Steve “Reality Distortion Field” Jobs has delivered his keynote address to Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). It’s amazing what he would have us believe. Apple has apparently invented virtual desktops. What does Microsoft have to say about it, given they applied for a patent on the technology in 2004 (complete with images ripped out of GNOME and KDE!)? Let’s just forget that they have existed since at least 1985, shall we?
That aside, I am heartened to see that OpenDarwin did not close their doors a couple of weeks ago in vain. Apple themselves are sponsoring Mac OS Forge, and in the process they have made readily available the source code for Bonjour, Collaboration (Darwin Calendar Server), WebKit (which is really just KHTML on steroids anyway), Launchd and even their XNU kernel (minus some essential proprietary parts). They have even licensed some of these projects under the Apache Licence 2.0. I pray that this signifies the start of a new era of collaboration between Apple and the FLOSS community, and not just a cheap attempt to contribute the minimum amount required to keep the bulk of the community on-side.
So with Tiger being favourably compared to the forever-delayed Windows Vista, what does that make Leopard? Mac OS just gets better and better, while the Windows debacle is far from over. With screw-ups such as this , it’s no wonder that Microsoft feels the need to prevent/destroy all competition.
Update (2006–08-13): Here is a much more sober evaluation of the so-called ‘copying’ going on between Mac OS and Windows. It puts everything into more perspective, showing that some of their killer features in fact originated elsewhere. It reminds me of a funny quotation: “Mac OS, Windows, BeOS: they’re all just Xerox copies.”
As much as Paul Thurrott likes to claim that Spotlight is a copy of Windows Search, Apple had the same functionality in the mid-1990s with its Copland Project.