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 débâcle 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 (20060813): 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.

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