branch’s album “The Spirit Room” and the catalog of music from Alanis Morissette.

I’ve told a bunch of friends about this, and they all say the same thing: **Someone finally got it right!*’. One friend actually told me that this seals the deal… ‘*his next computer will be a Mac!**. That’s right folks, Apple continues to do things the way they ought to be done!