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MacBytes
Jan 16, 2006, 06:12 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple develops Microsoft Vista of opportunity (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060116191218)
Description:: A lot of people are going to realize they are going to hang onto their hardware for four to five years, so they might be willing to shell out a little more cash up front and buy the better looking Mac-intelatosh.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by arn

iIra
Jan 16, 2006, 06:21 PM
Interesting article. It was a little unprofessional (they couldn't stick with one name for the new macs--my favorite:macintelitoshes) but it would be nice for people to start seeing the gospel of mac. I might have to stop listening to people complain about how slow Macs are when the last time they used one was eight years ago. :)

The real pull-through will come when people start thinking about their options when Windows Vista comes to market sometime this year. Since it's going to be the "Largest upgrade since Windows '95," according to Microsoft, that likely means a big hardware upgrade for nearly everything that was produced before July 1, 2005.

Yeah but Windows 95 was MS's first really mainstream product. Maybe people will like Vista. I mean, when you think about it, Exposé really can't compare to Flip 3D. Flip 3D takes a lot less brainpower, because you can only get to one window at a time, and it doesn't have any special characters (é) that are hard to type.:D Yep, Vista destroys OS X, especially with its new Start menu, that basically just incorporates an explorer window to replace the All Programs thing.

winmacguy
Jan 16, 2006, 07:21 PM
Interesting article.
You think the 'potential' Vista is great...:eek: Just wait till you see what Jobs has lined up for Leopard :cool: :D

Belly-laughs
Jan 16, 2006, 07:42 PM
Interesting read, but I think the author should be careful to dismiss the iPod halo effect all together. Most of the iPods ever sold were bought 2nd half of last year, getting people smitten may take longer than the time it takes them to leave the store. Besides, its the question of when will these 30M+ people buy a new computer. Now, this summer, next year? Analysts suggest that close to one million iPod owners have already bought a Mac.

Comparing the Walkman (I presume he means the original cassette players) and a Philips boombox to the iPod is not fair either; the iPod is a computer product/peripheral from a computer `only company, the others are not.

Still, I like his thought that the Vista transition and its demand for new hardware, in conjunction with the Mac-on-Intel switch, may lead to more people choosing Macs. But I think Win PC owners who already owns an Apple product (iPod) may feel more so inclined.

mkrishnan
Jan 16, 2006, 08:04 PM
You think the 'potential' Vista is great...:eek: Just wait till you see what Jobs has lined up for Leopard :cool: :D

I'm really curious to see what Leopard will contain. To me, if you look at Vista, it offers the potential of doing some things in Tiger better than Tiger does (it will probably not *realize* this potential), but there are not really major features in Vista that are absent from Tiger now. Nor are there huge things like desktop search looming outside of the core OS to be pulled in.

The only major things I can think of that are looming out there in terms of what people have said an OS should try... are res-independent UI (which Apple could do pretty easily at this point) and a departure from the folder / volume metaphor and the hierarchical file system that underlies it, to go to a object-oriented file system, that follows more of the paradigm inside a database. With Aperture, Apple is clearly developing that concept. But it's going to be a sea change, and I have a hard time seeing them drop it on us in a year with the next OS X version....

nagromme
Jan 16, 2006, 10:25 PM
The only major things I can think of that are looming out there in terms of what people have said an OS should try... are res-independent UI (which Apple could do pretty easily at this point)
Yep :D

They've done it. A year ago. Tiger has it, but it's a hidden feature just for developers to test with. The Quartz Debug app on your Tiger DVD can enable it--install the dev tools or use Pacifist to install just that. I've played with it on my PowerBook and the potential is fantastic.

And there's no doubt that it IS coming to a future version of OS X: Apple has told developers this point blank, and told them how to develop and test for it:

And the info isn't even secret:
http://developer.apple.com/releasenotes/GraphicsImaging/ResolutionIndependentUI.html

I'm looking forward to this--AND to the fact that Apple's got to redraw all the UI elements at higher res (and/or in vector form)--which means they'll probably cut down the number of slightly-different visual themes they use.

BTW, if you use Quartz Debug you will notice some vector elements already hiding in OS X: a few shaded buttons that LOOK just like other bitmapped buttons are revealed to be gradient-filled vector art when you use a higher res scaling.

maya
Jan 16, 2006, 10:36 PM
What if Mac OS 10.5 bring in a new breed of multi-tasking. Not applications however OSes.

Think of expose, now press a hotkey and you get something similar to Front Row, except you can run 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, Linux, Windows 95, W2K, XP, Vista. All by pressing a single button and then selecting the OS you want to work in, for work, home, etc...

That in itself is brilliant, it not only expands expose, it also bring in Front Row, and the opportunity to dominate the entire PC market. You buy your hardware from Apple. Install OS 10.5 "Blank Screen" can be used as its name, and you run 10.5 on it. Now install another OS, now use ala expose and you can super fast switch from one OS to another.

Great for developers, home users, businesses, and game programmers. ;)

So what do you guys think, do you think I can get a job at Apple Computers? :o ;) :D

mkrishnan
Jan 16, 2006, 10:38 PM
They've done it. A year ago. Tiger has it, but it's a hidden feature just for developers to test with. The Quartz Debug app on your Tiger DVD can enable it--install the dev tools or use Pacifist to install just that. I've played with it on my PowerBook and the potential is fantastic.

Yeah, thank you, I remember someone...perhaps you or Bousozoku... mentioning this in the past. I guess that, to go from here to a real res-independent UI that is prime-time, there ought to be some good smoothing algorithms that can render bit-mapped content magnified for backwards compatibility, and some other niceties to make it work really well. Not that the latest iMacs support wall mounting, but a 20" iMac on the wall with a BT keyboard and a scaled up res-indep UI would be sooooo amazing. :D

stunna
Jan 16, 2006, 10:39 PM
You think the 'potential' Vista is great...:eek: Just wait till you see what Jobs has lined up for Leopard :cool: :D

Whats going to be in leopard?

maya
Jan 16, 2006, 10:40 PM
Whats going to be in leopard?


Even Steve Jobs does not know the answer to that one. I am guessing a heart, lungs, you know the usual organic stuff. ;)

nagromme
Jan 16, 2006, 10:44 PM
I guess that, to go from here to a real res-independent UI that is prime-time, there ought to be some good smoothing algorithms that can render bit-mapped content magnified for backwards compatibility, and some other niceties to make it work really well.
Yes--that Apple page describes different methods that are available, and indeed the most basic/worst-case is "just scale it up" for compatibility (even if you get no extra quality from that). Older apps, then, that have NOT been updated for Leopard, can still have nice new high-res windows, window text, buttons, menus (things the OS handles)... and their custom bitmaps will be properly scaled into place even if those images can't match the new sharpness.

As for how images get scaled, Quartz already does that all the time really well (Exposé, Screen Zoom, Dock Magnification, Finder slideshows, etc.) so that's a good start to have.

Now for more Leopard rumors, check out these 2 reports (and a 3rd on the way) from LoopRumors:

http://www.looprumors.com/Pages/leopardinfo08302005.html

http://www.looprumors.com/Pages/leopardinfo09142005.html

Mostly small hints and eye candy stuff, and maybe all hot air, but hey, ANY Leopard rumor is fun this early :)

winmacguy
Jan 16, 2006, 10:52 PM
Whats going to be in leopard?
Sharp teeth, a killer instinct, eyes that follow you, a slinky tail and a deep rumbling purring sound after it has devoured some Longhorn cattle. ;)

iIra
Jan 17, 2006, 10:27 PM
What are the real advantages to res-independent UI? I mean, it would be a cool thing to brag about (the blank stares from non-geeks would be fun) and the menu bar would be the same size regardless of res, but what's really so great about that?

The only major things I can think of that are looming out there in terms of what people have said an OS should try... are res-independent UI (which Apple could do pretty easily at this point) and a departure from the folder / volume metaphor and the hierarchical file system that underlies it, to go to a object-oriented file system, that follows more of the paradigm inside a database. With Aperture, Apple is clearly developing that concept. But it's going to be a sea change, and I have a hard time seeing them drop it on us in a year with the next OS X version....

How exactly would this object-oriented interface work? I don't do much work with databases so I don't have a reference point. I don't see a problem with the hierarchical system, but I liked XP when it first came out, so what do I know. (my excuse: I was coming off an old Performa from around '94 that was too old to be compatible with Comcast internet. And my Dad made me put up with the at-ease items. My Dell with XP was an improvement.)

You think the 'potential' Vista is great... Just wait till you see what Jobs has lined up for Leopard
I was being facetious about Vista. It's really pretty pointless. They should just quit. Speaking of which... (http://lowendmac.com/lite/05/1220.html)

mkrishnan
Jan 18, 2006, 07:50 AM
What are the real advantages to res-independent UI? I mean, it would be a cool thing to brag about (the blank stares from non-geeks would be fun) and the menu bar would be the same size regardless of res, but what's really so great about that?

There are a couple of really interesting things that can be done with this. First, it opens the door for allowing the use of higher dot pitch on screens (screens packed more densely with pixels) without making software incompatible. For instance, right now, suppose you want a high-res display on the wall, and to use it from the sofa? The only practicable option is to buy an LCD TV with a relatively low resolution, given its size, like 1280x768 or 1366x768 or whatever. If there was a res-independent UI, you could put up a screen with a much higher resolution and still be able to use it effectively. In the same vein, as screen density gets higher, you can display a much richer, more detailed version of the desktop, because the vector graphics can all be scaled up, and the pixel graphics can all be smoothed. It's also good because it's a much more usable system for people who cannot use or do not like to use dense laptop screens.

How exactly would this object-oriented interface work? I don't do much work with databases so I don't have a reference point. I don't see a problem with the hierarchical system, but I liked XP when it first came out, so what do I know.

Well, there are probably a variety of ways it could work, but the basic idea is that files would have relationships with other files, rather than a specific physical location. These relationships would be relevant to the computer (i.e. what programs can open or work with this file) but also to the user (e.g. what other files contain related or important information?). The advantage would be that a file could have many different kinds of relationships... relationships back to templates, relationships to related files, relationships to subsequent projects that use it as an input, and so on, which are harder to represent in a hierarchical file system. Ideally, you would be able to do this in a very seamless way, such as dragging files onto other files and dropping them to show that they are related, or some such.

Eventually, the sky would sort of be the limit as to what you could do with this. For instance, a document could inherit features of documents from several different programs, which would then be called to incorporate those features into the document. So you might be very easily able to draw a drawing in a Word document using the drawing features of Illustrator, right from inside Word, instead of having to use the drawing features of Word or copy/paste from Illustrator. You can do some of that now, because there are already object-oriented elements of files for many programs (such as the OLE system in Windows), but it would be easier, I think, this way.

There would also be a big back-end benefit, in that the relationships between files would allow for much more meaningful searching capabilities....

iIra
Jan 18, 2006, 02:23 PM
thanks for the great post. That helped a lot. This stuff sounds pretty cool, but the object-oriented thing sounds like it has a bit of a learning curve. The Word/Illustrator part sounds really nice, though.

sjk
Jan 20, 2006, 02:56 PM
I don't see a problem with the hierarchical systemThe hierarchical storage structure is enforced and imposed by the filesystem even when you don't want to organize files that way.

mkrishnan described some examples of ways files might be related to each other that doesn't depend on them being in specific "fixed" locations. I like using iTunes (or iPhoto) as a basic and familiar example:

An iTunes library represents a collection of files stored in different external locations (typically under nested folder hierarchies), presented internally with flat and browser views that effectively hide those locations. Playlists provide internal views for collecting/organizing subsets of the library (and other playlists) into useful relationships, without needing to copy/move/rename/delete the actual files regardless of where they're stored. That makes it trivial for one media file from the library to appear in multiple playlists. And deleting a playlist is (by default) non-destructive to the underlying content.

The iTunes library and playlists are internal virtual collections/views of external data, managed independently of fixed hierarchical filesystem locations. Implementation limitations aside, that's a more powerful and flexible metaphor (IMO) than the traditional file/folder metaphor that Finder's interface limits us to because of it being so directly tied to the hierarchical filesystem and its restrictions. I'd much rather use more generalized (meta)data managers instead of tediously laboring with file/folder managers.

SiliconAddict
Jan 20, 2006, 03:07 PM
I wouldn't get all excited. It already looks like there are going to be MacBook shortages.

http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2006/01/20/213807/Apple%27sIntellaptopsmaynotmeetdemand.htm

:( :mad: :(

SiliconAddict
Jan 20, 2006, 03:16 PM
You think the 'potential' Vista is great...:eek: Just wait till you see what Jobs has lined up for Leopard :cool: :D

Umm getting a little ahead of yourself aren't you? Hehe. We have NO idea what is going to be introed into 10.5 (The halfway mark.)
It better be something more exciting then Expose, Spotlight, and Dashbord type updates.
They are nice features but at the end of the day minor ones.
Honestly when 10.5 ships we are going to be talking about a GUI that is about 7 years old with only minor tweaks here and there. Am I impressed with Tiger? Sure.
Apple has done a hell of a job refining OS X from its 10.0/.1 days to what we have now. But once Vista ships I think, to a certain extent, Microsoft and Apple are going to be on the same footing when it comes to OSs. The gulf between Windows 2K/XP and OS X is gone. We need something that brings that gulf back into a major deciding factor for end users. And again things like Dashboard isnt going to do it. Frankly I think its time for the 3D interface. How will it be done? No idea. But if anyone can pull it off Im sure Apple can.

slooksterPSV
Jan 20, 2006, 05:28 PM
I feel like that guy wasn't sure what he was talking about. The biggest breakthrough for windows was Windows XP. Everyone loved the look and feel of it. Heck, so did I. That's why I liked it. So after that I saw Mac OS X and fell in love. Ok, so 95 was a breakthrough up from 3.11, XP up from 95, and now XP to Vista? Ok I see that better than what he stated. XP - 32 & 64 bit versions, Vista Pure Native 64-bit right?

Come on people, Mac OS X, Native 64-bit with 32-bit compatibility Mac OS X 10.4 - SIMPLE. G3 & G4 processors - 32-bit and 64-bit support, 32-bit native. G5, 64-bit native, 32-bit support. Windows is so far behind, and I argued with people today on the abilities of Mac OS X over Windows. Windows with Vista have screwed themselves dramatically. I know a lot of users who will be pissed because of the OpenGL issue because of Aeroglass and DirectX. 50% speed drop in OpenGL bc of AeroGlass and DirectX being on top.