This is not a long analytical piece but just an observation I felt I had to write down. Please keep this in mind when you want to comment on these thoughts.
OS X updates may be much cheaper than Windows updates, but OS X versions have a much shorter lifespan than Windows versions. Add to that the costs for updates of other software you use on your Mac and suddenly you are paying way more than Windows users.
Take Windows XP for example. This version of Windows was launched in 2001. More than eleven years later it’s still used by many people and a lot of new software you can still run on XP. As a contrast, take OS X 10.5 Leopard. Launched in 2007. A lot of new apps and software don’t run on 10.5. The minimum OS X these days is often 10.6 Snow Leopard, but sometimes apps already need at least 10.7 Lion to be able to install them.
Continue reading Thoughts: Life Span of OS X Versions vs. Windows Versions
While I was writing a comment on Alex Schleber’s post about the iPhone 5 event on Google+ I got a bit carried away and ended up with quite a long comment. Therefore I decided to copy it to my blog. Check the link if you are interested, or join the discussion in Alex’s thread or over here if you like.
My two cents: the iPhone 5 is a cool phone. The glass and aluminum body, the larger screen, faster CPU, longer battery life. All very nice improvements. But my guess is that most 4S users won’t be interested to upgrade to the iPhone 5 except for the fanboys and early-adopters. I am an iPhone 4S user and will definitely skip the iPhone 5 since my two-year contract will expire by the end of next year and the new features are not interesting or major enough for me to justify the upgrade. I’ll wait for the iPhone 6, or 5S, or whatever it will be called. In my logic, iPhone 5 customers will be former iPhone 3GS and 4 owners and the people who got tired of the Android experience when they bought a cheap-ass Android phone about a year ago, running Gingerbread, constantly running out of phone memory. People owning a more recent Android phone with version 3 or 4 of the Android OS probably won’t be interested in an iPhone 5. These Android phones can compete with the iPhone 5 easily on features, screen quality, camera quality, etcetera.
Continue reading Thoughts: My View on Apple’s iPhone 5 and iOS 6
After checking a few posts on the announced Microsoft Surface tablet, my opinion is that they hit a sweet spot here. It’s going to sell very well. The Surface tablet will run Flash and it will run Windows RT apps that can also run on a desktop in the future when Windows 8 is released. The Surface Pro edition will run all your existing Windows software and can be used in your home environment and in a business setting.
What I am seeing here is that the desktop world and tablet world are integrating slowly but surely. A few years from now, a lot of people won’t own a desktop or a laptop: they’ll own a tablet. It will be more than enough for everyday use for the majority of users. Hell, it will even be enough for most business users as well! This will be especially true if companies start making docks for tablets like Microsoft’s Surface that will transform it into a laptop-like device.
My bet is that an awful lot of people will want to own a Surface tablet or an other Windows tablet from an other manufacturer. People are already used to Windows on their machines, at home as well as at work. The step to a Windows tablet will be much easier for them than stepping into Apple’s iOS world. That will not mean that Microsoft is going to reign the tablet space. Apple is the undisputed leader here and will keep that position for the at least the coming 3 to 5 years. Manufacturers of Android tablets should be more worried in my opinion. They could lose market share to Microsoft’s Surface easily, especially when you consider the hybrid desktop/tablet usage combination.
Finally, here is a post with over a dozen of links to news coverage on the Microsoft Surface:
Last week the blogosphere nearly exploded (see here, here, here and here for only a few examples) with the news of the Flashback trojan, creating a botnet of nearly 600,000 Apple machines. Getting your machine infected is as easy as surfing to a bogus website containing the malware, which installs itself using an exploit in Java. This technique is called a drive-by download. There is no need for you to enter your admin credentials. It’s even worse: the malware will install itself without you noticing it at all. Pretty scary if I may say so.
If you want to know if your Mac is infected with the Flashback trojan, then check out this page on F-Secure’s website to find out and follow the removal instructions if you do find it on your machine.
To make your Mac less vulnerable for this kind of malware attack, I recommend checking out Khürt Williams’ post who explains how to turn off Java in Safari and on OS X level. This makes very much sense when you are not a software developer who has to deal with Java on a daily basis. If you use an other browser like Google Chrome or Firefox, then check out this page for instructions. Khürt also advises to uninstall Adobe’s Flash plugin. This is one bridge too far for me at the moment, but it certainly is a good idea.
A lot of people consider the outbreak of Flashback as a turning point for the Mac platform. Mac users should face it that they are not ‘forgotten’ anymore by malware writers and should install anti-virus protection, just as the majority of Windows users does nowadays. Check this post on AskDifferent.com for a list of anti-virus solutions for the OS X platform.
Update April 11th, 2012: Apple works on software to release the Flashback malware from infected Macs and is working with ISPs worldwide to bring down the botnet’s command & control servers. Read more about this on arstechnica.com.
Will Microsoft follow Adobe in calling it quits on the development of their rich content plugins for (mobile) web browsers?
I bet they are laughing their asses off at Apple’s headquarters right now reading these announcements.
Link : The Verge – Microsoft may halt development work on Silverlight plugin after next release
A device called the Knowledge Navigator is presented in the video linked below which looks very familiar compared to some devices and apps that Apple released in the last few years and even very recently in the iPhone 4S. It’s amazing to see how close their predictions came to the present day!
Apple’s Future Computer: The Knowledge Navigator
Looking at the graphs in the article linked below, the iPhone 4S is about 80% faster than the Samsung Galaxy S2. That’s nearly double the performance of this flagship Android device. The benchmarks of the iPhone 4S are getting close to those of an iPad 2. Quite impressive.
I am very curious how the Nexus Prime with Ice Cream Sandwich will perform compared to the iPhone 4S. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.
Link : AnandTech – iPhone 4S Preliminary Benchmarks: …
The fact that Apple does not allow Flash on iOS devices is gradually becoming a problem for Adobe. Very slowly, sites are enhancing and updating their content to make it compatible with HTML5 so their rich content can be viewed on the Safari browser of the iPhones, iPods and iPads.
Creating HTML5 content is much harder currently than creating Flash content. Needless to say that engineer Rik Cabanier’s demo of a utility that converts a Flash file into an HTML5 webpage delivered him a huge round of applause at the Adobe MAX 2010 event.
Note that this is a tech demo, which does not promise implementation in the next version of Flash Designer. Anyway, we got an important glimpse of the direction Adobe is heading into.
Check out what engineer Rik Cabanier showed (just a tech demo, no promises, etc.) during MAX sneak peeks Tuesday night:
Are you surprised? Don’t be. As I’ve written many times, Adobe lives or dies by its ability to help customers solve real problems. That means putting pragmatism ahead of ideology.
Link : John Nack on Adobe – Adobe demos Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool
People that own a Mac and use Spotify must have noticed the same annoying behavior of iTunes as I did. When you press the Play/Pause key on your keyboard, not only will Spotify start/stop playback of your music, but iTunes will open and start playing music as well. I don’t know if Apple sees this as an intended feature of iTunes but what I do know is that it’s incredibly annoying to say the least.
After looking around for a while on the Internet for a solution I found a workaround that is very elegant and does not need any additional programs to be installed or any scripts to be run.
Continue reading OS X Tip: Prevent iTunes from Opening when Pressing Play/Pause Key
On an iPhone, every app lives in its own “walled garden”. An app can only read and write files in its own document folder and cannot access the document folders of other apps or files of the core system.
Mathew J. Schwartz of InformationWeek has the opinion that this approach should be introduced in Windows as well to “gain an edge in the botnet war of attrition” as he says. And you know what? I think he is right.
If you have read the reports of Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event, you may have noticed that Apple is already heading in that direction. During the keynote, Steve Jobs introduced an app store for the Mac. I am curious if Microsoft will do the same in the future for their Windows OS.
Below the jump you will find a quote and a link to Mathew J. Schwartz complete story.
Continue reading Can Steve Jobs’ iPhone Walled Garden Model Stop Botnets?
Windows Phone 7 gets quite a lot of positive responses in the media lately. The statements in this article are interesting because John Gruber has a preference for Apple products.
Link : Business Insider – Apple Fan John Gruber: Windows Phone 7 “Really Nice” …
As long as I have been using iTunes on the Mac I have been looking for a keyboard shortcut that puts the cursor in the search field in the upper right corner of the iTunes window. There is absolutely no mention of this shortcut key in the help files or in the menus. Even the official keyboard shortcuts overview for iTunes on Apple’s website does not list it.
After googling for a solution numerous times, trying out lots of key combinations and asking questions on Twitter a couple of times I finally found the answer on a forum:
Command + Option + F
Update January 8th, 2011:
In the Windows version of iTunes, use
CTRL + ALT + F
(Kudos to Stefaan for mentioning this in the comments)
The good news about iPad sales keeps coming in with new numbers and statements released almost every week. Here is a new article that states that the adoption rate of the iPad is even faster than that of DVD players.
Apple’s iPad sold three million units in the first 80 days after its April release and its current sales rate is about 4.5 million units per quarter, according to Bernstein Research. This sales rate is blowing past the one million units the iPhone sold in its first quarter and the 350,000 units sold in the first year by the DVD player, the most quickly adopted non-phone electronic product.
“The iPad did not seem destined to be a runaway product success straight out of the box,” said Colin McGranahan, retail analyst at Bernstein Research, in a note. “By any account, the iPad is a runaway success of unprecedented proportion.”
Link : CNBC – iPad Adoption Rate Fastest Ever, Passing DVD Player
The statements of Best Buy’s CEO don’t surprise me. Considering that the tablet era has only just begun, I think that the market share of tablets will grow even more in the future. The iPad won’t be the only contender in this market. In the fourth quarter of 2010 and in 2011 a lot of new tablets will be introduced. Most of them will be based on Google’s Android OS. Examples that I have played with at the IFA Trade Show are the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy S tablet.
Continue reading Best Buy CEO Says iPad ‘Cannibalizing’ PC Laptop Sales by 50 Percent