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Second Take: Microsoft At A Crossroads?

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Is Microsoft making the right moves?

Total: 12 votes

  • Yes
  • 34 %
  • No
  • 42 %
  • Doesn''t matter, global warming will end everything as we know it
  • 25 %
May 25, 2007 6:46:15 PM

Ben Meyer and Rob Wright from TwitchGuru discuss what the recent moves by the tech giant mean for the future of the company.

Watch The Video

What do you think about Microsoft's recent moves?

This is also a good place to bash the hosts (preferably Rob), production values and the subject matter in general.

More about : microsoft crossroads

May 25, 2007 9:24:12 PM

[space reserved]
May 25, 2007 9:46:05 PM

[customer parking]
Related resources
May 25, 2007 10:13:54 PM

[/leaves burnout marks]
May 25, 2007 11:25:01 PM

That bad, huh? Well, it WAS Ben's idea...
May 26, 2007 2:19:48 AM

So, Ben... Seattle, huh? Cool.

Rob, where are you coming from? "They make software, not web ads." I don't know if you're familiar with the internet, but web advertising is software. :p 

Yeah, the video was pretty lame. MS isn't at a brand new crossroads here, so it's hardly worthy of debate. They've been crazy about expanding for years. They've had some hits, some misses. But that's business.

Let's look from another angle. Take a look at Sony for a second.

Sony manufactures and sells televisions, cameras, laptops, MP3 players, game system, cell phones, and who knows what else. And they haven't finished expanding. (Have you ever been to the Sony store?) If there is a piece of electronics equipment they don't make yet, they're working on it.

Microsoft is doing the same thing with software. If there is software to be made, MS is trying to make it.

They also do a bit of hardware, but what do you expect? Sony develops software too. It's practically inevitable in these partnering fields. They may butt heads in a couple of categories, but for the most part they are in the same boat--leaders in their industry trying to maintain their lead.

I do think they're biting off more than they can chew sometimes, but I'm not going to fault them for trying. I do wish they'd focus more on the products that affect me directly, but I'll only fault them for not investing 6 billion in my back account. :wink:
May 26, 2007 7:56:13 AM

If I look at Microsoft's recent moves, I must mention one thing:
Microsoft doesn't even pretend that it develops software anymore.
I mean, what's new in Vista? What's new in Office 2007? Four years and billions invested for... This? DX10 which is merely a relabeled OpenGL 2.1, sound acceleration which requires third-party drivers (OpenAL) to work? DRM, as in the user is supposed to cheat so we must NOT allow him/her to use his computer the way he/she wants? Great.
While we're mentioning the Web, what's up with Internet Explorer? IE7 is merely a long overdue bug fix of IE6, with a less flexible,space eating interface, using retarded technology (still no XHTML support, HTML support still lagging behind, CSS support not on par with competition, and buggy still, JScript and DOM still not ECMA compliant!).
Funnily, IIS 7 may be the only worthwhile software they're making: it's a clone of Apache.
Meaning that Microsoft software is buggy as ever, insecure as ever, even pricier than before, and now they are adding layers of unusability on top of the inherent flaws of their softwares. I don't think this is a good tack on development.

To add insults to injury, they're now threatening everybody (their customers included) to sue if they use software allegedly encroaching on MS patents - 235 of them precisely, of which NONE have been validated in court, and are probably bogus.

Example: MS recently applied to patent a system which, by checking the credentials of the invoker against a white list, may allow this user to gain temporary administrator access for the scope of another command.
Interestingly, that's the exact definition of the sudo command, which has existed for 20 years now in the UNIX world.

Is Microsoft making smart moves? Well, I don't know if developing a bogus new OS, a non-innovative office suite with a disturbing interface, and turning into a lobby/patent troll really qualifies MS as a software developer anymore, let alone makes for a smart move.
May 26, 2007 9:04:04 PM

Microsoft doesn't even pretend that it develops software anymore, eh?

So, like, all that stuff... Vista, Office 2007, and the whole collection of apps they have... they didn't write and develop those. Those just appeared out of nowhere, right?

I'd like to be polite but... just... please, type less and think more.

You may not THINK they made many feature improvements. You may THINK they backpedaled in some regards. That's your opinion. That doesn't mean they didn't still develop the software, idiot.

Christ. If writing an OS and applications doesn't count as developing software, then please tell me, exactly what does?

Ask an average person what Microsoft makes or owns. Maybe they'll say Hotmail. Probably they'll say Xbox. Most likely they'll say Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, and so on. Fact is, aside from the Zune and Xbox stuff, almost everthing big Microsoft does is software. You just don't happen to like it. That doesn't mean they don't write software, though.

At least Microsoft is much more of a software company than their lead competitor, Apple. Since 2001, Apple has been known mostly for the iPod, iTunes store, and a little (to the average consumer) for OS X and Macs. And now they're making a cellphone and TV media bridge. What next, TVs and speaker setups? Apple is a software company that won't even license their software, i.e. they're a poorly masked hardware company. Microsoft doesn't care who installs their software on what, just as long as they sell it. They're a software company through and through. The Xbox lineup is a way to bridge the gap between PCs and TVs in an attempt to unify the two (take a look at media center PCs and Xbox 360s, they're slowly creeping towards each other), ultimately I believe they just want to bring home theater hardware into the fold with PCs and have all media and gaming driven by their software.

No, Microsoft is a software company alright, just not a particularly excellent one.
May 26, 2007 11:39:59 PM

Quote:
Microsoft doesn't even pretend that it develops software anymore, eh?

So, like, all that stuff... Vista, Office 2007, and the whole collection of apps they have... they didn't write and develop those. Those just appeared out of nowhere, right?

No, as I said they spent billions developing those, and frankly, they're not worth the expense: innovation zero. Which is quite bad in its own right.

Quote:

I'd like to be polite but... just... please, type less and think more.

Had I typed my full reflexion on the matter, it would have taken a whole book. I mean, Vista didn't improve the pointer code, didn't improve the main file system driver (the Vista NTFS driver is right now LESS efficient than the freshly released ntfs-3g to prevent fragmentation; chkdsk is still as buggy as it was in 1999) - meaning the system hasn't improved in sensitive subsystems, and adds layers of instability on top of a system that was struggling to get a bit better than before (personally, I liked XP SP2).
Quote:

You may not THINK they made many feature improvements. You may THINK they backpedaled in some regards. That's your opinion. That doesn't mean they didn't still develop the software, idiot.

Give me ONE improvement. Just one. I looked over the whole OS ever since the first public beta was released.
Then I checked Office 2007, which brings only new headaches.
Quote:

Christ. If writing an OS and applications doesn't count as developing software, then please tell me, exactly what does?

Actually developing software that does stuff that hasn't already been done by the competition, or at least do the same thing but better.
Quote:

Ask an average person what Microsoft makes or owns. Maybe they'll say Hotmail. Probably they'll say Xbox. Most likely they'll say Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, and so on. Fact is, aside from the Zune and Xbox stuff, almost everthing big Microsoft does is software. You just don't happen to like it. That doesn't mean they don't write software, though.

My gripe is that they don't write it well and sell it at a premium. As for your examples, let's see:
- Hotmail was better before it was bought by MS: you had access to a search engine that allowed you to locate an email address. It was damn useful - yet scrapped by MS to promote Outlook.
- Xbox was an attempt at foiling Sony. Please note that MS still hasn't broken even on those investments.
- Internet Explorer would have been a competitive browser... in 2002. Refresh problems, bad CSS support, lousy DOM support, frozen interface and no XHTML support - it still sees it as 'bad' HTML 4.0, and doesn't understand the application/xhtml+xml MIME type (all others do support it: Opera, Firefox, Safari)
- MSN doesn't actually return relevant results - when it's not crashed. Microsoft should have kept paying Yahoo to provide their search engine capabilities... I mean, damn! When I look for stuff in MSDN, the MSN search engine has a lower hit rate than Google! Frankly, if Microsoft can't make their search engine parse their own pages better than their competitors, why are they even in the search business?!
Quote:

At least Microsoft is much more of a software company than their lead competitor, Apple. Since 2001, Apple has been known mostly for the iPod, iTunes store, and a little (to the average consumer) for OS X and Macs.

At least Apple innovates and makes their system more stable on each new release. Moreover, the complete OS costs less than Vista Basic.
Example: BSD kernel, UAC done right, only one OS version as capable as a server than as a media center, and many layers of the system have available sources (the kernel, the HTML and JS engines, the Active Directory compatible system, their latest ECMAscript VM, the HTTP server, the C compiler...).
I will mention Linux in passing, which has Mac OS's versatility, better hardware support than Vista, much better stability, is faster, and more innovative: real 3D interfaces even on old hardware, modularity, fast upgrades, Live CDs, full 64-bit support, scalability - and can be copied and modified at will. And when you want to pay for it, you actually get competent support.
Quote:

And now they're making a cellphone and TV media bridge. What next, TVs and speaker setups? Apple is a software company that won't even license their software, i.e. they're a poorly masked hardware company.

Actually that's not true. You can buy a license for their software; they just don't guarantee that it'll run on non-Apple hardware, and you pay a premium for covered hardware. Now, if you buy a Vista license for your PC, you have absolutely no right for a refund if it happens to not like your hardware.
As for Linux, it's try before you buy - and try as long as you want.
Quote:

Microsoft doesn't care who installs their software on what, just as long as they sell it.

I guess, then, that registration and activation are figments of my imagination. The restrictions on virtual machines install is, too, then, I guess.
Quote:

They're a software company through and through. The Xbox lineup is a way to bridge the gap between PCs and TVs in an attempt to unify the two (take a look at media center PCs and Xbox 360s, they're slowly creeping towards each other)

Actually, Philips started that trend - it was just too little, too soon. About the Zune, well, I want to mention it: they did worse than Apple, eventhough they had ample time to copy Apple's products.
Quote:

, ultimately I believe they just want to bring home theater hardware into the fold with PCs and have all media and gaming driven by their software.

Well, they weren't the first with such an idea.
Quote:

No, Microsoft is a software company alright, just not a particularly excellent one.

And as such, they now have to rely on unfair tactics to protect their business: threatening their customers, make their products more difficult to use with third-party software and much pricier, prevent laws that would improve reliability, and pervert the patents system. Did you know they're pushing a patents reform to make prior art irrelevant for patents validity?
May 27, 2007 1:24:48 AM

Quote:
Give me ONE improvement. Just one. I looked over the whole OS ever since the first public beta was released.


Ok, simple. Instant search in every window is nice, especially in the control panel and start menu. In the control panel I don't have to read a lot of text, I just type in "desktop icon" and it filters the displayed options down to Personalization ('show or hide common icons on the desktop') and Taskbar and Start Menu (text omitted). And there without bothering to learn the nested structure of options and feature settings, I can almost instantly do what I want to. From the Start Menu, I just type in "stea" and it's already got Steam highlighted and can be launched with a simple Enter press. In my opinion, quick access to all my files, folders, programs and settings is the most important thing an OS can possibly do, and that alone makes Vista worth it.

Quote:
My gripe is that they don't write it well and sell it at a premium. As for your examples, let's see: [text omitted]


Great, you've got a grudge with everything that MS is doing. I can't say I'm entirely pleased with their stuff either, but that's REALLY BESIDE THE POINT. The POINT is that, contrary to your foolish statement, Microsoft is doing software development first and foremost. We're not arguing about whether Microsoft does its stuff well, or innovates new ideas. That's not required to be a software developer.

And frankly, there are so many things that have to be common between OSes because that's just what people are used to. Green and blue are safe colors, red probably means you want to double check what you're doing (don't delete this file, are you sure you want to press the X button on the window, etc). Scroll bars go on the bottom and right because that's what people are used to. Clicking the left button selects things. Even with more complex things, like features and functions in media playback programs or web browsers, there are things that will just naturally overlap. I don't know who came up with the ideas of bookmarks, but by this point it's pretty natural for people to keep track of things, so the presence of bookmarks and how you use them is likely to be fairly standard. And so on. Let's put it this way, would you accuse Logitech of not making keyboards just because they use the standard QWERTY layout, volume buttons, and a similar key mechanism to what everyone else uses? Does Ford not make cars even if they happen to have 4 wheels and a sound system with built-in CD player just like lots of other cars? I'm not arguing that Microsoft is the God of software innovation, merely that they're developing it. They are software developers.

Quote:
At least Apple innovates and makes their system more stable on each new release. Moreover, the complete OS costs less than Vista Basic.
Example: BSD kernel, UAC done right, only one OS version as capable as a server than as a media center, and many layers of the system have available sources (the kernel, the HTML and JS engines, the Active Directory compatible system, their latest ECMAscript VM, the HTTP server, the C compiler...).


The complete OS costs less than Vista Basic, yes, but they put out our equivalent of service packs every what, 12 months or so? And you have to pay $130 for them. You could upgrade from XP to Vista for FAR cheaper than you could upgrade to each subsequent release by Apple.

Here's the thing that's great about you Microsoft haters. The way they are now, you hate them to death because they make their own stuff and don't implement "standards" used by everyone else. What would make you happy? Should they switch to a BSD kernel? Should they switch to using OpenGL? Would using a UAC system like Apple's make you happier? No. You'd rant and rave and get furious about how, yet again, Microsoft was copying everyone else. When Microsoft does something worse, you get pissed off because they suck. When Microsoft does something similar, you get pissed off because they're copying. When Microsoft does something better, you get pissed off because they're copying and promptly forget that they managed to do something better (like how now the almost universal Windows key is a universal access point to opening websites, applications, files, and folders through instant searching).

Quote:
Actually that's not true. You can buy a license for their software; they just don't guarantee that it'll run on non-Apple hardware, and you pay a premium for covered hardware. Now, if you buy a Vista license for your PC, you have absolutely no right for a refund if it happens to not like your hardware.


You misunderstand me. What I mean is, nobody makes systems with OS X except for Apple, right? See, I was under the impression that they actually had a physical chip which was required to run OS X, because otherwise, any old person could build an OS X machine (now that they use the same hardware and all). Perhaps that's not the case. I do have to wonder though, why don't we see a cheap Dell system or expensive Voodoo PC or anything in between that you can buy with OS X? You can buy Dell systems with Linux, and I'm sure people would buy cheap Dell machines for OS X rather than pay the premium for Apple hardware... so why doesn't anyone do it?

Quote:

Microsoft doesn't care who installs their software on what, just as long as they sell it.

I guess, then, that registration and activation are figments of my imagination. The restrictions on virtual machines install is, too, then, I guess.

Again you misunderstand me. While Microsoft may have some restrictions with virtual machines, registration and activation as well, that's not the point I was making. The point is that they don't care whether it's Dell, eMachines, HP, Joe Random Customer, or even Apple that puts XP/Vista on their computer. They're just fine to let anybody buy it and install it. Apple, however, does not want to do this: they would sell many more $130 copies (before bulk discounts and OEM pricing!) of OS X rather than $3000 laptops if it were the case.


Quote:
Actually, Philips started that trend - it was just too little, too soon. About the Zune, well, I want to mention it: they did worse than Apple, eventhough they had ample time to copy Apple's products.


I don't care who started the trend. It really doesn't matter. And as for the Zune, while I can't say I really approve of what they did (i.e. I wouldn't buy one), who cares? Do you lambaste every MP3 player company that doesn't make iPods just because with ample time and resources they weren't able to outsell the iPod? If you apply this "they do worse than their competitors so I will despise them" attitude towards more than just the Zune, you'll find yourself hating most of the companies and products in the world.

Quote:

ultimately I believe they just want to bring home theater hardware into the fold with PCs and have all media and gaming driven by their software.

Well, they weren't the first with such an idea.


Again, your obsession with who was the first to have an idea... you know, with so many smart people around, there are very many things which were conceptualized years or decades before they could actually be implemented. The idea of user-created hyperlinks between documents could arguably be attributed to Vannevar Bush, half a century ago. But most people don't even know his name. The fact that he had the idea first is interesting, but ultimately, it was Tim Berners-Lee who helped bring the idea to fruition, computers, and the masses in the '80s and '90s.

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And as such, they now have to rely on unfair tactics to protect their business: threatening their customers, make their products more difficult to use with third-party software and much pricier...


Heh. You want to talk about products that are hard to use with third-part software, let's pull out ol' iPod. And making their products pricier? Isn't Apple earning 50% profit or some ungodly amount on the iPhone? And similar amounts on iPods? The only reason you might think that paying $200 or so for an OS that lasts you maybe 3-5 years is unreasonable is if 1) you get one version of OS X and never upgrade, which only costs you $130, or 2) you're used to Linux being free.

You know, all this framing really isn't fun, and takes a lot of time. My point was that, like it or not, Microsoft develops software just as surely as Logitech makes keyboards. Maybe they don't innovate, but you can by no means say they don't develop. If you want to squabble further, send me a PM, I think that'd be the best bet.
May 27, 2007 7:22:45 AM

The topic this week probably isn't as exciting as talking about the upcoming games or the latest and greatest in video cards, but MS comes up in the forumz everywhere, so I can see why you wanted to put your take on it.

I thought Ben did a lot more talking this time, which is nice. Rob got his point of view in, too. This show is becoming one of my favorite things on THG.

As for the topic at hand, I find it interesting how seriously Ben is taking Dell's decision to sell Ubuntu-equipped PCs. I'm interested to see how this turns out, as I run Ubuntu on most of my home computers, but I still think it's a niche market. I think statements of MS worrying about the popularity of Linux at this point in the game are a little optimistic about how well Linux is doing.

As for MS themselves and the tendency not to like Vista, I really wonder what we're looking for in an OS. Would it have been possible for MS to incorporate a lot of the features we want in, say, SP3? Throw the active search in there. Add a 3D desktop effects feature. I don't know if it's much harder for Windows to do this than Linux, but for me, it was as simple as installing Beryl. I think the idea is that XP users tend to be happy customers, and few see the reason to switch to Vista. Was Vista pretty much a make-work project, or was it all about HDCP and DRM or some third option?

When I first thought that open-source software makes sense, it was when I faced the prospect of replacing my student version of Office 2000. I'm one of the few people I know who actually bought office in the first place, but I wasn't hoping to find new features in a newer version: I only wanted to avoid the compatibility issues I could face when using .doc files from newer versions of Office. It occurred to me that Office software, in terms of personal use, has matured and I'm satisfied with the feature set that was available in 2000. Why do I need to keep paying software developers for re-inventing the wheel every few years? OpenOffice made a hell of a lot of sense to me, and I have been recommending it to home users ever since. I understand full-fledged MS Office may be better in the workplace, though.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on software development when it comes to home use.
May 27, 2007 4:23:11 PM

Quote:

Ok, simple. Instant search in every window is nice, especially in the control panel and start menu. In the control panel I don't have to read a lot of text, I just type in "desktop icon" and it filters the displayed options down to Personalization ('show or hide common icons on the desktop') and Taskbar and Start Menu (text omitted). And there without bothering to learn the nested structure of options and feature settings, I can almost instantly do what I want to. From the Start Menu, I just type in "stea" and it's already got Steam highlighted and can be launched with a simple Enter press. In my opinion, quick access to all my files, folders, programs and settings is the most important thing an OS can possibly do, and that alone makes Vista worth it.

I know that 'search in any window' was part of Gnome 2.16 at the very least, and probably there before.
Search in menus: unrequired in MacOS or Linux, as apps are stored per use, not per maker. Typing the first few letters of an app will start it automatically - no need to click afterwards.
Desktop search existed before MS introduced it in Vista: Google Desktop Search, Beagle, Kat etc. all did this, integrated in the WM, long before Vista was named such.
They didn't have the idea first and they weren't the first to implement it. It's not innovation in any way.
Quote:

Great, you've got a grudge with everything that MS is doing. I can't say I'm entirely pleased with their stuff either, but that's REALLY BESIDE THE POINT. The POINT is that, contrary to your foolish statement, Microsoft is doing software development first and foremost. We're not arguing about whether Microsoft does its stuff well, or innovates new ideas. That's not required to be a software developer.

And frankly, there are so many things that have to be common between OSes because that's just what people are used to. Green and blue are safe colors, red probably means you want to double check what you're doing (don't delete this file, are you sure you want to press the X button on the window, etc). Scroll bars go on the bottom and right because that's what people are used to. Clicking the left button selects things. Even with more complex things, like features and functions in media playback programs or web browsers, there are things that will just naturally overlap. I don't know who came up with the ideas of bookmarks, but by this point it's pretty natural for people to keep track of things, so the presence of bookmarks and how you use them is likely to be fairly standard. And so on. Let's put it this way, would you accuse Logitech of not making keyboards just because they use the standard QWERTY layout, volume buttons, and a similar key mechanism to what everyone else uses? Does Ford not make cars even if they happen to have 4 wheels and a sound system with built-in CD player just like lots of other cars? I'm not arguing that Microsoft is the God of software innovation, merely that they're developing it. They are software developers.

that's not the fact that pretty much everything one can find on a GUI today has been created in the 60's that bothers me; it's the problem that MS sells, at a premium, stuff that others have already created and refined, and that these MS copies don't even work as well as the stuff they're copying!
In fact, if Microsoft could innovate more in the controller area, well, I find their mice quite nice and their keyboards are far from bad. Their joysticks are good too, and I think they should work on that more.
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The complete OS costs less than Vista Basic, yes, but they put out our equivalent of service packs every what, 12 months or so?

Untrue - that's a whole OS you get (10.1,10.2,10.3,10.4 - are complete OSes, 10.3.9 is a service pack, freely available without any restriction - no WGA key required!). As to the 12 months, may I remind you that before the XP hiatus, that's how often MS released a new OS? Win95, OSR1, OSR2, Win98, 98SE, 2000, Millenium, XP.
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And you have to pay $130 for them. You could upgrade from XP to Vista for FAR cheaper than you could upgrade to each subsequent release by Apple.

As I said: untrue - the Vista Basic upgrade is $100, but you NEED a WinXP license first. Said XP license is invalidated - meaning that you can't do a WinXP/Vista dual boot on such a machine. A MacOS 10.2 can be dual booted with a MacOS 10.4, since both have fully valid licenses.
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Here's the thing that's great about you Microsoft haters. The way they are now, you hate them to death because they make their own stuff and don't implement "standards" used by everyone else. What would make you happy? Should they switch to a BSD kernel?

No - the NT kernel itself is quite good, based off VMS. However the system that runs on it, well, sucks - why wait so long before forcing a better separation between administrator and user accounts, when the OS supported it fully in Win2k?
Quote:

Should they switch to using OpenGL?

Oh yes - considering they're already making a carbon copy of its 3D subset in DX10... Because OpenGL is not a 3D API: it's a graphics API, with on-screen and off-screen rendering abilities, separate contexts, client-server capabilities, and is modular by design - ever since version 1.0.
Quote:

Would using a UAC system like Apple's make you happier?

definitely: the MacOS way is directly based on the BSD version of sudo and xsudo. Those Just Work(tm) - which isn't really the case with UAC.
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No. You'd rant and rave and get furious about how, yet again, Microsoft was copying everyone else. When Microsoft does something worse, you get pissed off because they suck.

actually, missing the mark once or twice happens. MS just happens to do it in a disturbingly regular fashion, and makes their customer pay the bill.
Quote:

When Microsoft does something similar, you get pissed off because they're copying.

If only they could copy WELL, and in an interoperable manner... That would do the trick. For a vivid example, get a look at LDAP and ActiveDirectory. Then their HTML engine, their attempt at a Java VM, their OOXML file format, their TCP/IP stack, their ECMAscript engine, their document presentation format, their video file format, their audio file format... May I continue?
Quote:

When Microsoft does something better, you get pissed off because they're copying and promptly forget that they managed to do something better (like how now the almost universal Windows key is a universal access point to opening websites, applications, files, and folders through instant searching).

Hint: Apple key.
Quote:

You misunderstand me. What I mean is, nobody makes systems with OS X except for Apple, right? See, I was under the impression that they actually had a physical chip which was required to run OS X, because otherwise, any old person could build an OS X machine (now that they use the same hardware and all). Perhaps that's not the case.

Actually, it's because PPC Macs used a specific Apple BIOS. Now, it's because Macs use Intel's EFI (published in 2004 to replace the BIOS - Vista doesn't support EFI, and requires the Bootcamp BIOS emulator) and signed systems. It is fairly easy to hack MacOS to make it run (and quite reliably at that) on non-Apple hardware, however it's a hack - thus why you don't find those in stores.
Quote:

I do have to wonder though, why don't we see a cheap Dell system or expensive Voodoo PC or anything in between that you can buy with OS X? You can buy Dell systems with Linux, and I'm sure people would buy cheap Dell machines for OS X rather than pay the premium for Apple hardware... so why doesn't anyone do it?

See above. Apple doesn't support at ALL non-Apple hardware and mentions it as such on the box. On Windows, you have to read the EULA to find that you're actually on your own hardware-wise, and you can't read this EULA on pre-installed machines - because it has been accepted for you.

Quote:

Again you misunderstand me. While Microsoft may have some restrictions with virtual machines, registration and activation as well, that's not the point I was making. The point is that they don't care whether it's Dell, eMachines, HP, Joe Random Customer, or even Apple that puts XP/Vista on their computer. They're just fine to let anybody buy it and install it. Apple, however, does not want to do this: they would sell many more $130 copies (before bulk discounts and OEM pricing!) of OS X rather than $3000 laptops if it were the case.

Bulk prices for Mac OS are simple: one machine, $150. From 2 to 5 machines, $250.
On Linux, it's free anyway :p 
Your OEM Windows license is nullified, with no refund, if you happen to burn your motherboard. One mobo, one more Vista to buy. VLK now require each machine to be registered.
And yes, you're right, Apple is a hardware maker: they explicitly support their older hardware in their newer OS releases. As I said before, MS doesn't support your machine anyway (3 months install support if you buy a full copy of Windows; nothing if you buy an OEM or upgrade version).

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I don't care who started the trend. It really doesn't matter. And as for the Zune, while I can't say I really approve of what they did (i.e. I wouldn't buy one), who cares? Do you lambaste every MP3 player company that doesn't make iPods just because with ample time and resources they weren't able to outsell the iPod? If you apply this "they do worse than their competitors so I will despise them" attitude towards more than just the Zune, you'll find yourself hating most of the companies and products in the world.

Thing is, most other MP3 makers tried to differentiate their products: iRiver makes them in different shapes with various supported codecs, Creative used to make portable sound studios (they are now openly copying the iPod, too bad), Apple made the iPod to be 'hip' (which doesn't mean I'd buy one) and easily filled with music (iTunes is a nice piece of software, with a very nice GUI considering all you have to do with it), while MS Zune... well... didn't work when it came out, doesn't fulfill what it touts as an advantage (share your songs through Wifi - limited to 30 second samples, no more than 5 samples at a time, MP3 and WMA support only...) and while aimed at the iPod's market, didn't appear 'hip' enough.

Quote:

Again, your obsession with who was the first to have an idea... you know, with so many smart people around, there are very many things which were conceptualized years or decades before they could actually be implemented. The idea of user-created hyperlinks between documents could arguably be attributed to Vannevar Bush, half a century ago. But most people don't even know his name. The fact that he had the idea first is interesting, but ultimately, it was Tim Berners-Lee who helped bring the idea to fruition, computers, and the masses in the '80s and '90s.

You can differentiate between the first person to have an idea and the first person to be able to implement it - I personally don't really agree with that, yet it is a valid argument worth debating.
However, Microsoft doesn't even do either: they neither have the idea nor the first implementation. As such, I resent Microsoft being labelled an innovating company. Many patents they filed are in fact invalid because many were filed after someone else had the idea, implemented it, and didn't patent it: some GUI elements in an IDE, the sudo command, some variable bitrate file format...
Frankly, can you call patenting someone else's idea innovation?
Quote:

Heh. You want to talk about products that are hard to use with third-part software, let's pull out ol' iPod.

Said iPod works on a Mac, a PC, and under Linux. Right now you can even load Linux on an iPod - Apple didn't do much to lock down their hardware, and the way the iPod's OS actually works, you may wonder if they didn't have that idea in the back of their mind when they designed it.
Quote:

And making their products pricier? Isn't Apple earning 50% profit or some ungodly amount on the iPhone?

Well, considering MS does a 90% profit on any OS it sells... And the CD/DVD isn't always included in the bundle.
Quote:

And similar amounts on iPods? The only reason you might think that paying $200 or so for an OS that lasts you maybe 3-5 years is unreasonable is if 1) you get one version of OS X and never upgrade, which only costs you $130, or 2) you're used to Linux being free.

Please note that, at first, XP wasn't supposed to last that long; in fact, initial support for XP was supposed to end mid-2006, but since MS hadn't managed to get Longhorn out by then, they had to make it last longer. Moreover, they swindled companies of money with their 5-years upgrade insurance in 2001, which was supposed to bring them any new OS for free, after so many companies protested to the low delay between Win2k and XP and the high price of upgrading from one to the other. Suffice to say, said insurance never worked - yet the companies didn't get a refund.
Please also note that the EULA for Windows XP changed during those years.
Quote:

You know, all this framing really isn't fun, and takes a lot of time. My point was that, like it or not, Microsoft develops software just as surely as Logitech makes keyboards. Maybe they don't innovate, but you can by no means say they don't develop. If you want to squabble further, send me a PM, I think that'd be the best bet.

No no no. I prefer keeping it public, this may refrain you from calling me an idiot again - or worse.
Please note that I value your input, and this is why I take my time to make lengthy replies. Several of your points are very interesting, and do provide food for thoughts - it's just that some of your assumptions seem to rest on unfounded facts, or at least short-sightedness.
Please also note that I keep using Mac as a reference because it's as of now the only proprietary desktop OS with a modicum of success against Windows - Solaris doesn't qualify anymore - and that I follow its progresses closely. However I don't use it anymore myself, having switched completely over to GNU/Linux. I refrain myself from mentioning this OS though, because it relies on a completely different ecosystem than Windows and MacOS.
If, however, you want to discuss Dell's recent decision to offer Windows XP again on their systems, AND of providing pre-installed Ubuntu Linux on some of their hardware, we could tack this subject a different way.
May 28, 2007 7:05:18 AM

Microsoft have invested 6 billion in spam and junk mail. This is obvious with Instant Messenger, MSN.

Yes Microsoft should invest in producing better software, Vista is a flop even with the corporate pressure and leverage tactics. It's license numbers are worse than WinXP if you factor in the actual PC growth since XP was first launched.

Visual Studio 2005 is perhaps the worst development tool they produced to date and didn't even run on Vista correctly until they patched it. This is the freakin tool they (and I) use to produce software, and it's so buggy and broken.

They need to stop sending all their software contracts out to Russia and India, support US economy and US developers. When the last time you talked to someone without a heavy accent at Microsoft any time you call for "free" support.

Vista search -- yeah, OS X had that feature a long time ago. Vista = DX10 and that's only because MS refused to provide it for WinXP, and yes even MS admitted this - leverage. As much as MS think they can manipulate the consumer, when it comes to money consumers aren't as stupid as they would like to believe. Vista Ultimate is $400 -- OS X is one flavor, one version no BS.

They can't innovate, they're searching desparately for a Market with a future and dropping their current market as being a dead end. It's a dead end because they have no immagination, no innovation, they can't come up with their own ideas -- they can only try to buy and crush or copy and duplicate. It's sad! Even more sad to see them not realize this.

Produce good software and stop including a ton of junk services geared to help DRM, spammers, advertisers with their software. People pay $400 for Vista and then find themselves paying for more subscriptions service because the OS is missing functionality.

Zune -- come on!! iPOD has 70% market share of ALL portable music players. iTunes sells millions of songs per day -- Microsoft needs to STOP trying to duplicate and come up with their own freakin' ideas!

And then you hear people say "well what can they do that is new" -- gee, 40 billion in cash in the bank and the best they can do is spend 6 billion on advertising? Really, Microsoft are so removed from reality now it's becoming bizarre.

Why I hate Microsoft:
1. Their software since about 2000 onwards is buggy as hell
2. They plunder cheap labor from third world countries
3. They can't innovate
4. They'be become slow (5 years for Vista???)
5. They leverage for profit, not to establish "Standards"

Rob.
May 28, 2007 5:23:24 PM

I just want to say that the creation of this video...as much as I dislike Ben Myer (he should be reading the questions) is worth is just for reading this post!

The tech knowlege battle between Mitch074 and Twile is great! I am really learning alot from this duscussion and I am glad that Twile's request to continue the debate in private was quashed by Mitch. Even though I really disliked Twiles name calling "idiot" I respect his efforts. Mitch even said that he said Twile has valid points. Bravo Mitch for keeping it clean. You clearly know the industry and if Microsoft wanted to learn anything about improving things they would be reading this post.

As for my take on the Microsoft thing...in general Microsoft does tons of things badly. You can't escape bashing MS with the Apple because really...they have MS dominated comparing the two. Even Apple was smart enough to license MS software (Office) because they aren't into competing with something that already exists. If anything this move alone makes people want to switch because they can use office and have all the fun stuff that Apple offers. Apple makes something first and they do it better. The finishing move for this arguement is the simple fact that people are willing to pay a premium for the hardware just to run the software.

You can argue all you want about code, kernels, search, and all that other stuff. What it comes down to is simple...the end user. I bet 1% of computer users read this post. The rest don't even know this site exists because the don't have a clue what goes on in the backgroud anyways. What they can relate to is money paid for an OS, money they have to spend to hardware to get the new OS to work properly, the pain in the ass the upgrade process is, and after upgrading finding out that Vista is actually slower in some things, namely gaming. And now the next big fiasco...they are going to stop supporting the 32bit operating system...which means that in a few short years everyone who bought Vista will have yet again to upgrade. Looking at Apple...I don't mind paying them small upgrade fees for innovations with most releases that are transparent and painless...and fully 64bit!!!!

Any way you slice it...MS just can't compete with Apple simply because of it's reliance on 3rd party software. Just look at Final Cut Studio. Unbelievable innovations in video editing...and it is Apple software. Plus all the stuff you get with a new Apple purchase in iLife which has everything covered. What does MS have? Movie Maker. That application makes my skin crawl.

MS...you wasted 6 billion. Why don't you use that money to employ Americans? Sure...Bill Gates gives alot to charitable organizations...but for every dollar he gives away...his company should be spending an equal amount to employ Americans. Do you think that any of that money he gives away is a tax write off? I bet you it is. He has so much money he can't afford not to give away some of it. Sure it is his own money...but it came from Microsoft. Give back to your country and employ your own people.

Anyways guys...keep jousting. I am enjoying all of these posts! Just keep it above the belt!

Cheers!
May 29, 2007 3:47:15 AM

I'm also intrigued by the Mitch074 & Twile discussion. I smell a bit of linux fanboy rant coming from one end, but overall it's quite entertaining.

People should just stop comparing all the operating systems to one another. They each have their place in the world....sort of. My linux box runs my webserver, i play games on my xp box, and my mac adds style to my living room.

kansur0, i'd have to disagree with you on the 3rd party software reliance comment. I think that's what makes an OS stronger...choice. Great that I'm not stuck with using iTunes exclusively (although, I do use it to encode tunes for my cell phone). Both linux and windows have great 3rd party support, and hopefully there'll be more of it for the mac....and yes, I know there IS 3rd party stuff for the mac.
May 29, 2007 5:39:13 AM

Yes, give back to the country that gave him the money in the first place that got him freakin' started!

The door is SO wide open for Apple right now they can ponder if they even want to bother with Microsoft.

Innovation is what survives, not copy & duplicate for less (or in the case of Vista for more!).

Spanko,

You can run OS X, Vista, and WinXP on you MacPro -- you can't do that on your PC. So why limit yourself?

This is not about OS comparisons, if it were that type of discussion, then Vista and WinXP would be left in the dust looking like bad porn. For starters 114,000 viruses for Windows vs. 0 for Mac OS X.

It's about a philosophy of two VERY different companies. For example, iPOD has 70% market share (a little less than what MS have for the OS market) and what does Steve Jobs do, he works hard to get DRM free distribution of music -- you would NEVER EVER see this idea or effort at Microsoft.

This is about a company, Microsoft, that has become lost and a bloated blob with no direction but lots of money in the bank. They're a company that leverages everyone down to the last dime. They're a company that can NOT innovate. They're a company that works mostly off shore from the US. They're a company that promotes spam, junk, and anything else that will give them a tad more revenue -- they don't care about the "End user experience". They aren't trying to discover what people/consumers really want.

Just think about Vista, where should Microsoft OS be today vs. where it is in reality? Yipee, they finally have a search feature that is useful in Vista -- something OS X had a long time ago. Voice recognition is one big area -- come on folks 2-8 CPUs systems in the main stream and Microsoft can't come up with an accurate voice recognition system yet?? They still have 32bit versions of Vista. With there resources and the money they have in the bank, the Apple MacPro shouldn't even be a viable discussion, yet it is. I'm still typing!

Apple's Leopard will blow Microsoft doors off only because Microsoft let it happen because they couldn't innovate. Apple have sold 3X the number of laptops over any competition. They OWN the portable audio/video player market. Their desktop PC even had a 60% growth. People are OVER being leveraged and find choice important to them.

Rob.
May 29, 2007 8:23:11 AM

Quote:
I'm also intrigued by the Mitch074 & Twile discussion. I smell a bit of linux fanboy rant coming from one end, but overall it's quite entertaining.

I guess the 'linux fanboy' part is directed at me. Which is funny, since the only piece of FOSS I've used to leverage a point was Gnome - which runs on GNU under X, essentially meaning that it runs under Linux, BSD and Solaris.
the fact that GNU/Linux is the first free OS to have interface and user accessibilities guidelines for all apps may make it more prominent, but nothing prevents those same guidelines to be implemented under BSD and Solaris - on the contrary, it is even encouraged.
If you consider GCC, Webkit, ECMAscript, Gtk+, NetBSD, TCP/IP, Samba and X11 part of Linux, then is MacOS X Linux? Nope, it's Unix (some BSD, some GNU, some KDE, some MIT, some Apple).

Quote:
People should just stop comparing all the operating systems to one another. They each have their place in the world....sort of. My linux box runs my webserver, i play games on my xp box, and my mac adds style to my living room.

That's all right and good; personally I run Linux as my desktop, media and server systems (laptop too), and game on... Linux too. Sometimes I can't make one of the few games I own run on Linux, and then I boot in my much unused XP partition (last time was... February?). However, for those interested, there are actually quite a few games under Linux, and even great games (running Nexuiz with all details maxed out requires a hefty GPU).
Comparing OSes is never a bad idea: Solaris is very good for high availability workstations, MacOS includes a very well designed GUI and interesting GUI tools, GNU/Linux is exceedingly modular, BSD is just stable (as in, ROCK stable) and backward compatible... Windows is, well... pre-installed.

Quote:
kansur0, i'd have to disagree with you on the 3rd party software reliance comment. I think that's what makes an OS stronger...choice. Great that I'm not stuck with using iTunes exclusively (although, I do use it to encode tunes for my cell phone). Both linux and windows have great 3rd party support, and hopefully there'll be more of it for the mac....and yes, I know there IS 3rd party stuff for the mac.

Interestingly, there is now much more 3rd party support on the Mac since MacOS is now a Unix OS. A lot of this support comes from hybrid/FOSS developers making their code run on MacOS, and Apple ensuring that MacOS remains a true Unix (bettering their X11 support, increasing POSIX conformance, making use of Free code, following specs...).
This widens the audience for the Mac, and contributes to its renewed success, that and sexier hardware and lower prices (it's not three times more expensive than PCs anymore, only 30%-50% more).
June 8, 2007 5:40:40 PM

Sigh, I was hoping that would've been the end of this, but ya just don't want to let it go.

I could type arguments back and forth with you until my hands are numb and it wouldn't accomplish anything. You selectively mis-interpret what I am trying to say, using your own slant so that you never have to give any concessions. So I'm trying to not do this as much now. Besides, as I said, I wouldn't get anywhere. You clearly have vastly more knowledge about all things computer related than I do. I'm but a lowly Windows user who knows enough to make his own system and install the OS and some games. I don't mess around in Linux. I don't touch Apple products. I don't need to or want to.

Maybe I can try and come up with something that we'll all agree to so things don't end on such a sour note. Spending an hour composing a response to every line you all have typed isn't exactly my ideal way to spend such a nice Friday afternoon.

Microsoft is rarely the source of new ideas. Often they're not even the first company to implement them first. However, in most cases, they are the company which brings the technology to the attention of hundreds of millions of users. Sure, there's stuff like Google Desktop Search, but that isn't an out-of-the-box standard. Microsoft brings GUI enhancements, as well as general features and refinements which are perhaps overdue, but rarely implemented on such a massive scale. While OS X had Spotlight long before Vista came out (although you could get instant-search through a public beta of Windows Desktop Search about a half year before you could get Spotlight on OS X), in the end it's Vista which will bring instant searching to the house of Average Joe.

Please don't think of me as a Microsoft fanboy, because I do get as upset at them for the crap they make me go through on a semi-regular basis, just as much as the rest of you. I merely have a different set of standards for my technology companies, and can't stand the elitist, snobby attitude that Apple has. I support Microsoft because they can improve their software much easier than Apple can improve the attitude of itself and its customers.

Ah well, in the end it matters very little because nobody will really give much thought to my opinion. I'm sure you've heard all these arguments a dozen times in a dozen different flavors, right?
June 8, 2007 10:09:32 PM

Twile,

Some numbers for you, several folks have put up web hits by OS:

XP : 80%
Win2K & Win2K3: 10%
Other: 8.2%
Vista: 1.8%

These number vary some based on the primary content of sites tracking the hits by OS, but at no point does Vista increase beyond a high of 3%. Microsoft's 20 million 1st month numbers game is a pretty clear indication of just how worried they are about Vista. The retail numbers aren't there and 20 million PCs were NOT even solid in the US that 1st Month (not even close). The license numbers came from a 4 month realization and when XP was released there were 110 million PCs vs. today which is 220 million (in the US). To say Vista sales are bad is an incredible understatement.

So whatever is in Vista, people just either don't care, or don't want it, or just sick of more revenue generation schemes.

More interesting numbers, the number of true multi-threaded apps natively available to consumers is higher on OS X than on WinXP & Vista combined!! Considering CPU manufacturers are pushing more cores where does this leave Vista and XP?

Do you or anyone really feel that 5+ years in the making and this is the best Microsoft have to offer?

And I doubt you can truely understand my displeasure with Microsoft's development tools (Visual Studio) -- you think their OS's are buggy, their dev tools are even WORSE! I regularly waste days figuring out bugs in VS 2005, reporting the bugs via MSDN feedback, getting bug confirmation, and ultimate bug resolution or a promise that is will be address in the next Beta build. Most of my day is waste doing R&D figuring out why a particular feature was 1/2 way implemented (CSS for .NET 2.0 controls for example), or why the page designer can't select a control in VS 2005 IDE, or...list goes on and on and on...you have NO idea my level of frustration with all the Microsoft junk.

Sure, I run into issues with XCore on the OS X side also, but rarely is it so obvious as Microsoft's -- and many times Microsoft's 1/2 implemented features are "by design" or "functions as intended".

Microsoft are at a crossroads and there is EVERY indication Ballmer is taking them down the WRONG path.
June 11, 2007 6:06:55 PM

Quote:
Twile,
So whatever is in Vista, people just either don't care, or don't want it, or just sick of more revenue generation schemes.


With so many dipshits spouting off about how Vista is expensive and doesn't offer anything not already included in XP, how it's a waste of time and money that just leaves you furious and doesn't work with your hardware and software, how it requires a brand new computer just to run, I'm surprised 1.8% of computer users have made the switch already. People love to hate Microsoft, people love to report interesting news (what's more attention-grabbing, "Vista will run on your computer" or "5 reasons why you'll need a new PC for Vista") and people love to love Apple. Headlines and stories about how Macs are cheaper than inferior Vista computers, Vista ripping off OS X, and Vista having massively crippling features are all that is needed to scare off customers. Seriously, I've had numerous computer users--smart people too, who know their stuff--who thought that they couldn't watch downloaded video, play MP3s or install cracked copies of Flash if they had Vista. The level of lies and ignorance is just disgusting.

Quote:

More interesting numbers, the number of true multi-threaded apps natively available to consumers is higher on OS X than on WinXP & Vista combined!! Considering CPU manufacturers are pushing more cores where does this leave Vista and XP?

Do you or anyone really feel that 5+ years in the making and this is the best Microsoft have to offer?


Where does this leave Vista and XP? With >80% market share, apparently.

And I don't feel this is the best Microsoft could have done. I wanted them to rewrite their whole damn OS from scratch, using proven standards whenever possible and throwing previously accepted knowledge to the wind. But that's not what they thought was best. Oh well.

Quote:

And I doubt you can truely understand my displeasure with Microsoft's development tools (Visual Studio) -- you think their OS's are buggy, their dev tools are even WORSE!


You're right, perhaps I can't understand your displeasure. I only used Visual Studio 2005 for 100-200 hours when I was writing a game. It did have some quirks but overall it was a great experience, even though it was on Vista (oh NOES). Ran it for a week with Aero and 512 MB of RAM and it was pretty happy... liked it even more when I doubled the memory again. But I don't pretend to be a real dev, so perhaps I just don't properly feel your pain.

Ultimately though, this isn't about the devs, this is about end users and the experiences they get. I feel it's my responsibility to let as many people know what I've found to be true about Vista, given the disinformation about it which spreads and festers without limit (just last week, a friend tried to convince me that Halo 2 was the only game which would run on Vista). I run it on what is now a low-end computer, it was mid-range when I purchased it in January 2005. With a reasonable graphics card and CPU, 1 GB of RAM, it runs just fine with Aero and all the bells and whistles. It doesn't have any hardware compatibility problems, few software issues (and it always points me to the appropriate updates and patches), and is far faster and more feature-rich than my XP installs are. Four months in and not regretting the installation at all, I've only gone back to XP on two occasions (to nab some files, and to delete a device driver which Vista told me not to install but I did anyway). My Vista experience has been hands-down better and more rich-feeling than XP ever did, it's a shame that people are so paranoid and MS-hating that they don't even give it a try.
June 11, 2007 7:37:52 PM

i've tried out vista and didn't find it to be all that better than XP. it seemed like the same os with an updated look. I know it's supposed to have better functionality but the added drm stuff takes away from whatever speed it might've gained from what I can tell.

Apple's suck too. More controlling than microsoft is. I can't even change my hardware for god sake, and the game availability is crap.

If it had more commercial programs and games out for it, I'd go linux.
June 11, 2007 10:26:23 PM

I have Vista installed on one of my desktop Machines (mostly use it for testing my software/installs) -- has a nicer GUI for sure - very Mac like :) 

Had to remove it from one of my laptops as I just could never get Vista to work well and it was horribly slow even with 2GB RAM and a "Vista Ready" logo. Not to mention I could NOT find drivers for the wireless card.

But if Vista is the best Microsoft can do after 5+ years, they'll have a hard time retaining their "leverage". Not many folks want to pay for DRM enforcement (you may not have hit the issues but I have and so have others even on legit owned content), nor a slower OS even when better hardware is tossed at it. Every test to date has shown Vista slower than XP even with updated drivers (there is only so much one can do to a driver when the OS is so fat with code bloat).

This "might" change when more games are developed for 64bit address space where huge amounts of texture/object data can be store in RAM. This is where Vista 64bit will start to show it's strength -- it was smart of Microsoft to include 64bit version with 32bit version and announce they plan to NOT produce any more 32bit OS's.

ghost9,

What Mac do you have? A G4 or something?

Intel based Mac's are VERY expandable and upgradable -- I've added 3 hard drives, 4 more GB RAM, 2nd Firewire card, Audio card, Mackie Control surface, Motu Ultralite, two 500GB USB 2.0 external drives, 4 camcorders, two cameras, M-Audio Axiom Keyboard, Microsoft keyboard, Logitech mouse, Dell 24" LCD in addition to Mac 30", Oki 5800ldn color laster printer without a single problem or hickup. What is your definition of "expandable" ?? I would think for 90% PC buyers/owners the MacPro is more than enough for expandability. If you're into swapping motherboards sure, you're limited -- but >10% PC owners actually do swap motherboards.

BTW, OS X is Linux for the most part.

There are many games out that are Mac UB. But you could say XBOX dominates the choice of games, not a PC. Good games making it to the PC are shrinking. For better or worse, consoles seem to be drawing more and more games developers. So the same complaint you have about games on the Mac can be said about games on the PC.

Rob
June 12, 2007 2:28:17 PM

Quote:


ghost9,

What Mac do you have? A G4 or something?

Intel based Mac's are VERY expandable and upgradable -- I've added 3 hard drives, 4 more GB RAM, 2nd Firewire card, Audio card, Mackie Control surface, Motu Ultralite, two 500GB USB 2.0 external drives, 4 camcorders, two cameras, M-Audio Axiom Keyboard, Microsoft keyboard, Logitech mouse, Dell 24" LCD in addition to Mac 30", Oki 5800ldn color laster printer without a single problem or hickup. What is your definition of "expandable" ?? I would think for 90% PC buyers/owners the MacPro is more than enough for expandability. If you're into swapping motherboards sure, you're limited -- but >10% PC owners actually do swap motherboards.


actually i think the last one I've used might've been a g4 :)  What you say sounds good, but where do you have to buy the parts? the mac store? For a pc I can mix and match parts from many different companies to build my computer. Can you do that with a mac? I'm a gamer so I tend to build gaming machines with high end SLI or xfire vid cards and high end memory so on and so on. You say that pc games are slimming, that may be true, but Mac game availability is a sliver compared to windows. If you really think mac game availability holds a candle to pc's, you're probably not a gamer.

I know oS X and linux are pretty much the same code. based off of unix right? Don't get me wrong i'm not a mac hater. I'm a graphic designer and find both mac and pc work just fine for my design work. But apple has a much tighter grip on how people can build they're systems and what people can do hardware wise. Not that they aren't expandable, but that everything for macs has to be bought through mac stores, unless I'm mistaken. m$ is trying to make it the same way with vista from what I've read. I'm not looking forward to the day when they start disabling my hardware. But macs also have a tight grip on drm. Look at itunes. you can't play those songs on any other player even though you've purchased them. I find a lot of mac software to be overly invasive under the guise of user friendliness.

i'd love to see more drive for linux, or mac loosen it's grip, or m$ make an os for the user and not the corporations that want to control the user. I want my computer to run only the things I want when I want and how I want. unfortunately I don't have much choice anymore.
June 12, 2007 2:50:33 PM

Quote:
I have Vista installed on one of my desktop Machines (mostly use it for testing my software/installs) -- has a nicer GUI for sure - very Mac like :) 


I don't really know what about the Vista GUI is "Mac like" as everyone seems to say. Last I checked, the Mac GUI was a random hodgepodge of imitation brushed metal, pinstripe backgrounds, and white plastic look. Maybe I'm just behind on the times. Vista, on the other hand, is very... well.. Windows-like. All the elements in the GUI look more or less like XP, with a bit of polish and glass added to them. Examples, please, of what they swiped from Apple? 'cuz I'm sick of hearing this argument without any examples...

Quote:
Had to remove it from one of my laptops as I just could never get Vista to work well and it was horribly slow even with 2GB RAM and a "Vista Ready" logo.


Damn, what kind of stuff do you do on your laptop? As I said before, I was able to do WMP 11/Firefox/VS 2005 debugging for a week running in Aero with 512 MB of PC 2700. It wasn't pleasant, but it was comparable to my XP machine running with twice the RAM. Bumping it up to 1 GB and I rarely have any hangs or delays.

Quote:
Every test to date has shown Vista slower than XP even with updated drivers (there is only so much one can do to a driver when the OS is so fat with code bloat).


Let's not forget SuperFetch. Here on Tom's they showed that, especially with a low amount of RAM (1 GB) SuperFetch was able to decrease subsequent program start times by as much as a factor of 2 or 3. You don't get this on XP. In my unofficial experience Vista's program startup times are nearly the same as with XP (most everything starts in a second or two, beyond which who cares?).

Also in my experience, navigating in Windows explorer is smoother because it's driven by your graphics card, not your CPU. Even with more fancy, pointless fade effects and transparent regions and glowing things, it's a smoother browsing experience than I ever had under XP.

Finally, in my experience, Vista is brilliant with using my available resources, especially RAM. As I said, with SuperFetch it realizes that my computer is idling and only using 350 MB of 1 GB worth of RAM, so it loads up my frequently used apps... it's much faster to dump the contents from the RAM if you choose something else than to load the contents from the hard drive, after all. Also, my XP installs tend to idle at around a half gig of RAM in use. When I fire up a game, if the game takes more than is available, it just tosses stuff into virtual RAM... 1.2 GB in use, yay. Vista, however, doesn't have this problem so much. Before I launch a game, Vista might be taking 350 or 400 MB of RAM, but after I quit, often its RAM usage drops down to 250 MB in use. I might be wrong, but what this suggests to me is that Vista finds unimportant stuff and just dumps it or stops it or whatever, freeing up more resources for my games so I don't hit that 1 GB limit. What exactly it stops doing to get this extra 100+ MB of RAM, I would like to know, but it doesn't seem to negatively impact my usage at all.

Quote:
If you're into swapping motherboards sure, you're limited -- but >10% PC owners actually do swap motherboards.


I'd wager this is what he/she is talking about. Keep in mind that a lot of people here are among that 10% of PC owners (which, humorously, is way larger than the number of Mac owners, and we're just a small subset of PC users). I dunno about other people, but I find it totally unacceptable that in 2007, after all this preaching Apple has done about "open this" and "DRM-free that" and such, there are such restrictions on building a computer from scratch and putting OS X on it. Sure, you can swap out a graphics card or mouse or monitor, but can you really muck around with the internals of the system? :/  For many people on this site, that's where the fun begins.

Quote:

There are many games out that are Mac UB. But you could say XBOX dominates the choice of games, not a PC. Good games making it to the PC are shrinking. For better or worse, consoles seem to be drawing more and more games developers. So the same complaint you have about games on the Mac can be said about games on the PC.


I would have to disagree entirely about saying that about the PC. The PC is still a ripe platform for all sorts of good games, many of which are being co-released on the 360 and the PC. Microsoft probably would prefer it, actually, if people bought Vista and the PC version rather than an Xbox and its version... Vista is much more profitable per unit than the Xbox hardware after all. Mac games are more or less limited to things from id and Blizzard, unless there's been a massive flood of developers using OpenGL which I haven't heard about.

As a gamer, as far as I'm concerned Microsoft is a driving force in that they keep developing DirectX for the PC, hardware and software for the Xbox, and XNA and Live for both. Apple, meanwhile, hasn't taken any measures I've seen to embrace game designers and bring them over. In fact, with the exception of the Mac Pro (which is waaaay out of reach of most people), none of their systems even have room for a decent graphics setup... much less something to push 60 fps at 1080p with high levels of AA and AF, which seems to be the sort of thing Apple would need to be consistent with its high(and fixed, yay LCDs)-resolution displays and obsession with things being fluid and pleasantly rounded. Apple is content to let gamers sit and rot.

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DRM


I want to know more about this, I really do. People keep muttering DRM and how Vista is just swarming with it. From what I've been able to read, the only DRM stuff is for potential future implementations, i.e. secure video paths from HD-DVD and Blu-ray, and won't affect a single thing you could run under XP. As much as I dislike the idea of having a secure, drive-to-monitor video path for high-def movies (note, this is because I want to download pirated HD content, which is hardly something I could use to complain to Microsoft about), it doesn't seem to be something that can be avoided, and it's no different than the usage of HDCP in stand-alone players. Please enlighten me though, what other DRM stuff does Vista add? This would be useful and interesting to me.
June 12, 2007 2:59:13 PM

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apple has a much tighter grip on how people can build they're systems and what people can do hardware wise. Not that they aren't expandable, but that everything for macs has to be bought through mac stores, unless I'm mistaken. m$ is trying to make it the same way with vista from what I've read. I'm not looking forward to the day when they start disabling my hardware. But macs also have a tight grip on drm. Look at itunes. you can't play those songs on any other player even though you've purchased them. I find a lot of mac software to be overly invasive under the guise of user friendliness.


Heheh. Good points there, glad I don't have to do all the work of mentioning Apple issues.

I dunno about the Vista stuff, the only thing I've heard even remotely related to that is that with 64-bit versions of Vista, the device drivers have to be approved/digitally-signed/whatever. That's for two reasons, to keep people from bypassing things such as Vista's protected video path for copyrighted content, and to ensure that the drivers aren't trash.

The iTunes argument is a "tune" which has been sung so many times, yet it never loses truth... I've had Mac users try to defend it to me, saying that the music industry couldn't "trust" other manufacturers to make devices and stores to keep their music secure (strange then that they have no problems with iTunes, as it's possible to burn things to CDs and then rip them to DRM-free MP3s). Or that it isn't Apple's responsibility to open up their technology and share (strange also that these people are upset that DirectX is proprietary to Microsoft software). It's amazing to me how so many Open Source nuts are crazy about Apple, who holds the lock and key to so much of their hardware and software.
June 12, 2007 3:46:23 PM

There is a huge difference between a MacPro and a G4 and even the G5.

None of the items I listed are from a Mac Store. My RAM was from NewEgg, Firewire from another online store, Audio from Sweatwater, monitor from Dell, and on and on.

Crossfire is possible and I've heard that 7950 works, but to get an 8800 to work -- more difficult it has been done but IS very worky. I'm using a X1900XTX in it. I'm a gamer, but I'm not into the endless stream of 3D shooters that for the most part look and feel the same. But games like Supreme Commander, C&C 3, GTR2, FSX, etc. work just fine and run without a performance hit. But like I said, the gaming debate really is NOT a debate if you use Boot Camp on the MacPro because it then really is just a PC that can also be a Mac.

What can't be done is a Motherboard change -- it really isn't for a hardware tweaker, but the MacPro works fine for anyone that wants to add the PCI-E.

iTunes, you did know that Steve Jobs worked out a DRM Free deal with EMI? For an extra 30 cents you get DRM free music and there are a ton of programs you can convert to whatever media format you like. You have a G4, what Mac software are you running that is "invasive"? I have no popups, no reminders, the only software running when I boot my Mac is Finder and my Audio Interface.

Funny, most people buying a Mac view it as a choice and freedom from leverage and mediocrity of Microsoft. But Microsoft is controlling you -- DX10 for Vista only is perhaps the most obvious example. Did you know that Microsoft can and do have a DX10 build for WinXP, but will not make it available (yes I do have insider knowledge) -- that really is controlling the user. Did you know that Messenger communicates with 4 different servers some just to download ads and junk to your PC? Do you know what Geniune Advantage is all about? Monitors you and your habits to determine if your a legit user and can be "stepped" up to do more (read Steve Ballmers take on this "feature").

My Vista ultimate loads in about 3 minutes once I've got my dev environment installed (VS 2005) and consumes 986MB before I do anything.

DRM, well you're not likely to see much native Blu-Ray support in Vista as Microsoft have once again chosen a dead end standard with HD-DVD. But that is fairly typical of Microsoft to pick the cheaper, less capable format. Lates sales numbers of blu-ray DVD = 70% vs. HD-DVDs 30%. Even Microsoft can't leverage the HD-DVD to consumers because that is a Market they don't control. Blu-Ray is 2-4X faster read/writes with double the capacity over HD-DVD, -- so why did Microsoft back HD-DVD? Because Apple are backing Blu-Ray??

Try playing a protected HD movie or other DVD if you don't have a full HDCP compliant set of hardware -- there have been several movies I could never get to play (Will Ferrel comes to mind) no matter what I did. Tried to make a copy of one CD via Roxio and it just wouldn't let me -- so I used Roxio on WinXP and it worked fine. So yeah, I've hit the Vista DRM wall a few times.

Not sure I understand, Apple either have their desktop system (MacPro) or they have laptops, so I what do you mean "room to grow" -- are you talking about laptops? If so, they seem to be about as roomy as any other laptop.

As far as MacPro prices, they're not "out of reach" to anyone that could afford a two dual core or two quad core CPUs. There are many other benefit to the MacPro - case design and layout is so functional and clean with all aluminum construction. It runs super quiet compared to any other PC I've got.

The 30" HD cinema display was out before anything offered on the PC?? You lost me again? 1080p is 1920 x 1080 -- Mac 30" HD 2560 x 1600 and Quake IV runs just fine because it actually uses all 4 CPUs.

Twile and ghost9, you might want to gather up your Vista and MacPro facts. Do either of you actually have a MacPro and use it daily?
June 12, 2007 9:23:41 PM

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None of the items I listed are from a Mac Store. My RAM was from NewEgg, Firewire from another online store, Audio from Sweatwater, monitor from Dell, and on and on.


That's something I did not know. Last time I really looked into macs you couldn't do anything with them that wasn't apple sanctioned. According to you that's changed so I'm happy for it. But I'm curious, could you build a mac from scratch if you wanted to without going to apple? Does anyone else sell mac's systems without going through apple? It still seems like your hardware options are extremely limited with a mac from what I see on customizing sites, but I've never tried building one. If it's possible to build one from scratch I'd actually be interested in trying that.

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I'm a gamer, but I'm not into the endless stream of 3D shooters that for the most part look and feel the same. But games like Supreme Commander, C&C 3, GTR2, FSX, etc. work just fine and run without a performance hit. But like I said, the gaming debate really is NOT a debate if you use Boot Camp on the MacPro because it then really is just a PC that can also be a Mac.

I love 3d shooters. My main interest is just killing things. There are many other games that come out for windows as well. I don't know much about the mac pros but that's pretty cool if you get the same performance and functionality out of them. We can make a list of all the pc games vs mac games if you want, but it's common knowledge the pc library dwarfs the mac library. Plus many of those xbox games you mentioned often become available on pc for those who don't want to by a console. Not to mention the fact that mac games usually take quite a bit of time longer to come out vs the pc games. I think mac games come out, what, maybe a year later atleast? Anyway, if you're a real gamer there's not really another option besides a pc. If there a few games on mac that you like, that's great. More power to you. But if you want to be able to play any game, you're gonna have to use a pc. And to get the best hardware for games, you're stuck with windows. It's sad but true. I've actually considered giving up games because I absolutely do not want vista. We'll see how that goes.

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iTunes, you did know that Steve Jobs worked out a DRM Free deal with EMI? For an extra 30 cents you get DRM free music and there are a ton of programs you can convert to whatever media format you like. You have a G4, what Mac software are you running that is "invasive"? I have no popups, no reminders, the only software running when I boot my Mac is Finder and my Audio Interface.


so now you have to pay extra to get rid of some crap that shouldn't even be there in the first place.. yipee. i have my doubts that that's all that's running. Of course i don't know about the macpros, but i have OSX installed on a mac and I'll constantly get pop ups and reminders for system updates etc. It's doing more than just what i tell it to do, and the same amount I've had to deal with in xp. My point is that macs, just like windows, run items, checks, whatever without permission or informing the user. I haven't tried to take osx apart to find out how to disable everything mainly because I barely ever use it. but if you know all the ins and outs of a mac and can make sure only the processes running are the specific ones you want running, i'd be interested in hearing some tips. Also, I'm curious if you know for sure that you're mac isn't running checks or monitoring you. Just because it doesn't notify you, doesn't mean it's not doing it. I'd have to track down a mac expert to really know since most of my dealings are in windows and I know there's tons of crap that runs in the background unless I uninstall and disable it.

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Funny, most people buying a Mac view it as a choice and freedom from leverage and mediocrity of Microsoft. But Microsoft is controlling you -- DX10 for Vista only is perhaps the most obvious example. Did you know that Microsoft can and do have a DX10 build for WinXP, but will not make it available (yes I do have insider knowledge) -- that really is controlling the user. Did you know that Messenger communicates with 4 different servers some just to download ads and junk to your PC? Do you know what Geniune Advantage is all about? Monitors you and your habits to determine if your a legit user and can be "stepped" up to do more (read Steve Ballmers take on this "feature").

I think you misunderstand my position. I am not an m$ fan. I hate vista. And yes I know they could do dx10 on XP, though I did not know they had. I know they made dx10 only for vista to force people to upgrade. I personally hate m$, but windows supports more of what I like to do.
I did not know about messenger, but I also don't use it. I uninstall it every time I do a reformat. I didn't know for sure about geniune advantage, but I had an inkling that's what it was all about. Like I said, I'm not defending m$ in any way. I hate m$, but I don't think apple is any better, they just have better pr.

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It runs super quiet compared to any other PC I've got.

I'm curious, do you monitor the temperatures?

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Twile and ghost9, you might want to gather up your Vista and MacPro facts. Do either of you actually have a MacPro and use it daily?

Again, you seem to have the wrong idea. I'm not defending vista. Not sure why you went off on that tirade. I think perhaps you've gotten into one too many fanboy fights. No I don't have a macpro, but i do have this old g4(i think it is) with OSX installed. (hence a lot of question marks throughout my post) I really only use it to mess around with so I'm familiar with both systems. If macs have come so far that we can now mix and match the hardware to our liking, then that's really quite nice. However I still do not think apple is any better than m$. They're all trying to achieve the same goal. Control the consumers. I don't have any specific examples at the moment, but there have been many times that apple has suppressed information from release just to keep their user friendly "cool" image. And just take a look at the apple home page... Have you ever seen such propagandist articles before? It's a tad ridiculous. No, I'm not saying m$ is any better, hell they're worse in the sense they do whatever the hell they want and don't try to cover it up.

If there comes a point where I can use the software I need for work on linux, or the open source software gets to that point in quality, I'll most definately be making a move. I have considered moving to macs quite often, but there just isn't enough reason to at the moment. Perhaps when I'm faced with the choice of upgrading to vista or my pc won't work, then I'll look at going mac or really making the open source leap. I'm also somewhat stuck with windows just to keep compatible with my office. Granted it's not impossible to be compatible with a mac, but it's much easier to stay pc and have it all work.

it's a sad world for operating systems right now, imo.
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