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MacFive: Nov 2: Top News of the Week

MacFive™ — Top News Stories of the Week: For November 2 we look at Microsoft’s Windows 7, Apple Indicators that spook Redmond, 64-bit kernel in Snow Leopard, MobileMe gets fixed right and IBM’s Mark Papermaster headline.

No. 1 – Microsoft Gets Secret with Windows 7

Ballmer and troops seem to have finally learned an important lesson from Apple: when it comes to your next OS, keep your mouth shut! BusinessWEEK’s Stephen Wildstrom filed a report on his preview experience from Microsoft’s Professional Developer’s Conference and states that “Windows 7 is conceptually a bit like Windows 98” as is Windows Vista is to Windows 95. Got that? Yes, Windows 7 like Windows 98 doesn’t dramatically change Windows like Vista did but rather improves on all that is wrong with Vista. That should be welcoming to fans of Redmond’s operating systems but based on reader feedback on BusinessWEEK that doesn’t sound all that exciting. 

No. 2 – Commentary: Apple Indicators Spook Microsoft, not Apple’s Market Share

John Martellar, a former Apple sciences marketing manager and now columnist at The Mac Observer, opined this interesting read regarding where Microsoft’s key failure points are. Martellaro utilizes his knowledge of military warfare to draw up an analogy using the 1973 Arab-Israeli War as his reference. So what are real emerging problems that Microsoft sees? Martellaro says they are, 1) Apple’s financial strength, 2) Apple’s retail presence (a growing one…) and 3) Apple’s ability to define the terms of the war with Microsoft through the use of its highly effective “Get a Mac” TV ads. 

If those items aren’t spooking Microsoft perhaps this story by Silicon Alley Insider will. The online publication is demarking the “beginning of the end” for the Windows hegemony based on what is happening with netbooks. Essentially they are growing rapidly and many do not feature Windows at all but rather Linux. In the future many will run a version of Google Gears

No. 3 – Full 64-bit Kernel in Apple’s Snow Leopard

AppleInsider has an excellent report on the differences between different levels of 64-bit support in operating systems — specifically detailing 64-bitness in Snow Leopard. If you missed this story during the week go back and read it. It clarifies the technical OS stack in clear diagrams and shows how Snow Leopard differs between Leopard today. Snow Leopard, unlike Mac OS X 10.5, will require 64-bit drivers and KEXT files, but unlike Leopard it has a true 64-bit system and 64-bit kernel. It will still support 32-bit applications with transparent backwards compatibility. 

No. 4 – Apple Gets Serious with MobileMe

Apple has belatedly provided details of its MobileMe web services, finally fixing the issues that plagued the new suite of cross-platform tools that launched in July. MacUser UK is has the details in this report

No. 5 – Commentary: Papermaster not to set foot in Cupertino

Our own report summarizes in more detail what was easily the hit tech story of the week. IBM’s Mark Papermaster was an elite VP-level, 26-year IBM veteran with intimate details of IBM chip architecture history and strategy, as well as overall company details, marketing plans and future strategy. Papermaster has apparently joined Apple and IBM has filed suit against Papermaster for violating a 2006 Noncompete Agreement that states that Papermaster was to wait one year from termination date before it engaged with IBM competitors. 

Noncompete Agreements are legally invalid in the state of California, which is Apple’s base of operations. However, Papermaster signed the agreement while working for IBM, based in New York state.

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