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What are Steve and Bill up to?

January 6th, 2007 by André Nogueira

CES and Macworld are almost here, and many surprises await us (as well as confirmation of some rumours!). Bill Gates will deliver the CES Pre-Show Keynote on Jan 7th, and Steve Jobs the Macworld opening Keynote on Jan 9th. But what can we expect from Microsoft and Apple?

Both have set the bar high, and with so much at stake both are bound to show their greatest weapons. It will be a critical point for Microsoft Vista – with general availability so close, having a myriad of Vista-enabled and Vista-optimized hardware is the best thing Microsoft could have. On the other hand, with Mac OS X Leopard so close (it’s to be released on “Spring 2007”) Apple will also have to show what it’s worth, and why it’s better than Vista.

So here what I think can and cannot be expected from both companies. Let me know if you disagree, or if I forgot something! (Please note: I do not have any kind of inside knowledge at any company, nor do I work for any of them. This is just what I expect from what I’ve seen on the web, and no part of this list came from “someone who knows”, either at Apple or at Microsoft)

Microsoft:

  • Vista Origamis. As far as I know there hasn’t been much talk about it, and even the original origami went by pretty much unnoticed. This is a pretty small market niche, so it’s really hard to get it right… Most people who would need Origami have both a PDA and a laptop, thus eliminating the need for a “Laptop Mets PDA at the price of a laptop”. If it’s going to be announced, they’d better reduce the price… So I’m not sure about this one
  • Windows Sideshow-enabled hardware. This is the techonology which is designed to help Windows communicate with small devices. There’s not much hardware for it now (appart from a Digital Photo Frame), so I expect this to be a part of Bill Gate’s announcements.
  • Windows Ultimate Extras. Right now, Windows Ultimate is little more than a superset of Home Premium and Business – kind of like Windows XP Professional with Media Center. But Windows Ultimate Extras, a group of programs, games, utilities, etc available free of charge to Ultimate users, is set to change all that. A game of Texas Hold’Em Poker has already been confirmed as an Extra by Paul Thurrott and Fox News, but they’d have to be crazy not to have something else in the works – something maybe not huge, but at least big. I’m waiting anxiously to see what it is.
  • Windows Live. This seems to be a huge part of Microsoft’s strategy now, so most likely they’ll announce something from the Windows Live team. There’s been talk of Windows Live Drive and Windows Server Home. If these are indeed on the works, why not join them and launch them under the Windows Live umbrella? “Your content, anytime, anywhere”. You’d have access to it from you network when you’re at home, and from the internet when you’re on the go. Makes sense to me!
  • And, of course, we can expect to hear first hand how Vista changed the life of a couple of System Administrators and companies, who just couldn’t work with XP and who would have gone bankrupt if it weren’t for Vista!

Apple:

  • iPhone (which, by the way, is already trademarked since 1996.. and not by Apple). People take for granted that an iPhone will be announced at Macworld, but will it? I don’t expect the iPhone to be announced until the very moment it’s ready to be launched, so I’m not sure on this one. After the “Mobile Tunes” flop, Apple should be very careful
  • iTV. I expect this to be announced with either a huge feature set – much bigger than what we’ve been led to believe so far – or with a very small price price tag. Come on… a device which can’t even record shows selling for $299? You’ve gotta be kidding! The only way it’s going to win, is if it’s like Media Center – and then some. I’m talking about recoding shows and moving them to your video iPod. The ability to schedule recordings through the internet. Being able to use Macs on the iTV’s network as a television. You get the point…
  • Leopard-optimized software for x86. After years of telling their customers that the PowerPC platform was light-years ahead of x86 and x64, they need to justify their change. And to do that, what’s better than support from other companies? Having Adobe Premiere back on the Mac is a good start.
  • Leopard’s date of general availability. If Apple doesn’t set a precise date for the availibility of Leopard, it’d better be because it will make Vista look like DOS. It was announced for the first time on June 6, 2005 and there still isn’t a release date. I hope they’ll tell us why.

And what do you think will be announced?

Posted in MS News | 4 Comments »


This entry was posted on Saturday, January 6th, 2007 at 1:23 pm and is filed under MS News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


4 Responses

  1. Stefen Says:

    Re: Windows Ultimate Extras
    Windows Plus for XP was exactly the contrary of exciting and up to now all I can say about Extras is: Looks like the same fate. Poker? So what.
    (Note I’m not yet in the Ultimate Beta so this is guessing, not spreading word based on additional background info).

    Guess what will be launched? I still speculate(http://sniemeyer.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!873D96F770C53A6C!190.entry) that the Vanishingpoint (http://www.msblog.org/2007/01/05/from-the-desk-of-loki/) will end in unveiling Shadowrun Beta (first multiplayer game to be played online from Windows (Vista) and Xbox 360 platform).

  2. Dez Says:

    I speculate that Windows Vista Ultimate users will be able to download a Xbox 360 Live messenger companion that will allow users of Live Messenger to chat with their friends on the Xbox 360!

    I speculate far more men that women on stage cheering their products, a pitty really. Equality is far far away in the IT world!

    Is it only me who thought that the Wii is selling well in part because you have that nice female Nintendo model trying to talk us into buying it at the in store demo, more convincing that the PS3 dirt racing game!

    Oh and I expect Apple to announce a competitor to the Xbox 360, Ps3 and Wii the “Orange”!

  3. Daryl Nicholas Says:

    You guyz forgot about the tablet pc which Mac will be releasing…

  4. Roger Smith Says:

    iPhone is available with Cingular ONLY!? And what if I am stuck under contract with a carrier OTHER than Cingular but still want a iPhone?
    Well, the only solution I could fine was http://www.Cellswapper.com – they get you out of any cell phone contract!