At Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles today, Rick Rashid, the head of Microsoft Research, reminded the audience that he helped write the Mach kernel 25 years ago. That piece of code is now at the core of Apple's OS X, the operating system which runs both the Mac and the IPhone. What he should be asking: Why didn't his employer think of that? (Photo by Ina Fried/CNET News)
Psystar, the Florida-based maker of computers which can run Apple's OS X operating system, has hired Carr & Ferrell, a Palo Alto-based law firm, to respond to lawsuits from the (official) Mac manufacturer. The firm previously managed to squeeze a settlement from Apple on behalf of its client Burst, a video-streaming technology developer. If Psystar loses the court battle, it willl likely have to recall all the computers it has shipped — all 10 of them. If Apple loses, we might see more clones in the future. [Computerworld]
Accessing PsyStar's website has become problematic, though it's not clear if it's due to court inunction or just the amount of public interest the company has generated. You have to give PsyStar credit for their moxie, though — running Windows, Linux or OS X on the same, relatively inexpensive and modifiable box as demonstrated in a promotional clip from PsyStar is the stuff übergeek dreams are made of.
Out of 250 surveyed companies, 87 percent report owning Apple computers. That's up from 48 percent In 2006. In BusinessWeek's story on Apple's creep into corporate cubicles, Dimension Data CIO Mark Slaga explains how Apple is gaining ground without really trying: "Steve Jobs doesn't need a sales force because he already has one: employees like the ones in my company." (Though, as it happens, Apple is looking for office space in Manhattan's Midtown, which could conceivably house salespeople.)
So, I updated my Macs to the new Leopard operating system, then synced my calendars with Apple's .Mac online service. You can see the results. Fake Steve Jobs has actually acknowledged there are bugs, which makes me wonder if Leopard hasn't Time Machined me into some alternate universe. iCal is cool — my stupid Vista PC can only find one of my brother's birthdays next week. Piece of junk. My new calendar makes total sense to anyone with a basic grasp of string theory.
Best bug in the new Apple operating system: In some cases if you go into iCal and delete a desktop calendar — a natural action, since Leopard encourages you to use more elegant networked calendars instead — iCal doesn't just delete the calendar. It cancels every meeting on the calendar, even those created by someone else. A 100-person company I know of spent the day recovering after early adopters spammed each other with iCal automailings and employees erased meetings set up by their own managers, even those who hadn't upgraded. Best commentard post explaining how this is not Apple's fault it's theirs gets a $25 gift certificate to iTunes, provided I deem the post worthy. It has to score at least 4 out of 5 Daring Fireballs on my Apple-apologist-o-meter.
Have you missed John Hodgman, The Daily Show's "expert," since the writers' strike started? Well, he's back in action, reprising his role as "PC," joining Robert Scoble's bid to urge Vista users to not give up on Microsoft. The campaign appears to make use of an especially vicious form of keyword targeting: Here, it appears on CNET's Windows Vista page.
Mac fanboys are in a predictable tizzy over the announcement that Mac OS X Leopard, the newest version of Apple's operating system, will be out on October 26. Apple's homepage is counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds. An unwise strategy. The counter, after all, only reminds Apple's most dedicated users that Apple delayed the release — its first since April 2005 — from June until October to free up resources for the launch of the iPhone. By any rights, that counter ought to remind us that Leopard is 108 days, 4 hours, 1 minute, and 53 seconds late.
The Silicon Valley tech corps is doubtless too exhausted and giddy from liveblogging today's Steve Jobs keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference to rake it over the coals. Please, allow us. Here's a recap of what Jobs announced — and how much impact it will have on the Valley.1. Almost a million Apple developers. Jobs threw this out casually, but the number of programmers registered with Apple for updates is up 25 percent in a year. That's a huge victory for Apple, which has long suffered from a lack of Mac apps compared to Windows. Impact: 9 Surprise: 5 2. Apple's got game. Every five years or so, Jobs trots out John Carmack of Id Software, who proclaims his renewed enthusiasm for the Mac platform. The only problem: Jobs does this only every five years or so. Today's promises of more Mac games should be viewed in that light: Apple owes its weak lineup of Mac games to its on-again, off-again approach to videogame developers. Impact: 3 Surprise: 1 3. Log into your Mac from anywhere. Most of Jobs's Mac OS X Leopard was a rehash of already announced features. But this was new and significant: You'll be able to use Apple's .Mac service to log into your home Mac from any other Mac. That's a good reason for families with one Mac to add another. In other words, unlike most of Leopard's ho-hum new features, this one could actually lead to more Mac sales. Impact: 7 Surprise: 10 4. iPhone will run Web apps. A brilliant move that at once weakens Microsoft, strengthens Google, and quiets critics: Apple will let Ajax-ified Web applications like Gmail run on the iPhone. Some had demanded that Apple open up the iPhone to allow programmers to write native applications, a move Jobs resisted because of security and bandwidth concerns. By making the iPhone a platform for Web apps, Jobs is giving that nascent software platform a boost, while discouraging programmers from writing Windows-only apps. Impact: 9 Surprise: 8 5. Google and Apple integration — not! Less than two hours ago, every tech pundit on the planet was predicting that Google ZCEO Eric Schmidt would take the stage, Google and Apple would strike a deal to integrate Google's back-end Web services like email into the Mac, and Apple would make its .Mac service free. He didn't show, and it didn't happen. Impact: 0 Surprise: 10