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Welcome to the new decade (twitter.com)
486 points by tswicegood on Aug 15, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 158 comments

Amusing, but only until you really think about it.

Java was always a restricted platform. Sun's lawsuit with Microsoft established that.

Google is hypocritical, but they haven't even come close to the "evil" of Microsoft in the glory days of "The Evil Empire." Microsoft used to have secret monopoly agreements with people. Google are openly disclosing their agreements and taking the flak.

Apple isn't a monopoly unless your definition of monopoly is "Controlling their own platform." Do they monopolize the Internet? No. Do they monopolize the market for phones? No. For phones that can access the Internet? No. Apple doesn't hold a monopoly and definitely hasn't done anything to abuse their so-called monopoly.

For example, MSFT shipped IE for free and killed Netscape. Apple shipped iTunes for free on the Mac and killed... Who exactly? Not even the celebrated Panic was killed as a company, just one product for a niche computer. Now Apple won't allow Flash on the iPad. Let me know when Adobe closes its doors.

Finally, the word "underdog" is not synonymous with the phrase "also-ran." Does anyone really think the bully that has gotten fat and can no longer beat up the new kid in the neighbourhood is now an underdog?

Yes but Microsoft's motto was always "a computer on every desktop". Nothing in there about "don't be evil".

For example, MSFT shipped IE for free and killed Netscape

I was working in the industry at the time, and I know exactly what killed Netscape. My then employer spent substantial amount of money, on behalf of itself and its clients, on Netscape server products. It sounds unthinkable now, but there really was a time when people would spend 6 or 7 figures on web, or mail, or directory server software. Version 2 of Enterprise Server to this day I still say was one of the best webservers ever written. Version 3 was a dog, and we, along with everyone else, went elsewhere.

Remember that Netscape Navigator was always free for most users...

Like I said, Google is hypocritical. But still not even close to Microsoft's behaviour during its glory days. I dislike a number of choices the company has made, but there's only one thing it has done that I consider really evil. And no, the Net Neutrality proposal isn't it.

there's only one thing it has done that I consider really evil. And no, the Net Neutrality proposal isn't it.

Curious: what is it? Android? ;)

Kowtowing to China?

The information sharing agreement with the NSA?


DOS ain't done till Lotus won't run

Google is more than hypocritical, Here's an example from a domain where they have effectively monopoly market control.

Their lack of transparency with AdWords. I know several people who believe they were the victim of click fraud, but complain that Google effectively does nothing. Why should they, there is no other viable search ad market, and they make money from click fraud.

And regarding monopolies, you're right that Apple is not one, but your test for being a monopoly is wrong. It's not about putting companies out of business. For example, Adobe makes money from multiple products. They could lose all of their Flash business today, and still be a viable company.

The problem with Netscape wasn't IE. It was that they couldn't make money with their business model.The Netscape browser didn't generate revenue for them, so losing marketshare there did relatively little to hurt them, except their ego.

And I think the term underdog for MS comes in a couple of areas where they never were the bully. Smartphones, even when they had a strong market presence, they never pushed hard in it. And search. In both of these cases, I think underdog is an accurate description.

Do you know how hard it is to effectively investigate click fraud? What do you want Google to do? There's no way for them to know if that IP address was an intentional click or not. As far as I know they already recognize obvious patterns like massive inundation from a single IP. Other than that and similar measures, how do you expect Google to derive intent from clicks? They can't do it, they pretty much just have to assume that clicks that fit the "innocent" profile are innocent, even if a competitor is going to all of his friends' houses and clicking the ad over and over again to jack up your rates.

How hard is it for Google to respond to email regarding suspected click fraud. Again, one example from someone I who vented at a conference relayed was they actually found a program that did click fraud that targeted a page where his ad often occurred. Sent it to Google with really weird charge patterns. No response. Another email, a call to a rep. The only thing he ever got was an over the phone, "thanks for the info... we'll take a look".

And this is a pattern I've heard a lot. It's not like people are just saying, "we're paying too much", but they actually do some of the legwork for Google. It would be great for Google to at least communicate the difficulty they're having, because I'm sure some of these people would go the extra mile to figure out what is going on.

I have to suspect that Google's attitude toward customer service is "Machines scale. Hiring people doesn't."

You don't have to suspect that. It's true.

It may be frustrating as a customer, but there's no solution to the "human customer service not scaling" issue when you reach certain number of customers or too high of a growth rate.

  For example, MSFT shipped IE for free and killed Netscape.
To be fair Netscape 4 was a total crap compared to IE4.

Java was always a restricted platform. Sun's lawsuit with Microsoft established that.

How? Even RMS/FSF don't think so


and if we went by their stringent definitions, most of us shouldn't be (ethically, by their terms) using computers.

Both the Microsoft and Oracle lawsuits and associated ickiness are about implementing things you call Java or run Java. I can't think of a case of anyone running into a legal restriction merely for using one of the many Java implementations however they please. I do remember the JDK license telling you not to use Java to control a nuclear reactor, is that what you have in mind?

> How?

OpenJDK appeared in November 2006, 11 years after its introduction.

Not an ISO standard. The JCP is really a closed process, and OpenJDK is just a bone thrown to the community ... if you want to get anything in Java, Sun has to agree with it, and because the trademark is owned by them you're not allowed to create a fork and still call it Java.

Also having a certified open-source Java implementation that is not derived from OpenJDK is not possible, leaving projects like Apache Harmony in the dust: http://www.apache.org/jcp/sunopenletter.html

> Both the Microsoft and Oracle lawsuits and associated ickiness are about implementing things you call Java or run Java

No, the Microsoft lawsuit was for a breach of contract. Google never said Dalvik is a JVM implementation. They did their own VM with a very distinct architecture + a compiler that converts JVM bytecode to Dalvik.

Are you going to tell me that compilers that convert source-code from one platform to another are illegal under any license or law?

Then projects like ikvm.net (jvm to .net translator), or Cobol2Java, or Mainsoft (which allows running .net projects on top of Java), or in fact any compiler that converts source-code to C, or why not the Scala compiler (it's not a JSR) ... should also be illegal?

That's right. It should be Apple is evil, Google is trying unsuccessfully to be as evil as Apple, and Microsoft's confused attempts at being anything at all are clearly failing :-)

Apple actually annexed the open podcasting community with the podcast section of its iTunes store. They also managed to become a near-monopoly in the MP3 player market.

There have always been lots of non-Apple MP3 players. They never had a monopoly or anything close. A majority market share, presuming Apple even had one which is not a forgone conclusion, is not the same thing as a monopoly. It was not a "near-monopoly", whatever that means.

There have always been a lot of operating systems besides Windows too. Lots of browsers besides IE. It's not choice that is the question, it's influence. For example, if Apple blocked Ford from being able to hook up iPods/iPhones to their cars would that be a problem? I think so.

Seriously? Who buys cars based on their MP3 player hookup? It's a nice feature but it's certainly not something that's going to "be a problem" for Ford, at least not in my opinion. Whether Apple could realistically block Ford from providing that functionality is iffy anyway.

Apple does not and did not have a monopoly or near-monopoly on any market. There's a difference between having influence and power and controlling a monopoly. Apple is powerful in a few markets now, namely phones and portable music players, but that's not the same thing as a monopoly. Other music players existed, prospered, and their developers retained influence and power in the market as well.

Let me give another example then, where the company being discriminated has more at stake. What if Apple said that artists from the MCA label couldn't play on their MP3 players. Now all of a sudden you have a music label that is being blocked from being played on the most dominant MP3 player in the world. Apple, with its monopoly power, could not effectively control which labels flourish and which don't. Of course, they don't do such a thing, and it would be near impossible to implement, but the example shows their strength.

And it doesn't matter that other players existed and prospered (although I'd argue that none prospered before the iPod). It's simply a question of market power at this point in time, not 10 years ago. It would be like MS arguing that the Commodore OS used to be the desktop operating system (when the C64 reigned supreme).

All analogies fall apart somewhere, however, I believe the point was very easy to understand with that one.

We aren't talking about selling cars. People buy MP3 players based on their car's MP3 player hookup...

By that logic, no monopoly has ever existed anywhere. Even the biggest, baddest monopolies don't hit 100% saturation. There are always other entries, just none that have any hope of competing with the monopoly.

Interesting. For all the downvotes, there has not been a single refutation. I think I've hit on something that some people just don't want to hear.

What's funniest about your comment is you're arguing with hyperbole on twitter.

>>> Amusing, but only until you really think about it.

When I really think about it I think, What great use of the twitter character limit for up-to-date populist rhetoric. When I read your comment I think, True believers are so predictable. ;)

Great response, I couldn't agree more.

It reminds me of a quote by Chris Rock few years back: “You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named 'Bush', 'Dick', and 'Colon.' Need I say more?”

I mostly agree with Phil, but I still wouldn't call Microsoft an underdog. I mean, I recently fell in love with OSX, but my opinion still stands that Windows 7 is f'ing amazing, and still outsells (or is at least on more machines than) OSX by an IMMENSELY large proportion.

There are more than a few of us who don't consider a machine suitable for real work unless it ships with a derivative of the bourne shell and makes it easy to run the same software we use on our servers.

My process to get up and running on a new machine is to change the keyboard layout to dvorak and run `wget -qO - bit.ly/newbox | sh`. On Windows I have to do everything in a Linux VM anyway, because I hate messing around with cygwin, coLinux, etc.

I know a lot of people will disagree with this, but to me a Windows box is a glorified Xbox with a web browser. Sure people work with them but unless you're using VS I don't really see the point of using Windows for development.

edit: I know I'm not representative of the larger population but I think there are more people switching away from Windows than to it these days.

Thing is, for a lot of people, a computer for 'work' purely means one on which they have first class Office (docx, xlsx, pptx) compatibility at the lowest possible price. Even Office:Mac is pricey, and not 100% identical (and no MS Access).

I know this probably isn't for most people, but I've gone to emacs' org mode for creating documents and spreadsheets. The cost is nothing, it's highly functional, and can be exported to TEX or html if you want to make it pretty.

emacs isn't suitable for almost all computer users.

Try to imagine telling a non-hacker manager that all their spreadsheet work needs to be done in a command-line text editor/kitchen sink emulator.

It's always easy to forget just how much of a minority hackers actually are - there's far far more computer users out there who aren't hackers than are. Orders of magnitude more.

there was a time when lotus 123 was the de-facto spreadsheet and excel was a pale buggy program.

That's true, but I don't see the computer accessibility evolution going Lotus 123 -> Microsoft Excel -> emacs org mode.

Many people need to also read Office documents, not just write them. If you cannot sign or edit a crucial contract for your company because you are using some Open Source word processor (and all of your partners use MS Word) your decision to move from MS suddenly starts to look very, very stupid.

Also, I heard from a writer that Microsoft Office is superior to any word processor (a.k.a computer program you use to write a novel) to the point that he writes novels in Microsoft Word under Wine.

>Also, I heard from a writer that Microsoft Office is superior to any word processor (a.k.a computer program you use to write a novel) to the point that he writes novels in Microsoft Word under Wine.

published author here[1] who was talked into using OpenOffice to write a book. It was... pretty bad, worse, even than ms office, which (and yes, I tried) is pretty bad when you start passing back and fourth a monstrosity with a bunch of marked changes. But even with the little incompatibilities fixed, god damn, word processors were just not meant to deal with something that big.

You will find few people writing their second book using a word processor. Word processors are pretty great for short documents that need to be made to look nice quickly, and that have limited collaboration. (yes, modern word processors have really basic revision control functionality, but it sucks compared to using a revision control system.) But yeah, next time? some sort of TeX derivative, or I do the book in text and the publisher can do formatting after it's done.


Also, I heard from a writer that Microsoft Office is superior to any word processor (a.k.a computer program you use to write a novel) to the point that he writes novels in Microsoft Word under Wine.

That's insane. Word is a horrible writing environment. It's a passable document editing environment, but to write novels or stories there are a number of infinitely better tools, such as Scrivener or Writeroom (for mac - but there are equivalents on Winblows) on the minimalist side, or some others whose names escape me right now on the "let's have lots of tools to help someone write a novel" side.

Word sucks for writing.

I seem to recall hearing that George R.R. Martin writes in Wordstar on DOS. That doesn't make it the best word processor though - you can probably find one fan of nearly any piece of software.

'joe' on *NIX is the tool you want if you like the wordstar keybindings. It was my $EDITOR for a long time because I was used to the wordstar key bindings as used in turbo pascal 3.0. I talk a lot of shit about how useless school was... but I learned a lot in that pascal class in high school.

'joe' on *NIX is the tool you want if you like the wordstar keybindings. It was my $EDITOR for a long time because I was used to the wordstar key bindings as used in turbo pascal 3.0. I talk a lot of shit about how useless school was... but I learned a lot in that pascal class in high school.

Oh really? I heard from a writer that emacs is the best word processor.


Thats odd because from a couple of friends in the publishing industry They prefer all the manuscripts to be plain text. The first step after they receive the manuscript is to remove all formatting so they can get it into their typesetting program with the least effort.

Why an author would prefer word or even open office over notepad is beyond me. Word count maybe? It gives almost no benefit and requires extra work when it's time to hand off the manuscript to the publisher.

Word count, definitely; maybe other features like that? Open Office is sluggish.

The cost isn't nothing - learning emacs and org-mode, while rewarding, isn't trivial.

I pretty much just install emacs and I'm ready to go on any unix box(Until I get to emacs I can use Vi, useful for things like Arch linux)

Windows and Mac worldwide marketshare is basically flat over the past year. You'd think that everyone is switching to MacOS reading HN. But you'd think that Linux had taken over for the past 10 years reading Slashdot. Get out of the bubble and see the world.

See http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/08/windows-7-over...

Outside of our world of geekery I see the odd person switching to a Mac. Even more rarely I see people switch to Linux, but it happens.

What I don't see are people switching from Linux or Macs to Windows. Geek or otherwise. Not one.

I'm in the world of geekery and I switched from Linux to PC (coming from Amiga prior to that).

I've met a good number of people who have gone from PC to Mac and back to PC. Relatively few, if any, Mac to PC converts who have Mac users for 10+ years.

What about people who are targeting Windows desktops?

I figured that anyone doing Windows dev is using VS. Consider my VS comment to include everyone who deploys on Windows.

And apple can't even remotely be called a monopoly, unless you are referring to their monopoly on products sold by apple.

apple has the monopoly on iphones. and every geek wants an iphone. so apple has a monopoly in the geek world.

microsoft has the monopoly on windows. and every pc in the world is sold with windows.this is what i call an effective monopoly. add that to the wannabe bing monopoly and you know why microsoft is not an underdog at all!

Just selling a single popular product in a sector does not make you a monopoly. Brushing up on the definition of the term might help you understand.

Every geek? I'm a geek and don't own/want any Apple product. There are many geeks out there like me - a minority for sure - but enough that Apple lacks a monopoly over geeks.

I don't want an iPhone or any other Apple product really. I may reluctantly update my MacBook Pro in a few years just to have something not-slow that can run OS X natively and properly, but I don't really _want_ to do that, just feel like it's a smart investment so that when a client asks if I can use some Mac-only software, I can reasonably and compatibly do so. That is the only Apple product I want. iPhones are immensely overrated and Android is a far superior platform for hackers.

yes you are totally right. but why is apple selling so many iphones? yes android is catching up (and for me it is a no-brainer that android is the superior platform) but still the iphone4 is the holy grail in the press. there was a time when i really wanted a macbook because it was the better os (wrt linux, not windows) but apple lost its credibility by no longer fixing bugs and selling them as features now. (think about the finder or the shitty keyboard).

Apple is a monopoly in the sense that I can't drag and drop mp3 files into my iphone.

They impose strict control on how you can use your device.

They control the app store.

and they seem to moving towards more control; not less.

I was considering getting a Mac at the beginning of this year. I got an iPhone, and decided never to buy any iThing ever again.

I like good design and visual appeal, but not to the point of sacrificing substance for form.

This is like saying that Kim Il Jong is a monopoly on the World Stage. If you want hyperbole, Apple is a Dictator ruling mercilessly over its subjects. But not a monopoly.

I got an iPhone, and decided never to buy any iThing ever again.

So, I assume that you'll be buying competing devices from other vendors for your future computing, mobile phone and portable media consumption needs?

If you answered yes, THAT is what makes Apple a non-monopoly.

> Apple is a monopoly in the sense that I can't drag and drop mp3 files into my iphone.

Having a hard time with this one. Can you please explain how this makes Apple a monopoly?

I've got an alias in my downloads folder that auto adds mp3s to iTunes and iTunes auto-syncs to my ipod when I plug it in.

I don't even have to think about dragging and dropping anything.

hm I think I can't edit my posts?

I suppose monopoly in English only refers to market control (my bad).

In certain other languages, the word for monopoly is the same word for "complete control".

I was assuming the word monopoly in English has evolved to capture that meaning as well -.-

All Apple devices are closed and restricted, it is as if when you buy an iPhone, you don't own it; you're merely getting permission (from Apple) to use it.

Five years ago, one would've imagined that only Microsoft can do something as evil as that.

I completely agree, Windows 7 is amazing. After being forced to use OSX for the last two months, I can't wait to get back. The windowing system is better in Windows 7, multi-monitor is easier (Windows have their own menus), task bar works better, battery life is better, look and feel is better.

I will throw in Zune as the best portable media player as well. After having an iphone and using itunes. Zune is far better then the lastest generation ipods. Super slick and easy ui, better integrated store, also the zune desktop app is better. Subscription service is definitely the way to go. I pay my $13 a month music tax and can have any song I want, I haven't listened to this much music ever.

Are you kidding me? The single biggest fault with the Windows UI is that any event can pop up and take focus from the current task. Do you know how many times I've accidentally rebooted a computer during a critical task because Windows popped up and told me updates were installed and Windows needed to restart just as I hit enter?

This is just horrible, horrible UI design. A system notification or request to reboot should NEVER, EVER take focus. This is one of the many way that Windows punishes users every day.

To me, the single biggest fault -- one that very nearly made me just get up and go the the nearest Apple store, right then and there -- is the fact that Windows STILL will force a reboot of your machine while unattended (I did figure out how to turn that off, but your average user would not be able to do it). Whoever decided to make it default to forcing a reboot is unforgivably stupid.

Not to mention: why is it, that in 2010, we have an OS that still requires reboots at least 3 times a week?

The other design flaw is why it needs to reboot on every system update.

One of the things that I love about Linux is what you only need to reboot to use a new kernel. 95+% of system updates will activate without reboot.

Why do you reboot three times a week? What are you doing? I've never seen anyone have that problem.

I would guess automatic updates are on and they require a reboot?

I don't think so. I have auto updates and I don't get three updates per week.

I _believe_ the only updates that will automatically reboot are critical updates.

I've verified that this should only happen with critical updates. But you can stop auto-reboots on automatic update with a registry setting. See: http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/totw/au.asp

You list one thing that happens to you that doesn't make the OS or windowing bad.

OSX has the following UI issues:

Scrollbars are hard to use

Window Max & Min buttons randomly work depending on the application

file dialog can't do any of the things the window file can do (Create folders, manage files)

Finders is pretty basic

I won't mention right clicking

accelerator keys are not as easy

*System monitor is pretty non-helpful most times

OSX shell is good, Windows 7 is the far better operating system. The hardware is also better but microsoft can force people to build awesome hardware

> Scrollbars are hard to use

I can't tell you the last time I used a scrollbar at all. Wheels are a far better scrollbar interface, and come on 99% of new mice. Oh, and 2 finger scrolling on a touchpad is even better.

> file dialog can't do any of the things the window file can do (Create folders, manage files)

It can create folders, and it can also be configured (by the software) to have more functionality. I'd think that allowing all file management functionality from a "Save as..." dialog is a bad idea. New Folder and navigation should be all that's required. You shouldn't be able to decide to cleanup "My Documents" when your main goal is to save a file.

> I won't mention right clicking

I will. Right clicking is confusing in Windows because many a software hides some functionality in the Right-click context menu, but it never shows up in the "File Edit View" main menus. By eliminating right click on the Mac for novice users, and insisting in the HCI Guidelines that all functionality be accessible from the Main Menu, novice users can more easily discover the functionality they're looking for.

As both a windows and mac user I have to agree with all of your points but the last one is probably the most important.

The software ecosystem on os x is much nicer overall because of the guidelines that apple publishes. Most OS X applications look and feel in a similar way. It's also why iOS apps tend to behave the same way as well.

Scrollbars being hard to use is mostly because most users have an easy time scrolling (laptops use the two-fingered scroll, mice all have buttons or touch-sensitive surfaces), and scrolling requires only mouseover not focus (try it! scroll the window behind you!). I've almost never used a scrollbar as an input mechanism, only output to see where in a document I am.

The scrollbars were bad well before Apple shipped a mouse with scrolling functionality.

"Window Max & Min buttons randomly work depending on the application"

That's because what the button with the plus on it (Zoom) is doing is not supposed to be making the window the size of the screen, but rather making the window the size that will display the most content from the current window with the minimum of scrolling. Some applications ignore this and just use the standard Windows behavior, hence the inconsistency.

In practice it seems that everyone loathes this behavior, hence the need for sites like http://maximizechrome.com/

I prefer it for most things, actually, web browsers being one of the few exceptions depending on monitor size. There's usually absolutely no point in maximizing something to full screen on a 27" 2560x1440px display, for example. But for the times when I do want to I use Cinch (http://www.irradiatedsoftware.com/cinch/) which steals my favorite Windows 7 feature.

Scrollbars are hard to use

2 finger scrolling on trackpads is much more intuitive and also, whats wrong with the scrollbar? I'm sitting here fiddling with the one on safari and still can't figure out anything wrong with it.

Window Max & Min buttons randomly work depending on the application

Window Max maximizes the screen to the maximum amount of space "needed". Though this might not feel great on a 13" macbook, move onto a 27" screen and you will understand WHY firefox taking up the entire screen is a plain simple waste of space.

I won't mention right clicking

You better not mention it, cause you do realize that on the mac it is called 2-finger-clicking. It exists. So, you mentioning it won't make much of a difference.

The hardware is also better but microsoft can force people to build awesome hardware.

People who love great software make their own hardware. Google did it for their servers. I used to use a dell laptop. Bought in 2007. Trashed in 2008. Replace by a mac. Its still on Warranty. Why you ask. 1 year and 4 months = 7th Motherboard, 2rd Screen, 5th Keyboard, 3rd hard drive.

And my macbook pro, 1 year and 4 months later: NOTHING.

Let's just keep it down to taste, OK? Saying that one OS is clearly better than another is just begging for a flame war. From a technical perspective I can tell you that you are wrong in many cases. For background, I use OS X as my primary system, develop for Linux and the kernel, and work for Microsoft.

Right clicking? I can quad and penta click on my Magic TrackPad. I think that argument can die now.

> Window Max & Min buttons randomly work depending on the application

In OS X I rarely use these buttons. "Minimize" is very rarely useful. If I want to get an app out of the way I use Hide (CMD-H). Hide Others (CMD-Option-H) is also useful for making the current app the only one visible.

Minimize is only useful to me when I want to get a window out of the way within an application (but not get the application out of the way). For example, lets say I had multiple Terminal windows open, and there was one that I knew I wasn't going to use for a while, and I didn't want it to show up when I cycle through windows when I hit CMD-`, then I would hit CMD-M to minimize. (This is hypothetical, though, I don't use Terminal that way.)

I admit the "Zoom" button (what you expect to be Maximize, but isn't) is rather inconsistent due to apps having different opinions on its usage (iTunes being one of the worst). If you want Windows-style maximize, you can use something like shiftit ( http://code.google.com/p/shiftit/ ) which gives you a keyboard shortcut for it. It also gives you Windows 7 style tiling and more tiling features. I have a fork of this open source project where I'm experimenting with being able to resize windows to percentages of the screen size using keyboard shortcuts: http://github.com/nileshk/shiftit

Also, checkout this company's non-free products: http://irradiatedsoftware.com/

Going back to your previous post, I think Windows 7's taskbar misses the point (assuming it's trying to copy OS X). What is nice in OS X is the whole app switching model. In OS X, when you click on an app in the dock, you are switch to that app bringing up all the app's non-minimized windows, whereas in Windows you are always switching to a specific window but not to the app as a whole.

While I use OS X's dock, I use QuickSilver to switch to apps even more, which gives me a more precise keyboard-based way of navigating to the app that I want, where I can literally switch to an app that I want without looking at the screen (more that I don't have to study the screen in this process, which makes it faster for me). Spotlight can be used similarly, though it doesn't handle Finder the same way as Quicksilver (can't switch to Finder with Spotlight). I don't use Expose because I find it takes to much time to find and pick out the window I am looking for.

Honestly, it took me 2 years of owning a Mac before I preferred it over my previous preference (Linux). I think it's a mix of the fact that it is a UNIX and the polish and little details of OS X (there is a lot to both it's form and function). It takes time to appreciate, because it is significantly different than other popular environments.

I'd like to know what is so great about Windows 7, but my experience with it so far has made me think it is just another Windows with some eye-candy (which is not to my taste) and some decent Window tiling features. But I have not been able to give it an honest chance, because one of the .Net projects I maintain requires XP.

Can only resize windows from the bottom corner

no alt to access menu

no double click window header toggles maximize

That switch icon they use for 'option' confused me because it's not on the keyboard anywhere

Overall it's pretty good, but I agree, I miss the little things

> no alt to access menu

Hit Command-? (command-shift-/), start typing, and use the arrow keys to highlight the search results. You'll be surprised what happens. It's been there since 10.5

That doesn't even come close to as fast as Alt+accesskey, menu item accesskey.

Strangely, in Firefox, this brings up a new tab with a Firefox help page.

Another option for getting to the menu is the "Move focus to the menu bar" keyboard shortcut which defaults to CTRL-F2, but is assignable. Neither of these methods are as direct as the Windows way, as you have to use cursor keys to move to where you want, but it works.

In my opinion, nothing should pop up without explicit user action (keypress, mouse click). Every would-be pop-up should be pop-under, with some cue (visual or otherwise) to inform the user that something may deserve attention (e.g. flashing taskbar entry or tray icon).

Note also that this is a general problem not restricted to Windows.

[In reply to illumini8] Doesn't the iPhone push a non-modal (or maybe it's modal) dialog EVERY time you get a text message? Or is this an option most users have enabled? Not only that, but there is no notion of "focus" on iPhone, so it's even worse. Maybe that's just me being kooky though.

No you're not being kooky. I think the notification system on the iOS needs work. IMO it's the weakest part of the UI.

Proof that I am not an Apple Fanboy ;-)

The iPhone's notification system is f#$%ed up. Please fix it apple.

To be forward looking regarding OS marketshare, you need to look at what college students are running. When I went to college in the 90s, it was overwhelmingly Microsoft. We ran DOS, then Windows 3.11, then Windows 95. Microsoft got us hooked with mostly free (pirated) software and by the time we got to the workforce, a Microsoft monopoly was a foregone conclusion.

Apple is overwhelmingly capturing college marketshare. At some universities they are more than 50% of the market now. The workers of tomorrow will be comfortable in a Mac environment, not a PC one. By 2020 I fully expect Mac dominance of the corporate market as well. The retraining costs would be too high otherwise.

Among us engineers, it's not Mac but Linux that is taking the lead. Maybe more of us would use Macs if they weren't already what those dirty art kids use...

I have no idea what will happen in 10 years, but I don't see training costs as an issue. When 99% of work is done in a web browser and one or two desktop applications, switching OS's is pretty trivial.

Apple's cradle-to-the-grave strategy hasn't carried over to the workforce the same way Microsoft did decades earlier - you can thank the depth of Microsoft's ecosystem today for that.

They may not be an underdog, but my image of them is Sideshow Bob walking around surrounded by rakes. Some of their products have launched with a reverberating thud, and their marketing campaigns make me cringe.

They are screwing up a lot, and they don't come across as great innovators (nor as people adapting to the world they're in) rather than a company who is still relying on the same core platforms they did a handful of years, if not a decade, ago. Granted, their corporate structure is different than, say, Apple's, and I don't want another Apple, but they feel gridlocked.

I don't know which term is the most apt for this, but it's not a gratuitous one.

I'm a Windows user myself, but I can't help but feel that I am putting my eggs in the wrong basket sometimes.

He's not talking about desktops: Apple still has tiny (but growing) market share there.

He's talking about mobile platforms. Microsoft is very much the underdog after ignoring the platform for so long. Apple had a monopoly over good smartphones by beating everyone to market by such a large margin, though it's hard to call them a monopoly now that Android has been selling so well.

Winning a particular market segment does not a monopoly make.

I thought that was the definition of a monopoly? I mean, Standard Oil didn't own the coal market, but they were still a monopoly, because they did own the oil market.

Apple could only have a monopoly in the mobile market if I couldn't walk into a shop and buy a competing product.

In fact, if I walk into a mobile phone shop, I've overwhelmed with competing products and can hardly see the iPhone.

Even at the height of Microsoft's reign, you could still walk into a shop and buy a Mac. Just sayin'.

Apple don't have a majority of the smartphone market, let alone the mobile phone market in general. Windows had a market share of over 90%.

Five years ago you could have made an argument for Symbian being the Evil Monopoly in this market, but Apple/iOS has never been anything like a monopoly. People seem to confuse control over one device with an actual monopoly. They're not even remotely the same thing.

Apple doesn't even lead the smartphone market (yet), RIM does. I'm sure they will catch up quick but RIM had 40% of the market last time I checked and Apple had 25%.

They have 90% of the mp3 market and 75% of the mp3 player market but that's still not a monopoly.

The only thing they could be accused of is a monopoly on non-crappy web apps. Pretty amusing.

Those figures might be true only for the US/North America, but worldwide Symbian has almost 45%, RIM a little under 20%, iPhone just over 15%, and Android just under 10%.

(As of Q1, 2010, pre-iPhone 4, source: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1372013)

No one seems to mind their MP3 player monopoly because the iPod was so much better than the alternatives.

Yeah I was referring to the smartphone market rather than the mobile market.

Smartphones aren't expected to reach 50% mobile market share until Q3 2011.

The numbers I mentioned are specifically for the smartphone market - 'Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 1Q10 (Thousands of Units)'.

Most people on HN have a really poor understanding of the global market. The US leaders are not the world leaders in the mobile space.

Belatedly: While "owning a market" is a serviceable definition of a monopoly, it's not what I wrote about and it has no relationship to Apple's position in the smartphone market (or, really, any other market). A "market segment" is not a "market", and "winning" is not "owning".

A monopoly is when a company actively prevents other companies from entering "their" market. Such as by buying them all up, or using their deep pockets to force them out. Not by producing a better product.

Wrong. A monopoly is when a company has such market control that they can dictate the terms of the market. What you're describing is abuse of a monopoly.

Example, iTunes is nearing monopoly status in that they can largely tell the industry, "I don't like your DRM proposal, and we're so big that even if every other company wants to do it one way, you can't. You have to listen to us".

Now remember monopolies are not illegal. But actions of monopolists can be.

unless that particular market segment is making a market.

Agreed. A better assertion might be that Apple has a monopoly on revenues in the mobile space.

But that would still be a terrible assertion since many other companies are generating a lot of revenue in the space. You might more properly be able to say that they have a monopoly on profits in the space, but that would be an ill-formed claim because "profits in a sector" are not a valid parameter for monopoly, except in the colloquial sense.

Actually OSX's market share peaked with the debut of Win7 and has been declining since.

Your point stands, though.

Eek, I see several people don't believe me. Here are a bunch of sources:


Don't forget that 2010 is the year of the Linux desktop!

Well, there may be no "year of the Linux desktop", but someday the "desktop" will become a thing of the past, and whatever comes next may be running Linux.

Hey, I meant to be sarcastic, but actually you are right! The smartphones and tablets are already here, lots of them running Android, and Microsoft really is an underdog.

2010 is the Year of Linux on the Phone.

Linux is outselling Apple and Microsoft.

Android is not recognizably Linux and you know it. It's using the Linux kernel about as minimally as they could get away with, they patch it to expose all kinds of things directly to userland through hacked-together APIs. The userland bears no resemblance to POSIX, and developers don't get to write for it (Dalvik or JNI only). It's even less Linux than a TiVO.

Compare Android: http://mjg59.livejournal.com/100221.html with WebOS: http://mjg59.livejournal.com/111453.html from a linux kernel developer's perspective

I wouldn't call Android even less Linux than a TiVO just from the links you gave. The guy says that he is disappointed that the power management is jacked up, especially when Linux already provides normal interfaces for that kind of thing, but other than that I didn't see anything hugely awful. As the author of those posts says, the other stuff has no prospect of going upstream anyway so it doesn't really matter. There's certainly still a lot of Linux running under the covers there.

The userspace is different, but if you want Gnome on your phone get Maemo/Meego.

Google is using the 2.6 kernel. Yes, a lot of user land stuff is missing, probably to keep the footprint small. Google will be contributing their changes back to the Linux kernel. They are feeding the Linux ecosystem.


And you're right, WebOS and Nokia(Meego) have Linux phones too. Linux is the the future of smartphones is one form or another.

Throw in the iPhone and we can say Unix, the past, has become the future of smartphones.

my understanding is that while Google is following the letter of the GPL and giving back their changes to the GPL'd code, they are not putting fourth the effort to get those changes integrated with the rest of the linux kernel, so practically speaking, you aren't going to be seeing much of the android changes outside of android.


Yes, there's no question that Windows 7 is a decent OS, but the desktop is becoming less and less relevant with each passing day. The new decade is about web services, cloud computing, social networks, and mobile platforms. Microsoft has been caught flat-footed on all of these and is playing a big game of catchup.

"2.6x" is hardly what I would call "immensely".


(In June 2010, Windows 7's market share was only 2.6 times larger than Mac OS X's, when considering the market of "web clients", which is composed mostly of personal computers)

This tweet almost reads like a Haiku. Goes to show how 'short' doesn't have to mean 'stupid'.

But there is still room for shortening. I suggest:

'There are no heroes. Welcome to eternity.'

To wax religious/philosophical, albeit a little darker, you could shorten this even more:

"All is suffering"

Now I'm waiting for the Lisper to point out the macro for it that has it down to a few characters. ;-)

I think you're getting Lispers confused with Perl hackers. The Lisp macro for that would be long and aggressively hyphenated.

In Cobol, of course, "All is suffering" is just implied, and doesn't require any extra characters to state.

how would you state it in this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_%28programming_language%29

I presume it would be an awesome painting/shirt ;p

It'd be one black pixel.

In Lisp, it'd be an empty cons cell.

In C, it'd be the null pointer.

In Java, it'd be a XxxFactoryFactoryFactory.


If someone could translate this for us non-lispers that would be awesome. That way, we could understand the sheer awesomeness that probably accompanies the parent poster.

>> "\u221e" => "∞"


A lot of downvotes without any explanation. Although, at this point it's already recovering.

Assuming the commentor hadn't seen unicode notation, how could they know it wasn't related to lisp?

I always preferred 'nothing endures but change', though it's admittedly longer.

I don't post tweets here, but this one was just too good to not share with HN.

It was definitely worthy.

Getting very tired of the "Apple is a monopoly" meme. Just because people keep repeating it doesn't make it even remotely true. Being a control freak in your own home doesn't make you a dictator for the rest of the world.

It's a natural monopoly. Nothing wrong with that.

Oracle remains evil, Google's nowhere close.

This is about where things are heading, not where they stand right now.

And apple is not a monopoly, just acting like one (some times).

I'd say that compared to Oracle's evilness, Google seems quite innocent and tame. Certainly the most evil company in this whole debacle is Oracle, not Google.

Oracle never used "Don't be Evil" as what apparently now was a marketing tool.

Google caving on net neutrality (the joint policy with Verizon).

a policy proposal, mind you, and it's certainly not evil

I don't know about that. What Google is doing should be illegal. What Oracle is doing is immoral.

Illegal? Immoral? No need to be dramatic. "Do No Evil" may have been a good tagline when you're a startup going against The Man, but unfortunately that doesn't always resonate when you're considering the bottom line going forward. And Oracle is only trying to maximize the utility of its new (and expensive) IP.

We are seeing some fascinating strategic plays unfold here. This is how the big boys operate; future Larry Ellisons, take note.

>What Google is doing should be illegal.


Speaking of evil, let us not forget Goldman Sach's treatment of Sergey Aleynikov. Makes Oracle look like Mother Teresa.

> Goldman Sach's [sic] treatment of Sergey Aleynikov > [m]akes Oracle look like Mother Teresa

I don't see how this follows. I'm no fan of Goldman Sachs, but the grand jury apparently was shown enough evidence to justify indicting Aleynikov for stealing Goldman's source code on his last day working there before jumping to another company. See the detailed allegations in paragraphs 12-15 of the indictment at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25202761/Aleynikov_-Sergey-Indic....

Agreed. While Sergey was probably just being stupid and GS over-reacted, the guy did copy lots of confidential propriety data and source code from GS servers to an off-shore server and then tried to cover his tracks by deleting bash history, audit logs, etc.

It was the later that actually triggered an alarm. In much the same way you'd be suspicious if you came into work late on a sunday night and found someone in accounts shredding audit trail documents, Goldman had to do something.

If the stolen data was used to make illegal trades and Goldman hadn't done anything about the breach than GS could find themselves subject to criminal proceedings for being an accomplice.

Huh? You mean the guy that stole intellectual property from Goldman in the hopes that he could enrich himself by working for a different company that tripled his pay? Should Goldman just say, "Meh, don't do that again?" What is evil about protecting yourself--whether you're an individual or a company?

Meh, he stole that from my post on Techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/13/google-net-neutrality-video...

... And there was never a better time to create.

Am I alone in thinking this was written in the style of the introductory text for chapters in Accelerando?

Dugg for its accuracy.

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