MobileMe: Not as bad as people say…

Since its launch on July 11, 2008, the “new” online service from Apple had a bumpy start and reviews have been negative overall… even Walt Mossberg says that “Apple’s MobileMe Is Far Too Flawed To Be Reliable”. The problems that have plagued the service have not helped… and Apple also changed the tone of their messaging from “Exchange for the rest of us” to “The simple way to keep everything in sync”. But overall, the re-branding of .Mac and new web interface to the online service that Apple Inc charges $99 per year in the US (pricing does vary around the world, and I don’t think it will be lower) has all the base components that make it already worth for me, and that could become great with a few little “tweaks”.

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Windows is the new “Classic” after all.

In a previous blog entry written just after the introduction of the first version of Boot Camp by Apple and of Parallels Desktop, I was wondering if Windows could actually, looking at a potential future roadmap of Mac OS, become the new Classic for Intel based Macs, just like MacOS 9 was for PowerPC based machines. Since then, Apple continued to release updates to the Beta of Boot Camp and Parallels continued improvements to its virtual machine software.

Yesterday, version 3.0 of Parallels Desktop got released, introducing many new improvements such as 3D support (for the gamers out there) as well as even closer integration with the Mac through a method called “Coherence”. This enables users to hide the Windows desktop and have applications made for Microsoft’s operating system run side by side with those for MacOS X. From a user experience, it’s really very similar to the Classic mode on PowerPC based computers from Apple. So yes, in my mind, Windows is the new Classic after all.

In an even more interesting move, Apple chose to release the new beta version of Boot Camp yesterday. The latest version has improved drivers for Windows XP and Windows Vista. But what surprised me is the fact that both Parallels 3.0 and Boot Camp 1.3 Beta got out the same day, just a few days before WWDC. Now, how likely is it that two companies release updates to products that work together (you can use a Boot Camp partition in Parallels) on the same day? I haven’t seen any mention that Parallels requires the latest version of Boot Camp, but part from that, for those who believe in conspiracy theory and love rumors that are made out of nowhere, what if Apple and Parallels where working together for one of the top secret features of Leopard that will potentially get announced next week… :-)

Update: There might actually be nothing between Parallels and Apple, except a big coincidence… If you have Boot Camp 1.3 Beta drivers installed on Vista, you won’t be able to use that partition in Parallels as it freezes your machine.

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A software vendor perspective to changes to OSs…

Every once and a while, a new operating system comes out. Apple seems to be on an 18 to 24 month life-cycle for MacOS X, Microsoft seems to be more at the 24-36+ months (if you also consider the major service packs), and some Linux distributions come out every 6 months. The hot topic is currently “to upgrade or not to upgrade” to Windows Visa, Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating systems. Shortly, the followers of the Apple cult will have the opportunity to get their favorite computers running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. In this blog posting, I look at the flip-side of the software world when it comes to an Operating System upgrade, e.g. the perspective of the company / people who create the applications (often qualified as ISV or Independent Software Vendor). And I’ll stay as far away as possible from the Web 2.0 discussion in this entry.

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Boot Camp or virtualisation, why choose?

There has been a lot of noise on the net about Apple’s latest beta software called Boot Camp. The next day, another company announced Parallels for Mac OS X (intel processor required), a virtualization software. Listening to this weeks TWIT podcast, I started wondering why it needs to be one or the other?

Latest new from Apple: Macs do Windows! Well, at least with a little beta software Apple released publicly that enables to dual-boot between Mac OS X 10.4 and Microsoft Windows XP and that is completely unsupported. I haven’t received my MacBook Pro (yet) so I wasn’t able to try it out, but this is just the beginning… and here is a potential future I would welcome.
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