While both CEOs insist they have a cordial relationship, Apple’s continued growth- as well as their recent jabs at Vista, has got to be something of a thorn in the Windows group side of late. Anti-Redmond propaganda is frequently seen in Cupertino, and the assault is rumored to get even more relentless as the launch of Leopard approaches.
In what many see as a jab back, Microsoft recently altered liscense terms, requiring Mac users looking to run Vista in Paralells to purchase more expensive flavors, such as business or Ultimate editions. No technical reasons for this exist; my personal opinion is MS simply wants to discourage the practice. With a virtualized copy of windows, MS’s dominant OS goes from being the magical software that makes the box work to merely a runtime environment required for some specific software applications. Not exactly the strongest foundation to build an empire upon.
In any event, look for both camps to beat their chest louder and louder once Leopard gets here. And if Microsoft somehow decides to fire a nastier shot back- which I am fairly certain they will if Leopard shoots out of the gate to glowing reviews, and the switch numbers keep growing, look for Apple to quit making witty banners for a second and fire back a gut shot of their own- iTunes for Ubuntu.
While numerous ipod solutions exist for Linux, the demand for iTunes has apparently been pretty strong over the past few years. The closed nature of the Ipod ecosystem puts it at odds with typical linux releases- i don’t see the source code making it’s way to sourceforge to be compiled in a billion flavors anytime this century- the relatively recent popularity of Ubuntu on the desktop makes me think Apple isn’t above publishing an installer package for that particular distribution.
Until Dell starts shipping home boxes with Ubuntu installed, or if you could walk into CompUSA and choose from a dozen Ubuntu boxes, the numbers won’t really mean that much. Sure, they’ll probably sell enough content through the store to recoup development dollars, but the real victory would be to see the windows version get demoted to sitting side by side with the other alternate platform version.
Reducing Vista to a mere runtime environment. One of many alternatives, not just the “other” one.