News Roundup: More Leopard Details, More Vista Problems, More DRM Musings, and More

News Roundup: More Leopard Details, More Vista Problems, More DRM Musings, and More

Leopard inches closer to release: The latest build of Mac OS 10.5, Leopard, has been released to developers, and Think Secret has a gallery of (illegally obtained) screenshots for your edification and enjoyment. The latest skinny includes a tabbed Terminal, new screensavers, improved performance (including a snappier Spaces), and other goodies. According to their sources, all signs point towards a release date in late March.

 

Vista's troubles continue: Microsoft's recent release of its multi-billion-dollar "upgrade" of Windows XP, Vista, is the Rodney Dangerfield of operating systems (though not nearly as entertaining) - it just can't get no respect. One analyst calls the combination of Vista and Office 2007 a "nightmare," another cites a recent thorough and highly critical study (PDF here) and concludes that even if Microsoft were baldly copying Mac OS X, "the results are simply lousy," while another - after explaining why he's "upgrading" back to Windows XP - concludes with "The Whoa starts now," a not-so-subtle poke at Microsoft's half-a-billion-dollar "The Wow Starts Now" ad campaign. Oh, and Vista's supposed security improvements? Fugettaboutit.

 

More thought on digital rights management: Don Tapscott over at SiliconValley.com has an interesting take on the future of music: Stop selling it, and instead rent it at a nominal monthly fee in playlists compiled by experts in various musical genres. Not a bad idea, in our opinion - as Tapscott suggests, wouldn't it be interesting to sample the "music B.B. King listened to in his youth or Alanis Morrisette's favorite chamber music"? Interesting, indeed.

 

More iTunes Store competition: BitTorrent is about to launch an online movie-rental service with 3,000 films from Fox, Paramount, Warner, MGM, and others, plus games, TV shows, music, and more. Yes, most will be DRM-protected. Worse still is that its DRM will be Microsoft technology and playable only using Windows Media Player 11) - so you can forget about viewing thie content on your Mac or iPod, since Microsoft's Media Player for Mac stopped at version 9, and the company has "no plans to provide future updates or product support" for that Mac version. BitTorrent's supposed advantage over other such online services is shorter download times. Ain't enough, in our opinion - the shopping/ordering experience is everything.

 

In other news: Ex-Apple CEO John Scully recalls his years at Apple and admits that he was "a terrible manager;" today is the ninth anniversary of the demise of the Newton (and while we're strolling down memory lane, take a gander at this Lisa emulator); there's a tantalizing YouTube video showing an iPod upgrade that'll provide Cover Flow capability to your video-enabled iPod; Parallels Desktop for Mac has been upgraded to support both Leopard and Vista; Quantum Research has backed off on its iPhone-lawsuit threat; and you can now buy a Ms. Pac Man game for your iPod for $4.99 and download free animated New Yorker cartoons from the iTunes Store's podcasts area. Free - that has a nice ring to it.

 

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John

Stop selling music and you will definately have a bigger problem then DRM. People don't like renting music period. How many rental online stores are there now? Why do you think there struggling? Because people want to listen to music at whatever time they feel like it. Which means having it in there own hands and being able to play it at anytime not on some web based toll booth asking if you paid this month or not to decide if you can play it or not.

The rental thing doesn't work because music is something personal that most people want to have as there own forever, not on some subscription based time limit paying over and over every month for the privlage to play it or not. That is more expensive than just buying it outright.
It won't work.

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big_red

Would "renting" music not be the same as what Napster is doing? Subscription type services. As as far as listening to the playlists of BB King ect, is that not what we have with the celebrity playlists on iTunes. Me thinks Mr. Tapscott needs to rethink his thinkings.

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