In the movie Braveheart, there's a pivotal scene involving Mel Gibson and a Scottish battalion where, as William Wallace, he tries to muster some courage from his ragtag company. Face painted blue and half-hysterical, he rallies them with a memorable speech about freedom and love of country. Then, the army proceeds to completely destroy the foreign oppressor in a fight to the bitter end.
In some ways, the current war on smartphone devices could be just as pivotal...and bloody. Companies such as Palm and Nokia have everything to lose if their platforms do not thoroughly crush the competition. Meanwhile, Apple has taken a strong lead with the iPhone, and BlackBerry devices do not appear to be losing any momentum, at least in the business sector. Google has entered the fight with their Android OS, attracting legions of developers to the platform in record time.
All of these operating systems support touch control, rudimentary multi-tasking, rich media, desktop-like Web browsing, and advanced messaging. Yet, only one OS is superior and will ultimately emerge as the victor. It might seem like Apple has already had their Braveheart moment, and maybe there is room for several companies at the top of the pile, but if Windows has taught us anything, it's that a single operating system can become so dominant that every other desktop OS becomes inconsequential. Developers lock into a platform, users get accustomed to it, and that OS wins the war.
We set out to put the major contenders to the test and find out which could become the most dominant. Really, it's too early to call Apple the victor, even though it would be easy to do so with 50,000 apps available and over a million iPhone users. As any technology analyst can tell you, there are actually significantly more Nokia and BlackBerry phones in use today than the iPhone, especially in Europe. The surprise is that the OS that seems to be winning the battle (the iPhone) may not eventually win the OS war in the long run.
Apparently it's all fun and games poking fun at the competition until someone turns the table and slaps you across the face with a reality check. Just ask Apple, who threw the first volley before going on a marketing blitz with Justin Long-in-tooth. According to Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, Apple's lawyers were none too pleased with Microsoft's Laptop Hunter ads and wanted the software maker to stop airing them.
"You know why I know they're working? Because two weeks ago we got a call from the Apple legal department saying, hey -- this is a true story -- saying, 'Hey, you need to stop running those ads, we lowered our prices.' They took like $100 off or something," Turner said during his Worldwide Partner Conference keynote. "It was the greatest single phone call in the history that I've ever taken in business."
In case you've somehow managed to miss them, Microsoft's Laptop Hunter ads feature regular people challenged to find a laptop that fits their needs at a certain price point, and if they can find one, Microsoft will pay for it. In every commercial, an appropriate MacBook ends up being out of the price range. You can view all of them here. And if you're an Apple fan, here's your link.
As promised earlier this year, Microsoft plans to roll out several Microsoft-branded retail store fronts, but up until now, Microsoft wasn't saying where or when. Keven Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, answered both of those questions during his Worldwide Partner Conference keynote on July 15.
According to Turner, the first store will open this fall and take residence right next to an Apple store. How's that for a new neighbor?
"As we progress on our retail strategy there will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple," Microsoft said a statement to CNet. "We are on track to open stores in the Fall timeframe. Beyond that we have no additional details."
Location aside, Turner insists Microsoft wouldn't be imitating Apple, which goes in line with Microsoft previously saying the stores would focus more on building the company's consumer brand than with distribution.
Filed under the “just because” file, some gents with the iSoft team have successfully installed Windows 95 onto an iPhone.
Their hack works by running a basic Windows 95 image and the Bochs emulator. However, there are some very noticeable performance issues in the use of the OS. Still though, what matters is that they got it running!
Now they’re working on Windows XP. But, until then you can see the Windows 95 powered iPhone in action here.
It was a little under three months ago that Apple's App Store recorded its one-billionth download, a milestone that took just nine months to achieve. If you thought that was impressive, Apple today announced its App Store downloads now top 1.5 billion. Not bad for a one-year-old service.
"The App Store is like nothing in the industry has ever seen before in both scale and quality," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "With 1.5 billion apps downloaded, it is going to be very hard for others to catch up."
And at the current pace, Jobs is probably right. The App Store shows no signs of slowing down, recording more than 500 million downloads in under three months for its more than 65,000 apps available to consumers in 77 countries. There have been more than 40 million iPod touch and iPhone devices shipped so far, along with 100,000 developers churning out applications.
Until now, it was assumed that Microsoft would only sell single license versions of Windows 7. But, thanks to a recent discovery in the latest license agreement, there’s some evidence suggesting otherwise.
In section two, there’s a new clause that clearly details a family pack, which will allow you to “install one copy of the software marked as ‘Family Pack’ on three computers in your household for use by people who reside there.” Which, for those keeping score, would finally let them combat Apple in this particular field.
Still, there’s no official word from Microsoft on pricing or availability, or if this is even true.
Happy day-after-Firefox-release day. If you're one of the 3.2 million Americans to download the latest release of the browser as of this column's writing, congratulations. You, like your peers, have recognized the value of upgrading to faster and better technology products! If that sounds weird, that's the point. It should. According to Net Applications, around twenty percent of users (out of a survey sample of around 160 million people) still use an older version of a Web browser, be it Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 2, or either Safari 3.1 or 3.2. You are not among them; I salute thee.
Click the jump to access the contents of this article 35 percent faster.
Apple has begun offering a $30 iTunes Store credit for iPhone 3G S buyers who ran into trouble activating their new a device, a result of overloaded servers despite early indications that it would be smooth sailing. Here's the email that was sent out:
Dear Apple Customer,
Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation.
We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete.
On Monday, you’ll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused.
Thank you for choosing Apple.
Sincerely, Apple Online Store Team
At first, the launch seemed to being smoothly, partially a result of Apple releasing the OS 3.0 update early. But as the day went on, some customers trying to activate their new phone received a message saying it may take up to 48 hours to complete. Some, like Kevin Mobley, a software performance expert at The Ian Thomas Group, warns that Apple's brand image might suffer from this and other similar problems.
"Going forward, as Apple presumably gets deals with other carriers and grows the iPhone user base, they'll have to determine if iTunes is really the best solution for activation," Mobley said.
Apple this week released its iPhone OS 3.0 software update, the much anticipated upgrade that allows iPhone and iPod touch owners to run the next generation of iPhone apps, like peer-to-peer games. Over 100 new features find their way into the update, just a handful of which include:
Copy & Paste text and photos
New Spotlight allowing users to search across the entire information contained in the device
Search in Mail, Calendar, and iPod
Shake to shuffle music
Improved parental controls
The new OS is free for all iPhone customers (both the original iPhone and iPhone 3G), while iPod touch customers will have to pony up $10 for the update.
OS X is out there. You’ve seen it in coffee shops, on TV, in the laps of hipsters at the local taqueria. There‘s no shame in wondering what all the fuss is about. Hell, it’s healthy to mix it up a little bit. If only the idea of sending Steve Jobs and the rest of Apple, Inc. thousands of your hard-earned dollars didn’t send you into a cold sweat that only a game of Left4Dead can cure. Still, OS X is the subject of many glowing reviews. Even hardcore PC users are singing its praises. If you have the itch to try out OS X, but you’re not down with shelling out the cash for a new Mac, we have one word for you: Hackintosh.
When Apple announced the move to Intel processors for its computer lineup, the search was on for a practical way to install OS X on non-Apple hardware. Over the years, the best way to achieve this feat was to patch a retail version of the OS X install from Apple. Users would scour the Internet for the patches—always hoping that what they downloaded was indeed the correct patch, and not some virus or trojan horse ready to wreck havoc on their PCs.
But these days the quest for OS X needn’t be so perilous. Read on to see how an inventive little USB device can let you easily dual boot OS X on non-Apple hardware, using a legitimate copy of OS X.