2006: the Year of the Big Contenders?

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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I was being entertained by the anti-Windows thread here:
http://www.applefritter.com/node/9997
when I also happened upon this alarm about another Windows virus threat here:
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/0d644d5e-7bb3-11da-ab8e-0000779e2340.html
I was just about to email my PC friends with this info and suggest to them that maybe they it was really time to consider switching to a Mac--perhaps a mac mini, I thought of suggesting--but I hesitated from sending the suggestions because two things occurred to me.
First, Macs won't be Macs too much longer. They should definitely wait until after the Macintel eruption onto the scene before considering Macs. And second, the new Windows OS will be coming out soon as well. (Wasn't it going to be called Longhorn? What are they calling it now?)
What is the likelihood that the new Windows OS is going to be revolutionarily safer? Does anyone think that Microsoft is going to pull off an OS X of their own? Is it possible they are going to abandon DOS? Is Macintel such a threat to Windows that perhaps there is actually a motivation at Microsoft to rival Mac OS in the safety department?

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Vellos's picture
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Microsoft's next reversion wa

Microsoft's next reversion was codenamed Longhorn, it's now known offically as "Vista", or "Windows Vista". I've seen some of the screenshots and plenty of beta reviews. While it needs polish like all things in beta, the UI does looks signifigantly more modern, cleaner, but something is just distracting to the eye when the main body of a window is completely opaque and the menu bar, among all the things that border the main window are transparent. I surely hope that's tweekable, but if it's a default configuration, it's going to be a headache to some, I'm sure.

Thankfully, they seem to have done away with the massive bar on the side fo the screen that robbed about 20% of the monitor's width at 1024x786. That was one of my major gripes, apparently the same with others. As far as stability goes, and security, that can only be known once it's own into the open as a commercial product. As people get their various tools of the trade fired up to see what they can toss at it, we'll know the full extent of what the new version of Windows is capable of. With all that's happened with XP as of late, I would HOPE it's a priority among their developers to ensure tight security.

As far as the hardwrae switch being competition, I think Microsoft stands nothing to lose or gain. PC OEM distributers like Dell may suffer, however. A Mac mini (or what I'm looking forward to, a Pentium M iBook) with the capabilities to run Windows, MacOS X, and a mostly standard x86 variant of Linux (I'm sure Gentoo will be among the first few distros) will definately win over some attention from those of us with compatibility needs, and just plain flexibility. I see the mini thought geared directly to the market segment I'm part of. The person who is very likely to just go out and build a new machine, but wanting to be able to do *anything I want* with the machine at the same time.

Vista though still seems to be holding very high baseline machine standards for the minimum requirements. My current 2Ghz AthlonXP box may not be up to snuff as it appears, which is slightly on the depressing side, considering it screams in Linux and Windows XP. I do think this is a bit of a ploy that's been going on for over a decade though. If the OSes and software don't become more heavy, there's no push for higher end hardware to be sold off the shelves, and people keep using what they have been using. This isn't really the case with Linux or MacOS X currently, both of which seem to be getting FASTER with each new release.

As far as abandoning DOS, where have you been for the last 6 years? With the NT5 kernel (Win2k and onwards), the DOS subsystem has been completely reduced to mostly-emulation through the cmd.exe shell. If you want true DOS, you're going to have to go back to Windows 98 or earlier (I am not sure about ME, but I wouldn't want to tread there anyways). DOS is long since gone now with XP, and it doesn't seem like it's going to be any different for Vista.

I still think MacOS X and Linux have huge leaps and bounds in security beyond what Windows is delivering. While this is mostly due in part to it's tiered UNIX-like structure, there's also that security through obscurity factor. The BSDs are as solid as ever though, and nothing is going to be able to touch their security record. We shall see though. 2006 will be interesting.

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the Ulterior motive?

Steve Jobs presented the reason for the switch to Intel as basically a need for speed. But isn't there an ulterior reason as well? Isn't the Macintel also a play at the exposed and vulnerable jugular of Windows, specifically, Windows' glaring lack of security? People will be confronted with a choice of major switches this year, Windows Vista or the Macintel and Mac OS. Is it really just a coincidence that these two choices are being presented at the same time? Isn't this also a not-so-subtle attempt at high stakes brigandage on the part of Apple? I see Apple's Macintosh division currently as a bunch of opportunists drawing up broadside along the floundering Windows with grappling hooks ready.

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[url=http://www.openbsd.org]O

OpenBSD: Only one remote hole in the default install, in more than 8 years! The day Microsoft can claim that is the day hell freezes over and Apple decides to go x86. Oh, wait, it's half way there! Smile

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I see the problem as somethin

I see the problem as something simple. ALL the chip fab companies, IBM, Moto, Intel, and AMD (as well as Freescale and others) are having hard times scaling their current architectures. They have literally hit a wall at which current technology can't be pushed much further. This is why there's all the talk of dual cores and 64-bit everywhere. It's simply that they can't push clock speed any higher, so they're finding other ways to improve technology. No one, standard clocked, has been able to puncture the 4Ghz barrier for what seems to be like ages now, and I doubt we're going to see anything for awhile.

The PPC arch has not been moving much either. Jobs promised a 3Ghz G5, and couldn't deliver it, this made his prediction about the trends in CPU technology wrong when he introduced the G5. So, he had to rethink is stance on this. Apple's reason for moving to x86 (Intel in specific) was that of a few things. They had a more solid and promising roadmap than IBM (which is saying something, considering Intel does nothing first, someone always beats them to something, and they play an endless game of catch up), they are able to deliver the cores at a lower price, and at better performance than IBM can offer.

Also, I think there's one more big deal. iBooks and PowerBooks already are pretty power efficent. Apple has some of the best battery lives in the market. But if you replace some of those G4's with Pentium M's, the gains become even greater. Massive battery lives, and improved performance. Intel just recently released a new reversion of their Pentium M core (Yonah, I think), that is dual cored. We may never see G5 PowerBooks, but I'm certain we'll be seeing Dual-Core Pentium M PowerBooks eventually. Wait a little longer, and the Pentium M will go fully 64-bit too. The G5 is just too big of a guzzler and won't scale down to laptop appliations, it just won't work.

Windows has nothing to lose or gain on this. The Macs are still proprietary, and will actually run copies of Windows on them (I got some pics from a friend of an x86 Dev Mac at *undisclosedcompany* that was running Windows, without a proper display driver, but still). What this will hurt like I've mentioned is the OEMs, like Dell if Apple can produce an equally performing and compatible product, at a lower price, in a more attractive form. This may not do anything about Apple's market share for OS control, but it definately will make OEMs feel the squeeze.

Again, we shall see what happens, only time will tell.

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The San Fran. mac world is whe

The San Fran. MacWorld is when the intel powerbooks are going to be introduced. they are going to be shipping sometime in February with the new intel "yonah" dual core processor. I beleive the MacWorld is going to be Jan. 9th-13th.

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Can someone say black tablet

Can someone say black tablet iBooks?

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just goes to show

Quote:

As far as abandoning DOS, where have you been for the last 6 years?

Just goes to show how much experience with, and how much I know about Windows. All I know is when I turn on XP on a scrounged PC I have, it looks like DOS popping up for a little while.

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It might look like it, but th

It might look like it, but that's just your standard EGA/VGA text terminal-style graphics. Looks can be decieving. But yeah, with 2k and XP, DOS doesn't play a vital role anymore like it did with the 9x series and earlier, which is a good thing for moving the OS forward, bad for compatibility.

I still think what Windows offers as far as a shell is awkward in it's arguments for commands (as opposed to Linux and *BSD style), doesn't support autocompletion, and cannot have the abilities anymore to house ncurses-like graphics (some old DOS setup apps for certain games made VERY good use of DOS's text capabilities, alas). DOS won't be missed too much, really, except for the nostalgic.

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intel did announce the new Co

intel did announce the new Core Duo et al, and one of the proposed devices was a "book sized PC." If Apple brought back the PDA, but with the power of a laptop in a tablet form they'd have ahit maker in many markets. Inkwell integration and a touch screen would make a machine like that very attractive.

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Re: intel did announce the new Co

Jon wrote:

intel did announce the new Core Duo et al, and one of the proposed devices was a "book sized PC." If Apple brought back the PDA, but with the power of a laptop in a tablet form they'd have ahit maker in many markets. Inkwell integration and a touch screen would make a machine like that very attractive.

Those would be the Yonah's. I saw some reviews of machines implementing them, with longer battery live, dual-coreness, and much better performance from it. I think these might be the target CPU of the iBooks for now. I feel the G4 Ti/AlBooks are going to remain G4 until Apple can get it's Pro tools to Intel arch or at least Universal binary, same with the G5's. Although, I thought I remember reading Apple would keep the G5's for their "high ends", Intel elsewhere.

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Sidebar and LUA

The stupid sidebar thing may make an appearance in the released version of Vista. Half of the beta versions have had it, half haven't... Rest assured that there will have to be a way for users to get rid of it -- it is not an acceptable feature for a corporate desktop.

Limited User Accounts (LUA) is the functionality in Vista that allows you to run Windows applications without being Administrator all of the time. If you do need to perform a task that legitimately requires admin rights (eg change the date/time), Vista will behave much more like OS X. An emulation layer will be provided to support legacy Windows apps that write to hard disk and registry locations where they shouldn't. Users will not be using Internet Exploder with admin rights; they may be able to install dodgy ActiveX controls but the control will only affect that user, not the entire system.

There are some architecture changes that improve things. Services will change completely (expect this to break lots of software) and the kernel is to be changed so that current root kit technology should no longer work.

Overall, security will be a lot better in Vista than XP. The main reason for this is that users aren't running as admin all of the time (doh). While waiting for Vista, you can dramatically improve your security with XP by running as non-admin. See: http://blogs.msdn.com/aaron_margosis/default.aspx.

Phil

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vista beta

ah ok, i've got a vista beta here that doesn't feature the sidebar. don't remember the build no. of that pre-release.

anyway, i hope things are getting better with vista. at first, the user interface of XP is horrible. OS X looks and feels much better, and seems to be a lot simpler to control. that should not say that OS X is perfect, it's NOT! there are also a lot of things to improve in it, but by far not that many as in XP.

well, let's see what the future brings!

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Re: I see the problem as somethin

Vellos wrote:

The PPC arch has not been moving much either. Jobs promised a 3Ghz G5, and couldn't deliver it, this made his prediction about the trends in CPU technology wrong when he introduced the G5.

There is no such thing as the PowerPC architecture. The PowerPC CPU is a subset of the POWER architecture. IBM uses POWER extensively in their highend workstations, midrange servers and mainframes. POWER 6 is coming along nicely and should be here soon. 3 and 4 Ghz will be no problem with POWER 6, and with the power of those it will be a scremer.

The problem with Apple and PowerPC came down to money. It costs alot of money to design a cpu even when based on a current design. Apple was just about the only customer for the PPC970. IBM sold a few blades with a PPC970, but not a hugh volume. When you have high design costs and low volume things get expensive. Apple trying to compete with low cost PCs could not pay IBM to throw lots of resources at PPC chips, and IBM is better off putting resouces into high profit POWER chips and high volume chips such as the cell broadband engine.

So in the end it came down to cost. With Intel, Apple can use a CPU and Chipset that Intel sells millions of every year. IBM can focus on more profitable products. Eventually the consumers should see lower cost Macs. In the end everyone winds.

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[quote]In the end everyone wi

Quote:

In the end everyone wins

Barring massive piracy of OS X86. Once you don't need an actual Apple comuter just to run OS X natively, the economics of what Apple does changes wildly.

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