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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nothing Apple Works On Vista Right Now

In a follow up to the earlier report that Vista exploded Internet Explorer before viewing a Mac ad online, it appears that not of Apple's is working on the new OS:

Today's tech support document names a range of additional Windows applications from Apple that don't support that new operating system.

These include: QuickTime, the iPod shuffle reset utility, Bonjour for Windows, AirPort for Windows, the iDisk utility, AppleWorks for Windows, and Apple Software Update for Windows. The stand-alone iPod updater for iTunes 6 for Windows also isn't ready for Vista.
-- Apple's Windows Apps Not Vista Ready.

Ouch. I would think, given the number of iTunes seats are probably sitting on a Windows hard drive - that this is actually a pretty big deal. Least it pops the Microsoft conspiracy of the week.

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Thomas said...

Don't take this the wrong way, but Apple's come across as really defensive about Vista lately. They don't have software running there, they've actually sent out a press release telling iTunes users (not a small constituency) not to upgrade, and they've got at least one new commercial targeting Vista.

I'm sure we disagree to some extent about how much of a threat Microsoft's offering really is to Apple. But--rampant rumermongering and speculation here--maybe Apple thinks that Vista's marketing campaign is threatening enough to try and pop it.

The real theory I have is that the Aero Glass UI is disturbing to Apple on a subconscious level, since it means that OS X isn't the only "pretty" OS in the mainstream any more. I'm sure most Mac users would say that there's more to OS X than Aqua or brushed metal, but for a lot of new or casual users Vista's going to look very impressive.

Josh said...

Well of course they're defensive. Microsoft's just lifted a major amount of design work from them. Again.

I don't think this is a singular push. Everybody wants Apple products running on Vista - including Microsoft. MS has even sent engineers to Apple to help them resolve the problems.

And honestly - I don't think casual users will give two beans about Vista. They'll get whatever Best Buy sells them. There's no rush of casual users to Staples trying to upgrade. Event Microsoft's advertising dollars were spent largely to IT and OEM shops - not individuals.

Thomas said...

Well, we've all got our conspiracy theories.

Microsoft's just lifted a major amount of design work from them. Again.

That door swings both ways, in my opinion.

Josh said...

OK. Cite examples.

Thomas said...

It's not necessarily a matter of examples, because I think the whole debate is flawed (although the dock always struck me as a poor man's taskbar. Why they didn't keep the Apple menu still confuses me. It worked much better.)

My problem with the whole "Microsoft stole their design" argument is that it's specious. People who make it have picked and chosen their features for comparison. For example, Pogue's column a while back basically picked glowing icons and Sidebar widgets as proof that these had been "stolen." Right. Because you know, it's not like Windows had taskbar icons and gadgets for the last 11 years (Weatherbug, anyone?), or that mouseover events were some kind of grand revolution. Give me a break.

We could easily say, for example, that Windows 2000 added cursor shadows before OS X came out with shadows all over the operating system. Or that having backward and forward buttons in a file window, as with Explorer's browser integration that everyone got so up in arms about, was something that now appears on the Mac. Or there's the three window manipuation buttons in the upper right hand corner, just like Windows 95, including a window "minimize" animation that wasn't a part of OS 9. One could point out that Microsoft's emphasis on smart phones has been mocked and derided, but Apple comes out with something that's arguably more limited and everyone goes wild. We could say those are shitty arguments, too, but that's the same kind of thing I keep seeing leveled at Vista. Frankly, I don't think they look or work much alike at all. It's not like all of a sudden everything's pinstripes and brushed metal.

When Microsoft adds a task manager like Flip3D to show off Aero Glass, everyone screams that it's a ripoff of Expose, even though they look and function nothing alike. But when Apple quietly builds multiple mouse button support into its OS, or starts selling a multi-button mouse (albeit one cleverly disguised as buttonless), nobody points out that hey, maybe that idea came from someone else's design.

For too many people, Apple's become so idolized as the end-all of good design that whenever their main competitor makes an upgrade, it's supposed to be a ripoff. I'm not saying you're doing that. But we both know that the overzealousness of Mac fans is legendary, and that I'm not that far off, if at all. Meanwhile, people seem to work very hard to forget how much Microsoft spends on research, and how many of these ideas--including 3D interface touches--have been wandering around their labs for years.

I'm not trying to be a Microsoft apologist. But I am also one of those people for whom Windows has always seemed more usable than either OS X or previous Mac incarnations. I've got horror stories about the Finder. And it's not like I don't come into contact with them--our whole video editing system at work is based around Final Cut Pro, for heaven's sakes. I sold Macs in the campus computer store in college. My girlfriend owns a Macbook, which after only six months has already lost the ability to sleep properly.

So when Apple's plugins won't load and the first assumption is that Microsoft crippled it, that's all well and good. True, they've acted poorly before, and they'll probably do it again. Of course, if Office:Mac is broken on Leopard in favor of AppleWorks and Keynote, people will be all up in Microsoft's grill about how they didn't do their job properly programming for the OS. We'll just have to ignore Apple's faults, and make sure to be hypersensitive about the Evil Empire.

Thomas said...

I expect a "Longest comment" award for that one. Good lord. Just tell me to shut the hell up already. I won't argue.

Thomas said...

My, it's too bad I don't have my own blog for these half-digested, incoherent points of view. I'd better leave them all here instead.

Okay. Shutting up now. Sorry. Had kind of a long day at work today.

Josh said...

LOL. Ok. Award granted. I'll even try and sidestep how C# is just "embraced" Java, Zune is an "embraced" iPod and Vista stole more Spotlight and Dashboard than anyone did drop shadows. Honestly, Xbox Live is the most innovative thing the company has ... um ... no, it's pretty much the only thing.

But I'll sidestep all that ;) Look, I use a Mac and PC and then a Mac again all day long 10 hours a day. I didn't get a Mac for home use because I hate Microsoft. I got it because it was cheap and then worked - for me - a hundred times better. I actually don't hate them - as more than a few co-workers point out, I owe them some livelihood. But I really think they know a good idea when they steal it.

Microsoft does several things quite brilliantly. They are, hands down, the best B2B partners in the business. And by busines, I mean any business. They know how to make a client partner smile.

That doesn't change the fact that every MS OS that comes out seems less attractive to me than the one that came before (since, technically Win2K).