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Thursday, January 12, 2006 

Microsoft and Apple, sitting in a tree...

Well, the Stevenote's over. Gerry O'Sullivan has good coverage, as do Mr. Tiernan and Mr. Mulley - who adds credence to the following prediction from the great Ars Technica:
"The obligatory ad for the new iMac was shown, and it was hilarious, setting Intel "free" from the "dull little tasks of the PC world." It will have the heads of Apple haters exploding like firecrackers on this, our Inteldepence Day."
We expect so.

Back to the keynote. iLife '06 added iWeb and became even more tied to Apple's subscription .Mac service, following the current fashion in the industry towards web services. iWork got some tweak or other, mumbled swiftly under Jobs' breath... The iPod got an FM tuner, but we're going to hang on in hopes of being soon able to buy a Griffin iFM (we actually saw one at MacWorld Paris in September).

We've gotten the first Intel Macs. The existing case designs of the iMac G5 and Aluminium PowerBook G4 got Intel Yonah CPUs stuck inside them, as well as upgraded RAM and graphics cards. The Intel Powerbook is now to be known as the Mac Book Pro, and it bears a little further comment.

Noting the peculiarities of some regressive parts of the specs (the loss of FireWire 800, the switch back to a single-layer DVD-burner) we're going to connect that with the absence of a 17" Intel laptop and make a bold suggestion: this is only a stop-gap product, introduced to quickly get an Intel Mac laptop out there. There's going to be 'proper' 15" and 17" Intel laptops coming (along with a new case design) later in the year, matching the new dark grey 'pro' colour scheme so now in vogue at Cupertino, and likely to be in OS X 10.5.

Just call us Crazy Apple Rumors.

We also got a kick out of this, which we at first thought a joke. Have iPod accessories finally jumped the shark? (And we say this as iPod Sock owners) Would any man (or woman) actually wear the thing? Maybe on Bingo night in The George, but surely not in any other locale...

On to the final point. Apple and Microsoft's have each been struggling to come out on top in the media format/DRM battles of recent times; with convergence, whoever owns the standard is going to rule the next IT golden egg, in the form of your living-room.

So far, it's all been going Apple's way with iPod/AAC/Fairplay and QuickTime/H.264, but Microsoft are nothing if not dogged. Their latest tactic is to strike into the heart of Apple's multimedia creation tool - the Mac - with their releasing (for free) a third-party WMV plugin for QuickTime. The war's not over yet.

p.s. Courtesy of AppleInsider - the iPhone?

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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