Why does Gates worry?

Interesting thoughts from ITWire:

Well if Gates believes that Apple’s claims about Vista and Macintosh are a pack of lies he obviously thinks that they’re powerful lies because he appears worried. And why wouldn’t he be?

The part about a Vista upgrade being major surgery and the PC guy offeing to donate his peripherals if he doesn’t come through it has some real elements of truth.

Refering to the new I’m a PC, I’m a Mac ads (also in HD).

Bill Gates losing it

I’m admiring Bill Gates for his new project, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Rich people everywhere should learn from him: Give away all (or most of) your money.

But I seriously think Bill should leave Microsoft now. Why wait until July 2008? Now he’s just making a fool of himself. This is what he told Steven Levy of Newsweek the other day:

NEWSWEEK: If one of our readers confronted you in a CompUSA and said, “Bill, why upgrade to Vista?” what would be your elevator pitch?

Bill Gates: The most effective thing would be if I could sit down with them and just take them through the new look for a couple of minutes, show them the Sidebar, show them the way the search lets you go through lots of things, including lots of photos. Set up a parental control. And then I might edit a high-definition movie and make a little DVD that’s got photos. As I went through, they’d think, “Wow, is that something I could use, would that make a difference for me?”

That’s it? You have a sidebar with widgets, sorry – gadgets. You can search things, photos too? You have parental control? You can edit in HD? You can make DVDs? Come on. That’s it?

Lying in front of people

Bill also thinks Apple got all their ideas from Longhorn:

NEWSWEEK: In many of the Vista reviews, even the positive ones, people note that some Vista features are already in the Mac operating system.

Bill Gates: You can go through and look at who showed any of these things first, if you care about the facts. If you just want to say, “Steve Jobs invented the world, and then the rest of us came along,” that’s fine. If you’re interested, [Vista development chief] Jim Allchin will be glad to educate you feature by feature what the truth is. I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise. Let’s be realistic, who came up with [the] file, edit, view, help [menu bar]? Do you want to go back to the original Mac and think about where those interface concepts came from?

What an utterly STUPID thing to say! I’m speechless. This must be the most stupid lie Gates ever has told. “Security guys break the Mac every day?” Plain lie.

I’m sure Vista is much safer that XP. And if it’s safer than Mac OS X, then a big applause! Good for computers, good for people. But the CEO of one the world’s biggest companies can’t lie to Newsweek.

I’m a PC, I’m a Mac

Then Gates talks about the “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” ads.

NEWSWEEK: Are you bugged by the Apple commercial where John Hodgman is the PC, and he has to undergo surgery to get Vista?

Bill Gates: I’ve never seen it. I don’t think the over 90 percent of the [population] who use Windows PCs think of themselves as dullards, or the kind of klutzes that somebody is trying to say they are.

I can understand that lots of people don’t like the ads (and some of them ARE lame). But they’re not about PC users! They’re about the machines!! There’s a clue here. The ads always say “I’m a PC”, not “I’m a PC user”. Bill Gates doesn’t get it.

PC users are not klutzes. And not dullards. But PCs are more complicated to use than Macs, even though I understand that Bill Gates can’t admit that.

Bill Gates lying

John Gruber at Daring Fireball and Peter Cohen at MacWorld came to the same conclusion: Bill Gates is lying.

Or simply FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. My dictionary on FUD: “fear, uncertainty and doubt, usually evoked intentionally in order to put a competitor at a disadvantage”. Exactly. Joy of Tech is spot on.

Why Vista

I have a Windows Media Center with XP. Is there any reason why I should upgrade to Vista? The PC is wicked, so that’s not an issue. Are there any really good reasons to spend lots of money upgrading the Media Center?

Change Photoshop serial number from XP to Mac

…or the other way around. I applaud Adobe for doing this!! If you have a Windows license of Photoshop, and then switch to Mac OS X, you now can contact Adobe, and get a working serial for OS X. Or the other way around. Excellent! John Nack of Adobe has the good news on his blog:

In response to very popular demand (to the tune of 150+ requests on the Labs CS3 forum), I’m happy to say that Adobe is now making it possible for Windows customers of Photoshop CS2 to get a Mac CS3 beta serial number, and vice versa. To request a number, you can send mail to photoshopcs3beta@adobe.com & include your CS2 serial number.

We made this decision a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t want to publicize it widely until the staff was back at full strength after the holiday break. Please note that this is a manual process on our side right now, and we appreciate your patience as we handle requests.

Related: If you find that you want to switch an Adobe product license from Mac to Windows or vice versa, please contact Adobe Customer Service. They’ll walk you through the process.

Record companies – listening?

I wish more companies were thinking like this. The principle here is simple: We have a customer who bought something from us, and now he/she wants to change the carrier of the product. It’s almost no cost for Adobe. They will get good PR. And probably sell more software because people know they can change platform if they want.

Now imagine if records companies could start acting this clever? Stop acting like idiots and announce the following:

Do you have a huge stack of LPs you never play anymore? Sure you do. And you paid for those. The artists have already got their money for the making of the music. Now guess what: We are going to start being nice! As of monday 29. January 2007 you can upgrade your music. You have already paid for the art, so you only pay for the actual CD (or downloadable DRM-free file if your prefer), shipping and a small handling fee.

Go to www.musicupgrades.com, check if your LPs are covered with the new MusicUpgrades Plan, order stickers to the nearest central. We have one in most European countries and USA/Canada.

Yes, sure… Anyday now…

Interesting online GTD system

Tedium is a new web-based GTD system. You can access your lists from a modern browser on all platforms.

Tedium tasks

Simple interface, but maybe too simple for my taste? Not sure yet. I think the tasks should have had more importance (in style), and the buttons under them be less visible. But I must admit they have great taste in colors. ;-)

It worked flawlessly in Safari on Mac and Firefox on Win XP. Dragging things around works and editing is fast and responsive.

Todos kan be tagged with tags, which can be used like David Allen the way David Allen suggests you set things up with contexts.

Tedium tags

You can also set dates for tasks that need to be done before a certain date.

You can sign up for a free test account but I couldn’t figure out if it was always free, or if there was a fee after some time. Data can be exported out of the system. They haven’t got around to write an export feature, but they will send you your data if you cancel the account.

Try it out! I wish there were an offline system to go with it, but if you’re always online and trust Tedium to also be, this could be your next way to get things done.

Songbird

Songbird is a new media player for Mac, Windows and Linux, built on the same platform as Firefox. Beta is out now. Looks promising! Wonderful icons and website (let the world be beautiful!).

Get Songbird

Watch the screencast to have an idea of what it does. I just imported the whole iTunes library. Wicked fast and no problems.

Dear Aunt, let’s set so double the killer delete select all.

That’s what Windows Vista thought product manager Shanen Boettcher said: “Dear Aunt, let’s set so double the killer delete select all.” What he DID say was “Dear mom”. Reuters has the story:

Several tries at making the computer understand the simple salutation “Dear Mom” was read by Microsoft software as “Dear Aunt, let’s set so double the killer delete select all.” Attempts to correct or undo or delete the error only deepened the mess.

And Chris Messina has made his suggestion for a t-shirt already:

Windows Vista T-shirt speech recognition

Original at Flickr
Continue reading Dear Aunt, let’s set so double the killer delete select all.

Magic 8-ball on the secret “Zune” iPod killer

…if people look at it and their initial reaction is “Oh, it’s an iPod rip-off,” that’s a pretty crummy first impression. Does anyone at Microsoft realize that rip-offs aren’t considered cool?

A: MY SOURCES SAY NO.

Q: Then again, Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” By that standard the people on the Zune team must be a bunch of Michelangelos, eh?

A: CONCENTRATE AND ASK AGAIN.

Excellent analysis as always from John Gruber.

Media Centers NOT ready for primetime

The Inquirer reports that Media Center doesn’t sell. In Great Britain, only 150 000 have bought a Media Center PC, while over 2 million have bought a DVD recorders.

Although the comparison is a bit unfair (DVD recorders are much cheaper, and also typically sold almost everywhere. Even my grocery store at the corner sell them…), it proves a point: Media Centers are not for most people.

I got a Media Center four months ago. I love it. And hate it.

Media Center – things I like

The concept. The fact that we’re now able to record and time-shift programs. The kids can watch their favourite shows when they want, and don’t have to stop playing or eating to watch tv. And we can sleep when we should and still see those late-night movies later if we want.

Clean. I like the interface. The Media Center interface is the nicest thing Microsoft has made. It looks a zillion times better than Windows, and people I show it to, figure it out immediately.

The guide. The program guide is a great feature. After it’s set up (see the hate-list below too), it gives me quick view of everything on tv the next days.

Always something great to watch. If I’m bored and tired, I don’t have to watch “Walker Texas Ranger” reruns, but can choose between a bunch of Simpsons episodes, 30+ movies recorded that last months and interesting documentaries that always are aired when I’m sleeping or at work (why is primetime so filled with crap?)

Quiet. Thanks to Eirik, I got a Media Center with no fans. And so should you if you want one. It’s ok listening to the fan of the Xbox when you are running around shooting green monsters, beacuse – well, you can’t hear the fans. But when watching a quiet movie, it’s very annoying listening to the fans spinning and spinning. The only thing coming from the Media Center is the ticking of the harddisk. I can live with that.

Then – the things I don’t like…
Continue reading Media Centers NOT ready for primetime

Desktops are evolving

I think we will see this way of interacting with computers a lot in the years to come. It needs to be even better than this to become useful, but this is a good start. And imagine combining the ideas from BumpTop with ideas from Jaff Han and his team? A bright future!

What I like the best is the fact that you need to move more to use it: You use a pen and make circles, lines across the desktop. Not the static mouse we all have gotten so used to. In other words: More Africa in your computer.